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In Your House


Yo-Yo's Roomie
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So, my new project is to watch all the 'B'-level pay-per-views, starting with the first In Your House. I'm not gonna do long match reviews or anything, but will share my thoughts as I go along, and I invite others to do the same.

 

I had the first In Your House on video when I was a kid, and watched (and loved) the shit out of it. This is the first time I'd watched it in years though, so I was interested to see how it held up.

 

Bret Hart Vs Hakushi: This had always been one of my favourite matches, and I always thought of it as a real classic. Unfortunately, upon rewatching it, it seems I was overrating it a whole lot. It's still a good match, but isn't really anything special. There are a couple of awkward moments between the two in the early going, and Shinzaki seemed to have a bit of a Muta-thing going on, where he could appear to just be going through the motions for stretches, punctuated by bursts of exciting offence. The finishing stretch is nice though.

 

Razor Ramon Vs Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie: This was the debut of Savio Vega. It always made me sad how Aldo Montoya rushes down to help Razor at the end, but is just beaten down and forgotten about. The match itself is a solid, logical handicap match. Jarrett and Roadie were a good act, I thought.

 

Mabel Vs Adam Bomb: KOTR qualifier, and just a squash really, though Bomb shows some decent agility.

 

Owen Hart and Yokozuna Vs The Smoking Gunns: Decent for a short match.

 

Jerry Lawler Vs Bret Hart: I think Bret and Lawler had good chemistry, but never really got the chance to work a great match with each other, mostly because Lawler was never portrayed as being on Hart's level, or a real physical threat to him. For instance, Bret pops right up from a Lawler piledriver here like he's Road Warrior Hawk. Hakushi gets involved, and the ref surely sees him interfere. Bad timing there. This was good for what it was.

 

Diesel Vs Sid: The much-maligned Sid/Diesel feud. This wasn't terrible actually. Just boring, but not really offensive. DQ to set up the lumberjack match at the next ppv (and also the KOTR main event). Diesel cuts a decent promo before the match about his mother passing away (the show was on mother's day), which actually makes him sympathetic for a minute.

 

Match of the night: Bret/Hakushi, which I'd have at about 3 1/4 stars.

Show rating: 3 stars. Nothing outright sucked, but there was really nothing memorable about the show at all. To be fair, most shows they put on these days smoke this for in-ring action (though not booking!). Not sure why I loved this so much at the time. Probably because as a kid I didn't get to see all that many ppvs, and this, as a new concept, at least felt fresh at the time.

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In Your House 2.

 

Never seen this one before. It has the deal with Jeff Jarrett performing With My Baby Tonight, and I'm really loving the goofiness of this. I feel like they'd never do something like this nowadays, and I think that's a shame.

 

The Roadie Vs The 123 Kid: Good little opener. Kid was obviously a really good worker. I wonder if Dogg could have been a pretty big deal as a singles star. Even here he has charisma up the wazoo, he could talk, and, while he gets a bad rap for it, was pretty functional in the ring. I guess you could never see him having a flat out great match, but far worse have been pushed. This had a bit of a crazy finish for the time period, with Roadie hitting a piledriver off the second rope.

 

Men on a Mission Vs Razor Ramon and Savio Vega: This is fine, but Sir Mo is kinda crap, and this seems a poor use of Ramon.

 

Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Henry O Godwinn: Pretty dire match. Godwinn sucks and Bigelow looks like he can't be arsed.

 

Shawn Michaels Vs Jeff Jarrett: This is more like it. Really good match between these two, with lots of shtick thrown in. The finish leads to Double J and the Roadie parting ways, and the birth of the real Double J.

 

Owen Hart and Yokozuna Vs The Allied Powers: The AP are a way lamer team than they should be. This is kinda bland most of the way through, apart from a nifty little exchange of holds between Owen and Davey. It heats up for the finish, with Lex and Davey hitting a big double back suplex on Yoko, before the champs steal the win. Lex jobs, and I don't think would be around much longer.

 

Disel Vs Sid: Lumberjack match, and look at some of these characters around the ring. Lots of face time for Man Mountain Rock. There's Mantaur. Rad Radford. These characters! I was pretty generous about the last Sid/Diesel match, but my patience has worn out now. The lumberjack involvement at least gave this a little bit of life, but the action in the ring was pretty bad. I don't know who laid this out, but it really makes Sid look like a complete incompetent. He can't get the upper hand without outside interference, hits the powerbomb but stops to hive five all his lumberjacks before making the cover, then, after Diesel kicks out, he inexplicably decides to go out and fight all of Diesel's lumberjacks. To cap it all he jobs to a big boot, not even the jackknife. Big celebration in the ring to close.

 

A country song about In Your House plays us out.

 

MOTN: Shawn/Jarrett for sure. 3 1/2 stars. I'd put Kid/Roadie at the 3 star mark.

Show rating: Eh, it's a bit below the last one, but I'd still put it at 3 stars, for the 2 good matches, and Double J's musical performance.

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In Your House 3.

 

Savio Vega Vs Waylon Mercy: I wish someone else had got the Mercy gimmick. Nothing against Spivey, but he was pretty spent here. This ended up being not that bad, despite Mercy looking sluggish. Vicious brainbuster from Mercy. Vega with a bridging German. Moves! Vega's win is called an upset. 

 

Sid Vs Henry O Godwinn: I was dreading this, but they did okay with it. Had a simple story to tell, with Sid attacking Godwinn's injured back. Dibiase gets slopped post match, and sells it like a champ.

 

British Bulldog Vs Bam Bam Bigelow: Apart from being a few minutes too long, this was decent.

 

Dean Douglas Vs Razor Ramon: Another fairly good match. I know it gets shitted on, but I liked the Dean Douglas gimmick. 123 Kid comes down and counts the 3 after the ref is bumped, and Razor goes mad at him when he finds out it wasn't the ref counting and he didn't actually win. Douglas gets the roll up win and then Razor challenges Kid to fight. Razor seems kind of a dick here.

 

Bret Hart Vs Jean-Pierre Lafitte: After being disappointed by Hakushi/Hart not holding up, I would have been devastated to find this wasn't as good as I remembered it being. Well, it was. Really good match, with both guys laying in their shots, working pretty intense, and taking some big bumps (Hart overshoots a suicide dive right at the beginning of the match, JPL misses a tope con giro). I always liked Oulette, and Bret gives him a ton of offence here.

 

Shawn Michaels and Diesel Vs British Bulldog and Yokozuna: The 'triple header', with Bulldog standing in for Owen. Pretty good match, with a hot finish. I liked how this was booked, even though it was just a way to renege on the promise of new champs.

 

In Nashville we got a country-style In Your House song to play us out. This time it's in Detroit, so we get a Motown-tinged song. I wonder who was writing these things.

 

MOTN: Bret/JPL. 3 1/2 stars. I have the main and Dean/Razor at 3.

Show rating: This is the best one yet. The weakest match is Sid/HOG, and that one could have been much worse. 3 1/4 seems fair.

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IYH 3 was actually in Saginaw, not Detroit. Saginaw is about 2 hours north. I was at this show. I remember there being a dark match with Goldust against somebody. This was when they were just airing the Goldust vignettes and he hadn't debuted on TV yet. I didn't know it was Dustin Rhodes until he got in the ring, took off the wig, and started wrestling. My friends and I kind of marked hard when we realized who it was, and then started making all sorts of "you're shaming your father's name" jokes. The other dark match was Skip against Ahmed Johnson. This, too, was right before Ahmed made his debut on TV and damn he looked huge. Skip/Candito did some great comedy selling in the match and it was lots of fun.

 

Thinking about it, I'm wondering if I have these dark matches correct or am mixing them up with other live events I went to around the time, but I have always placed those two matches at this event.

 

If you're interested, here's my pictures from the event, along with a ton of other old live WWF event pics

 

http://imgur.com/a/PaPkq#93

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Yeah, I meant to put Michigan, not Detroit. I live in Michigan, so you'd think I'd know the difference.

 

Thanks for the pics. That Helmsley/Fatu match was from the next IYH, unless they ran it as a dark match here, with that exact same head stuck in the ropes spot.

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In Your House 4.

 

Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs Fatu: Always interesting seeing early Triple H. Amazing how much he changed. There'll probably be a lot of HHH hate to come from me in this thread, but to be fair, it's not like he was given a winning gimmick right out of the gate or anything. This is a basic, and solid, match.

 

The Smoking Gunns Vs The 123 Kid and Razor Ramon: Good little match. Razor is over like crazy. He comes off as such a cool guy, and they really could have utilised him better. Kid is essentially working heel here, being ultra aggressive with the Gunns, and then asking to be tagged in to get the win after Razor has hit the Razor's Edge. This backfires, he gets rolled up and pins, and then throws a hissy fit. Good booking on the Kid heel turn, but kind of a weird finish to the match.

 

Goldust Vs Marty Jannetty: This wasn't good, and not a good way to debut Goldie. It went way too long, and Marty took too much of the match. Goldust's music is just the same little bit looped here, and gets really annoying with how long it takes him to get in the ring and ready to go.

 

Yokozuna Vs King Mabel: I could have got into this, but it just wasn't that well worked. Sad seeing Yoko at this stage, as it's obvious he can't do that much anymore. The crowd boos the double count-out finish. Mabel and Yoko hug it out afterwards.

 

Dean Douglas Vs Razor Ramon: The Dean is awarded the IC title by forfeit, while Vince and JR put over what a stand up guy Shawn is. The match itself is disappointingly plodding, with Dean getting little in the way of offence. The finish is dreadful, with Razor getting the pin after a weak back suplex, while Douglas' foot is clearly under the ropes. Not sure why they felt the need to protect Douglas in that way.

 

The British Bulldog Vs Diesel: Lawler runs away from Bret, who has come out to do commentary, before the match starts. This is built around Bulldog working on Diesel's leg. Logical stuff, but Bulldog isn't the most compelling working a long heat segment. He mockingly tells Bret that "this is for you" when applying a sharpshooter, then botches it badly. "You should learn to apply it properly then" is Bret's response. Bulldog slaps Bret and Bret runs in for the dq, setting up the Bret/Diesel Survivor Series main event, and a show closing brawl.

 

Match of the night: Pretty slim pickings, but I'll give the edge slightly to the main over the tag title match. Jim Cornette elbow dropping Diesel's leg just puts it over the top. Probably 2 3/4 stars.

 

Show rating: This is the worst one yet. No real stand out match, three or four disappointing/bad finishes, and a couple of outright bad matches. 2 1/4.

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IYH 3 was actually in Saginaw, not Detroit. Saginaw is about 2 hours north. I was at this show. I remember there being a dark match with Goldust against somebody. This was when they were just airing the Goldust vignettes and he hadn't debuted on TV yet. I didn't know it was Dustin Rhodes until he got in the ring, took off the wig, and started wrestling. My friends and I kind of marked hard when we realized who it was, and then started making all sorts of "you're shaming your father's name" jokes. The other dark match was Skip against Ahmed Johnson. This, too, was right before Ahmed made his debut on TV and damn he looked huge. Skip/Candito did some great comedy selling in the match and it was lots of fun.

 

Thinking about it, I'm wondering if I have these dark matches correct or am mixing them up with other live events I went to around the time, but I have always placed those two matches at this event.

 

If you're interested, here's my pictures from the event, along with a ton of other old live WWF event pics

 

http://imgur.com/a/PaPkq#93

 

Great photos. I always wonder where all the photos are of the people who took pictures at the events. I would assume they'd be online...but nope. Thanks for sharing.

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You're right. HHH vs. Fatu WAS the dark match of that IYH. I have no idea what the dark matches I was talking about were from, then. Maybe it was just a house show I attended? Whatever. All these memories are blending together as I get older.

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In Your House 5.

 

Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty Vs 123 Kid and Sid: So Kid is part of the Million Dollar Corporation at this point. I was always intrigued by the prospect of a Sid and Kid team, but it obviously didn't last too long. Decent match which puts Razor over pretty strong.

 

Ahmed Johnson Vs Buddy Landell: Ha, they even use the old Naitch music for Landell. That had to be one of the oddest cup of coffee runs in WWF history. This goes less than a minute. More entertaining is Jeff Jarrett attacking Ahmed after the match, with a brawl breaking out.

 

Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs Henry O Godwinn: The infamous Hog Pen match. This is really just a brawl which ends when Godwinn gets back body dropped into the hog pen. They had real pigs in there, don't remember that. Hunter gets thrown in afterwards, of course, and does a bunch of pratfalls in the mud. He was game, before he was THE GAME.

 

Owen Hart Vs Diesel: Tweener Diesel pretty much destroys Owen, and this is for Shawn he tells us. Gets DQ'd for manhandling the ref.

 

The Undertaker Vs King Mabel: This might be the worst casket match ever, which is covering some ground. Just stupid illogical shit, with Mabel and Mo getting Taker in the casket, but then Mabel has to put his crown on before closing the lid. Because that's what you'd do, isn't it? I did like Mabel in this gimmick though. "I'm the King!" Taker ends up closing the lid on both of them, and reclaims the urn that was melted into a necklace. That sentence is pro wrestling.

 

Bret Hart Vs The British Bulldog: This match saves the show really. Well, actually the show hasn't been that bad. But this match is way above everything else on it. Some great touches here, like Bulldog wearing the same tights he wore at Summerslam 92. They really play up that Bret has never beaten Davey. Love the running powerslam on the floor spot. Bret bleeds a gusher, of course, and Vince seems none too pleased about it. Was this another of Bret's "hardway" cuts? Nice finish with the La Magistral cradle. Very good match. I think I still think the 92 match is better, but this runs it close, and it's cool seeing them work an entirely different kind of match here.

 

This show also had Xanta Claus, aka Balls Mahoney, attacking Savio Vega. Strange stuff there.

 

MOTN: The main, obviously. 4 stars.

Show rating: I'll go 3 and a quarter. Definitely worth sitting through to get to the main event, and nothing really dragged, even though nothing else was all that good (the opening tag aside).

 

On to 1996 I go.

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Bret bleeds a gusher, of course, and Vince seems none too pleased about it. Was this another of Bret's "hardway" cuts?

 

Yeah in his book he said that he convinced Vince that he really banged his head on the corner of the steps and got busted open that way.

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In Your House 6.

 

Razor Ramon Vs 123 Kid: This is the "crybaby" match. I seem to remember complaints about this at the time, about how it was embarrassing, and some kind of burial, but I thought it was a logical gimmick match, and I wish they'd do more "if you lose you have to do X" type stips to blow off feuds. Anyway, the match itself is good. Razor hits 2 Razor's Edges to put a cap on the feud. Seeing Razor diaper the Kid after the match is a little weird. Then again, I've seen Kid having sex, so...

 

Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs Duke Droese: Lawler spends the match perving on Hunter's valet, who I guess was an adult film star. I tell you what, Droese ain't that bad. He cuts a good fired up promo pre-match, and then shows some good fire and nice punches in the match. Nothing special, but I would have thought they might have come up with something a bit better than a garbage man for a guy with his size. This is another solid Hunter match. Stupid ref misses a blatant shot with a garbage can lid for the finish.

 

Yokozuna Vs The British Bulldog: Short match to establish Yoko as a face. Vader comes out and they handcuff Yoko to the ropes and do a number on him.

 

Shawn Michaels Vs Owen Hart: This is for Shawn's WrestleMania title shot. Shawn dances on top of the house set before the match and then swings down on a rope. I swear to God the distance to a Vince McMahon orgasm at that point was paper-thin. Shawn stops mid-match to high five some fans and kisses some woman on the lips. She's beside herself. Shawn may have flopped as a draw, but the fans he did have must have been some of the most passionate I've ever seen. Owen tries the same thing but gets no love. They build to Owen hitting the enziguri that gave Shawn the concussion before, but Shawn rolls to the outside. Owen tries it again but misses, and gets some Sweet Chin Music. Good match.

 

Bret Hart Vs Diesel: Cage match for the belt. It seems like it was impossible for these two to not have a good match together. This one features the mother of all sternum-first turnbuckle bumps from Bret. Lots of good-looking leg work. Famous finish with 'Taker bursting out of the mat and pulling Diesel under the ring. Bret was probably one of the least protected babyface champs they ever had. Seems like a lot of his matches involved some outside shenanigans allowing him to keep his belt.

 

This also featured an interview with president Piper, who cut a good promo and signed Yoko Vs Vader for Mania. This obviously never happened. Anyone know why? Cornette comes out, and the two of them have a good little back and forth.

 

MOTN: I think the cage match just shades it, but I have both that and Shawn/Owen at around 3 1/2 stars. Razor/Kid at 3 stars.

Show rating: Another 3 1/4 star effort.

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In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies.

 

Owen Hart and the British Bulldog Vs Jake Roberts and Ahmed Johnson: This was supposed to be Davey and Jake one-on-one. Cornette brought Clarence Mason out to put a restraining order on Jake's snake, but Jake brought it out anyway, causing Corny to 'faint'. Some funny shenanigans. Anyway, it ended up as a rather plodding tag match, with Ahmed looking very intense (and over), and Camp Cornette getting the win after Jake submits to Bulldog's leglock. Weak finish.

 

The Ultimate Warrior Vs Goldust: Goldust is injured after apparently falling while being chased by the Warrior earlier. He also has the former Mantaur as his bodyguard. If anyone doesn't recall this "match", this is probably one of the biggest waste of times they've ever put on ppv. It's just Warrior doing prop comedy with Goldust and Marlena's things, I assume because Dustin was legit too injured to go. Goldust takes one bump before getting himself counted out. Garbage.

 

Vader Vs Razor Ramon: Pretty bad match, as these two just didn't seem to click. Vader seemed half a step off, and Razor wasn't up to carrying the load. Afterwards it is announced that Vader will face Yoko at the next In Your House. He isn't happy.

 

The BodyDonnas Vs The Godwinns: Ugh, when I think of this down period for WWF, it's always defined in my head by this crappy tag team division. To be fair, the Donnas are okay, and they have Sunny which is a plus. This is what it is.

 

Shawn Michaels Vs Diesel: I've always remembered this as a really good match, but what I never realised before was how good Diesel was in it. Trash talking Jose Lothario, attacking Earl Hebner, throwing the Fink around (not to mention the famous attack on Mad Dog Vachon), this is a really good heel display. The only thing I don't like about this match is the way Shawn comes back so quickly from being jackknifed through the announce table. I doubt two minutes pass before he's nipping up. Shawn looks very intense after getting the win here, like he had a point to prove to someone.

 

MOTN: The main event is the only good match on the show. 3 3/4 stars.

Show rating: A total one match show. 2 3/4.

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In Your House: Beware of Dog.

 

This is how it is presented on the network, the opener and the main are from the original show, and then the other matches are from Beware of Dog 2.

 

Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs Marc Mero: King making lots of jokes about how ugly Sable is. He'd soon change his tune. This is a really good match. Mero injures his shoulder early on, and Hunter just hones in on it with some excellent varied offence. Mero sells, and times his comebacks well also. Mero gets a flash pin because Hunter wants to make sure Sable is watching as he hits the Pedigree.

 

Shawn Michaels Vs The British Bulldog: So apparently Shawn tried to break up Bulldog's marriage. Diana is watching on with her customary one expression. They work a good high tempo match that ends inconclusively to set up the rematch at King of the Ring. Really poor finish, actually, with Shawn hitting a German and one ref counting each guys shoulders down. I don't get why a ref would see a wrestler hit a move, and count HIS shoulders down without even checking the other guy's.

 

Savio Vega Vs Steve Austin: Caribbean strap match, if Savio loses he has to be Dibiase's chauffeur, if Austin loses Dibiase is gone. Another really good match, as these two really lay the shots in to one another. Vega was an underrated wrestler. I think Austin did okay for himself too. Match ends in standard strap match fashion, with one guy surreptitiously touching the corners behind the other. They made it look really good though.

 

Vader Vs Yokozuna: I was worried about this one, but they didn't disappoint at all. A really good big man Vs big man match, with Vader playing chicken shit early on, and Yoko looking like a beast, hitting a belly to belly suplex and a Samoan drop. Vader takes advantage of Cornette interference to win.

 

Goldust Vs The Undertaker: Casket match for the IC title. Pretty good match again. Mankind is in the casket and helps Goldy win.

 

MOTN: Strong competition on this one, but I go with that opener. I love a match with strong, focused limb-work. 3.5 on that one. I give the strap match 3.5 also, the Shawn/Davey match 3 1/4 and the Vader/Yoko match 3 stars.

Show rating: Very strong show(s), with no bad matches. The only thing hurting it is that nothing is truly great. 3 3/4 stars.

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