WWF Badd Blood: In Your House (1997) – Review

Now when you talk about nights when wrestling changed forever, many rightfully will bring up WrestleMania 1,3 and X7… some will say when Vince brought WCW… but how about the first ever Hell In A Cell match, the debut of a character that would be synomous with the company for the next 25 years, the final night as lead commentator of one Vince McMahon… how about all of those happenings taking place on the same night during the same PPV!… Oh and did I mention how the main event sent Shawn Michaels on his way to face Bret Hart for the WWF title at Survivor Series in Montreal in another of the more (in)famous nights in the history of professional wrestling? Well… the Badd Blood edition of the In Your House series the WWF put on in the 1990s was one heck of a show, most famous of course for it’s quite remarkable main event, but it’s one I haven’t actually watched back in full… so join me here now as I go back and watch and review for you all one of the most historic shows in company history. Enjoy!


(Apologies to start on a sad note… but after the opening match of this show (after announcing it during a preview show that aired at the time and was touched on during the ring entrances for the opener), Vince McMahon on commentary spoke directly to camera. He spoke of the sad news that Brian Pillman had passed away earlier that day. Pillman is widely known as one of the most underrated performers (particularly as a talker) in the history of the business. He competed in WWF, WCW and ECW, and is probably most famous for his association and then eventual feud with Steve Austin. He was just 35 years old.) 

The opening video of the show told the story that has led to the main event; the cocky Shawn Michaels locked inside Hell in a Cell against The Undertaker. 

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the show, he’s alongside Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on commentary. As the announcements were made for the opening match by the legendary Howard Finkel, Lawler stated his case for McMahon and ‘some of these people’ to be locked in a cell for what they’ve done, and the situation they have forced Shawn Michaels in tonight. 

Twice already in the opening 3 minutes of this show, it has been made perfectly clear that there is no escape for Michaels, and that nobody will be able to help him… 

The Nation of Domination (Rocky Maivia. D’Lo Brown & Kama Mustafa) defeated The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal) in a 3on2 Handicap Match 

Rocky Maivia… whatever happened to him I wonder… might be worth a google if you have a spare moment… Kama Mustafa by the way is the FKA Papa Shango and later more famously as The Godfather. LOD got a big pop coming out. The story here is it was supposed to be a 6 man tag with Ken Shamrock joining LOD, but after sustaining internal injuries at the hands of the Nation’s leader Faarooq 3 weeks prior, he was not cleared by doctors to compete in this match despite himself wanting to. LOD cut a promo before the bell saying Shamrock was spitting up blood and said if they thought it meant the two of them wouldn’t beat the two of them they were deadly wrong. D’Lo began the match up against Hawk, they went back and forth until D’Lo tagged out to Rocky Maivia… he immediately irked the ire of the crowd with loud boos and ‘Rocky SUCKS’ chants almost right away. Maivia really wasn’t happy and even had to be persuaded to get back into the ring by Kama Mustafa and Brown, in spite of the negative crowd reaction to him. Maivia’s offence on Animal looked really crisp and his selling was excellent as Animal hit a dropkick to send Rocky outside again. Animal and Hawk then took turns beating Rocky up, before Maivia tagged out to Kama Mustafa (who looked HUGE by the way). After Mustafa and Hawk went at it, Maivia came back in and later hit a great looking ddt, but as he wasn’t legal the ref told him off. Kama hit a ‘martial arts heel kick’ (so said Jim Ross) as Vince delightfully said his signature ‘WHAT A MANOEUVRE’ line. The ref became distracted in the ring as Rocky and D’Lo beat on Animal on the outside, before throwing him back to Kama in the ring. Kama tagged out to Brown, who hit strikes and then a clothesline on Animal in the corners, before the LOD man cameback with a big clothesline of his own to send both men down. D’Lo cut off the hot tag, and hit a snapmare and 2 leg drops to get a nearfall before tagging out to Rocky Maivia. More ‘Rocky SUCKS’ chants came as Maivia went on offence, and as he took down Animal with a right hand he feints an elbow at Hawk on the apron to anger him, the ref is then distracted making sure Hawk doesn’t get into the ring as Rocky badmouths him, but this in-turn allows Mustafa and Brown to sneak in and beat on Animal behind the ref’s back. D’Lo opens Animal’s legs and Rocky Maivia hits a hard right hand to the ‘lower abdominal area’ according to Vince McMahon on commentary, this gets him a nearfall. After Kama came back in he hit Animal with a spin kick and sent him into the corner where he tried a running charge, but Animal moved out the way and scrambled to tag in Hawk… BUT… Rocky tried to get in the ring to stop the tag, so the ref was busy dealing with him and so didn’t actually see the tag take place… so when he turned round to see Hawk he went over to tell him to get back on the apron as he wasn’t legal. The further distraction as a result of this of the ref allowed for Rocky and Mustafa to hold down Animal and D’Lo Brown came off the top with a Splash… but Animal kicked out from Mustafa’s pin attempt at 2. Rocky and D’Lo threw Animal to the outside and into the steps… but soon after he scrambled for a tag to Hawk, who immediately ran wild and hit a series of punches and then a powerslam. After a double clothesline to Maivia, LOD went for their finisher when Faarooq (the leader of the NoD) appeared on the apron to cause the distraction, and with the ref’s back turned Kama kicked Hawk in the head and then Maivia hit the Rock Bottom for the 1,2,3. This was a solid opener, and the 3v2 dynamic was factored in well and made for a good story of the match. The crowd did fall flat at the finish, but I think that was more because the babyfaces got beat. 

***

Max Mini & Nova defeated Mosaic & Tarantula

Yep… this was a ‘minis’ match… Mosaic and Tarantula were dressed up like superheroes… as were Max Mini & Nova… oh boy… I cba with all the jokes and comments from commentary… No disrespect to these guys as performers or for getting their big day, but this was the last minute replacement for the scheduled Brian Pillman vs Goldust match… I mean… if you want to go out of your way and spend 6 minutes and 43 seconds of your time watching this match then feel free. Nothing they did offence wise was awful, if not a little (pun… well I cba with) basic at times. But they flew about and the crowd seemed entertained enough, but watching this in 2020 it was very difficult to take seriously. Apologies. For the record the winners were Max Mini and Nova after he reversed some form of slam into a form of armdrag takedown, which he then used to pin Tarantula’s shoulders down. And despite Mosaic coming in and kicking at the pin at the three it was deemed enough for the win. I honestly would rather they not have done this match.

Sunny (erm, known for… a few things, but in 1997 she was the hot stuff in WWF) made her entrance. She played guest ring announcer for the next match. 

The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn & Phineas I. Godwinn) with Uncle Cletus defeated The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) (C) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship 

If you aren’t aware, The Godwins were… erm… hillbillies… Mosh and Thrasher were… odd… but they were over with the crowd so we will give them that… Apologies if this report is a little all over the place as I’m not going to pretend I have extensive knowledge of any of these guys, so distinguishing who is who is gonna be really hard for me… and I’ll be completely honest; of the matches on this show this may well be the one I have the least interest in (doing a great job selling this aren’t I…). Anyway… to start off with The Headbangers cleared the ring and sent both of The Godwins to the outside. Mosh (I think it’s Mosh…)… when he was in the ring waiting for properly start the match after the opening melee legitimately SPAT INTO THE AIR… AND THEN CAUGHT IT IN HIS OWN MOUTH (You can actually hear people groan in disgust as he does it)… we are maybe a minute in and I already cba… Phineas hit a series of elbows to Mosh in the corner, then was sent flying into the other corner. But as Phineas tried (I think) to powerbomb Mosh, Mosh somehow hit a type of hurricanrana to send him to the outside. Then Thrasher hit Phineas on the outside form the apron… only the camera was on Mosh in the ring at the time so we only heard Vince’s excited commentary of what happened… Mosh hit Phineas and then hit a clothesline off the top to knock Phineas off the aporn. We then got our replay which showed Thrasher used a pretty terrible hurricanrana to down Phineas. Mosh got a nearfall in the ring, before tagging in Thrasher. The Headbangers hit a brutal looking flapjack on Phineas who landed right on his upper back, not good, which gave them another nearfall. Phineas hit a couple of strikes before tagging in Henry, who went at it with Thrasher… Thrasher got a nearfall with a schoolboy, and to end another exchange Thrasher hit quite the dropkick to be far for a big guy, this sent Henry to the outside. Uncle Cletus (yes that’s his name) seemed to rile Henry up enough to motivate him to go back in, but he soon tagged out to Phineas. Phineas and Thrasher locked hands, and Thrasher yanked on Phineas’ arm over and over, before tagging in Mosh and the two combined to hit a form of leapfrog move where Phineas was held drapped against the ropes as Mosh leaped over Thrasher onto Phineas. We had a unique move where Thrasher held Mosh up on the top rope as if for a suplex before dropping him onto Phineas below, this got a nearfall. They actually showed a replay of Mosh and his pierced tongue… yes in 1997 that was deemed worthy of a replay… I CAN’T BE ARSED WITH THIS DUMBASS MATCH ANYMORE AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!… Fuck this shit… a few minutes later The Godwins got the win and became new champions after Mosh came off the top and JUST ABOUT got caught in time and hit with a clunky-ass powerbomb by Phineas, as Thrasher was held back by Henry  … this match was DUMB AS FUCK… ZZZzzz… They beat on The Headbangers after… as we had a sign which read ‘The Godwins are inbred’… christ… Then we heard from the ring announcer that the referee had ruled that if they didn’t leave the ring they would be stripped of the titles… WOW… 

1/4* (0.25) 

We were shown a cool video about some guy called ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin’… wonder if he’ll ever be somebody in the business… He is of course injured right now as a result of the infamous Tombstone given to him by Owen Hart… it was this period of not being in action wrestling but still doing stuff on TV that was probably the key time in his whole career, when he really did smash that glass ceiling. Followed we had a video showing a confrontation between Vince McMahon and Austin from Raw that Monday where he was given three options over his future. Apparently we would get Austin’s answer on the next week’s Raw. 

Michael Cole was backstage where he said Austin was in the arena that night but would not speak to him or anyone else, but apparently would be forfeiting the Intercontinental Championship. Owen Hart interrupted Cole and cut a promo on Austin (whilst wearing an Owen 3:16 shirt, tremendous stuff). 

Jim Ross hosted a ceremony in the ring where he led a wonderful showcase of wrestlers of the past who had made St Louis such a famous wrestling hotbed. He thanked the legendary promoter Sam Muchnick, before welcoming out: Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Terry Funk, and finally Sam Muchnick himself alongside Lou Thesz. This was really fun and a very old school throwback but actually quite educational as they played a brief video about each guy once they were introduced which was cool. 

Doc Hendrix (Michael Hayes) interviewed Faarooq and the rest of The Nation. When Hendrix suggested Faarooq held a trump card over Owen, in the form of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Faarooq was not happy and played down Austin saying this was Nation business. And that Austin was just a name to him. 

Vince McMahon spoke to camera again with an update on Brian Pillman. He said at this early stage authorities had said there was no sign of foul play. He said signs pointed to a drug overdose, something McMahon said was a problem in all sports, but this would not be clear for another 7 days when the toxicology report was released.   

Owen Hart defeated Faarooq to win the vacant Intercontinental Championship 

Owen came out with his 2 slammy awards and a Canadian flag. Faarooq came out on his own. This was clearly a heel vs heel match which is odd… On the back of Owen’s 3:16 shirt he had ‘I just broke your neck’ in further reference to his legit injury he caused to Austin. Such good shit. With both men in the ring Steve Austin then came out to a big reaction from the crowd (of course he did, HE’S STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN FOR GOD SAKE), he had the IC title belt with him, which he flunged over the announce table before McMahon instructed him he was supposed to be sitting at ringside during the match and then vacate the title to the eventual winner of this next match. Commissioner Slaughter showed Austin to his seat (in the timekeepers area). Austin even did a bit of colour commentary at the start and he was tremendously fun… Owen and Faarooq eventually locked up with Faarooq overpowering him twice, slamming him down the second time they tied up. Faarooq hit a series of hard strikes to Owen, before Owen came back with a spinning heel kick to send The Nation’s leader down. Hart then kicked away at Faarooq’s leg, then dropping down on it and wrenching it over and over. As Owen was working on Faarooq’s leg we had a double screen with Austin on the other using one of the spanish commentators headsets to talk through. Austin then went over and did the same with the French announcers (between this we had a subtle comment from McMahon where he said Austin always puts the attention on himself and away from the match… along those lines anyway). In the ring as Owen tried a figure 4 he was kicked into the ringpost by Faarooq, who then stomped down on Hart, and eventually getting a nearfall. As Owen fell down on Faarooq to get a nearfall, McMahon commented how Stone Cold disrupts everything… Faarooq hit a hard clothesline to send down Owen, and then a slam, before heading to the second for a leg drop, but Owen moved out the way. Owen tried to lock in the sharpshooter but Faarooq kicked him away. Faarooq got a nearfall after a powerslam… and then Jim the Anvil Neidhart appeared at ringside, as Faarooq gave Owen a hard spinebuster as he came off the ropes… but this only got a two count. Faarooq then trapped Owen’s neck against the ropes by pressing it with his knee, just as The Anvil got on the apron which distracted the ref, as this happened Faarooq came off the ropes but landed on the opposing ropes as Owen moved out the way. Then Stone Cold leaped up and hit Faarooq with the Intercontinental Championship belt… and then Owen pinned him for the win just like that. Owens wins the title! Austin walked away up the ramp after (having earlier said when he spoke to the french commentary team that he would be at Survivor Series in Montreal). Faarooq was not best pleased, as Owen walked off with Jim Neidhart and his newly won title. The story here seems to be that Austin wants Owen to be champion so he can beat him for it again and get his ultimate revenge. This match was far too short for who was in it, despite what they did do being basic it was still pretty good stuff. 

**

We were shown footage from last week’s Raw where The Hart Foundation beat on The Patriot and Vader. A 4 on 2 assault with the heels waving the Canadian Flags and draping them over the babyface Americans. 

The Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball, Chainz, Crush & Skull) defeated Los Boricuas (Jesús Castillo Jr, José Estrada Jr, Miguel Pérez Jr & Savio Vega)

Can’t say I care a bit about anyone in this match to be honest. I only have somewhat of a knowledge of who Savio Vega is… the rest? Pass. This appeared to be another match thrown together last minute as a result of the card being changed due to the passing of Brian Pillman. This appears to be somewhat of a ‘gang war’ between the Puerto Ricans and the biker-type group. The DOA were all big, bad-looking guys. Anyway this was a decent enough match… well it wasn’t terribly exciting but it wasn’t bad. A group of big guys as bikers against a group of other big guys… crowd was absolutely silent for most of the match. It really wasn’t one I’ll remember for a long time, lots of punches, big slams and just really a big multi-man fight. For the record the biker gang won after tilt the world backbreaker … Sorry (not sorry) for the lack of review, I was very bored watching this one… 

*1/2 

The Hart Foundation (Bret and Bulldog) cut a promo backstage in an interview with Michael Cole. They said they wanted to set an example, and he said that Americans like to dream and the example they would set is that they are better than any two americans. 

WWF Champion Bret Hart and The British Bulldog defeated The Patriot and Vader in a Flag Match 

In a change to usual flag matches, you can also win this one apparently by pinfall or submission (as well as climbing the respective pole of that team and climb the flag). The Harts had the Canadian flag on their pole and the US flag on top of the pole in the opposing corner for Vader and The Patriot. Doc Hendrix spoke with the two babyfaces backstage before they came out, The Patriot cut a decent promo, Vader said that ‘The Best there is, The Best there was and The Best there ever will be’ was a load of bullshit, which made me laugh a lot. In a good bit of trivia the music of The Patriot was the same music that a guy called ‘Kurt Angle’ would also go on to use… he did ok didn’t he? … They brawled as soon as the match began and The Patriot hit Bulldog with a flag pole as Vader hammered Bret with the canadian flag and then all over the commentary table area, as the crowd chanted ‘USA, USA…’. Both heels then used the flags on the babyfaces… and I noted just how stiff Vader’s punches looked to Bret… OUCH… The babyfaces seemed on top as The Patriot choked Bulldog with a flagpole and Vader beat on Bret down the entrance aisle. Vader and The Patriot posed in the ring as Bret and The British Bulldog tried to regroup on the outside as the bell finally now rung to start the match. Eventually as The Patriot tried to get the flag then Bulldog got in and stopped him, and the two went at it. Patriot hit a great suplex as Bret had to stop him grabbing the flag, but Vader came in and with the refs attention on him this allowed Bret to get a cheap shot in. Vader then tagged in, hitting big body shots to The Bulldog, before Hart was tagged in also. Bret sold Vader’s strikes big time, and was took down by a clothesline. Although Bulldog took him down with a shot off the apron after Vader collided with the corner turnbuckle… Bret climbed the pole to get his flag but Vader striked him down, then hit a big sit out move ala Rikishi for a nearfall. Bulldog and Patriot then tagged in, Patriot hit a big dropkick for a nearfall. Patriot striked at Bulldog in the corner then soon hit another slam before he went after the flag again, Bret and Bulldog stopping him again. Vader then came in the ring to help his partner, but the ref was too busy dealing with him to notice Bret with his foot on The Patriot’s face in the other corner, so another double team by the heels. Bulldog went for the flag, but Vader manhandled him down with some force. Patriot ran into the corner post after Bulldog moved, and then Bret went to slam his leg against it but moved away once Vader got near, only for the ref again to march Vader away allowing Bret to slide in and slam Patriot’s legs against the post and use a figure four hold against the post… It’s actually beginning to irritate me a little the amount of times this kind of thing has already happened in this match… Soon after this, Bret got the sharpshooter on Patriot, but somehow he reversed it until bulldog clotheslined him down. All four men were in the corner, but Patriot climbed above them all after his flag until he was dropped down right on his shoulder. I must comment on how good the offensive moves of Bret, The Bulldog and even The Patriot looked, and Vader… well he was a very different wrestler to the other three so hard to compare… he was a good scary big man though I’ll say that. Vader hit a huge standing splash for a close nearfall to The Bulldog, and somehow tried to go after the flag, only for Bret to come in and hammer him down. Bulldog now was legal and went at it with Vader, stomping on him and having him in a neck hold before going over to tag in Bret. The Hitman hit a huge slam to send Vader down, and did get the Sharpshooter in but Vader got the ropes and then The Patriot came in hammered on Bret. Vader soon after dropped an elbow to Bret’s gut on the floor, and then locked in his own Sharpshooter, or at least tried before Bulldog came in and clotheslined him. Patriot was then in and got a figure 4 on Bret, but Bret tagged in Bulldog whilst in the hold to escape from it, and then he striked Vader too for good measure. Bulldog got a nearfall after a vertical suplex on Patriot, Patriot got his own nearfall after. Bulldog stomped on Patriot who was trapped in the corner, then Bret came in and followed up with the same. Bret hit a big suplex as the crowd chanted for ‘USA’… Bret went for the flag again but Vader grabbed him from behind like he was a child and bearhugged him down. Bulldog also came in and took down The Patriot. Vader and Bulldog both tagged in, Vader slamming Bulldog down in the corner and then looking to climb the turnbuckle and come crashing down after for the Vader Bomb, but in an unbelievable spot he went to the top rope and VADER hit a MOONSAULT… but unfortunately The British Bulldog moved out the way, but Vader seemed to land somewhat on his feet which was something else. Crowd were really into the amazing feat from the big man though. Vader hit a series of strikes to Bulldog in the corner, then went to the opposing corner after his flag, but Bret grabbed his leg to stop him. Patriot also had Bulldog in the other corner whilst this was going on. Vader hit a huge clothesline to send Bulldog over the ropes to the outside, but as Patriot was in the ring Bret went to hammer at Vader, and the two heels double teamed him. Patriot got hit with the ring bell for his troubles, then Vader got a seriously hard looking bell shot when the ref was distracted. Bulldog tagged in Bret who amazingly slammed down the hurt Vader, Bret went to the second rope to strike down on Vader. Then struck Patriot off the apron, then a big ddt to Vader for a nearfall. Bulldog was tagged in, but soon Vader hit a double clothesline to send both down. With The Patriot tagged in he ran wild on both the heels, and hit a full nelson slam to Bret for a nearfall that Bulldog broke up… then what was described as A FAN actually came into the ring, that the ref and bulldog had to get out of the ring, so that was something… Bret was legal in the ring with Patriot as most the crowd seemed distracted by the security outside the ring dealing with the wild fan… Vader went up and hit the Vader Bomb on the WWF Champion, but of course he wasn’t the legal man. Bulldog drove Vader’s into the steps on the outside, whilst in the ring Bret rolled over The Patriot and had a handfull of his tights and this was enough for him to get the pin. Just… Patriot immediately stomped and beat on Bret after, until the heels made their escape. A cheap win for the heels was fine, but the crowd really wasn’t as hot for this as I thought they might be during it. Although they popped for Vader’s big stuff. This match was… fine… 

***

They aired a video advert for Survivor Series the next month in Montreal… I wonder what will happen on that show… 

The Hell in a Cell structure lowered down as commentary put over it’s uniqueness. Vince said this will spell the demise of Shawn Michaels. JR said of the cell that once you get in there there is no where to go, nowhere to run. King said Michaels had been forced inside this cell tonight to face hell. 

DX (HBK, HHH, Chyna and Rick Rude) were backstage with Doc Hendrix. Michaels said the match was not for his ‘coveted European Championship’, but said the bad news was the fifteen foot high steel cage. He told his troops he would have to go this one alone, then put himself over big time. He said ‘aint nobody crazy enough to do this gig except for the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels’. 

Really great video aired before this explaining how Michaels had become the biggest of ASSHOLES, and then how he went after Undertaker, leading to this extraordinary match up tonight. 

Now everyone… strap yourselves in, get a nice beverage and sit back and enjoy an absolute work of booking artistry…

Shawn Michaels defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match to determine the Number One contender for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series

Commissioner Slaughter used a flashlight to check under the ring in case anyone was there, before signalling the cell could be lowered. I love little details like that. Michaels came out slowly with the rest of DX. They did come into the ring with him where he did his typical showman like entrance and posing, as the cell began to lower towards the ring… Taker’s gong for his entrance and the lights going down got a huge pop from the crowd. DX exited the ring as the cell came down, but Michaels still seemed bouncing and confident enough… Taker made his typically methodical entrance, but as he got towards the ring and the lights came back up suddenly Shawn appeared to realise what was really about to happen… he was trapped inside a huge cell that was locked… with a big, bad Undertaker who wanted to destroy him. HBK really was panicking as it appeared HHH was trying to console him. Taker appeared to almost stalk Michaels around the outside of the ring, and the bell sounded with Michaels still backing away. He immediately got a big boot and a big punch once he got in the ring, Taker smashed HBK’s head against the ring post twice, and to the other corner post, and he grabbed Michaels off the ropes but HBK hit punches back, then in the corner, before an irish whip was reversed and then Taker took HBK down with a huge clothesline which got a nearfall. Taker hit Michaels with a few shoulder blocks as he held his wrist, then hit Old School to send HBK flying. Taker continued to beat on HBK as Michaels bumped his ass off, he really does take a proper ass whupping here. Taker got a nearfall after a big leg drop, then hit a huge back body drop, and a huge couple of punches after HBK had a strike blocked. Taker then sent HBK over the ropes flying to the outside of the ring after he ran at Taker, which of course didn’t end well. Taker lifted and then choked HBK, until he hit Taker in the eye and tried to climb away to safety, but Taker pulled him down, and then launched him into the cage wall and then struck him down again. Taker really taking his time with this beatdown. He again did the exact same set of moves to punish Michaels some more. Taker had HBK in a powerbomb position, and lifted him up only for Michaels to grab the cell wall and punch away at Taker from up high best he could. Taker though soon slammed him against the cell wall twice. Taker threw HBK into the ringpost then punched away at him with rights and lefts, then picking Michaels up and driving his back from the ringpost to the cell and back again. He then picked Shawn up but he soon scrambled out of it, only to be struck down soon after… Taker then rammed his head against the steps, then punished HBK more… launching him into the cell wall but it appeared HBK got out of trouble as he was soon hammering away at Taker who was down. Shawn rolled his way into the ring to get a breather, he punched away at Taker who was on the apron, Taker though used the ropes as leverage for a stunner type move to send Michaels to the ring floor. Michaels though ran at Taker when he got on the apron, which sent Taker into the cell wall. Michaels then flew through the ropes right into Taker and he went into the cell wall again. HBK dropped an elbow off the cell wall, then went on the apron, and flew into Taker. HBK seeming to get back into it now. Michaels then got the steel steps and smashed Taker across the back twice with them, and then a third time. He then tried to Piledrive Taker into the steps, getting it on the second time. Michaels swore at the camera man nearby to him to move, and then he stomped down on Taker for good measure. HBK went to the top rope and dropped down again onto Taker, and with both in the ring HBK hit a big punch to Taker then got a steel chair. HBK smashed Taker in the back with the chair, and then eventually a second time, before crawling for a cover… but Undertaker kicked out at two. Michaels hit strikes in the corner, but Taker came back with punches of his own to excite the crowd, although HBK hit a kick to the mid section and then more strikes, then got Taker all tied up in the ring ropes with his arms all wrapped up. Michaels then hit a helpless Undertaker with punches, although Taker then kicked away Michaels, and as HBK ran at Taker he got flipped over the ropes and Shawn fell right onto a cameraman. HBK in his anger and maybe embarrassment then kicked away at the poor cameraman, much to the disgust of McMahon and Ross on commentary, and to the fury of Earl Hebner the referee. Michaels then pushed away the cameraman… then going back to Undertaker not before he had a word of abuse in the direction of Vince and co. Back in the ring HBK came off the ropes to take Taker down with a flying forearm, then did a big kip up and then went to the top rope and dropped the big elbow. HBK really in control and having it his way at this point. 

In what would become a huge development in the match, Slaughter came back down to unlock the cell door so treatment could be given to the downed cameraman. Hebner unlocked the door, as Michaels tuned up the band in the ring, and as Slaughter carried the cameraman out the cell via the door HBK hit a picture perfect Sweet Chin Music… but The Undertaker sat right up to a huge pop from the crowd. Business just picked up as JR said, and he was right. Michaels best move and Undertaker took it and got right back up… Michaels maybe wisely decided he was indeed fucked, and made his way out the still open door of the cell, as Taker went after him. Both brawled outside the cell now, with Taker launching HBK into the cell wall with a catapult. This busted HBK open big time. Taker punched away after, ramming him head first into the cell wall again after. And again. Michaels though hit a low blow kick, and then tried to crawl away… and this is when he decided to CLIMB the cell!!! Taker couldn’t stop him, as Michaels went to the top of the cell as Taker went up after him. Both men were now on top of the cell on the roof as the over 21000 crowd went wild. Eventually Taker back body dropped Michaels onto the cell as he then ravaged HBK’s face against the steel cell roof, Michaels tried to crawl away down the other side, but Taker picked him up again and slammed Michaels again to the cell roof. Shawn Michaels tried to escape, and was punched to near the edge of the cell, he managed to hang on to the side of it but barely.. and Taker stomped away at Michaels clinging on… and then in the first of many similar spots Michaels fell from the side of the cell and went crashing through the commentary tables below it. We have seen many many spots even more dramatic than this in cell matches since, but this at the time as the first of it’s kind was spectacular. Taker went after him and launched a very very bloody Michaels around and all over the place. Michaels and Taker made their way back into the ring, as the cell door was then re locked. Taker took HBK down with a big clothesline, then sent him up top and hit a right hand and then a chokeslam off the top rope! Taker then went outside to get a steel chair as revenge for earlier in the match, hitting HBK with a huge chair shot to the head… Taker then signalled for the Tombstone… and then… it happened… the lights went out… the music played… and from the fire, with Paul Bearer alongside him… KANE entered the WWF! “oh my god wait a minute, it’s Paul Bearer, it’s Paul Bearer and that… THAT’S GOTTA BE… THAT’S GOTTA BE KANE… THAT’S GOTTA BE KANE!!! (Undertaker looks on in absolute disbelief) … oh my god he just ripped the door off its hinges! Jim Ross: look at the size of this human being, or is that a human being? (Kane stands in the ring eye to eye with his brother Undertaker). VM: Kane, that’s gotta be Kane, The Undertaker , looking at him, looking to the eyes of that giant who stands in front of him, is that his younger brother? JR: HES HUGE WHOEVER HE IS! HE’S AS BIG AS THE UNDERTAKER! Kane then makes flames rise from the 4 ring posts before he kicks The Undertaker in the stomach and Tombstone’s him before leaving. HBK then crawls over and covers the deadman for the win as he is then dragged to the back by Chyna and Triple H.

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With most amazing debut in WWF history to help him, Shawn Michaels had secured his place in history at Survivor Series against Bret Hart. The Undertaker had come face to face with his brother, as KANE had arrived in WWF. An unbelievably historic finish to an amazing match. Even in 2020 this one holds up still as a classic. 

*****

Certainly a show of ups and downs. Not all great, some very bad, but the good stuff (particularly the main event) was incredible. 

Josh. 

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