Buried Alive. That is exactly what will happen to either The Undertaker or Mankind tonight in our main event of the evening. The feud between Mankind and Undertaker has been going since Mankind debuted in the WWF the night after Wrestlemania. Since then the feud has taken a different path at every PPV. Whether it was Mankind costing Undertaker the Intercontinental title, Mankind defeating Undertaker at both King Of The Ring and Summerslam and even Mankind taking Undertakers long time manager Paul Bearer away from him. At the last PPV Undertaker got involved in Mankinds WWE title match. Now the two meet in a match where to defeat your opponent you must bury him alive. It’ll be an interesting one to say the least.
We won’t be getting a WWE title match and in fact Shawn Michaels the champion isn’t even in action. But what we will get is a number one contenders match between Sid and Vader. One of these men will get a main event shot at Survivor Series. The two big men are two of the most over guys on the roster with Vader arguably the most over heel and Sid who is so damn over as a face. Vader and Jim Cornette aren’t happy that Sid has been using the powerbomb, a move he has been using for years. Tonight one of them will earn themselves a spot in the main event. Jim Cornette has also had his problems with Sunny recently. Sunny says she could do a better job of managing Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Now they get a tag team title shot at the team Sunny manages, The Smoking Gunns.
We should also get to see a match between two men who have been at war since March in Steve Austin and Savio Vega. This match hasn’t had any recent build and I’m not sure why it’s on the card. In any case they’re technically 1-1 on PPV so this’ll be the deciding match. The other match we’ll get tonight is for the Intercontinental title. Champion Marc Mero beat Faarooq Asaad in the finals of the vacant Intercontinental tournament and tonight Faarooq gets a rematch. So let’s get to it.
We start with some words back and forth from The Undertaker and Mankind. This has been such a good feud. Definitely my favourite of 1996 so far. They meet in a Buried Alive match tonight, hence the name. Vince McMahon then welcomes everybody. He’s joined by Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross. Those three men are in near darkness ringside. Jim Ross doesn’t have a microphone. McMahon storms off, presumably to get McMahon a mic.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Well this was supposed to be Steve Austin against Savio Vega but Vega is injured so Helmsley replaces him. This is the first time Austin has come out to the famous music we are all familiar with. I don’t think we’ve seen Helmsley on pay per view since In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies. That night he lost to Marc Mero. Austin has been a regular on PPV and has a decent record, 66% win percentage from 6 matches. Austin goes to the outside and then Helmsley does but they both seem to be berating fans at ringside. Back in the ring and Austin takes down Helmsley with an armdrag before flipping him off. Austin takes down Helmsley with a headlock now, this is the first meeting between these two on PPV. A “Prefect” chant breaks out now, Mr Perfect meets Helmsley on Raw tomorrow night. Helmsley slaps Austin now and Austin knocks him down with a right hand. Helmsley has fallen right down the pecking order in the WWF lately. Ever since he came out and hugged Razor Ramon, Diesel and Shawn Michaels before Razor and Diesel left to wCw. Helmsley now locks on a headlock but Austin soon takes the advantage and gets a 2 count.
Austin hits a snapmare and then ties on an armlock. Hunter gets out of it though and knocks Austin down with a knee. He follows it up throwing Austin into the buckle and hitting a big back body drop. Hunter gets a 2 count. Jim Ross’s faulty microphone is pretty off-putting. Hunter locks on a headlock but Austin gets out of it and locks on a headlock of his own. Hunter reverses it again and Austin takes him down with a jawbreaker. Stone Cold rolls him over and gets a two count. Auston drops Hunter on the ropes in a move he calls the Stun Gun then hits an elbow off the second rope for a two count. Helmsley reverses an Irish whip and hits a high knee before going up to the middle rope and hitting a knee. Two count and both men knock each other down with a clothesline. The crowd start cheering all of a sudden and it’s because Mr Perfect is on his way to ringside. He talks to the girl that accompanied Helmsley to ringside which is enough to distract him. Austin attacks him from behind then gets in Perfects face! Perfect turns his back on Austin then Austin throws coffee in his face!
Steve rolls back in the ring and Helmsley stomps up and down on him. He then sets him up for the Pedigree but decides against it and goes after Perfect! Hunter walks to the back and Austin comes after him! The two men fight in the entrance way and Hunter sets up for a Pedigree on the outside but Austin takes him down and slingshots him into the ringpost! How have they not got counted out yet? They don’t in any case and both men get back into the ring and Austin then hits the Stone Cold Stunner for the victory! Not a bad match to start the show but something didn’t quite click. It was back and forth which you don’t see much these days. Another PPV win for Austin.
Now to a video package about the Smoking Gunns and British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Billy Gunn has been obsessed with Sunny. They lost the gold to British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Now it seems Bart wants the belts back for the gold and Billy wants the belts back for the girls. The Smoking Gunns are backstage now and Billy seems focused on getting Sunny back whilst Bart wants to focus on the match.
British Bulldog & Owen Hart (c) vs. The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy) – WWF Tag Team Title Match
Bulldog and Owen, the new tag team champions are now managed by Clarence Mason. This is the second all heel match so far tonight. The crowd have had nobody to cheer for! Only Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart have had more pay per view matches than The British Bulldog. Billy Gunn and Owen Hart start the match and it’s all Billy in the early going. We then get some decent chain wrestling which results in Billy Gunn taking Hart down with a clothesline. Jim Ross points out that Owen Hart has had a haircut. Billy comes off the top but Owen hits him with a right hand and then we get some double teaming from Owen and Bulldog. This is Bulldogs 14th PPV in a row, nobody comes close to that run at the moment. Bart attacks Bulldog from behind to give the Gunns the advantage. Bart gets tagged in but gets caught in a headlock. Bart catches him off the ropes though and hits a powerslam. The Gunn then goes up top but Bulldog gets out of the way to take the advantage. Bulldog tags Owen who comes of fthe top with a dropkick then rolls up Bart for a 2. Owen tags Bulldog and the champs hit a double clothesline.
We see shots of Sunny watching the match in the back. She looks smoking. Owen Hart hits a legdrop on Bart then locks on a headlock. Bart gets out of the headlock and runs off the ropes, knocking Billy off the apron! The two Gunns kick off and Owen rolls Bart up for a two. The Gunns then hit a double Russian leg sweep for a two count. Billy hits an elbow drop on Owen then a neckbreaker. Billy tags Bart who hits a swinging neckbreaker on Owen for a two. We get some quick tags between the Gunns and some double teaming. They then set up for their finisher but Bulldog pulls Bart back and as Billy comes off the top, he completely misses. Owen then hits a spinning heel kick on Billy! Bulldog pulls Bart out of the ring and Owen pins Billy for the three! Owen and Bulldog retain their tag team championships! And Sunny applauds the champs! Surely this will lead to the splitting up of the Smoking Gunns.
Jim Ross gets in the ring now and blames McMahon for the bad sound on this broadcast. Ross then takes credit for Bret Hart coming back on Raw tomorrow evening. Ross then throws the microphone at McMahon and says he’ll see him tomorrow night on Raw.
Now to some footage from the Free For All show. Kevin Kelly was interviewing Faarooq backstage and then Johnson. Johnson swears he will pay Faarooq back and he did! Johnson attacked Faarooq in the back something supposedly provoked by Faarooq. As a result Faarooq is too injured to take on Marc Mero for the Intercontinental title later.
Mr Perfect comes to the ring now. He stops to have a quick word with Jim Ross in the entrance way. Perfect joins McMahon and Jerry Lawler on commentary. He’s out to watch the Intercontinental title match.
Marc Mero (c) vs. Goldust – Intercontinental Title Match
Goldust replaces the injured Faarooq in this one. Remember, Goldust actually beat Marc Mero at Summerslam so this is a rematch between these two men. Makes sense to me. It’s also worth noting that either Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon or Goldust have been in every single Intercontinental title match on PPV since Summerslam 92. Sable and Marlena, the real life wives are with their men for this match. Perfect claims to have given Mero some advice to win the IC title. Sable has an awful managerial record, only 1 of the 5 matches managed has her client won. Mero takes Goldust down with an armdrag in the early going. Goldust soon takes the advantage and hits a big slap but Mero gets back into it with a hiptoss. It’s all Mero now as he quickly throws Goldust around the ring. Lots of hiptosses and armdrags from Mero now. Goldust spits in Meros face which riles up the champion. Mero hits a spinebuster then a running headscissors before a back body drop and a clothesline. Goldust heads to the outside and Marc Mero flies over the top and hits a plancha one the bizarre one! The cameras are all very differently exposed. Mero slingshots back into the ring with a legdrop now and gets a two count.
Mero once again goes to the top but Goldust throws him off. Goldust is a two time Intercontinental champion looking to make it a third. He throws Mero to the outside now before slamming his head off the ring steps. Back in the ring and Goldust hits a clothesline and gets a two count before locking on a headlock. The IC title scene is in good shape at the moment with these two guys, Faarooq, Ahmed Johsnson, Steve Austin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and such. The crowd get behind Mero and the champion gets to his feet and hits a cross body for a two count. Goldust knocks him right back down with a clothesline though. Goldust then asks for a microphone. He grabs it and tells everybody to shut up and if they don’t, he’ll come out there and put his tongue down all your throats! He hands the mic back and Mero hits a belly to back suplex. Marc then goes to the top and hits a moonsault! That looked good. Mero gets a two count but Goldust shoves Mero into the turnbuckle now before trying the Curtain Call! Mero flips over the top though and tries for a pinfall but gets a two. Goldust then back body drops Mero out of the ring.
Mr Perfect comes off the headset and helps Marc Mero up to his feet. Out comes Hunter Hearst Helmsley who looks like he’s just got out of the shower. Perfect nails Goldust who then goes back into the ring. Perfect chases Helmsley to the back whilst in the ring Mero hits a Samoan Drop then the Wild Thing! Mero gets the three count and retains the Intercontinental title! He gets his win back from Summerslam in what was a fairly decent match. That’s a first PPV defence in the bag for Mero.
A shot of Jim Ross on the Superstar Line with Razor Ramon and Diesel. The fake Razor Ramon and Diesel that is.
Now to a video package about Vader and Sid. The two masters of the powerbomb. Two big monsters in this one who use the same move.
Sycho Sid vs. Vader – Number One Contenders Match for WWF Title
Sid gets one hell of a reaction, he’s over as hell as a babyface. I’m looking forward to this first meeting between these two monsters. The winner of this one gets a WWF title match at Survivor Series against Shawn Michaels. Speaking of Michaels, he’s out at ringside of this one. Sid starts well hitting a clothesline and legdrop for a two count. Sid goes for a powerslam but can’t get Vader up which gives Vader the advantage. Vader hits some big right hands in the corner before squashing him. You’d think to give a heel vs. face main event that Vader is going to win this one. Vader knocks Sid to the outside as Michaels cheers Sid on. Vader then distracts the referee and Cornette clobbers Sid with his tennis racket. Sid gets back in the ring with a sunset flip but Vader sits down on him. Sid has had a run in the main event before, he main evented the first 2 In Your house PPVs against champion Diesel. Vader gives him some stiff right hands in the corner but Sid reverses an Irish Whip and hits a big boot. Sid then goes to the top rope but Vader catches him and slams him down. Vader follows it up with a splash for a two count.
Vader contemplates going to the top but instead goes to the middle rope and hits a splash, ouch. he gets a two and lifts Sid back up. What was he thinking? Vader goes up to the middle rope again and goes for the Vader Bomb but Sid raises his knees. Sid follows it up with a clothesline and a powerslam! The crowd are right behind Sid now who sets up for the Powerbomb! Cornette creeps into the ring but Sid sees it coming and crotches him. Sid then goes the powerbomb again but with Cornette distracting the referee, Vader low blows him! It’s Vaders turn now and he tries for a powerbomb but he can’t get Sid up. Instead Sid chokeslams Vader and covers him for the three! Sycho Sid wins the match and goes to Survivor Series to face the champ! Michaels gets in the ring and the two men have some words before shaking hands.
Dok Hendrix is backstage now, excited about Survivor Series. And in comes Sid. But then in comes Jim Ross who asks Sid if he would break Michaels back to win the WWf title. And Sid says he would do anything to take the title.
A video package now about Mankind and Undertaker. Mankind attacked Undertaker on his debut night. Mankind attacked Undertaker who was locked in a casket then cost the dead man the Intercontinental title. Mankind defeated Undertaker at King Of The Ring and at Summerslam. Paul Bearer even turned his back on the man he had managed for nearly 6 years.
The Undertaker vs. Mankind – Buried Alive Match
This is the main event tonight, it’s the first PPV since International Incident that the WWF title hasn’t been defended and the first PPV since UK Rampage 93 that the WWF champion hasn’t been in action. In this one somebody will be getting buried alive. Mankind has a good PPV record so far having won 3 of his 4 matches. His only loss came to Shawn Michaels at IYH: Mind Games when Undertaker cost him the match. Mankind has beaten Undertaker twice on PPV before with Paul Bearer being instrumental in both results. The match gets underway straight away and Mankind hits some right hands but Undertaker gets back into it with some big lefts and rights. Mankind goes to the outside and Undertaker kicks him into the barrier before going up to the top and diving off to the outside! The two men then battle towards the grave which is just by the entrance curtain. This is the first ever Buried Alive match. Mankind jabs Undertaker with the shovel and the two men battle on the mound of dirt. Mankind heads towards the ring and Undertaker is in pursuit. Undertaker slams Mankinds face off the steel steps. Only Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog have had more PPV matches than The Undertaker. Undertaker chokes Mankind with a microphone chord. The two men then go into the crowd! They battle in there before Undertaker throws Mankind back over the barricade and dives over it himself with a flying clothesline.
Back in the ring and Undertaker spins Mankinds arm and walks across the top rope but Paul Bearer grabs the top rope and crotches the dead man! Mankind has the advantage now and Paul Bearer hands him a sharp object that the deranged one jabs away at Undertakers head. A “Rest In Peace” chant breaks out. Undertaker gets back into it with an elbow then picks up the sharp object and jabs away at Mankind with it before hitting his trademark flying clothesline! Undertaker follows it up with a legdrop then falls to the outside. Undertaker stalks Paul Bearer giving Mankind chance to get a steel chair. But Undertaker sees him coming and boots it out of his hand. Bearer then hits Taker with the urn and this time Mankind does hit him with the chair! Mankind hits a running knee on Undertaker, smashing the back of his head off the steel steps. Mankind then takes Undertaker over to the grave and kicks him into it! Mankind has to bury him though and he grabs the shovel. Undertaker pulls him into the grave and the two men go at it in the grave! They both get out of there and Undertaker hip tosses Mankind all the way from the top of the mound to the floor below!
The two men get back into the ring where Mankind hits a piledriver. Mankind pins Undertaker but pinfalls don’t count! Whether that was a mistake or not, Mankind can get away with it. Undertaker gets up to his feet with some right hands but misses an elbow drop. Mankind then hits a DDT on the steel chair! Mankind sits with the urn then Undertaker smashes him with a steel chair then piledrives him on the steel steps. Back in the ring and Undertaker smashes the steps into Mankind back. That looked painful. Undertaker then hits The Tombstone! This one must be over. Undertaker points up to the burial site. He picks Mankind up on his shoulder and takes him towards the grave. He drops him down but Mankind locks on the Mandible Claw! He lets go and Bearer throws Mankind the urn! But Undertaker grabs him round the throat before chokelsamming him into the grave! Undertaker then starts shoveling the dirt into the grave! The bell then rings and Undertaker is declared the winner!
Referees try to stop Undertaker from continuing to shovel dirt but Undertaker just throws them away. A man then attacks Mankind from behind with a shovel! He’s masked though so you can’t see who it is. The masked man takes Mankind out of the grave and throws Undertaker in. The man and Mankind then bury Undertaker in the grave! Undertaker wins the match but this one definitely is not over! Goldust then comes out and gives them a hand and Hunter Hearst Helmsely and Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw! And Crush! They completely fill up the grave with dirt. A bolt of lightning then hits the grave and Undertakers hand reaches out of the grave!
Well that was In Your House 11: Buried Alive. Another two hours of entertaining WWE content. Where have all the babyfaces gone? Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley opened the show in an average to good match. I think they wanted to shoehorn Helmsley onto the card because of his Intercontinental title win the next night on Raw. Oddly though he lost this match to Austin who looks to be on a collision course with Bret Hart. Ausstin is a good hand in the ring and very decent on the stick so you can see why he’s destined for big things. The match that followed that was once again between heels. Meaning the first 40 minutes or so of this show the fans had nobody to cheer for, Bulldog and Hart retained their titles but the bigger story looks to be that Billy and Bart, the most experienced tag team in the WWF is on the cusp of breaking up. Hopefully we’ll see Bulldog and Owen feud with a face tag team now but outside of The Godwinns I have no idea who.
Marc Mero and Goldust were up next in a battle for the Intercontinental title. It was a rematch from Summerslam and somewhat made sense. A straight forward enough win for Mero and I think this feud could possibly go a bit longer. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rubber match. Maybe when Faarooq returns he’ll get a shot at the title, if he’s not too concerned with Ahmed Johnson. Sid and Vader were up next in a match that means a lot going forward, Sid wins and gets a title shot at Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series. Will one of them turn heel before then? They are both just so over as faces right now, it would be a shame. Then in the main event Undertaker battled Mankind in a Buried Alive Match. This was a really good match, plenty of hardcore action. Undertaker won the match but celebrations were cut short when a masked man and a load of lower carders attacked Undertaker and buried him properly. Poor guy just can’t catch a break. Who was the masked man? Will Undertaker return? Plenty of questions off the back of this one.
Overall it was a really good pay per view. If you look at the talent on the show then you can see why. Guys like Steve Austin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Bulldog, Owen Hart, Billy Gunn, Mankind, Undertaker and so on, these guys all have big careers ahead of them. The Buried Alive match was phenomenal and in truth there wasn’t a bad match on the card. Great show from top to bottom.
Rating 63/100 (Ranked 1st out of 61)
Match Of The Night: Mankind vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match Of The Night: Austin/Helmsley & Vader/Sid
Surprise Of The Night: Savio & Faarooq don’t make the show
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: The Undertaker
IYH: Buried Alive Will Be Remembered For: The Undertaker getting buried alive.