WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games 9/22/96
Justin Hawk Bradshaw vs Savio Vega Caribbean Strap Match
Fucking Savio. Can't get away from this cunt. Maybe JBL will fuck him up. This is the 3rd strap match this year. Talk about over using a gimmick. Especially one that almost always sucks. Well looky there. Paul E. Dangerously, Tommy Dreamer, and Sandman are sitting in the front row. I wonder if they'll get involved in the show. Speak of the devil, Sandman spits his beer on Savio. "Local wrestling group". Paul holds Tommy and Sandman back. Agents come out to make sure they don't jump the railing. Sadly, JBL doesn't beat the shit out of Savio too much. He does hit the boot and lariato in succession at least. Savio wins with the same fucking finish that EVERY strap match has.
TO THE BACK. Razor and Diesel attack Savio Vega. MY GOD!
Jim Cornette vs Jose Lothario
Oh. Oh no. Thankfully this is only about 90 seconds long. Jose wins. What a waste of PPV time. This and the first match. And Savio wrestled on the Free For All as well.
Brian Pillman comes to the ring. Bret Hart recently called Brian and Owen liars for promoting him as being at shows he had no intention of being at. Brian shits on Philly and what not. He brings Owen out. Stampede represent. Owen thought that he and Bret had patched things up as Bret realized he was getting older and slower and wasn't the wrestler he once was. Bret admitted that Owen was the best Hart, but now he's calling both men liars. It's UNCALLED FOR. Owen claims that Bret is scared not of Owen and Pillman, but of Steve Austin. They bring Steve out. Hollywood Blonds REPRESENT. So much representing. "If you the letter S in front of Hitman, you've had my exact opinion of Bret Hart!"
TO THE PHILLY. We get to see Mark Henry taking in all the sights of Philly.
Owen Hart/British Bulldog vs Smoking Gunns WWF Tag Team Championships
Owen and Bulldog vandalized Sunny's giant picture at some point. I wonder if Billy and Sunny banged. I bet they did. Billy and Owen start the match and both nearly win with surprise roll ups. Owen hits a chop block on Bart and that's enough to keep him down for a while. I was hoping they'd try to out heel each other. They kind of are at times, but not like what you'd hope. Or at least what I'd hope. All heel vs heel matches should be non stop cheating. Billy gets distracted looking at Sunny's tits. Bart gets bumped into him. He shoves Bart, who gets pinned with the running powerslam. New champions! Sunny fires the Gunns. She also says she banged them.
TO THE BOILER ROOM. Kevin Kelly gets some words with Mankind and Paul Bearer. Seems like a really shitty place to hang out in. God damn, Paul Bearer could NOT have a more annoying voice.
Jerry Lawler vs Mark Henry
I have no use with King after 1990 or so. I NEVER liked King in WWF. He never fit. He still doesn't fit. King is shocked that Mark can get out of a head lock and a hammer lock. King almost dies getting sent through the ropes. Looked like a Sabu level botch. He then gets in control with the classic phantom weapon from his tights. I don't think he EVER had anything in his hands for that spot. Kind of amazing. Mark wins with the Canadian back breaker. YOU'RE AN AMERICAN OLYMPIAN YOU SON OF A BITCH! USE AN AMERICAN HOLD! Al Snow randomly runs in after the match and is quickly disposed of. Then Marty Jannetty shows up and is also easily handled. Then HHH hits the ring. He gets press slammed to the floor on top of the New Rockers.
Goldust vs Undertaker Final Curtain Match
Fuck. ANOTHER Taker/Goldy match? Two boring as shit matches weren't enough? The only way to win this match is via pin fall. Wow. What a stipulation. Goldy's new jump suit looks terrible. It looks like a shitty Christmas sweater. Or half of one at least. It also looks like he's put on some weight on top of the shitty looking suit. Home boy out there looking like an over grown 4th grader. Goldust gets meta and uses gold dust in the eyes of Taker. I am completely and utterly shocked that they have their third boring PPV match in 1996. This is still in the phase where Taker is trying to figure out how to properly sell as Taker. Taker wins with the tombstone. Via pinfall. The only way to win the match. The most extreme of stipulations.
TO THE HERMIE: Kevin Kelly speaks with HBK, who looks like he had a rough night. He's nervous about this match, because Mankind is too crazy.
Mankind vs Shawn Michaels WWF Championship
Mankind is brought out in a casket for the match. Mankind goes right to work. No wasted time at all from him. Mankind pulls up the padding on the floor, but gets dropkicked and stomped under them. Oh hey look at that, HBK is cool when he's showing an edge and not being an annoying piece of shit. Just like some other main event guy Vince has a boner for. HBK hits a big flurry of offense and Mankind dives out of the ring to avoid the superkick. Shawn gets pissed at Mankind not wanting to go along with a spot. They have an awkward exchange of Mick not taking an Irish whip, not being in place for a cross body from the ropes, HBK screaming COME ON at him, and then slapping Shawn. Then they go to the mat and HBK pounds away stiff as shit from guard position. Mick then fucking lays him out with a forearm and yells SON OF A BITCH out. To the floor it goes. Fuck, suplex on to the steps. The back of Mick's knee gets destroyed. Shawn stays on the knee for a bit. Who would have expected Shawn vs Cactus to be much stiffer and more violent than Shawn vs Vader? There is a light "boring" chant started, but these fans are stupid. This is the least boring match HBK has had since April. Mankind goes to work on the throat of Shawn. We got punches, trees of Keanus, ECW chants, steps, tables, glitter, VINCE RUSSO in the front row where the ECW guys had been, hanging spots, HBK getting pissed about stuff. This match has it all, friends. HBK tries to break the mandible claw hand with a chair. Good strategy. Then he tries to break the other hand. Cactus elbow. Mankind is essentially just early Cactus Jack with the weird mask and rocking. He even did the shrieking shit in the early days of Cactus Jack. Double arm DDT! New champion! 12HEGOTHIMNOHEDIDN'T. "If you can't beat him, bury him!" HBK is placed in the casket for some reason. For BERRY reasons. HBK is BREAKING UP! Mankind tries a back superplex to the floor though a table. HBK reversed it in mid air. Somehow, both men get to their feet. Mankind climbs the top rope with a chair. HBK springs off a different chair and hits a superkick. Before the 3 count can be finished, Vader runs in and causes a disqualification. Paul hits HBK with the urn behind the ref's back for some reason. The match was already over. Sid runs Vader off. HBK gets put in the mandible claw after the match. Then Taker pops up out of the casket. Not only did they book an ECW match for this show, they booked an ECW finish and post match as well.
As usual for the WWF in 1996, most of the show was garbage. But the main event was fucking dope. The best thing about HBK is that he didn't have an "HBK match". He could work the best match with people of every style. That's what made him great. It's just that during this period, he was too fucked up and unwilling to work other people's styles very often. Here, the match went full Cactus/ECW style and HBK more than held up his end. It's violent and angry and generally just rad all around. A few times it breaks down to Shawn being an unprofessional prick and Mick setting him straight, which is something Vader should have done the month before but was too afraid to do. And now I've been told this was intentional to work the Observer readers in reference to HBK getting mad at Vader during their match. Russionian Booking at it's peak and it is only his first month. The main event is basically what an ECW main event would be if it had two great talents involved instead of Tommy Dreamer. It even had the traditional ECW over booked finish, with interference from Vader, Paul getting involved, Sid showing up, and Taker popping out of the casket at the end. It was like Vince was sending a message to Heyman that he could do that shit, too.