In Your House
December 17, 1995
Hershey Park Arena
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry "The King" Lawler
Lawler promises us a surprise at the top of the show.
A Hart Family package is shown, highlighting the history between Bret Hart and the British Bulldog.
The Smoking Gunns handed out Christmas presents to young fans with Santa Claus earlier in the day.
Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty vs. The 1-2-3 Kid & Psycho Sid
By this time Ted DiBiase's Corporation had been reduced to only Sid and The Kid. Both Razor and Marty wear leather jackets to the ring to show unity. Goldust makes his presence felt as he takes his own extravagant seat in the aisle. He applauds Razor, the reigning Intercontinental Champion, and seems to be infatuated with him. The Kid and Marty start with a really fast sequence, taken by Marty. The Kid runs like a good cowardly heel should when Marty comes close to tagging Ramon. Sid and Razor go at it and double clothesline each other, as I notice a "Bert Hart" sign in the audience. Hmm. Has he ever wrestled against Shane Michaels before? Yeah, I know that's not the best analogy since all the guy did was switch two of the letters in Bret, but I couldn't think of another one that worked like that off the top of my head. Marty tags in and goes bananas on the Kid, but then goes to a resthold so that Todd Pettengill can interview Goldust on a splitscreen. The jist of it is that Goldust, um, likes Razor Ramon, shall we say. Goldie refers to Razor as "The Naughty One" instead of his real nickname "The Bad Guy". Goldust closes by asking Todd to deliver a gold envelope to Razor. Vince: "That was… um… different." When's the last time you heard Vince McMahon say the word "um"? Meanwhile in the ring, Sid pounds away on Jannetty and taunts Razor. Marty cradles him out of nowhere, but the Kid saves. The Kid gets a splash off the top rope for two but Marty soon makes the hot tag to Razor. Ramon fallway slams the Kid, then sets up for the Razor's Edge, but Sid backdrops out. Sid misses a leg drop, however, and Razor scores with a second rope bulldog to get the three count at 12:22, thus protecting that future one-on-one Razor/Kid showdown, and jobbing the departing Sid at the same time. Razor goes for the Edge on the 1-2-3 Kid after the match, but Sid makes the save and pulls him out. Pretty good opener. **3/4
Jerry "The King" Lawler gets in the ring and introduces a returning Jeff Jarrett to the World Wrestling Federation! Yes, three time Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Jarrett, last seen in the WWF in July, has finally made his triumphant return! Lawler presents him with a gold record in honor of his successful CD "With My Baby Tonight" hitting platinum. Jeff declares himself the first participant in the Royal Rumble match, then promises to win it all and head to Wrestlemania XII to become the WWF Champion. Yeah!
Ahmed Johnson vs. Shane Douglas
Jarrett sits down to commentate with Vince and Lawler. Dean Douglas claims that he's injured, so he introduces "The Nature Boy" Buddy Landel as his replacement, complete with Ric Flair's music and very Flair-esque robe and tights. Jarrett: "Who is this guy?" Douglas was on his way out of the WWF after being frustrated by all the Clique politics, and the Landel thing was used to acknowledge Shane's long running hatred of Ric Flair. Landel actually did sign with the WWF, and did a couple of Raw tapings where he was victorious, but suffered a serious injury after slipping on ice soon after, forcing the WWF to let him go. Too bad. Anyway, this match is squash central, as Ahmed pins him with the Pearl River Plunge at 0:43. DUD Jarrett seems unimpressed. Lawler grabs a word with Ahmed after the match and proceeds to throw every insult he can think of his way: "When you got your letter in football, the coach had to read it to you!" Ahmed starts to confront the King and Jeff saves him, destroying Ahmed from behind with his gold record and a chair. Ahmed gets up, however, and they continue to fight and brawl all the way to the back.
Todd Pettengill talks to Razor Ramon and hypes his Intercontinental Title defense against Yokozuna on Raw the next night. Todd gives Razor the envelope from Goldust and leaves. Razor reads the enclosed letter and seems confused, upset, and just generally weirded out.
Hogpen Match: Henry O. Godwinn vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
When you think of Triple H, you think about famous gimmick matches. The Street Fight with Cactus Jack, Two Out Of Three Falls with Austin, Last Man Standing with Jericho, the Iron Man with the Rock, etc. But no one ever seems to talk about this one. I wonder why. There's a hogpen off to the side of the aisle complete with a bunch of dirt and live hogs. See, Helmsley is a snotty blue blood and Godwinn is a dirty redneck, so it's only fitting that this be a hogpen match, which can only end when one participant ends up inside the filthy pen with the smelly hogs. Hillbilly Jim is the Special Guest Referee. I guess dumb gimmicks deserve to ref dumb gimmick matches. Henry tries to slop Hunter on the floor right away, but when Helmsley moves, it's the poor ring attendant that gets slopped instead. Godwinn dominates in the ring, then they brawl down the aisle towards the hogpen. Hunter whips Henry into the side of the pen and goes for the Pedigree, but Godwinn backdrops out. Hunter catches himself and prevents himself from landing in the pen, instead holding on and positioning himself to elbow Godwinn off the top of the pen to the floor. Hunter crawls back towards the ring. Godwinn whips him and Hunter does both famous corner spots, first the Flair Flip, then the bump to the floor that Chyna started lifting in 1999 but did it so slowly every time that it killed the spot. They walk back down the aisle towards the hogpen. Hunter counters a Slop Drop attempt, but Godwinn whips him into the pen instead and then Slop Drop's him. Helmsley's back is bleeding somehow. Ugh. Hunter positions himself against the side of the pen, and Godwinn charges, but Helmsley dips his shoulder and uses Henry's own momentum to backdrop Godwinn into the hogpen, where I'm sure he felt right at home. Hunter wins the match at 9:36, but Godwinn is a sore loser and slams him into the pen anyway to gain the fans' approval. Hunter, the aristocrat, is pissed. Goofy gimmick aside, they at least provided some decent action. **
Royal Rumble hype. Yeah, I know that's not a complete sentence, but neither is this one. Well, barely. Now there's a sentence that's incomplete. Fragment city. Hey, I did it again. Okay, I'll shut up now...
A video package on Diesel is shown. He never apologized for his actions against Bret Hart at Survivor Series, and in fact the night afterwards he was all but declared a heel. But the same night happened to be the famous Raw where Owen Hart knocked Diesel's best friend, Shawn Michaels, out of action with his devastating Enziguri kick. Diesel challenged the heel Owen to a match at In Your House as a result. So Diesel was nestled firmly into a tweener role, and the WWF actually played it off very well, as Diesel made it be known that if any fans "offer me your hand, I'll slap it and if you don't, that's fine too".
Diesel vs. Owen Hart
Diesel obliterates him to start, but Owen manages a top rope dropkick, an enziguri, and a roundhouse kick. He works the knee breifly but Diesel comes right back with a rope splash, big boot, and the Jackknife. He puts his foot on Owen's chest for the non-chalant cover, then lifts it off at two. He doesn't want the win; he wants to hurt Owen. He goes for another Jackknife, with the referee warning him to stop the punishment all the while. Diesel responds by shoving him down, causing the DQ at 4:36. Owen wins the match, but Diesel doesn't seem to care, Jackkniving him again anyway. Owen wins the match to at least maintain some credibility and Diesel is established as a monster all in one shot. Smart booking, though I wonder how Owen would have fared in carrying him if it had been a fifteen or twenty minute match like the ones Diesel had with Bret and Shawn. As it stands, this one falls into that short and fun category. **1/4
1-900 737-4WWF: It's the WWF Superstar Line! Call today to talk to all your favorite WWF Superstars!
Ted DiBiase makes his way to the ring as Savio Vega and Santa Claus hand out presents to fans in the aisle. DiBiase says that he can buy Savio Vega. Savio disagrees and gets in DiBiase's face about it, and… Santa Claus jumps him! Yep, Vince McMahon, the marketer, actually managed to turn Santa Claus heel. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon, the commentator, nearly has a heart attack. The grammatically correct Vince pleads with God: "Say it's not so!… I can't believe that's the real Santa Claus." Well hell, I don't think anybody believed that was the real Santa Claus, Vince. DiBiase laughs it up on the mic, declaring his newest purchase as "Xanta Claus". The part was played by Balls Mahoney, but never went anywhere since, well… there was really nowhere to go with it, especially after Christmas. It's a shame too, because I always suspected Xanta was headed for a big blowoff against the Easter Bunny at Wrestlemania XII, which of course was held in conveniently close proximity to Easter Sunday. Hey, the Easter Bunny could have showed Xanta the error of his ways and turned him babyface again with a big hug, restoring Christmas forever and rewriting children's folklore in the process. Instead we got the Nacho Man vs. The Huckster. Good call, says I.
Note: The preceeding segment is dedicated to the memory of Wrestlecrap.com
Dok Hendrix shills video games. Oh, great…
An Undertaker/King Mabel video package is shown. Aw, crap… take me back to Dok! Please!…
Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. King Mabel
Mabel throws all of his offense at the Undertaker, but the Dead Man keeps sitting up because as the nickname implies, he's dead, and dead people can't feel physical pain. Mabel misses a splash off the second rope but hits a belly to belly suplex and a leg drop. The Undertaker tries to sit up but can't. Way to show me up there, Dead Man. Mabel splashes him just to pour it on. Mo actually tries throwing him in the casket but the Undertaker blocks the lid when they try to shut it. He comes back with the flying clothesline and chokeslam, then boots Mabel into the casket. Mo attacks the Undertaker so he can't close the lid, but Taker no sells all of his crap, chokeslams him and stuffs Mo in there alongside his partner. He takes his "necklace urn" (you know, his gold, regardless of what form it's currently in), and shuts the lid at 6:11, not only to win the match, but to fittingly shut the lid on Mabel's push, job with the WWF, and career in the process. * At least they kept it pretty short. The Undertaker makes the "I want the belt" motion, revealing his desire to contend for the WWF Championship for the first time in his career (something he didn't even express when he was the Champion for six days in 1991). This was actually a pretty improtant turning point for the character of the Undertaker, as a lack of Title shots had been the only thing stopping him from dominating the WWF in years past.
Jim Ross narrates Summerslam 1992 highlights of the classic Bret Hart/British Bulldog Wembley Stadium match. JR then talks to Davey Boy Smith, his wife Diana, and his manager, James E. Cornette. Corny gives a spectacular interview where he analyzes Bret's psyche, citing that in 1981 Davey Boy stole respect from Stu Hart, taking the old man's attention away from Bret. Then Diana, Bret's sister, fell in love with Davey and married him, taking more of the attention off Bret. Cornette insists that Bret is jealous of Davey and has been for fifteen years. He also emphasizes that Bret has never beaten the Bulldog. All the pressure is on the Hitman.
Todd interviews Bret Hart, who can't really oppose any of Cornette's claims. Usually a strong heel interview is supposed to leave a hole or two in it for the babyface to disprove, but here that's not necessary since this is really being pushed as the Bulldog's big shot at winning the WWF Title.
WWF Title: Bret "Hitman" Hart (Champion) vs. The British Bulldog
Hey, Diana's actually looking kind of hot. Well, I'm just saying is all. The announcers mention that Davey Boy is wearing the same exact tights he did at Summerslam in Wembley. Do I even have to explain how awesome that is? Didn't think so. The match is all Bulldog to start, as it seems Cornette's words might have gotten into Bret's head a little. A Bret crucifix attempt is turned into a Bulldog samoan drop. He follows up with a leg drop. Cornette sneaks in a shot with his tennis racket and that's enough to get a two count. Vince announces that he's just received word that the Undertaker will be granted a WWF Title shot at the Royal Rumble. Man, if all you have to do to get a Title shot is make the cool "I want the belt" gesture, then sign me up. This announcement actually helps add to the current match, because since the Bulldog is a heel, he'd fit better in a match against the Undertaker. That adds to the suspense of the match and lends more credence to the possibility that Bulldog really can come away with the Title. Davey Boy gets several two counts on Hart, but Bret hits a monkeyflip, then the Bulldog gets bulldogged. Bret catches him with a quick piledriver, then the russian leg sweep and elbow drop off the second turnbuckle on the inside. He goes for a superplex, but the Bulldog lifts him up instead and drops him on the top rope. Bret falls to the floor, where Davey Boy whips him into the steps and drives his back into the ringpost. Bret starts bleeding from the face. Primo bladejob. Davey Boy gets him back in the ring and piledrives him for a two count. Bret is bleeding a LOT. The delayed suplex gets two more for the Bulldog, as do a press slam and a headbutt off the top rope, right into Hart's back. It appears as if Davey Boy hurt his knee on that last one, but he gets up anyway and hooks a bow and arrow submission.
Bret somehow rolls out and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog wiggles him off, sends him off the ropes, and shoulderblocks him to the floor. Bret pops up on the apron and floats over into a german suplex for two on the Bulldog, but he may have used all of his strength to pull that off, and now he's out of it. A double clothesline puts both men down. They get to their feet and Bulldog charges but Bret backdrops him out to the floor. He follows with a pescado, now drenched in his own crimson. Bulldog gets the knees up on a pump splash attempt, and hits his running powerslam on the floor! Awesome. Bulldog pulls the mats up to try to suplex him on the concrete, but that works about as well as it usually does, and Bret instead lifts him up and crothces him on the guardrail, similar to what Davey Boy did to him earlier on the top rope. Ouch. They climb back in the ring, which is now soaked with Bret Hart's blood. Bret backbreakers him for two, then whips Davey Boy to the corner. He tries to Flair Flip, but almost falls on his head like he usually does whenever he tries that spot. Now Hart hits the superplex and gets two. Bulldog rolls him up for two, but Bret reverses for two. Hart avoids a sunset flip and backs into the corner. The Bulldog charges but eats boot, and Bret rolls him over into a three quarter nelson cradle to get the three count out of nowhere to retain the Title at 21:08. **** Hey, what do you know? Bret Hart gets back in the main events, and all of a sudden we're getting **** matches left and right instead of the usual * worth of work from Kevin Nash. Awesome match that featured Bret bleeding like crazy. The build up to this one showed just how effective incorporating past history into a current angle can be. A few weeks later the WWF showed this match nearly in its entirety on Raw in an attempt to expose fans to an example of the awesome matches they could see if they ordered WWF PPV's. The buyrate for this show was a lowly .3, one of the lowest ever, while the next PPV, the Royal Rumble, drew a 1.1. The next In Your House did a .8. Whether that has more to do with this match airing on Raw or the fact that the British Bulldog never drew a dime outside of Europe in the main event is beyond my research abilities, but suffice to say, I think it at least helped. Hell of a match.
In Your House Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 53:56
Average Match: 8:59
Average Match Rating: **
Top Moments: Goldust's attraction, Jarrett's return, Hunter in a Hogpen, Bret/Bulldog II
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