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!
I decided a while back that I should review events I was actually at. This is the beginning of that series. The most prominent event I attended was a little thing you may have heard of. I don’t know. May have heard of it…
I not only was there, but I was front row. $8,200 for two tickets. Seated next to Los Lonely Boys (guests of Stone Cold). I’ll add this unique perspective throughout the event.
Out of the gate, the theme song is very early 2000 – screaming, murder vocals. The show opens with Harlem Boys Choir singing Flag America 9/11 Patriotism or some song. We were all into it back then and of course, we visited Ground Zero. It was boring. At the end of the boring kids’ song, we see a different Freedom Tower. By the way, if you want to see me, there’s a big red head guy front row and I’m the guy next to him. We were huge.
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: 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.
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.
In Your House International Incident ended up being a very fun event, thanks to some future stars on the card as well as comedic moments from the King. The event is from Vancouver, BC. We begin with the Free For All. JR, King and the chairman, Vince are all in commentary. The fireworks go off for our free audience, as the instrumental version of Slam Jam plays.
Savio Vega will open up the event with a match against Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. Of course that’s today’s JBL. He knocked out Savio a few weeks ago on Raw with a cowbell. Savio needed more of it. Guess who comes out managing Bradshaw? Uncle Zebekiah aka Zeb Coulter. Bradshaw is very physical. He wins with a foot on the rope that would have helped him none. Bradshaw hits his lariat but it’s way milder than his future version. Savio gets “branded” by Zeb, but it’s not hot. Just has shoe polish on it or something.
We get an Undertaker music video and because Goldust and Taker will wrassle tonight. Goldust joins the commentary team to do a movie-script-promo. I liked those.
Also, we review that the Ultimate Warrior was replaced by Sycho Sid, who drives a Lincoln into a dumpster. When he gets out of his car, his music plays. Did he have WWF Metal in his CD player?
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!