Background: Following the April In Your House pay-per-view “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith threatened to tear WWF champion Shawn Michaels’ head off when Smith found out that “The Heartbreak Kid” had made advances on Bulldog’s wife, Diana. At the May In Your House event, Michaels and Smith wrestled to a draw.
One month later at the King of the Ring, Michaels finally defeated Smith in a WWF title situation; thus rising the ire of Smith’s manager Jim Cornette. After Michaels’ KOR victory, Camp Cornette (Owen Hart and Vader) joined Bulldog in a post-match beat down. Thankfully for the champ, he got some help from friends in former WWF champion The Ultimate Warrior and Intercontinental champ Ahmed Johnson – thus setting up a huge six man tag event for the upcoming PPV.
But things were just getting started as it was announced only two weeks before the International Incident pay-per-view event that The Ultimate Warrior was fired due to skipping house shows/non-televised events. Scrambling to find a replacement, WWF resigned Michaels’ former bodyguard turned enemy Sycho Sid. The week leading up to the show saw an Attitude Era-like moment that involved Sid stop a three on two mugging by Camp Cornette against HBK and Johnson by running over a trashcan with his rental car. During the PPV, Jim Cornette promised to refund everyone’s money if Camp Cornette lost.
In Your House 9: International Incident
July 21, 1996
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The People’s Posse (WWF champion Shawn Michaels, Intercontinental champion Ahmed Johnson, Sycho Sid) w/Jose Latherio vs. Camp Cornette (Vader, Davey Boy Smith, Owen Hart) w/Jim Cornette
The People’s Posse had separate entrances (featuring the famous shot of the front row fans knocking over guardrails to get to Michaels) while Camp Cornette entered as a unit. Just a personal note – I always loved how much Vince McMahon put over Michaels. It was almost scary the way he described Shawn’s charisma and looks.
The first few minutes witnessed Michaels using a hit & run approach against Vader, taking him over the top with the cross body block that was used to set up a beautiful plancha – making the crowd cheer and McMahon lose his mind. The crafty Vader utilized Michaels’ tendency to fly against the WWF champ seconds later, sending Michaels jaw first against the guardrails. Those always-impressive hooks from Vader dropped Michaels in the corner, but had the fans still behind the champ. Michaels flipped out of Vader’s belly to back suplex, tagging in Sid so the big man from Arkansas could run through all of his opponents. The crowd was white hot after Sid clotheslined Vader to the floor.
Ahmed entered as the legal man, throwing Owen with painful looking rolling German suplexes (I don’t remember Johnson doing that before or after this match). Poor Bulldog didn’t do much better when he reentered. Pearl River Plunge finish on Bulldog by Johnson … for a near fall thanks to Vader’s interference!
The infamous Ahmed Johnson wedgie was occurring as he caught Vader in midair, power slamming the big man to a huge pop and another two count. Sadly for Johnson, Vader choked Ahmed to set up Owen Hart’s spinning heel kick. Owen’s incredible taunting cost him, bringing Sid back in. The Sid onslaught was stopped quickly by Bulldog’s freakish power displayed by a delayed vertical suplex. Sid seemed to be fading when he hulked up, head-butting his way to Shawn Michaels.
The loud ovation for Michaels was topped off by HBK’s double axe handle to the top of Smith’s head. Owen entered the ring after tagging himself in, leading to a pin exchange between himself and the WWF champ. When he realized going for pinning combinations just wasn’t cutting it, Owen turned a backslide attempt into a big clothesline that put Michaels in a bad position. Every time HBK seemed to be gaining leeway to a tag, something like Owen clubbing him from behind with his cast left hand, Vader’s side sleeper, or Bulldog’s ability to cut the ring off with his superior power and impressive speed would put a halt to Michaels’ advances.
It seemed the match was about to take a big turn in the fan favorites’ favor when Sid interrupted Bulldog’s sure three count off the Running Power Slam with a leg drop to the back of Smith’s head.
Cornette and company garnered the ref’s attention, allowing a three on one assault after the referee had to stop the entering Johnson when he didn’t see Michaels tag out. Michaels somehow had the wherewithal to avoid Owen’s missile dropkick, sending Hart’s feet into Bulldog’s face.
Sid finally tagged in thanks to the errant dropkick, going chokeslam crazy on all of his opponents before tagging in Johnson for a double team clothesline. Rocket launcher by Sid with Michaels didn’t get his team the victory, but caused enough chaos that the ref didn’t see Michaels club Vader with Cornette’s tennis racket … for a two count when the referee turned around!
The band was tuning up for Sweet Chin Music. Unfortunately for Michaels, Cornette grabbed the WWF champ’s boot to stop his super kick. Jose ran over to knock Cornette down. But the distraction was enough for Vader to recover, avalanche splashing the prone champ against the turnbuckles. With Michaels in position, Vader finished Shawn off with his Vader Bomb to pin the WWF champion.
Winner: Camp Cornette (24:32)
After the match, Sid power bombed Hart and Bulldog. Sid wanted to do the same to Vader, but Bulldog yanked his partner to the floor. As Vader got to his feet on the floor, Michaels dove over the top rope, taking Vader down before peppering him with right hands until several officials separated everyone.
Is it a Classic: Wow, a match like this is sorely missing in wrestling nowadays. You had six very over wrestlers putting on a showcase in a tag team environment. For goodness sakes, even Ahmed Johnson looked like a megastar who could handle his own in the ring. The action only slowed down during Michaels’ beat down, and even that was enthralling thanks to Shawn’s excellent selling. If you appreciate great tag team wrestling in an incredible atmosphere, you’ll understand why this match is a must-see.