IYH: Buried Alive
For my next edition of the Old School Review, I shall be going back to the time when an exceptionally rare match gimmick made its debut but the WWE was gradually focusing on smaller men to sell their shows with technical ability. I have seen snippets of this show before, but never fully so I looked forward to bringing you my OSR of In Your House: Buried Alive, enjoy!
The show opens up with a promo depicting the feud between Mankind and The Undertaker, pretty good for the time but reminds me how cool Foley’s character was. We then go to our commentators for the evening, Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross…the later of which is portraying the heel in a very bizarre move which I don’t think lasted long but JR puts a heel across very well before we are now off to our first match.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
From what I gather, Austin was supposed to be facing Savio Vega but he is injured I think so he is facing Helmsley instead. This marks the time when Austin was on his rise prominence following King of the Ring 1996 but more attention seems to be paid to the heelish nature of JR and his faulty microphone. Looking at Helmsley’s gimmick here, it makes me think would he where he is now with this gimmick, I’m not sure on the answer to that. Anyhow, the match begins off quite slowly with lots of basic wrestling holds and ground wrestling. The action remains very back and forth but attention also seems to be paid to the forthcoming return of Bret Hart the following evening which is suitable considering he met Austin in a solid outing at the following months Survivor Series. Considering how high these two rose within their WWE careers, it seems a little bit bizarre that these two are opening the match, but this match is exceptionally different to that we would experience from them later in their matches, this seems a lot more methodical and wrestling based instead of a brawl. Out strolls Mr Perfect who goes for Helmsley’s lady friend but gets into a verbal confrontation with Austin and gets water thrown in his face. Helmsley goes for the pedigree but leaves the ring when he sees his lady leave with Perfect allowing enough of a distraction for Austin to make a comeback and start fighting outside the ring briefly. Austin eventually nails Helmsley with the stunner to pick up the win in a credible and solid opening effort.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE Tag Team Championship: The British Bulldog and Owen Hart (c) vs. The Smoking Gunns
A promo is shown depicting the breakdown in relations between The Smoking Gunns, over Billy’s infatuation with Sunny who later fires The Smoking Gunns. Tension continue to builds in the interview, as the match for himself only rather than a tag team. Billy and Bart make their way out first, before they are then joined by the Tag Champions, The British Bulldog and Owen Hart. This match, should be a very solid outing and produce something quite unique. The action starts with Billy dominating the action over Bulldog, before Sunny is shown backstage looking on at this match. As a big man, it seems really weird Bulldog taking the beating but he does it very well and in a credible way before Owen is soon tagged in and sets about taking Bart down with a double team effort with Bulldog before the Gunn’s eventually mount a comeback and proceed to take down Owen. The action is very solid and compelling to watch, but after a sneaky move by Bulldog, Owen is able to comeback and nail Billy with a side kick of some description to pick up the win and retain the titles. Afterwards, it shows the further tension and frustration building with the Gunn’s.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
We then go backstage to the WWE Superstar Line with Helmsley taking calls from fans which shows how far the company has come in 20 years to the days of social media and the WWE Network. Anyway, JR has made his way into the ring and lambastes McMahon for the microphone difficulties he has had throughout the night but then begins to take the credit for Bret Hart returning to the WWE after several months absence before throwing the microphone at McMahon and walking out of the arena. Mr Perfect’s music then hits, and out he walks with JR who says something then quickly disappears before Perfect makes his way to ringside and joins Lawler and McMahon on commentary. This should be cool, he can talk well but gives it a new dynamic before we go to the next match.