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Thread: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

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    In Your House WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    In Your House 10: Mind Games
    September 22, 1996



    It’s not included on the WWE Network, but over on the Free for All, Savio Vega wrestled and defeated Marty Jannetty. After the match was an angle with Justin Hawk Bradshaw attacking Vega.

    Savio Vega vs Justin Hawk Bradshaw w/Uncle Zebekiah - Caribbean Strap Match
    Following Savio’s feud against Steve Austin, he had a pretty quiet time in the WWE up until turning heel and joining the Nation of Domination in early 1997. Since the summer, Savio had been involved in a feud against Bradshaw, but it was mostly kept on Superstars. Somehow, the feud even involved JTTS, Freddie Joe Floyd (Tracy Smothers), in Smothers’ only program during his short stint in the WWE. Back at IYH: Beware of Dog, Vega had a shockingly great Caribbean Strap Match against Steve Austin. Well...JBL is hardly Austin. Although to be fair, I can’t entirely blame the wrestlers for the lack of quality in this one. It’s only seven minutes long, which isn’t terrible, but the Austin/Savio match went over twenty. So right away, these two are having to try and fit everything into about a third of the time as the other strap match. Then there’s the fact that this was the infamous match/PPV that ECW’s Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, and The Sandman were shown in the front row with Sandman spitting beer at Savio, causing security to force the trio out of the building, distracting the fans for the majority of the match. So not only is the match short, but the portion that focused solely on what was happening in the ring was even shorter. Savio does manage to take some good bumps, whether directly from Bradshaw, such as the Closeline from Hell before it was a thing, or being subjected to the restrictions of the strap. The finish is your standard finish for such a match with Bradshaw dragging Savio around while the heel hit the turnbuckle pads and Savio secretly hitting them afterward without Bradshaw’s knowledge. The two would have a quick battle after the third turnbuckle until Bradshaw inadvertently sent Vega flying into the fourth turnbuckle, earning the win for Savio. It may have been a gimmick match, but this was pure nothingness that could have easily been the main event of an episode of Superstars. * ¼


    Backstage, the camera spots Savio being attacked by two men that mysteriously looks like Diesel and Razor Ramon. The attackers leave before the cameraman can get closer to show their faces. Jim Ross wasn’t lying! He brought Diesel and Razor Ramon back to the WWE! Can we fuck off with the non-stop Savio segments now? This is three in a row.

    Jose Lothario vs Jim Cornette
    I believe the original intention for this PPV was to feature HBK/Lothario vs Vader/Cornette, but things obviously change. I suspect once Michaels didn’t put Vader over at the last PPV of Summerslam, there wasn’t much need to continue the program with this managers tag match. Nothing special here as Cornette’s attempt at attacking Lothario backfired. Lothario gets in a couple poor looking spots before knocking Cornette out with a pair of punches to get the victory. The match didn’t even last a minute. Was there a point to this? Manager vs manager matches can work if the fans care, but Lothario never connected with the WWE audience. SQUASH.

    Brian Pillman would come out to the ring to address the crowd. Recently, Pillman had claimed that he had secured an interview with Bret Hart for tonight, but Hart, in a taped video sent into the WWE, revealed that it was a lie. Pillman trashes Philly some until bringing out Owen Hart. Owen claims that he and Bret have been repairing their relationship as of late with Bret realizing that he was getting old and accepting that Owen was the best Hart. However, Owen is really disappointed that Bret went back on his word and cancelled his appearance for tonight. Owen theorizes that Bret’s not here tonight because he’s scared of Steve Austin. That brings out the 1996 King of the Ring. Austin reiterates that Bret is scared of him and if Bret were to return to the WWE, he’ll be Austin’s main target. You can really tell that there was a clear shift in Austin’s character from now until the end of the year. At this point, he was still a traditional heel, but by the end of the year, he’d become a complete loner, going after faces and heels alike. Obviously, that character worked out wonderfully for Austin, but I really liked the idea of Austin, Owen, and Pillman being a trio of lying bastards.

    Backstage, Jim Cornette is being looked after by the medical staff, far too injured to come out with Owen and British Bulldog for their upcoming match. Luckily, his lawyer, Clarence Mason, seems to have a contract for Cornette to sign making Mason the tag team’s manager for one night. Gee, I sure hope this doesn’t end up biting Cornette on the ass, causing him to lose Owen and Bulldog for good.

    The Smoking Gunns © w/Sunny vs The British Bulldog and Owen Hart w/Clarence Mason - WWE Tag Titles
    Not much of a backstory here in this heel vs heel match. On the go home edition of Raw, Bulldog/Owen distracted the Gunns, resulting in the duo losing against the underdog team of Bob Holly and Alex Porteau. Then on the go home episode of Superstars, Bulldog/Owen and the Gunns had a brawl. Some of this was a damn good match. It’s kept at a pretty good pace with both teams getting in some babyface spots since it’s heel vs heel. Owen got lucky and chop blocked Bart, leading to the challengers working over Bart for awhile. Once Billy got tagged in, The Gunns heeled it up causing Bulldog to fall out of the ring and attack him on the outside. This portion of the match highlights some internal problems with the champions with Billy more interested in talking with Sunny or playing to the crowd. They did manage to hit a Sidewinder, after some taunting by Billy, on Bulldog for a nearfall though. All of this built up to Bulldog escaping a power slam attempt by Bart, shoving Bart into Billy, Billy losing his cool and shoving Bart back, only for Bart to be pushed back into a running power slam by Bulldog to get the pinfall to become NEW WWE Tag Team Champions. The finish felt really rushed as the match could have easily went on for an additional five minutes, if not longer. I prefer the rematch at IYH: Buried Alive, but this was solid. ** ½


    After the match, Sunny fires The Smoking Gunns, completing her arc of managing three straight WWE Tag Team Champions throughout 1996.

    Jerry Lawler vs Mark Henry
    God, there were way too many Lawler PPV matches in 1996. This one grew out of the Lawler/Jake Roberts feud with Henry coming to Roberts’ rescue at Summerslam 1996. To give you an idea of how inexperienced Henry is at this point, his debut match literally happened the day before at a house show. This match plays out similarly to some celebrity matches where very little happens, there’s plenty of stalling between moves, and the celeb is taught a few ultra basic holds to use in the match with the commentators gushing over as if they’re great. The King did get in one awesome bump as he’s sent to the outside and essentially does a suicide dive through the ropes, crashing into the steel railing. Lawler gets in a touch of offense by pulling out a foreign object and punching the Olympian, but Henry is quick to regain the offense and then lifts Lawler up into an over the shoulder backbreaker submission that Jesse Ventura used to use to force Lawler to give up. The match wasn’t good, but there wasn’t any reason to expect it to be. So I don’t have a problem with the match sucking, especially since one of the wrestler’s literally had their first match the previous day, but on a PPV that already had a manager vs manager match, I’m not interested in watching another non-regular wrestling match. *


    After the match, one by one, Leif Cassidy, Marty Jannetty, and Triple H all try to ruin Henry’s celebration, but Henry takes care of each one, sending them flying back to the outside. After squashing Lawler and dominating a tag team and a singles wrestler, Henry wouldn’t wrestle on TV again for a year and a half.

    The commentators hype the next PPV of In Your House: Buried Alive, with the main event being The Undertaker vs Mankind in the first ever Buried Alive match. The match will be unsanctioned, so even if Mankind were to win the WWE Title tonight, he will not be defending the PPV in October.

    In a Coliseum Home Video Exclusive, Doc Hendrix is with the new WWE Tag Team Champions, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith. The champions boast about their win as they’re joined by Clarence Mason. Mason reveals that he made an oopsie when getting Cornette to sign a contract earlier tonight. What ended up happening is that Jim Cornette signed away Bulldog and Owen’s contracts with Mason getting control of them instead. Whoops. The champions are just fine with that as they’ve been frustrated with the drama Cornette had been bringing into their lives.

    The Undertaker vs Goldust w/Marlena - Final Curtain Match
    Time to wrap up this B feud while Taker preps to get revenge on Paul Bearer for turning on him at Summerslam. A Final Curtain match is simply a No-DQ match that must end in a pinfall. Despite this, they never really did much to play up the gimmick to the point where the referee was distracted when Goldust threw some gold dust from Marlena’s purse into Taker’s eyes to first gain the advantage. Despite the gimmick being a failure, the action was enjoyable enough with Taker being more aggressive than usual to play up the fact that this is his first match since the Summerslam betrayal of Paul Bearer. Considering both men could work painfully slow styles, just the fact that I was able to maintain interest was good enough for me. In a year where Taker had so many BS finishes of interferences and screw jobs, I appreciate the fact that with this being the feud ender, it simply ends with Taker catching Goldust on the top rope, choke slamming him to the mat, and then delivering the Tombstone to cleanly pin his B rival. Not as good as their Beware of Dog match, but better their their borefest at International Incident. ** ¼

    During the entrances for the main event, Mankind is bought out in a casket, hopping out and leaving it empty before the lid is closed again.

    Shawn Michaels (c) w/Jose Lothario vs Mankind w/Paul Bearer - WWE World Title
    Zero backstory to this match, but it’s the type of match where you don’t end up caring. Why should you care when it’s basically a filler program for Michaels, yet it’s also what I consider to be the third best WWE match of 1996? Not to say I’ve always felt that way though. It took me a few times to be able to be into it all and from that point on, I enjoyed it more with each watch. The appeal is that it’s something different. This was the chance for Michaels to show that he can be aggressive and work a brawl. The difference between this and a match like Good Friends, Better Enemies, which is somewhat similar, is that Michaels is the main aggressor in this match. In the previous IYH match, it was Diesel that was the star of the match and the one who was more into inflicting a different sort of punishment. Here, right away HBK knows that if he stands any chance against the bizarre Mankind, he needs to take it to Foley right away. Live in Philly, Michaels is working more like a hardcore wrestler than what he normally was. From there, Michaels decided that he needed to focus on something more directly so his strategy is the knee. Not only does Michaels does so with standard holds like a half crab, but he’s not afraid to bend the rules a bit to get a bit of help. Yet, it’s after all of this brawling and leg work, nearly 100% HBK in charge, that Mankind is able to shine by simply asking Bearer for a foreign object, repeatedly stabbing himself in the bad knee with it, to regain feeling, and Mankind is back in action. How are you supposed to beat a guy like that?! Michaels never stops trying though. At the very first attempt of Mankind using the Mandible Claw...while tied up by his neck in the ropes nonetheless, Michaels again changes his strategy by working over the middle and ring fingers that Foley uses for the Mandible Claw. Although not the last time someone would use this strategy against Mankind, I do believe it’s the first. The final couple of minutes are the craziest with a big table bump from the top rope and Michaels using a chair to hit a jumping super kick while Mankind is on the top rope. The one negative for the match is that there isn’t a proper winner as Vader runs out for the DQ. It’s disappointing, but this post-match segment would build up the two biggest matches for In Your House: Buried Alive and again, HBK/Mankind wasn’t a match that truly mattered. So as much as I would have liked to see a proper winner, I’m also not too fussed about missing out. This match would mark another big moment in Mankind’s career in terms of being compared to Taker’s other rivals. Not only is he Taker’s first monster rival that got the best of Taker multiple times, instead of only the customary first attack, here Mankind is putting on a great match against someone else. You can’t say that about the likes of Kamala, Giant Gonzales, King Kong Bundy, ect. I don’t know where I’d rank it in Foley’s WWE career, but it remains his best WWE match until Over the Edge 1998. After that, there may only be the two Triple H 2000 matches that I’d rate better than this. Great performance by both men. **** ½


    After the match, HBK’s buddy, Sycho Sid, rushes out to help Shawn from the Vader attack, leading to Sid and Vader battling to the back to add heat to their #1 contender’s match at IYH: Buried Alive. Back in the ring, Mankind has applied the Mandible Claw long enough to put Michaels to sleep. Bearer then heads over to the casket to lift it open for Mankind to toss Michaels in it. Instead, The Undertaker is revealed to be in the casket~! He and Mankind battle to the outside, adding heat to their own IYH: Buried Alive match.

    Overall
    Yikes. In a year where Bret Hart took a well deserved break, Steve Austin became such a vital and important person on the roster because when you put him on PPV, you’re pretty much guaranteeing a super solid three star undercard match. However, this In Your House obviously doesn’t have Bret Hart producing his usual four star effort, likewise, it also doesn’t even have Stone Cold’s three star effort. The end result is a pretty rubbish event that is held together by a MOTYC main event, but a main event that ultimately was pure filler for both men involved. Instead of being able to see some exciting 1996 wrestlers like Austin, Marc Mero, or Vader, we got non-wrestler matches like Henry/Lawler and Lothario/Cornette. We do get to see a showcase of a lowcarder feud of Bradshaw vs Vega, which in theory is great, but they half assed it to such a degree that I don’t know why they even bothered. Bulldog and Owen winning the tag titles is great, but as I said, I preferred the rematch at Buried Alive. We do get a feud ender in Goldust/Taker, but it was Taker’s B feud while his A feud with Mankind happened at the same time, so is there really much interest in the Taker/Goldust feud? At this point in time, there was an IC Title tournament going on with the finals taking place the next night on Raw between Mero vs Faarooq. Why wouldn’t we get that match on this show? The main event is absolutely worth watching, but even before the days of the WWE Network, Mankind/HBK had been released on so many different DVD releases, so it was incredibly easy to watch the match without bothering to watch this disappointment of a PPV. Between the bad matches and the overall unimportance of even the great match, I’d call In Your House: Mind Games the weakest WWE PPV of 1996.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post

    Overall
    Yikes. In a year where Bret Hart took a well deserved break, Steve Austin became such a vital and important person on the roster because when you put him on PPV, you’re pretty much guaranteeing a super solid three star undercard match. However, this In Your House obviously doesn’t have Bret Hart producing his usual four star effort, likewise, it also doesn’t even have Stone Cold’s three star effort. The end result is a pretty rubbish event that is held together by a MOTYC main event,
    1996 is a rough year. It's Michaels carrying the entire workrate of the company it feels like, with Austin and Foley supporting as best they can among the dross.


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  3. #3
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    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    Poor show, the main event saved the match from being one of the worst IYH shows ever. Mind Games is easily the weakest WWE ppv of 96. I'd remove the Austin/Owen/Pillman segment, it was great but just have that on Raw. I'd replace Vega vs Bradshaw, Lawler vs Henry and the managers match with Mark Mero vs Farooq, Barry Windham vs Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vader vs Sycho Sid to improve the card. Vader wins, Sid gets his win back at the next IYH ppv.




  4. #4

    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    I don't see what adding The Stalker to a PPV in 1996 helps out in any way.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    Just don't give him The Stalker gimmick as it was terrible. Windham wasn't the same but it would probably still be a good match with Austin going over. Vega is another option but that feud was done as Austin beat him in the KOTR qualifiers but he didn't get a ppv win back though. 1996 wasn't a strong year for the WWE but I still enjoyed the product but this was the first time I started to enjoy WCW more than the WWE.



  6. #6

    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Kintaro View Post
    Just don't give him The Stalker gimmick as it was terrible. Windham wasn't the same but it would probably still be a good match with Austin going over. Vega is another option but that feud was done as Austin beat him in the KOTR qualifiers but he didn't get a ppv win back though. 1996 wasn't a strong year for the WWE but I still enjoyed the product but this was the first time I started to enjoy WCW more than the WWE.
    Stalker or no Stalker, Windham was neither good nor over in his third run with the WWE. Whether it was good or not, Vega vs Bradshaw made perfect sense to be included on a PPV.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games

    Man some of the In Your House shows were quality. Top tier stuff on display here. Outstanding card, top to bottom.
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