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Thread: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

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    In Your House WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    In Your House 11
    October 20, 1996



    Steve Austin vs Triple H
    This was originally booked to be Austin vs Savio Vega, but Vega was injured by Justin Hawk Bradshaw. Instead of going with a more traditional babyface choice like Bob Holly or Aldo Montoya, the WWE went with fellow heel Triple H. This uniqueness of heel vs heel made this a pretty fun match particularly in comparison to their future main event level matches. Unlike their future matches, this is pre-neck injury Austin, allowing for their most workrate heavy match to date. If there is a clear negative to the match, it’s that there’s a distracting angle going on with Jim Ross’ headset and mic going in and out, with Ross blaming Vince McMahon, as part of Ross’ brief heel run in 1996. Between JR’s poor mic and the camera constantly cutting back to the commentating team, it’s pretty frustrating. The oddity of this match is furthered as the commentators spent a large chunk of time bringing up what’s happening with both men tomorrow on Raw. For Austin, it’s the return of Bret Hart, being seen on WWE TV for the first time in months, during a time period where Austin was bad mouthing Bret. For Hunter, it’s a singles match he has booked against Mr. Perfect. Even though this is the PPV match, you can’t help, but to feel as if the Raw stuff is what truly matters. The final few minutes adds even more fun to the oddity of the match as Mr. Perfect comes out to yet again steal Hunter’s random valet, with Hunter trying to stop him, only to be attacked from behind by Austin. Yet, Austin, a prick to everyone, mouths off to Perfect and throws a drink in Perfect’s face. Back in the ring, Hunter has the Pedigree ready to be hit on Austin, but he becomes distracted again by Perfect and his valet leaving. That sets up Hunter goes after Perfect, Austin following behind, featuring some brawling on the outside between Hunter and Austin. Back inside, Austin surprises Hunter with a Stunner to pick up the victory. It’s yet another good undercard PPV match from Austin in 1996 and one of Hunter’s best matches since coming to the WWE. Admittedly, the biggest thing I liked about this was just how unusual it all was. Endure the awful commentary for this uniquely fun match. ***


    Owen Hart and The British Bulldog © w/Clarence Mason vs The Smoking Gunns - WWE Tag Titles
    A rematch from In Your House 10: Mind Games where Owen and Bulldog won the tag titles off of the Gunns due to Billy being more focused on Sunny than the match. Since then, Sunny has dumped the Gunns, Billy kept trying to get her back, and the problems between the Gunns continued. This is another weird heel vs heel match, although Bart is now being repositioned as a babyface as the WWE preps for the Gunns’ breakup and Owen/Bulldog were booked as faces in this match. I’m pretty high on the match though as Owen/Bulldog showed off a lot of chemistry as a team with frequent tags and tag moves. Meanwhile, the poor Gunns are clearly not on the same page, shown by their lack of tags and plenty of miscommunication including Billy being accidentally knocked off of the apron by Bart, due to Billy not paying attention. The ending further highlights that while Owen/Bulldog have their mind in the match, the Gunns, especially Billy, does not. Bart has Owen lifted up in position for the Sidewinder, but Billy was too busy playing to the crowd, unaware that Bulldog had snuck behind Bart. Once Billy leapt off of the top rope, Bulldog pulled Bart backwards, causing Billy to land hard on the mat. With Bulldog keeping Bart busy on the outside, Owen is able to have Billy beat with a spinning heel kick. Much like the opening match, this did suffer from the angle of Jim Ross having technical problems with his mic, but again, it’s a fun, yet unusual contest. Bulldog and Owen being paired together really helped improved the WWE tag division. ***


    In case you’re curious, The Smoking Gunns would lose the following night on Raw to the Godwinns due to miscommunication and then on the next episode of Superstars, Billy would walk out on Bart during a match with the New Rockers, officially ending the tag team.

    After the match, Jim Ross has enough of his technical problems and leaves the commentator’s table. We get a quick promo in the ring where JR takes credit for Bret Hart coming to Raw tomorrow before he leaves. Thank god.

    Marc Merc © w/Sable vs Goldust w/Marlena - WWE IC Title
    This was originally supposed to be Mero defending the title against Faarooq, in a rematch from the IC Title finals, but Ahmed Johnson attacked Faarooq on the Free For All. That would mark the end of Faarooq’s short lived gladiator gimmick, giving birth to the Nation of Domination next month. The insertion of Goldust into this match actually made a lot of sense as Goldust had already beaten Mero at Summerslam 1996 and on an episode of Raw back in June in their only previous encounters. This match should really do a lot in proving just how good Mero was prior to the knee injury. At this point in time, no one is a more entertaining high flyer in the WWE. With Mero’s flashy moveset, he actually manages to get something decent out of Goldust. It undoubtedly didn’t hurt that Goldust didn’t have time to drag the match down with his typical slow style. Since Jim Ross left, Mr. Perfect joined the commentary to provide some unusual guest commentary. Perfect voices his problems with Triple H, Steve Austin, and generally acts like a heel, but then he’s also overly positive towards Mero. It’s weird, although it will make sense the following night on Raw when Perfect’s true colors are shown. After Goldust got in a period of offense, things picked up again after Triple H came down to ring. That would cause Mr. Perfect to leave the commentary where he and Triple H looked to nearly get into a scuffle again, Goldust would try to hit Perfect, but Perfect would deck Goldust instead. Back inside, Mero would deliver a Samoan Drop and the Wild Thing to pin Goldust to retain the IC Title. With his dives to the outside, Merosault, Wild Thing, ect, watching Mero at this point in time is just so much fun. While this wasn’t as good as some of Mero’s other 1996 PPV matches, it’s still good considering he’s wrestling the trash that is Goldust. ** ½


    Vader w/Jim Cornette vs Sycho Sid - #1 Contender’s Match
    Winner challenges HBK for the WWE Title at Survivor Series 1996. Michaels would replace Mr. Perfect in this never ending revolving door of guest commentators tonight. This match would be billed as the Battle of the Power Bombs. Logically, that would suggest that the match would be won with a power bomb. In fact, Sid teased it a couple of times, but Cornette would interfere both times to ruin the spots. Vader even attempted the power bomb once as well. Keep that in mind. There is a really fun spot as Sid attempted a top rope crossbody, but Vader caught him into a slam. Vader’s attempt at a Vader Bomb was countered with Sid getting his knees up due to Vader taking too long to follow through with the move. This Battle of the Power Bombs match builds up to Sid hitting...a choke slam for the victory and become the #1 Contender. That’s right, in a Battle of the Power Bombs, a power bomb wasn’t delivered a single time. WTF is up with that? The match wasn’t bad, but at just eight minutes, it just felt like a Raw main event. Meanwhile, this was a match that fans had been waiting to see ever since it was originally teased as being the Starrcade 1993 main event. While this would be disappointing, the Sid/HBK match at Survivor Series would be pretty great. **

    In the back, Dok Hendrix tries to get a word with Sid, but Jim Ross interrupts, blowing off Hendrix soft questions and going right after the juicy topic of HBK/Sid’s history and getting Sid to admit that he’ll do anything to win the title at Survivor Series.

    The Undertaker vs Mankind w/Paul Bearer - Buried Alive Match
    The first ever Buried Alive match. It’s also easily the best of the handful of Buried Alive matches that we’ve seen so far. Right away, a clear advantage this match has is Mrs. Foley’s baby boy. As always, Foley is willing to bump around, creating some fun spots. None of the spots are even really memorable for 1996 Foley, let alone his entire career, but they’re brutal nonetheless. The most fun one being Taker performing a hip toss from on top of the mound of dirt, sending Mankind flying to the bottom of the pile. Paul Bearer is there to interfere whenever he can, including shaking the ropes during an Old School attempt and giving Mankind a foreign object to use. Besides that foreign object, chairs, the urn, cables, and shovels were also used. There’s not much teasing around the grave, instead just relying on having a fun brawl. The finishing stretch sees Taker hitting a Tombstone in the ring, carrying Mankind to the grave, but Mankind locked in the Mandible Claw to send Taker into the grave. As Mankind begins to throw dirt on Taker, Taker recovers and delivers a choke slam to Mankind into the grave. Taker spends a minute or two shoveling dirt onto Mankind until the referee decides that it’s enough for a victory. Due to what happens after the match, I had completely forgotten that Taker technically wins this first Buried Alive match. Like all Buried Alive matches, there is the flaw of there not being a quick and easy way of shoveling dirt on your opponent. You either have to do a really piss poor covering job with a shovel, that looks weak on TV due to how little dirt is in the grave or you have to use a backhoe to quickly fill in the grave, but that feels like a cheating tactic. They did everything they could to make this a fun match, but the Buried Alive gimmick is just not a good one, so there were natural limitations. With that being said, if you only watch one Buried Alive match, make it this one. *** ¼


    After the match, Taker refuses to stop shoveling dirt on Mankind. When a couple of referees try to stop him, Taker thrown them down off of the mound of dirt for some fun spots. Eventually, a mystery masked man, eventually to be known as The Executioner (Terry Gordy) makes his debut by breaking a shovel across Taker’s back. Pulling Mankind out of the grave, The Executioner and Mankind toss Taker into the grave and begin to bury him alive. They’re quickly joined by Mankind’s BFF, Goldust, and fellow lowcard heels of Triple H, Justin Hawk Bradshaw, and the recently returned Crush to further help bury the Undertaker. Crush, of all people, should know that this is stupid. He was part of the group of heels who put Taker into the casket at Royal Rumble 1994! Since they’re just using shovels, they’re not able to completely fill the grave, but the team of dastardly heels are able to fill it up well enough. With that, the Undertaker is seemingly killed and everyone leaves. Suddenly, lightning strikes the tombstone and the Undertaker’s purple glove bursts through the grave. The Undertaker LIVES~!

    Overall
    For just the second time in In Your House history, the PPV series does not feature a Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels match. Due to their reliability, it’s always a bit scary seeing an IYH without either one of those two, but I felt as if IYH: Buried Alive managed to pull off a good show despite its apparent disadvantage from the start. The main event ended up delivering a strong performance, which certainly wasn’t a given considering it’s 90’s Taker in it. As I said, the Buried Alive gimmick has a lot of limits, Taker and Mankind worked as good of a match as they could have. The match is a bit significant in that it’s the end of the purple glove era of The Undertaker. Once he’d return at Survivor Series 1996, he’d debut his goth look that although would change up some over time, would be the look and gear he’d wear until he morphed into the Ministry of Darkness Taker. It’s a bit of a big deal when you consider the fact that the only thing really different between the grey gloves Taker and the purple gloves Taker is the color of the gloves (And I suppose his hair style), this is the first truly significant change in the Undertaker’s look since arriving on the scene six years prior. IYH: Buried Alive is also significant for being pretty much the end, at least on PPV, of the Smoking Gunns. They were a major fixture in the tag team division for nearly three and a half years. The odd thing is that the WWE completely dropped the ball on having a meaningful feud between them. They didn’t even get a singles match at In Your House: It’s Time! The weirdness of the PPV with two straight heel vs heel matches added to the fun, although the Jim Ross angle was awful. The whole JR heel run in 1996 lasted a month or two and the only memorable event was Ross hyping the returns of Diesel and Razor Ramon. I’m even happy that Marc Mero managed to drag something okay out of Goldust prior to his surprise IC Title loss tomorrow night on Raw. Sure, the Vader/Sid failed to fulfill their promises of it actually being a battle of the power bombs, but for a cheap In Your House, I’m left satisfied with In Your House: Buried Alive. Even though Halloween Havoc 1996 had bigger highs, I feel as if Buried Alive is the stronger PPV.

    Bonus Match

    Shawn Michaels © vs Goldust w/Marlena - WWE World Title
    This would be one of the few dark matches that took place at In Your House: Buried Alive. For decades (!!!) I had been curious about this match because it was listed in the PWI Almanac, but it was never properly released. In a time where title matches were rare, it felt like a really big deal that there existed a World Title match, that technically took place on PPV, but we weren’t allowed to watch. It took twenty years, but thanks to the WWE Attitude Era Unreleased Volume 3 DVD, we’re finally able to see this match. The only downside is that this rare WWE Title match is...against Goldust. Before the match, Goldust got on the mic and called for HBK’s music to play again so that he could sing and dance along. It’s actually kind of entertaining. Michaels seemed to get a kick out of it too. These two had a Raw Title match back in September, that I found to be Michaels’ weakest 1996 title defense and while this one wasn’t anything special, it didn’t drag like the Raw match. Goldust dominated for a bit, but not long enough to slow the match down too much. Michaels would try for a comeback, but while he would be successful with his elbow drop, he’d miss the super kick. Goldust did one of the weirdest shit ever by kicking Michaels in the back to set him up for the Curtain Call. Like...human being’s backs do not bend backwards like that. You just can’t kick someone in the back like Steve Austin used to do to set-up the Stunner. Michaels would avoid the Curtain Call though and would kiss Goldust to set-up the finish. Goldust was so excited by the kiss that he lost focus to enjoy the aftermath, only to be surprised by the super kick that immediately followed. Michaels pins to retain the title. Was the match really worth waiting twenty years to see? Maybe not, but there were some fun antics by Goldust. ** ¼


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    Necro's Avatar

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    Re: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    The only thing I remember from this PPV was the buried alive match, but wow this card sounds really solid. I wish they would go back to In Your House PPVs a few times a year. I loved the focusing on wrestler, or stable for a PPV name.

  3. #3

    Re: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Necro View Post
    The only thing I remember from this PPV was the buried alive match, but wow this card sounds really solid. I wish they would go back to In Your House PPVs a few times a year. I loved the focusing on wrestler, or stable for a PPV name.
    The brand PPVs especially could benefit from only being two hours long especially for those that have a big main event like MITB or Elimination Chamber with so many top stars together.

    The wrestler named based titles were fun, but sometimes you'd run into problems like In Your House 12 being named "It's Time" after Vader, despite Vader not being on the show.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    The brand PPVs especially could benefit from only being two hours long especially for those that have a big main event like MITB or Elimination Chamber with so many top stars together.

    The wrestler named based titles were fun, but sometimes you'd run into problems like In Your House 12 being named "It's Time" after Vader, despite Vader not being on the show.
    Was there ever one named after Sid? I could only imagine depending on that jerkoff showing up haha.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Necro View Post
    Was there ever one named after Sid? I could only imagine depending on that jerkoff showing up haha.
    Nah. The closest was just IYH 2 being titled "The Lumberjacks" based around the Diesel/Sid Lumberjack match.

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    Re: WWE In Your House 11: Buried Alive Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Nah. The closest was just IYH 2 being titled "The Lumberjacks" based around the Diesel/Sid Lumberjack match.
    Damn thought that was a Big Josh themed PPV. As far as IYH names that has to be one of the worst of the bunch of names.

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