Review for WWF In Your House: Badd Blood, October 5, 1997, St Louis, Missouri
Coming off Ground Zero the previous month where nothing was settled in the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker feud it comes down to this. WWF Badd Blood, set to feature the historic first ever Hell in a Cell match. Sadly, during the day Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room. He was set to face Dude Love here and do a big angle where Marlena would turn on Goldust. Obviously the match was cancelled and in it's place we got a hastily thrown together minis tag match, a segment featuring St Louis's wrestling legends and DOA vs Los Boricuas match to fill in time.
Hosted by Jim Ross, Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler
Rocky Maivia, D'Lo Brown & Kama vs The Legion of Doom
Ken Shamrock was supposed to be with the LOD but he was injured so the LOD go at it 2 v 3. The crowd let Rock know he sucks. LOD start with some offense and the Nation regroup. Kama and Hawk do a dull sequence and nothing of note is happening. Rock DDTs Animal drawing more chants, he's the only good thing in this match. Nation takes over and Animal plays face in peril. It's telling how silent the crowd are when D'Lo and Kama are in, but they wild when Rock is in. Rock gets some ballshots in. Kama misses the, what would later be called, Ho Train. Animal gets a false tag. D'Lo gets a frog splash while the ref escorts Hawk out. Hot tag comes for real and LOD clean house. They got for a doomsday decide but Faarooq draws Animals attention. Rock hits an unnamed Rock Bottom for the pin at 12:20.
Pretty dull, the only highlight was the heat Rocky was getting and he was the only good part of the match. D'Lo and Kama were no good (D'Lo would get pretty good later) and the LOD were their typical lazy and bland 1997 selves. (1/2*)
Max Mini & Nova vs Mosaic & Tarantula
Another minis match, Max Mini & Nova win, I don't do minis matches so moving on.
WWF TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Headbangers vs The Godwinns
Sunny gets ring announcing duty and is the only good thing about this match. Godwinns have Uncle Cletus with him. Spitting contest to start, Mosh hits a rana on Phineas. Thrasher goes for one of his own but botches it. Henry and Thrasher go at it in the ring but nothing happens. Headbangers do some double team on Phineas. Tag to Henry and they beat on Thrasher as more nothing happens and I'm just waiting for the hot tag. After what feels like 30 minutes Mosh finally gets the hot tag to wake the crowd up. Some double teaming by the Headbangers follows, Mosh tries a rana, it doesn't look good, but Phineas catches him with an ugly powerbomb for pin and we have new tag team champions at 12:20.
Another stinker, and a result no one wanted. The only reason the heels for the titles here was because the LOD would get their last tag team title reign soon after. (DUD)
Review of Steve Austin causing chaos with all the stunnings to announcers and authority figures that really put him over as an authority hating rebel.
St Louis wrestling legends segment, it's actually really tasteful and well done.
WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Faarooq vs Owen Hart
Title is vacant, both guys are heels, the crowd doesn't care, it was supposed to be Ahmed instead of Faarooq but he was injured as usual. It's clear Owen isn't into this (due to the death of his close friend). Austin comes down and causes some chaos at ringside and the crowd are hot for him, I can't think he wanted to be there either but he has enough bluster to hide whatever he's feeling. Owen hits a spinning heel kick and gor the leg. Austin is taking all the focus at ringside joining all the commentary tables and it's pretty funny. Owen tries a sharpshooter but Faarooq kicks him out of it. Powerslam for 2. Jim Neidhart comes down. Faarooq hits a spinebuster. Neidhart distracts for some reason. Austin runs in and lays Faarooq out with the belt and Owen pins him at 5:50. They aren't allies Austin just wanted to beat Owen for the belt.
Some things just work, because of this match, Faarooq started making challenges to Steve Austin and after Survivor Series Rocky Maivia became Austins first challenger, which took Rocky to the next level and actually launched the Austin/Vince feud. Anyway, another awful match, they were just going through the motions and I can't blame anyone for that on this night. Austins ringside antics were good stuff at least. (1/2*)
Disciples of Apocalypse vs Los Boricuas
Another unwanted bonus match, and these guys only had a few minutes to get ready for it so they're not going to have anything planned. There isn't much to say here, and I'm honestly paying very little attention. I mean this show is complete garbage and the only reason anyone is here is for the Hell in a Cell match. The formula is that every one tags, does a few moves and tags the next guy in. After a boring 9 minutes Crush hits a Tilt a Whirl slam on a Boricua for the pin 9:11.
Finish got a big pop, DOA was pretty over, I guess that's something? Boring match, though, next. (DUD)
FLAG MATCH: Bret 'Hitman' Hart & The British Bulldog vs The Patriot & Vader
Vader works 'bullshit' into his pre match promo. Rules are pinfall, submission or grabbing the other teams flag. Brawl before we start. It settles down and Patriot goes for the flag. Bret hits him with a low blow. Bret slugs it out with Vader but that doesn't work as you might expect. Vader sits on him for 2. The other 2 enter and Patriot whiffs on a dropkick. Bret gets a ringpost figure four on Patriot. He spits on Vader, and locks in a Sharpshooter but Patriot counters into a pathetic looking sharpshooter of his own. Vader gets a tag and destroys Bulldog. The Harts nail him and go to work however, but Patriot comes in without a tag and locks in a figure four but Bulldog breaks it up. Tag to Bulldog. Vader goes up for moonsault and lands on his feet when Bulldog moves, that's crazy. They fight on the floor and Bret nails Vader with the ring bell, ref didn't see it but it wouldn't have mattered because it's no DQ anyway. Back in Patriot hits Uncle Slam for 2 and a fan runs in. The referee gets him out of there while Bulldog kicks the crap out of him (as he should). Patriot rolls up Bret and Bret counters to end it at 25:05.
They were just going through the motions out there, I don't blame them. Patriot wasn't well, he suffered a viral infection the week before this. Vader was injured, in a match with Shamrock in Japan he suffered a hyperextended elbow and a broken nose, so he was working with one arm. I can't imagine Bret and the Bulldog wanted to be there either. But they still the match, it wasn't good and it went forever. On another night maybe it would've been good, but on this one it wasn't. (**)
HELL IN A CELL MATCH: Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker
The big blowoff to this feud that had started all the way back at SummerSlam, they had their first match at Ground Zero, Shawn got his ass kicked but nothing was settled so here we are. Taker stalks Shawn to start who bounces off the ropes right into a big boot, Vince gives the famous "this is not going to be pretty" line. Taker rams him into the turnbuckle and Shawn is bumping like crazy. Chokeslam attempt but Shawn kicks him in the shin and gets some shots in. Taker shrugs it off and sends Shawn into the corner, upsidedown bump and he gets clotheslined for 2. Wristlock and ropewalk. He chokes away. Slam and legdrop get 2. Body drop and Shawn takes another shot, with some more overselling. He gets thrown outside with a wicked bump. Chokelift and Shawn thumbs him in the eye. He tries to climb but it does no good, and he takes another good bump. Whip into the cage and and knocks his head off with a clothesline. Shawn's bumping is a thing of beauty here. Shawn tries to block something (in a powerbomb position), but Taker calmly turns him around and slams him into the cage. He throws him into the steps and tees off. Taker rams him from the ringpost to the cage several times and the crowd loves it. He uses Shawn as dart but he blocks it and gets mowed with a clothesline. This is a shitkicking, and it's a good one. Whip into the cage, Taker charges but Shawn moves and hammers away, drawing heat. He goes back in, and gets a few shots on Taker coming in. But Taker necksnaps him on the top rope. Taker still on apron, Shawn knocks him off and Taker hits the cage. Tope takes Taker down, Shawn drops an elbow off the cage. Shawn clothesline him off the apron. He grabs the stairs and rams them into Taker a few times. Piledriver on the steel steps make a sick sound. The camera man is getting in Shawns way and he's not happy about it. Axehandle to Taker on the floor. Back in Shawn grabs a chair and hammers Taker in the back. He grabs it again and hits him again for 2. Taker tries to come back but gets caught in the ropes. Shawn pummels away. Shawn charges and eats a boot, he charges again and gets dumped on top of a cameraman. He nails the cameraman and injures him, it's a pretty cool play on Shawns childish temper tantrums of the past and gives an excuse to get the door open. The medical crew give the cameraman assistance. Shawn hits Taker with a flying forearm. Top rope elbow and he warms up the band. Superkick but Taker sits up and he's pissed. So Shawn runs out the door. Taker follows and they fight in the aisle. Taker catapults him into the cage and Shawn does a wicked bladejob in mid air (it's masterful, you can barely even see him do it). He's busted open, and Taker darts him into the cage a few times. Shawn gets low blow and climbs up the cage. Takers follows him up. Shawn goes for a piledriver up there but gets backdropped. Taker grinds his face into the cage up top. Taker miltary press looks amazing and he slams Shawn. He hammers him a few times and Shawn tries to get down. He's hanging off the cage. Taker stomps on his hands and Shawn is sent crashing through the announce table. Taker follows him down and Shawn is bleeding everywhere. He gets his ass kicked all around the ringside area and Taker tosses him back in the ring. Chokeslam and Taker finds a chair and smacks Shawn in the head with it, revenge for all Shawns chairshots and he's satisfied with the asskicking he's given Shawn and signals for a tombstone to end it... but, the lights go out. The red lights and familiar theme starts and Kane makes his first appearance. He walks down and rips the door off its hinges. Taker looks like he's seen a ghost. He does the signiture pyro things and tombstones Taker and leaves. Michaels rolls out of a pool of his own blood and pulls himself over Taker, ref slowly counts to 3 and that's it at 29:58. DX wisely get Shawn out of there before Taker can wake and finish killing him.
They told a great story that followed their previous match, with Undertaker killing Shawn and Shawn doing whatever he can to come back. He got his revenge on Shawn and thoroughly kicked the shit out of him, even getting his chairshot in, which started the whole thing in the first place. Even the ending with Kane made sense because it paid off months of build up and sent Taker off to his next feud while getting Shawn his title match. This is wrestling perfection, I go back and forth on my favorite match of all time between this one, and Austin/Bret from WrestleMania and I can't pick one over the other. (*****)
Undertaker/Shawn is one of the greatest matches of all time and a match everyone should see. Everything else on the show is horrible and it's understandable, given Pillmans death, most of the guys didn't want to be there and a few matches were thrown together at the last minute. It doesn't make for a good show though. The main event completely saved it and made it must see. Have to give it a thumbs up based on the main event alone, but make no mistake, it's the only thing worth watching here.