In Your House 18: Badd Blood

Flag Match

Bret Hart & The British Bulldog vs. The Patriot & Vader

Patriot comes out to Kurt Angle’s music, which just makes me wish he was in this instead of Del Wilkes. I actually think Patriot was fairly solid and could have been more than the 5-minute wonder he was in the WWF, but his career was ruined by injury, demons and as noted, politics. Bret Hart is the reigning WWF champion at this stage, yet he has been mired in the midcard since defeating the Undertaker for the belt at SummerSlam ’97, with Michaels and Taker’s rivalry taking centre stage. At the time it seemed like very odd booking, but of course Bret was on his way out so it was wise for the WWF to try and lessen his exposure and attempt to make him less of a draw when he jumped ship. Or at least it would have been if he wasn’t still WWF Champion! Of the guys in this bout, Bret Hart is obviously one of the all-time great workers, but the other three are all more than capable and at various stages in their career, pretty damn great, but none brings their A-game here. Perhaps the death of Pillman was weighing on their minds, as surely it would, but it may have just been one of those nights. That’s not to say it is bad though, not at all, it just never kicks into a higher gear and becomes must-see. There are a few great exchanges between Bret and Vader early on that the crowd bites on, but they are fairly muted for the most part. As noted though this is the fifth tag match out of six matches so far, so you can understand why they would struggle to get too excited about it, regardless of the participants. The crowd comes alive again when Patriot reverses the Sharpshooter into a “unique” (shit) version of his own, but it is short lived. Vince seems to think it is going beyond expectations and calls it “a more enjoyable match than we thought it might be” which is a curious thing to say no matter what context he means it in. Some of the spot calling in this has been lazily blatant to the point where I feel the need to bring it up. Usually as a former wrestler I don’t comment on things like that too much, but here it is so apparent that it needs mentioning. Vader in particular just bellows out his calls and telegraphs a number of things doing that. At one point in the bout Vince says Patriot risks a DQ because of continued interference, but it occurs to me that Fink didn’t mention DQs and count outs when running down the rules at the start, leading me to believe they don’t actually exist in the match. If that is indeed the case, why is this not just a Texas tornado donnybrook? Like Lee, I crave clarification and consistency on things as mundane and unimportant as the RULES and how you actually win the match. Knowing that and making things clear and logical makes it much easier for someone watching to buy into the drama and suspend their disbelief. After three decades of heat on the Patriot, Vader comes and in misses the moonsault, but lands on his feet and then pummels Davey for being out of position. Vader climbs for the flag, though he has no chance of reaching it, but he does take the opportunity to calls some more obvious spots. Come on man, have some pride in your work! Things spill to the outside where the Harts use a flagpole and the ring bell to knock Vader senseless, which Bret calls American justice. Ha, nice! Bret impressively slams Vader and connects with a nice DDT that the Mastodon head spikes, but he still manages to tag Patriot for the decidedly lukewarm hot tag. The crowd has given up on this show. Patriot hits the Uncle Slam for a near fall and then a fan decides to get in the ring to give the Americans a chance. Referee Mike Chioda puts paid to that by flooring the idiot with a tackle and Davey jumps in to give him a kicking too, before Chioda wisely calms Davey and puts him back in his corner as security take over. That was more exciting than most of this match has been. After 25 unspeakably long minutes, the heels go over yet again as Bret catches Patriot by reversing a roll-up for the three. Why was this even a flag match!? Neither team really went for them at all and there wasn’t even any flag waving post match! What a complete waste of time.

Final Rating:

 

If this show ended now, it would score something like a 15 or a 16 and be considered pretty much the worst WWF pay-per-view of all time. Remember what I said about it being a one match show?…

One thought on “In Your House 18: Badd Blood

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