September 13, 2009
The Powerdriver Review
In Your House: International Incident
July 21, 1996
Vancouver, BC, Canada
General Motors Place
The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (3/31/1996)
Intercontinental Champion: Ahmed Johnson (6/23/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: The Smokin’ Gunns (5/26/1996)
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Justin Hawk Bradshaw (w/Uncle Zebekiah) vs. Savio Vega – Free For All Match
Poor Bradshaw still can’t make it to PPV. Since he’s not managing twin brothers anymore, is Zebekiah (Dutch Mantel) even considered as an “uncle” anymore? This is just a back and forth brawl. The dreaded SPINNING HEEL KICK gets a nearfall. Vega ducks a LARIAT and gets caught off a slam, so Zebekiah helps his man out by pushing Bradshaw down on top of Vega for the 1-2-3. (4:43) What is up with Savio these days? Jobbing to Bradshaw on the pre-show? Afterwards, Savio goes after Zeb and eats the LARIAT after all. Oh no, he’s been branded with ink! That must really hurt! ½*
“The Undertaker” music video airs. Clips are shown of his recent feud with Goldust and Mankind.
Goldust and Marlena join us at the commentary table to talk about the Undertaker. Just as he has looked into the eyes of the Undertaker, UT has looked into the eyes of Goldust and he knows that UT will never forget the name of *sucking air* Goldust.
Recap is shown of the end of the King of the Ring where everybody from the six-man tag main event take turns beating each other up. Since then, Ultimate Warrior started no-showing and thus a massive Camp Cornette beatdown ensued on Raw. Enter Psycho Sid, who makes his return to the WWF to replace the Warrior. Just as Cornette will do, he stirred the pot a little bit by bringing up the fact that Sid turned on Shawn before and he might do it again. That led to Shawn and Ahmed getting ambushed on Raw backstage when Psycho Sid showed up in a Lincoln Continental to make the save!
In the ring, Jose Lothario and Jim Cornette are the guests on a segment called “Face to Face”. JR presides over the proceedings. It’s basically a “my guys will beat your guys” confrontation. Once Cornette gets in Lothario’s face, he gets shoved back. Cornette takes a swing with his tennis racket, but Lothario ducks and KO’s Corny. Here comes Vader to put a stop to this, but Shawn Michaels slides in the ring and gets in between them before any harm can come to Lothario. Referees and security spill into the ring to separate everybody.
Backstage, “Hermaphrodite” Kevin Kelly gets a word with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s going to keep on kicking butt until somebody with the guts, the talent, or a machine gun can stop him. AND THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE ‘CAUSE…wait, still too early for that.
Elsewhere, Jim Cornette is standing beside his Camp Cornette to say that if his team doesn’t win, he’s going to give everybody watching on PPV and in the arena their money back no matter what it cost.
AND NOW ONTO THE PPV!
WWF World Tag Team Champions The Smokin’ Gunns (w/Sunny) vs. The Body Donnas – non-title match
Ha, the Body Donnas post-Sunny valet/man in drag Cloudy has already been axed. That’s good. The Body Donnas clean house to start. Back in, Bart has his arm worked over for a while. Finally, Bart clotheslines out and tags Billy. Skip delivers a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but telegraphs a backdrop and takes a Rocker Dropper. Next up, Billy misses a corner charge and gets caught in an armbar. Meanwhile, Sunny “collapses” and as Skip stops what he’s doing to go over and help her up, he takes a SLAP across the face. You SCORPION WOMAN! The Gunns then run over and blast him with a double clothesline. Back in, Billy covers for two. Bart tags in and throws Skip from corner to corner. Skip reverses a whip and heads up top, but flies down into a powerslam. The Gunns go for the Leapfrog Guillotine, but Bart doesn’t duck down for Billy to jump over his shoulders! HA! Skip gets stuck in the Gunns corner for a while until Billy comes off the top into an inverted atomic drop. Skip crawls through Billy’s legs and makes the HOT TAG TO ZIP! Billy trips him up to cool him down. SIDEWINDER? Nope, Billy is out chatting with Sunny. Skip dropkicks Bart over as Zip falls on top for the 1-2-3. (13:05) Who knew that the team getting the non-title match would win?! Wasn’t bad, but it didn’t blow me away. **
Henry O. Godwinn (w/Hillbilly Jim) vs. Mankind
Godwinn is subbing for Jake Roberts here because he’s “nursing his injured ribs”. In reality, Jake’s up to his old drinking habits again. That gives Lawler all the fuel he needs to make fun of him all night long. This is like a Superstars main event. Mankind owns poor Henry for most of the match. He peels back the ringside mats and gives Godwinn a swinging neckbreaker on the concrete. Back in, Mankind ends Henry’s comeback by yanking him back out onto the concrete. Spot of the match comes when Godwinn slams Mankind off the apron onto the concrete! Back inside, Mankind avoids the SLOP DROP by grabbing the top rope and applies the MANDIBLE CLAW for the win. (6:55) Just a match to show how tough and dangerous Mankind is. *
Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Steve Austin
Return match from the King of the Ring. Austin’s mad about Mero inadvertently kicking him in the mouth off a rolling cradle pin, which busted his mouth open and forced Austin to get a bunch of stitches. The King of the Ring is also where Mero suffered his first loss in the WWF, so he’s looking to get that win back from Austin here. Fast paced start as they exchange punches. Mero delivers a crossbody and grabs an arm wringer. They go for the Steamboat-Flair headscissors into a backslide sequence, but Austin cuts that off with a knee. Mero fires back and punches Austin out to the floor. Austin starts going after Sable (the man just loves his blonde girls), signaling Mero to lower the boom on him off the apron. Back in the ring, Mero hits that rolling cradle for 1-2-NO! Austin feigns another kick in the mouth and pokes Mero in the eye. Out goes Mero to the floor, up goes Austin on the turnbuckle to pose for the crowd. On the outside, Austin slingshots Mero into the ringpost. Once Mero makes it to the apron, Austin knees him off for the Pillman bump on the guardrail. In the ring, Austin connects with the flying vertical elbow drop for 1-2-NO! Austin catches himself when he misses the Bossman straddle, but then Mero crotches him for real up on the top rope. Crazy powerbomb bump nearly sends both men flipping over the top rope, but Mero winds up taking Austin to the floor with a rana. Here comes Marlena and her bellhop deliver a gold letter to Jerry Lawler. Alright. Meanwhile, Mero gives Austin a CANNONBALLLLL off the apron. They head over to the entrance way where Mero gives Austin a moonsault press off the apron! Awesome! Back in, a slingshot splash gets two. Austin shoves Mero off a ten-count corner punch and gives him his receipt from earlier as he crotches Mero on the top rope. Mero hooks the ropes to prevent the STONE COLD STUNNER and follows up with a slingshot legdrop for 1-2-NO! By the way, Marlena is still watching on. Finally, Austin has enough of this and clips the knee to deliver the STONE COLD STUNNER for the 1-2-3. (10:49) So much for getting that win back. Austin is going to NEW HORIZONS~! Not quite the match they had at King of the Ring, but still quite good. ***¼
Bob Backlund is the crowd campaigning for the US Presidency! Uhh, we’re in Canada. They don’t matter.
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Goldust (w/Marlena)
This is the end of the Undertaker/Goldust feud as Goldust wants to get his hands on Marc Mero and UT wants to get his hands on Mankind for different reasons altogether. Like in most of his matches, Goldust spends the first couple minutes stalling and keeping his distance from his opponent. He pulls Taker out, but that’s a bad idea because Taker gives him a Chokeslam on the steps! It’s not as brutal as it sounds. Taker threatens to beat Goldust with the top half of the stairs, but Marlena stands in his way and he thinks better of it. Back in, Goldust tries to untie the top turnbuckle. If it wasn’t for Taker constantly choking him, he might could have gotten it off right there. Taker hits Old School. They head back to the floor. Goldust tries to bring Taker back in with the CURTAIN CALL, but Taker hotshots him inside. Now Goldust pulls off the turnbuckle pad to reveal the DREADED STEEL CONNECTOR RING! Taker gets whipped into the exposed corner to slow him down. Down on the floor, Goldust slams the top half of the steps on Taker’s back just like he was going to do to him. In the ring, Taker fights back and goes for the TOMBSTONE. He can’t get Goldust up, so he settles for a small package for two. WHAT. Jumping Lariat connects and that stuns Goldust for the TOMBSTONE. Cover, 1-2-NO! Mankind comes up THROUGH the ring and pulls on Taker’s leg. UT turns around and eats the MANDIBLE CLAW as they both go down underneath the ring. (12:07) Once Mankind has Taker subdued, he crawls up into the ring. Smoke begins to pour out of the hole. Mankind reaches down to find the Undertaker, but he’s nowhere to be found. On the other end of the ring, Taker comes up through the ring and beats Mankind back to the locker room! *½
In the back, Mankind and Undertaker are fighting in a boiler room! What could that possibly mean for SummerSlam?!
Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, and Psycho Sid (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Vader, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy Smith (w/Jim Cornette)
Remember, Jim Cornette guarantees victory or else he’ll refund everybody’s ticket and PPV money. I love how Ahmed has gone and made himself a shirt for this match with everybody in the main event’s faces painted on it and no one else has one. Oh yeah, Psycho Sid is subbing in the no-showing Ultimate Warrior’s place – and he couldn’t be more over right now. Geez. Lawler has to bring up the time Sid turned on Shawn Michaels right after WrestleMania XI. No messing around here, Shawn and Vader start us off. Vader gets rough with Shawn when he tries to mess with his mask. Shawn tries a rana which is dumb, but then as Vader backs into the wrong corner, Sid and Ahmed shove him down to take Vader over. Out to the floor, Shawn drills Vader with a pescado. Shawn pounces on Vader off the apron but Vader moves and Shawn eats the guardrail. Back in, Vader mauls Shawn in the corner. Crowd wants Sid, so Shawn flips out of a back suplex and tags in Sid. WOW, listening to the crowd to dictate a match. How could that possibly be successful?! Anyways, Sid comes in and cleans house on everybody because he rules the world. In comes Owen, Sid clotheslines him down and tags Ahmed, who delivers an ugly hat trick of Germans. See, there’s what Chris Benoit does which is a thing of beauty and then there’s Ahmed throwing you around like a gorilla on a suitcase. Elbow drops misses, tag to Bulldog. Nevertheless, Ahmed hits a Spinebuster to set up the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE for 1-2-NO! Vader makes the save and gets the tag. He takes Ahmed to the corner and works him over, but then charges into a powerslam for two. Owen tags and nails Ahmed with a Spinning Heel Kick. Nobody does it better. I’ve failed to mention that Owen still has that cast on his hand. He’s like Bob Orton III with that thing. Ahmed press slams Owen and tags Sid. The man who has half the brain that you do whips Owen into the Camp Cornette corner, so Bulldog gets a tag. This is the THIRD straight PPV main event for Davey Boy Smith. That’s pretty good for the time when you’re not the world champion. DBS gives Sid an Hourglass Suplex. Vader joins in on the double team stomp job on Sid, but then he starts NO-SELLING on Bulldog and punches him back to tag in Shawn. He runs shoulder-first into the post, but comes back on Owen and Bulldog.
Right after I say that, he telegraphs a backdrop and Owen takes him for a ride on the Oklahoma Roll for two. They trade nearfalls on a victory roll. Steamboat-Flair backslide sequence ensues, but Owen flips over the backslide and nails HBK with a clothesline for two. Excellent! Tag to Bulldog, he slams Shawn all over the place. As they run the ropes, Owen catches Shawn with his cast and Bulldog nails the clothesline. Vader tags in and grabs a standing crossface until a crazy fan tries to save Shawn. It’s funny how different the reaction would have been two years later. That Canadian fan (who strangely looks like Jim Halpert from the Office) would have instead been trying to KILL Shawn. Anyways, Vader sneaks in a choke where he can. Shawn punches out, but runs into Vader. Big mistake. Vader splashes Shawn, but stands up into a clothesline from Ahmed. Bulldog cuts off the tag to Sid and continues the beatdown. Shawn slips out of a Canadian backbreaker and tries a crucifix, but you can’t try a crucifix on Bulldog! He falls back on Shawn. Tag to Owen, double-KO ensues. Back to DBS, he hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM for 1-2-NO! Sid saves with a huge legdrop. HOT TAG TO AHMED? They want Sid. Oops, ref didn’t see the tag. Get out of here, Ahmed. Camp Cornette do a TRIPLE team beatdown on Shawn. Owen misses a missile dropkick on Shawn and nails Davey Boy by mistake. HOT TAG TO SID! Chokeslams for everybody! Shawn climbs up top for a Rocket Launcher on Vader for 1-2-NO! Everybody brawls to the floor except for Shawn and Vader. Cornette gets grabbed on the apron, but in comes the tennis racket. Shawn sees it coming and lets Cornette go to punch away on Vader. Shawn whacks Vader with the racket and covers for 1-2-NO! SWEET CHIN MUSIC? Oh snap, Cornette grabs his leg, allowing Vader to splash Shawn in the corner. Meanwhile, Lothario punches Cornette away. Too little too late, as Vader finishes Shawn off with the Pump Splash for the 1-2-3. (24:34) All this was meant to do was set up the SummerSlam card and we got a REALLY fun match out of it with non-stop action. However, Ahmed Johnson had some kidney problems which cut his career short. It was supposed to be Ahmed vs. Owen at SummerSlam, which was changed of course. Everybody was on here in this match, and if the crowd reaction is any indication, Vince has found himself another main eventer to try in Psycho Sid. After the match, Sid sends everybody home happy as he POWERBOMBS Owen and Bulldog. He wants to POWERBOMB Vader, but Camp Cornette pulls him out to safety just in the nick of time. ****
Final Thoughts: They achieved what these In Your House PPVs intend to do – set up the Big Five PPVs. In this case, SummerSlam 1996. Not necessarily a must see show, but the main event is totally worth it. Austin-Mero is interesting, but they had a better match at the KOTR. With that said, I’ll go with a thumbs in the middle for IYH: International Incident. WCW is blowing the WWF away on PPVs right now.