The 1997 King of the Ring was built around one match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels. The WWF title match was almost an afterthought. So, of course, it would suck!
Vince McMahon and Jim Ross are on commentary, and Vince motions for the camera man to look at all of the international tables but he doesn’t – so Vince stands up and walks him there! Carlos Cabrera is highly amused by the excited chairman! Vince informs us that it’s time for Ahmed “Get In Your Face” Johnson is on his way out, COVERED IN BABY OIL. Ahmed faces the MAN. I’m talking about the guy that runs the joint, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He’s also coming out to Beethoven’s 5th, I believe, now. JR tells us Ahmed Johnson is a member of the Bloods! That’s a new tidbit for me, and a lot edgier than just a few months back. As I mentioned in the last In Your House, a change was noticeably in the air. Ahmed military presses HHH, and asks “How do you like that shit?”Well, Ahmed, I like it. He seems a little angry, which I always look for from the loser. Some of these grits think it’s real. Triple H gets a quick Pedigree in and wins!
The second episode of Raw was January 18, 1993 and was the lead-in to the Royal Rumble. Makes sense that they’ll BARELY mention it! The siren is going off. It’s Vince, a microphone-less Rob Bartlett and Macho Man Savage, who gets NAILED by Repo Man just as he is about to talk. It is chaos from the get-go! Then our sick ass open hits.
Terrific Terry Taylor comes out next. He has trouble getting passed the model (not Rick Martel). He will face MISTER….PERFECT. (Howard Finkel impression). Bartlett no sells the seriousness of Savage’s attack, asking him if he saw his car. (#10). A We Want Flair chant. Heenan calls in to tell “Ron Bartlett” off. A “This match sucks”chant!!! “Uh oh!” Bartlett says! (#11). Flair comes out to the crowd’s delight. Vince calls the Perfectplex “The Superplex!”
If you look back at the first episode of Raw, it is a different time for sure. However, it also has enough fuck ups in it to be hard to watch without a groan factory in your living room.
The very first episode of Monday Night Raw opens with Sean Mooney outside of the Manhattan Center. Bobby Heenan runs up and is like hey who are you I need to get in. Mooney is like no. Rob Bartlett replaced you.
Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to IYH A Cold Day in HELL. The house set is back but with a noticeable change – a video wall now occupied the giant window section. Also, the fireworks we begin the show with seem like an amateur set them. Tito Santana is on Spanish commentary!!
Flash Funk opens the show. This gimmick was torturous from day one and that’s coming from a Doink the Clown fan when Vince pushed him. Flash faces the man who will take over WWE in the future, Triple H. He also has Chyna with him. King needs the word “dojo” explained. There appears to be an issue with the white balance on the cameras. Helmsley hits one of the craziest belly-to-back suplexes off of the top rope. He flips Funk in the air. One Pedigree later and he wins. Chyna does a little roughing up of Flash.
In Your House: Revenge of the Taker followed the worst performing Wrestlemania in history, 13. “WALCOME EVERYONE!” Vince screams. The trio of Vince, JR and King Jerry Lawler are on commentary.
Uggghhhhhhh WHAT A RUSH! The Legion of Doom faces Bulldog and Owen. Smith and Hart use Bret’s theme, as the Hart Foundation had just recently reformed as a heel stable. “Hey Ross, you ever stop to think and forget to start again?” King begins the night with. LOD win the belts by pinning the wrong man. The decision gets reversed and the match continues. The commentators missed every second of it while arguing. Vince pretty much says it twice. He calls for the replay three times. The LOD hits the Doomsday Device on Owen and Bret Hart is late running out. The referee has to stall and finally counts so Bret can cause the DQ. When the finish gets botched, it’s a big deal. This show will see even more of this tonight.
We see Sunny and Brian Pillman basically fucking on the Superstar line. I’m sure they really did hook up, considering Sunny will finger-fuck herself on Skype for a $20 in 2015. Sick of Sunny jokes yet? I’m not!
In Your House: Final Four was the road to Wrestlemania 13 and was an effort to get the product moving in a firm direction, thanks to the fickleness of HBK “losing his smile.” At least he found his cunt.
The show opens with a shitty pyramid logo and football music. Someone runs into the camera while JR and King are speaking. King points at them! No Vince on commentary tonight. We are in Chattanooga, TN for this event.
We begin with Wildman Marc Mero against Leif Cassidy. Mero seems more aggressive than recently. Sable has glasses on, like the time they were going with a domestic abuse storyline for a week before dropping it. Mero wins with his shooting star press, called “The Wild Thing.” King says his motto is “Never hit a woman with glasses. Always use your fist.” He placed third for mayor in Memphis after this, FYI.
After wrapping up a very wild and chaotic 1996, due largely to WCW’s rise, we kick off 1997 with a stadium show – the only Royal Rumble to be held in one ever (a mistake, because it’s the easiest show to book right and the hardest to book wrong, which WWE has done three years in a row to date). Shawn Michaels headlines the 1997 Royal Rumble, sponsored by Starburst Fruit Twists, which were awful. Tasted like wax.
Out of the gate, the announcers microphones are fucking up. I see a man whistle super loud with just his mouth, inspiring me to try and fail for 20 seconds and then notice I am out of breath. Little did I know that it would actually be whistling, perhaps from this very man, that would greatly affect the quality of this show (at least by 2 rating points, seriously).
In Your House: It’s Time is the last pay per view of 1996. It’s presented by Milton Bradley Karate Fighters – a shit toy. Bret “Hitman” Hart faces Sid for the championship. We are in West Palm Beach, Florida. The fucking house set is back!!! Also, the trio is on commentary. JR, King and Vince. A fan behind the Spanish commentary table had a sign asking Sunny if she wants to wrestle. I know the answer in 2015.
Leif Cassidy, Al Snow, is our heel against Flash Funk, 2 Cold Scorpio. “I know thas right!”Vince says as Flash comes out. The Funkettes are with him, not to be confused with Funkadactyls. Vince is DANCING. King is about to knock someone out. Flash botches a corner move. He wins with a 450 splash in a rather good match between the two ECW stars. JR says we will see things from both of these men, especially Flash Funk. It actually was especially Al Snow. JR incorrectly calls it a “Shooting Star Press.”
The 1996 Survivor Series was an important night in wrestling history including the Rock’s debut, a new logo and lots of fun. It’s the Survivor Series! Sponsored by Milton Bradley’s Karate Fighters. I bought them because of this. They sucked dick.
Out of the gate, the World Trade Center is heavy in the logo.The lower thirds (name graphics) all have the buildings in them. Sort of sad, looking back. Fucking religion.
The British Bulldog and Owen Hart, the tag team champions, are teamed with the Rockers to face Doug Furnas and Phillip Lafon along with the fucking hillbillies, the Godwins. My mom texts me at 5 am distracting me as Henry and Marty both get eliminated. Phineas is power slammed and eliminated by the Bulldog. Furnas about breaks his neck on a botched drop kick. Lafon eliminates Leif Cassidy with a reverse suplex that looks near fatal. Furnas hits the best drop kick I’ve seen, rivaling Bob Holly and Jim Brunzel. Furnas and Lafon beat the tag champions and the sole survivors are the debuting stars. Won’t be the only occurrence of such a debut tonight.
Two In Your House PPVs back to back a month apart could be a hard sell. What could be a selling point? How about a BURIED ALIVE match!!?
PlayStation presented In Your House: Buried Alive. The Market Square Arena in Indiana hosts the event! And finally, FINALLY The HOUSE set is gone! It’s a mock-graveyard entrance. Thematic. King is back on commentary, too! With Vince and JR, who is upset because he doesn’t have a microphone.
Savio Vega was scheduled to face Stone Cold, continuing Vega’s trend of opening shows…but he is injured. HHH faces Stone Cold Steve Austin. JR’s mic keeps cutting out. It’s a rib by Vince. For some reason, both Austin and HHH get in the face of some fat Hoosier. It seems like they’re just doing a strange dance. They don’t do any moves and fuck around! Vince calls them both future WWF champions. The match ends up being more about Vince and JR arguing! JR says Helmsley needs a haircut.
In Your House: Mind Games is our next show and the tenth In Your House to be done! Yes, the house set is STILL used.
We begin with the Free For All! I know plenty of people have been saying listen, Savio Vega had been opening too many events. I agree! Marty Jannetty is in the ring to face an opponent…Savio Vega, dammit! At least he’s not opening the PPV itself. Bradshaw appears and is mad that an immigrant is wrestling. We hear an ECW chant. Vince mentions that some “local promotion” was there, and he’s glad they bought tickets. I can see the Sandman, smoking. Ha. Savio counters a cross body and wins. He gets attacked by Bradshaw. Uncle Zebekiah (Coulter) shows up too.
Summerslam 1996 is brought to you by Stridex, which I bought just because it sponsored this. I had the cleanest face ever/driest skin ever. It wasn’t worth a fuck. Still isn’t.
This show ended up being an improvement over the previous few years, by a sliver. It had lots of ignorance, though…
If you’re sick of seeing Savio Vega over the last few shows in the opening match, there is good news. Savio Vega will open the show, against Owen Hart. Owen is doing the Bob Orton gimmick with a cast on his arm. An Owen chant actually breaks out. We get a solid match. Owen hits him with the cast and the ref somehow blatantly doesn’t see it. He wins with a Sharpshooter, the move he taught Bret. Clarence Mason, doing a poor Johnny Cochran, celebrates with him. Bradshaw hits Savio because he’s Conservative and they do not like Spanish speakers.
Royal Rumble 1991 is one of my all time favorites. That doesn’t mean I can’t find a lot wrong with it though, stupid.
We are live from the Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. First, we sing America the beautiful. This helps set the patriotism theme for our USA vs Iraq main event. We see a kid with a wart on his finger. Gross. I wouldn’t hang out with kids with warts. You need to have standards.
King of the Ring 1996 was an interesting time for WWE. Bret Hart was on hiatus for the first time in a decade and Stone Cold was about to step up and break through his glass ceiling. The Ultimate Warrior was being briefly featured, although he would soon depart too for a final time before he would return when Vince killed him.
Speaking of people Vince killed, Owen Hart opens the show entering to the ring to join the commentary team, in King Jerry Lawler’s absence. Lawler will be facing the Ultimate Warrior tonight!
Lord Alfred Hayes had a huge cock. That’s what I heard anyway. He was also bad ass.
For more information on Coliseum Video releases, write to: Coliseum Video. Post Office Box 1311. Fairfield, NJ. 07…ah double 07.
….yes, his voice was magic for several generations. Judo Alfred Hayes was supposed to be a tough man but I only knew him as a WWF sidekick, either on commentary or during a TV show, like Tuesday Night Titans.
In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage is just after the Royal Rumble 1996. I also am watching an original recording of the PPV for this review, although it may not matter. The show, overall, was pretty dull but was definitely better than the previous few.
We actually begin with the Preview Channel’s preshow.
Todd Pettingill opens up on the Free For All coming through the front door and screaming. He tosses it to Vince and the King! They discuss the show and stuff. A video. Doc Hendrix interviews Bret Hart, who has a WWF belt with most of the fake gold worn off. He says “You can train in vain but I refuse to lose.” I have one: I admit I must shit.
Superstars this week is January 13, 1990. I was 4. This also doesn’t have the show open and begins mid-show…
Andre the Giant is in a Post Honeycomb commercial on my copy of the show. His teeth make me hungry. Hacksaw faces a jobber as Vince and Jesse discuss the Royal Rumble. Big Bossman pops up and says hey Hacksaw I’ll fight you at the Rumble bla bla. Ventura hates Duggan and says he’s an idiot. Vince says some of Hacksaw’s family works at NASA.
In Your House 4: Great White North emanates from Canada. We open to an “up and coming artist” that the ring announcer informs is “Toni Wilson.” I think she botches the first line of the Canadian National Anthem, which most WWF fans at the time likely booed at home, but I don’t know.
When Stone Cold Steve Austin took off in the 1997 and 1998 time, there wasn’t a WWE marketing machine like there is in 2015. Every few months, he might get a new shirt – that was it. When his first VHS came out, ‘Cause Stone Cold Said So, it was BAD ASS because it was rated R basically. WWF was going REALLY far for a few months (Brian Pillman pulled a goddamn gun on Austin one week, come on!). But by the time Austin began his feud with Vince McMahon, they had toned it down from that insane shit…and Austin’s third WWF Home Video came out. “Hell Yeah.”