Arnold Furious: Ground Zero marked two notable changes to the familiar IYH format. Firstly it was the very first three hour In Your House, the previous ones running a shorter two hour format, and secondly it was the first In Your House PPV where the subtitle was moved ahead of IYH. So instead of In Your House: Ground Zero, it was Ground Zero: In Your House (on PPV at least. The actual tape retained the number and the subtitle came after the IYH title). The titles were also becoming more generic and less event specific. Everyone remembers In Your House: Canadian Stampede because it was unique. Close your eyes for a moment and try to visualise the card for Ground Zero. Got anything yet? If you’re a wrestling historian you’ll certainly recall the main event, as it was the first ever Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match on PPV, based on the fallout of Shawn’s abysmal refereeing performance at SummerSlam ‘97. The rest of the card? Um… Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart? No, Austin was still injured. Bret Hart vs… erm, who was challenging for the title?
We’re in Louisville, Kentucky. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. Even the opening video package is a bit weak, though they had a decent storyline with Shawn Michaels officially turning heel after the fans blamed him for Undertaker’s title loss. They segue into the Pillman-Goldust angle where Pillman claims Dakota Runnels is his love child. The angle is Russo-esque, probably because he wrote it. The video packages seem really poor. The narration is off, Michael Cole is an unwelcome addition to the PPV world and it lacks atmosphere. Even the editing is a bit slack.