June 9, 2007
Steven Riddle

In Your House: Final Four
February 16th, 1997
UTC Arena
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dark Match:
The Godwinns defeated the Headbangers

Actual show:

We see a highlight of Shawn Michaels’ run as WWF champion and hype for the Final Four.

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

1. “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) pinned Leif Cassidy with the Wild Thing at 9:31.

Analysis: This was actually a pretty solid match between two mid-carders who were just floating around. Mero was always a great worker, but unfortunately Sable ended up overshadowing him. Cassidy (or Al Snow, call him what you will) was good too, but had a bad gimmick. Mero severely injured his leg during this match and would spend most of the year on the shelf but would return under a different persona. Good effort by both men. Final Grade: ***

Here comes the Honky Tonk Man for a promo.

We then go to highlights from Thursday Raw Thursday where Shawn Michaels relinquished the WWF Title and the announcement that the title will be on the line in the Final Four.

Psycho Sid is interviewed and wants the title back.

2. Farooq, Crush, and Savio Vega (w/ the Nation) defeated Flash Funk, Bart Gunn, and Goldust (w/ Marlena) when Farooq pinned Gunn at 6:43 after Crush hit a leg drop.

Analysis: Your standard 6-man brawl. Unique team with Gunn, Goldust, and Funk, but all three had issues with the Nation, so it kind of made sense. Goldust would go on to continue his feud with Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Not a great match, but not terrible. The Nation would have another 6-man tag next month against their arch rival and a legendary tag team. Final Grade: **

Dok Hendrix interviews Steve Austin.

3. Rocky Miavia pins Hunter Hearst Helmsley with a back suplex pin at 12:30 to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title.

The Buildup: At the Thursday Raw Thursday, Helmsley defended the title against Rocky and Rocky pulled off the huge upset to win the title.

Analysis: The first of many encounters between two men who would lead the WWF into the new millennium. Both men put forth a solid effort. I was confused why they had Rocky win the title on Raw 3 days ago, but I guess they wanted a shocker. Rocky gets the cheers, but he does get some boos as well. Hunter stays hated, and loses thanks to Goldust. The interesting note here is the debut of Chyna, who chokes out Marlena. That sets up the Wrestlemania match between Hunter and Goldust. Good match, but obviously Rocky and Hunter will have better matches in the future. Final Grade: ***

We see a promo for Wrestlemania 13 released on tape May 6th.

Kevin Kelly interviews Vader and Paul Bearer.

4. Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon defeated Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (w/ Clarence Mason) by disqualification when Hart hit Lafon with his Slammy at 10:31. Hart and Bulldog retain the WWF Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: This was actually a good tag match. I thought Furnas and Lafon were a good tag team, but I do not think they got much reaction from the fans. I wish they had furthered the tension between Hart and Bulldog. When Bulldog clotheslined Hart, the crowd went crazy. They should have had them lose the belts and have Bulldog turn face, but it never happened. That had money written all over it, but they missed the boat on that one. Still, a solid effort by both teams. Final Grade: ***

Dok Hendrix interviews the Undertaker.

5. Bret Hart defeated The Undertaker, Vader, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Final Four match at 24:05 to win the vacant WWF Title.

Eliminations:
Hart throws Austin out at 18:09
Undertaker throws Vader out at 23:33
Hart throws Undertaker out at 24:05

The Buildup: At the Royal Rumble, Hart eliminated Austin, but the referees did not see it, so Austin came back in, eliminated all three men illegally, and won. Gorilla Monsoon overruled the decision and made this match with the winner facing the WWF Champion at Wrestlemania. However, after Shawn Michaels forfeited the title, Monsoon made the decision the title will be on the line in this match, and Psycho Sid would face the winner the next night on Raw.

Analysis: This was really hyped up as one of the most important title matches of all time, and it lived up to it in a degree. These four guys busted their balls and the crowd stayed into it for the whole way. There were a few boring spots in the middle and the first elimination took a while, but overall it was pretty solid. It’s funny because many thought Undertaker would win, but Bret still got a lot of cheers. But next month, Bret and Austin would compete in a match that would turn the WWF upside down. For now, Bret enjoys his fourth reign as champion, but it would be brief. Final Grade: ****

Psycho Sid comes down and confronts Bret as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: Many people have considered this a weak pay-per-view, but it actually was not bad. There was only one match below three stars and the title matches were solid. It was a nice building block to Wrestlemania. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a good pay-per-view. Final Grade: B-

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