There’s gonna be a whole lot of whoop-ass goin on. A tagline quoting what “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has said what will happen in his main event match against The Undertaker. Undertaker is still WWF champion and Steve Austin was named number one contender after he defeated Bret Hart at the last In Your House PPV. Since then babyfaces Undertaker and Austin have had their run-ins with Austin hitting the Stone Cold Stunner on Undertaker and the dead men replying with a chokeslam to his challenger. Tonight they go one on one in Steve Austins first one on one title match whilst both men will be wary of The newly formed Hart Foundation.
The Hart Foundation consists of an wheelchair bound Bret Hart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Brian Pillman and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Pillman announced his loyalty to Bret Hart by attacked Steve Austin whilst Jim Neidhart returned on an episode of Raw, saving Bret from an Austin attack. Owen and Bulldog still hang on to the tag team titles and Bulldog is still European champion but on top of that, Oeen Hart defeated Rocky Maivia for the Intercontinental title, adding more gold to the stable. Tonight, none of the Hart Foundation will be in action which is a shame because it means Bulldog misses his first PPV in 21, the first since he turned heel back in 1995. Owen misses his first PPV in 11.
Ahmed Johnson gets an opportunity to take down the Nation Of Domination for good tonight if he can take on all three members of the Nation consecutively and defeat them all. Faarooq is carrying a shoulder injury so I’m guessing he’ll be up last but it’s a big opportunity for Ahmed who was given the challenge by Faarooq. Also tonight is the in-ring debut of Ken Shamrock. The UFC star was the special guest referee in the match at Wrestlemania 13 between Bret Hart and Steve Austin but tonight he will be wrestling and his opponent will not be easy. He’s got to take on the man that has been in his face as of late, Vader. Expect another couple of matches as these In Your Houses tend to have 5 matches. Let’s get to it.
We kick off with a video package highlighting The Undertaker and Steve Austin. Two fan favourites meet in tonight main event. There’s a dark and eerie feel to the music. Then Jim Ross welcomes us to the show. He’s ringside with Jerry Lawler. I believe this is the first PPV to have just Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler commentate on. They remind us of the main event and the contest between Vader and Ken Shamrock. As well as Ahmed Johnsons challenge against the Nation Of Domination. We’re ready to go.
Flash Funk vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Flash Funk comes out without the Funkettes for the first time. We then get a shot of Tito Santana who is commentating in Spanish tonight. Apparently the Funkettes aren’t here because they’re scared of Chyna! Both of these guys missed the last PPV. Funk hasn’t been on PPV since the IYH: Final 4 actually. He hiptosses Helmsley three times and locks on an armbar. Out of the armbar and it’s all Funk. He cartwheels then sends Helmsley to the outside before flying to the outside with a clothesline. You are always guaranteed fast action with this guy. Hunter distracts the referee allowing Chyna to attack Flash from behind. This puts Helmsley in the driving seat now. He hits a knee to Flash’s head then chops way in the corner. The cameras look very red in this one. Chyna takes another cheap shot at Funk giving Helmsley a near fall. The former Intercontinental champion hits a suplex then a knee drop for another two.
Helmsley locks on a sleeper hold now. With Owen Hart as the new Intercontinental champion it drops Helmsley out of the title picture for the time being. He seems to be declining down the card rather than moving up it though. He hammers away at Flash Funks chest before kneeing him out of the ring to the ramp. Hunter throws him back in then goes up top but gets a boot to the face. Funk is on the comeback now and hits a back body drop and a clothesline. He then motions for something and hits a spinning leg drop for a two. Flash goes up top and hits a cross body but chooses not to pin Helmsley. He hits a hard Irish whip and a spinning heel kick then goes up to the top but Helmsley is up and crotches him on the top rope.
Helmsley goes up with Funk and hits a big old suplex from the top. Hunter pulls Flash up and sets up for the Pedigree before nailing it in the middle of the ring for a three count! Hunter Hearst Helmsley gets the big win with minimal help from Chyna. The right move and that keeps him fairly hot. After the bell Chyna picks up Flash, carries him around the ring then drops him on the top rope. Not a bad way to start the show tonight!
Jim Ross is on the microphone now. We see five seats reserved for the Hart Foundation then to some clips of Ken Shamrock kicking ass in UFC. Shamrock then shows up on the screen and says that he’s focused and in his zone. Vader and Mankind attacked him earlier tonight.
Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia
This is the first meeting between these two guys on PPV. Mankind is out without Paul Bearer. Maivia is interviewed pre-match and says that he has learnt a lot on the way up and more on the way down. Maivia becomes the first man to have wrestled on all five PPVs in 1997 so far. This definitely feels like a step up for Rocky and a step down for Mankind. Rocky starts well with a back body drop, a dropkick and then a clothesline over the top. Mankind takes the advantage on the outside and continues on the inside of the ring. Rocky hits a powerslam but misses with an elbow. Mankind hasn’t actually won a match on PPV since Summerslam last year when he beat The Undertaker. He hits an elbow on Rocky on the outside of the ring. Rocky has had a good 1997 so far, beating the likes of The Sultan and Hunter Hearst Helmsley on the outside.
The commentators are paining Mankind as a bit of a face in this one. He has the advantage back in the ring, hitting some big right hands. He misses with a splash in the corner and both men go down hitting clotheslines. Back up and Rocky hits a snapmare on Mankind sending him over the top. The two then battle on the entrance ramp. Rocky hits a Rock Bottom on the metal ramp! It’s not called a Rock Bottom yet though. Back in the ring and Maivia gets a near fall. Rocky then attempts an Irish whip but Mankinds legs buckle. Rocky hits another Rock Bottom and gets a two. Mankind hits a clothesline but can’t keep the advantage as Maivia hits a clothesline from behind. Rocky then hits a shoulderbreaker which I thought was his finisher but instead he goes up top and hits a high cross body but Mankind rolls through and locks on a Mandible Claw! Rocky is out and the bell rings! Mankind wins the match which seems to be the popular decision! Big win for Mankind as we get back to back heels wins in the midcard.
We get some footage of Raw last week where Crush challenged three men but the third turned out to be Ahmed Johnson. Now Johnson has to take on three members of the Nation, one after the other.
Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation Of Domination
We get an interview backstage with Ahmed. Johnson said if Faarooq was a man then he would step in the ring first. No chance of that mate. Ahmed comes out looking soaking wet as the Nation huddle on the outside of the ring. Gorilla Monsoon comes out and says that only the man wrestling can be present. The others have to go up the ramp. The Nation decide that Crush is going to start things off.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush
Ahmed hits some right hands on Crush then a big scissors kick on the veteran. The rest of the Nation line up at the top of the entrance ramp. Crush avoids an elbow and hits a martial arts kick. Crush powerslams Johnson then hits a clothesline from the second rope for a two. Crush hits a big suplex for another two count. Ahmed is the one to hit a suplex now and he gets a near fall. Crush takes control with a sleeper, slowing the pace of the match. I like Crush, he’s definitely improved over the years. Johnson seems to be popular with the crowd. Ahmed gets out of the sleeper but gets a knee to the middle section. Crush then hits a big piledriver and asks the Nation to come down to ringside but they refuse. Faarooq has the flu tonight. Crush goes for the Heart Punch but Johnson hits a spinning heel kick and pins Crush for the three! Crush is done.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Savio Vega
Savio limps down to ringside as he’s sprained his ankle apparently. Vega becomes the second man to have wrestled on every PPV this year. Johnson takes it right to him with a back body drop a near fall and a clothesline. Savio reverses an Irish whip then hits a nice spinning heel kick, rolling to the outside. Savio has had a couple of big wins this year, most notably beating then Intercontinental champion Rocky Maivia at Revenge Of The Taker by count out. Savio keeps the advantage here, slamming Johnsons head off the top turnbuckle. Savio has now been in the WWF for two years. Savio throws up the Nation signal but it’s not reciprocated by the rest of the Nation. He locks on a nerve hold now. Ahmed gets out of it and takes over Savio. Johnson then goes up to the second rope and god knows what he tries to do but he misses. Savio then tries a splash in the corner but Ahmed moves. Johnson then hits a suplex for a two count.
Ahmed hits a thunderous powerslam and gets another near fall before motioning for The Pearl River Plunge but Savio rolls right out of the ring. Savio hits a kick on the outside of the ring then attacks Ahmed with a steel chair! That’s enough to end the match and it’s a DQ finish in this one. Savio continues the attack, weakening Ahmed for Faarooq.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq
Faarooq comes out with his arm in a sling due to a separated shoulder but Faarooq throws off the sling. Faarooq stomps away at Ahmed after Savio and Crush did all the damage. Interestingly Jim Ross tells us that Faarooq used to be known as Ron Simmons. Ahmed catches Faarooq with a spinebuster! He then sets up for the Pearl River Plunge and hits it! He’s slow to cover Faarooq though and the leader of the Nation kicks out! The crowd boo that one. Faarooq takes Ahmed down with a chopblock then hits the Dominator! That’s it! Faarooq gets the three and Ahmed Johnson is defeated. This was a good match. I enjoyed it actually. Ahmed and Crush aren’t necessarily the best workers but overall with the gimmick of the match it was decent.
We now see some footage of Vader defeating Goldust on Raw. After the match Vader spat on Ken Shamrock who was at ringside resulting in a scrap between the two. Then on the free for all Vader and Mankind attacked Shamrock We then get an interview with Vader who said he’s been playing with Shamrock. Vader also says Shamrock has no idea about the power of Vader. Good work Todd.
Vader vs. Ken Shamrock
Well this one can only be won by knockout or submission. Similar to UFC. Vader started 1997 well defeating The Undertaker but he hasn’t won on PPV since. Shamrock is making his WWF debut tonight. Ken comes out to some very jazzy music. Shamrock has a very unique stance. He hits some stiff kicks to Vaders legs. Shamrock is looking to be the first face to win a match tonight. Both men go for takedowns but the other gets to the ropes. Shamrock hits a big takedown but Vader rolls straight to the outside. No Paul Bearer in Vaders corner either tonight, Bearer is still recovering from Undertakers fire attack. Vader gets back in the ring and hits some body shots but Ken takes Vader down with a suplex. Vader goes back to the outside.
Back in the ring and Vader hits some headbutts but Shamrock reverses a hiptoss into a leg lock and once again Vader goes to the outside. Back in the ring again and Shamrock hits some big shots but Vader hits a clothesline. Vader then just lies down on top of Shamrock in what looks like a weak armbar. Shamrock nicely reverses the hold and locks on a triangle choke. Vader picks him up and throws him across the ring before suplexing the former UFC champion to the outside of the ring! Vader throws Shamrock into the ring steps. The big mans nose is bleeding now. This time last year Vader was battling Yokozuna on PPV. He locks on an ankle lock now. It’s all Vader now as he hits lefts and rights in the corner then a big splash. Vader hits a slam on Shamrock then heads up to the top rope but misses with the moonsault! Not a great landing though, Shamrock didn’t quite get out of the way.
Shamrock hits some stiff kicks and big lefts and rights before slamming Vader. He then goes to the ankle lock but Vader gets to the ropes. Shamrock then turns Vader over and locks on a half Boston crab but once again Vader gets to the ropes. In the corner Vader hits a big right hands to take Shamrock down. As Vader walks over though Shamrock takes him down and locks on the Ankle Lock! It doesn’t take Vader long to tap out giving Ken Shamrock a win on his PPV debut here in the WWF. This match was ok, a bit boring for much of the match but it did have some good spots.
Backstage to Todd Pettingill who is with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin says he’ll take all five Hart Foundation members and send them all away in wheelchairs. We then see some footage of Austin hitting the Stunner on The Undertaker and Undertaker chokeslamming Austin.
The Undertaker (c) vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – WWF Title Match
This is Steve Austins first ever one on one WWF title match on PPV. He had a shot at Final 4 but Bret Hart took it that night in the fatal four way match. Undertaker won the title at Wrestlemania and has since successfully defended it on PPV against Mankind. Austin got the title shot by defeating Bret Hart at the last PPV and now these two fan favourites battle for the gold. The Hart Foundation have five seats reserved at ringside but they’re yet to show. These two men are two of four who have wrestled on every PPV thus far this year. Undertaker is now actually the man who has wrestled on the most PPVs consecutively, this’ll be his 13th. The two men square up in the middle of the ring just as The Hart Foundation make their way down the aisle. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman come down to ringside then go to their seats.
Austin takes it to Undertaker before the bell and before the champion has even taken his jacket and belt off. They then exchange rights and the crowd are liking it. Austin then goes to the outside and hammers away at Owen Hart! Undertaker goes out and throws Austin into the steps before taking some shots at Owen Hart himself! This time last year Undertaker was battling Goldust for the Intercontinental title and Austin was battling Savio Vega in what would be the end of Ted Dibiase. Undertaker hits a flying clothesline for a two count. The champion then hits his trademark clothesline off the top rope for another two. Stone Cold takes the advantage with a headlock. Undertaker gets out of it eventually and hits Austins with lefts and rights, sending the challenger to the outside. Steve wraps Undertakers leg around the ringpost then flips the Hart Foundation the bird.
Back in the ring and Austin works Undertakers left leg. He locks on an STF on the champion now. Undertaker gets out of it and sends Austin to the outside before smashing him into the ring steps. Back in the ring and Undertaker works Austins left knee now. He locks on a half crab but Austin slips out. Austin then goes back to Undertakers left leg. Austin drops some elbows to Undertakers head then gets a two count. Steve hits a suplex and covers for another near fall. Undertaker hits a crescent kick which I don’t think I’ve seen him do before. He then heads to the top but Austin knocks him off. Steve goes for a superplex but Undertaker knocks him off. The champion then locks on a sleeper but Austin quickly hits a jawbreaker for yet another near fall.
It’s advantage Austin as he slams Undertakers head off the top turnbuckle. That doesn’t last long, it’s now back and forth between the two and Austin hits a low blow. Austin then flips the referee the bird behind his back! Undertaker hits a low blow on Austin then referee Earl Hebner flips Austin the birds! Undertaker then hits a chokeslam on Austin to a very mixed reaction! Austin drops Undertaker on the ropes then hits the Stone Cold Stunner! The bell then rings and it’s Brian Pillman ringing the bell! This distracts Austin long enough for Undertaker to get up. He goes for a Tombstone but Austin reverses it but then Undertaker reverses it again and cover Austin for the three! Undertaker wins the match but in come the Hart Foundation! All four men take down The Undertaker before his music can even hit. Austin then realises Bret is all alone (in a wheelchair) and Austin throws him on the floor then goes after the Hart Foundation with a crutch! He clears the ring as Bret scarpers. Undertaker chokeslams Owen Hart as everyone else gets out of there.
Undertaker is then officially announced as the winner and Austin Stunners him for good measure. This match was good but could have been a lot better. There were way too many rest holds which really slowed the match down. I liked the intrigue of the Hart Foundation being at ringside but yeah it could have been better that’s for sure.
And that was In Your House: Cold Day In Hell. It followed a similar format to most In Your House PPVs with 5 matches. This show was missing quite a lot of guys. Guys like all 5 members of the Hart Foundation, Shawn Michaels, The Legion Of Doom and Sycho Sid. Because the Hart Foundation weren’t in action it meant we didn’t get a tag team title match, an Intercontinental title match or even a European title match. We’re yet to see that belt defended on PPV yet. Instead we got two matches that didn’t really mean anything and three matches with a bit more meaning to them.
We kicked off with Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Flash Funk. Funk is always entertaining so he’s good to start a show off and get the crowd excited. Helmsley is a man that has been getting decent push over the past 9 months or so and he has been in a programme with Goldust as of late. It was definitely the right call to give Helmsley the win and it gives Funk a decent match on PPV. There aren’t a lot of top faces for Helmsley to feud with right now so he’s good where he is. Maybe he’ll go back to Goldust. After that we had a match between Mankind and Rocky Maivia. Mankind, like Helmsley is stuck really because there aren’t any top faces to feud with so he’s been fed a face underneath him to make him look strong. Rocky needs a change in gimmick, the crowd aren’t into him whatsoever and he looks pretty weak following his IC reign.
Next up was the Nation against Ahmed Johnson. This led to a win to the Nation which was the right decision I think. Johnson had huge odds to overcome and it makes the Nation look strong whilst not affecting Johnson too much. Crush was the only Nation member to take a fall and it seemed as though he had a falling out with his buddies so it should be interesting to see where that goes. Ahmed is going to have to think of a different tactic if he’s going to bring down the Nation of Domination. The fourth match of the night was between Ken Shamrock and Vader. It was what you’d expect but a bit slow in parts especially with Vader heading outside of the ring every few minutes. It gave Ken a good debut though and won as you’d expect. Maybe going forward Shamrock could find a partner to take on Vader and Ken Shamrock. Somebody like Sid if he’s not injured.
Then the main event was Steve Austin and The Undertaker. It wasn’t a bad contest between the two but I think it could have been a lot better. It was maybe a little over-thought. The crowd definitely seem into Austin as a legit main eventer, he just needs to be kept hot. If Bret is injured then maybe keep him feuding with the Hart Foundation for the time being. Undertaker keeps the gold for now but I’m not sure where he’ll go next.
Overall a very average pay per view that doesn’t seem to conclude anything nor did it continue anything really. It was a bit of a nothing PPV and more like an episode of Raw. The Ahmed Johnson/Nation Of Domination feud is the most interesting thing to come out of this. It’s now all about building to the King Of The Ring tournament next month where I’m sure the likes of Goldust, Rocky Maivia, Vader, Mankind, Ahmed Johnson, Faarooq, Ken Shamrock and Hunter Hearst Helmsley could all feature.
Overall Rating: 57.5/100 (Ranked joint 17th out of 68)
Match Of The Night: Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation Of Domination
Worst Match Of The Night: Ken Shamrock vs. Vader
Surprise Of The Night: None
Worst Booking Of The Night: None
Superstar Of The Night: Ken Shamrock
IYH15 Will Be Remembered For: Ken Shamrocks debut