PPV REVIEW: WWF In Your House 19: D-Generation-X

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - event poster
December 7, 1997,
Springfield Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts.

I've got to be honest with you - I don't have the fondest memories of In Your House 19: D-Generation-X. 

I was 13 at the time this show was broadcast, and I remember watching it the following day on VHS because when you were 13 and living in the U.K., staying up til 3AM on a school night to watch a live wrestling show was never an option.

As I said, my memories of the event itself are not fond ones. I remember a feeling that the show was in some way bleak, with a sense of desolation permeating the atmosphere.

Perhaps this was because this was the first PPV to take place in the wake of the Survivor Series 97 controversy known as The Montreal Screwjob.

Perhaps it's just because it was winter time and I associate the show with the bleakness and desolation of winter.

Or maybe it's just because one of the only two matches that I remember from the show were HHH vs. Sgt. Slaughter, which has got to be up there as one of the worst PPV matches of the 1990s.

So, was D-Generation-X: In Your House 19 really all that bad?

Let's dive in and find out.

Welcome to the Show

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross
We skipped the usual dramatic video package tonight for a cold open. Cameras pan the crowd before heading to the announce table, where we find that the first PPV of the official Attitude Era is being called by the two men whose voices are still synonymous with that time period - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

The two told us that we'd have no less than four title matches tonight, starting with the finals of a tournament to crown a New WWF Light Heavyweight Champion.

That match kicked off tonight's show.

World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final
Brian Christopher vs. Taka Michinoku

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Taka Michinoku beat Brian Christopher to become Light Heavyweight Champion
And so, Taka Michinoku makes his first PPV appearance since the summer's fantastic In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede show.

Meanwhile, the WWF Light Heavyweight title itself was making its first PPV appearance since WCW Starrcade 1996, yes, WCW, when Ultimo Dragon defended it as part of the J-Crown against Dean Malenko.

Speaking of WCW, this opening contest lacked the flash and panache that you'd find with the Turner-owned company's renowned Cruiserweight division, but it was still an enjoyable bout in its own right.

Despite a busted lip (Attitude Era = Blood), Brian Christopher was in his element as the brash, arrogant heel who revelled in taking apart his smaller foe, whilst Taka's brief moments of offence were a thing of beauty.

The match was mostly all Christopher though, until Taka moved out of the way of a Tennessee Jam attempt, landed the Michinoku driver and won the Light Heavyweight Championship.

The only thing spoiling this match is that the announcers spent the whole time focussing on Jerry Lawler, who was pretending not to be BC's pops.
Your Winner and New WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Taka Michinoku 

Post-match, Taka was formally presented with the title belt by Pat Patterson, Tony Garea, and Gerry Brisco whilst a gang of Japanese photographers all gathered around to take pictures.

Kids, Get Your Parents Permission 

Backstage, Kevin Kelly and The Jackyll wasted about five minutes trying to convince us to call the WWF Superstar line.

The Disciples of The Apocalypse (Chainz, 8-Ball, Skull) vs. Los Bouricas (Miguel Perez, Jesus Castillo, Jose Estrada Jr.) 

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - The crowd told Miguel Perez to shave his back
The crowd chanting 'Shave your back!' to Miguel Perez genuinely had me laughing out loud, and was one of the best things about this passable, but mostly bland, six-man.

These two rival factions had enjoyed a decent encounter in a 4 vs. 4 match a few months ago at Ground Zero: In Your House 17, but since then, Disciples of the Apocalypse leader Crush had left the company, ostensibly in protest at the Montreal Screwjob, but mostly because he could get a better deal from World Championship Wrestling.

So tonight, we got a 3 vs. 3 match that just wasn't as good as the earlier Ground Zero bout.

I'm not saying that the absence of Crush & Savio Vega was the deciding factor, but it is true that the quality of this was noticeably lacking.

At one point, Miguel took a tumble to the outside and looked to be injured, prompting Savio to rush in and attempt to take his place.

Referee Tim White disallowed it, but it didn't matter anyway. A minute later, Perez revealed the whole thing to be a rouse and helped his team pick up the win.
Your Winner: Los Bouricas 

Afterward, this happened and made me laugh out loud:

JR: 'Miguel Perez feigned his injury.'

King: 'What are you talking about? He didn't faint, he hurt his knee!' 

Trust me, the sincerity in King's voice made that hysterical.

Butterbean is Going to Beat Up Marc Mero 

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Doc Hendrix interviews Butterbean about his Tough Man fight with Marc Mero
Let's quickly recap here:

After last competing on a WWF PPV back in February at In Your House 13: Final Four (beating Leif Cassidy), Marc Mero had been injured and was forced to sit out for the next six months.

In his absence, his wife and valet, Sable, had become more popular than ever thanks to her dazzling good looks.

When he returned, he dropped the 'Wildman' act and became 'Marvelous' Marc Mero, playing on his real-life past as a boxer.

Growing jealous of Sable's popularity, Mero transitioned into a heel and began treating Sable badly, which raised the ire of boxer/Toughman competitor, Butterbean.

That led to a four-round toughman contest on tonight's show, which Butterbean was now here to talk to Doc Hendrix about.

Doc told us that Butterbean had only just competed the day before, albeit on a card that I can't find any mention of.

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Michael Cole interviews Sable
In a fairly no-nonsense promo, Butterbean told us that the previous evening had been just a warm-up, and tonight, Mero would have his hands full.

We were then supposed to have words from Sable, who was standing by with Michael Cole, but for some reason, my non-Network version of this show just skips straight to the entrances for the match itself.


I just watched the Network version of this PPV to get screengrabs - Michael Cole interviewed Sable by herself, and she promised that despite holding up the title belt in Butterbean's fight last night, her heart was in the right place and she'd still be in Mero's corner.

That brought out Marc himself. The Marvelous one lambasted Sable or doing an interview without permission, then accused her of stealing his spotlight and promised to destroy 'theat fat tub of crap' Butterbean.

Four-Round Toughman Fight
Marvellous Marc Mero (w/ Sable) vs. Butterbean 

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Butterbean faced Marc Mero in a 4-Round Tough Man fight
I forgot that this was at a time when Mero had that theme music that was featured on loads of porn videos back in the 1990s.

Or so I'm told, I'd have no idea, obviously.

Meanwhile, Butterbean used the theme that had previously been used by Bam Bam Bigelow during The Beast From The East's brief face run back in 1995.

As the entrances got underway, we got more comedy from JR and King.

King: 'JR, he's got food in his mouth.'

JR: 'That's a mouthpiece, King.'

I swear, without Vince holding them back, these two were already starting to flourish as an announcing duo.

The match itself was, well, it was a boxing match.

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Butterbean faced Marc Mero in a 4-Round Tough Man fight
It was like watching Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T at Wrestlemania 2, except with only 10% of the charisma.

A worked match, we basically got four rounds

of unspectacular brawling with moments of Mero being a cheating heel and him attacking Butterbean between each round.

In the final round, Mero took his heelish ways a step too far and hit his rival with a low-blow, bringing the match to an end via DQ.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Butterbean

Afterwards, Butterbean chased Mero backstage, and wouldn't be seen on WWF PPV again until Wrestlemania XIV

Dude Love and Steve Austin Are Soul Mates 

Backstage, Dude Love was shown with a couple of other dudes, all typing away at laptops whilst Kevin Kelly told us how great it was to access WWF content on America Online.

Kelly then asked the Dude what he thought about his 'buddy' Steve Austin facing The Rock tonight. 

Mick Foley's goofiest alter-ego took umbrage at the idea that he and Stone Cold were merely 'buddies,' insisting instead that the two were soul mates.

This was poor stuff from Foley, who goofed around and said not very interesting stuff about Rock vs. Austin 1.

Goldust Wears a Pink Wig and Reads Green Eggs and Ham 

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Goldust (w/ his Femdom Mistress Luna Vachon) reads Green Eggs & Ham
Since we last saw him at Survivor Series, Goldust had undergone a complete psychotic breakdown and become The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust, an even more bizarre version of his already out-there character.

Imagine the original Goldust with all the restraints removed and a heavy suggestion that he was now really into bondage (with the equally bizarre Luna Vachon as his Femdom mistress) and you get the idea.

As odd as it sounds, I loved the TAFKA Goldust gimmick at the time because it was so completely different and off-the-charts crazy.

Watching back on this show, when Goldie and Luna both came out dressed in pink and he read from Dr Seuss, it still seems groundbreakingly different, though perhaps not as wildly entertaining.

Eventually, Luna got tired of the Green Eggs and Ham and pushed Goldust to the floor, calling him a scum-suck and dragging him backstage like the good little sub-bitch he was.

Oh, what a booger!

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - The Legion of Doom called the New Age Outlaws Boogers and promised to beat them
It was only during the summer that Billy Gunn and Jesse James had been rivals, even going against each other at  In Your House 14: Revenge of The Taker.

Since then, the two had realised that their careers were going nowhere by fighting each other and decided to team up instead. Since then, the duo was well on their way to becoming one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling, even cheating their way to a Tag Team title win over the Legion of Doom. 

Tonight, Hawk and Animal would have their chance to get revenge, but not before we heard what they had to say to backstage interviewer, Michael Cole.

What Animal had to say was your basic Road Warrior 'we're gonna kick your ass' stuff, but what Hawk had to say was one of the most entertaining promos this writer has heard on any PPV I've reviewed so far.

Liking the champs to a booger stuck up his nose, Hawk went into detail about how he would remove that booger and flick it away.

'Get ready to get flicked!' he warned, which to me has got to be one of the most hilarious threats ever uttered on a wrestling show.

Just when I'd finished laughing at that, Hawk made with the funnies again by putting a unique twist on his famous catchphrase.

'Ohhhhhhh what a booger!'

What was going on with this show that everyone was making with the comedy?

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Jesse James & Billy Gunn defended the WWF tag team titles against The Legion of Doom
Oh you didn't know? 

The tag champs weren't known as The New Age Outlaws yet, but they were, even more, entertaining here than they were at the height of their popularity, playing the cocky-but-cowardly heel role to perfection.

The two did their usual schtick on the way to the way to the ring, with Road Dogg taking to the mic to mock Hawk and Animal for being old.

The LOD threatened to pursue James and Gunn down the isle, so the two retreated backstage and pretended to be warming up, before finally coming out again, claiming to be ready for action.

Far more entertaining than most 'stalling' spots in pro wrestling, the two teams repeated the sequence before a gang of road agents forced the tag champs to hit the ring.

When they got there, they entered into a fun though unspectacular contest with The Legion of Doom, the challengers mostly dominating the action with the two dastardly champs cheating to gain any kind of advantage.

For all intents and purposes, the superhero Road Warriors seemed on course for an inevitable victory, even picking up Road Dogg ready for the Doomsday Device.

At that point, Henry Godwin ran in and hit Animal with a steel bucket behind the referee's back.

Irate, Hawk grabbed the bucket and began swinging it at anybody in sight, including the referee, who promptly called for the bell.
Your Winners by Disqualification and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn

Random thought:

It's fitting that the first PPV the New Age Outlaws appeared on as a tag team was one named after the stable they would later join and reach all new levels of popularity.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Tonight, the next thing that happened was that we got a commercial for WWF The Music: Volume 2, featuring stars like Vader, Mankind, The Undertaker, and Steve Austin supposedly playing their own theme music.


Or at least most of them were. Mankind played his outro theme on piano, Vaderbanged a drum, and Undertaker crashed two cymbals together, but Stone Cold merely smashed an electric guitar to pieces.

Dirtiest Players in the Game 

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - HHH (w/ Chyna) tells Michael Cole that he's going to make Sgt. Slaughter's wife give him a blowjob
It was almost time for that dreaded boot camp match that had given me so many horrible memories of this PPV, but before we got there, we first had a look at a video package which highlighted what a tough S.O.B Sgt. Slaughter had been in his prime, but completely glossed over the fact that he'd once been the WWF Champion.

This was preceded by Ross and Lawler telling us about Slaughter's rivalry with D-Generation-X, who Lawler called 'The dirtiest players in the game.'

Somewhere in North Carolina, a certain Mr. Flair was calling his lawyer.

The video was followed with an interview backstage, in which Michael Cole asked Triple H whether his plan to antagonise the WWF Commissioner.

With Chyna standing by him, Hunter scoffed at such an idea before promising that after he'd beaten up Slaughter, he was going to visit Mrs. Slaughter and let her give him oral sex.

I wonder if Chyna would have stood by and watched that, too?

And That's an Order

In retaliation, Sgt. Slaughter was interviewed by -of all people- Jim Cornette.

Slaughter said that he was going to beat up Helmsley, and that this was an order, which of course, it clearly wasn't.

Boot Camp Match
Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. Sgt. Slaughter

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - HHH prepares to hit Sgt. Slaughter with a chain in their terrible boot camp match
So, here's an interesting thing:

At the 1991 Royal Rumble, Sgt. Slaughter beat Ultimate Warrior to win the WWF title.

A few years later, HHH would end up having two of his worst PPV matches ever against both men, first Warrior at Wrestlemania 12, and now Slaughter here tonight.

And trust me, this was definitely one of his worst. In fact, not only was it one of HHH's worse, it was easily one of the worst PPV matches of the 1990s.

Remember earlier when I said that thinking of this match made me think of something sparse, desolate, and dreary?

I realise why that is now:

Save for all but the briefest of spots, the crowd were absolutely dead for the entire match.

And quite rightly too.

This was painfully slow and mind-numbingly tedious, with Jerry Lawler's insistence on inserting as many military references into his commentary only making things worse.

Since there was no exciting action to tell you about, I might as well tell you about two other somewhat interesting facts:

This was the first WWF PPV that had Triple H wrestling under that name and not Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

Sgt. Slaughter came to the ring to a theme that just a few months earlier, at Ground Zero: In Your House, had been used by The Patriot, and that would, of course, go on to become famous as the theme of one Kurt Angle.

Back to the match, Helmsley planted Slaughter with a Pedigree onto a steel chair to put him, everyone in attendance, and me 20 years later, out of our collective misery.

Jeff Jarrett is Back

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - A Returning Jeff Jarrett talks to Michael Cole about being back in the WWF
The last time we saw Jeff Jarrett on PPV was at WCW Fall Brawl 1997, where he beat Dean Malenko.

The last time we saw him on a WWF PPV was at the 1996 Royal Rumble, where he lost to Ahmed Johnson via Disqualification.

Now he was back, and after cutting a worked-shoot promo on both Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff on an episode of Raw, had signed himself up for a date with The Dead Man.

Here, Jarrett, whose new attire made him look like a shit Power Ranger, told Michael Cole that he was about to beat The Undertaker en route to becoming WWF Champion.

Jeff Jarrett vs. The Undertaker

'There's all the great World Wrestling Federation superstars, and then there's...ME!'

Seriously, I've no idea what that theme was supposed to be, but it certainly didn't suit the cocky, swaggering Jarrett.

Nor did that crappy Power Ranger costume.

Despite the way he was presented, Jarrett was capable of entertaining matches, as was The Undertaker, so why the two couldn't produce one together is a mystery.

Seriously, this was almost as dull as the earlier boot camp match with a crowd that were equally as lifeless as they'd been for Helmsley/Slaughter.

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Kane confronted Undertaker in his match with jeff Jarrett
At first I thought it was because the boot camp match had killed the show, but then I realised what it actually was:

Jarrett and The Undertaker were just killing time until the inevitable arrival of Kane, and the Springfield faithful knew it.

After a couple of minutes of basically nothing happening, Kane did indeed arrive on the scene with Paul Bearer naturally in tow.

Kane chokeslammed Jarrett then turned his attention to his brother, slapping 'Taker across the face in an effort to goad him into a fight.

When Undertaker refused to retaliate (just as he said he would) his masked sibling simply turned and walked away.
Your Winner Via DQ: Jeff Jarrett

Post-match, Jarrett attacked 'Taker from behind and attempted a figure four, only for The Dead Man to grab Jarrett by the throat, stand up, and then drop Jarrett on his ass in a sloppy move that vaguely resembled a chokeslam.

After The Undertaker had left, Jarrett was declared the winner, had his hand raised by referee Tim White, and celebrated as though he'd just pinned his opponent clean in the middle of the ring.

Mark Henry is Back...Kind Of

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Mark Henry picked Steve Austin to beat The Rock in the upcoming match
Mark Henry hadn't been seen on WWF PPV since Summerslam 1996, when he defeated Jerry 'The King' Lawler, but tonight he was back, hanging out with some fans in the crowd.

Michael Cole Interviewed The World's Strongest Man, who told The World's Scrawniest Interviewer that he'd been hanging out with bosses from Milton Bradley, whose Karate Fighters game was the main sponsor of tonight's show.

Henry was asked who he favoured in the upcoming Intercontinental Championship match between defending champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and number one contender The Rock.

Naturally, the big man picked fellow babyface Austin rather than the man he'd later team up with in The Nation of Domination.

The Rock Promises to Embarrass Stone Cold

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - The Rock & The Nation of Domination
Tonight's show was historically significant for a whole bunch of reasons - the first appearance of the New Age Outlaws as a team, the first appearance of Triple H as Triple H, and of course, the first in an epic rivalry between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Tonight, the two would wage war over Austin's Intercontinental title, but before we did, we got a video package reminding us of how awesome The Rock was when he first tuned heel, and how he ended up at loggerheads with Austin.

This took us to a backstage promo where the future movie star, wearing Austin's title (which he'd stolen on Raw is War) and flanked by the rest of The Nation, reminded Doc Hendrix that he was no longer called Rocky Maivia, but simply The Rock.

Then, displaying a charisma that had been so sorely lacking during his awkward, awful babyface promo back at Wrestlemania 13, Rock promised to embarrass Austin and win the title for real this time.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (w/ Farooq, D'Lo Brown, and Kama Mustafa)

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Steve Austin pins The Rock in their first PPV match together
Following his devastating injury at Summerslam 97, Steve Austin may not have been able to deliver a textbook wrestling classic,  but here both he and The Rock proved why they were every bit deserving of main event status with a short, wildly exciting brawl that was hugely entertaining from start to finish.

Much to the delight of the audience, Austin arrived for the big match in his own Stone Cold branded pickup truck, which soon served as a weapon when the champion back-dropped D'Lo Brown onto it.

A stunner for Brown on the roof of the truck quickly followed, after which Austin set about dismantling the rest of The Nation.

He and Rock then got into it, with the challenger laying the smack down on his opponent and even presenting us with the PPV debut of The as-yet-unnamed People's Elbow.

More chaos ensued, which somehow resulted in Austin dropping the referee with a stunner, giving Rock the chance to break out the brass knuckles.

The international object didn't do him any favours however, as Stone Cold landed the win, capping off what was undoubtedly the highlight of the show up to that point.
Your Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Post match, JR told us that somebody was going to win Austin's truck at the 1998 Royal Rumble, then Kevin Kelly and The Jackyl urged us to call the Superstar Line again.

With that out of the way, it was on to our main event.

The Talking is Over

WWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X - Jim Cornette intervies Ken Shamrock about his WWF title match with Shawn Michaels
After a video package reminded us of the brief, thrown-together rivalry between Ken Shamrock and Shawn Michaels, the two gave us some final pre-match comments.

Displaying all the personality of pencil, Shamrock told Jim Cornette that he respected HBK as an athlete but was still going to beat him tonight because he was, of course, in the zone.

In response, Michaels spent most of his promo time calling Jim Ross fat and promising to show us why he was the number one man in the pro wrestling industry.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Triple H and Chyna) vs. Ken Shamrock

vWWE / WWF - In Your House 19: D-Generation-X -  Shawn Michaels promises to beat Ken Shamrock in their match
With the crowd still recovering from the excitement of Austin/Rock I, they weren't too into this match in the early going. This took the shine off what was Michaels' first WWF Championship defence on PPV since he lost the title to Sid back at Survivor Series 1996.

Credit where credit is due, however, both HBK and The World's Most Dangerous Man worked hard to win the crowd over and turned in a decent main event.

After a lengthy back-and-forth battle, Shamrock drilled the champ with his dreaded belly-to-belly suplex and went for the ankle lock.

At that point, Triple H and Chyna -both of whom had been running interference throughout the match- jumped in, and that was that.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Ken Shamrock (Shawn Michaels retains the title)

Except, that wasn't quite it. D-Generation-X beat down on Shamrock, but as they were celebrating, Owen Hart ran to the ring and sent Michaels flying into the Spanish announce table.

There, Owen got revenge on behalf of his brother Bret by beating the crap out of HBK until Triple H came to the rescue.

Owen then charged off through the crowd, leaving the DX trio to celebrate as their PPV came to an end.

Purely from an entertainment standpoint, In Your House 19: D-Generation-X was a rather average show, with only the Austin vs. Rock encounter being worthy of repeat viewing.

From a historical standpoint, however, this one really is worth tracking down.

By WWE's definition, The Attitude Era was born in the wake of the Montreal Screwjob, making this show the first PPV of an era many long-time fans remember fondly.

Comparing this show to the way the shows the WWF had presented only a year earlier shows a huge difference, particularly when it comes to some of the company's biggest stars.

On this show, there was absolutely no doubting the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin was the most over guy on the whole card, including Shawn Michaels. His opponent was still finding himself as a heel, but was already far more entertaining here in his PPV debut as The Rock than he'd been a year earlier as the perma-grinned goofball babyface Rocky Maivia.

Add in the debut of the New Age Outlaws, BDSM Goldust, and the crowning of a Light Heavyweight Champion, and what you've got here is a show that's worth checking out for, if nothing else, its importance to the evolution of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire.

1997 events reviewed so far:
  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1997
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1997
  3. WWF - In Your House 13: Final Four 
  4. WCW - Superbrawl VII 
  5. WCW - Uncensored 1997 
  6. WWF - Wrestlemania 13
  7. WCW Spring Stampede 1997
  8. WWF - In Your House 14: Revenge of The Taker
  9. WWF - In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell
  10. WCW - Slamboree 1997
  11. WWF - King of the Ring 1997
  12. WCW - Great American Bash 1997 
  13. WWF - In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 
  14. WCW - Bash at the Beach 1997 
  15. WWF - Summerslam 1997
  16. WCW - Road Wild 1997
  17. WWF - In Your House 17: Ground Zero
  18. WCW - Fall Brawl 1997
  19. WWF - One Night Only 1997
  20. WWF - In Your House 18: Badd Blood
  21. WCW - Halloween Havoc 1997
  22. WWF - Survivor Series 1997
  23. WCW - World War 3 1993
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