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WWF In Your House #3: Triple Header
by Scrooge McSuck
- Lame Scrooge Tidbit of the Day: This marks the only WWF PPV I missed in 1995, having opted for WCW Fall Brawl the week before, instead. Yes, I chose blindly too, having NO clue what the Dungeon of Doom was. To be fair, the WWF was really sinking at this point, and even I had started to lose interest, frequently toggling the channels between Monday Night Raw and Monday Nitro. Even me religiously taping every feature match was coming to a crawl, relying mostly on episodes of Mania to show the "good" stuff, much like PrimeTime Wrestling would use the good stuff from the weekends to pad out the "exclusives" on that show in years prior.
- Originally broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View, on September 24th, 1995 from the Saginaw Civic Center in Saginaw, Michigan, with Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross calling the action. I don't know if "Triple Header" was the official tagline, but it's been the often chosen one by default, so there you go. For those wanting to know right away, it's a play on the main event, where all three titles are on the line in a match screaming for a Dusty Finish. Unlike the first and second In Your House, Coliseum Video didn't bother to include any of the dark matches as "exclusives." I don't think I've seen this show from start to finish before, so this should be an experience...
Savio Vega vs. Waylon Mercy:
Nothing behind this one, other than undercard filler. Waylon Mercy is better known as Dan Spivey, working a gimmick based on the villain from Cape Fear. In short, he's a southern gentleman who makes sure to shake everyone's hand before and after the match, who also has issues with his sanity, and quickly turns into a violent maniac. It's Attitude Era before Attitude Era existed. Handshake to start, and Mercy's sneak attack fails. Vega works Mercy over in the corner with chops, then goes to work on the arm. Mercy breaks free with a knee to the midsection, then measures Savio up for a clothesline. They take it to the floor, with Mercy working Savio over with chops before attempting to make Savio part of the arena floor. Back inside, Mercy hits a pretty bad stun gun, getting a two count. What exactly was Spivey's physical issues at the time, knee or back? He's moving around pretty awkwardly. Whip to the ropes, and a side suplex gets another two count. Mercy misses an elbow as we have the announcement Owen Hart has yet to arrive to the arena. Meanwhile, Mercy slaps on his sleeper hold, giving the crazy eyes the whole time. Vega uses a last ditch effort lunge into the corner to break the hold. Mercy simply goes back to the sleeper, but this time Savio breaks it with a back suplex. They slug it out, and Vega lays Mercy out with a big boot. Vega with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Whip to the ropes is countered, and Vega with a bulldog takedown for two. Vega with an unusual pinning combination for yet another two count. Mercy boots the chest and puts Vega down with a clothesline, then takes him over with a brain buster! That only gets two. Mercy with a angled back suplex for two. Vega with a bridging suplex for two. Vega comes off the ropes with a spinning heel kick, and that gets three at 7:06. That certainly came as a surprise to me. I don't recall many more matches, if any, of Waylon Mercy after this. Good opener, much better than I had anticipated it being.
- President Gorilla Monsoon is backstage with Jim Cornette. If Owen Hart doesn't show up, the match will still take place, because the fans DESERVE IT! Gorilla Monsoon, always the voice of reason and concern for the fans.
Henry O. Godwinn vs. Sycho Sid (w/ Ted Dibiase):
Godwinn failed his test to get a spot in the Corporation, so he slops Ted Dibiase, which means INSTA-FEUD! Speaking of shuttled down the card, Sid goes from headlining three PPV's to being left off SummerSlam (after originally being announced to challenge Michaels for the IC Belt), then working a bottom of the card junky filler match here with a Hillbilly. Blink and you'll miss Danny Davis still working matches as a referee. Lockup to the corner, Sid misses a big right, allowing Godwinn a few shots of his own. Jim Ross drops the term "Slobberknocker" to describe this... "it's not going to be pretty." Godwinn brings Sid back into the ring with a suplex. He goes for a slam, but he's still selling the powerbomb he took on the floor a few weeks back. Sid knocks him to the floor, where Dibiase gets a few choice shots in. Sid comes off the apron with a double axehandle, then takes it back in the ring, where he continues to punish the back of the Hog Farmer. Whip to the corner, and Sid with a pair of charging boots, inspiring a young Randy Orton to expand on his bland offense in the years to come. Sid with a seated chinlock, and it's time to hit fast forward. Sid with a FACEPULL, teasing me with the hopes of a Crippler Crossface. Back to the chinlock, but Godwinn quickly escapes. Sid misses a kick in the corner, then takes a fist to the midsection coming off the middle rope. Godwinn with a series of rights, followed by a diving shoulder tackle. Whip to the ropes, Godwinn with a boot to the chest, and the slop drop! Dibiase pulls Godwinn off before a three count could be made, leading to the only crowd reaction of the match. Back inside, Dibiase trips Godwinn up, allowing Sid to drop the big leg and finish things off with a powerbomb to a nice pop at 7:23. That stank, but it's over quickly. Sid uses his head to roll Godwinn out of the ring in mocking fashion, but a post-match slopping goes wrong, thanks to the save from Bam Bam Bigelow... then Kama comes out to help Sid beat on Bam Bam. Then Godwinn comes back to life, grabs the slop bucket, and dumps it on Dibiase's head. What was the point of Bam Bam coming out to make an Aldo Montoya Save? (See In Your House #1 for explanation).
- Gorilla Monsoon tells Cornette he can find a replacement for Owen Hart for ONE NIGHT ONLY, or Yokozuna could wrestle the match by himself. I think it was pretty obvious who on the active roster Cornette would pick, but we'll just play dumb.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The British Bulldog:
Davey Boy Smith is without Jim Cornette for this one, for obvious reasons. Bulldog turned heel the week before SummerSlam, helding Men on a Mission work over Diesel. That was to lead to a program with Lex Luger, but Luger chose WCW instead. Bigelow just took a mild beating from Kama and Sid, so now he gets one from Davey Boy. Jim Ross hypes a Bulldog vs. Undertaker match on Raw the next night... I don't like Bigelow's chances. Bigelow gets the first strength advantage, plowing through with a pair of shoulder tackles. Cornette is backstage with Sid... NO! NO MORE SID! Bigelow takes Bulldog over with a hip toss, plants him with a slam, then misses an elbow drop. Bulldog with a snapmare, and he slaps on a chinlock. Already!? Bigelow powers out, but misses a headbutt. Bulldog hammers away and takes Bigelow over with a suplex. Bigelow pops right up, though, and lays Bulldog out with a pair of clothesline. Bigelow charges in for a third, but Bulldog pulls the ropes down, causing Bigelow to spill to the floor. Bulldog attempts a suplex to bring Bam Bam back in, but it's countered, and Bigelow comes off the top with the headbutt... for two! Well, so much for Bam Bam's WWF career. Bulldog clips the leg of Bigelow to regain control, and slowly goes to work on the knee. Bigelow with an enziguri, almost overshooting the target in the process, but Bulldog maintains control. Bulldog turns over a single-leg crab, and this match is just not holding my interest. Bulldog with a knee to the midsection, and it's back to the chinlock. Bigelow with another mild comeback attempt. Bulldog goes for a slam, but Bigelow lands on top for a two count. Bulldog with a sunset flip, but Bigelow counters with a butt drop. Bigelow signals he's going to the top again, but the moonsault misses. You suck, Bam Bam. Bulldog heads to the top rope, and a headbutt gets two. Whip to the corner, and Bulldog with a powerslam for three at 11:52. This reminded me of a match on old Clash of the Champions, where a newly established heel/face was given 10-minutes to take a part a bottom feeder/scrub, and just bored the shit out of me. Yes, it was that dull.
- Mr. Bob Backlund makes his way to ringside for whatever purpose. I guess that program with Man Mountain Rock is in the junk pile. There's pyro set up in the ring, so either someone is going to scare him, or they just want to set up for the next match. Backlund uses a lot of big words, and no one cares, so he introduces a participant of the next match.
Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas:
This marks one of "Dean" Douglas' first matches in the ring since making his WWF Debut. Yes, it's Shane Douglas doing a "I'm smarter than everyone else, teacher" gimmick. This was set up at SummerSlam, when Ramon took offense to Douglas' criticism of his performance. Razor bum rushes the ring and quickly sends Douglas packing, right after the pyro guy pulls the unused pyro pack from the ring. LAME! Back inside, and we play a game of headlock and head scissors until Ramon simply punches Douglas down for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Ramon sends Douglas over the top rope with a hip toss. Backstage, Cornette is now soliciting King Mabel... NO! Take Sid instead! Ramon works the arm, then catches Douglas off the ropes with a fall away slam for a two count. Douglas rolls to the apron, and gets the arm hung up across the top rope for his effort. Ramon continues to work the arm and slaps Doluglas around just for the fun of it. They trade near falls on a series of counters, but Ramon remains in control by the end of the sequence. Ramon hits the ropes for a shoulder block, but Douglas side-steps, causing Ramon to fall to the floor. Douglas follows him out with a plancha (less exciting version), then slams the Bad guy on the floor. Douglas with a running high knee, knocking Ramon (weakly) into the steel steps. Back in the ring, and Douglas comes off the top with a double axehandle for a two count. Douglas goes to work on the back with clubbing blows. Ramon comes off the ropes with a big right, but a hair pull from Douglas turns the tide once again. Douglas with a snapmare, and he applies a lame surfboard submission. Whip to the corners, and a springboard splash gets two. Douglas with a seated chinlock, and a close up of Ramon just shows how lazy he's taking this match. He's not even making an effort of acting like he's in pain. Ramon escapes with an electric chair drop, and it's play dead time. Ramon with the comeback, and an overhead slam gets two. Ramon sets up on the top rope, but Douglas fights free and comes off the top with a body press. Ref bump, and it's time for the 1-2-3 Kid to run in. Ramon with the Razor's Edge, and the Kid runs in to count three, ticking Ramon off for fucking around. Douglas rolls Ramon up, and a REAL referee counts three at 14:49. Awful... Was it me, or was Ramon being a bit uncooperative? The lack of selling a rest hold, the apparent sand-bagging when rammed into the post, the weakest as weak gets nudge into the steps... I don't know, seems fishy. The big picture was setting up the eventual feud between Ramon and The Kid.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte:
I didn't really notice, but this In Your House was showing off some of the new "top card" heels: Waylon Mercy, Dean Douglas, Jean-Pierre Lafitte, and a newly turned Davey Boy Smith. Not a terrible idea to use on the throw-away PPV's. Here's a storyline for you... Pierre (formerly of the Quebecers) is a pirate, being a decendant of pirates, steals Bret Hart's jacket and glasses from kids in the audience, and bam, Insta-Feud! In a pre-match promo, Bret calls himself Captain Crunch. How intimidating. Bret with a suicide dive before the bell, and he practically over-shot it. Bret pounds away on Lafitte and rips the jacket off him quite aggressively. Into the ring they go, and Lafitte pounds away. Bret blocks being sent to the buckle and returns the favor. Lafitte continues to lay into Bret with rights and lefts. Whip to the corner, and a charge misses. Bret takes him down with an arm drag, then drops a pair of knees into the bicep. Whip to the ropes, and Bret brings him down with a crucifix for a two count. Bret with a drop toe hold, and he slaps on an armbar. Bret attempts a hip toss, but Pierre blocks and lays him out with a short clothesline. Pierre chokes Bret across the top rope, then settles into choking him in the middle of the ring. Pierre with plunging stomps to the midsection. Whip to the ropes, and Bret surprises Pierre with a roll-up for two. Whip to the corner, and Bret misses a charge, posting his shoulder in the process. Pierre says "why the hell not" and throws Bret shoulder first into the post again, because it works. Pierre sends Bret to the corner, and he takes the chest first bump a little harder than usual. Pierre ends up on the floor going for a charge, but he brings Bret out, too, and throws the Himan into the ring steps. The pace and exchanges are so against formula, it's making it hard to call the action at times.
Back inside, and Pierre with a spinebuster for a two count. Pierre slaps on a rear chinlock, but Bret fights free quickly. Pierre puts him down with an elbow and drops the leg for a two count, then goes back to the chinlock. Bret with shots to the midsection to escapes, and a sunset flip gets two. Predictably, Pierre gets up first and connects with a clothesline. Pierre with a side slam, and a top rope leg drop only gets two. Pierre drags Bret into position and signals for the end. Pierre to the top rope, and misses the cannonball (a less pretty senton bomb). Bret with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline. He goes for the sharpshooter, but Pierre blocks and kicks Bret through the ropes. Pierre hits the ropes, and a somsersault to the floor misses! Bret whips Pierre into the steps, and THAT'S how you take it with impact. Back into the ring, and Bret whips Pierre chest-first into the corner. Whip to the ropes, fist to the midsection, and a side russian leg sweep gets two. Bret with a small package for another two count. Bret with a side back breaker, but he eats boot coming off the second rope for an elbow. Bret always made that look good, even if I hate the spot in geneal. Pierre traps Bret on his shoulders, and hits an ugly rolling senton for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Bret shifts his weight on Pierre to land on top of him for another two count. Bret meets the knees on a charge to the corner, but Pierre only gets two. Pierre argues the count, which means Bret will prevail. Bret staggers him with a dropkick, but a bulldog is countered with another chest-first bump into the corner. That gets two. Whip to the ropes, and Bret with a diving forearm. Bret charges and crotches himself in the ropes in the process. Pierre heads to the top rope again, and now a splash can't find the mark. Bret hits the ropes, and a collision puts both men down again. Bret manages to wrap the legs for the sharpshooter from the laying position, and turns it over in the center of the ring for the victory at 16:33. A little hard to get into at first, thanks to the unusual formula of Pierre never letting up and constantly putting preasure on the Hitman, but that eventually started blending together perfectly by midmatch, leading to a hot finish with high impact offense and counters that weren't the norm for Bret Hart's matches.
- Jim Cornette reveals the partner of Yokozuna... his protege, Davey Boy Smith. No fucking shit. Honestly, who didn't know this would happen?
WWF Championship, WWF Intercontinental Champion, and WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Diesel (WWF Champion) & Shawn Michaels (IC Champion) vs. Yokozuna & The British Bulldog (Tag Champions) (w/ Fuji & Cornette):
Honestly, I don't know how this was set up. It seems like everyone was in-between doing things, so this was the WWF's idea of trying to generate interest for an In Your House, by putting all the titles on the line in one match. Should Diesel and Shawn win, they're obviously the Tag champs, but if one were to lose, then they would lose that belt to whoever was victorious, but his partner would remain champion. Not too complicated to figure out, but this match is begging for a screw-job finish. Diesel's singlet has "Dudes With Attitudes" on it, because that was such an awesome name (not). As we've established, Davey Boy is subbing for Owen Hart, who is mysteriously absent (real reason: tending to his wife in labor?). Jim Ross spouts off nonsense about Shawn working 35 of the last 39 days as a possible factor of the match. Shawn and Bulldog start, with Shawn clearing him from the ring with ease. Yokozuna runs in, and Diesel sends him out of the ring, as well, and it's pre-mature celebration time! Yokozuna officially enters the match for a showdown with Michaels, who does his mock sumo routine to tick Yokozuna off. Shawn slides through the legs, but gets laid out with a well-placed elbow. Yokozuna with a scoop slam, but he misses the jumping elbow that always misses. Diesel tags in, and Yokozuna quickly puts him down with a clothesline. They do it again, and this time Diesel puts Yoko down with a clothesline, then knocks him to the floor with a big boot. Bulldog gets a cheap shot in from the apron and pounds away with headbutts and forearms. Bulldog goes for his signatue delayed suplex, but blows it, so he does it again for a two count. Way to go repeating the spot. Bulldog takes Diesel over with a snapmare, and slaps on a rear chinlock. Bulldog sets up for the running powerslam, but Diesel pushes off and follows Bulldog into the corner with a pair of clotheslines.
Michaels tags in, and launches himself off the shoulders of Diesel for a splash on Davey for two. Whip to the ropes, Bulldog press slams Shawn across the top rope, and Yokozuna adds an elbow to the face to complete the set. Back inside, and Yoko chokes Shawn with the stink of his sweaty feet. Whip to the corner, and Shawn flips himself to the apron. Bulldog greets Shawn outside the ring with a slam, as I wonder how the DQ and Count-Out rules apply. Back inside, and Bulldog drops Shawn like a bad habit for a two count. Bulldog with a chinlock as Jim Ross notes Shawn and Diesel never lost the Tag Titles back when they held the gold. Seemed like a common trend for Michaels. Michaels with a few near falls before a clothesline knocks the steam out of his engine. Yokozuna with a snapmare, and he goes to the vulcan nerve pinch, because he needs to rest IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAGGING IN. Yokozuna sets up for the Banzai Drop, but Michaels rolls away to escape a fate worse than death. Diesel and Bulldog tag in, with Diesel getting the better of the exchange. Diesel rolls the dice and squashes Bulldog across the back. Diesel with a side slam, and now Yokozuna and Shawn are back in the ring. The heels get whipped into each other, then Bulldog takes a somersault into Yokozuna, who lands on top for added effect. Diesel nails Bulldog with a big boot, but it's chaos everywhere! Yokozuna with a samoan drop on Diesel, and Sweet Chin Music to Yokozuna. Davey Boy with a powerslam on Diesel, but Shawn breaks it with an elbow drop. Suddenly, Owen Hart runs in, gets nailed coming off the top rope, and a Powerbomb finishes Owen off at 15:44... wait, WHAT?! Owen wasn't legal, so the next night, the decision is over-turned, and then later in the night, the Smoking Gunns win the titles instead. Match was a typical tag team main event you would see touring the housr show circuit, with a lame ending. Almost as bad as Hulk/Vader from Uncensored the same year. ALMOST.
Final Thoughts: Another example of a one-match show, with Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte being the only one worth tracking down. The opener was fine, too, but no one should go out of their way to watch a curtain jerking between Savio Vega and Dan Spivey. The main event was a nice idea in theory, but the payoff was terrible as expected, the match was just stuff happening with very little flow to it, and the rest of the undercard was just a tedious chore. I'm all for trying to establish the new crop of superstars and to justify someones push, but that chunk of time spanning Sid/Godwinn, Bigelow/Bulldog, and Ramon/Douglas was much worse than it would come across on paper. Take a pass, unless you're hardcore extreme about watching all the PPV's from 1995 like I am.
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