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WWF: Retro Review | In Your House 13: Final Four – February 16th 1997.

Twenty-four years ago today, the WWF presented the final pay-per-view event before WrestleMania 13, In Your House 13 Final Four, originally scheduled to determine who would challenge for the WWF World title at WrestleMania.

Due to Shawn Michaels giving up the World title on a special Thursday episode of RAW a few days earlier, the main event became a fatal-four-way elimination match for the vacant WWF World Heavyweight title, with the winner defending the title against number one contender Sycho Sid on the RAW episode following the pay-per-view.

‘Wildman’ Marc Mero (with Sable) Vs Leif Cassidy

WWF In your house

The opening contest of the show saw “Wildman” Marc Mero (accompanied by Sable) square off with Leif Cassidy. Mero took early control but Cassidy soon put a stop to that by working on Mero’s legs, keeping him grounded with various submissions. Mero picked up the victory after hitting Cassidy with the Wild Thing, his variation of the Shooting Star Press.

Following the conclusion of the Mero and Cassidy match, The Honky Tonk Man made his way down to the ring. The recap of Shawn Michaels’ speech from Thursday RAW Thursday then aired. An interview with Sycho Sid then took place where he cut a promo on time, referencing that he would be taking the WWF World title back from whoever wins the Final Four match in the main event.

Flash Funk, Bart Gunn and Goldust vs Nation of Domination

WWF Nation of Dominate

The next match saw Flash Funk team up with Bart Gunn and Goldust to take on Nation of Domination members Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega. After a back and forth contest, the Nation of Domination picked up the win after Crush dropped a huge leg drop on the back of Bart Gunn’s head following a Diving Bulldog, and then immediately attacked Flash Funk to prevent him from breaking up the pinfall, with Faarooq scoring the final pin.

An interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, presented by Dok Hendrix, aired next with Austin guaranteeing that he will walk away from the Final Four main event as the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion.

Hunter Hurst Helmsley vs Rocky Maivia

WWF In Your House Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Rocky Maivia

As the camera panned back to the arena, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was making his way to the ring ready for his match with Rocky Maivia for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, in a rematch from Thursday RAW Thursday, since Rock had beaten Hunter for the title on that episode. A great match that was very similar to their match on Thursday RAW Thursday except with added Goldust interference as ‘The Bizarre One’ cost Hunter the match. Hunter was distracted by Goldust at ringside, with Maivia taking advantage to hit Hunter with a Back Suplex hold, getting the three count to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

Helmsley challenged Goldust to get into the ring and while Goldust was focused on Hunter, his manager, Marlena, was being choked out at ringside by an unknown woman, who would later be identified as Helmsley’s bodyguard, Chyna.

After another break, Vader was interviewed on his chances in the Final Four match.

Owen Hart and The British Bulldog vs Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon

In Your House

The second title match of the night followed as Owen Hart and The British Bulldog put the WWF World Tag Team Championships on the line against Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon. Even with Hart and Bulldog miscommunicating multiple times throughout the match, they ended up keeping hold of the WWF World Tag Team titles after losing the match via disqualification, due to Owen Hart hitting Phil LaFon with his Slammy Award, meaning they kept the titles due to champion’s advantage.

An interview with The Undertaker came next, prior to the main event, with “The Deadman” claiming that the WWF World Title will be his by hook or by crook.

Main Event
Stone Cold vs The Undertaker vs Bret Hart vs Vader


The main event then began as the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship was on the line in the “Final Four” match as Stone Cold, The Undertaker, Bret Hart and Vader battled it out to determine the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Superstars could be eliminated by either pinfall, submission or being thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor.

The early part of the contest saw Vader and The Undertaker scrap on the outside, while Hart and Austin battled inside the ring. Vader’s eye was opened up pretty bad early in the contest, presumably when The Undertaker booted a steel chair into his face. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the first to be eliminated as Hart dumped him over the top rope.

After being eliminated, Austin came back down to ringside, beating down Bret Hart. Vader set up for a moonsault on Undertaker, only for him to get up and hit Vader low, sending him over the top rope to the floor, eliminating Vader from the match in the process. The new WWF World Heavyweight Champion would either be Bret Hart or The Undertaker.

After The Undertaker punched Austin off the apron, Bret Hart took advantage of the distraction and clotheslined The Undertaker over the top rope, eliminating him from the match and winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in the process.

Sycho Sid made his way out to the ring while Hart was celebrating his victory for a staredown prior to their title match the following night on RAW.

In Review

A great pay-per-view to end the road to WrestleMania, setting up Hart and Austin for the Show of Shows, and, although he was the final man eliminated, The Undertaker would get the WWF World title in the main event of WrestleMania. An incredible night of action and one that WWE should be proud of, all things considered as Shawn Michaels surrendered the WWF World Title literally three days before this show, WWE scrambled together to make the already scheduled four-way main event for the title, with the winner defending against number one contender Sycho Sid on the RAW following the show.

The match of the night, especially towards the end, was definitely the four-way elimination main event but the rematch between Rocky Maivia and Hunter Hearst Helmsley was pretty good too. On the RAW following this show, Hart would end up losing the title to Sycho Sid and would go on to face Stone Cold Steve Austin in a No Disqualification Submission match, while Sid would defend the WWF World Heavyweight title in the main event of WrestleMania 13 against The Undertaker. Austin and Hart’s Submission match would result in a double turn as Austin refused to submit, with Hart winning via referee stoppage due to Austin passing out.

Craig Simons
Twenty-four year old wrestling fan. Been watching since 2003. Writer. Podcast host.
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