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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF In Hour House: It’s Time

December 20, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE WWF In Your House: It's Time
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF In Hour House: It’s Time  

-So the subtitle for this show gives away that this was supposed to be all about Vader as he was penciled to take the WWF Title from Shawn at Survivor Series, but Shawn didn’t want to do the JOB to Vader and instead was okay with losing it to Sid. On a personal note, this show was the same day as the first NFL game I attended. My 49ers came to Pittsburgh and ran through the Steelers in a game that wasn’t as close as the 25-15 score would indicate. Let’s get to it!

-Date: Dec 15, 1996
-West Palm Beach Auditorium, West Palm Beach, FL
-Announce Team: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross
-Attendance: 5,708
-PPV Buys: 90,000

Flash Funk vs. Leif Cassidy

-Vince dances with Flash and The Funkettes as Jim Ross mentions “that’s the leader of the WWF.” Flash debuted last month at Survivor Series (along with some guy called The Rock) and this is his first singles match in the WWF. Oh, for those unaware, Leif Cassidy would be Al Snow. Lockup to start and Flash dances as he offers a clean break in the ropes. Leif gets a standing go behind and then a take down, but Flash rolls into a head scissors. Speaking of that Rock guy he apparently won on the Free 4 All. Jaborni can’t even get on the main card! That’s it for his future! They work off the arm for a bit and then we get a sequence with leap frogs that ends with Funk going back to the arm. Flash avoids a charge in the corner and botches a springboard moonsault, but gets it on the second try. Leif gets a face first powerbomb and starts firing off with right hands. He traps the arms to deliver a headbutt and then hits an overhead belly to belly that sends Leif to the floor. He follows out with a springboard somersault plancha to pop the crowd. Leif runs the aisle to deliver a clothesline and gets the action back in the ring. This small crowd is making some great noise and while they weren’t drawing great at the time these small buildings had a lot of energy. They start trading blows and Funk wins the first exchange. He flips out of a powerbomb and hits a dropkick. Leif catches him coming in with a sit-out spinebuster. Leif lands a strike and heads up top, but misses the moonsault. Flash break dances and lands a right hand off it. Handspring kick to the head sends Leif to the floor and Funk follows onto him with a dive over the top. Back inside Flash gets a slam and then hits a picture perfect moonsault for two. Spin kick misses and Leif hits a clothesline for two. They go through a pin fall reversal sequence as each man gets multiple near falls. Flash connects with an enzuigiri and then a splash in the corner. He hits a suplex and heads back up again and the 450 finishes at 10:34

Winner: Flash Funk via pin at 10:34
-Fun match here with a few spots botched, but it was the best the WWF could do to try to counter WCW opening their shows with show stealing cruiserweight matches. ***

WWF Tag Team Championship: The British Bulldog (c) and Owen Hart (c) vs. Razor Ramon and Diesel

-JR’s heel character is running on fumes at this point as everyone knows it’s not working, but they are giving it one more go with this match. So for those unaware this would be the fake Razor (Rick Bogner) and fake Diesel (Glen Jacobs: Kane). Diesel throws Owen around the ring to start as JR takes shots at wrestlers being 45-50 years old with artificial body parts.  Owen lands some punches and a press slam nearly gets botched.  Cibernetico and Pierroth from AAA head down to ring to confront both teams as the WWF was working with AAA to help promote and fill out their roster for The Royal Rumble.  They take their leave as there was no real point to that and it just killed time in this one.  Razor and Bulldog have a go and Bulldogs wins the exchange.  Now Stone Cold Steve Austin is here and Bulldog attacks him on the floor.  The officials break them up as that probably should have been a DQ, but who knows.  Razor goes through the hits as he tries to wrestle like Scott Hall.  Razor misses a charge in the corner which lets Owen connect with a missile dropkick.  Diesel in to break things up and he sends Owen into the ring post back first on the floor.  Back inside and Razor sends Owen into the buckle.  He goes to an armbar while also pulling the hair.  Tag to Diesel and he buries some knees.  Sidewalk slam with no cover which has JR losing his mind.  “He’s not paid to think.”  Well, WCW paid Nash a lot of money to think in their final few years.  Back to Razor and he gets a fall-away slam for two.  Razor goes to a neck crank and tags back to Diesel.  He hits a big boot as the crowd starts a “Diesel Sucks” chant.  Owen gets doubled in the corner behind the ref’s back as he has to deal with Bulldog trying to get in the ring.  Owen gets a foot up to block a charge and catches Diesel with an enzguigiri.  The hot tag is made to Bulldog and he runs wild on Razor.  He hits him with a clothesline and then one to Diesel.  Slam to Razor followed by a leg drop which gets a two count.  Vertical suplex gets another two count as Diesel makes the save.  All four men in the ring and Owen gets caught by Diesel.  Bulldog dropkicks them to the floor and back in the ring Razor sets for the Razor’s Edge, but Owen is back in and hits a spin wheel kick.  Bulldog gets the jackknife cover for the win at 10:46.

Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog via pin at 10:46
-This wasn’t good and I can’t get over the fake nature of Diesel and Razor as they were cosplaying two bigger superstars.  Thankfully, Kane came along to save Jacobs.  *1/2

-Austin is back and hits a chop block on Bulldog as Owen just walks away.  They were teasing the Owen/Bulldog breakup for months on end, before keeping them together to be help for Bret when he officially turned.  

-The Nation of Domination is backstage chatting on AOL!  

-Vince McMahon is in the ring and brings out Ahmed Johnson as they still haven’t given up on him yet.  Vince announces that Ahmed will get his match with Faarooq at The Royal Rumble next month.  Ahmed tells us he lost his girlfriend, his house and his car since the injury caused by Faarooq.  Vince asks about the kidney and Ahmed tells us his life was over a long time ago and he lives for these fans.  The Nation interrupts and Faarooq promises to form his own race of people and calls Ahmed an Uncle Tom.  Ahmed wants it right now and everyone chants “You’re Going Down.”  

-Video package on the Marc Mero/Hunter Hearst Helmsley feud.  This actually goes all the way back to Mero’s debut at WrestleMania XII in March.  They cover Perfect turning on Mero to give Hunter the IC Title.  They also make sure to cover Hunter turning on Perfect and get in a dig as they call him “less than Perfect.”  He would be in WCW in July.  

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. “The Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable)

-Funny moment as JR asks Vince if he and Hunter are neighbors in Connecticut.  Again, go back and tell 15 year old me when this show aired that HHH would be Vince’s son in law one day.  Lockup to start as they fight over a wristlock.  Mero gets a shoulder block and Hunter retreats to the corner.  Another go and Hunter with a side headlock and then a shoulder block where he nearly trips over Mero.  Dropkick from Mero and then a clothesline sends Hunter to the floor.  Hunter walks away as Mero looks to dive, but instead he jumps to the apron and comes off with a double axe.  Back in the ring Hunter throws some chops, but gets caught with a backdrop.  Mero pounds away in the corner, but Hunter just walks out and drops Mero face first on the buckle.  Hunter gets backdropped over the ropes to the floor and as Mero gives chase, Hunter hides behind Sable.  He then pushes Sable into Mero and then throws Mero into the stairs.  He tries to use a chair which would save his title, but the ref grabs the chair.  Hunter fires Mero into another set of stairs and then we head back in the ring.  Vince apologizes for satellite issues they are having and all I can tell is the feed from the announcers sounds off at times.  Hunter gets a backbreaker for two and goes to an abdominal stretch.  Sable rallies the crowd while Hunter grabs the top rope as he cheats to win.  Simple, yet always effective!  Hebnar catches Hunter and that lets Hunter role play as Ric Flair as he gets into it with the ref.  Hunter comes off the middle rope, but Mero gets a boot up to block.  Mero follows with an inverted atomic drop and then a flying clothesline.  Hunter takes a Flair bump in the corner, but doesn’t go completely over.  Mero gets a two off a head scissors and then punches away in the corner.  He pops Hunter up top and they fight each other from there.  Mero brings Hunter down with a rana which doesn’t get the kind of pop you would expect for 1996.  Mero heads up top for The Wild Thing, but Hunter pushes the ref into the ropes to crotch Mero in the corner.  Hunter crawls for the cover and it gets two.  Pedigree is blocked and Hunter goes head first into the post off a catapult.  That gets two for Mero!  He heads back up and connects with The Mero-sault for two.  The ref gets bumped by a Mero clothesline as Hunter ducked.  Hunter with a neckbreaker and he tries to use the IC Title.  Mero fights him off and gets a roll-up, but there is no ref to count.  Hebnar finally gets over there, but Hunter is out at two.  Hunter bumps to the floor off a whip to the corner and Mero comes out with a somersault plancha.  Here comes Goldust and he blasts Mero with the IC Title as he was trying to hit Hunter.  He eventually blasts Hunter as payback for Hunter hitting on Marlena on the pre-show.  Mero beats the count back in to get the win at 13:13.  

Winner: Marc Mero via count-out at 13:13
-Solid match here as they had some good chemistry.  The ending was mega-weak though.  I will say we are getting a lot of run-ins on this show as they try to cram as many people as they can on here.  Something something AEW!  ***

-After the match Mero hits The Wild Thing (Shooting Star Press) to give the fans something to cheer, I guess.  

-Dok is backstage with Sid and we see footage from Superstars earlier in the day as Sid, Bret and Shawn all get into a brawl.  Sid gets in the final shot on Bret.  Sid tells Bret not to put his nose in his business and you can ask Jose about that.  Sid makes sure to mention Shawn beat Bret and he beat Shawn like a dog, so this will be easy.  Math checks out!  

-Video package covers The Executioner debuting to blast Taker with a shovel at Buried Alive and help Mankind bury Taker.  At Survivor Series, The Executioner saved Paul Bearer from Taker and now we get an Armageddon Rules Match.  It’s basically a Texas Death Match as you have to answer a 10 count after being pinned to continue.  

Armageddon Rules Match: The Executioner (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker

-The Executioner would be Terry Gordy under a mask and he is really in no condition to wrestle anymore.  According to Pritchard on his podcast, Gordy was hired as a favor to Michael Hayes and they put him under a mask in case he couldn’t go in the ring anymore.  They wanted to protect his legacy and if somehow he could still go, they would have him take the mask off.  Spoiler: He never took the mask off.  Taker jumps him at the bell and slugs away in the corner.  He hits a clothesline and a backdrop that has The Executioner nearly land on his feet.  A big boot next as poor Gordy can’t even bump properly.  He does a Flair Flip in the corner, but gets hung up in the Tree of Woe, so Taker stomps him a bit.  Bearer tries to distract Taker, but it doesn’t help as Taker hits a slam.  He misses an elbow and Executioner clotheslines him to the floor.  No matter as Taker lands on his feet and pulls Executioner to the floor.  Bearer gets in a cheap shot which annoys Taker and allows Executioner to get an advantage.  He bounces Taker off the post and announce table.  Taker is having none of that though and gets a clothesline.  He exposes the concrete floor and here comes Mankind for another run-in on this show.  Now we have a handicap match as Mick is here to hopefully make this match better.  Spoiler: doesn’t really help.  Taker fights off both men as this is silly.  Mankind has been booked as Taker’s equal and now all of a sudden he is a bumbling lackey for The Executioner.  Mankind gets tossed through the In Your House set and in a fun spot back through the door.  Again, Foley is here to bump for everyone!  The House Set gets pushed around as they continue to brawl.  All three men head back to the ring and finally the numbers game catches up to Taker.  The crowd is eating this up with a spoon though as they cheer for Taker.  Things get sillier as security heads down to spray mace in Mankind’s face to subdue him.  Taker and Executioner start brawling through the arena.  They fight up some stairs as Executioner decides to just bail and leave the building.  Some fans follow them as we just watch people head up the stairs for the exit.  Now I feel like I am watching a 2000 WCW show.  I kid!  We cut back to the ring as Mankind is put in a straitjacket.  So, Foley just bumping for himself now to cover for this “match.”  The cameras finally catch up to Executioner and Taker outside and Executioner gets tossed into water that surrounds the arena.  Now Taker is back to beat on Mankind who is screwed considering he is sporting a straitjacket.  Now here comes The Executioner and Taker drops him with a clothesline.  The Tombstone gets the pin as water drips off Executioner’s boot.  At least that part wasn’t prerecorded! Now the ref starts his 10 count and yeah, this one is over at 11:32.  

Winner: The Undertaker via KO at 11:32
-This was rather awful and even they knew it would be as they threw Mankind out there to basically work the match.  The Executioner was gone shortly after outside of an appearance here and there.  I dodn’t do negative stars, but without Foley’s bumps this would have pushed me there. DUD

-Dok is backstage with Bret Hart and we see the footage from Superstars again.  Bret has been thinking about getting his Title back for 8 months.  In a cute touch, Shawn’s music hits during Bret’s promo to set him off as you would imagine.

-Shawn Michaels is out and Vince just drools all over him with praise and hype.  Shawn is here to be on commentary which should be fun or a trainwreck or both.

WWF Championship: Sycho Sid (c) vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart

-Shawn immediately roasts Bret about being a role model and hero and how everyone needs to act like him.  He then trades words with Bret and calls him a bitter jerk.  Huh!  Now Shawn turns his attention to Sid and calls him the WWF’s most expensive piece of luggage as he and others have had to carry him here and there.  Awesome!  Shawn is also slurring some of his words, so I take it he isn’t in the best mental state.  Bret attacks Sid from behind and Shawn is all over that.  This is all just fascinating to watch now as a good bit of this went over my 15 year old head back then.  Bret takes his chest first bump in the corner and Sid slugs away.  He hits a running kick and stomps away some more.  Bret goes to the eyes and rubs Sid’s eyes over the top rope.  Bret drops an elbow as Shawn goes on a rant about Bret being boring and vanilla.  “Would it kill you to smile once in a while?”  Shawn talking about someone else’s smile is tremendous.  We take a break from Shawn’s rant to get back to the action as Bret gets tossed to the floor.  Sid fires him into the railing and now he pulls back the protective mats.  He looks for a powerbomb, but Bret rams him back first into the post.  He shows some power and picks Sid up to drive him into the post.  Back in the ring Bret continues to work the back with an elbow from the middle rope.  Bret with a backbreaker and then another elbow to the small of the back.  And another!  He goes to a modified camel clutch and fires Sid into the corner.  He buries a knee in the back and then stomps away in the corner.  He uses his boot to choke Sid and then takes the cover off the turnbuckle.  Sid fights back to avoid, so Bret lands another shot to the back and connects with a belly to back suplex for two.  Side Russian Leg Sweep gets another two count.  Snap suplex as Bret is just eating Sid up in this one.  Off the middle buckle with another elbow to the back and again, it only gets two.  Shawn is all over Bret for never hooking the leg.  Bret heads all the way up and Sid slams him down.  Two heavy blows from Sid and then a big boot.  Powerslam from Sid gets two though he did hook the leg which Shawn is right there to mention.  Shot arm clothesline gets two as Vince gives this match his greatest honor as he calls it a “see-saw matchup.”  That’s like getting ****** in The Tokyo Dome.  Hey, here is another run-in as Steve Austin drops Bret with a chop block.  Poor Leif and Flash were the only ones not to get a run-in during their match.  I guess Brooklyn Brawler must have been busy in catering.  Sid questions what he should do as Owen and Bulldog get Austin away from ringside.  Sid decides he should just stomp away on the knee and Bret’s face.  Effective!  Bret tries to run Sid into the exposed post and whatever they tried to do looked weird, but I think Bret was selling the knee.  Never mind, as they repeat the spot and Bret ends up face first into the buckle, so it was a botch the first time as Sid apparently forgot how to run.  Chokeslam from Sid gets two as that looked awkward as well. Bret ducks a clothesline and then hits one of his own to send both men to the floor.  Bret takes Shawn’s chair as there is no way this ends clean.  Sid fires Bret back into the ring and then pie faces Shawn.  That brings Shawn up to the apron where Bret gets tossed into him and that lets Sid hit the powerbomb for the win at 17:03.  

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Sycho Sid via pin at 17:03
-Well, Sid has beating Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in back to back PPVs on his resume now.  Not a fan of this one as the ending wasn’t great and there were more run-ins, but there were so many stories running together I guess it made sense.  Probably shouldn’t have had all the run-ins earlier in the show.  Bret dominated this one for the most part and really only Austin attacking him changed the tide and the win for Sid was only because of Shawn, so it didn’t help Sid much. **3/4

-Bret is pissed and attacks Shawn on the floor.  HELL YEAH!  He pulls Shawn’s shirt over his head and just unloads on him.  That was great as Shawn deserved it after all the shit talking on commentary.  Shawn threatens to punch a fan as he takes his leave.  Replay shows Shawn took a great bump as he fell off the apron and landed face first on a chair.  Shawn tries to cut a promo through a headset, but we only hear part of it as he promises to kick Bret’s teeth down his throat. 

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Nothing here to see as we got 3 decent matches and 2 bad matches. The crowd was hot for most of it though as the small building does give off better sound. This show was basically a placeholder to get us to The Roya Rumble and the jumpstart to Mania season which is a shame because Bret's first crack at regaining the WWF Title should have been a bigger deal.