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What the World Was Watching: In Your House - Badd Blood

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “the King” Lawler are doing the announcing duties and they are live in St. Louis, Missouri.

-Opening Handicap Contest:  Rocky Maivia, Kama Mustafa & D-Lo Brown defeat The Legion of Doom when Maivia pins Hawk after a Rock Bottom at 12:19:

This was originally booked as a six man tag, but Ken Shamrock does not have medical clearance to compete.  Ahmed Johnson was also not available to be plugged in because he was back in the WWF dog house for injuring people.  Looking back, the second version of the Nation was rather successful as Faarooq went on to have a good career with Bradshaw in the APA, the Rock rose to main event status, Kama enjoyed success as the Godfather, and D-Lo won the European and Intercontinental championships.  After enjoying some brief moments of success, the Nation use their numbers to put Animal in peril and a false tag spot allows D-Lo to hit his Lo Down for two.  The crowd really gets into the hot tag sequence, but Faarooq breaks up a Doomsday Device attempt on Maivia and Maivia hits the Rock Bottom, which at this time was not considered an immediate finisher, for the victory.  This had its slow spots in the middle, but it came on strong at the end and it really made all five participants look strong.  Excellent and sensible booking.  Rating:  ***

-Dok Hendrix and Sunny hype the Superstar line and try to get us to call to talk to the winners and losers of tonight’s matches.

-McMahon reiterates the news from the Free for All that Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room in Bloomington, Minnesota and a substitute match has been booked.  The mark in me at the time thought that Marlena snapped and killed Pillman.

-Mini Tag Match:  Max Mini & Nova beat Tarantula & Mosaic after Mini pins Tarantula with a La Magistral cradle at 6:40:

I’m not sure if this is the best way to honor Pillman’s memory, but I suppose the options were limited.  There are several funny miscommunication spots between Tarantula and Mosaic in the early going, but this has lots of blown spots, most of which are Nova’s fault, that go a small way in exposing the business.  Lawler gets a kick out of seeing Tarantula gorilla press drop Mini on the U.S. announce table, but he gets irritated that McMahon will not let him tell “little people” jokes.  The botches continue until Mini grows completely frustrated with how the match is going and just rolls up Tarantula for the three count.  This had no flow to it whatsoever.  Rating:  DUD

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your Austin 3:16 t-shirt for $25 (plus shipping & handling)!

-Sunny comes out to do guest ring announcing duties for our next match.

-WWF Tag Team Championship Match:  The Godwinns (w/Uncle Cletus) defeat The Headbangers (Champions) to win the titles when Phineas pins Mosh after a powerbomb at 12:18:

Surprisingly, McMahon recalls Sunny’s past issues with the Godwinns.  Storyline continuity:  it’s a beautiful thing.  The Headbangers nearly break Phineas’s neck on double hiptoss attempt and they surprisingly dominate the early going with a coordinated aerial attack.  The match struggles to establish momentum, even as Thrasher gets a few hope spots after he is put in peril.  The crowd goes mild for the hot tag and the finish fits really well into the past encounters between these teams because Phineas counters the Mosh Pit, which pinned him at WrestleMania XIII.  The Headbangers lackluster run as tag team champions is over and the Godwinns pound them down after the finish until the referee forces them to leave under threat of reversing the decision.  Rating:  *

-A Steve Austin video package is shown.

-Michael Cole interviews Owen Hart, who says that Steve Austin is going to do nothing but hand him the Intercontinental title after he beats Faarooq tonight.  He threatens a lawsuit if Austin gets anywhere near him during the title match.

-Ross holds a small ceremony for St. Louis wrestling legends, which include Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk, Jr., Harley Race, Terry Funk, Lou Thesz, and Sam Muchnick.  In Jim Cornette’s 1997 timeline shoot interview he talks about how he had to fight hard to persuade Vince to do this, as Kevin Dunn felt that no one would care about these guys.  The crowd reaction proves that Cornette was right and Dunn was wrong, which is not unusual because Dunn was the same guy several weeks before this that tried to convince Vince not to bring back Cactus Jack at Madison Square Garden since no one would know about that character.

-Hendrix interviews Faarooq and the Nation and Faarooq says he’ll beat Owen Hart tonight and Steve Austin is nothing special to him.

-McMahon says that foul play is not suspected in Brian Pillman’s death, but a drug overdose might be to blame.  I’m shocked that McMahon would emphasize this, but he does clarify that drug abuse is a problem in all sports.

-Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals:  Owen Hart pins Faarooq to win the title when Steve Austin hits Faarooq with the Intercontinental title belt at 7:16:

So here are the finals of a lackluster tournament to crown a new Intercontinental champion after Steve Austin had to forfeit the title.  Owen got here by defeating Goldust and Brian Pillman whereas Faarooq got here by Ken Shamrock getting injured and defeating Ahmed Johnson.  This is Faarooq’s second time in an Intercontinental title tournament final in two years, as he lost to Marc Mero in a tournament final the previous year.  Steve Austin is at ringside for the bout as he is to present his Intercontinental title to the winner.  He rings the bell to start the match and then takes McMahon’s headset and gives his views on the match.  He soon moves to give commentary with the Spanish and French announce teams.  In light of Austin’s antics it is tough to focus on the match, but it is a TV-style match with Owen and Faarooq running through their usual spots.  After Faarooq hits a spinebuster Jim Neidhart wanders out and distracts the referee and Austin takes advantage to hit Faarooq with the title and cost him the match.  The announce crew is puzzled by this development, but it is clear that Austin wants to face Owen and regain his title.  Rating:  **

-The Hart Foundation’s beatdown on Vader and the Patriot on RAW is shown.

-The Disciples of Apocalypse beat Los Boricuas when Crush pins Jose after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker at 9:10:

The DOA have really fizzled out after they were arguably the most over of the factions created after the original Nation of Domination’s demise.  The Boricuas run a nice spot where every member gives Chainz a clothesline against the corner, but most of this is just a sloppy brawl that the crowd sleeps through.  In the end, it comes down to Crush and Jose and Crush’s singles experience comes in handy to give his team the win.  Rating:  ½*

-Cole interviews WWF Champion Bret Hart and the British Bulldog.  Bret says that he and the Bulldog are going to set an example that they are better than any American tag team combination.  The Bulldog echoes those same sentiments.

-McMahon emphasizes that for this flag match a team can win by either capturing their flag or securing a pinfall or submission.  That was probably Bret’s call since he told McMahon that a match where everyone was just running for flags would be a disaster, sort of like cage matches with escape rules.

-Hendrix interviews Vader and the Patriot and Patriot yells about how much he hates the Harts and how he has Vader’s back.  Vader says Bret’s claim that he is the “best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be” is “bullshit.”

-Flag Match:  Bret “the Hitman” Hart & The British Bulldog beat Vader & The Patriot when Bret pins the Patriot with a rollup at 21:14:

Vader and the Patriot lay waste to Bret and the Bulldog before the bell, but since they are good sports they wait until their opponents get back into the ring to go after the American flag.  The referee struggles to keep order as everyone does whatever they want and prevent the other side from going after their respective flag.  This makes for a rather dull contest except for a few spots, such as the Patriot nearly capturing the American flag when everyone piles up in the American team’s corner and everyone, save for the Bulldog, trying to apply their version of the Sharpshooter.  Bret KO’s Vader with the ring bell, but that doesn’t produce an immediate finish as he continues to beat on Vader inside of the ring.  The crowd gets impatient as the Patriot gets a hot tag and plants Bret with Uncle Slam, but the Bulldog breaks it up and then stiffs a fan that tries to run into the ring.  Vader then hits Bret with a Vader Bomb, but all hell breaks loose again and Bret and the Patriot end up alone and Bret counters a Patriot rollup with the help of the tights to get the victory.  The stipulation killed this match, but I doubt Bret and the Bulldog were psychologically ready for it in light of Pillman’s death.  This would also be the last pay-per-view outing for the Patriot, who suffered a torn bicep shortly after this and was out of the company shortly thereafter.  Rating:  **

-The announcers discuss the Hell in a Cell.

-Hendrix interviews D-Generation X.  European Champion Shawn Michaels says that he can survive Hell in a Cell because he is the most tenacious man in the WWF and the number one guy in this business.  Hunter Hearst Helmsley tries to push his way into the promo, but is cut off.

-A video package hypes the Shawn Michaels-Undertaker feud.

-Non-Title Hell in a Cell Match:  “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (European Champion) pins The Undertaker when Kane Tombstones the Undertaker at 29:57:

The winner of this match faces the WWF champion at Survivor Series.  Commissioner Slaughter and referees look under the ring to make sure no one is hiding there.  When the cage comes down and the Undertaker makes his entrance, Michaels has second thoughts and wants to leave, but there’s no chance of that and the Undertaker beats him from pillar to post.  The male fans in the audience roar when the Undertaker smashes Michaels back into the ring post and then into the corner of the Cell repeatedly.  Michaels rebounds by knocking the Undertaker into the cage and using the ring steps and a chair to maintain the advantage and “build momentum.”  That only gets two, though, and Michaels gets backdropped onto a cameraman, who he proceeds to beat up in a ruse to get the Cell open so he can escape.  This is a great spot, since it plays into Michaels hot headedness in big matches, and McMahon does his part by sending his apologies and best wishes out to the cameraman’s family in anticipation of a lawsuit.  The crowd gets back into the match when they end up outside of the Cell and a slingshot into it allows Michaels to cut himself open.  They battle on top of the Cell for a short while, a spot which always makes me nervous because I fear that the Cell will collapse under their weight at any moment, and the Undertaker has Michaels in a gorilla press, but just slams him instead of tossing him off, which does not really fit this feud.  Michaels leaves that big bump for Mick Foley, but does fall off the side of the Cell and through the Spanish announce table as Tito Santana looks on with his mouth agape.  They go back into the Cell, with Michaels a bloody mess, and the Undertaker smashes a chair over Michaels head, but when he signals for the Tombstone the lights go out and Kane emerges with Paul Bearer.  Kane, in a piece of booking provided by Jim Cornette, walks down and rips off the Cell door, deck the referee, and Tombstones the Undertaker, enabling Michaels to crawl over and get a cowardly victory.  A shocking, violent, and fitting ending to this feud and it begins the build for Undertaker-Kane at WrestleMania XIV.  I’m on the fence about giving this five stars, but it told a great story, Michaels blade job and bumping were great, and the Kane interference was warranted and added to the match.  Rating:  *****

The Final Report Card:  The single selling point of this show was Hell in a Cell and that match delivered, but it took an agonizing two and a half hours to get to that match.  Yes, the opener is good, although other reviewers disagree on that point, but the rest falls into average territory.  I’ll give this one a neutral rating because the main event delivers, but you really don’t need to seek out this show.  Just watch Hell in a Cell to see the origins of that match and go watch something else.

Attendance:  21,151

Buyrate:  0.60

Show Evaluation:  Neutral


  1. I know that WWE was pretty well-known for having quite a few "one match" shows around this time, but would this one possibly rank as the best? The only one that I can think of that even comes close is Over the Edge '98.

  2. Your_Favourite_AssholeJune 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    i think its been quite established that kevin dunn is an idiot. to hell with him for not letting lawler get inducted by lance russell.

    if hes so concerned about the audience not knowing who a given person is, then fucking educate the audience, horse face

  3. In 1997, as now: we here in St. Louis are WRESTLING fans, not Sports Entertainment fans.

    Re: Lawler in HOF - man, it would have been really convenient if only Lance Russell had been in some high-grossing movie playing himself or if there had been any footage of Lance with Jerry. This explains why Lance isn't in the HOF even though he should be.

  4. I think Over the Edge '98 had a slightly better card, since I thought the six man tag match between the Nation and DX was pretty good and the bad stuff on that show is better than the bad stuff on this one.

  5. Fair. I actually remembered Mind Games from '96 as well. If that's not a one match show, then the term probably needs to be redefined.

  6. "A shocking, violent,
    and fitting ending to this feud..."

    ... for three months. :)

  7. The great thing there is that the WWF had just educated the audience about Cactus Jack a few months earlier with several great videos, which worked so well they turned Foley babyface. I hope somebody threw that in Dunn's face.

  8. Your_Favourite_AssholeJune 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    i've been to st louis before, biscuit brah. ted drewes. was considering washington university for grad school. also had a good friend who lived in columbia. we ate at bob's big boy, i think. also ate at a pretty good italian place in a hilly area of st. louis, can't recall the name

  9. Has there been a better wwe debut than Kane's? And Vince sold it brilliantly.

  10. You know, as much as many think Vince and Stephanie are the problem with current WWE, I'd think getting rid of Dunn would do SO MUCH more for the company. I wouldn't be surprised to see Triple H kick his ass to the curb eventually.

  11. Who inducted Lawler again? Wasn't it someone random like William Shatner?

  12. I would sure as hell hope so. People like to bring up Johnny Ace as the guy that no one has ever said a kind word about in, say, shoot interviews, but Dunn has to be right up there. Just watch any Cornette shoot to see his reaction to the name... dude is seriously not well liked.

  13. I'll always love Y2J's but yeah, Kane's is up there for sure.

  14. The thing with Dunn is I kind of understand why he got the job, he was born into it due to his father working for Vince Sr. and I guess Vince felt a loyalty to him.

    I will NEVER for the life of me understand why they got Johnny Ace to replace Jim Ross as Head of Talent Relations.

  15. Cornette said that Dunn's father saved a bunch of tapes from burning in a fire so now Dunn has a job for life. Maybe after Vince is gone he can get rid of him but not until.

  16. The main event is my all time favorite match. I know that is a bold statement, but Hell in the Cell has everything I love about wrestling in one match. The match was never topped.

  17. Mine too. Objectively, I might say the Bret-Austin WM match is better (might), but the cell match just does it all for me.


  19. Scream09_HartKillerJune 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I'm sure Vince mentioned a possible drug over-dose was to say "wrestling didn't kill Brian Pillman, drugs killed Brian Pillman!". These was before anyone would say "but what if he's using drugs to cope with the abnormality of the wrestling business?" and Vince would go into "wrestling doesn't kill people, wrestling doesn't make people use drugs that will people, people kill people" mode.

  20. Scream09_HartKillerJune 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    So, Michaels gets the piss beat out of him for most of the match. He's bloodied. Undertaker is well on his way to finishing him off until Kane gets involved, giving Shawn time to pull himself out of a pool of his own blood and get a cheap pinfall while Undertaker was still knocked out from Kane's attack. The lengths Shawn went to book himself strong, huh?

  21. We get it, you're gay for Shawn.

  22. Excellent review as always. Surprised by both the attendance and the buyrate figures at the end. 21,000 for 1997 WWE--I'd say a couple of thousand of those had to be comps. And I was also surprised at a low buyrate since this show had good hype via "HBK screwed Taker out of the belt, and now HBK is locked in a cell with Taker, who will try to kill him."

  23. Because he is a complete corporate suckup dating back to his days as Miss Baba gopher boy.

    I will say that he did soak up Japanese finishes like a sponge while over there and brought them back to the end of WCW. A lot of those cruiser/cruiser tag match finishes were his doing.

    THen he got caught up in the buyout and just kissed ass all the way to the top.

  24. The Hill is the Italian neighborhood, so it could have been one of dozens of places. If it was noisy and cheap, it was Rigazzi's. I'm partial to Zia's myself.

  25. He also worked for Honeywell in Minneapolis before getting into wrestling. He's an executive who happened to be a carryable wrestler. I'd take Johnny Ace's career.

  26. And even then, it was just another plot device to further the feud with Kane. Except it cost Michaels several years of his career.

  27. Are you going to be doing the 1998 rants?

  28. Yeah, that was one of the GOOD things about Russo's booking (at least with the WWF) - he seemed to genuinely try to have programs involve people at different levels on the card.

  29. The paid attendance was 17,404. It wasn't unusual for PPVs to comp a couple of thousand seats in those days. For example, Summerslam 1997 had a total attendance of 20,213, but paid attendance was 17,361, which was considered a sellout. Whether that sort of thing is still the case, I don't know.
    As for the comparisons with buyrates, there was a few months in late '97 where live attendance was picking up, but the PPV buys were yet to catch up. That would change in early '98.


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