Pre-Show Saturday Night Slam
Todd Pettengill is at home I guess. He has cardboard cutouts of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in his living room that he greets when he sees them. His life seems the saddest. He has a giant pizza and sacks of snacks and a million cans of Coke to watch a mid-90s In Your House PPV alone.
A pair of women with lesbian haircuts who clearly hate Pettengill join him later as he highlights the most important matches of the upcoming show. This is actually pretty helpful if like me you are randomly watching an In Your House PPV from 1995 in 2017 completely devoid of context aside from some vague recollection of stuff you’d might have seen on TV 22 years ago. If it was 1995 and you’d been watching it as it happened and had been following WWF from week to week the only thing of any importance that happens here is Gorilla Monsoon talking about how Shawn Michaels had been attacked by a gang in Syracuse several weeks early and might not be able to compete but assured us an Intercontinental Championship match would take place. Oh shit this is that PPV?
Todd Pettengill wraps things up by shoving pizza in the face of a little girl who randomly appeared and the show gets underway.
Meanwhile With Interim President Gorilla Monsoon…
Gorilla tells us that Shawn Michaels has not been medically cleared to compete but will be on hand to forfeit the title to Shane Douglas who will then take on Razor Ramon for some reason.
Meanwhile in Canada…
Some up and coming Canadian songstress I’ve never heard of sings the Canadian national anthem. There are some fireworks and we are then joined by our announce team for the evening: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Match 1: Fatu vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Fuck yes! “Make a Difference” Fatu. Triple H is apparently undefeated in the WWF coming into this match and this is apparently Fatu’s first solo outing using some bizarre metric to determine what the phrase “first solo match” means.
This match is happening because the Man with Three H’s apparently tried to spray Fatu with an atomizer backstage. Vince McMahon does not know what an atomizer is when Jerry Lawler calls Triple H’s atomizer an atomizer.
Fatu attacks before Triple H has a chance to take off his riding jacket. They brawl on the outside a bit with Fatu remaining in control for the majority of the opening moments of the match. Triple H hits a DDT but Samoans in WWF at this point still have invincible heads so Fatu no sells it.
At some point Fatu goes over the top rope and gets he head tangled between the top and middle ropes. Triple H attacks the stuck Fatu as the ref tries to free him.
Fatu gets free and takes control again but after he goes up to the top rope for a splash and misses, Triple H to takes control. Triple H ultimately hits the Pedigree to pick up the win. JR on commentary has to think on his feet and explain why a Pedigree was able to put away a Samoan when it was confirmed earlier in the match that attacks to the head do not effect Samoans.
“That damaged this face, not the head…that’s why Fatu was unable to kick out!” is what he comes up with. It’s not ideal but it’s good enough to make me go, “That makes sense I guess…”
Post-match Lawler interviews Triple H at ringside. Trips is pretty winded. As he sucks air on mic one of the Godwins (the one that wasn’t Mideon later) sneaks up behind him with a bucket of what Vince calls “pure slop.” Hunter grabs Lawler as a human shield and after a few seconds of the Godwin teasing slopping both men, Triple H retreats to the back with the Godwin and his slop bucket in hot persist.
Winner: Triple H
This was a pretty solid opening match. Though I’m bummed at Fatu’s inability to make a difference here tonight.
Match 2: Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid vs. The Smoking Guns
This is for the Tag Team Championship. Razor could possibly walk out of Great White North with two championships.
Razor and Kid take control early, after 1-2-3 Kid pulls the top rope down to send a rope running Bart Gunn tumbling to the outside. He and Razor isolate Bart and make quick tags. 1-2-3 Kid is the best version of Syxx/X-Pac/Sean Waltman. He does a bunch of karate kicks and is over as fuck with the crowd.
Late in the match Bart Gunn is on the receiving end of a HOT TAG! and comes in and cleans house. This match rules so hard. Billy Gunn hits some awesome jumping knee to the face thing in tight ass jeans and cowboy boots.
BIG BACK BODY DROPS! Vince McMahon is shouting “One! Two! Three! He got him! No. No he didn’t,” ever ten seconds or so.
Razor and Billy Gunn are in the ring. Razor punches Billy Gunn down and then gets him up for the Razor’s Edge. Razor’s Edged! Kid wants back in. Razor mulls it over before tagging Kid in.
1-2-3 Kid does not hit any sort of move on Billy Gunn, he just goes for a pin and gets caught in a small package by Billy Gunn.
After the match 1-2-3 Kid is livid. He tries to take the Championship belts but Razor Ramon comes in and gives the belts back and applauds the Guns.
Winners: The Smoking Guns
This was an awesome match. The crowd was super into it. Going into this match the only one of these guys I liked at all was Razor but all four guys here were really good and the hot crowd really elevated the quality of the match.
Match 3: Marty Jannetty vs. Goldust
Jannetty is dressed like the Ultimate Warrior’s boots. This is Goldust’s in ring debut. He gets called weird, bizarre, peculiar, odd, and strange about a bajillion times as he makes his way to the ring. These are all Vince McMahon idioms for “homosexual.”
The match finally gets underway with stalling. This is followed by more stalling. The stalling gives way to rest holds. It’s time for a trip to Chinlock City and a visit to nearby Side Headlock Township.
The action picks up a little in the middle but not much. Goldust’s offense consists of punching and a kick to the gut. It’s fine offense but the way he delivers it here is really slow. It’s like: punch, wait ten seconds, punch again, wait, kick to the gut, repeat.
They go to the outside where Jannetty takes a sick looking bump when getting tossed into the ringpost. This is probably the highlight of an otherwise tedious bout of grappling.
After three million years Goldust nails Jannetty with his finisher. It doesn’t seem to actually have a name yet. JR calls it a “face first suplex,” and Lawler declares, “He just shattered the dreams of Jannetty.”
God was this boring. There was a lot of stalling and very little chemistry between the two competitors, which is a shame because both dudes are usually pretty good in the ring.
Highlights for Children
We get highlights from a six man tag team match from a couple weeks earlier during which Yokozuna and Mabel broke the Undertaker’s face. Todd already showed me this. This heinous face-breaking is the reason this next match was signed apparently.
Match 4: King Mabel (w/ Mo) vs. Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji)
Rhyno is one of the dudes carrying out King Mabel’s palanquin. He does not look happy to be there. We head backstage where Jim Cornette is standing by.
Cornette’s all like, “Gorilla Monsoon is afraid of an alliance between two colossal jostlers like Mabel and Yokozuna and is trying to start beef, but I’ll come up with a plan.”
The match gets underway with some slugging. Mabel gets sent to the outside. He slowly makes his way back into the ring.
More colossal jostling and a dude ends up on the outside. More jostling. Both men end up on the outside. Yokozuna falls on Jim Cornette for some goddamn reason. The ref rings the bell. As a result of a double count out the match is a draw.
Yokozuna and Mabel get back in the ring and stare each other down. Cornette and Mo are in the ring trying to separate the two behemoths. Mabel and Yokozuna raise their hands like they’re going for a test of strength but they swerve everyone and hug it out. Yokozuna and Mabel raise each other’s hands in victory and are highing fives as Vince McMahon voices his disgust for what has transpired. Gorilla Monsoon instigated beef has apparently been squashed.
This was bad double big man action and a bad “we are allies who have to fight each other but don’t actually want to,” swerve. Back to back with that boring Goldust match this is put a damper on my enthusiasm for this In Your House. And speaking of putting a damper on my enthusiasm Vince tosses it to Dok Hendrix.
Meanwhile With Dok Hendrix…
Shane Douglas is brought down to the ring. A battered HBK comes down to the ring next with the IC Championship. He’s wearing a Make a Difference Fatu jacket.
Michaels hems and haws for a couple minutes before he goes to hand the belt to Gorilla Monsoon, but before he can Shane Douglas grabs the belt and is declared the new Intercontinental Champion.
Match 5: Razor Ramon vs. Dean Shane Douglas
Razor hits the ring and attacks before the bell rings. Razor dominates the early going of the match, but is working a lot slower than he did in the tag team match earlier.
Douglas eventually makes a bit of a comeback but it’s almost all Razor. They go to the outside where Douglas gets a bottle of water dumped on his head by Razor. ECW! ECW! ECW!
The ending is kind of weird. Douglas pins Razor but Razor gets a foot up on the rope so the match continues. Razor hits a side slam but both dudes are spent. Razor drapes an arm over Douglas and the ref counts. One! Two! They are close to the ropes so Douglas sticks his entire goddamn leg under the ropes and out of the ring. It’s clearly visible that he has done this. Three! Your winner…and new champion…Razor Ramon!
“Oh a Dusty Finish…another ref will come out or they’ll show a replay or something and restart the match,” I think to myself.
They show a replay from several angles making it even more obvious that Douglas was in the ropes. Obvious Dusty Finish is obvious. “Four Time Intercontinental Champion! Razor Ramon!” “The fuck?”
Winner: Razor Ramon (shrug)
This entire segment made no sense. Why did they just hand Douglas the belt? Why didn’t they just vacate the title and make the winner of the match the new champ? Randomly having Douglas as champion for ten minutes or whatever was stupid and the ending of the match was even stupider. It was super obvious that he was under the ropes but the count continued and even when evidence proving that the ref had been wrong was presented the decision stayed. The actual match was mostly fine, but the beginning and ending bugged me a lot.
Meanwhile at Ringside…
Bret Hart is coming out to join McMahon and Company on commentary since he’ll be taking on the winner of this match at Survivor Series.
Jerry Lawler is not pleased with this and threatens to hit Hart. This must have been around the time of the “Kiss my Foot” feud. Hart comes out anyway and Lawler gets chased off by Hart.
Match 6: British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Diesel
This is apparently Bulldog’s first Heavyweight title shot in the WWF. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not. Test of strengths early on to see who the stronger man is. Diesel gets the better of the exchanges.
Bulldog works Diesel’s legs for the bulk of the match. This makes sense and Bret Hart really puts it over on commentary as the only way to deal with a huge dude like Diesel.
Early on, Bulldog clotheslines Diesel over the top rope to the floor. Diesel lands on his feet but staggers backwards toward the announce table. Bret puts up his hands to keep Diesel from falling into them. Diesel repays him for this by turning and pushing Bret Hart in the face. Bret never really gets a chance to do anything because Bulldog chop blocks the champ.
Diesel really doesn’t get much offense in during the match. He reverses a couple holds and powers out of some shit but besides a couple big boots and some punches it’s all Bulldog…and I guess Jim Cornette since there’s an extended sequence where Diesel’s on the outside and while Bulldog distracts the ref Cornette works over Diesel’s knee. As a quick aside, Cornette’s got a pretty decent elbow drop.
The close of the match sees Bulldog and Diesel go to the outside again. Diesel gets slammed into the ringpost and then instead of following up on Diesel, Bulldog randomly goes over to the announce desk and slaps Bret in the face.
Bret cannot let this stand and he starts pummeling Bulldog. The bell rings and Bulldog is declared the winner via DQ.
Bulldog celebrates as if he just became champion while Diesel gets in the ring and stares down Bret Hart. The two quickly come to blows and the show goes off the air with the two having a pull apart brawl.
Winner: British Bulldog
An alright match. Good selling by Diesel until he completely recovered for the brawl with Bret post-match. I like that Bulldog stayed on the legs but also that he mixed up the attacks he was doing switching between strikes and submission holds so that it didn’t get boring to watch.
What is this world? The best match of the night was a tag team encounter featuring the Smoking Guns and the 1-2-3 Kid and not even in a “it was a slightly less garbage match on a card comprised entirely of garbage.” It was a genuinely good match. The in ring stuff was good. The storytelling was good. The crowd was hot. It was great.
Except for Yokozuna vs. Mabel which was the drizzling shits and Goldust vs. Jannetty which was kind of boring the remainder of the card was pretty decent too. Yes, I disliked the ending of Razor/Douglas match but what happened during the match itself was pretty good.
All in all this was a pretty solid PPV especially as far as mid-90s In Your Houses go and well worth a watch if you’ve got a couple hours to kill.