In Your House 18: Badd Blood

WWF Intercontinental Championship (Vacant)

Faarooq vs. Owen Hart

This is the tournament final for the title, which was vacated because of Steve Austin’s injury. The IC title was far beneath Austin anyway; he didn’t need it. Austin was a top guy whether he was actually on top or not, that much was evident to everyone. This is a heel-heel final, which is hardly what this show needs after three consecutive tag bouts. From what I recall it was supposed to be Ahmed Johnson in there instead of Faarooq, but as usual he was injured. Ahmed’s track record with injuries is quite phenomenal, especially pertaining to big matches. He probably would have been a multi-time IC champion and World champion at least once if not for all the time out. Owen reached the final of the tournament by virtue of two disqualification wins, one over Goldust and the other over Hart Foundation stable-mate Brian Pillman, whereas Faarooq was beaten by Ken Shamrock in the quarter finals but went through anyway due to Shamrock’s aforementioned injury and then beat Ahmed Johnson via DQ in the semis. Neither man has scored a clean pinfall victory on route to the final, which rather damages their credibility and makes the whole thing seem like a bit of a joke. The match itself is a horrible clash of styles, with Faarooq’s power based offence and Owen’s technical mastery not meshing well at all. The all-heel nature of the bout further kills the crowd, who have no interest in seeing either guy lift the title, especially after the result of the previous match. The only positive really is the length of the contest, with the WWF sensibly keeping it brief at around 5-minutes. Frankly, I don’t think I could have taken a great deal more. Steve Austin does guest commentary for the match, managing to hold it together well and stay in character despite the recent sudden death of his former tag partner. Austin is involved in the finish inevitably, as he confusingly whacks Faarooq with the belt to give Owen the win. The announcers don’t understand it, but it seems pretty clear to me that he wanted Owen to win so he could beat him for the belt further down the line, which as it turns out, is exactly what happened. This show is in severe danger of having the worst undercard in PPV history.

Final Rating: ½*

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