WWF In Your House #12: It's Time!
by Scrooge McSuck
- I've never seen this one, never cared enough to see it, and I have to think pretty damn hard to run down the card, other than the main event. I honestly don't remember watching much between Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, other than occasional look-in's on Raw. I seem to recall a lame ending to a Billy vs. Bart match going for the "worked shoot" element, like Shawn Michaels' "injury" the night after the 1995 Survivor Series being the last match I watched on Raw until the ECW Invasion at the Manhattan Center towards the end of February '97. It wasn't like I was watching WCW, either. The WWF product gradually killed my enthusiasm over the course of 1996 through poor attempts at interesting television and constant bait-and-switches. Even Bret Hart's return couldn't give new life to my fandom, thanks to his crybaby babyface character.
- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View on December 15th, 1996, from the West Palm Beach Auditorium in West Palm Beach, FL. Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I'd like to point out calling the show "It's Time" and not featuring Vader on the card. I laugh at the "he's injured" excuse, considering the guy had his eyeball knocked out of it's socket, popped it back in, and continued to work a match.
Free For All: Rocky Miavia vs. Salvatore Sincere (w/ Jim Cornette):
Considering all the hooplah around Miavia's debut at the Survivor Series, it seems a bit surprising he's put on Free For All Duty, here. Other than his appearances in the AWF as Johnny Gunn, I don't have much to say about Salvatore Sincere/Tom Brandi. His gimmick is an Italian mobster wanna-be who, believe it or not, is NOT Sincere. Har Har. In a "what the fuck" moment, Rocky is introduced as being from THE SOUTH PACIFIC. Did he worship King Hippo while living there? No clue why Cornette is at ringside with Sincere... then I'm told Miavia snubbed him, so it's REVENGE! They start fighting over a hammerlock, and Miavia gives a clean break. McMahon drops the nickname "The Rock" immediately refering to Miavia. hey do the headlock/head scissors counter spot, but the crowd doesn't care. Criss-cross ends with a Miavia bitch slap, followed by roundhouse rights. It's honestly painful to watch the Rock from this early in his career. Very green. Criss-cross, Sincere with a hip toss. Miavia mule kicks him away, and settles into an armbar following an arm drag. Miavia gets distracted by Cornette, allowing Sincere to take control. He hits a pretty sweet clothesline from the second rope, but only gets two. Paul Bearer, Mankind, and the Executioner are standing by with comments about the Undertaker. Whip to the ropes, and a lame double clothesline puts both men down. Rocky wins a slugfest, and takes Sincere over with a powerslam for two. Miavia to the top rope, and comes off with a body press, but Sincere rolls through for a count of 2.9999. Sincere posts himself on a charge to the corner, and Miavia connects with the shoulder breaker. Cornette runs in and gets Sincere DQ'ed at 6:03 for... running away? Okay, they honestly had to protect Salvatore Sincere?! Junk match. Rocky would get better, with time.
Flash Funk (w/ The Funkettes) vs. Leif Cassidy:
I guess the "New Rockers" were no more, as Cassidy has adopted new, generic heel music, and has seemed to drop his goofy 70's goober persona. Flash Funk is a freshly debuted 2 Cold Scorpio, looking like a pimp without being called a pimp. I've always hated the WWF obsession with changing names to something they can own, especially since "Flash" never made it past the opening match act, unless someone got sick or something. Lockup, and Flash gives a clean, yet funky, break. Cassidy with a waistlock. Funk counters with a head scissors, and Cassidy counters to a front headlock. They fight over a wristlock, with Flash taking control, and slapping on an armbar. Criss-cross sequence, Cassidy with a leg sweep, Funk mule kicks him off, and goes back to working the arm. Whip to the corner, and Flash slips off the ropes. He finishes with a body press, and gets a two count. I forgot the downside of watching a 2CS Match: Expect plenty of sloppy spots. Funk goes for a head scissors, but Cassidy counters with a face-first slam into the canvas. Cassidy clamps the arms and hits a series of headbuts, then chucks Funk over the top rope with a tiger suplex. Cassidy follows him out with a somersault plancha, then wipes Flash out with a charging clothesline. Back inside, and Cassidy with a dropkick to the back of the neck for a two count. Flash slips out of a powerbomb, takes his time to dance, and lays Cassidy out with a right. Flash goes for another high risk move, and again gets countered, this time with a spinebuster. Cassidy slaps on what I would consider a terrible mockery of the Dragon Sleeper, but lets go quite quickly. He plants Flash with a slam and heads to the top, missing a moonsault. Flash with a series of flashy moves (har har...). Cassidy crotches himself across the top rope, and Flash knocks him to the floor with a handspring kick to the side of the head. Flash follows out this time with a suicide dive. Flash with a slam, followed by a moonsault for two. Cassidy ducks a spinning heel kick and connects with a clothesline for two. They go through a series of reversals, all for near falls. Flash ducks another clothesline, and lays Cassidy out with an enziguri. Flash with a back suplex, and a 450 splash finishes things at 10:36. Slow start and a few sloppy spots, but an entertaining opener. I was more impressed by Leif Cassidy's performance, but naturally he vanished from television except for an occasional job duty. Can't say Funk's future was much better, rarely going over anyone above JTTS status.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
I don't know how to limit my description of how utterly stupid, sleazy, and lame it was to bring "Diesel" and "Razor Ramon" back as two entirely different wrestlers working the gimmick. It wasn't just a bad idea, but a stupid "to prove a point for the sake of a lawsuit" idea. There was no "it could be entertaining" factor behind the decision, just a way to try and stick it to WCW in court, because of the success of Hall and Nash. To be fair, Hall WAS acting a hell of a lot like "Razor Ramon" (complete with awful cuban accent), but Nash was just being Nash... how do you trademark someone's true personality? Chalk this up as yet another reason the WWF product was turning me away, and shame on the WWF for sticking Jim Ross with it as the "credibility" to give the angle some heat. For those who care, Razor is played by Rick Bogner (no clue who he is), and Diesel is Glenn Jacobs, previously known as Isaac Yankem, and eventually went on to nearly two-decades of fame as the Big Red Machine. Sorry for that rant, let's get to the match...
The British Bulldog & Owen Hart (w/ Clarence Mason) vs. "Diesel & Razor Ramon":
But first, we see clips from Superstars, where Razor and Diesel did a minor beatdown on the Tag Team Champions. Yet ANOTHER heel vs. heel tag title match... did the WWF run out of babyface teams? Diesel shoves Owen to the corner and hits a series of elbows. Owen avoids a charge and pounds away, but gets thrown off for his efforts. Whip to the ropes, and Diesel with a press slam. For whatever reason, Cibernetio and Pierroth from AAA are hanging around. They'll be at the Royal Rumble! Diesel sends Owen to the floor, but I guess two unknown (to the states) Mexican wrestlers is more important than the match. Razor works the arm, and Bulldog responds with clubbing blows. Suddenly, Steve Austin makes it to ringside, and the crowd wakes up. Bulldog goes after him in lieu of a pin attempt, and it's a donniebrook! I'm sure it happend on Raw, but I have no recollection of why Bulldog has issues with Austin. Once things settle down, Bulldog and Owen take turns working the arm of Razor. Razor sends Owen to the corner, misses a charge, and Owen comes off the top with a missile dropkick for two. Owen hits the ropes, but Diesel yanks them down, with obvious results. Diesel adds insult to injury by ramming him into the ring post. Back inside, and Razor with a lame armbar. Diesel with a sidewalk slam. Ramon with an adominal stretch slam for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Diesel with a big boot for two. Owen offers a comeback attempt, but gets pounded on by both challengers. Whip across the ring, and Owen greets Diesel with an elbow and boot to the face, then lays him out with an enziguri... so is Owen the default face-in-peril? Bulldog gets the mild tag and pounds away on Razor. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with a pair of clotheslines. Double noggin-knocker! Bulldog with a slam and leg drop on Razor for two. Bulldog with a barely-delayed suplex for another two count. Owen and Diesel end up taking a tumble over the top rope together, while Razor and Bulldog continue to brawl. Razor's Edge attempt is countered with an Owen spinning heel kick, allowing Bulldog to cover for three at 10:46. Post-match, Austin attacks Davey Boy... that angle sure went nowhere (as a solo act). Decent enough tag match, but too slow at times, thanks mostly to "Razor's" lack of an interesting offense.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
We've touched up on this one in the Buried Alive recap, but here's the short version: Helmsley and Mr. Perfect conspired to screw Mero out of the Intercontinental Title, and this is the big rematch. Mr. Perfect is gone from the promotion, reasons mostly unexplained... probably the Randy Savage factor. Didn't want to settle into a career of not wrestling. Helmsley has new theme music (the Beethoven tune, Symphony No. 9, 4th Movement), which is a minor step up from the dull tune he had used since his debut. They fight over a wristlock, with Mero gaining the advantage. Lockup, and Helmsley grabs a side headlock. Criss-cross sequence leads to a Mero dropkick, arm drag, and clothesline, sending Helmsley to the floor. Mero follows him out, coming off the apron with a double axehandle. Back inside, Mero with mounted punches until Helmsley drops him face-first across the turnbuckle. Helmsley goes for the pedigree... near the ropes. Draw your own conclussion. Hunter uses Sable as a shield, and throws Mero into the steps. He goes for a chair, but Hebner takes it away before any damage could be done. Back in the ring, Helmsley connects with a back breaker. Jerry Lawler drops an awful Jeffersons reference, confusing Hunter Hearst HELMSLEY with Sherman HEMSLEY. Hunter continues to work the back of Mero, and applies an abdominal stretch. Yes, he DOES use the ropes for additional leverage. This goes on for a few minutes, until Hebner forces a break... is this the debut of Hebner punking out Triple H?
Whip to the corner is reversed, and Mero meets the boot of Helmsley on a charge. Helmsley to the middle rope, and he comes down to taste the boot of the Wildman. Mero with a reverse atomic drop, followed by a diving clothesline. Whip to the corner and Helmsley turns himself upside down. Mero with a boot to the midsection, followed by a running knee lift. Whip to the ropes, and Mero with a spinning head scissors for a two count. Mero sets Helmsley up on the top turnbuckle, and connects with the hurricanrana. Mero chooses to not cover, and instead goes to the top. Helmsley recovers and shoves Hebner into the ropes, crotching him on the top turnbuckle. Helmsley throws an arm over and gets a two count. Pedigree attempt #2 is countered with a slingshot into the ring post. That only gets two. Mero to the top rope, and moonsault gets two. Mero hits the ropes and lays out Hebner with a clothesline. Hunter with the main event neck breaker. He grabs the IC belt, but Mero ducks it and rolls him up for a long two count. Whip to the corner, and Helmsley takes the Harley Race bump. Mero follows with a somersault plancha, but he mostly missed it. Goldust comes to ringside and accidentally brains Mero with the belt, then lays Helmsley out too... first time someone has ever corrected the mistake. Oh yes, I forgot... Goldust turned FACE sometime around this time frame after being accused of being homosexual. Mero rolls back in to beat the count, and picks up the lame victory at 13:14. That's the kind of finish you want to see on a Pay-Per-View, especially since Helmsley was immediately thrown into a program with Goldust. Sore-winner Mero gives Helmsley the Wild Thing after the match. Another solid match between the two, but a lame finish kind of hurt things. I'd much rather have Helmsley pin Mero thanks to Goldust's backfiring interference than what we ended up with.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley © vs. "Wildman" Marc Mero (w/ Sable):
Armageddon Rules: The Undertaker vs. The Executioner (w/ Paul Bearer):
Armageddon Rules is one of the many, many names for "Last Man Standing." Rules are you have to get a pinfall first, then get the 10-count. The Exuectioner is a masked Terry Gordy, better known throughout the 80's as a member of the Fabulous Freebirds. Unfortunately, in 1993, an overdose on pain pills resulted in him slipping into a coma, and although making a career revival, he just wasn't the same worker anymore. Undertaker attacks before the bell, with clubbering blows. Whip to the ropes, and Undertaker with a big boot. Whip to the corner, turning the Executioner upside down. Jim Ross: This isn't going to be a pretty match!" 'Taker misses a charge to the corner, but he still dominates the action. He misses an elbow drop, despite the Executioner getting up before he got in the air. Executioner with a shitty clothesling, knocking 'Taker to the floor. 'Taker tastes the table a few times, before laying the Executioner out with a short-arm clothesline. He exposes the concrete, but suddenly Mankind runs down to help out. Undertaker fights both men off, taking the "action" up the aisle. Undertaker tosses Mankind through the In Your House set "Window", then throws him through the front door. It's always nice for a non-participant to take the big bump of the match. We finally get the match back in the ring, and suddenly a bunch of jabroni's pin down Mankind and put a straight-jacket on him... zuh?! Meanwhile, the Undertaker and Executioner wander around backstage. This is bad. Really bad. Meanwhile, Mankind is still being subdued in the ring. Hey look, Gorilla Monsoon is at ringside too. Suddenly, we see someone take a tumble into a pool of water outside the arena. Undertaker comes back to ringside and beat the tar out of Mankind. The Executioner returns (toweled off from his trip into the pool, I guess), takes a Tombstone Piledriver, and this nonsense is finally over at the 11-minute mark. Just terrible... this marked the last appearance of The Executioner, by the way.
WWF Championship Match:
Finally, it's time... for the main event. No backstory here. Bret earned this title shot by defeating Steve Austin at Survivor Series. Got to love the thrown together main event on a PPV where the tagline is from a wrestler who hasn't even appeared on the show. Former WWF Champion Shawn Michaels joins the broadcast booth for no reason other than to be a dickhead. Shawn calls Sid the biggest piece of luggage in the WWF, then takes a cheap shot at the Hitman, and this is just during ring introductions. Bret attacks before the bell, pounding Sid down in the corner. Whip across the ring is reversed, and Sid lays Bret out with a clothesline. Sid stomps away and plants the hitman with a slam. Whip to the ropes, and Bret mounts a comeback, raking Sid's eyes across the top rope. Bret brings Sid to the canvas and drops an elbow. The action spills to the floor, complete with slugfest. Back inside, Bret hammers away before being dumped over the top rope. Sid removes the padding for future punishment, but Bret counters by ramming Sid into the ring post three times. Back inside, and Bret with an axehandle across the back. Bret continues working the back. Bret with a back breaker, followed by a pair of elbows across the back. Bret with a makeshift chinlock, but thankfully that doesn't go on too long. Whip to the corner, Bret with a snapmare and leg drop. I don't know the production crew insists on cutting to a split-screen view to show us Shawn Michaels bobbing his head back and forth. Seems a little too pointless to me, but that's why I don't have a job in that profession.
Sycho Sid © vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart:
Back to live action, Bret undoes a turnbuckle pad, but Sid blocks being sent into the steel. Bret changes the plan, pounding the back, and taking him down with a back suplex for two. Russian leg sweep for another two count. Bret with a snap suplex and second rope elbow across the back for two. Bret heads to the top, but Sid recovers in time to slam him off. Sid unloads with roundhouse rights and a big boot. Whip to the ropes, and Sid with a powerslam for two. Sid puts the boots to the Hitman and connects on a short-arm clothesline for two once again. Sid misses a leg drop (JR: "I never liked that maneuever"), but is still strong enough to kick Bret out of the ring going for the Sharpshooter. Suddenly, Steve Austin clips the knee of Hart, and now Davey Boy and Owen come out to send him back to the locker room.. ZUH?! Bret hobbles around, probably playing possum... nope, never mind. Sid makes the first move, clubbing Bret down to the canvas. Sid tries to roll the dice, but Bret escapes, and we get a sloppy spot that I honestly can't imagine what Sid was trying to do... but then THEY REPEAT THE SPOT, and Bret throws himself into the buckle trying to shove Sid into it. Come on! Sid I can see leading a spot to be repeated, but not in a match with Bret Hart. Sid with a chokeslam, but Bret kicks out at two. Shawn with more shoot comments on Bret. Sid misses a clothesline, and Bret hits his own, bringing both over the top rope, to the floor. Bret grabs a chair from Michaels, but Sid knocks it from his hands. Sid tosses Bret back in the ring, then pie faces Shawn into the rail. Shawn hops on the apron, but an accidental collision with Bret leads to the Powerbomb, and Sid surprisingly retains at 17:10. I wonder if that's the "injury" that made Shawn lose his smile. Match was about as good as you could hope for out of Sid, but it's forgetable, and featured one holy hell of an ugly blown, then repeated, spot. Shawn's "Shooting" was the only interesting part of the whole thing.
Final Thoughts: Other than the dumpster fire that was the Undertaker/Executioner, this was a surprisingly watchable card. The main event wasn't anything to brag about, but it was watchable and had the interesting "Shawn Michael is an asshole" aspect to it. The undercard features a solid, yet heatless, opener, tag title match, and less-heatless Intercontinental Title match. I guess you could say the worst part of this show is the dead crowd for pretty much the entire thing. Despite finding entertainment from the majority of this, it just wasn't "fun", so I honestly wouldn't recommend it.
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