In Your House 27: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Date: February 14, 1999
Location: The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
Well, the Rumble has come and gone and therefore the Road to Wrestlemania has officially begun. I remember that night as my father’s piece of crap car died on the interstate coming home and I couldn’t see the show. Anyway, two major events happened there. One was the famous I Quit match where Rock went much farther than was agreed to when he hit a handcuffed Foley about 12 times in the head with a chair after saying he’d only do it 3 times.
A record of Foley’s voice from earlier in the night was played to say that he quit, therefore giving Rock the title. How did Mankind get the title you ask? I would show you but freaking WWE has put a copyright claim on something 10 years old that was on free TV in the first place since they’re afraid people will see it and know what an emotional moment is like. Anyway, it was a lumberjack match with Rock and Mankind where the Corporation and DX were at ringside.
Austin ran out and hit Rock with a chair to give Mankind his first title. The other big thing that happened at the Rumble was Vince won it by last eliminating Austin in what very well may have been the worst Rumble of all time with Austin and McMahon coming in 1-2 and then Austin being “in the hospital” for most of the match. That’ll get a review of its own in January but let me make this clear: it sucked.
Anyway, Vince wins but says he won’t fight Rock at Wrestlemania since he just doesn’t want to. Apparently that’s illegal so he has to defend it here in a cage match with Austin or Austin gets it anyway. That…kind of makes sense I suppose. I don’t remember anything from this show other than the cage match, so let’s see how much it sucks.
Odd intro as we have almost an old school film looking thing of Austin and McMahon’s feud. It looks like a Marx Brothers show. Anyway, there’s also Mankind vs. Rock in a last man standing match so at least we almost have a double main event. They try to make it sound like all of these matches are the end to the feud which is just funny. Lawler is of course wildly popular.
Goldust vs. Blue Meanie
His name is Bluedust for the night now. If you’re looking for a point to this, you’re a freaking moron. Same music for both guys and Meanie weighs 323lbs. Hokey smoke. We get a recap of the “feud” which partially consists of Meanie wearing nothing but a bunch of grapes and Goldust getting covered in blue paint. This is mind numbingly stupid. They brawl or at least I think they do.
Meanie grinds over Goldust and gets spanked for it. Dusty must be so proud. Somehow Meanie has gained 27 pounds during the match as he’s the 350lb man when he goes for a moonsault but he’s listed at 323 during the introductions. That says so much about how much they cared about his character doesn’t it? After he misses that, he gets the Curtain Call like it’s nothing at all. Goldust does Shattered Dreams afterwards to a big pop. Teddy Long was your referee here.
Rating: F. This was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. It went three minutes, no one was interested in it, and it made no sense. Why were they fighting, what’s Meanie’s deal, and who booked this crap? None of those were ever answered which I think is a good thing for all parties involved.
McMahon spit on Austin on Heat.
Hardcore Title: Al Snow vs. Bob Holly
Belt is vacant for no apparent reason. Oh Road Dogg is hurt. Makes sense I suppose. They’re not in the ring together at all as it’s a standard family friendly hardcore match. Holly wants to get rid of his image as Sparky Plug. Cole says he was a cup of coffee as a tag team champion (yes that’s how he worded it) and he held the IC Title for a cup of coffee.
That was a pretty short cup then as that never happened. There was a Raw special the previous night that no one remembers and I guess nothing really happened on. Why have a Raw the night before a PPV? I don’t get that but I hope Vince doesn’t remember it as he’d do it again in a heartbeat. At the time there was no 24/7 rule so the belt wasn’t a complete joke as it would later become.
Holly is a welder by trade. If he’s a welder, WHY IS HE A WRESTLER??? Geez Cole don’t make it sound like he does this on weekends or something like that. This is one of the most famous hardcore matches as they actually go into the woods and into the Mississippi River. Holly keeps hitting Snow with sticks and pieces of wood. There’s a chain length fence there because it’s Tennessee law that all hardcore matches come complete with weapons.
They hit each other with some unidentifiable stuff, one of which is described by Cole as “Holly with a….Al Snow with a kick to the midsection.” It was that kind of a match. After an insane brawl that isn’t that impressive, Snow is rolled into the fence and pinned despite his arm being so far off the ground he’s almost rolling over. It was like they said hey, we’re out of time and no one is going to care anyway so end this ridiculous match.
Holly immediately runs back into the arena and the cameras follow him the entire way. During his run, Cole says he’s become the fourth Hardcore Championship. I know that announcers aren’t perfect but Cole is just becoming ridiculous.
After Holly comes back in and gets the belt, he says the brilliant line of “If you think this was hardcore just wait until Last Man Standing.” That’s great Michael. Just make it seem like there are other guys tougher than this but the belt isn’t worth their time. We cut to the banks of the river again where Snow is still stuck in the fence and screaming to let him out which is quite funny for some reason.
Rating: C+. While there would be many hardcore matches in the future, this one wasn’t nearly as silly. It felt a bit more I guess you would say realistic in that it wasn’t as corny as some in the future but the river and the woods were just a weird idea. It was ok and better than some of the future ones, but that’s not saying much.
We see the Ministry earlier in the day having some kind of ritual. This group got WAY too intense to be on a wrestling show, or at least I always thought they did.
Big Bossman vs. Mideon
There’s no point to this other than to have Corporation vs. Ministry. Mideon is the former Phineas Godwinn and is now a soothsayer for no apparent reason. It amuses me that Dennis Knight has elevated his game in the Ministry and he may never have won a match in this gimmick. I agree with the fans who are loudly chanting boring. This is heel vs. heel so what are you really expecting?
The styles are almost exactly the same and there is no chemistry at all. We see about 5 rest holds or let’s both lay down and take a little nap spots in a six and a half minute long match. As Cole and King are chattering away Bossman hits his slam for the pin. Ministry runs out and beats down the Bossman after Taker appears as well. They take him off and this would lead to the Cell match at Mania which was complete and utter crap.
Rating: D-. The only appealing thing here is they kept it short. This match was terrible for all of the listed reasons. It was more or less a battle of jobbers here and why would I want to watch that, especially heel vs. heel and power guy vs. power guy. Made no sense and wasn’t any good either.
D’lo and Mark Henry are in the back with the newcomer Ivory. Brown cuts a very good promo talking about how they’re going to win the titles. Brown has a very good voice actually.
Tag Titles: Mark Henry/D’lo vs. Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart
Owen and Jeff are some of the most forgotten tag champions ever. Anyway, Ivory has been there less than a week as a favor to Henry and is the antidote to Debra or something like that. Lawler sounds like he’s losing his voice. Yet again this match is all about looks as Ivory says if Debra interferes she’ll rip her clothes off. I think the Nation rejects are your faces here for that very reason.
That and no one in WWF history liked Jeff which is a shame as he’s better than half the guys on the roster. This is just an excuse to get another victory under the champions belts to make a stupid pun. There’s nothing of note here as Henry is in trouble for a lot of the match until we get a hot tag to Brown who lands a running powerbomb that isn’t a Sky High Cole.
Brawl follows and Henry gets a guitar to the knee leading to the Figure Four and the tapping like a drunk man. Have you ever seen a drunk man tap out? Neither have I. Anyway, Ivory rips Debra’s top off to make sure the fans haven’t died of boredom which is likely a good idea.
Rating: D. Dear lord this show is AWFUL so far. Owen and Jarrett just didn’t work tonight which is odd as they’re two of the best in ring workers of this era. Henry is his usual awful self while Brown is solid as usual. This was just another filler and it wasn’t a good one at that.
Mankind talks about how Rock attacked his knee on Heat.
Recap of why Ken Shamrock hates Val Venis. Val screwed Ken’s sister Ryan.
Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock
Billy Gunn is the referee here for no good reason. Here’s your match of the night. This is for the title I guess. Ryan does look insanely hot in this tiny white dress. As Val does his thing Billy lays in the corner which is kind of funny. Ken wants to avenge his sister despite Ryan not seeming to mind much. Lawler’s voice is dying fast for some reason so we get mostly Cole.
Lawler tries but it’s just not working. The first half of this match is very back and forth with no one really getting an advantage. About ten minutes in though Billy Gunn makes it much funnier by saying stuff like “dang I didn’t know that was a pin.” And when Venis has Shamrock in a submission and is shouting ask him, Gunn replies with ask him what??? It’s funnier in context I guess.
Allegedly there was a bribe offered by both guys with Ryan offering sex. Shamrock hits a DDT but Gunn blatantly stops at two. Venis isn’t even moving and Gunn just doesn’t count it so Shamrock asks what he is doing. Eventually the ankle lock is on and Ryan pulls Val who Ken is holding to the ropes because obviously a twenty something year old stick can pull two grown men while wearing heels.
Ken asks what the heck is she doing and gets slapped. Gunn keeps Ken from Ryan as I feel like I’m watching gay porn with these names. Anyway, Shamrock hits Billy but Gunn fights back and sends him into a small package to lose the title. Post match Gunn beats up both guys.
Rating: B-. This was hard to grade. It’s like they weren’t sure if they wanted to do a comedy match or a regular one and they kept changing their minds. Billy is funny here but it’s nothing mind blowing. Both guys were ok in the ring but there was no need at all for Gunn to be involved here at all. Seriously, what does he add onto this match? There’s nothing here at all that’s great but it’s not bad at all.
Recap another part of the faction war as DX is fighting with the Corporation as well.
Triple H/X-Pac vs. Kane/Chyna
This would be the big match before Chyna turned face again at Mania to rejoin HHH before turning heel again 20 minutes later along with HHH as Kane turned face. Shane is on commentary but this is back when he was just a spoiled punk with a lot of money. The big showdown in this match is supposed to be HHH vs. Russia. However HHH is in the match all of 2/14 minutes and the rest is X-Pac getting beaten up.
Shane and X-Pac get into it which would lead to their European Title match at Mania. This is a pretty good tag match as Sri Lanka could at least hold her own in there with someone as awful as Waltman. Pac is beaten down to lead up to the hot tag which is warm at best.
The problem is HHH like most wrestlers has issues with hitting Indonesia. I will give him credit though as he does get in a few good right hands. X-Pac and Shane go at it which allows the big brawl all over the place and it leaves Asia and HHH alone. HHH sets Mongolia for the Pedigree but Kane comes back for the chokeslam which gives India the pin.
Rating: B. This was a solid tag match I thought. X-Pac was at his best when he was getting the heck beaten out of him and he wasn’t good for much else. This was all about getting HHH and Chyna together but that never really happened except for a few moments at the end. She was fine in there though and you almost forgot she was a female which is a nice plus. Decent match but nothing mind blowing.
Recap of Rock/Mankind, which more or less says this feud is awesome, this is the Rock’s chance to get the title match and you know it’s going to be awesome.
WWF Title: Rock vs. Mankind
This is last man standing. Basically everyone expects them to just massacre the other here which is likely. Rock comes out to cheers which is interesting as he’s certainly the heel here. He’s in workout gear here which is smart as at times you have guys out there in tights looks stupid. This makes sense.
It’s nice to see Foley come out as the champion here as it just looks good. It’s not something you see that often in this company but he certainly earned it. Foley turns his back on Rock intentionally and offers him a free shot and then does it again. Rock busted up Foley’s legs on Heat so Rock wisely goes after them.
King’s voice sounds bad as I think his voice is going quickly here. He’s certainly trying though. Foley gets a belt shot to the face for a count of 8. Cole declares Making the mayor of Parts Unknown. I like that line actually. We’re up by the set now and it’s a brawl, which is the idea here.
Foley DDTs Rock through a table set up near the stage which gets a limited response which I think is due to it being too early as we’ve only been fighting for about five minutes at this point. Cole insults the Hardcore match earlier again, showing how completely idiotic he can be at times. I’d love to see Holly waiting for him behind the curtain with a chair for him and shouting ARE YOU CRAZY?
Back into the arena as Foley’s knee is giving out on him. It’s back and forth here but more Foley than Rock. In the ring for the first time in a good while and Foley drops the People’s Elbow but Rock rolls out of the way. Suplex on the floor as this is solid stuff so far. Make that three of them.
While Foley is getting counted Rock has a seat in Cole’s chair and does a little commentary. He tells Foley to come get him so Foley gets a hobbling start and FLIPS at Rock. That’s not something I expected to type. With Rock leaning over the table Foley drops the elbow off the apron for a count of eight as Mankind picks him up.
Back in the ring Mankind gets steps kicked back into his face to put him down. More work on the knee now as Rock gets a shot with a chair. And then we get the stupid chair hits the ropes and hits the chair swinger in the head. I’ve never liked that one at all.
Rock backdrops Foley off the table but his head slams into the table, making it look SICK. Cole is freaking out like a girl in a slasher movie at this. People’s Elbow has Mankind reeling. He manages to get up and grabs a mic to cut some more promos on Mankind. And now he’s singing Smackdown Hotel, which is borderline sacrilege as this is in Memphis.
Mandible Claw goes on but the referee gets bumped. Well of course he did. And remember there MUST be a winner. DDT by Rock gets 9. BIG chair shot misses and Foley gets a DDT on the chair. Rock gets up but walks into Socko twice in a row. Wouldn’t you think the first time was a good enough idea?
He gets a Rock Bottom as a counter to the Sock and both guys are down. Both guys get chairs and they cave each others’ skulls in for the double knockout, getting ten and ending the match. Yeah that ending is stupid now and always has been. The decision gets booed out of the building which is exactly what it deserves.
Rating: B-. The ending is what holds this back for me but like I said it was all they could do to get that ending. These two beat the living tar out of each other and it was a brutal match. Matches like these can be seen as more fun when you know they’re not ending for at least 15 minutes.
That gives you 15 minutes of just free beatings on each other. It made both guys look strong in that they took the same beating and both lost but at the same time both kind of won. Rock would win the title the next night in a ladder match so I’m really not sure why they didn’t just give it to him here.
Recap of Vince and Austin. Apparently Austin already has the shot at Mania but he just wants the match with McMahon.
Cage Match: Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin
Cage is the blue style but it’s painted black which is a nice touch. This match can be summed up easily: Austin tries to kill Vince. This is the most one sides match I have ever seen for the first half with Vince having no offense at all. Austin beats him around the cage, in the crowd, at ringside and on the cage until we get the big bump from the match as they’re hanging on the side of the cage and Vince is knocked off and slams his head on a monitor.
Everyone thought he was legit either hurt or dead. However the more I watch it he more I’m convinced it was a work as Austin goes back to beating on him. If he was really hurt, that would never happen. I think it was designed to look real but just got too close to being real. Oh, the match just NOW started. They’ve been fighting for 12 minutes and NOW we get the bell. Vince gets in a low blow here and there but that’s the extent of his offense.
Austin can leave twice but Vince flips him off both times and Austin comes back to beat on him some more. He calls for the Stunner when Big Show, called Paul Wight here, debuts and beats the heck out of Austin. He beats on him for awhile before McMahon says to throw him into the cage. He does and in one of my favorite spots ever, the cage breaks and Austin drops down to win the match. McMahon looks devastated as the show ends.
Rating: B-. This was about Austin screwing Vince again and in my mind shouldn’t have gone on last. The title match was more of a massacre than this but I guess they wanted to send the fans home happy. Show debuting was a big deal I guess and this set up the main event at Mania which should have been Austin vs. Vince. It was short but brutal which I guess is what they were going for?
Overall Rating: C-. This show was pretty bad. It just never got going and is all about two matches, one of which is pretty forgotten. This was all built up to the cage match and that’s the only thing anyone really remembers. Mankind and Rock is brutal and fun so I’d recommend that and the main event.
This wasn’t supposed to be anything huge other than just to get to Mania which is fine. The first part of the show is just awful though with nothing of note and only a few moments of decency at all. Watch the main events and that’s all that’s worth anything here.