On This Day: December 7, 1997 – In Your House #19: Austin vs. Rock

D-Generation X: In Your House #19
Date: December 7, 1997
Location: Springfield Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
Attendance: 6,358
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

 

Since the show is named after DX, it only makes sense that one of their members is in the main event. In this case it’s WWF Champion Shawn Michaels defending the title against Ken Shamrock who was named #1 contender for no particular reason. Seriously there’s nothing more to it than that. One night it was just announced that he would challenge for the title and that was it. Let’s get to it.

 

Light Heavyweight Title: Brian Christopher vs. Taka Michinoku

 

This is a tournament final to determine the new champion. The title had actually been around for years but was only defended in Mexico and Japan while never being mentioned in American. Christopher plays to the crowd before we get going but scores with a quick slam to take over. An armdrag puts Taka down again as the Jerry’s Kid chant starts up again. Taka flips out of a German suplex and takes Brian down with a pair of kicks to the face and a clothesline to send him out to the floor. A HUGE springboard dive off the top takes Christopher out again and fires up the crowd a bit.

 

Brian crotches Taka on the top rope as they come back in and a dropkick sends Michinoku back to the floor. Taka avoids a dive off the apron to send Brian into the barricade but misses a cross body back inside to give Christopher control again. Now it’s Brian’s turn to miss a charge, allowing Taka to hit a tornado DDT for two. A hurricanrana sends Brian to the floor again and a top rope moonsault takes him out. Lawler goes to help his son back inside but Taka dropkicks Christopher right back down.

 

Back inside and a pair of dropkicks put Brian down again but Taka gets caught in a full nelson legsweep. There’s a sitout powerbomb by Christopher but he poses too much, allowing Taka to grab a rollup for two. A missile dropkick to the back of Taka’s head puts him down again and a backbreaker gets two.

 

Brian stays cocky by slapping Taka in the face over and over (Jerry: “Just like I slapped Andy Kaufman!”) before clotheslining him down for two. Now the release German suplex connects but Brian takes forever to cover. Instead it’s a powerslam to put Taka down but Christopher misses the top rope legdrop, allowing Taka to hit the Michinoku Driver for the pin and the title.

 

Rating: C. Really basic match here but it made sense to put the belt on Taka at first. Christopher was just a guy who happened to be in the weight division and never fight the style at all. The match wasn’t bad or anything but the division never worked nearly as well as the company hoped it to.

 

Los Boricuas vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

 

Remember the match they had on the last show? Well here it is again but in a six man match with Savio and Crush sitting this one out. Crush isn’t here due to an injury and Savio is ejected to really make it three on three. Miguel and Chainz get us going with the biker cleaning house and sending Miguel into the corner for a tag off to Jesus. 8-Ball comes in as well to send Jesus face first into the mat.

 

Off to Jose who is powerslammed down, followed by a knee drop from Skull for two. A side slam and swinging neckbreaker put Jose down again but the other Boricuas interfere to take over. Miguel hits something off the top but hurts his leg so it’s off to Jesus for a chinlock. A jumping back elbow from Jose puts Skull down again as Savio tries to come out and replace Miguel. Skull avoids a charge into the post and makes a hot tag off to Chainz. House is cleaned with Chainz hitting a Death Valley Driver but the referee is distracted by Savio, allowing a perfectly fine Miguel to sneak in and blast Chainz, giving Jose the pin.

 

Rating: D+. Not only was the match boring but it couldn’t have been more uninteresting if it tried. There’s just no reason to care about these guys and there’s no real story other than they’re both gangs. Savio and Crush were the only people in the match people would have cared about and they weren’t even around. Horrible idea here.

 

Butterbean, a professional boxer, says he’s ready for Marc Mero.

 

We look at a recap of Mero vs. Butterbean, which is about Mero being obsessed with people looking at Sable. Therefore, he challenged Butterbean to a fight which was eventually called a Toughman contest to avoid issues with the state athletic commission. The idea is Mero is insanely jealous and challenged Butterbean to a fight as a result.

 

Marc Mero vs. Butterbean

 

Butterbean is a legitimate boxer who weighed over 300lbs so this is fixed to prevent Mero from being killed. There are four two minute rounds and Mero runs a lot to start round one. He hides in the ropes and Butterbean gets annoyed so he knocks Mero off the apron with a big right hand. Back in and they keep feeling each other out with nothing of note until the end of the round. A brawl breaks out between the rounds but again it goes nowhere.

 

Mero chokes away in the corner to start round two before pounding away with rights and lefts. Nothing of note happens until the end of the round when Mero dropkicks Butterbean into the corner. Round three is all Butterbean with Mero getting pounded into the corner and being knocked silly by a huge right hand to end the round. Butterbean doesn’t want it to end that way though so he pours water on Mero to wake him up. Round four begins with another huge right hand to drop Mero so he hits Butterbean low for the DQ.

 

Rating: F. Considering the fans were chanting boring before the match started and were almost silent other than for the big punches, what else would you expect me to think of this? This kind of stuff has never worked and almost never will because of one simple reason: wrestling fans want to watch wrestling, not boxing. If they wanted to watch boxing, they’d buy a boxing show. It really is that simple.

 

Mero breaks a stool over Butterbean’s back post match and runs off before Butterbean eats him.

 

Here are Goldust and his new chick Luna Vachon. The idea here is that Goldust is starving for attention so he’s in, I kid you not, pink leather with a pink wig and a Mardi Gras mask while being lead around on a chain by Luna. He reads Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss in various voices and is dragged off by Luna who calls him scum.

 

We recap the New Age Outlaws shocking the world by beating the LOD (who beat the Godwinns a day after the last show) for the tag team titles with the help of a chair. The New Age Outlaws are the newly formed team of Jesse James (now called Road Dogg) and Billy Gunn who said they were tired of fighting each other and formed a team.

 

LOD promises to get their belts back.

 

Tag Titles: Legion of Doom vs. New Age Outlaws

 

The Outlaws have their signature entrance in place but it’s not down to perfection yet. The LOD chases them up the aisle when the Outlaws want to stretch a bit beforehand. Road Dogg continues to run his mouth before getting in the ring until some officials force them back towards ringside where the LOD tosses them back inside. Animal beats on Road Dogg to start and clotheslines him down. Off to Hawk for some right hands and a dropkick, sending Road Dogg out to the floor.

 

Back in and Hawk hits a neckbreaker to send Dogg back to the floor for a meeting with Billy. Hawk clotheslines both guys down from the apron and kicks Dogg in the face for good measure. A rake to the face sends Dogg to the floor for the third time where he is sent face first into the announce table. All LOD so far and it’s back to Animal who catches Dogg’s leapfrog in a powerbomb for two.

 

They head outside for the fifth time where Billy gets dropped face first onto the steps, putting him in just as much pain as his partner. The champions try to leave but the LOD will have none of that and drag the Outlaws back to the ring. With the referee distracted, Billy hits Hawk low and Road Dogg finds a cooler of soft drinks to crack him over the back. Back in and the Outlaws actually get to take over with Road Dogg getting two off a dropkick.

 

Billy comes in legally for the first time and distracts the referee, allowing Dogg to get in a cheap shot from the apron. Gunn hooks a neck crank but Hawk fights up, only to have a double clothesline put both guys down. A double tag brings in Animal to powerslam Dogg before crushing him with a shoulder block. LOD loads up the Doomsday Device but the referee is with Billy, allowing the Godwinns to come in with their buckets. Hawk takes it away and wears out the Outlaws for the DQ.

 

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t much but it got the LOD away from the title picture for awhile. The Outlaws were the breath of air that the division had been starving for since about 1995 and the impact was quickly felt. Their matches never were all that great but they were eventually so ridiculously over that it didn’t matter.

 

We recap Sgt. Slaughter vs. HHH. There isn’t much to this one: Slaughter is authority, DX is anti-authority. Tonight they’re having a boot camp match (a street fight) which was Slaughter’s signature match back during his career.

 

HHH has a Sgt. Slaughter survivor kit: a comb (Slaughter is mostly bald), prunes and Depends. He says this isn’t Slaughter’s generation but rather D-Generation, so it’s time to take care of the old guys.

 

Sgt. Slaughter vs. HHH

 

Anything goes. Slaughter comes out to the same music that Patriot came out to for his PPV appearances. Slaughter pounds on Helmsley with his riding crop to start and pounds him down before stomping away at the ribs. HHH is thrown out to the floor and dropped throat first across the barricade as the match continues its slow start. Slaughter covers for no count, establishing that the fall has to occur in the ring.

 

HHH goes into the steps and gets kicked into the aisle with Slaughter still in full control. Back inside and Slaughter drops him with the riding crop to the throat before choking away. A clothesline gets two and Slaughter calls for his Cobra Clutch but HHH rolls out of it. Slaughter is whipped into the corner and out to the floor (a signature spot) to give HHH a breather. HHH whips him into the barricade for a little payback before throwing him into the crowd. Back to ringside and HHH chokes away, only to have to duck the Slaughter Cannon (running clothesline) which takes out the timekeeper instead. Slaughter is cracked in the back by a belt and we head back inside. A chain to the jaw puts Slaughter down for two as the timekeeper is taken to the back.

 

HHH drops the chain for some reason, allowing Slaughter to pick it up and give him a chance. Not that it lasts long or anything though as he is almost immediately backdropped to the floor to keep HHH in control. Back in and HHH goes up, only to dive into a boot to the jaw. Slaughter can’t slam HHH but can hit a suplex to put both guys down. The older guy goes up top but gets slammed down for another two count.

 

HHH grabs a sleeper for a good while until Slaughter escapes and puts on the Cobra Clutch, only to have Chyna come in for the save. Chyna gets yelled at so she blasts the referee and pulls in a chair. Slaughter sees her coming through and throws powder in her eyes, only to be blasted in the face by HHH’s boot. Another boot shot misses though and Slaughter puts on the Clutch. The referee wakes up to check HHH’s arm but Chyna kicks Slaughter low to break up the hold. A Pedigree onto the chair is finally enough to end Slaughter.

 

Rating: D. This just went WAY too long, running nearly eighteen minutes. They easily could have accomplished the same goals with about half the time and that’s a problem when you have a retired guy pushing 50 out there. Slaughter wasn’t really worth much here though, especially with Vince as the real boss of the company now.

 

The returning Jeff Jarrett is ready for his in ring return. He promises the cream will rise to the top tonight and become the #1 contender. He’s in a white outfit with big shoulder pads that looks like something you would see in a low budget sci-fi movie.

 

Jeff Jarrett vs. Undertaker

 

Undertaker stalks him to start and no sells some right hands. A bunch of right hands in the corner just make Undertaker mad, so he grabs Jarrett and launches him into the corner for a beating. There’s a hard clothesline to put Jarrett down for two and Taker cranks on the arm a bit. Old School connects but Jarrett tries some kicks to the knee for a breather. A chop block takes Undertaker down but he fights back and pounds away. There’s a legdrop for two and a big boot keeps Jarrett in trouble….until the lights go out. Cue Kane to the ring, only to chokeslam Jarrett for the DQ.

 

Rating: D-. This was a waste of time and nothing more than a way to run an angle. Amazingly enough, this didn’t launch Jarrett up the card and almost no one remembered him because of the story going on. The match was a glorified squash for Undertaker as Jarrett couldn’t get anything going at all.

 

Kane slaps Undertaker in the face and Undertaker is tempted to fight but instead just stands still as Kane launched fire out of the corners of the ring. Kane leaves so Jarrett goes after Undertaker’s knee again, earning himself a horrible looking chokeslam. Jarrett is named the winner and you would think he won the WWF Title.

 

Mark Henry is in the Milton Bradley (yes as in the board game company) cheering section.

 

We recap Rock vs. Steve Austin. Yeah it’s The Rock now. Rock has proclaimed his greatness and let all of his early success go to his head. On the other hand, Austin is a rebel who will fight anyone and everyone, including the Nation who has come after Austin due to his attack on Faarooq at Bad Blood. Rock then stole the belt (Austin is still champion) and dared Austin to come get it back. This led to an awesome series of promos and segments with Austin encouraging the ROCKY SUCKS chants.

 

The biggest segment of all though was Austin saying that Rock was going to be walking through the airport when his beeper goes off and it says Austin 3:16, meaning Austin owns him. Rock was in the ring for a promo when his beeper went off and read 3:16. Austin popped up and pounded the tar out of Rock, sending the crowd through the roof. It was clear that these two were the future and that Rock had just needed the right feud to bring him up to the next level.

 

Intercontinental Title: The Rock vs. Steve Austin

 

Rock brings the Nation with him so Austin drives a Stone Cold truck down the aisle. The brawl is on immediately and the bell hasn’t even rung yet. The Nation gets in the ring and beats Austin down four on one. Austin gets up and backdrops D’Lo onto the hood of the car before Stunning him on the top. The bell rings and Austin slugs it out with Rock before taking him down with a Thesz Press and more right hands.

 

Rock throws him to the floor and the Nation gets in a few extra cheap shots to the back. They fight into the aisle but Kama’s chair shot hits Faarooq in the head, allowing Austin to ram Kama head first through the window. The fans are just nuts for Austin here. Austin hasn’t even been able to take his vest off as Rock pounds away at him and chokes on the ropes. Rock stomps Austin down in the corner before dropping the yet to be named People’s Elbow.

 

We hit a chinlock to give them a breather but Rocky misses another elbow attempt. Now it’s Austin stomping Rock down in the corner but has to punch Kama instead of Stunning Rock. Austin backs up and blindly Stuns the referee. Rock finds some brass knuckles but gets caught in the Stunner as another referee comes in to count the pin.

 

Rating: B-. This one depends on your taste but the match is very important from an historical perspective. This match paved the way for what would become the Attitude Era style with no semblance of order or rules and the two guys just beating the tar out of each other. The style had to be implemented to protect Austin’s neck and give him a way to still compete while not risking further injuries. These two would have a lot more matches and we’ll get to see one of the better ones later.

 

Video on Shamrock destroying everyone in his path so far and making everyone from Rock to Bret to Austin tap out. On Raw, Shawn put a fake leg in a wheelchair and had HHH twist the ankle around to show how much pain he could withstand in a funny bit.

 

Shamrock says he’s ready.

 

WWF World Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Ken Shamrock

 

Shawn is WWF and European Champion here just because he wanted to be, though that would change soon on Raw. Shawn throws some right hands to start but gets his head kicked off, sending Michaels out to the floor. Back in and Shawn stalls a lot before being launched hard into the corner. A backdrop puts Shawn down and another whip sends him out to the floor. Chyna tries to distract Ken but he catches Shawn sneaking in with a right hand, sending Shawn’s water flying out of his mouth.

 

Shawn gets him into the corner and pounds away but Shamrock will have none of it and sends Shawn to the floor again. This match still hasn’t had a chance to get going and it’s getting a bit annoying. Shawn rakes Shamrock’s eyes and pounds away, only to have his sunset flip blocked. The challenger sends him into the corner to crotch Shawn on the top rope. Shawn escapes the belly to belly suplex and sends Shamrock to the floor for some punishment from HHH.

 

A plancha from the ring takes Shamrock down again but a baseball slide misses, allowing Shamrock to pound away with lefts and rights. HHH takes a shot as well but Chyna sends Ken into the post to put him down. Shawn distracts the referee so DX can pound away even more before sending Shamrock back inside. Michaels goes after Ken’s back with a series of elbows, including one from the middle rope. A dropkick gets two and Shawn chokes away in the corner. The admonishment allows HHH to get in even more cheap shots.

 

Shamrock rolls through a Shawn cross body for two and Michaels is scared. A rake to the eyes puts Shamrock down again and we hit the chinlock. It’s off to a sleeper instead as Shawn calls some very loud spots. The hold stays on for a good while until Shamrock powers his way back up. Ken pounds away and scores with a powerslam, putting Michaels in big trouble. A standing hurricanrana allows Shamrock to pound away even more before countering a sunset flip into a rollup for two.

 

Shawn comes back with a quick hot shot to slow Ken down but his hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb for a very close two. HHH and Chyna pull Shamrock to the floor again and beat him down (the referee didn’t think anything of Shamrock being down when Shawn never touched him), setting up Shawn’s top rope elbow for no cover. Sweet Chin Music is countered into into the belly to belly suplex but DX comes in for the disqualification before the ankle lock can go on.

 

Rating: C+. The match got better once they got down to business but the ending hurt it a lot. Shamrock never even got to put on the ankle lock to give the fans a sweat which should have been the most obvious spot of the match. This wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better if they planned the match better.

 

Post match DX destroys Shamrock until a man in a black sweatshirt comes out to destroy Shawn. It’s Owen Hart, who hasn’t been seen in a month. He pounds away on Shawn before running away through the crowd. DX poses a lot to end the show.

 

Overall Rating: D. The main event is just ok and the only good match on the show only runs about six minutes so there’s really no reason to see the show. This was a weird time for the company as they were trying to figure out where to go next. The end result at Wrestlemania was obvious, but they didn’t exactly know how to get there. This show wasn’t the right way though and it was a horrible show as a result. Not worth seeing at all with the exception of Rock vs. Austin which is always worth a look.

 

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