The Final Four. Namely Bret Hart, Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Vader. Steve Austin may have won the Royal Rumble back in January but due to the controversial circumstances that he won by, the three men he threw out after he was eliminated are getting a shot at the Wrestlemania main event. The four were scheduled to meet in a battle royal tonight to decide who would be in that main event but there have been some changes since the match was originally announced by Gorilla Monsoon. Namely that Shawn Michaels the WWF Champion has vacated his title. He lost his smile and decided to take some time off. So the decision was then made that the winner of tonights main event would become WWF champion. The stakes could not be higher. But they will have to defend against Sycho Sid tomorrow night on Raw.
There has also been a change in the Intercontinental picture. Originally we were suposed to see Hunter Hearst Helmsley defend his gold against Ahmed Johnson tonight. However Johnson got injured (again) and Helmsley is no longer champion. Rocky Maivia upset Hunter on Thursday Raw Thursday and became champion. So tonight we’ll get an rematch for the gold when Rocky Maivia defends against Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The tag belts will also be on the line when Owen Hart and British Bulldog defend against challengers Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon. This match has been long overdue and with cracks appearing between Owen and Bulldog, could the team implode tonight?
Also since The Royal Rumble PPV, The Nation Of Domination has got bigger. Faarooq, Crush and the rest of the Nation actually recruited long time fan favourite Savio Vega who turned his back on Ahmed Johnson in a tag team match. Tonight Faarooq, Crush and Savio take on Goldust, Flash Funk and Bart Gunn. Gunn replaces the injured Ahmed Johnson and all three of these men have had their problems with the Nation as of late. Finally tonight we’ll get a singles match between former Intercontinental champion Marc Mero and up and comer Leif Cassidy. No history between these two but it should make for a good match.
This time the logo is dark at the beginning. Anyway we’re then into a video package highlighting the main event. It’s four men fighting for the WWF title.
Marc Mero vs. Leif Cassidy
This is an interesting one to start things off. There isn’t a lot of history between the two but it’s the second In Your House PPV in a row that Leif Cassidy has had himself a singles match. Cassidy wasn’t in the Royal Rumble match but Mero was and he didn’t last long. Cassidy is looking for his first ever PPV win in this one. Mero arm drags Cassidy around the ring to start things off. Sable is outside of the ring in Mero’s corner as you’d expect. Cassidy gets back into the match when Mero gets distracted by the referee. He works on Marcs knee but Sable gets involved which allows the former Intercontinental champion to take control. Mero gets the first near fall of the match. Mero has come across a bit more heelish in this one. Cassidy hits a couple of dropkicks to Mero’s knees. It’s all Leif now as he locks on a leglock. You’d certainly fancy Mero to win this one but Cassidy is very under-rated in the WWF. He hits a legdrop on Mero’s knee then slams it into the canvas. There isn’t much of a set for this one. Just a black curtain and an entrance way.
Leif goes back to working on the knee but Mero gets to the ropes to get out of the hold. He makes the mistake of shouting at Sable but keeps the advantage. This is the fifth PPV Mero has fought on in a row. He takes the advantage with an enzeguri then rolls Cassidy up for a two count. Leif soon takes the advantage again and locks on a figure four leglock. Interestingly Jim Ross claims this move was invented by Buddy Rogers. It probably was but it still felt like a shot on Ric Flair. Sable helps Mero get to the ropes though and Leif doesn’t like it. He goes after Sable but gets slapped for his troubles. Mero then flies to the outside and throws Cassidy back into the ring. Marc smashes Cassidy into the turnbuckle then hits a Samoan Drop before hitting Cassidy with the Wild Thing for the three. Marc Mero wins the match and Leif continues to look for his first victory. This was an ok match to start the night. Nothing too exciting, I think it was used to develop Marc Mero and Sables character.
Out next is the Honky Tonk Man! I don’t think he’s been on PPV since Survivor Series 1990 when he teamed with Greg Valentine, Ted Dibiase and The Undertaker. Hmmm before we go to him we have a promo from Raw where Shawn Michaels gave up the WWF title. And now to Sid who is backstage. Sid gets a WWF title shot against whoever wins the title tonight. Sid says it’ll be time to give him back what is his. What happened to Honky Tonk Man? He’s gone. Flash Funks music hits.
Flash Funk, Bart Gunn & Goldust vs. The Nation Of Domination (Faarooq, Crush & Savio Vega)
Interesting one this. Bart Gunn and Goldust have both had their problems with the Nation recently and now we have a six man tag match. Goldust is the only credible guy on the face team. Bart Gunn is still trying to find himself as a singles guy whilst Flash Funk is new. Savio Vega has recently joined the Nation, turning his back on friend Ahmed Johnson in a tag team match. All 6 men get into it before the bell causing he Nation to retreat. Funk then comes flying off the top on all three of them. All six of these men were in the Royal Rumble match. Goldust officially starts the match with Faarooq then tags out to Faarooq. Faarooq hits a big spinebuster on Flash. These men were on opposite teams at the Survivor Series. Savio Vega, who was on Flash Funks team, tags in. Funk hits a hurricanrana from the top but Crush interrupts the cover. Savio Vega takes the advantage then tags out to Crush. Crush hasn’t won a match on PPV since Summerslam 1992 when he defeated The Repo Man. I have a feeling that may change tonight. He gets a near fall on Funk then tags out to Faarooq. Faarooq calls Flash Funk a Southern Black Redneck. Funk replies with a knee to Faarooqs balls.
Savio Vega tags in and he and Crush hit a spike piledriver on Flash Funk as Goldust distracts the referee. Flash kicks out unbelievably. Flash does an awesome counter on Savio and Faarooq, flipping over their arms and takes them down with a double clothesline. Funk then tags out to Bart Gunn who hits everyone with right hands. He then hits a big powerslam on Faarooq and gets a two, All hell breaks loose now as all six men go at it. Bart hits a big bulldog off the top but Crush breaks up the count with a legdrop. Faarooq covers Bart and the referee counts the three! The Nation pick up the big win.
Backstage now to Dok Hendrix who is with Steve Austin. Dok says Steve hasn’t goes a clear cut victory over the three men he wrestles tonight. Austin says he has in the Royal Rumble. He calls Dok a piece of trash a lot.
Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley – Intercontinental Title Match
Rocky Maivia is the new Intercontinental champion, he beat Helmsley on Raw last week. The crowd don’t seem into Maivia very much. Jerry Lawler says Rocky will be a flash in the pan. We’ll see. This is the first ever PPV match between “Triple H” and “The Rock”. Hunter takes Rocky down with a drop toe hold. Bit of a slow start to this one until Rocky takes the advantage and hits dropkicks and arm drags. The two men exchange slaps and the referee breaks it up. Helmsley hits a knee to the middle section then some right hands. Rocky gets back into it with a back body drop and an arm drag. This is Maivia’s first singles match on pay per view. He’s previously appeared in a Survivor Series match, which he won and the Royal Rumble, which he didn’t win. Helmsley sends him over the top to the outside then nails him with a baseball slide. A bit of a “Rocky” chant breaks out but the match don’t seem too into this one. Hunter hits a slingshot into the bottom rope then a suplex, following that up with a knee for a two count.
Hunter then goes to the sleeper hold. This time last year Hunter was facing Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. Classic heel tactics from him as he uses the ropes for leverage. Eventually he gets caught and he hits a big knee on Rocky for a two. Rocky rolls him up for what was a three all day long but Hunter kicks out. Hunter takes the advantage and hits a backbreaker for a two. He then locks the sleeper back on but Rocky gets out of it, bounces off the ropes and hits a cross body for a two. Rocky misses with a dropkick and Helmsley misses with a knee. It is Helmsley that takes the advantage though with a clothesline. Helmsley then goes up top but Rocky hits him with a right hands. It’s all Maivia now as he hits an inverted atomic drop and some big right hands. Rocky slams Hunter into the mat then goes up top and hits a huge cross body for another two count. There are a few boos for the youngster. Rocky hits some weak looking right hands in the corner but Helmsley drops him on the turnbuckle before getting a two count. Rocky takes control with a big DDT and gets a two count. He motions for the shoulderbreaker but Helmsley hits him with a thumb to the eye and a neckbreaker.
Out comes Goldust now who distracts Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Rocky hits a bridging suplex which is enough for the three! Rocky Maivia wins the match with a little help from Goldust. Rocky’s music hits ans he gets out of there. Helmsley then goads Goldust into the ring as a woman at ringside attacks Marlena, locking on a sleeper! Security take her away as Goldust sees to Marlena on the outside. Who was that woman? She was big! Rocky Maivia hangs on to his Intercontinental title in any case!
A promo for Wrestlemania now before going backstage to Kevin Kelly with Vader and Paul Bearer. Bearer is the official manager for Vader now. Vader has already destroyed his opponents tonight. Will Vader take the gold tonight?
British Bulldog & Owen Hart (c) vs. Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon – Tag Team Title Match
Furnas and Lafon become the first face team to get a tag team title shot against Owen and Bulldog. Owen and Furnas start the match off with some chain wrestling. Furnas and Lafon don’t have a lot of personality so I’m not fussed about them winning the titles. They did well in Japan though. In comes Lafon. More chain wrestling between these two now as they both get near falls. Owen tags in Bulldog now and Lafon wants a handshake, no chance. Lafon gets a near fall then hits a big spinning heel kick for another two. Owen kicks Lafon form outside of the ring then gets tagged in. Plenty of classic heel teamwork in this one. Owen hits a cross body but Lafon rolls it through for a two count. A rake in the eye gives Hart the advantage. He hits a gut-wrench suplex for a two. Owen hits a backbreaker now, two count. Bulldog and Owen hit a double clothesline and a wishbone leg splitter. Bulldog is the official man now. This is British Bulldogs 18th PPV in a row. Nobody has been on that many PPVs in a row. To put that into perspective, Undertaker is currently second and tonight would be his tenth PPV in a row.
Owen Hart is in and he puts a leglock on Phil Lafon. Owen tags Bulldog who goes after Furnas on the outside to distract the referee then he and Owen hit a suplex/crossbody move which ears Owen a two count. Owen and Bulldog start arguing now and Lafon smashes their heads together. Bulldog then holds Lafon for Owen but Lafon gets out of the way and Owen hits Bulldog with a spinning heel kick! More arguing now and Bulldog clotheslines Owen! Lafon comes off the top then covers Owen but Bulldog breaks it up. Furnas is tagged in and he hits a dropkick and a belly to belly for a two. It’s all Furnas and Lafon now as the champions are in disarray. Plenty of near falls from the challengers. Furnas hits a standing hurricanrana for a two and all four men are in the ring. Furnas and Lafon hit some quick double teaming but Owen kicks out! Hart hits an enzeguri on Furnas to slow the pace. Owen tags Bulldog and in comes Lafon. It’s all Bulldog now as he clotheslines everyone in site. Lafon hits a sunset flip for a two and all four men are in again. Bulldog has Lafon set up for the Runnig Powerslam but Owen comes in and smashes Lafon with the slammy! The bell rings, it’s a disqualification! Bulldog is not happy but Owen doesn’t care because they’re still champions. Lots of arguing post match. Could Bulldog be turning face?
Dok Hendrix talks to The Undertaker backstage now. The dead man has rediscovered his edge and this spells doom for his three opponents tonight.
Vader vs. Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – Battle Royal for vacant WWF Title
Well this is the big win. One of these four men will become WWF champion tonight and go on to face Sid tomorrow night on Raw. But then who goes to Wrestlemania? Who knows. First things first though, we need a champion. Austin and Vader flip each other the middle fingers as they stand in the ring together. Bret Hart does a quick interview before he comes out. Hart gets a decent reaction as he comes out. Austin and Hart pair off one one side whilst Vader and Undertaker go at it on the other side. Undertaker hits a big clothesline on Vader then goes after Hart! Undertaker then twists Austins arm and goes to the top before hitting his trademark single axe handle. This is the first time we’ve ever had a fatal four way match. Vader and Undertaker take it to the outside now as Bret headbutts Austin. Vader hits Undertaker with a chair before getting it booted into his own face. Austin covers Hart for a two count….I thought you could only be eliminated by being thrown over the top rope. Anyway Vader is bleeding now as the two big men go back into the ring. Austin hits a jawbreaker and gets a two count on Bret. It’s an elimination match so nobody is rushing to make saves.
Undertaker hits a chokeslam on Vader then Austin hits a bodged Stunner on Undertaker. Vader smashes Bret Hart with the chair now. Vader is covered in blood. Austin goes for a piledriver down the entrance ramp but Undertaker back body drops him. On the outside Austin throws the steels steps at Vader. Inside the ring Undertaker pins Hart for a two. There’s so much going on in this one. Austin throws Vader into the bell ringer! Undertaker clotheslines Bret then Vader drags Bret out of the ring. Vader then takes Bret back down the aisle. Inside the ring Undertaker pins Austin for a two. Austin hits a clothesline off the top on Undertaker as Sid watches from the back. Vader then locks a Sharpshooter on Bret Hart on the outside! Austin breaks it up though. Bret and Undertaker double team Austin until Vader breaks it up. Austin and Vader go at it in the ring as Bret and Undertaker exchange lefts and rights on the outside. All four men get back into the ring and Undertaker clotheslines Vader down. This time last year Bret Hart was WWF champion defending against Diesel. Undertaker helped Bret out that night.
Vader goes for a moonsault on Undertaker but the dead man moves and Vader hits the mat! Austin hits a low blow on Hart whilst on the outside Undertaker chokes Vader. Undertaker pairs off with Steve Austin now as Vader takes shots at Bret Hart. Hart hits a low blow on Vader to take the big man down. Undertaker almost eliminates Austin over the top but Stone Cold slides back in. Vader has an armlock on Bret as Austin nearly throws Undertaker out. Undertaker then hits a short arm clothesline on Vader and Bret goes back after Austin. Bret then eliminates Austin from the match! Stone Cold is not going to be the next WWF champion. Referee pour out to take Austin to the back. A “Rest In Peace” chant breaks out now. Bret and Undertaker go at it and Vader comes over and helps Bret. Sid is going crazy in the back. Vader takes off his mask now as Paul Bearer attacks Undertaker with his urn. Vader hits a suplex on Bret then goes up to the top but Bret gets up and superplex’s him off the top! Bret Hart then locks a Sharpshooter on in the middle of the ring but Undertaker comes in and breaks it up! Steve Austin comes back out here now and attacks Bret Hart as referees try to restrain him.
In the ring Vader takes down Undertaker and goes to the middle rope but Undertaker gets up and knocks him over the top rope! We’re down to just Undertaker and Bret Hart! The crowd are going mental! Undertaker chokeslams Bret in the middle of the ring. He motions for the Tombstone now but Austin gets up and grabs Brets leg! He tries to drag him over the top but it fails. Undertaker hammers Austin and Bret rolls him up for a two. Hart hammers Austin then Undertaker hammers Austin. Undertaker turns around and Bret clotheslines him over the top rope! Bret Hart wins the match and is the new WWF champion! Hart celebrates his fourth title win and out comes Sid, the man he will fight tomorrow night. Sid shouts at Bret but the feed cuts out before anything can go down.
And that was the 13th installment of In Your House, Final Four. It featured most of the top stars although obviously the likes of Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid, Mankind and Ahmed Johnson were missing. The opener wasn’t too bad, I think it’s mostly being used to show a change in attitude in Marc Mero and Sable. They showed some heel traits so maybe they’re on course for a change. Leif Cassidy seems to be the go to person to make others look good. He got a good match out of Flash Funk at the last In Your House and he did a lot for Marc Mero tonight. The 6 man tag that followed was fairly as you would expect. It was designed to show the unity of the Nation of Domination and I expect to see more 6 man tag matches with these guys in the future. It also gave something for Flash Funk and Bart Gunn to do. Goldust looks to be getting involved with Hunter Hearst Helmsley going forward.
Speaking of which, Hunter got his chance at the Intercontinental title next. Something didn’t quite clock here. I think it’s because of my dislike for Rocky Maivia. People don’t want to see a hapyy-go-lucky bluechipper babyface, it seems so forced. I would have preferred to see Helmsley take the gold but he’s clearly got something with Goldust going forward and maybe that doesn’t need the title. I’m not sure who would be next in line for an Intercontinental title shot, how about Vader or Mankind? Mankind could be perfect whilst he’s not in the main event scene. The tag team title match was decent, the second half being better than the first. Furnas and Lafon can go, no doubt about it, I enjoy watching them compete, they just need a personality transplant. I’d like to see more out of them. Bulldog and Owen own the match but they are clearly having problems. They’ve been tag team partners for a while and stablemates even longer so maybe a feud between the two would be good. Bulldog looks to be the one to turn face, especially considering his prior issues with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
The main event was good fun. It was probably the most brutal match in PPV history up to now. Vader was a bloody mess and to see the blood around his eye like that was a little disturbing. Hart is the experienced main eventer and the go to person if they need a champion. His feud with Steve Austin is far from over so maybe that’s where they’ll go with the Wrestlemania main event. They could then go with Undertaker vs. Vader and maybe Sid vs. Shawn Michaels if the Heartbreak Kid is back in time for Wrestlemania. So overall a fairly decent PPV that crowned a new WWF champion. The rest of the card was throwaway but it’s started planting the seeds for the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 13.
Overall Rating: 53/100 (Ranked 32nd out of 65)
Match Of The Night: Final 4 Battle Royal
Worst Match Of The Night: 6 Man Tag/IC Title Match
Surprise Of The Night: Woman attacks Marlena
Worst Booking Of The Night: Rocky retains title
Superstar Of The Night: Bret Hart
IYH13 Will Be Remembered For: Bret Hart winning the vacant WWF title