TJR Retro: WWE In Your House #9: International Incident (July 1996) Review

TJR Retro: WWE In Your House #9: International Incident (July 1996) Review

The July 1996 WWE PPV was an In Your House event without a WWE Title match on the show. Instead, they opted to go with a six-man tag team match where the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels was involved. This card has five matches on it over the course of two hours because that’s how long In Your House PPVs were.

At the end of the June 1996 King of the Ring PPV, Michaels got some help from Ahmed Johnson and The Ultimate Warrior to fight off the heels that were attacking Michaels. That was supposed to set up this six-man tag, but between King of the Ring and International Incident, The Ultimate Warrior was fired by WWE again. Warrior missed several house shows while claiming that the death of his father was the reason for it. Vince McMahon, as well as WWE officials, noted that Warrior wasn’t even close to his father, so it was a case of Warrior being Warrior. They had to replace Warrior in this main event match, which led to Sycho Sid taking Warrior’s spot. Did I miss Ultimate Warrior being on this show? Absolutely not. Good riddance, I say.

This show had a big crowd with just under 15,000 fans in GM Place in Vancouver. It was the biggest crowd for an In Your House event at that point. The building was about one year old and it was the first time WWE did a PPV there. They also did Rock Bottom 1998 there. Those are the only two Vancouver PPVs. It’s a strong market for WWE, but they just don’t go there often. International Incident did poorly on pay-per-view with just 90,000 buys, which tied for the lowest number in 1996. The lack of a WWE Title match probably hurt.

This show followed King of the Ring 1996 (with the birth of Austin 3:16) and led into SummerSlam 1996.

Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:

“WWE In Your House: International Incident features ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin battling Marc Mero; Mankind faces Henry Godwinn; The Bodydonnas vs. The Smoking Gunns; Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid and Ahmed Johnson face Vader, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog.” PG (D,L,V)

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Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

WWE In Your House #9 – International Incident
General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia
July 21, 1996

The show began with highlights of the Free For All when Jim Cornette argued with Jose Lothario, then Jose punched him, Vader tried to attack Lothario and then Shawn Michaels saved Jose. It was a tease for the main event.

There was a shot of the big crowd in Vancouver as The Smoking Gunns entered with Sunny, who looked amazing in a leather top and jean shorts. This was prime Sunny, so she was a pleasure to look at. The Bodydonnas duo said that they don’t need Cloudy anymore and all they really cared about were the fans. The Smoking Gunns were the champions, but this was a non-title match. The announce team of Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were shown at ringside calling the action.

The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) w/Sunny vs. The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip)

Pre-match notes: The Smoking Gunns were the heel champions while The Bodydonnas were faces. They used to be heels with Sunny as their manager while The Smoking Gunns were faces before Sunny. Skip was better known as Chris Candido in his career while Zip was Tom Prichard.

Skip and Zip cleaned house early with punches while the Gunns bailed to the floor to regroup. Bart with a whip into the turnbuckle, then Bart with a shoulder tackle and Zip hit an armdrag to take over. Skip was back in with a double axehandle on the arm, Zip with a double axehandle on the arm as well and Zip with another armdrag. Bart with a clothesline on Skip to take control. Skip with a headscissors takedown, then a punch and Billy hit a leg drop to the back of the neck in a move that would later be known as the Fameasser. JR called Sunny a “jezebel” which is a term he used throughout his career. Skip with an armdrag into an armbar. Billy bailed to the floor while Sunny did some bad acting that led to her fainting on the floor. Skip checked on Sunny, so she slapped him and then the Smoking Gunns hit a double clothesline on Skip on the floor. Sunny celebrated her evil ways while Skip was sent into the side of the ring apron. Back in the ring, Billy got a two count. Bart whipped Skip hard into the turnbuckle two times in a row. Skip tried to come back with a move off the ropes, but Bart caught him and hit a powerslam. Billy and Bart tried to do a double team move where Billy was supposed to jump over Bart to hit a splash against the ropes and then the move failed miserably. I think Billy wanted Bart to put his head down, so Billy yelled at Bart about it. Billy with a necksnap on Skip across the top rope. The heels were cheating for several minutes leading to Bart doing a slingshot that sent Skip’s throat into the bottom rope. Bart and Billy made some quick tags, Skip bounced off the turnbuckle, avoided a slam on Bart and Skip got a rollup on Bart for two. Skip with a cross body block off the middle ropes, but then Bart hit a clothesline. Billy went up top, jumped off with nothing and Skip gave Billy an atomic drop. Zip got the hot tag with punches, he tossed Billy out of the ring and as Zip ran the ropes, Billy tripped him up. Bart held up Zip for a double team move, but Billy was looking at Sunny on the floor while she was taunting Skip. That led to Skip jumping off the ropes with a missile dropkick on Bart, Zip landed on top of Bart and got the pinfall win at 13:05.

Winners by pinfall: The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip)

Analysis: ** This was just decent. It was slow for a lot of it with the heels in control for about ten minutes of it, but then the Bodydonnas were able to get the win with one move. This was non-title, so it made sense for the faces to win. The highlight of the match was clearly Sunny.

There were replays shown of what happened with Lawler complaining about how referee Harvey Wippleman missed the illegal move by the Bodydonnas. That was true.

Camp Cornette was interviewed by Mr. Perfect. They went over the footage from earlier in the night with Vader and Michaels having a confrontation after Jose Lothario punched Jim Cornette. Cornette ranted that if Camp Cornette doesn’t win then he’ll refund the fans’ money in attendance. The British Bulldog and Owen Hart talked a bit while Cornette said Vader was just as crazy as Sycho Sid is, so they better get ready.

Mankind vs. Henry O. Godwinn (w/Hillbilly Jim)

Pre-match notes: This was going to be Mankind vs. Jake Roberts, but no sign of Jake on this show. Mankind was the heel while Henry was the face.

During Henry’s entrance, there was no commentary on the WWE Network version of the show. I don’t know why. Mankind was aggressive with punches and a headbutt to the body. Godwinn with punches leading into a powerslam followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. That drew a pop. Mankind worked over Godwinn with kicks to the body. Godwinn picked up Mankind by the legs leading to punches. Mankind with a back kick to the ribs. Mankind on Godwinn’s back, Godwinn sent him into the turnbuckle and Mankind with another elbow. Mankind with a running bulldog and elbow drop along with some hair pulling. Mankind with a running knee on Godwinn followed by a leg drop to the back of Godwinn’s head while he was against the ropes. Mankind pulled up the mat to expose the floor and Mankind hit a neckbreaker on the floor. Godwinn with punches, Mankind came back with a clothesline and Mankind hit the turnbuckle after Godwinn avoided a corner charge. Godwinn hit a huge clothesline that looked good. Mankind pulled Godwinn out of the ring onto the concrete floor. Godwinn slammed Mankind off the apron onto the concrete floor. Ouch. Back into the ring, Mankind held onto the rope to avoid the Slop Drop and Mankind applied the Mandible Claw submission in the mouth of Godwinn. Henry slowly passed out, so referee Tim White called for the bell at 6:54.

Winner by submission: Mankind

Analysis: *1/2 It was like a TV match that was just done to put Mankind over in a big way because he was against The Undertaker again at SummerSlam in a big match on that show. There was no point in the match where it looked like Godwinn might win. It was just a match to give Mankind a win.

They showed some wrestlers on the WWF Superstar Line. It was Brian Pillman back there with the Bodydonnas while the Smoking Gunns were with Sunny talking to Ray Rougeau. Pillman had some funny lines.

It was time for the King of the Ring winner “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in action. Austin has “Stone Cold” on the back of his trunks. The “Wildman” Marc Mero was next with the lovely Sable, which led to a decent ovation from the crowd.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable)

Pre-match notes: Austin was the heel while Mero was the babyface. Austin beat Mero in the King of the Ring semifinals. Mero cut Austin’s lip during that King of the Ring match, so Austin wanted revenge.

Austin worked over Mero with punches, then Mero with punches and they ran the ropes with Mero hitting a cross body block. Mero applied an armbar on Austin on the mat. Austin and Mero exchanged some holds on the mat, Austin with a knee to the body along with some punches. Mero came back with several punches to knock down Austin, who bailed to the floor. Back in the ring, Mero used his feet for a rollup for two with Austin holding his mouth like at King of the Ring, but Austin faked it leading to a cheap shot. Austin punched Mero out of the ring. Austin with a catapult that sent Mero into the ring post. Mero was on the apron, so Austin hit him into the back and Mero bumped into the barricade. Back in the ring, Austin hit a diving elbow smash off the middle ropes for two. Austin with a back elbow on Mero leading to a “Fuggetaboutit” from Vince. Thank you for the shots of Sable at ringside. Austin draped Mero over the middle rope, Austin went for a diving attack, Mero moved and Mero sent Austin across the top rope with Austin’s leg/groin hitting the rope. That was a weird spot. Austin with a boot to the ribs. Austin teased a Powerbomb on Mero, but then Mero managed to turn it into a headscissors to the floor. Marlena and an usher were at ringside. They handed Jerry Lawler an envelope. Mero hit a diving attack on Austin on the floor. Mero hit a moonsault off the apron onto a standing Austin on the floor. Back in the ring, Mero jumped over the top with a splash for a two count. Mero with ten punches by the turnbuckle, but then Austin blocked a Mero move with Mero bumping groin first into the top rope. Austin went for a Stone Cold Stunner, but Mero blocked by holding the ropes. Mero came back with a slingshot leg drop for two. Austin chop blocked the back of the left knee and Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner for the pinfall win at 10:48.

Winner by pinfall: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match that was even for most of the way. I thought the finish could have been better since Mero was getting a couple of nearfalls, then Austin hit a chop block and then a Stunner followed that. It felt sudden like they were told to “go home” at that point. Austin should have weakened the throat or something like that before the Stunner. Mero was a really good athlete that worked well with Austin, who was tremendous as a heel on the rise at this point. Their King of the Ring 1996 match was better, but this was still pretty good overall.

They showed Bob Backlund in the crowd talking to the fans since he was doing “campaigning” a lot in this era.

There was a commercial for Raw with The Smoking Gunns defending their titles against Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson.

Goldust made his entrance with the lovely Marlena. The Undertaker made his entrance with his manager Paul Bearer by his side. Good pop for Undertaker as usual.

The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Goldust (w/Marlena)

Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face while Goldust was the heel. Goldust and Marlena were married at the time. They were divorced a few years later. She was later known as Terri during her WWE career.

Goldust was acting as if he was scared to start the match, which led to Goldust literally hiding behind referee Jimmy Korderas. Goldust tried some gyrations, so Undertaker punched him with Goldust bumping out to the floor. Goldust teased leaving to get some more heat from the crowd before getting back into the ring again. Goldust stalled for several minutes after the bell rang. Undertaker left the ring, hit an uppercut and gave Goldust a Chokeslam onto the top of the steel steps so Goldust’s butt hit the top of the steps. Taker whipped Goldust into the steel steps. Undertaker picked up the steps, but Marlena covered Goldust, so Undertaker let the steps go. They finally got the match going with Goldust taking the turnbuckle pad off, but Taker came back with a corner whip and a clothesline for the “Fuggetaboutit” from Vince. Taker hit a leg drop for two. Goldust worked over Taker with knees to the ribs, a corner whip and Taker took control again with repeated punches. Taker did the rope walk as the fans chanted “Rest in Peace” and Taker jumped off with the punch to the back. Taker with a body slam, Goldust avoided an elbow drop and Goldust sent Taker over the top to the floor. Taker gave Goldust a neckbreaker across the top rope. Goldust exposed a top turnbuckle fully, so then Goldust whip Taker into the exposed steel. That led to Taker selling a back injury. Goldust sent Taker to the floor and drove the steel steps on Taker’s back while the referee wasn’t looking. Goldust sat on Taker’s back while applying a chinlock. Taker with a comeback with a boot to the face. Taker even did an inside cradle (rare for him!) for a two count. Undertaker hit a jumping clothesline. Undertaker followed up with the Tombstone piledriver for one, two and Mankind appeared from under the ring! Mankind pulled Undertaker under the ring with the Mandible Claw. It was a DQ finish. It went 12:07.

Winner by disqualification: The Undertaker

Analysis: **1/4 It was a slow-paced match especially in the early going with all of the stalling by Goldust. When the pace picked up, the match got better with Goldust working over the back a bit and Undertaker making the comeback. The ending was a surprising twist with Mankind pulling Undertaker under the ring to continue their feud.

Mankind pulled Undertaker under the ring. Vince was freaking out on commentary: “How did he get there? How did he do what he did?” Those are the questions that booker Vince wanted the viewers to have. Mankind got into the ring while Goldust left with Marlena. The lights began to flicker in the ring while there was some smoke coming out from under the ring. The Undertaker emerged from the other side of the ring to a HUGE pop. Undertaker punched Mankind and they went brawling up the aisle.

Analysis: This kind of stuff is goofy, but it worked in this era. The announcers have to sell it as if something bad happened to Undertaker when in reality he was on the same floor that was surrounding the ring, but for some reason when they are under the ring, we have to think it’s a different place? Yes, pro wrestling is weird, my friends. I think we all know that. At least Undertaker emerging from the ring led to a big pop, so the fans were clearly into this. That’s what matters.

There was a SummerSlam 1996 commercial that was a parody of the Summer Olympics.

The announcers talked about the main event.

There was a camera somewhere in the backstage area with The Undertaker fighting Mankind with Vince making it clear it was a boiler room. It was hard to see the action, so then it was back to the announcers.

Analysis: This would set up the Boiler Room Brawl between The Undertaker and Mankind at SummerSlam 1996. That was the second biggest match at SummerSlam.

There was a video package about the main event. The end of King of the Ring 1996 was shown with Shawn Michaels getting attacked by British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Vader (aka Camp Cornette) until Ahmed Johnson and The Ultimate Warrior made the save. Shortly after that, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon suspended Warrior for missing WWE live events. The Camp Cornette trio also beat up The Ultimate Warrior on Raw. Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson revealed that Sycho Sid was their new partner. On the Raw prior to this show, Sycho Sid helped Shawn and Ahmed from an attack from Camp Cornette. The question going into the match was if Sid could be trusted by his teammates since it was over a year ago when Sid turned on Michaels.

Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sycho Sid were interviewed by mustache man Dok Hendrix. Michaels talked about how Ahmed and Sid will back him up, so one way or another, they will take them down. Ahmed said that the talking is done. Sid said six men enter, but only three men survive. Michaels warned the opponents about Sweet Chin Music because when it happens, it will be over.

The babyface trio entered with WWE Champion Shawn Michaels getting a big pop with Jose Lothario joining him. There was a memorable moment when Michaels walked towards the ring and fans were leaning against the barricade so much that they knocked it over, so the fans were down! Lawler was laughing about it. Some kids got to hug Shawn while Shawn laughed about it and got into the ring for his poses. Ahmed Johnson, the Intercontinental Champion, was next to a good ovation as well. Sycho Sid was up last with the announcers repeatedly talking about how psychotic Sid was. Good initial ovation for Sid too.

The Camp Cornette group was up next with Vader’s music playing as Vader walked out with The British Bulldog, Owen Hart and the manager Jim Cornette. They were booed from the crowd even though Owen was Canadian.

Analysis: I’m a bit surprised that they had the faces come out first instead of the heels. It doesn’t matter that much, but I just figured the faces would be last in a match like this.

Camp Cornette (Vader, British Bulldog & Owen Hart) (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sycho Sid (w/Jose Lothario)

Pre-matches: The team of Michaels, Johnson & Sid were the faces while Camp Cornette were the heels.

Vader called for Michaels to face off with him first with JR putting over the huge size advantage for Vader. Michaels did some quick jabs leading to Vader hitting an uppercut to knock him down. Michaels charged, Vader held him on his shoulders and Michaels hit a hurricanrana followed by a clothesline. Michaels hit a running cross body block to send Vader over the top to the floor. Michaels with a baseball slide dropkick to the floor followed by a slingshot dive over the top onto Vader on the floor. That was a great sequence from Michaels. Shawn jumped off the apron towards Vader, who moved, so Shawn hit the barricade on the floor. Vader worked over Michaels with punches while up against the turnbuckle. Vader got the tag, he cleaned house quickly by knocking down Vader, then tossing out Owen, Bulldog and hitting a clothesline on Vader to knock him out of the ring. The fans popped big for that offensive flurry from Sid. Owen battled Sid, who hit a clothesline. Johnson hit three German Suplexes on Owen and then Ahmed missed an elbow drop when Owen moved. Ahmed sent Bulldog into the ropes leading to a spinebuster. Johnson hit a Pearl River Plunge on Bulldog with Vader making the save during the pin attempt. Vader got into a slugfest with Johnson. Vader with an eye poke, a whip into the turnbuckle and a running splash. Vader battered Johnson with clubbing blows to the head. Vader went for a running splash, he left his feet and Johnson hit a powerslam for two. Cool spot there with Vader doing a nice job of leaving his feet to make the slam easier on Ahmed. Owen was back in with a spinning heel kick on Johnson, but Johnson hit a press slam on Owen. Sid with a boot to the face leading to a “fuggetaboutit” from Vince and then Sid worked over Owen with punches to the ribs. Sid with a hard whip into the corner, so Bulldog tagged in. Bulldog with a kick to the head leading to an impressive delayed vertical suplex. Vader went in illegally with an elbow drop with Bulldog getting a cover for two. Vader back in with a running body attack/clothesline. Bulldog with punches, Sid no sold them, punched Bulldog and Michaels was back in with a double axehandle for two.

Michaels with a corner whip, Bulldog bounced off the turnbuckle and Michaels missed a corner charge, so Shawn’s shoulder hit the ring post. Michaels whipped Bulldog into the ropes, which led to Bulldog hitting Vader off the apron and Owen accidentally elbowed Bulldog when Michaels moved. Owen was back in, kick to the chest and they fought over a rolling pin attempt with Owen getting a two count. Michaels countered a cross body block into a pin attempt for two. Michaels with a victory roll for two and Owens was back on top for a two count of his own. Owen with a bridging pin attempt and that sequence of pin attempts ended with Owen hitting a clothesline for two. Bulldog with a back body drop to Michaels followed by a leg drop. Bulldog with a regular powerslam (not his finisher) for two. Michaels avoided an elbow drop, then Michaels ran the ropes and Owen hit Shawn with the cast to the head. Bulldog with a clothesline. The referee never saw it. Vader worked over Michaels with punches, then a corner whip, and Michaels bumped over the top to the floor. That’s such a great bump from Michaels. Back in the ring, Vader hit a lefty clothesline for two. Vader applied a submission on the neck/shoulder. At that point, a fan was on the ring apron and then he got chased off by Johnson and Smith because they noticed him, so I assume the fan was tackled by security. I had forgotten about that moment! The fans cheered the fan getting taken away. This submission by Vader on Michaels continued for a few minutes until Michaels finally broke free. Michaels ran the ropes with Vader hitting clothesline and splash, but then Johnson had enough of it so he decked Vader with a clothesline. Bulldog was back in with punches. Bulldog lifted Michaels on his shoulders for a backbreaker, but Michaels fought out of it with a crucifix pin only for Bulldog to hit a Samoan Drop. Michaels avoided a charging Bulldog, who hit the turnbuckle. Owen back in as he prevented a tag and then Owen/Michaels did a collision spot. Bulldog was back in with a running powerslam, so Sid broke up the pin with a leg drop to the back. Michaels tagged out, but they did a spot where the referee didn’t see it. That led to the heels beating up Michaels. Owen tagged in and jumped off the top with a missile dropkick, btu Michaels moved, so Owen hit Bulldog by mistake.

Sid got the hot tag against Vader with the fans popping big for the showdown of the big guys. Vader with Chokeslams for Vader, Owen and Bulldog in order. Johnson was back in with a double team clothesline on Vader. Sid launched Michaels off the top onto Vader for two as Bulldog made the save. There was a brawl on the floor, Cornette tossed the tennis racket to Vader, but Michaels was ready for it and Michaels hit Vader in the head with the tennis racket for two. Nice nearfall there from the dreaded tennis racket. Cornette held Shawn’s leg (the ref was looking the other way), so Vader hit a corner splash on Michaels and then Vader hit the Vader Bomb off the ropes to pin Michaels at 24:32. The big takeaway from that is that Vader pinned Michaels, so there’s your SummerSlam main event.

Winners by pinfall: Camp Cornette (Vader, British Bulldog & Owen Hart)

Analysis: ***3/4 This is called “Shawn Michaels carries his partners to a good match,” my friends. Guys like Sid and Johnson weren’t known for having good matches, but Michaels really carried the match for the team. The heel side was really good as expected. The main takeaway from the match was that Vader pinned the WWE Champion Michaels, who ended up working most of the match for the team. If Vader pinned one of the other two guys it would have been fine, but I think it was the right call to have Vader beat Michaels to tell the story that Vader could beat him, which would lead right into SummerSlam. I was impressed by hot the crowd was for most of the match. They loved Sid especially. Michaels didn’t lose a lot of matches in 1996, but it was the right call to put Vader over here.

There was still time left in the show, so the faces attacked with Sid hitting a Powerbomb on Bulldog. Sid hit a Powerbomb on Owen too. Sid kicked Vader and tried to go for a Powerbomb on him as well, but Bulldog pulled Vader out of the ring. Michaels ran the ropes leading to a dive over the top onto Vader. Michaels got into a brawl with Vader until it was broken up.

The losing trio of Michaels, Johnson and Sid posed in the ring to soak up some cheers from the crowd. They showed replays of Vader’s Vader Bomb on Michaels to win the match.

There was an In Your House Extra interview with WWE President Gorilla Monsoon being interviewed by Dok Hendrix. Gorilla announced that The Undertaker will face Mankind in a Boiler Room Brawl at SummerSlam. Cornette went up to Monsoon with Cornette saying he guaranteed the win. Vader showed up as well. Cornette said he wants Vader to get a WWE Title match against Shawn Michaels. Dok signed off while promoting SummerSlam.

There was a video package that showed highlights from the PPV. That was the end of the show.

This event had a runtime of 1:54:04 on WWE Network.

 

Final Thoughts

Show rating (out of 10): 5.75

This was a typical, average mid-1990s WWE In Your House style show. The main event was a solid six-man tag team match designed to set up SummerSlam since Vader pinned Shawn Michaels. I thought Michaels had a great performance in carrying his team while the heel trio of Vader, Bulldog and Owen Hart did well too. The Vancouver fans were into the match and most of the show. It was a vocal crowd in Vancouver along with some funny moments including when the barricade fell over during Shawn’s entrance, so some kids got to hug him. I had forgotten about that. It was funny to see that again.

Other than that main event, which took up most of the second hour of this two-hour show, it was just average. I liked Austin vs. Mero, but it wasn’t as good as their King of the Ring match. The Undertaker and Mankind didn’t have great matches against different opponents at this event although they did set up their Boiler Room Brawl at SummerSlam.

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Vader
  2. Shawn Michaels
  3. Steve Austin
  4. Owen Hart/British Bulldog
  5. Sycho Sid/Ahmed Johnson

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Camp Cornette (Vader, British Bulldog & Owen Hart) (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sycho Sid (***3/4 out of 5)

Worst Match: Mankind vs. Henry Godwinn (*1/2)

Most Memorable Moment: Vader hitting the Vader Bomb on Shawn Michaels to pin the WWE Champion.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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