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Repost: WWF In Your House #1–05.14.95

The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House #1

(So now that we’re at this point in the RAW rants, here’s the rant for IYH #1.  This was done fairly recently so there’s not much to add.) 

- Lots of people asked in the past why I've never done this show, and the answer was probably disappointingly simple:  I just never had a good copy before.  Well, now I do, so let's get at 'er.

- Live from Syracuse, NY.  Someone better tell Shawn to avoid any Marines.

- Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Dok Hendrix (Michael Hayes)

- Opening match:  Bret Hart v. Hakushi. 

Quite the opener, no?  Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki in Japan these days) was actually quite the breath of fresh air in 1995, getting over without speaking English or wrestling WWF Main Event Style.  This of course was far too threatening to those on top and he was crushed by the Clique as a result.  He was managed by "Shinja", who was former Orient Express member Akio Sato in white-face makeup. Hakushi grabs a headlock to start and they do a stalemate sequence. Hakushi uses the hair to take Bret down and they exchange wristlocks before Hakushi gets a shoulderblock for two.  To the armbar and they work off that for a bit before messing something up on a criss-cross, so Bret improvises with a hiptoss and armdrags to send Hakushi to the outside.  He sneaks back in and attacks Bret from behind, but Bret pounds him in the corner.  Bret gets reversed with his turnbuckle bump and Hakushi gets a pump splash for two.  He stomps a mudhole and actually gets an early form of the Broncobuster, without the obvious gay undertones like with Sean Waltman.  Bret tries a rollup, but gets reversed to the floor and attacked by Shinja.  Back in, Hakushi pounds away with nothing of consequence and chokes him out in the corner.  He starts chopping and gets a handspring elbow and more choking.  There's just too much dead space in between moves.  They slug it out and Hakushi uses the good ol' thumb to the eye and gets a backbreaker for two.  To the top and a beautiful diving headbutt gets two.  He heads to the apron and springboards in with a splash, but misses, and Bret makes the comeback.  Wait for it...wait for it...FIVE MOVES OF DOOM!  Russian legsweep, bulldog, backbreaker, second-rope elbow and Sharpshooter in this case.  He gets distracted by Shinja, but manages an atomic drop and clothesline (with a great 0.8 Jannetty sell by Hakushi) to keep Hakushi down.  Bret hammers away on the ropes, but gets tripped up by Shinja and stops to hit him with a tope suicida.  Back in, Hakushi dropkicks him coming in for two.  "Not this way!" cries Vince.  Not with a dropkick?  Is there something inherently bad about dropkicks?  Bret reverses a suplex and they do an INSANE double bump over the top and to the floor. I mean, they barely even touched the apron on the way down.  Bret goes after Shinja again, and Hakushi hits him with an Asai moonsault that gets nearly 3 seconds of hangtime.  The crowd actually starts chanting for HAKUSHI.  Bret fights his way back to the apron and reverses a suplex in, and they reverse off that into a reverse rollup by Bret for the pin at 14:41. Hakushi's offense was a bit plodding in the middle, but there was some CRAZY stuff in here that you didn't see at the time and Bret gave his usual 110% PPV effort.  ***3/4   Bret, however, with another match later against Jerry Lawler, twists his ankle leaving the ring and may be hurt.

- Stephanie Wiand (who definitely falls into the "What the hell were they thinking?" file) hypes the upcoming draw for the house.   When Todd Pedophile threw it over to "Stephanie", I had sudden horrible thoughts of a 16-year old Stephanie McMahon doing interviews with an even SCREECHIER voice.

- Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie. 

This was supposed to be a tag match with Ramon & Kid v. Jarrett & Roadie, but an injury (or rehab, I forget which) prevented that.  Storyline reason was injury, though.  (Career-ending neck injury, which he thankfully recovered from in time for a heel turn in the fall.)  Poor JJ - he spent most of 1995 being the only sober guy in the match.  (Allegedly.)  Ramon starts with Jarrett and slugs him down.   Jarrett stalls and tries a comeback, but gets dumped and leads Ramon in a chase that results in a cheapshot from Roadie to turn the tide.  Jarrett gets an enzuigiri and does some strutting, but walks into a blockbuster slam for two.  Roadie comes in with a clothesline (this would be his PPV debut as a wrestler) and drops a few elbows.  Jarrett back in with a sunset flip, blocked by Ramon for two, reversed by JJ for two.  Ramon counters a suplex with a cradle for two.  Roadie comes back in and stomps away, but Ramon comes back until a 2-on-1 situation puts him down again.  It's odd (although generally the way of wrestling) that the worst of the Armstrong family became the most famous of them.  Ramon does his "I'm going to give you a Razor's Edge despite facing the wrong way and being 5 inches from the ropes and oh shit you just backdropped me out to the floor" spot, and Jarrett nails him from behind to keep Ramon out until 9.  Back in, Jarrett goes up with a bodypress, rolled through for two. Jeff dropkicks him for two.  Neckbreaker and he chokes Ramon out, but crotches himself.  That's normally where Ramon would make a hot tag, but it's a handicap match, so he makes his own comeback after a double KO. Vince helpfully points out the tape on Ramon's boots that says "Kid" in 1-2- 3 Kid's honor.  I was thinking that maybe Ramon just took the wrong boots because he was so drunk at the time, but even Waltman wouldn't get stoned enough to wear banana yellow boots.  (Allegedly.)  Backdrop suplex and it's a lot of laying around to sell the beatings, but Jarrett tags Roadie in.  He drops a knee from the second rope for two.  That looked botched for some reason. Roadie hits the chinlock, but Ramon comes back with the backdrop suplex from the top.  Jarrett attacks from behind and goes for the knee to set up a figure-four, but Ramon shoves him into Roadie and finishes with the Edge at 12:39.  Well, that was certainly long.  **1/2  Jarrett does the post-match beatdown, but clips the knee and puts the figure-four on the wrong leg. Aldo Montoya makes the save for about three seconds before getting tossed again.  If I was Ramon I'd rather take the beating than get saved by him. Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, Caribbean Legend Savio Vega (back before he had a name) makes his debut and chases off the heels.  Thinking him to be a crazed fan, the police drag him off.  Or it might have been for that little- known New York State law banning grown men from calling themselves "Kwang" within state lines, I dunno.  (Why not just make it a tag match in the first place?  It’s not like Savio Vega has never been a disappointing mystery partner since then.) 

- King of the Ring Qualifying match:  Mabel v. Adam Bomb. 

Yes, they actually put this match on a PPV and expected people to like it.  Although Bryan Clarke wasn't THAT bad at this point, Mabel wasn't the guy to motivate him to anything special.  Mabel pounds away to start and gets a corner splash, but Adam ducks a second try and slugs away.  Shoulderblock puts Mabel on the floor, although the physics of that wouldn't seem to agree with the bump taken by Mabel.  Bomb follows with a pescado and they head back in, as Bomb comes in with a slingshot clothesline for two.  To the top with another clothesline for two.  Bryan is working his ASS off here, no shit.  Mabel reverses him into the corner and gets his ridiculous rolling kick and a big fat splash for the pin at 2:08 to completely deflate the crowd. DUD  Vince might have taken a hint from that in later years, but we were still on the verge of the Mabel Mega-Push at this point.  Remember - no matter how bad A-Train is, remember that some of us had to live through MABEL.

- Meanwhile, Razor Ramon introduces us to Savio Vega.  His English got remarkably better in the years following.

- WWF Tag titles:  Owen Hart & Yokozuna v. The Smoking Gunns. 

Ah, the days when Billy was 220 and had a mullet and porn star mustache.  Billy evades Yoko and gets a pair of dropkicks, and Bart comes in and walks into a shot from Yoko.  Owen comes in and gets slammed by Bart, and the Gunns get a double-team for two.  Owen lures Billy back into the corner and Yoko hammers away on him and goes to the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DEATH.  Yoko was just getting grosser by the day at this point.  Owen gets a neckbreaker for two.  Billy sunset flips him for two.  Leg lariat sends Billy to the floor, but he dodges a Yoko splash attempt and heads back in.  Owen misses a charge and Bart gets the hot tag (?)  and a slam gets two.  Backdrop suplex and they hit a primitive version of 3D for two.  Bart dives at Owen and misses, landing him on the floor.  Yoko adds a big fat legdrop and Owen finishes at 5:43.  Very rushed - I guess they were running long.  *1/2 The Gunns would eventually regain the titles in September of '95.

- Lawler interviews his "mother" (a twenty-something model) to hype the match with Bret Hart later tonight.  Bret reveals that he was faking the leg injury all along.  At least he didn't give a 20-minute interview afterwards about how he lost his smile.

- Jerry Lawler v. Bret Hart. 

Bret attacks to start and Lawler runs for the hills, but gets rammed into the table and stairs.  Back in, he keeps begging for mercy, but Bret keeps punching him and drops the leg.  Backdrop and Bret chokes him out, but Lawler comes back with a piledriver.  Bret no-sells it.  If it was Memphis, fans would riot.  Bret bulldogs him and gets his OWN piledriver, which Lawler does not no-sell.  Lawler asks for help from his "mom", so Bret steps on his head.  Lawler goes to the eyes and slams Bret, but stupidly goes up (jawing with the crowd all the way), and of course gets pounded coming down.  Bret elbows him and headbutts him low, and beats on him until Shinja comes out and runs interference.  Ref bumped and Bret legsweeps Lawler and gets the elbow, with no count.  Hakushi then joins us and nails Bret off the top a couple of times, which sadly the ref misses completely, and Lawler gets the pin at 5:01.  This wasn't exactly Bret's finest match, and they're obviously running long given how rushed this was. 1/2*

- Todd and Stephanie draw the winning entry in the house sweepstakes.

- WWF World title:  Diesel v. Sid

I'm sure if there's a hell it'll involve watching THIS match for all eternity, with New Jack v. Messiah as your curtain-jerker.  (Oh man, Messiah.  I must have been watching those awful XPW tapes around this time.)  The fans were teased with a Shawn-Diesel rematch for this show before a worked shoulder injury put Sid in his place because presumably there was someone on the planet who wanted to see this match. Okay, it was Vince, but that one vote counts for a LOT.  (90% of the voting shares in the company!)    Diesel whips Sid around to start and elbows him in the corner, prompting Sid to bail.  Nash update:  He has currently gone 1:05 in this match without tripping and tearing his quad muscle.  I think that beats his involvement in the RAW six- man last year.  Back in, Diesel gets two and Sid bails again.  They brawl outside and back in, but Dibiase distracts Diesel and they head out AGAIN. You sense a theme here?  Sid update:  He has now gone 2:45 without jumping off the second rope and shattering his ankle.  Sid pounds away outside and "rams" him into the post (because I'm not sure "gently places" works quite right in a main event title match) and heads back in for some stalling.  Well, good thing they rushed the other matches to accommodate this classic.  Back in, Sid pounds away with minimal effort (still sucking wind), but Diesel fights back.  Sid clotheslines him and stalls some more. More ogre-like clubbing and stalling as Sid shows why he's been a draw* all over the world**.

(*By "draw", I mean "not a draw") 

(**By "all over the world", I mean "nowhere")

Sid goes to the REAR CHINLOCK OF DEATH and can't even be bothered to do THAT properly (I mean, it makes the Steiner Recliner look painful by comparison) and THEY JUST SIT THERE like that for like two minutes. Sid opts for a legdrop, and that gets two.  Back to the clubbing, and that sets up yet another camel clutch.  Vince notes that a lesser man would have surrendered to this punishment by now.  Well, call me lesser, because I SURRENDER.  Stop the horrible match!  Please!  Diesel breaks loose of the impenetrable hold, but gets chokeslammed.  Powerbomb and Sid chooses to play to the crowd rather than covering.  Finally, he gets two.  Diesel starts no-selling offense and makes the comeback, and Snake Eyes and the big boot result.  Powerbomb gets two and Tatanka runs in for the DQ at 11:41. 1/4*   Bigelow saves, and they actually stretched this feud out for TWO MORE SHOWS as a result.

The Bottom Line:

This was obviously a learning experience for the WWF, as they experimented with a two-hour show and ended up having to rush through the midcard after a lengthy opener.  Bret-Hakushi is good, take a pass on the rest.  (It was definitely a learning experience for them and it was intended more as an experiment to keep up with the WCW Joneses rather than a blowaway show.) 

Recommendation to avoid.  (Honestly, it’s only 90 minutes and it’s worth a look on the Network just for that one match.  I wouldn’t sit through Sid v. Diesel or anything but the rest is totally watchable.) 

Comments

  1. 'He said that Race makes him want to get margarine.' - That was actually a decent line, if a bit obscure. The logo for Imperial Margerine is a crown, and there was a legendarily bad commercial in the 80s that has to be seen to be believed, featuring a young Dean Ambrose at the end...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX2Ia0z-WnM

    Okay, not really, but that boy did have the same facial expressions lol

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  2. The following matches DID NOT take place on tv or ppv in 1995:

    -Razor vs Bret
    -HBK vs Bret
    -Diesel vs Razor
    -Sid vs Razor (close, but no cigar)
    -Kid vs Owen
    -HBK vs Taker
    -Luger vs HBK
    -Taker vs Diesel

    I've been beating the dead horse saying this in 1995 Raw Rant threads lately but damn it seems that they tried to stretch their stars waaaay too far. HBK in the King of the Ring against......Kama; Taker at Wrestlemania against............King Kong Bundy.

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  3. Sid vs. Razor took place on a Raw in November. But otherwise, yeah, your point holds.

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  4. Thanks for the info. It clears that up but not the awful Nixon impression

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  5. And you have Burger King too now. Stop rubbing it in.

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  6. It just occurred to me, but I don't think we ever got a Razor-Taker matchup, in '95 or any other time. Could have been an interesting feud (not going to say the matches would have been anything tremendous).

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  7. Same here. It was at a high school gym in central jersey. He jobbed to Adam bomb. Not sure why I remember that

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  8. I remember a story from a few years back about that family that won the house. They were from up north somewhere and ended up selling it. Any reason why they picked this particular house to give away?

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  9. I bet if Hakushi's push lead to him eating a Superkick in his pay per view debut there'd be something to say about it. I thought it was weird they'd give him a hard fought win over 123 Kid at Summerslam only to turn him face later in the show.


    I thought for sure Adam Bomb was beating Mabel. I thought he was poised to break out around this time.

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  10. I just recently watched this show. Bret/Hakushi was good. Thought the handicap match was decent and fun.

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  11. I wonder if they were making some nice coin off Lex Luger USA themed merchandise and that's why they didn't turn him heel? Creatively it seemed like the logical move but maybe there was some other good reason not to do it.

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  12. So what was the deal w/ the Clique and Hakushi? My friends and I always thought Hakushi was awesome and could never understand why his only upper card feud was w/ Brett. It seemed he was enhancement talent not all that long afterwards.

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  13. There was one on a compilation tape, early into Razor's WWF career, I think. He's heel. It was either a count-out or Undertaker won with a choke-slam, I can picture both.

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  14. 'Awful' and 'Johnny Valiant' in the same sentence is the KING of redundancy.



    See what I did there? ;)


    Seriously, though, he was absolutely terrible, but not nearly as bad as Duke Doherty.

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  15. They just totally misused taker in this era. He was a big time draw

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  16. I've said this a few times already but had Razor re-signed in '96 I think they'd HAVE to turn him then, so they could do Ladder Match III, for the big belt this time. (Yes, you could have run it as face vs. face again, but I think Razor was ready for a refresher.)

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  17. That was hard as Flair, iirc, was out a good portion of 96 with a bum shoulder. Otherwise, I agree.

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  18. I hope they release those videos on the network. Some gems on those coliseum tapes.

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  19. I read all the Raw recaps and I don't think Bret-Hakushi was even mentioned unless I just wasn't paying attention.

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  20. I think that was Horseshu

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  21. Also they wasted Hogan vs DDP by doing it in 1998. In retrospect Halloween Havoc 97 should've been Hogan vs DDP, with DDP losing. DDP wasn't quite ready for main event yet, but having him hang with Hogan and lose gracefully would've been good for him. Plus he could've had a final blowoff with Savage at Starcade 97, which is better than what either of them ended up doing! By 98, doing DDP/Hogan going over was a waste of time.

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  22. I remember Lawler accusing Bret of hating the Japanese and Hakushi jumping Bret because of it. That's the only interaction between them I remember.

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  23. It's like when CM Punk wouldn't slick back his hair or Paige wrestles in her old tights that cover up the booty. If you're not on TV, you can get away with a little bit less effort.

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  24. Anyone who needs an extra income, I can highly recommend this

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    ReplyDelete
  25. It started on challenge. Bret randomly won some award from the Japanese media and hakushi attacked him. Why Bret was getting any awards from the Japanese media is beyond me

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  26. Anyone who needs an extra income, I can highly recommend this

    gig...... I worked it for 3 months and it helped me when I was between

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    am not doing it anymore but I can say it's a great source of extra

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    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Things that were horrible in 1995 that today almost seems like an improvement:


    - Michael Hayes doing commentary is makes JBL and Lawler today seem like Bobby Heenan in his prime.


    - As bad as the Bellas are, Diana Smith takes home the prize of Worst Actress.


    "Shawn, I KNOW... you want... ME?"

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  28. I don't know if this is a bit you're doing or what, but it's really getting old.

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  29. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    In fact, in Canada, people wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people.

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  30. I thought Hayes was hilarious on this show. He quickly became just another cheesy shill, but his blind acceptance of Jerry Lawler's "mother" was a commentary highlight here. "You can tell she takes a lot better care of herself than Helen..." "OH, did you see that? Bret just made a pass at Lawler's mother!"

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  31. "Taped from Omaha Beach, Normandy"

    Was the French announce table unharmed?

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  32. I dunno... I think you got boned on your house.

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  33. It was standard for the top guys to mostly wrestle just house shows back then.

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  34. His translation of Savio's spanish interview is one of the lone bright spots of KOTR 95.

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  35. Meltzer probably bribed them.

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  36. Thanks. I didn't know this how things used to work. Seems backwards. I'm seeing these shows for the first time in almost two decades and amazed at some of these characters who got tv time

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  37. Not at All. Just haven't seen these shows since the 90s and trying to understand the thought process

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  38. Were there? I remember renting most fo them, and they were all C level house show quality. tons of rest holds, horrible finishes.

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  39. For example, Taker wrestling Jarrett in a KOTR qualifying match the following month, and it felt like a HUGE deal. Unlike these days, where you see pretty much every guy twice a week. No wonder it gets stale.

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  40. I don't recommend buying a house in Saskatoon, or anywhere else in Western Canada right now for that matter.

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  41. It was actually supposed to happen at Great American Bash or Bash at the Beach '97 but then they decided to stretch it out to Starrcade instead.

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  42. I hate to break it to you, but Mantaur? Wasn't a real bull.

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  43. Gosh, why would I want to ban someone for coming to the blog I own and personally insulting me and all my writers? That's crazy talk. Why is he talking crazy?

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  44. Razor not being able to find a replacement tag partner made him look like a real friendless loser. Coupled with that promo from a few weeks back blaming Bret for his problems with the IC belt, it really felt like a heel turn was coming. It's not like they didn't need heels. Puzzling.

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  45. Well they couldn't exactly feud over a Japanese shampoo commercial, so...

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  46. He did really cool, flashy moves and got himself over on pure athelticism and in-ring ability. The Clique didn't take kind to that and politicized him out.

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  47. Turns out the winner flipped the house for $175,000. So looks like 11 year old Matthew Pomposelli got the last laugh Mr. Keith!

    http://www.wwe.com/classics/in-your-house-winner-interview

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  48. One time I saw Tugboat wrestle in regular black tights and no shirt. The same show Bushwhacker Luke wore rubber rain boots instead of wrestling boots.


    I'm guessing either a few of the boys had their gym bags shit in that day or the airline lost some baggage.

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  49. I always find it weird talking to fans around this time because none of them pegged Mabel as a possible KOTR winner and I was a dumb mark at the time and even I knew Mabel was probably winning the thing. I know most fans hate him, but I always did have a soft spot for the guy.

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  50. I love the Sid-Diesel match. Great power hitting match. Cool to see Sid be able to power bomb Nash, where Nash can't really pick Sid up. I guess I just mark out hearing Vince scream POWER BOMB!!! Plus I loved Hayes on the mic.

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  51. I'm sad Big Nelson really didn't join the nWo in 1996. He died a few years back, didn't he? Did Ahmed die too, or was that just a rumor?

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  52. There was some bull there, alright.

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  53. There were a few. Hogan vs. Kamala. Hogan vs. Bundy. Hogan vs Andre in the cage. Backlund vs. Valentine in the cage. That elimination tag bout prior to Manina 3 that had Savage jobbing to Piper. Flair vs. Hart. Hogan vs. Tugboat.

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  54. You got that right. If you can find a house that is not in a crime-riddled area in Edmonton for under 300,000 you have done good.

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  55. No it was Luther Reigns, you know Roman's brother.

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  56. It's different in Piper's case since I don't think any of his matches with Hogan ever had a definitive finish....it was always Piper losing by DQ or countout or something. So WCW could push Starrcade 1996 as the match between Hogan and Piper that would finally settle things once and for all.

    Not saying that Hogan wasn't being silly for ripping the Warrior over that bit of logic, I'm just saying that the Piper situation was different.

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  57. Piper had his hip problems and eventual hip replacement in the 1994-96 window, so I don't know if he was ever healthy enough to be considered for a legitimate run.

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  58. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieSeptember 3, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Not a draw...nowhere? Sooooo?

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  59. CruelConnectionNumber2September 3, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    The dude (a kid) sold the house and banked it.

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  60. I must've been feeling my inner smark at a young age (around 10 at the time of the live PPV). I almost fell asleep bored out of my mind with Sid/Diesel, and it barely went 10-minutes.

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  61. Sorry, this may make me sound stupid but what does " Vince really, really wanted fetch to happen"?

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  62. you got screwed up there in Saskatchewan, or in whichever province you live. Remember, $170K was a decent chunk of change in the 1995 housing market, IIRC

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  63. I was on WWtBaM here in the States, as a matter of fact. It's an interesting, yet depressing story.

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  64. sting mentioned no one called him when lex apologized after war games. it was one of the reasons he was silent for so long after. no one believed that he didn't betray wcw. not his friends or the announcers, only the fans believed in him.that's why he was silent and in the rafters looking down over the fans.had lex or any of the other members of team wcw called sting, there would be no crow sting. guess that make crow sting emo

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  65. Fuck Dana White, he makes Vince look like Bill Gates.

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  66. Because wrestlers are always honest to a fault?


    Look, Punk leaving leading to Bryan getting the belt builds into the narrative WWE and thus Bryan was building for himself, that of the overlooked everyman.

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  67. I agree with 2014 Scotts current assessment. It's not like you're throwing away your entire evening to watch a creatively bankrupt company bore you....hey that's us every week!

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  68. The Diana stuff was in 96. And she was just bad because deep down she was nervous because she knew Shawn was way outta her league!

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  69. IYH had on incredible match and a solid opener. I believe he already did Scott Sez though.

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  70. Not only Taker but in 95 they misused: Bret Hart, British Bulldog, Owen Hart, Lex Luger and Yokozuna.

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  71. I think that they're entertaining. If they happened today while I was viewing live I probably wouldn't feel that way though.

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  72. I agree. The slow build for Sting-Hogan was excellent. One of the best builds in history. You could make a case for the finish being a wet fart, but the build was amazing.

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  73. I was "watching" that on scramblevision and when the bag pipes hit it was incredibly cool.

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  74. "Don Hastings vs. Jerry Allen vs. The Dream Team"
    WOW! a 1 on 1 on 2 handicap triangle match! In 1986! Very revolutionary!

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  75. Maybe that had to do with them getting Rodman to work a match?

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  76. 411 is still alive??

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  77. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrrgs_roddy-piper-confronts-hogan_sport



    Piper's debut in WCW. I'm far from a Hogan fan, but he sold the hell out of that.

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  78. Damn imagine running Savage-Piper @ WM X. The coked out promo exchanges would have been amazing

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  79. Yeah, it's hard to argue with the results. As good as WCW was doing in the summer months of 1997, they were doing insane in the late months of 1997 and early 1998 in terms of paid attendance, buyrates, and merchandise sales.

    It's kind of amazing how patient they were with that angle -- it's kind of the last of its kind, no?

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  80. I'd say he aged in an accelerated fashion after he left in 1992. His last good match was against Bret Hart IMO.

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  81. Not to mention the show was only available in like 50,000 homes.

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  82. Yeah, I'm very surprised that was left in when it was reaired, due to that and Monsoon's 'accrusation' botch.

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