Coliseum Corner: Best of “In Your House” (Part 2) – Dawning of Attitude

December 26, 2012 by Dan Duffy

Welcome back to Coliseum Corner’s ‘Best of In Your House’, in anticipation of the WWE DVD release next year.

Back in Part 1 we touched on the classics that 1995 and 1996 had to offer. Although there were some poor quality matches surrounding these gems, they are still worth checking out if you are a wrestling historian. Now we will pick it up from 1997. More action, more moments, more attitude!

WWF In Your House Logo

WWF In Your House Final Four On February 16, 1997, In Your House – Final Four was shown live from the UTC Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The main event; a Four Corners Elimination Match for the vacant WWF Championship. At the Royal Rumble a month before, Stone Cold Steve Austin had been eliminated from the 30 man Battle Royal by Bret Hart. However, referees didn’t notice the elimination take place. Seeing this, Austin capitalized on this and was responsible for the exits of; Undertaker, Vader and Bret Hart, before beeing crowned the winner of the 1997 Royal Rumble. At the same event Shawn Michaels regained his WWF Championship from Psycho Sid. Shortly before Final Four, it was decided that Bret Hart, Vader, the Undertaker and Austin would face in a four corners elimination match with the winner facing Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. However, Shawn appeared on Raw three days before the event and forfeited the title, telling fans about his knee injury and how he had lost his smile. The match was quickly changed to a WWF Championship match.

WWF Bret Hart Vader

With this stipulation in mind, the match was an insane brawl. The way to win was to throw the opponent over the top rope until one man remained. This was a mini Royal Rumble, if you will. As the match went on, chair swinging and illegal moves aided each competitor’s arsenal before each one’s elimination. This one’s a must watch.

WWF In Your House 16 Canadian Stampede On July 6, 1997 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Saddledome , came an event which many consider the best In Your House PPV of all time. This Canadian Stampede hosted only four matches and all four were gems. The PPV kicked off with Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who were in the midst of a heated rivalry. A month previous, Hunter had beaten Mankind in the final of the King of the Ring Tournament. After his win Triple H brutally attacked Mankind which set up this match for the PPV. The next bout was between two imports from Michinoku Pro Wrestling. The Great Sasuke and Taka Michinoku put on a display of high flying brilliance. These two superstars were virtually unknown to North American audiences, yet they lit up the crowd with their sensational abilities. The next match was the WWF championship match between the Undertaker and Vader. Paul Bearer was Vader’s manager and was constantly taunting the Undertaker about a secret he wouldn’t want everybody to know. Bearer revealed that The Undertaker had burned down the funeral home where he lived, killed his parents in the process and badly burning his younger Brother Kane. Undertaker claimed that Kane had committed this crime and he was to blame.

WWF Canadian Stampede

In the main event, the Hart Foundation; Bret Hart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jim the Anvil Neidhart and Brian Pillman met Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and the Legion of Doom in a heated grudge. Canada VS USA. The Hart Foundation were hated in America but beloved in Canada. Bret Hart, the leader of the group expressed the importance of being a hero to his fans all over the world and that he wouldn’t turn his back on them. He just didn’t like Americans. The entire Hart family were at ringside, including Natalya, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd. All decked out in Pink and Black, the Harts played the heroes on this night and the usual “good guys” were booed. This heated rivalry spiraled into one of the most emotional and exciting bouts in WWF history and concluded what was an exceptional event.

On October 5, 1997 from the Kiel Center in St Louis, Missouri, In Your House 18 Badd Blood hosted the very first Hell in a Cell Match. The Undertaker fought European Champion Shawn Michaels for number one contendership to meet WWF Champion Bret Hart at Survivor Series. The purpose of the Hell in a Cell match was to keep anybody from interfering in the match. At Ground Zero a month before, the Undertaker was met with interference from Shawn Michaels’ running buddies Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Chyna and Rick Rude (D-Generation X before the announcement of their name). In this match a definite winner would be decided. This match became a display of brutality never seen before in the WWF. Both Superstars used the cage for leverage to hurt one another so much so that both Taker and HBK even went out and to the top of the cage further brutalize each other. Unfortunately for Shawn Michaels, he left the top of the cage much quicker than his opponent. This match also marks the debut of Kane. It’s a stunner.

WWE Undertaker Kane Hell in a Cell

Three other matches that might be of interest from this era are from In Your House 19 – D-Generation X are; Taka Michinoku VS Brian Christopher to crown the first Light Heavyweight Champion, Triple H VS Sgt Slaughter in a Boot Camp Match and Shawn Michaels VS Ken Shamrock for the WWF Championship.

On April 26, 1998 at Unforgiven and May 31 1998 at Over the Edge, The Attitude Era was in full swing with Stone Cold Steve Austin defending his title against Dude Love. Twos where Mr. McMahon showed his true colours and stopped at nothing to prevent Austin from holding on to the WWF title. The McMahon/Austin rivalry really began to heat up. At Unforgiven, McMahon tried to screw Stone Cold like he did Bret Hart, but to no avail. At Over the Edge he made himself the special referee. This still didn’t stop Steve Austin from retaining his title. Check these hard hitting battles out especially for the punishment Dude Love (Mick Foley) endured.

WWF Stone Cold Dude Love

WWF Fully Loaded On July 26, 1998 from Fresno, California came Fully Loaded. Up and coming soon-to-be main eventers Triple H and The Rock met in an excellent 2 out of 3 falls match for the Intercontinental title. As respective leaders of D-Generation X and The Nation, these two men’s careers were parallel, each one climbing the ladder. These two superstars went 30 minutes with each man’s group doing everything they could to help them win the battle for the Intercontinental Championship.

WWE Triple H vs The Rock

WWF St Valentines Day Massacre On February 14, 1999 at St Valentine’s Day Massacre, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon’s rivalry was at an all-time high. So much so their hatred for one another was taken to a steel cage. At this time, Mr McMahon had his own corporation of men who were simply out to get Steve Austin and any other Superstar that crossed their path. Austin had taken many beatings and was gunning for the owner of the WWF. Stone Cold battered and bruised McMahon, even sending him from the top of the cage. When the bell finally did ring the match only got hotter. This match also marks the debut of the Big Show.

WWF St Valentines Day Massacre

So there you have it – a look back at some of the greatest ‘In Your House’ moments in history. While Coliseum Video only released the first 18 IYH spectaculars, the legacy of the event continued. In this instance an exception has been made to inspire you to hunt down these classics and watch all 28 of these historic events. If your favourites were not covered here, let us and everybody know by leaving a comment below. See you next time!

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  1. SRB says:

    Tons of classic IYH events and I certainly would grab a box set with all of them, something I wish WWE would do or if they would do a best of set I’d be very satasfied too. I always thought the cover for St Valentine’s Day Massacre was classic too with Vince and the roses. Great stuff back then and you were able to see the progression into the Attitude Era.

  2. Alan says:

    Actually, “Backlash” ’99 was the final IYH-billed event. The infamous “Over the Edge” ’99 where Owen Hart tragically passed away was the first off-month non-IYH PPV.

  3. Vincenzzzzzo says:

    There were so many great In Your House events. I really cannot wait to see the Best of IYH set next year and see what matches are on it. Matches like Jeff Jarrett vs Shawn Michaels at IYH: The Lumberjacks and the Ground Zero match with Taker vs Shawn Michaels I hope definitely make the match listing.

    I never took advantage of the In Your House Tagged Classics that Silvervision released, so mostly all the matches on the IYH set will be mine on DVD for the first time. Can’t wait. Great Coliseum Corner, by the way. Hope there are more just like these.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Breakdown is another IYH event worth watching, if only for the first ever triple threat cage match in WWE history (first televised one anyway).

  5. CrimeDawg says:

    I was at the Ground Zero PPV, it was in Lousiville, Kentucky. It was a good show, the first Taker-Michaels meeting. Good stuff. Also had Brian Pillman’s last PPV match where he lost to Goldust and had to wear a dress or someting like that.

    Badd Blood gets more attention and deservedly so, but was ultimately a one match show, and what a match it was.

  6. Thomas Goodearl says:

    God Bless SilverVision as the IYH PPV’s would never have got a DVD release at all. I now have all the IYH up to 98 and some are bad and some are pretty damn good. Hopefully the Best Of In Your House will be a decent WWE DVD release.

  7. JFR_WWfE79 says:

    Great 2-part article on In Your House. Kind of odd that Ground Zero wasn’t mentioned at all. Ground Zero seems to be the forgotten In Your House PPV and is the first In Your House PPV to expand from 2 hours to 3 hours. Does anybody else think Ground Zero is the forgotten In Your House PPV or were there others?

    • Dave says:

      Ground Zero was a great ppv…i enjoyed it, very underrated Bret Hart vs. Patriot match that hopefully makes it on the Best of IYH DVD/Blu-ray next year also the first meeting between HBK/Taker was another great brawl.

      I thought Cold Day in Hell is another forgotten IYH…has an awesome Austin vs Taker match which i thought was their best match together and pre-neck injury Austin was a great ring technician and the injury set him back to a more brawl style. It also has the brutal Shamrock vs. Vader match.

      Revenge of the Taker was another good one, Bret vs Austin didn’t disappoint along with Mankind vs. Taker.

      • Dan Duffy says:

        The problem with Revenge of the Taker and A Cold Day in Hell were that they were broadcast such a small space of time. Two weeks if my memory serves me correct. There wasn’t much time to progress storylines for fans to part with there money to see this rushed together PPV.

        However, Ken Shamrock VS Vader is a great match. Well Worth watching the event just for this match alone.

    • Dan Duffy says:

      As great as Ground Zero was, there is only so many matches that can be mentioned. Undertaker VS Shawn Michaels is overshadowed by their Hell in a Cell encounter, Bret Hart VS The Patriot was a great match as most Bret Hart matches were. But to feature Bret Hart on Final Four Canadian Stampede and then Ground Zero would become a column about Bret Hart’s matches, which is something i plan on doing sometime soon.

  8. Dave says:

    Great article.

    Canadian Stampede is my favourite IYH event, just amazing from top to bottom. Even the Blackjacks vs. Godwinns from Free For All was a decent match.

    Surprised WWE didn’t release the DX ppv in North America…must have done poorly in buyrates to not even warrant a VHS release.

    Final Four was another good event…the four way just awesome and Vader was IMO the MVP of the match, he bumped like a mad man even with blood blurring his vision. Also enjoyed Bulldog/Owen vs Furnas/Lafon, Rock vs. HHH and Mero vs. Leif Cassidy.

    I watched Over the Edge 98 the other day, and the main event was what really saved this event…the undercard was pretty bad and boring, the DX/Nation match went on far too long and just dragged. As i think about it besides the big 5 ppvs in 1998, they weren’t even that great, they were mostly advances in storylines and RAW.

    • LP1 says:

      I don’t remember what the buyrate was for IYH: DX. but it had nothing to do with that show not being released on video in North America. IYH: DX was actually a victim of timing as it fell between the end of the WWF’s Coliseum Video deal and the beginning of WWF Home Video. The final PPV released by Coliseum Video was Survivor Series 1997 the month before and the first WWF Home Video PPV released commercially was Royal Rumble 1998 the month after.

      WWF did release a couple of test run home videos in-house in 1997 that were only available through their merchandise catalog. Cause Stone Cold Said So, SummerSlam 1997, Ground Zero, One Night Only, Badd Blood and WrestleMania I-XIII: The Collection were the 6 releases WWF made available exclusively through their merchandise catalog. Beginning with Royal Rumble 1998 WWF Home Video was officially created and all of their videos were available commercially in stores worlwide.

      • JFR_WWfE79 says:

        @LP1 I have SummerSlam ’97, Ground Zero, Badd Blood, One Night Only and ’cause Stone Cold said so on the black sleeve VHS. I did noticed that IYH: DX wasn’t released on VHS here in the US. I’ll have to agree due to the timing issue from the transition from Coliseum Video to WWF Home Video. Only if WWF released it on VHS then the catalog number could have been WWF199. Not sure if you notice that both Badd Bllod and Survivor Series ’97 have the same catalog number but different UPC numbers.

        • LP1 says:

          The catalog aren’t the same. Survivor Series ’97 is WF175 and Badd Blood(Rampage ’97) is WF176. So while Survivor Series ’97 was the final ppv produced by Coliseum Video, Badd Blood was the final ppv in the catalog system.

    • Dan Duffy says:

      Canadian Stampede… I couldn’t agree more