Today we bring you a special bonus edition of The Way We Was because twenty years ago this past Sunday a WWF superstar found himself buried alive at In Your House 11. As if that wasn’t cause enough for a bonus post, Buried Alive also provided plenty of other noteworthy happenings too…
Of course the big news hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, concerned the show’s main event; an unsanctioned Buried Alive Match between Mankind and The Undertaker. As we have come to expect from these two, this was a wild brawl in complete contrast to anything produced by The Undertaker before Mankind’s debut in the WWF earlier this year. The rules were simple; first man to bury his opponent in enough dirt to cover their entire body would be declared the winner. As such, rather than shoot the match on location at a graveyard, the WWF opted to dump a giant mound of soil and turf near the entrance. So massive was this mound that the hole dug out to form the grave seemed to be a legit six feet deep. Once we got started the action was hard hitting and wild. Both men, but Mankind in particular, were more than happy to throw their bodies all over the arena. The Undertaker even produced a massive plancha dive; I wonder if he’ll use that again? As you might expect, both men made use of various weapons. From shovels to spikes to the ring steps to the guard rail, nothing was safe. I remain genuinely surprised that the announce table remained intact, but I guess this was before such spots became the norm. After a couple of failed attempts, it was Mankind who was chokeslammed into the grave for just long enough to be buried. The Undertaker’s celebrations did not last long though, as a large masked man appeared and attacked the Deadman with a shovel. The mystery man then helped Mankind out of the grave to assist in a Paul Bearer directed beat down of The Undertaker. As a result, Taker found himself lying in the grave with shovels of dirt being buried on top of him. Things got worse for the Deadman as in true ‘let’s kill The Undertaker’ fashion, a bunch of random, unrelated bad guys showed up to lend a hand. Crush, Goldust, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw helped to fill the grave until it was very nearly filled in. At this point thunder struck to scare away the baddies, some faster than others. A bolt of lightning then struck a shovel left by Mankind which was followed by The Undertaker’s gloved hand emerging from the soil as the show went off the air.
In Other News From Buried Alive –
- The masked man who helped Mankind bury The Undertaker was former Fabulous Freebird Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy. He will be christened ‘The Executioner’ shortly
- This was the first pay per view in WWF history not to feature the WWF Champion in a match. However, Shawn Michaels did wrestle a dark match with Goldust after the cameras had stopped rolling
- Michaels did make an appearance on the live show too, as guest commentator during the number one contender match between Sid and Vader. This disappointing affair was predictably won by Shawn’s on/off friend Sid. After the match HBK entered the ring and the pair shook hands. Sid will get his title shot at the Survivor Series next month
- On the topic of commentators, they appeared to be the main focus of the evening, and I’m not exaggerating. JR – who’s still portraying a heel – spent much of his time complaining about being censored because his microphone wouldn’t working. Eventually he stormed off but not before getting in the ring to take credit for bringing Bret Hart back to the WWF. The Hitman is scheduled to appear on Raw and Vince McMahon did acknowledge that Ross did indeed travel to South Africa to hold talks with Bret. Let’s just hope JR hasn’t recruited an imposter this time…
- Still on the subject of commentators and JR’s replacement, Mr Perfect, also had a busy night. Prior to taking the headset from Ross, Perfect, as he usually does, stole Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s lady from ringside. This was not before copping a mouthful of abuse and some physical argy bargy from Hunter’s opponent; Stone Cold Steve Austin. Fast forward to Perfect’s stint on commentary and after helping Marc Mero back into the ring during the Wildman’s Intercontinental Title defence against Goldust, Helmsley came out to get in Perfect’s face. All this nonsense at ringside was enough to distract Goldust and help Mero retain the belt
- That last bullet point will make absolutely no sense to regular readers because Austin was supposed to wrestle Savio Vega and Mero’s title defence was supposed to be against Faarooq. I shall explain: Savio has picked up an injury, hence we got the much more exciting pairing of Austin and Hunter, albeit with both men portraying heel characters. Faarooq has also picked up an injury, but a kayfabe one. Ahmed Johnson was present during the Free For All and issued Faarooq with an ass kicking. At least that is what was insinuated as we joined the scene with Ahmed being restrained while holding a plank of wood. Thus, Goldust too Faarooq’s place in the IC Title match
- As good as Stone Cold vs. Triple H was, the best bit of the match for me was Austin telling Mr Perfect to “get the fuck out of here!”
- Staying with Austin, and he has new music. It features glass shattering as the intro. He also said he wants to retire Bret Hart
- After walking out on commentary, JR hijacked Doc Hendrix’s post-match interview with Sid. Asking the hard questions, JR got Sid to state that he will do whatever it takes to beat Shawn Michaels and become WWF Champion at Survivor Series
- Could The Smoking Gunns be heading for a break up? Bart appears keen to move on from their former manager, Sunny. Billy on the other hand still appears to be infatuated with her, to the point of it causing him to lose focus in the ring. He was culpable for the Gunns’ clean loss to Owen Hart and The British Bulldog
- The overwhelming story on Raw for the last four weeks has been fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel, yet they were not even mentioned on this show. I guess that’s what happens when you tape a month of TV in one sitting and your biggest angle bombs
Quote of The Night
“I’m the Intercontinental Champion of the world”
- Free For All: The Stalker defeated Justin Bradshaw
- Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley
- Owen Hart & The British Bulldog (c) defeated The Smoking Gunns to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship
- Marc Mero (c) (w/ Sable) defeated Goldust (w/ Marlena to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship
- Sycho Sid defeated Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)
- The Undertaker defeated Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) in a Buried Alive Match
In Your House 11 achieved a 0.4 buyrate, which is something around 136,000 buys. To this point in 1996 it is the WWF’s second lowest buyrate of the year. Only International Incident, which also featured a patched-up card, has done worse. Maybe book your champion in a match next time, eh Vince?
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.