In Your House #11 – Buried Alive: Who Needs The Title?

In Your House #11: Buried Alive
Date: October 20, 1996
Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 9,649
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

This is another of those shows where there just isn’t much to say. There are only five matches on the card and only two of them are worth much of anything. It’s always interesting to see a main event with the focus being something other than the world title feud and Undertaker vs. Foley would be going on for a lot longer after this. Let’s get to it.

Also of note: this is the first ever WWF pay per view with the reigning WWF World Champion not in action.

The opening video talks about Undertaker spending his life at war with Mankind and warns Mankind to enjoy his last breaths before he’s buried alive.

There’s a big mound of dirt with a tombstone next to an open grave.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Steve Austin

The first of many, many times and it’s heel vs. heel here. Before the match Austin says that he’s fine with fighting Helmsley since Savio Vega is injured tonight. Apparently Bret Hart is coming back to Raw and Austin hopes it’s to announce his retirement. Before we get to the match though, I should note JR is in full heel mode here, constantly ranting about how he won’t be silenced and how he’s the real voice of the WWF. The fact that the mics aren’t all working ticks him off even more.

Feeling out process to start with Helmsley armdragging Austin down. JR has his microphone changed as Austin goes to the floor to jaw with a fan. Back in and Austin armdrags Helmsley down and flips him off. The feeling out process continues as JR takes credit for Bret coming back while his mic cuts in and out. Austin gets tired of this slow paced stuff and slaps Helmsley in the face to speed things up a bit. Helmsley bails to the apron as we’re nearly five minutes into this match and we’ve had two armdrags and a slap to the face.

Back in and an elbow to the head puts Helmsley down and we hit an armbar from Austin. Helmsley fights up and pokes Austin in the eye as we’ve got a split screen of the match and the commentators for no apparent reason. Back to the armbar for a bit before Helmsley fights up and buries a knee into Austin’s ribs. A backdrop puts Austin down as Hunter has his first advantage. There’s a knee drop to the head for two and Helmsley is getting frustrated. The mics still aren’t working with JR cutting in and out on almost every other word.

We hit the chinlock on Austin and it’s back to the split screen for a few moments. Austin fights up and they trade sleeper holds until a jawbreaker puts Helmsley down for two. A Stun Gun (hot shot) gets two more for Austin but Helmsley hits a jumping knee to the face and a middle rope right hand for two. They clothesline each other down and here’s Mr. Perfect who will be facing Helmsley tomorrow night. Perfect comes to the ring to put his arm around Helmsley’s valet, allowing Austin to get in some cheap shots.

That’s not cool with Perfect either so Austin throws a soda at him, only to have Helmsley jump him from behind. Perfect leaves with the valet, which causes Helmsley to drop the Pedigree attempt. Austin goes after him but gets suplexed in the aisle to put both guys down. Helmsley is catapulted into the post and they head inside where the Stunner ends this in a hurry.

Rating: C+. This was more an historical anomaly than anything else as Helmsley was still slowly coming up the card and Austin was ready to move up the ladder. Still though, these two fighting each other is always worth a look. The JR stuff got old fast though as the constant breaks in commentary were distracting.

We recap the Smoking Gunns vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog. There isn’t much to this one as the Gunns lost the titles last month and are having problems due to Sunny. She fired both of them after losing though so she won’t be a factor tonight.

Before the match Billy says they’ll get the titles back and Sunny will be back at their side. He doesn’t seem interested at sharing the glory with Bart though.

Tag Titles: Smoking Gunns vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog

Billy starts with Owen and takes him down with a headlock. The microphone keeps cutting in and out as JR gets more and more annoyed. He manages to say Owen got a haircut. Lawler: “How analytical.” Billy goes up top but jumps into a punch to the ribs, giving the champions their first advantage. Bulldog comes in to crank on the arm as the announcers debate cowboys. Bart gets in a cheap shot to put Bulldog down. Sunny can be seen watching in the back.

Bart comes in legally but misses a high cross body, giving Bulldog two. Back to Owen for a missile dropkick and some headbutts in the corner for good measure. The champions put Bart down again with a double clothesline as JR rips into Vince for his obvious points on commentary. Owen drops a leg and puts on a chinlock and JR is now claiming a conspiracy by Vince. Bulldog distracts Billy by posing and Bart is whipped into the ropes, knocking his partner down to the floor.

Billy trips Owen down and accepts the tag from his brother like nothing happened. A double Russian legsweep gets two on Owen, followed by an elbow from Billy. There’s a neckbreaker dedicated to Sunny but she doesn’t seem all that interested. Back to Bart who breaks up a tag attempt as the Gunns continue to double team Owen. Bulldog is knocked off the apron but he sneaks back in to pull Bart down, breaking up the Sidewinder. Owen pops back up and hits a spinwheel kick to take out Billy for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. This was again more storytelling than a match but no one thought the Gunns were going to get the belts back, nor did most people want them to. Owen and Bulldog were a much better team and the Gunns’ time was over. Not a bad match or anything, but it was all about the story instead of the match, which is fine in this case.

Bart leaves on his own.

Vince talks about Faarooq, a newcomer feuding with Ahmed Johnson, being attacked earlier but JR gets in the ring. Before he gets to the point, he says he won’t talk about Vince firing him and trying to ruin his life. Bret Hart will be in Fort Wayne, Indiana tomorrow night and it’s not because of Vince. It’s because JR went to South Africa to talk to him because JR loves the fans more than Vince. JR rants about Vince destroying the microphones (which the fans in the arena wouldn’t know about) and throws his mic to Vince before storming off.

Back to Faarooq, he says he’s ready for Ahmed no matter what. Johnson lost the Intercontinental Title because of Faarooq so Ahmed jumped him on the Free For All, injuring him.

Here’s Mr. Perfect to replace JR on commentary.

Intercontinental Title: Goldust vs. Marc Mero

Mero is champion after winning a tournament due to Ahmed being injured and therefore stripped of the title. Mero defeated Faarooq in the finals and this was supposed to be a rematch but Johnson prevented that from happening. Another feeling out process to start, complete with Goldust doing his big deep breath. Some armdrags and a hiptoss put Goldust down and we hit the armbar. Goldust fights up and pounds away in the corner before doing the same in the opposite corner.

Mero is tired of the beating and takes Goldust down to fire off right hands of his own. A backdrop sets up a clothesline and Goldust bails to the floor. The champion hits a BIG flip dive over the top to take Goldie out again and a slingshot legdrop gets two back inside. Mero goes up again but gets powerbombed down and sent to the floor. Back in and we hit the chinlock on the champion before a knee to the ribs puts Mero down again.

We hit another chinlock as Mero is in some trouble. The champion fights up again but gets clotheslined down. Goldust asks for a microphone, threatening to come into the crowd and stick his tongue down everyone’s throat if they keep booing him. Mero uses the distraction to take Goldust down and gets two off a spinning moonsault press. Goldust’s Curtain Call (reverse suplex) is countered into a rollup for two and we head to the floor again.

Mero is sent into the barricade and Perfect is tired of the referee doing nothing. He gets up and helps Marc back inside, drawing Helmsley back out for a showdown. Perfect drops Goldust with a right hand, allowing Mero to bring it back inside for a Samoan drop and the Wild Thing (Shooting Star Press) to retain.

Rating: C+. Mero was pretty awesome in the ring at this point and could fly with the best of them. He could also talk and had a good look, but somehow this was pretty much the peak of his career in the WWF. This was a fun match but cutting out a minute or two in the middle would have helped a lot. Still though, not bad and it even advanced Perfect vs. Helmsley for tomorrow.

We recap Sid vs. Vader, which is set up as a fight over who is the master of the powerbomb. This was supposed to be the main event of WCW’s Starrcade 1993 with the same story but a lot of problems prevented it from happening. Tonight it’s a result of Shawn vs. Camp Cornette as seen at the end of Mind Games when Sid saved Shawn from Vader.

Sycho Sid vs. Vader

The winner gets a world title shot at Survivor Series so Shawn comes out to do commentary. They slug it out to start with Sid knocking Vader down and dropping a leg for two. Sid pounds away in the corner but Vader blocks a slam with a right hand to the face. Now it’s Vader pounding Sid down in the corner before hitting a running splash. Sid falls to the floor and lays there for a very long time without getting counted out.

Back up and Sid pounds away from the apron before actually trying a sunset flip, only to have Vader sit down on his chest. Sid gets up again and a double clothesline puts both guys down one more time. Vader slugs him into the corner but a splash is broken up by a boot to the face. Sid goes up top but a cross body is caught in midair with a SCARY display of strength.

A slam and a splash get two for Vader and there’s a middle rope splash for the same, but this time Vader pulls Sid up before three. Instead he loads up the Vader Bomb but it lands on knees, allowing Sid to slam Vader down. He sets up the powerbomb but has to take care of Cornette. Another powerbomb attempt is countered by a Vader low blow. Now it’s Vader loading up the powerbomb, but he pulls out and punches Sid in the head, allowing Sid to grab a quick chokeslam for the pin and the title shot.

Rating: D. They kept this short which is the right idea, but the match was nothing all that great. There’s only so much you can do in a match like this and they pretty much firmly hit that ceiling. Also, shouldn’t there have been at least one powerbomb in a match built around who is the master of the powerbomb?

Shawn celebrates Sid on his win and nothing happens.

After a Survivor Series ad, JR horns in on a Sid interview and pesters Sid into saying he’ll do anything to beat Shawn.

We recap Mankind vs. Undertaker. Mankind jumped Undertaker on April 1 and laid him out like no one had in years if ever, triggering a months long feud. Eventually Paul Bearer turned on Undertaker to join Mankind, ending a six year partnership. Tonight Undertaker has vowed to bury Mankind alive.

Mankind vs. Undertaker

As mentioned there’s a big mound of dirt with an open grave in the middle. You win by dragging your opponent to the grave and covering them with dirt. The brawl is on to start as the arena is still full of smoke from Undertaker’s entrance. Mankind comes back with right hands in the corner, only to be grabbed by the throat and tossed in himself. Undertaker kicks him to the floor and into the barricade, setting up a HUGE dive off the top to send Mankind onto the concrete.

They brawl up the aisle (by brawl I mean Undertaker punches and Mankind stumbles) towards the grave site where Undertaker grabs a shovel. It takes too long though so Mankind tries a suplex, only to be caught in a small package of all things, sending them tumbling down the dirt. They fight back to ringside with Undertaker still firmly in control. Undertaker chokes Mankind with a microphone cord and they head into the crowd. More right hands have Mankind in trouble, including Undertaker diving over the barricade with a clothesline.

They head back inside where Old School is countered to give Mankind his first advantage. He chokes Undertaker down in the corner and blasts Taker with some kind of jagged object handed to him by Bearer. Undertaker comes back with a shot to the throat and takes away the object for a few shots of his own. A jumping clothesline puts Mankind down and Undertaker goes after Bearer. Mankind tries a chair shot but gets kicked in the ribs, only to have Paul blast Undertaker with the urn, allowing Mankind to hit Undertaker with the chair.

A running knee drives Undertaker’s head into the steps and they head up to the grave site again. Undertaker gets knocked into the grave but Mankind can only get in a few shovels full of dirt before getting pulled in as well. They fight out of the hole with Undertaker throwing Mankind off the dirt and down to the floor again. Back inside again with Mankind hitting a pulling piledriver and covering which means nothing here.

A double arm DDT onto the chair knocks Undertaker out but Mankind grabs the urn to rock back and forth. Undertaker sits up and CRACKS Mankind in the back with the chair before legdropping it down onto his face. Mankind comes back with a Stunner onto the top rope and peels back the mats on the floor. His piledriver is countered into a kind of backdrop onto the steps to put further destroy Mankind’s body.

The steps are brought inside and dropped onto Mankind’s back, setting up the Tombstone to knock him out cold. Undertaker carries Mankind to the grave site but on the way Mankind grabs the Mandible Claw to take over. It doesn’t last long though as Undertaker gets a quick chokeslam to send Mankind into the grave. The burial is quick and Undertaker wins.

Rating: B-. Good match here between two guys who could bring the brutality when they had the chance. Mankind was one of the only guys that could give Undertaker a run for his money and there were moments where he looked like he had a chance. It’s the best match of the show and that’s what a main event should be most of the time.

Undertaker keeps burying him and shoves the referees away when they try to stop him. Out of nowhere here’s a man in an executioner hood to blast Undertaker in the back of the head with a shovel. He gets Mankind out of the grave and throws Undertaker in instead. Thunder starts rumbling and the lights flicker as Mankind and the other guy bury Undertaker.

The lights straighten out as the grave fills up with dirt and here are Goldust and some other villains to help. This goes on for a good while until thunder rumbles some more and the shovel is stuck down in the dirt. Mankind and Bearer leave before a bolt of lightning hits the grave and Undertaker’s hand sticks out of the dirt to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. It’s not a great show but this is a really easy sit through with nothing being all that bad. The worst match is pretty easily Sid vs. Vader and that only runs about eight minutes. It’s interesting that the best show in awhile didn’t have Shawn in action which might have been a sign. There’s nothing great to see here but it’s definitely not a bad show and is one of the better entries in the series so far.

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