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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 17 – Ground Zero

January 4, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 17 – Ground Zero  

Ground Zero 1997
by J.D. Dunn

Big changes afoot as Shawn let his hatred of Bret overwhelm him, costing Undertaker the title and handing the title over to Bret at Summerslam ’97. Shawn was one of the most hated men in the WWF as a result.

  • September 7, 1997
  • Live from Louisville, Ky.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross, Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.

  • Brian Pillman vs. Goldust (w/Marlena).
    Pillman had totally deteriorated by this point. This was during the period where they let Vince Russo base everything off daytime TV, so Pillman is claiming to be the father of Goldust and Marlena’s child. Seriously, could you get more hacky than to admittedly get your storylines from Springer and Maury Povich? Thankfully, this match is significantly better than the drivel that they turned in for Summerslam. Winner gets Marlena for 30 days. Goldust flapjacks Pillman on the stairs and counters his bulldog by crotching him on the top rope. They take it to the ramp where Goldie suplexes Pillman on the ramp. Pillman takes over for some weak brawling, but Goldust tosses him from the top to the railing and lets Marlena slap him. The ref gets bumped while Goldust hits the Curtain Call. Pillman takes away Marlena’s loaded purse and blasts Goldust with it for the win and Marlena’s services at 11:07. I believe Marlena was supposed to turn on Goldust and join Pillman later on, a Russo booking staple, but Pillman would be found dead shortly hereafter. **1/4

  • In the back, Pillman shoves Marlena into a car and speeds off before Goldust can get to them.
  • Brian Christopher vs. Scott Putski.
    Putski’s status as a light-heavyweight is dubious at best. Christopher dominates early and does a lot of cackling. Putski hits a rana, but Christopher comes back with the Breakdown. Christopher tosses him to the floor and hits a pescado, injuring Putski’s knee and ending his career. Putski takes the countout loss at 4:39. It wasn’t that bad before the injury. Sadly, Putski would become known less for being a wrestler and more for Missy Hyatt’s comment that steroids shrunk his dick “smaller than a Vienna sausage.” *

  • Recap of the problems between The Nation of Domination, Los Boriquas and the Disciples of the Apocalypse.
  • Faarooq vs. Savio Vega vs. Crush.
    All three guys used to be part of the Nation of Domination until problems between Savio and Crush cost Faarooq the WWF Title at King of the Ring. Savio reclaimed his Puerto Rican roots, and Crush renounced Islam and went back to the pseudo-White Supremacy biker gang lifestyle. How exactly does one go from the Nation of Islam to White Supremacy anyway? And before you say, “Well, they didn’t technically say Nation of Islam or White Supremacist,” I would counter that they have a history of skirting right up to the line and then pussing out at the end with the cop out of “Well, we didn’t say that. You’re just making an assumption that any reasonable person would make given the evidence. I can’t help that.” Hence, Triple H’s “guys like you” comment at Booker a few years ago. Anyway, this is possibly the most boring triple threat in WWE history. Faarooq and Crush team up against Savio, offering to share the cover, but the ref rules that you can’t do that. Oddly enough, Steve Austin would lose the World Title under those very circumstances almost exactly a year later. No one cares about any of these guys at this point. The NOD lost all of their heat after KOTR97, and the only heat they had left was due to the Rock. I suppose you could get some perverse pleasure out of the metaphor of the white guy offering alliances with Faarooq and then Savio, thus pitting minorities against one another. Crush hits Faarooq with the Heart Punch, but Savio sneaks in and hits Crush with the spinning wheel kick at 11:40. This also shows the bad booking premise of having two guys with some heat — Faarooq had residual heat from the Nation, Crush had some heat from his DOA actually looking like legit badasses — so they job those two guys to the guy with no heat in the hopes that all three guys will get heat. Instead, it just killed the whole damned thing dead. 1/2*

  • Max Mini vs. El Torito.
    Lest you think that the midget match was always on the level of Hornswoggle versus Mini-Boogey, I give you this match, which is the Eddy vs. Rey of midget matches. Max does a lot of cool lucha before Torito boots him in the face and starts biting him on the ass. It’s the original “Kiss My Ass” club. Mini bites the ref because he won’t put a stop to it, so the ref chases him around the ring. Mini hops in King’s lap for some hilarity before the match resumes. Torito controls throughout. Most of the fans are apathetic, but some are actually starting to get into Max’s plight. Max comes back with a series of armdrags and hits the QUEBRADITO! Back in, Max hits a huracanrana, but Torito blocks the Victory Roll. Max has to settle for the sunset flip at 9:20. This was actually a rockin’ little match. The fans didn’t care, of course, because they’re minis, but it was a lot of fun. ***1/2

  • Commissioner Slaughter suspends Steve Austin due to injury and strips him of his Intercontinental Title and Tag Team Title. Austin comes down, runs down JR, runs down Sarge, drops the title at Slaughter’s feet and tells him to give him 20. See, this was all the proof that Austin needed that McMahon, Slaughter and the rest of the WWF suits were trying to screw him. JR tells Austin he always liked him, and he hopes he can come back real soon. Austin gives him a Stunner just for the hell of it. This was great stuff for Austin because it set up Austin vs. McMahon, which jumpstarted WWF business and led to Austin vs. Mick Foley for the first half of 1998.
  • Owen Hart & The British Bulldog threaten to chase Austin out of the WWF for good.
  • Vacant WWF Tag Team Titles: The Headbangers vs. The Godwinns vs. Legion of Doom vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog.
    The Headbangers are replacing Austin & Dude Love. The Godwinns have trouble adjusting the rules. This is some boring stuff right here. The Godwinns try to use the bucket, but the LOD are tired of being slopped. They steal the bucket and use it on the Godwinns, getting themselves disqualified at about 11:36. The Bangers hit the Stage Dive on Phinneas, but Henry yanks down the ropes. Thrasher falls to the floor. The Godwinns work Thrasher over, and nothing good can come from that. He comes back with a sunset flip to eliminate the Godwinns at 12:44. The Hart Foundation has barely been in there, so they are the clear favorites here. The Bangers go for a doubleteam move, but Bulldog breaks it up. Owen goes for the Sharpshooter, but Steve Austin runs down and hits him with the Stunner to give the Bangers the win and the titles at 17:18. The Headbangers would almost immediately be undercut after this, as the WWF put the Godwinns and LOD back on top. The match suffered from a lack of Owen and Bulldog. *

  • From the trainer’s room, Jim Ross tells Vince that this shit ain’t gonna fly. I miss honest, plain-spoken JR.
  • Profile of the Patriot, including some footage of him in All Japan.
  • WWF Heavyweight Title: Bret Hart vs. The Patriot.
    The Patriot is Del Wilkes, who perfected the gimmick in the GWF before heading off to All Japan. He’s not a bad wrestler, but he has kind of a no-nonsense style that didn’t really work in the Attitude Era. The backstory here is that he upset Bret on an episode of Raw. Hart ties Patriot in the tree-of-woe and stomps on him to draw the ire of the crowd. Patriot comes back with a dropkick and clotheslines Hart over. Hart tries to blindside him but gets armdragged. Patriot works the shoulder and rides Bret down into an armbar. Bret gets tired of that and goes after Patriot’s knee. Vince asks Lawler for a scouting report on the Patriot, so Lawler recounts the four or five matches he’s had in the WWF. Vince presses him on stamina, so Lawler tells him to ask the Japanese wrestlers about him. Vince gets kind of huffy and says “That’s in Japan!” as if your stamina is somehow affected by which side of the Pacific you’re on. Actually, his stamina should be better here because of the elevation where they train in Japan. But I digress. Bret has been working him over. The British Bulldog comes down to root Bret on. Patriot hits a snap suplex to come back and powerslams Bret for two. Bulldog trips Patriot up, allowing Bret to get an O’Connor Roll for two. He kicks out and sends Bret into the Bulldog. Bret is so stunned that he gets rolled up for two. Patriot hits Uncle Slam, but Bulldog pulls Bret to the floor before the ref can count. Vader comes down to chase the Bulldog to the back to even things out. Back in, Patriot hits a big boot for two. An atomic drop into a backdrop gets two more, but Bret hot shots him. Bret goes into the usual. Patriot fires back, but the ref gets bumped. UNCLE SLAM! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! They collide for a double KO spot. They exchange small packages, and Bret goes facefirst into the corner. Patriot applies the Sharpshooter, which doesn’t have a lot of context in the match, so Bret reverses to one of his own and gets the win at 19:20. Easily the best Patriot match in the WWF, but that’s not saying much, given his short tenure. After the match, Bret snaps the American flag off its pole and chokes Patriot out with it. ***3/4

  • The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels.
    Shawn cost the Undertaker the WWF Title with his shoddy officiating, then formed D-Generation X, in part to save his own butt. Taker is, of course, righteously pissed off. So much so that he decided to stop chasing Bret and go after Shawn. Shawn sacrifices the referee to get away from the Undertaker. Commissioner Slaughter chases Michaels back to ringside where the Undertaker tosses the ref on top of him. Did I mention the Undertaker was pissed? Shawn scurries up the ramp and tries to go out the door on the “In Your House” set, but Taker tracks him down and throws him the length of the entrance ramp. Over to the announce tables they go. Shawn takes a wicked bump off the Spanish announce table to the steel crowd barrier. Finally, they get in the ring where Taker drops a series of elbows. There’s no ref to count the cover, though. Replacement ref Earl Hebner runs down and officially starts the match. Shawn begs for Earl to disqualify the Taker, but Earl won’t have any of it. Shawn goes with Plan B in the Weasel’s Home Guide to Wrestling. He waits until Taker turns his back and then clips his knee out from under him. That only pisses the Undertaker off even further. Taker chokelifts Shawn and then casually tosses him aside. He follows that up by trying to rip Michaels’ arm off. Did I mention the Undertaker was pissed? In desperation, Shawn crotches the Undertaker as he’s going for the Ropewalk Forearm. Taker shrugs it off and tosses Shawn around like a rag doll. Shawn tries to run away, but Taker yanks his tights down. Shawn desperately hits a swinging neckbreaker to buy time. Taker does the zombie sit-up, so Shawn gets the hell out of the ring and grabs a chair. Taker boots him in the face and grabs it away from him. Earl stops the Taker from using the chair and gets bumped when Shawn attacks from behind. Shawn hits the Flying Elbow Drop, but the ref is slow to count. Taker kicks out so hard that Shawn lands on the referee. Rick Rude strolls down and tosses Shawn some brass knuckles. Shawn knocks the Undertaker out, but Earl is still unconscious. Triple H and Chyna come down with a new ref. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Hunter then takes out that ref for his failure to deliver the proper outcome. All three members of DX start working over the Undertaker, and there’s no one there to stop them. Taker counters Sweet Chin Music to a chokeslam in the corner. The ref is still out, so Taker knocks Shawn out with Shawn’s own knucks. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Taker chokeslams Earl for counting slow. Did I mention Taker was pissed? That’s enough for Tim White to run down and throw out the whole match at 16:04. That doesn’t include about 9 minutes of Taker beating the crap out of Shawn before the match even started. Taker and Shawn take turns destroying each other until the locker room empties to break it up. Even then, Taker SKIES over the top ropes in one of the most memorable topes in history, taking out the heels like a bowling ball. The WWE has tried to repeat this same angle over and over again to “make” new champions. Remember 2002 with the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, and again with the Undertaker and JBL in 2004? How about 2005 with JBL and Batista? The difference is, Shawn and the Undertaker were able to have a good match where nothing was settled that made people want to see the rematch. ***3/4
  • The 411: This is a PPV of peaks and valleys with Bret/Patriot, Taker/Shawn and the minis being fine matches, but the rest being a pass. It did have Austin going nuts and handing out Stunners, though, which is another plus. Like a lot of shows from this time period. You had the guys you could count on to deliver ***+ matches like Owen, Vader, Taker, Shawn, Bret & Austin and "all the rest."

    Thumbs up, but be prepared to fast-forward through the early parts.

    Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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