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Thread: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

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    In Your House WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell
    May 11, 1997



    Triple H w/Chyna vs Flash Funk
    The commentators make a big deal about the Funkettes not being at ringside with Funk. According to Jim Ross, this is because they’re afraid of Chyna. In reality, the Funkettes were a cost cutting measure and frankly, a decision that made tons of sense. I love Scorpio, but if you’re going to promote him as strictly some random lowcard geek, why bother spending a lot more money on his act than the other lowcarders? The early going of this was all Trips with Chyna interfering a bit to attack Funk, to further help out her man. With the way the match was progressing, I was suspecting that the match would turn out to just be a glorified squash. Instead, Funk got in some of his flashy moves near the end, but he was putting in zero effort in the match. Funk would hit a great spot and then stand around not doing anything rather than follow up on it or be anything other than doing SPOTZ. Perhaps out of frustration that his act is being downsized and it’s becoming ever more increasingly obvious that he’s not going to be given any breaks? Whatever the case, Scorp’s offense is short lived before he’s given a reverse slam from the middle rope by Hunter, who follows that up with the Pedigree for the fairly clean pinfall. This was okay. Hunter was obviously not at his peak and Funk didn’t seem to be putting in his usual effort. ** ½


    Mankind vs Rocky Maivia
    This was originally set to be Mankind vs Sycho Sid, but Sid was injured had a softball game or some excuse that kept him off of WWE TV. It’s an important time in both men’s careers as Mankind is prepping for his babyface turn, having already planted the seeds for the Triple H program on Shotgun Saturday Night. Meanwhile, Rocky is about at the end of his run as Maivia. He lost the IC Title to Owen Hart on Raw a few weeks back and would sustain his knee injury in a couple of weeks. Considering Rocky had been depushed pretty hard following his IC Title loss, the injury came at a perfect time as he was able to come back with a gimmick change and immediately get pushed again rather than be forgotten as a lowcarder. This is a match that on paper, doesn’t look like anything special, but it’s one I’ve appreciated for awhile. The early going is exactly what you’d expect with Foley in full control. Like the previous match, it feels like it’s going to be a squash. Since it is Mankind, he able to keep things interesting such as his somersault dive from the apron to a standing Rocky on the floor below. The fun of the match really begins once Rocky makes his comeback. He’s finally showing an edge and is hardly playing up to the crowd anymore. The Rock Bottom on the steel ramp was a good showcase for Rocky’s shit attitude now. It’s when Rocky makes the mistake of playing to the crowd once before going up for his top rope crossbody that everything backfires as Foley rolls through and locking in the Mandible Claw to force Rocky into passing out and pinning him. Did this match deserve to be on PPV? Perhaps not, but it’s fun. ***


    Ahmed Johnson vs The Nation of Domination
    It’s a gauntlet match with Ahmed vs all three members of the Nation in three straight bouts. If Ahmed can beat all three, the Nation will be forced to disband. Before the match, WWE President, Gorilla Monsoon, would order the rest of the Nation to return to the top of the entrance ramp so that each fall would be strictly one-on-one. Considering Monsoon stepped down as president that summer, I imagine this is one of the last times we saw him as an authority figure. The first fall is Johnson against Crush. As you could expect, it’s not very interesting, but every once in awhile Johnson gets in a fun looking spot. The story of the fall was Crush constantly calling for the Nation to return to ringside to assist him, but they refused. Finish saw Johnson countering a Heart Punch with a nice looking side kick ala Owen Hart (Think spinning heel kick, but without the spin). Second fall had Savio rush out to battle Johnson. Again, it’s not very interesting, but at least Savio is a more entertaining wrestler who has a couple of nice spots, unlike Crush. That fall results in Savio being DQ’d after hitting Johnson with a chair multiple times. It all comes down to the final fall of the feud that began everything - Johnson vs Faarooq. This is Faarooq’s first televised match since Wrestlemania 13 where he was injured by Johnson. There’s not much to the fall, but I dig it for what it is. The heartbreak from this story comes from the fact that Ahmed actually has Faarooq beaten after hitting the Pearl River Plunge, but he takes too long making the cover due to all of the punishment he’s already suffered, allowing Faarooq time to recover to kick out. That quickly led to Faarooq cleanly pinning Johnson with the Dominator to allow the Nation to remain a faction...for now. Even though the three falls weren’t anything special, I dug the story, including Ahmed’s heartbreak of not being able to cover Faarooq fast enough. As far as kayfabe goes, Faarooq ended up being so impressed with Johnson’s performance here that this led to Johnson joining the all black Nation post-King of the Ring. ** ½

    Ken Shamrock vs Vader
    Shamrock’s big TV debut with the WWE. Funnily enough, this is not Shamrock’s first match with the WWE though. Way back in 1989, Shamrock received a match on a house show prior to his short run with AJPW where he lost to Barry Horowitz, of all people. The whole appeal of this match is that it’s truly different from everything else that you were seeing at the time. Since Shamrock’s entire gimmick is that he’s a former UFC fighter, the match was laid out to resemble a shoot fight. The only way to win was by either knock out of tap out. The best argument any fan could make that Shamrock deserves to be in the WWE HOF, it’s that he’s the one responsible for bringing tap outs to submissions to professional wrestling. When you think about it, that tiny change ended up being a big deal. How often do you even see someone verbally submitting anymore? All of the action of the match is made out to be as realistic as possible. It’s mostly just strikes rather than attempting actual wrestling moves. Vader, a guy who was often known as being too stiff, actually has to tell Shamrock to take it easy because he was being too stiff. The first half was mostly Shamrock while Vader got in a good amount of offense in the second half, without ever straying too far from making it feel real. In the end, Shamrock would trap Vader in an Ankle Lock while grapevining the legs to force the submission. The entire fun of this comes from the simple fact that it’s different. I wonder if newer fans can appreciate this as much since this sort of style is far more common in this decade than ever before. ***

    Before the main event, The Hart Foundation (Including a wheelchair bound Bret) finally make their way down to the ringside to take their seats in the first row despite scoring these seats from before the show event started from a scalper.

    The Undertaker © vs Steve Austin - WWE World Title
    Austin’s first ever PPV World Title shot. Way back in 1997, I can remember betting a friend that Austin would win while he was sure that Taker would win. What a cunt. Although there were fun moments in this, there were also loads of dull moments thanks to both men being interested in slapping on rest holds and killing time. These include side headlock, an Austin STF and spinning toe hold, and a Taker half crab where he was literally just holding the leg without even bothering to sit back. The beginning and the end is where the fun value is at its highest. Early on Austin tossed Owen Hart over the steel railing to attack him some. When Taker came to toss Austin into the ring post, Taker decided to have some fun by knocking Owen back over the steel railing. After all of the dull rest holds, the fun returns when Stone Cold delivers a low blow in front of the referee. After the referee finished yelling at Austin and turned his back, Austin gave the referee a pair of middle fingers. Moments later, Taker gave Austin a low blow of his own (What is this...a Nakamura match?) Austin complains to the referee, but the referee instead yells at Stone Cold, giving Austin the middle fingers to show that the referee had in fact noticed the disrespect shown by Austin. Soon after that, Austin would deliver a Stone Cold Stunner, but before he could cover the champion, Brian Pillman had jumped over the steel railing and began ringing the bell, distracting everyone. This distraction allows Taker to recover to pick Austin up in Tombstone position. Although Austin tries to counter and down reverse it, Taker merely reverses it back (Think Summerslam 1997 with Austin’s broken neck) to successfully hit the Tombstone to win the match and retain his title. These two may have been two mega popular wrestlers, but they never had any chemistry, showing off this fact even way back in 1997. Even though this is a disappointment, thanks to Taker’s duds against Sid and Faarooq, this is an average 1997 Taker title match rather than being the worst. ** ¼


    After the match, The Hart Foundation, minus Bret, jumps the steel railing and attack Taker in the ring. Seeing Bret alone, Austin decides to be a dick and flip his wheelchair and steel one of his crutches before heading back into the ring to help Taker run off the heels. Once the Hart Foundation are gone, Austin shows Taker some respect by giving him a Stunner to close out the show.

    Overall
    The good news is that these under two hour In Your House PPVs are a breeze to watch. Nothing overstays its welcome and there isn’t time to be bogged down with long non-wrestling segments. This positive is something that I feel particularly stands out in 2018 when one of the most common criticisms about today's PPVs is that they’re too long. With that being said, this PPV is a below average In Your House. When you look at the four two hour In Your House events from 1997, A Cold Day in Hell is clearly the weakest. The other three all have at least one great match while the MOTN here is what you could expect from the third or so best match on the other IYH PPVs. Looking closer, those other three IYHs all have a main event that was nearly or above four stars and a semi-main event that was around three and a half stars. Realizing that, it’s easy to see why A Cold Day in Hell was a letdown. And yet, In Your House 15 is not a bad show. There’s not any actual bad matches, Rocky/Mankind is nearly a hidden gem, and the Shamrock match stood out as being something entirely different from what you would have otherwise seen in the WWE prior to this. It’s pretty uncommon for this time period, but I’d say WCW’s Slamboree was the best wrestling PPV from May 1997.

  2. #2
    Sweet Meat
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    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    ed watch shamrock/vader

    Spoiler:

    I solemnly swear I am up to no good


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    I stopped reading when it became clear it was the same butthurt smarkf*g "real wrasslin'" crybaby rant on every youtube vid featuring Cena.



    Quote Originally Posted by Buff Bagwell on John Cena
    But I think he's bigger than Buff Bagwell. I really do.
    [02:00 AM] Dakstang : girls ain't dudes


  3. #3
    YES! YES! YES!

    Ed's Avatar

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    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    Taker and Austin feel like the biggest two stars of any company who could be great with others but had no chemistry with each other. Always a disappointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dook Gulak View Post
    ed watch shamrock/vader
    Look at this guy, thinking I haven't seen the match.

    ......I haven't seen the match. Why do you want me to watch it?

  4. #4
    Sweet Meat
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    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Ken Shamrock vs Vader
    Shamrock’s big TV debut with the WWE. Funnily enough, this is not Shamrock’s first match with the WWE though. Way back in 1989, Shamrock received a match on a house show prior to his short run with AJPW where he lost to Barry Horowitz, of all people. The whole appeal of this match is that it’s truly different from everything else that you were seeing at the time. Since Shamrock’s entire gimmick is that he’s a former UFC fighter, the match was laid out to resemble a shoot fight. The only way to win was by either knock out of tap out. The best argument any fan could make that Shamrock deserves to be in the WWE HOF, it’s that he’s the one responsible for bringing tap outs to submissions to professional wrestling. When you think about it, that tiny change ended up being a big deal. How often do you even see someone verbally submitting anymore? All of the action of the match is made out to be as realistic as possible. It’s mostly just strikes rather than attempting actual wrestling moves. Vader, a guy who was often known as being too stiff, actually has to tell Shamrock to take it easy because he was being too stiff. The first half was mostly Shamrock while Vader got in a good amount of offense in the second half, without ever straying too far from making it feel real. In the end, Shamrock would trap Vader in an Ankle Lock while grapevining the legs to force the submission. The entire fun of this comes from the simple fact that it’s different. I wonder if newer fans can appreciate this as much since this sort of style is far more common in this decade than ever before. ***
    @ed
    I thought of you instantly since you're not into older wrestling as much.

    Spoiler:

    I solemnly swear I am up to no good


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    I stopped reading when it became clear it was the same butthurt smarkf*g "real wrasslin'" crybaby rant on every youtube vid featuring Cena.



    Quote Originally Posted by Buff Bagwell on John Cena
    But I think he's bigger than Buff Bagwell. I really do.
    [02:00 AM] Dakstang : girls ain't dudes


  5. #5
    Ambidextrous Birdcatcher
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    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    Wait, before Shamrock no one ever tapped out?

    Spoiler:


  6. #6

    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Death View Post
    Wait, before Shamrock no one ever tapped out?
    Before Shamrock, the only ways to win by submission were to force your opponent to verbally submit or for the referee to raise the arm and have it drop three times for the referee stoppage. Someone like Zero would know better than I would if tap outs existed in shoot style companies of Japan, which would have then entered MMA, but as far as straight forward professional wrestling, especially in the US, Shamrock's responsible for tap outs. In fact, this causes a bit of a problem when newer fans go back and watch older matches and see wrestlers tapping, but the match continued. Pre-1997, tapping out during a submission hold was just a way to sell the hold rather than actually acknowledging that you're giving up. That's also my one disappointment when it comes to tap outs. Tapping out to show pain was a great way to really emphasize the selling of a hold since not only could you hear it easily, but you could see it well too. In the 20 years since, they haven't quite figured out a solution to fix that minor problem.

    So Shamrock brought tapping out to the mainstream world of pro wrestling with the WWE using tap outs for the rest of their roster probably a month or two later. I believe ECW's Taz immediately added it to his gimmick, which fit him perfectly. WCW adapted tap outs into their world maybe a year later.

  7. #7
    American Ninja

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    Re: WWE In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell Review

    Taz was tapping fools out in ECW a few years before Shamrock went to WWE though. December 95-January 96 they were talking about Taz being "a new hybrid wrestling athlete similar to the ones you would see on those Ultimate Fighting PPV's" and he was tapping jobbers, he was basically a pro wrestling version of UFC Ken Shamrock in ECW in December 95 into 96, he even had his own line of ECW merch on it that said "Tapout". 1996 Taz as a character was way ahead of his time, he was a better MMA style character than any I've seen that came along since then, including real legit MMA fighters in pro wrestling like Shamrock/Brock etc.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-14-2018 at 06:54 AM.

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