In Your House: Ground Zero
Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky; September 7, 1997
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
My first of five reviews on the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker feud and matches they brought. This was the first time the two men squared off. It all started thanks to Shawn Michaels letting his disdain for Bret Hart get the better of him and cost the Undertaker the WWF title at Summerslam ’97. Shawn was riding the babyface/heel fence at the time of the match, and this is the match that put him over the top as a heel. D-Generation X would soon follow. The pyro guys screw up Shawn’s big entrance. Undertaker, who was destroyed by the thrown-together team of Shawn & HHH on a previous RAW, is so pissed that he flattens the referee before we even start.
Shawn Michaels tries running Sgt. Slobber tries to stop him, and that allows Undertaker to toss our poor ref Jack Doan I believe? over the top and onto both of them. He chases Michaels up the ramp and gives him an absolute ass-kicking, a proper start to this main event. We go back to ringside, The Undertaker chokes him with some cable, a right hook sends Shawn sprawling onto the Spanish table, oh how you got to love the Spanish announce table, The deadman gives him another and then sends him flying onto the railing.
Eventually, they get into the ring, where the Undertaker flattens him with a clothesline and drops two elbows on him. Is Shawn Michael actually going to get any offence in here? Shawn takes a nasty bump to the floor as ref number two then joins us. Shawn Michaels at this point is literally begging for a disqualification, but the match hasn’t actually started yet amazingly. Shawn sneaks in and gets a cheap shot on Undertaker and the match then finally gets under way. Michaels gets some offence in eventually and starts hitting him in the corner, all it does is anger The Undertaker even more. He goes up and gets caught coming down, and sent over the top.
Back in the ring, The Undertaker works on the arm for a bit, but gets dropped on the top rope during his traditional ropewalk or "old-school" as they decided to call it. Shawn goes for a steel-chair but 'Taker boots it out of his hands. Taker ascertains the chair and tries to use it but Hebner stops him. Taker and Hebner have a tug-of-war with the chair so Shawn dropkicks the Undertaker sending him into Hebner, wiping him out. This is a full on brawl. Shawn hammers the Undertaker and hits a flying elbowdrop, but there’s no ref of course. Rick Rude comes and gives Shawn a pair of brass knuckles, gotta love these, these are the PROPER real old-school brass knuckles, not those taped-up poor looking ones you see nowadays! Michaels starts smashing the Undertakers brains in with them for a few minutes. Triple H and Chyna then bring us yet another ref, and surprise surprise Shawn Michaels then beats HIM up too. What would be known as DX in the coming weeks, Triple H and Chyna work on The Undertaker. It’s an absolute slugfest and I am enjoying every second of this match, more than I thought I would from what I actually remember from the PPV itself.
The Undertaker blocks a sweet chin music and pulls the brass knuckles out of Shawn’s tights, famous snap of Undertaker looking down Shawn Michaels tights right here. A good shot with the brass knucks gets a two count. Undertaker chokeslams the ref, you really have to feel for some of the referees at this point. Finally another ref comes in and calls the whole thing a no-contest after about 22 minutes of an utter brawl. DX then try on a heel beatdown but The Undertaker is having absolutely none of that! Tombstone for Triple H. A bunch of officials run in, Michaels nails Pat Patterson, oh I bet Patterson loved every second of that nailing, and Jerry Brisco but the Undertaker manages a Tombstone to Triple H. Shawn attacks him from behind. The locker room empties to try to break it up and Billy Gunn dressed as some sort of western Elvis takes a chokeslam. The Legion of Doom, Disciples of Apocalypse and a whole hoard of wrestlers come out to hold the Undertaker back. Taker breaks free and topés out onto Shawn, taking out the Godwinns, The Rock and the Sultan who was just Rikishi behind a mask and Los Boricuas in the process. A huge melee erupts on the floor and Michaels, Triple H and Chyna finally escape! And THAT is the end of show. Pretty much the damnedest brawl you’ll ever see, and a match so intense that there was only one way to settle this feud and that is where my next review will come from... HELL IN A CELL...
I give this match THREE STARS *** , not because it was bad but because through out all the matches these two had this is the weakest out of the lot. Wasn’t much of a match as it was a wild brawl, The Undertaker came to extract his pound of flesh and got a lot more than he bargained for. Shawn used his backup to the best of its ability but they all could not stop the Undertaker. This made the crowd rampant for the rematch blow-off and boy they got it at the next pay-per-view..