Thanks to WWE 24/7, I relived an old PPV from the In Your House PPV series in 1996 subtitled "Mind Games." Now for those who don't remember the original In Your House PPV series, they were only 2 hours long at a cheap price (less than $20) and were the filler events inbetween WWE's (then WWF) big PPV's like Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King Of The Ring, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. During this time, Shawn Michaels was a fighing WWF Champion and had a new challenger in Mankind, who recently revealed his alliance with Paul Bearer. Eventhough this PPV was remembered for various moments like the main event along with a few inring debuts for wrestlers still around today, this show is mostly remembered for what happened with a certain set of EXTREME people sitting in the front row.
Strap Match: Savio Vega vs. Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw - Before we knew him as a member of the A.P.A. and even a blackjack, J.B.L.'s first character was Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw & this was his PPV debut. Savio was a little winded from wrestling only minutes earlier on the pre-game show. This match wasn't as good as the strap match Savio had with Austin months earlier since it was short & really just a backdrop for what happened at ringside earlier in the match...when Extreme Championship Wrestling stars Tommy Dreamer, Paul Heyman, and Sandman caused a disturbance when Sandman spat beer in Savio's face leading to all the backstage agents coming out & escourting them out the building.
Jose Lothario vs. Jim Cornette - This was a battle of the managers & nothing more past a 1 min. comedic match.
Tag Team Champions Smokin' Gunns vs. Owen Hart & British Bulldog - This was an unusual setup as both teams were heels at this time with various interesting things happening before the match got started. Backstage Jim Cornette's lawyer Clarence Mason tricked Jim into signing over the contracts of Owen & Bulldog to Mason, Owen & Bulldog ruined Sunny's giant poster of herself, and you clearly saw problems between Billy & Bart in over Sunny. Owen & Bulldog dominated most of the match by working over Bart's leg & even gaining the crowd support in the process before another miscommunication between Billy & Bart due to Billy being attention to Sunny instead of the match cost them the Tag Team Titles along with Sunny herself who fired them afterwards.
[The ECW incident can be seen on "The Rise & Fall Of ECW" DVD]
Mark Henry vs. Jerry Lawler - Earlier in the night, it was the future J.B.L.'s PPV debut but in this case, it's Mark Henry's WWF inring debut. Lawler was nothing more than just a body for Henry to dominate & heavily sell his limited offense which worked as Lawler made Henry look better than he really was at that time. Look out for the cameo appearences from Marty Jannettty, Leif Cassidy (Al Snow), and Hunter Hearst Helmsley afterwards.
Final Curtain Match: Undertaker vs. Goldust - This was the final match in their 3 match series over the previous In Your House events with the rules for this match being that it can only end in a pinfall. Just like their previous match at Beware Of Dog (didn't see the one at International Incident two months later/earlier), this was a solid encounter with both men going back & forth with each other before Undertaker in the end finally chokeslammed & tombstoned his way to a victory over Goldust.
WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind - Mick Foley wrote in his "Have A Nice Day" book that this was the best match of his career & was concidered by WWE as the best match of 1996. With HBK's high flyin' lucha libre influenced style mixed with Mankind's hardcore daredevil style made for one hell of a match with so many intense moments, you have to see this one to believe everything they went through with the cameos of people like Sysco Sid, Vader, and Undertaker towards the end only adding to the enviroment instead of taking away from it.
[Also available on "Shawn Michaels: From The Vault", "Mick Foley: Hard Knocks & Cheap Pops", "Mick Foley's Greatest Hits & Misses" DVD sets]
In the end, this event was typical of the In Your House PPV's they had back then where you would have a couple of average to good 3 star matches on the card with one match (usually the main event) sticking out above all the others. The standout performances here were the tag team title match, solid encounter with Taker & Goldust along with the main event that was proclaimed as the match of the year by WWF along with Foley's favorite wrestling performance. This is an In Your House PPV I would recommend at a reasonable cheap price if you were a fan of the WWF product around this time.
This is brought to you buy overtopropetorrents.com for more wcw/ecw/wwf/wwe/ufc and many more plz join us