Ground Zero: In Your House
|Ground Zero: In Your House|
Promotional poster featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin
|Tagline(s)||That's the Bottom Line...|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||September 7, 1997|
|In Your House chronology|
Ground Zero: In Your House was the seventeenth In Your House professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and presented by Stridex, which took place on September 7, 1997 at Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the first three-hour In Your House pay-per-view, and also the first that featured the "In Your House" name as the subtitle rather than the main title.
Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card. The main event saw Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker wrestle to a no contest. In another featured match, Bret Hart defeated The Patriot to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) won the vacant WWF Tag Team Championship in a Four-Way Tag Team Elimination match and Brian Pillman defeated Goldust. Due to prior stipulations, Goldust's manager/wife (storyline and real-life) Marlena was required to become Pillman's personal assistant for 30 days.
Ground Zero: In Your House featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines that were played out on Raw Is War and other World Wrestling Federation (WWF) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches.
The featured rivalry heading into the event involved The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. While guest refereeing the WWF World Heavyweight Championship match between Bret Hart and The Undertaker at SummerSlam, Michaels attempted to hit Hart over the head with a steel chair after Hart had spit in his face. Bret ducked and Michaels hit Undertaker, knocking him out. Bret covered Undertaker as Michaels appeared reluctant, but made the three count causing the Undertaker to lose the title. Michaels had stated that the chair shot was unintentional, though some did not believe him. On the August 18 edition of Raw Is War, however, Shawn deliberately struck Undertaker over the head multiple times with a chair during a tag team match. The shots failed to keep him down and, with blood covering his head, tried to go after Michaels but he quickly retreated towards the locker room. Michaels continued to cause problems for Undertaker by interfering in his match against Hunter Hearst Helmsley on the September 5 episode of Friday Night's Main Event.
A predominant feud entering the event featured The Patriot and WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Bret Hart. In response to the reformation of The Hart Foundation (this time as an anti-American stable) The Patriot debuted on the July 14 edition of Raw Is War to stand up against Hart and defend America. The Patriot pulled off a surprise win against Bret Hart on the July 28 episode of Raw in a match which Shawn Michaels distracted Hart from ringside while doing guest commentary. On the following Raw Is War, Sgt. Slaughter was introduced as the new Commissioner of the WWF and ordered Hart to defend the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against The Patriot at Ground Zero: In Your House. Both Hart and The Patriot brawled later that night. The next week, Hart attacked the Patriot after he won a tag match with Ken Shamrock against Hart's brother Owen and brother in law Davey Boy Smith. Hart continued with the attacks next week after the Patriot defeated Vader, but Vader stopped Hart. On a special Friday night edition of Raw the next week, Vader and Hart fought for the title, and as the Hart Foundation attacked Vader, The Patriot ran out for the save. On the September 5 episode of Friday Night's Main Event, The Patriot defeated Owen Hart by DQ after Bret and Bulldog interfered, making Vader run out for the save.
Another rivalry heading into event was the continuation of battle between Brian Pillman and Goldust. Goldust defeated Pillman at the previous pay-per-view, SummerSlam, and as a result, Pillman had to wear Marlena's dress until he won a match. After SummerSlam Pillman continued to take verbal shots at Goldust, who in turn interfered in several of Pillman's matches, causing him to lose, which meant he must keep wearing the dress. This angered and embarrassed Pillman; as a result he challenged Goldust to one more match. He declined but Marlena jumped in and accepted the challenge on his behalf. The stipulations of the match were as follows: If Pillman lost, he would leave the WWF forever, however, if Goldust lost, Marlena would become Pillman's personal assistant for 30 days.
The first match of the pay-per-view was an "Indecent Proposal" match between Goldust (with Marlena) and Brian Pillman. If Goldust won, Pillman would leave the WWF forever. If Pillman won, Marlena would become his personal assistant for 30 days. About 10 minutes into the match, Goldust performed his finishing move, the Curtain Call, but Pillman's arm flung to the side during the move which knocked down the referee. Goldust realized the referee was out and tried to revive him. Meanwhile, Marlena got up on the ring apron as Pillman regained his senses and approached her. Marlena attempted to hit Pillman with her purse but he blocked it, snatched it from her hands, and smacked Goldust in the head with it, temporarily knocking him out. The referee recovered as Pillman made the pinfall and picked up the win. After the match, Pillman grabbed Marlena and escorted her quickly towards the locker room. Color commentator Jerry Lawler got up from his chair and walked over to the ring to retrieve Marlena's purse, which he opened up to reveal a brick inside. As Goldust made his way backstage, Pillman was shown shoving Marlena into a car and speeding off just before Goldust could reach them.
In the second bout, Scott Putski faced off against Brian Christopher in a standard match. A few minutes into the match, Christopher tossed Putski through the ropes to the outside of the ring. He then performed a diving crossbody but Putski injured his left knee when Christopher landed on him. Brian got back in the ring as the referee began a 10-count on Putski. Once the referee realized Putski would not make it back inside the ring in time, he went out to check on him and then stopped the match due to the injury and awarded the win to Christopher.
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Tito Santana (Spanish)|
|Ray Rougeau (French)|
|Jean Brassard (French)|
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
The third match of the night was a Triple Threat match pitting Savio Vega (representing Los Boricuas), Faarooq (representing Nation of Domination) and Crush (representing Disciples of Apocalypse) against each other. At about the eleven-minute mark Crush clotheslined Vega over the top rope, then turned his attention to Faarooq by performing a Heart Punch to him. Before he could make the pin, Vega appeared behind Crush and delivered a spinning heel kick to the side of his head. While Faarooq was still suffering the effects of the punch, Vega covered Crush for the pinfall victory.
The fourth match of the event was a standard midget match featuring Max Mini versus El Torito. After controlling a majority of the match, El Torito was pinned at about the nine-minute mark with a sunset flip performed by Max Mini.
Next, in preparation for the WWF Tag Team Championship match, was the official forfeiture of the titles from Dude Love and Steve Austin. Jim Ross was in the ring to interview Sgt. Slaughter, who was to receive the belts. Dude Love was introduced first. He said he had considered defending the titles alone, but decided against it because had it not been for Austin, he would not have had the championship to begin with. Dude Love then handed his title to Slaughter and Austin came to the ring. Austin, upset because he was not allowed to wrestle, threw his title at Slaughter's feet. Austin then started to protest the decision, to which Ross responded saying he wished Austin could wrestle too, but felt the WWF was making the right decision for Austin's safety. Ross then received a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin for his efforts, which prevented him from returning to the announce table for the rest of the evening.
Main event matches
The fifth match of the event was a Four-Way Tag Team Elimination match for the vacant WWF Tag Team Championship. The participating teams were The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher), and former champions The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas), Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Legion of Doom were the first to be eliminated after being disqualified for attacking The Godwinns with their own slop bucket. The Godwinns were the second team eliminated when Thrasher pinned Phineas with a sunset flip. At the conclusion of the match, Owen Hart began to apply the sharpshooter to Mosh while the referee was busy attending to the skirmish on the outside of the ring between Bulldog and Thrasher. At this time Stone Cold Steve Austin rushed to the ring as Mosh kicked Hart off before he could turn him over to fully apply the hold. This spun Owen around, right into the hands of Austin who performed a Stone Cold Stunner on him. Austin slid out as the referee refocused his attention to the ring and made the three count as Mosh pinned Hart to win the titles for the first and only time.
The sixth match was a standard match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship between the challenger, The Patriot and the champion, Bret Hart. Hart handed his title belt to the referee and immediately attacked The Patriot as the bell sounded. The two traded punches until Bret gained advantage in the match for a few minutes. The Patriot turned the tide, but only for a few minutes also, until the British Bulldog appeared at ringside. Bulldog attempted to trip The Patriot by reaching for his ankle from underneath the bottom rope but failed. A short time later, Bulldog interrupted a pinfall attempt by The Patriot, prompting Vader to emerge and attack Bulldog. Bret tried to help but Vader threw him into the ring steps and then tossed him in the ring. Vader was then escorted back to the locker room as the referee let the match continue. In the end, The Patriot applied the sharpshooter to Bret, but he powered out of it and locked-in his own sharpshooter, causing The Patriot to submit and therefore retained the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. After the match was over, Bret grabbed the American flag The Patriot had brought to the ring, ripped it off its pole and began to choke him with it. Bret finally left the ring after assaulting one of the WWF officials (Pat Patterson) who were trying to stop the attack.
The seventh, and final, match of the event was a standard match featuring The Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels. Before the match started, Undertaker began to stalk Michaels around the ring. Michaels grabbed the referee to use as a shield and then pushed him into Undertaker. The referee was met with a punch to the face from Undertaker, which shocked Michaels who then told Vince McMahon at the announcers table that he wanted no part of the match. As Michaels was leaving he was met by Commissioner Slaughter who directed him back to the ring. Undertaker then picked up the referee and tossed him over the top rope sending him crashing down onto Michaels. The Undertaker exited the ring and pursued Michaels up the entrance ramp where he gave him a bodyslam and then knocked him back down the ramp towards the ring. Undertaker continued to punish Michaels by throwing him into the ring steps and choking him with television cables, among other attacks, all while the match had yet to begin. After several minutes, a replacement referee finally appeared. The Undertaker turned his attention to the referee who wanted him to stay inside the ring. Michaels took the opportunity to chop Undertaker's left knee from behind as the bell rang for the official start of the match. At one point in the match, Undertaker had Michaels cornered in the ring ready to deliver a chair to his head but the referee interrupted by grabbing the chair. The referee and Undertaker began a struggle for control of the chair when Michaels dropkicked Undertaker from behind which forced him and the chair into the referee's head, knocking him out. After a couple minutes of Michaels attacking Undertaker, Rick Rude came to ringside and handed Michaels brass knuckles. Michaels nailed Undertaker with them, stuffed them down the front of his tights and went for the pinfall but the referee was still out. Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna then escorted another replacement referee to the ring but Michaels could only get a two count. This angered Michaels who decked the referee with a punch and continued to punish Undertaker, along with help from Helmsley and Chyna. Michaels then appeared to help the second referee back to his feet before intentionally driving his head into the turnbuckle knocking him out again. A little later The Undertaker retrieved the brass knuckles from Michaels' tights and decked him with them. The second referee attempted to make a count but Michaels lifted his shoulder at two. The Undertaker then grabbed the referee and performed a chokeslam on him. A fourth referee then appeared and called for the bell, declaring the result of the match a no contest. Michaels and Undertaker continued to assault WWF officials, referees and each other, which prompted the entire dressing room of wrestlers to come out and help separate the two. Michaels, Helmsley and Chyna all retreated as the pay-per-view feed ended with Undertaker alone in the ring as the fans cheered.
Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker went on to compete in the first Hell in a Cell match at Badd Blood. The Patriot continued his feud with members of the Hart Foundation, as he teamed with Vader to battle Bret Hart and the British Bulldog in a Flag match at Badd Blood. On the September 8 edition of Raw Is War, The Headbangers were scheduled to face two unknown wrestlers in a non-title match but those wrestlers were attacked beforehand by The Godwinns, who then took their place and defeated The Headbangers with help from their debuting kayfabe relative, Uncle Cletus. The Godwinns went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship from The Headbangers at Badd Blood. Brian Pillman and Goldust continued their rivalry with Goldust attacking and interfering in Pillman's matches. Pillman was scheduled to face Dude Love at Badd Blood, with Goldust handcuffed to the ring post to prevent him from interfering, but the match was cancelled due to Pillman's sudden death just hours before the event.
The WWF earned $82,228 in ticket sales with an attendance of 4,963. The pay-per-view received a buyrate of 0.45, which is the equivalent of approximately 180,000 buys. John C. of The Wrestling Oratory rated the show 4 out of 10, while 76 Internet Movie Database users have given the show a weighted average of 6.4 out of 10 as of January 14, 2015. The event was released in the United Kingdom on VHS on November 10, 1997 by Silver Vision.
|1||Brian Pillman defeated Goldust (with Marlena)||Singles match||11:06|
|2||Brian Christopher defeated Scott Putski by countout||Singles match||04:45|
|3||Savio Vega defeated Crush and Faarooq||Triple threat match||11:37|
|4||Max Mini defeated El Torito||Singles match||09:21|
|5||The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) defeated The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal), The Godwinns (Henry O. and Phineas I.), and Owen Hart and The British Bulldog||Four-way elimination match for the vacant WWF Tag Team Championship||17:15|
|6||Bret Hart (c) defeated The Patriot by submission||Singles match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship||19:20|
|7||Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker ended in a no contest||Singles match||16:20|
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