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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 14 – Revenge of the Taker

December 24, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 14 – Revenge of the Taker  

IYH14: Revenge of the Taker
by J.D. Dunn

We are just coming off WrestleMania 13, and the WWF is about to hit one of their hottest creative streaks ever, culminating with Summerslam ’97.

Bret felt the fans start to turn on him over the previous few months, and the worm finally turned in his submission match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin refused to quit in that match, and special referee Ken Shamrock had to call the match, but Stone Cold’s legend only grew.

Seemingly alone against the world after his fans had abandoned him, Bret went back to the men he could trust when the chips were down – his family. Bret, Owen and the Bulldog all made up on an episode of Raw and promised to maintain solidarity in the name of Canadian (and British) unity.

Meanwhile, Mankind and rekindled his feud with the Undertaker, hoping to capture Taker’s newly won gold. I say “rekindled” because he actually set off a fireball in Taker’s face. That’s what we call a “pun.”

  • April 20, 1997
  • Live from Rochester, N.Y..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross, Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.

  • Free-For-All: The Sultan (w/The Iron Sheik) vs. Flash Funk (w/the Funkettes).
    Flash adopts the Mike Tyson Punchout strategy that you use for beating that Hippo guy – punching Sultan in the gut. He hits the Tumbleweed for two, which should give you an idea that he was on his way out. Flash goes for the huracanrana, but Sultan counters to a powerbomb at 2:45. Boo! 1/2*

  • Opening Match, WWF Tag Team Titles: Owen Hart & The British Bulldog vs. The Legion of Doom.
    All of the face heat that Davey Boy had generated earlier in the year is gone thanks to his reunification with Bret. Bulldog overpowers Hawk early and hits a hanging suplex. That sets up Hawk playing face-in-peril. We head to the back to find Steve Austin just now arriving after having a flat. The champs try a doubleteam, but Bulldog gets tossed into Owen. That allows Animal to powerslam Davey Boy off the second rope for the win and the titles at 6:53. Oh, but it turns out that Davey Boy was the illegal man, so we get a restart. Owen wants them disqualified, but the refs rule that if Owen and Bulldog don’t get back in they’ll lose the titles by forfeit. Owen returns and hits Animal with a leg lariat. Animal sunset flips Davey Boy, but Owen has the ref distracted. Owen misses a diving headbutt, and Hawk gets the hot tag. Hawk no-sells a double clothesline, disposes of Davey Boy, and hits the Doomsday Device. ONE…**ahem** One? The ref just kind of freezes because Bret Hart is WAY late hopping in for the DQ at 12:13. All the shenanigans dragged this down. *3/4

  • Owen and Davey Boy are happy that they retained, but then they find out that Austin actually made it to the arena tonight.
  • Intercontinental Title: Rocky Maivia vs. Savio Vega (w/the Nation of Domination).
    Ha ha! They pan the crowd and find a bunch of 10 year-olds holding their fists in the air. This was supposed to be Vader squashing the Rock and winning the IC Title as a reward for his great work at Final Four, but Vader wound up being detained Kuwait for scaring the crap out of a TV talk show host, so it was changed to Savio. Faarooq joins commentary and threatens to kill Ahmed Johnson the next time he sees him. Meanwhile, the match back in the ring is brutally boring. Savio grabs a nerve pinch for a while. Rocky comes back with a Fisherman’s Suplex, but an unnamed Nation member (D’Lo Brown) has the ref distracted. Savio rolls Rocky up, but the kickout sends Savio into the post. Rock gets the belly-to-belly suplex for two. ROCK BOTTOM! ONE, TWO, THR-NO? Savio must be Superman! He tosses Rocky to the floor where he accidentally wipes out Crush on the fall. Crush retaliates with a Heart Punch, and Rock gets counted out at 8:33. Savio is pissed because Crush cost him the title, but Faarooq smoothes things over. The Nation puts the boots to Rocky before Ahmed Johnson makes the save. Ahmed accepts Faarooq’s challenge of a gauntlet. Oddly enough, both babyfaces would wind up joining the Nation. *

  • Dok Hendrix interviews Marc Mero Sable right in front of the Men’s Room. Classy. Austin goes into the bathroom, and we hear a bunch of screaming and commotion. Owen and Davey boy emerge, do a bug-eyed take when they see the cameras and then run off down the hall.
  • “The Real Double J” Jesse James vs. Rockabilly Gunn (w/Honky Tonk Man).
    Jesse returned to the WWF after taking a hiatus while Jeff Jarrett went to WCW. Since he already had the country music gimmick, HTM asked him to be his protégé. Jesse didn’t like that much, so he smashed Honky’s guitar. Billy Gunn also turned him down, but for whatever reason, they decided to go back to pairing them. Thankfully, Billy got the call because Honky originally wanted the Rock in this role, and at this point, Rock was probably desperate enough to take it. Funny insider comment as Honky explains that Billy sided with him after “he made him an offer he couldn’t refuse” and Lawler (who has on-again/off-again heat with Honky) quips, “He must have liked Billy’s spunk.” The match itself is horrible, as you’d probably expect. Rockabilly misses the Stinger Splash, and Jesse goes to work. At least he shows some good personality, if not much wrestling talent. Billy tosses him to the floor and goes for a suplex, but Jesse counters to a small package at 6:45. 1/4*

  • Gorilla Monsoon bumps the Austin-Hart match.
  • Lance Wright gets the Hart Foundation explanation. Apparently, they were in the bathroom, just minding their own business, talking about their “win” and admiring Davey’s new crowbar when Austin burst in and attacked Owen screaming, “Aaaarrggh! I’m gonna kill you!” Davey had no choice but to intervene.
  • WWF Heavyweight Title: The Undertaker vs. Mankind (w/Paul Bearer).
    Taker is coming in with a bandage over his right eye, so he’s PISSED. Gone is the “methodical zombie Taker” and in his place is the “gothic, biker ass-kicker Taker.” They brawl out into the crowd where Mankind takes some hard bumps on the concrete and the railing. Back in, Taker would change up the Ropewalk Forearm to the Ropewalk Clothesline. Mankind slips out of a Tombstone and hits Taker in the head with the urn. Taker fires back, and they head to the floor. Mankind smashes a pitcher of water over his head and then hits him with a chair. Back in, Mankind works him over for a while before Taker makes the usual comeback. The referee gets squashed in between them, and Mankind puts Taker out with the Mandible Claw. Another ref replaces the first, and Mankind puts *him* out with the Claw. Bearer tosses a chair in to Mankind, but Mankind wants something bigger – the ring steps! He brings them in, but Taker dropkicks (!) them back into his face. An INSANE chairshot puts Mankind in the hangman position. Taker rips his mask off to let him out and then rams him with the steps, sending Mankind HEADFIRST THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE! See, now I think that’s even worse than Shawn’s bump off the Hell in the Cell later in the year. Back in, Taker gets two off a chokeslam and finishes with the Tombstone at 17:24. They keep fighting, and they’re supposed to do a spot where Mick lights a fireball but Taker tosses Bearer into it. Mick can’t get it lighted, though, so they look like total idiots. Finally, Taker shoves him aside and says, “Let me do it.” Taker lights the fireball in Bearer’s face, which would lead to Bearer getting *really* serious and bringing in Kane. Quality hardcore match, as usual between these two. Give credit to the Undertaker for not panicking over the fireball thing and salvaging the angle. ***1/2

  • Bret Hart threatens to end Austin’s career to make an example out of him for the American wrestling fans.
  • Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin.
    Bret tries to bring Owen and the Bulldog to ringside, but Gorilla Monsoon sends them to the back. Big slugfest to start, of course, and Bret goes into the steps. Back in, Austin mocks Bret’s pose. Austin goes back out and tosses Bret into the railing. Hebner chastises him with “Don’t do that! I said, ‘no!'” Well, he’s not a cocker spaniel. Back in again, Austin gets two off the FU elbow. Bret grabs a chair, but Austin hits him before he can use it. Austin and Hebner play tug-o-war with the chair, allowing Bret to dropkick Austin from behind. The ref gets bumped, and Bret slams the chair into Austin’s injured knee. Bret revives the ref and continues to work Austin’s knee. The ringpost figure-four works the knee even more as Austin is screaming in pain. Bret adds a few more chairshots. Austin fires back, but Bret just kicks him in the bad knee. Finally, Austin just goes low. Bret goes back to the knee and locks in the figure-four, but Austin turns him over. They go back and forth before Austin’s knee gives out on a piledriver attempt. Bret takes him up and delivers a SUPERPLEX right on Austin’s own kneebrace. Austin uses the brace to whack him though, and he locks in the Sharpshooter on Bret! Owen Hart and the British Bulldog run down, but Austin fights them off and goes back to the hold. Finally, Davey Boy gets sick of that and BLASTS Austin with a chairshot for the DQ at 21:08. After the match, Bret tries to smash Austin’s brains in with the ring bell, but Austin blocks with the chair and smashes Bret’s knee. The match was pretty damned good, but it lacked the intensity they had a WrestleMania and the technical acumen they showed at Survivor Series. The DQ finish actually worked well with the overall storyline, so I won’t hold that against it, though. ***3/4
  • The 411: The WWE was about to hit a creative peak as far as Raw was concerned, but their PPVs still left a lot to be desired. The final two matches save the card, but the undercard was still atrocious. Call it a mild recommendation for the co-main events, but this one was overshadowed by the following night's Raw is War, which featured Bret and Austin nearly killing each other and the return of Shawn Michaels!

    Mildly recommended.

    Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend

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