In Your House 13: Final Four

Lee Maughan: This is actually In Your House 13: Final Four although like the entirety of the series, I cannot fathom why it wasn’t named as such when released on home video in North America. In Your House ‘97? There were seven different In Your Houses that year! Coliseum Video clearly didn’t care by this point, and that much must be evident when inspecting the artwork slapdashed onto their titles from around 1995 onwards. This was one of the WWF’s more poorly-promoted shows, as the whole company was on the verge of a drastic overhaul but lacked direction heading into WrestleMania 13. A large part of the problem was that Shawn Michaels had come down with a severe case of Fake Knee Injury after deciding he didn’t want to return the favour one year on from his “Boyhood Dream” and lose the WWF Title back to Bret Hart, resulting in his forfeiting the belt at Thursday RAW Thursday three days prior to this event during a speech drenched with so many crocodile tears even Tommy Dreamer must have thought it was a bit much.  Russo, under his WWF Magazine pseudonym Vic Venom, had appeared on an episode of call-in show Livewire and, like a total idiot, completely exposed all wrestling booking logic by suggesting Bret Hart was the only reasonable choice to win the Royal Rumble, having already written in RAW Magazine that it was an insult to the intelligence of the fans that scrubs like Virgil ever had a chance to win the thing when there was a WrestleMania title shot/main event at stake. How he didn’t get fired for such an egregious deconstruction of kayfabe is beyond me, but having explained his reasoning, the only choice Vince McMahon felt he had after that was to rebook the ending of the match and put Steve Austin over in a shallow attempt to prevent his dumber fans from catching on. That left a very complicated situation with Steve Austin as the apparent number one contender to a vacant title and Bret Hart with no WrestleMania opponent, all stockpiled on top of this cursory holdover pay-per-view. In fact, so disorganised was the WWF that only three matches were ever officially advertised ahead of time for this card, and one of those, an Intercontinental Title defence by Hunter Hearst Helmsley against Ahmed Johnson, never took place. As a trivia note, the Godwinns beat the Headbangers in the dark match before this card aired live on pay-per-view. Sounds like a real barnburner to get the live crowd pumped up, huh? Hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

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