wrestling / Video Reviews

Random Network Reviews: In Your House It’s Time

July 12, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: In Your House It’s Time  

In Your House: It’s Time
December 15th, 1996 | West Palm Beach Auditorium in West Palm Beach, Florida | Attendance: 5,708

This is a rather infamous show, mostly due to its name. As any self-respecting wrestling fan can tell you, “It’s Time” sounds like a very Vader related title. In fact, it was as the name and everything was chosen when the WWF had plans for Vader to be WWF Champion. However, Shawn Michaels refused to drop the belt to Vader before losing it to his buddy Sid. That leaves this show with a title that makes no sense.

The opening video package is a short hype video for the WWF Title main event on this show. Vince McMahon opens with his signature “WELLCOOOME EVERRRYONE!” He’s on commentary with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross.

Flash Funk vs. Leif Cassidy
“I KNOWWW THAT’S RIGHT” shouts the always hip Vince McMahon as Flash Funk comes out. This is after Marty Jannetty left the company again, rumored to be because of some booking decisions that he and Cassidy disagreed with. It’s like Vince was so obsessed with the Funk gimmick that since it failed with 2 Cold Scorpio, he HAD to try it with Brodus Clay in hopes that it was the guy and not the character. They open with a series of exchanges that wouldn’t be out of place in a present day Indy show. It’s a bit too fast as it leads to Funk botching a springboard move. Snow gets in the trapping headbutts that would be his signature move in future video games before a belly-to-belly suplex to the outside. He follows with a somersault from the top as these two are trying to steal the show early. Inside, Funk eats the Sky High, YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE, for two. Cassidy misses a moonsault, allowing Funk to comeback. Credit to Scorpio for incorporating dancing into his moveset to try and make the gimmick work. The camera nearly misses a dive outside but they see his moonsault get two. They move to a series of rollups but a gorgeous 450 splash wins it for Funk.

Winner: Flash Funk in 10:34
I have to say, this was ahead of its time. The WWF wasn’t doing anything like this at the time and, judging from this match alone, you’d think Flash Funk would have had a good run. Anyway, it was fast paced and fun. ***½

A short hype video airs to promote the 1997 Royal Rumble. However, it’s not done to build the PPV, it’s for the home video release in March for a show that hasn’t happened yet.

WWF Tag Team Championship
British Bulldog and Owen Hart (c) w/ Clarence Mason vs. Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon

Oh goodness, it’s the fake Diesel and Razor debacle. Why are these two getting a Tag Team Title shot? Owen and Bulldog do a pre-match promo about the tension between them, which was scrapped in favor of the Hart Foundation angle next year. Kane starts with Owen, but we are quickly distracted by two AAA wrestlers coming through the entrance. Vince says it’s because they’ll be in the Rumble, which is poor reasoning for why they’re allowed to be out here now. Bulldog works over the pitiful fake Razor while another distraction appears in Steve Austin. This one makes sense and is rather welcome. Bulldog attacks him, but more shoddy camerawork misses most. They are separated and Austin is taken to the back. It is pretty annoying to hear commentary act like this is Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. With both teams being heel, working the heat doesn’t completely work. Mild tag comes to Bulldog, who does his thing. They run a double team sequence where Owen is caught by Kane and dropkicked over the top. Inside, Owen kicks Razor, which allows Bulldog to roll him up and retain.

Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: British Bulldog and Owen Hart in 10:45
Nothing really to see here. There were some ringside distractions which helped it seem shorter than it was, but the in ring stuff wasn’t very good. Owen and Bulldog weren’t on their game and of course their opponents weren’t.

Steve Austin appears again, taking out Bulldog’s leg and stomping on him. Bulldog sells the knee like Austin broke it.

Vince McMahon is in the ring and introduces Ahmed Johnson. He was still relatively hot at this point and coming off of his first of tons of injuries. The interview is classic Ahmed, giving us stuff that makes no sense. “HE GON FEEL AHMED JOHNSON THROUGH HIS FACE! MY LIFE BEEN OVER!” Faarooq and the Nation of Domination interrupt. The Nation was at its word here as it was just Faarooq, Crush, and PG-13. They are going to meet at the Royal Rumble, even though this awful feud started in the summer.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) vs. Marc Mero w/ Sable

They actually get a nice little pre-match video package. I’ll never be able to hear the Wildman theme and not think of Sable. They attempt to work a basic series early but flub a few moves in a row. Mero kind of makes up for it with a nice dive outside. Hunter hides behind Sable like a cowardly heel to take advantage. Hunter’s style at this time involved the most generic heel work possible. To counter his dull offense, Mero flies around and bumps hard. He gets two on a flying head scissors. He goes for the Shooting Star Press but gets crotched and both guys are on the mat. When they get up, Hunter oversells a slingshot, like he’s prone to do but it only earns a near fall. A moonsault only gets to also before we get a good old fashioned ref bump. Hunter is in control after, but still feels the need to go for the title. YOU DON’T NEED THAT! It costs him as Mero takes him down. After a Mero dive to the outside, Goldust is out to knock out Helmsley. Mero crawls back into the ring, taking the hollow victory.

Winner via countout: Marc Mero in 14:03
Technically, this was a fine match. With the exception of the early miscues, it was perfectly acceptable. The main gripe is that Hunter was rather dull and barely had any heat so the crowd was kind of just there. The finish didn’t help things out either. **½

Post match, Marc Mero is pissed and hits the Shooting Star Press on Hunter, to give the fans something to cheer about. To make matters worse for Helmsley, Goldust again attacks as he’s exiting. Backstage, Dok Hendrix interviews Sid and it’s amazing as always. You have to stop whatever you are doing and watch every single Sid promo whenever they are on.

Armageddon Rules
The Executioner w/ Paul Bearer vs. The Undertaker

What are Armageddon rules you ask? Well it’s a No DQ match where after a pin or submission, you get until the count of ten to get up. Sound dumb? Well it should, because it is. The Executioner is just Terry Gordy with a stupid mask. Both guys just brawl but it’s clear that Executioner isn’t good. He is moving at a Giant Gonzalez like pace, while Undertaker tries his hardest to make things look good. Mankind gets involved since there are no disqualifications. The fight goes to the entrance way as Undertaker tosses Mankind through the In Your House setup. When they go back to the ring, “security” guys in teal shirts come out with mace to spray Mankind. You couldn’t ask for a more ridiculous group of “security”. While that’s going on, Undertaker and Execution fight to the back and out of the arena. Mankind is put in a strait jacket by our esteemed security team. Taking this seemingly serious match to a new level, we get a shot of Undertaker throwing Gordy down a big hill and into a pool. It’s so ridiculous that it’s amazing. Undertaker comes back to the ring to fight Mankind, but when Executioner shows back up, all wet mind you, he eats a Tombstone. Yes, he also stays down for the extra ten count.

Winner: The Undertaker in 11:31
The idea of this match was pretty dumb and the Executioner was terrible here. However, the Undertaker did his best to carry him to a watchable match. It’s pretty ridiculous from the security team to the water but it at least kept me entertained, which is important. **

Dok Hendrix interviews Bret Hart about the main event and the brawl on Superstars earlier today. See, Sid and Shawn Michaels got into it, until Bret Hart got involved. Somehow, it ended up with Sid and Bret both beating on Shawn until Sid got a cheap shot on Bret. Bret’s interview is cut off by Shawn’s theme, which pisses him off. He flips out about it, as the wheels start spinning for his phenomenal heel run in 1997.

WWF Championship
Sycho Sid (c) vs. Bret Hart

Shawn Michaels is on commentary and he just cuts down Sid and Bret Hart throughout this. “Sid is the most expensive piece of luggage because guys like me have to carry him around.” Shawn is vicious. Bret attacks from behind, which fails because he won’t win a slugfest against Sid. Shawn is back and forth, saying Bret is the best technician but then claiming he’s “vanilla”. I bet Kevin Nash gave him that one. Like he did against Diesel the year before, Bret resorts to some dirty tactics to get the upper hand. Sid removes the mat outside, which is a spot I miss dearly, and wants the Powerbomb but Bret counters. Bret, being the best that he is, just dissects Sid which is interesting since I didn’t expect to see Sid not looking dominant. It’s odd. Bret is the face technically, but Sid still gets pops and is taking the beating, all the while Shawn is just mean to everyone. Sid uses the power to rally but nearly gets caught in the Sharpshooter only to shove Bret off and outside. Steve Austin appears again, to chop block Bret. This brings out Bulldog and Owen, as a precursor to the Hart Foundation. Officials break things up, but Bret’s knee is messed up and Sid goes on the offensive. A Chokeslam from Sid only earns two. They spill outside where Sid gets in piefaces Shawn. Shawn gets on the apron and Sid throws Bret into him. This leads to the Powerbomb and Sid retains.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Sycho Sid in 17:03
Mostly due to Bret Hart getting most of the offense, this exceeded my expectations. It was a nice role reversal and seeing these characters interact in the way they did was fascinating. The lines of heel and face were really blurring at this point and there was enough always going on to keep you into things. ***

Bret Hart takes out Shawn Michaels hockey style after the match. Shawn Michaels was a total ass throughout the match and deserved that. He was doing tweener things but would be a full-fledged face by the Royal Rumble.

The final score: review Good
The 411
I have to admit, I was surprised that this show was solid. As noted before, a lot of In Your House shows left something to be desired but their two hour runtimes make them easy watches most of the time. That is the case here. The show is bookended by two good matches and nothing in the middle is bad. Even the damn Terry Gordy match is at least entertaining. Thumbs up from me.