IYH XI: Buried Alive (10.96)

IYH11

WWF In Your House: Buried Alive
October 20, 1996
Indianapolis, IN
Market Square Arena


The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (3/31/1996)
Intercontinental Champion: Marc Mero (9/23/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and the evil Jim Ross.

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/a blonde chick)

Supposed to be Austin/Vega, but now he’s injured and can’t compete. Since we know the future, this is much more interesting. Austin’s classic *GLASS SHATTERS* theme debuts on PPV here. JR’s mic goes in and out and causes him to get all frustrated. He blames a conspiracy on Vince’s part. Hunter’s valet looks so…normal. Shouldn’t she be hot or at least ‘wrestling hot’? Maybe I’m being too shallow. Just saying – she must have a GREAT sense of humor. While JR gets mad about his headset, Vince and King discuss whether or not a human being in the front row is a man or a woman. Personally, I’m not really sure. Okay, let’s get to the match. Slow start as they trade on a headlock. While both are heels, the crowd will support Austin over Helmsley. Hunter fights out of an armbar and hits a suplex to set up the Jumping Knee Drop for two. Back suplex gets two. They swap sleepers, but Austin escapes with a jawbreaker. Stungun and the Flying Elbow from Austin connects for two. H hits the High Knee and follows up with the flying fist drop for two. Of course, Lawler marks out for it. Double-KO ensues and here comes Mr. Perfect to steal away Hunter’s valet. Really, Curt? Hunter heads out to stop it, but Austin would rather fight. After rolling Hunter back inside, he looks over at Perfect and tells him to GTFO. Perfect takes offense and reprimands Austin, but when he turns back around, Austin throws a drink at him. OHHHHH. Off comes the jacket – Perfect is PISSED. He scares Austin into the ring where Helmsley is waiting for him. As Hunter goes for the PEDIGREE, he sees Perfect and his woman walking up the aisle, so he throws Austin away and goes after Perfect. Big mistake. Austin nails Hunter from behind, but Helmsley reverses a suplex to the concrete. He wants to PEDIGREE Austin, but that gets countered into a catapult into the ringpost! Back in, Austin nails the *double bird* STONE COLD STUNNER for the 1-2-3. (15:32) Austin 1, HHH 0. Pretty good match, but it’s hard to believe this is *the* main event to see three years from now. ***

We see a recap video narrated by Todd Pettingell of the Smoking Gunns-Sunny relationship that has fallen apart since they lost the belts last month at IYH: Mind Games. Billy wants to regain Sunny, Bart just wants the belts. I must admit – I do miss seeing Sunny in some cowboy boots.

  • WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (w/Clarence Mason) vs. The Smokin’ Gunns

Basic stuff to start with Billy and Owen. Billy comes off the top, but flies down into a shot to the gut to set up a double-clothesline from the champs. Drop toe hold followed by a legdrop from Bulldog brings him into the match. Sunny is watching on from the back. Meanwhile, DBS misses a corner charge and gets dropped with a clothesline from the apron by Bart. Bulldog charges into a powerslam, but avoids a flying bodypress from Bart. Back over to Owen, the champs cut the ring in half on Bart to work him over. Billy gets knocked off the apron by his “brother” by accident, which gets Bart rolled up for two. Next up, Owen takes a shot from Billy on the apron to distract him while Bart nails him from behind. Double Russian Legsweep to Owen gets two. The Gunns hit a couple more power moves on Owen before Billy connects with a Stinger Splash as he runs and jumps off Bart’s back when he’s on all fours. Basically, it’s the Hardyz Poetry in Motion. It’s time for the SIDEWINDER, but Bulldog pulls Bart back out of the way, causing Billy to crash and burn. While DBS and Bart head to the floor, Owen nails Billy with a Spinning Heel Kick for the 1-2-3. (9:17) These two teams always felt like they could have a great match, but it was always bogged down with distractions like Sunny or something would always prevent a great match. Sometimes that happens. Tomorrow night, Billy starts walking out on Bart during their matches. *½

JR gets up from the announce table and walks into the ring with a mic in his hand. He tells the audience that Vince keeps screwing with his headset and to say that he promises Bret Hart will be on Monday Night Raw to announce a decision concerning his future with the WWF. JR verbally pats himself on the back for going to South Africa to make the deal with Bret and makes it clear that Vince had very little to do with it. Tomorrow night, Bret has a lot to say to his fans, to Vince McMahon, and to the WWF champion Shawn Michaels. Since the hypocritical egomaniac that runs this company has screwed up his headset for the first half of the show, he decides to just leave instead of trying to do his job on a subpar level. Good for you, JR!

We look back to the Free For All show where Ahmed Johnson beat Faarooq down with a 2×4 to prevent him from competing in his IC title rematch. All we saw were the referees trying to keep Ahmed off Faarooq, but Vince is convinced that Ahmed was provoked to fight him. Soooooo, no Mero/Faarooq match tonight either.

Back to ringside, Mr. Perfect comes back out and puts on JR’s headset for the next match.

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Goldust (w/Marlena)

Obviously, Goldust is subbing for Faarooq here. He doesn’t rub himself and inhale as much as usual, so you know Dustin means BUSINESS here tonight. Mero works off an armbar to start. Goldust backs Mero into the corner and spits at Mero. Oh now he’s pissed. Mero lunges at Goldust and unloads. He hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Headscissors and clotheslines Goldust out for a somersault plancha. Back in, the slingshot legdrop gets two. He goes for the Merosault, but Goldust powerbombs him down. Goldust hits a lariat and slaps on a chinlock. Mero escapes, but gets drilled with another lariat. Goldust takes a break and asks for a mic to tell the crowd to SHUT UP. If the crowd doesn’t shut up, he’s going to go out into the audience and stick his tongue down everybody’s throats. All that talking gets him a back suplex. Merosault connects for 1-2-NO! He misses a charge – CURTAIN CALL? No, Mero flips out and delivers a rolling clutch pin for 1-2-NO! Mero charges Goldust and takes a backdrop to the floor. Perfect leaves the announce table to help Mero when HHH returns to ringside to go nose-to-nose with Perfect. They’ll go at it tomorrow night on Raw, you know! Goldust tries to sneak attack Perfect and gets nailed. As Hunter and Perfect walk up the aisle, Mero gives Goldust a Samoan drop and hits the WILD THING for the win. (11:38) Hope you enjoyed your reign as IC champ while it lasted, Marc. Perfect celebrates with Mero in the ring, which becomes ironic tomorrow night on Raw. Good match with Mero busting his butt to make this match work. ***¼

  • Psycho Sid vs. Vader (w/Jim Cornette)

WHO IS THE MASTER OF THE POWERBOMB? We’re finally getting that original Starrcade ’93 main event after all! Winner gets a shot at Shawn Michaels and the WWF title next month at Survivor Series. Speaking of Shawn, he joins us for commentary. Another month, another HUGE ovation for Sid. He goes for a slam early on, but you can’t slam a big dude on the first try. That gets him beaten down in the corner. We go to the floor where Cornette gets in a tennis racket shot. Sid tries to sunset flip Vader as he heads back in, but Vader grabs the ropes and drops down on Sid’s chest. Vader follows up with some short arm clotheslines. Sid catches Vader with a boot in the corner and heads up top, but Vader catches him in mid-air on the way down! Big splash connects for 1-2-NO! Splash from the middle turnbuckle gets 1-2-WHAT. Vader lifts him up off the mat. Cornette is not very happy with this. Pump Splash hits knees and HERE COMES SID! He gets the slam and calls for the POWERBOMB. Cornette tries to stop him, but he gets the rope pulled up into his balls. Now Vader low blows Sid and goes for the VADERBOMB, but Sid refuses and gives Vader a Chokeslam for the 1-2-3. (8:01) I can’t imagine Sid actually giving Vader a powerbomb anyways. This was okay, but even after seeing it I’m glad they went with Flair-Vader at Starrcade ’93 instead. Sorry, Arn. Afterwards, Sid and Shawn do a standoff, but they shake hands. **

In the back, Dok Hendrix tries to conduct a “softball” interview with Psycho Sid when JR interrupts to ask him the real biting questions. He stirs the pot by reminding everybody that Sid has turned on HBK before and will do whatever it takes – including Shawn’s back – to win the WWF title. All the answers point to ‘yes’.

  • The Undertaker vs. Mankind (w/Paul Bearer) – ‘Buried Alive’ Match

This five month long feud has led these two to a match where one must bury their opponent to win the match. I remember thinking it was cool at the time. Of course, I was only ten. They brawl out to the floor where Taker comes off the top rope onto Mankind. Pretty crazy. They brawl over to the grave site where Mankind jabs UT in the throat with the shovel to get away from him. Mankind wants to suplex Taker into the open grave, but UT counters with an inside cradle and they roll back down the hill. HA. Back to ringside, they brawl into the crowd where Taker whips Mankind back over the railing. He then CLEARS the railing and nails Mankind with a Jumping Lariat. Back in, Taker goes for Old Skool, but Paul Bearer shakes the ropes and trips him up. Mankind takes over and beats Taker all around the ring. Out comes an Abdullah-esque spike that Mankind uses on Taker. Mankind runs into an elbow in the corner which triggers a comeback from Taker. He goes after Paul Bearer and backs him around the ring. Mankind follows after him and grabs a chair, but Taker sees him coming and kicks Mankind away. Bearer smashes the urn over Taker’s back, but UT NO-SELLS and steps away for a moment to get rid of Bearer. He turns back around to Mankind and gets nailed right in the FACE with a chairshot. Good gosh that was nasty. Good thing he has a 55-pound head. In a weird moment, Mankind licks the dent in the chair like a cat lapping up milk from a saucer. Pretty gross. He follows up the chairshot with a running knee to the head while Taker’s up against the steps. Over to the grave site, Mankind desperately tries to make Taker stay down in the dirt. Taker refuses a hiptoss into the open grave and sends Mankind flying back down the hill with a hiptoss of his own. Back to the ring, Mankind delivers a Pull Up Piledriver and goes for the cover, but you can’t win that way! Taker fires back, but takes a Double-Arm DDT on the chair! With UT down, Mankind pacifies himself for a moment with the urn. Meanwhile, Taker SITS UP and beats Mankind down to the mat with the chair. From here, he places the chair on Mankind’s face and gives him a legdrop! Mankind hotshots Taker to calm him down. He pulls up the ringside mats to give UT a piledriver, but Taker lifts Mankind up out of that and falls backwards into the steps! WHAT. Now THAT was nasty. Taker tosses the top end of the steel steps into the ring and throws them in Mankind’s face. He even drops them down on top of Mankind and then gives him a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER. Taker points to the grave and carries Mankind over to the hill, but then Mankind stuns Taker with the MANDIBLE CLAW. He goes to smash the urn over Taker’s head, but Taker GOOZLES him and delivers a Chokeslam to Mankind right down into the grave! That’s it. Taker covers Mankind with dirt to end the match. (18:26) But Undertaker isn’t done! He literally wants to completely bury him alive. Wait, here comes a crazed mask man in an Executioner’s outfit (Terry Gordy) to blast Taker in the back with an ax handle. After that’s done, he rescues Mankind from the grave and puts Taker down in the dirt to completely bury *him* alive. Other heels like Goldust, Bradshaw, Crush, even Hunter Hearst Helmsley come over to help shovel dirt on top of the Phenom. Once the hole is filled to the top, a lightning bolt strikes the grave and Taker’s hand come up through the ground! HE’S STILL ALIVE, but also dead at the same time. Such a great string of brawls these two had that just gets better and more violent than the match before. ***¾

Final Thoughts:
While it got some bad reviews at the time from the IWC, it seems to be quite an above average In Your House PPV. There’s nothing blowaway like last month, but there’s three ***+ matches on a show with only five matches. I’m no mathematician, but that’s pretty good odds if you ask me. Angle-wise, it’s completely forgettable since it seems they were more concerned with pushing the next night’s Monday Night Raw events than anything. Of course, there were a few injuries that seemed to have killed the original card going into the show. However, there’s obviously some solid wrestling throughout the show along with some very entertaining commentary from everybody involved – specifically from heel JR making fun of Vince’s commentary and just overall being a truth-telling douche. You have to love it. Mild thumbs up for IYH: Buried Alive. I think there was more cussing on this show than on any WWF PPV prior, so you know the Attitude Era is right around the corner.

 

And now it’s time for a Special Bonus Match!

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley – (Monday Night Raw, 10/21/96)

From the Triple H: King of Kings DVD. This was supposed to be Perfect’s big return to the ring to answer Helmsley’s challenge for taking all his women, but HHH took Perfect’s knee out before the match. Perfect says that Mero has agreed to wrestle HHH tonight in his place, but the only way H will wrestle Mero is if he puts the IC gold on the line. Perfect eggs Mero on, so Mero agrees to put the belt on the line. The match starts up during the break. We come back to see Mero tossing Helmsley around with armdrags while Perfect joins Vince and King on commentary. H takes a dropkick to the floor and we all know Mero likes to get WILD when somebody’s on the floor, but Helmsley pulls Sable in front of him to prevent Mero from taking flight. Sable gives HHH a good slap across the chops and that brings Mero out to beat him back into the ring. Back in, we see a decent nearfall sequence that leads to a backslide from Mero for two. Mero wants a tilt-a-whirl, but HHH stops that with a backbreaker. Hunter hits a suplex and delivers the Jumping Knee Drop for two. High Knee gets two. Mero comes back with a catapult into the corner and rolls up Hunter for two, but he pops up with a clothesline. Commercial break! Afterwards, Mero connects with a slingshot legdrop for two. He sets up for the WILD THING, but HHH stops him up top for a superplex. Mero shoves him off and hits the Merosault for 1-2-NO! Helmsley begs off and whips Mero off into the referee. He finds a chair and goes to whack Mero when Sable tries to stop him. That doesn’t work, so Perfect hops up from the table and takes the chair away from Helmsley. When he leans back to whack HHH, he swerves the world and nails Mero with the chair! Russo, anyone? Perfect exits the ring while Hunter puts Mero away with the PEDIGREE to capture the IC title. (6:38 shown) Afterwards, Perfect and HHH hug because it was all part of their evil plan to sucker Mero into defending his belt! Too bad this went nowhere, as Perfect leaves the WWF in disgust in a few weeks before entering WCW by summer 1997.

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