(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
In Your House 3
September 24, 1995
Saginaw Civic Center
News & Notes: I didn’t mention an important note in my last WWF review. Bill Watts joined the creative team over the summer of ’95. (This would explain why his son Erik turned up in Tekno Team 2000.) Vince hoped his knowledge would help improve the product. Watts wanted interlocking storylines and a focus on what’s coming next. He also pushed for more continuity. You can see his influence on the product. The problem is, Watts expected autonomy. That’s hard with Vince in charge. Bill’s tenure wouldn’t last long. He would leave before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Diesel & Shawn Michaels reformed their old tag team. They began calling themselves Two Dudes with Attitudes. It was time to regain the tag titles they never lost. Diesel & Shawn held both singles titles. So, Gorilla Monsoon booked a match where all three belts would be on the line. Monsoon called it a Triple Header Match. Diesel & Shawn would face Owen & Yoko at this event. If the dudes won, they would become tag champions. If Owen or Yoko pinned one of them, they would win the respective singles title. Someone would lose their belt. The only problem is, Owen was missing when this show began.
Todd Pettengill narrates the opening video. He tells us the Triple Header Match is a game of jeopardy. Does that mean all wrestling moves have to be in the form of a question? Three titles will on the line in one match. The reward for success is high for the Two Dudes with Attitudes. But, the price of failure is equally great. The match will test the mettle of a champion and the bonds of friendship. Someone will lose their gold. Next, a woman sings a soulful In Your House theme. She claims they’re going to push back walls and rewrite laws. I doubt either of those things will happen. While she sings, that home-invading In Your House logo uses a ladder to enter the upstairs window. Someone call the cops!
Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to Saginaw and In Your House. There are three commentators for this event. Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross join Vince. They’re standing in front of an amusing sign that says, “Jerry Lawler, you should be locked in your house.” I bet that’s happened. Vince says a title will change hands tonight, but he doesn’t know which one. Lawler thinks Owen Hart will win the Intercontinental Championship. Ross thinks Yokozuna will win it.
Savio Vega vs. Waylon Mercy
Notes: Dangerous Dan Spivey joined the WWF. He portrays the gimmick of Waylon Mercy. It’s based on the character Max Cady from the film Cape Fear. He pretends to be soft-spoken and friendly to hide a sinister side. Waylon shakes hands with his opponents and proceeds to brutalize them. The gimmick is a precursor to the original Bray Wyatt character. Rumor has it Spivey suggested the idea to Bray. Dan plays the character perfectly, but Spivey had a broken body at this point in his career. Spivey suffered a career-ending back injury a couple of months into this run.
During the entrances, they recap Savio’s debut. They also show one of Mercy’s vignettes. He sits on a rock with a smile on his face. Mercy says he doesn’t like other wrestlers touching him. If they do, he will squash them like a worm. He then smashes a worm that’s crawling on his hand. Mercy turns to the camera and says, “You know what I mean?” It makes him sound like an evil version of Ernest P. Worrell. On a side note, Dok Hendrix interrupts this match to announce Owen Hart hasn’t arrived. He has no idea how it will affect the main event.
The Match: Mercy shakes hands and dances with Savio. But, he attempts jumping him from behind. Savio moves and takes Waylon to the mat by his arm. The fight then spills to the floor. Mercy slams Vega and chops him. When they return to the ring, Waylon uses a cravat and a hotshot. He follows with a side slam, but Mercy misses an elbow. However, Waylon recovers with a sleeper hold. He has a wild look in his eyes. Mercy uses it twice, but Savio escapes. He gives Mercy a bulldog. Waylon counters with a clothesline and a nasty brainbuster. Vega responds with a German suplex. He then nails Waylon with a wheel kick for the win.
Thoughts: This was a decent match, but it was a little sloppy. You can tell Mercy had trouble moving. It’s a little sad to watch him. If he were healthier, this character could have worked. Vince knew he wouldn’t last. That’s why he had Vega win. Waylon Mercy remains one of the great what-ifs in wrestling. It’s a shame he had a battered body.
Winner: Savio Vega (7:06)
Meanwhile, Dok Hendrix enters Camp Cornette’s locker room. Gorilla Monsoon is arguing with Jim. Dok sticks a microphone in their faces. Gorilla says Jim knows what time everyone should be at the building. Cornette assures him Owen is there. Monsoon says he doesn’t see him. Jim explains Owen is in Michigan. Then, Cornette has enough of Hendrix standing there silent. He asks what he wants. Dok wants to know if the main event is in jeopardy. Monsoon says no. The match will happen. He then returns to arguing with Cornette while Dok sends it back to Vince.
Sycho Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Henry O. Godwinn
Notes: Henry Godwinn’s association with the Million Dollar Corporation ended. DiBiase resented Godwinn’s failures. He insulted Henry on commentary. Godwinn responded by slopping Ted. The Corporation sent Sid to get revenge. Godwinn slopped him too. Sid reacted by tearing up the backstage area in a rage. He also attacked Godwinn and powerbombed him on the floor. That led us to this match. Poor Sid dropped far down the card after his Diesel feud ended.
The Match: They grapple into the corner and exchange punches. Then, Henry knocks Sid to the apron while Jim Ross calls the match a slobberknocker. The term confuses Lawler. Godwinn suplexes Sid into the ring, but he hurts his back. It prevents him from slamming Sid. He sends Henry to the floor and DiBiase attacks him. Sid then focuses attacks on Henry’s back. He uses clubbing forearms and Irish whips. Sid follows that with a couple of Camel Clutches. Godwinn attempts comebacks, but Sid stops him. But, Sid misses a corner charge. Henry rallies with punches and a shoulder tackle. He also nails the Slop Drop (Reverse DDT). DiBiase pulls Henry to the floor when he attempts a pin. Ted then trips Godwinn. It allows Sid to land a leg drop and a powerbomb for the win.
Thoughts: I like the story they were trying to tell, but the match was slow and plodding. Sid works better with smaller athletic opponents. It wasn’t terrible, but it never found a rhythm. The moves were crisp. It simply lacked excitement. Also, this is the first time the Corporation won a match on PPV in 1995. They aren’t successful as a faction.
Winner: Sycho Sid (7:23)
After the match, Ted and Sid argue over who will slop Godwinn. Bam Bam Bigelow attacks them while they fight over the bucket. However, Kama arrives to stop Bigelow. Kama and Sid hold Bam Bam. Ted threatens to slop him, but Godwinn recovers. He grabs the bucket and dumps slop over DiBiase. Ted is furious.
Then, they return to Cornette’s locker room. He is still bickering with Monsoon. Gorilla says the match will happen whether Owen arrives or not. Yokozuna can either single-handedly defend the titles or Cornette can find a replacement. Gorilla will sanction him as a one-night champion. Jim claims Yoko has never teamed with anyone else. Did Cornette forget about Crush? He managed that team! Jim then asks if the replacement can win one of the singles titles. Monsoon says he can. Jim says he will find a replacement. Monsoon suggests he leave immediately to search.
The British Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Notes: Bulldog’s heel turn came with a sleek short haircut. It’s a good look for him. It also brought him a new manager. Bulldog joined Camp Cornette. But, Jim is a little busy during this match. Cornette claimed the WWF overlooked Bulldog for title matches. He promised to fix that. I can think of a solution on this very show! Oh—spoiler alert. As far as this match, there is no build. It’s a way to get Bulldog on PPV. Also, they show Cornette speaking with Sid during this match. He tries recruiting him, but Sid wants too much money.
The Match: Bam Bam flusters Davey with shoulder blocks, slams, and hip tosses. Bulldog regroups. Bigelow then misses an elbow. Davey answers with chinlocks and a suplex. He also low-bridges Bam Bam. But, Bigelow blocks and reverses an apron suplex. Bigelow follows with a flying headbutt. He gets a two-count, so Bam Bam argues with the ref. Bulldog uses the opening to chop block Bigelow’s knee. Davey spends a while working on Bigelow’s leg. He cuts off Bam Bam’s comebacks and continues his attack. Bigelow rallies when Davey fails slamming him. He also blocks Bulldog’s sunset flip. However, Bigelow misses a moonsault. Davey responds with a flying headbutt and a modified powerslam for the win.
Thoughts: This was a decent bout. It was slow at times, but they told a good story. It did a good job of showcasing Bulldog’s power. You can also tell Davey is adjusting well to playing a heel. That’s surprising. He worked most of his career as a babyface.
Winner: The British Bulldog (12:00)
They show Godwinn and DiBiase on the Superstar Hotline. They’re in separate rooms. Godwinn is happy, but DiBiase is ranting and raving. Then, Vince plugs WrestleMania, the Special. They aired the two main events from Mania on FOX.
Then, Bob Backlund comes to the ring to introduce the next match. He has a dictionary in his hand. Bob tells the crowd not to exacerbate him. Vince sounds offended by the word. Backlund then calls everyone plebeians. He says they have acute limitations. They can learn to walk, crawl, and eat. But, they are dormant when learning to read and write. He accuses the fans of being stagnant. Then, he introduces someone that criticizes and disciplines his students. That man is Dean Douglas. He takes the mic and says Razor will fail this test if he didn’t study. Douglas also introduces Razor, but he calls him a loser.
Dean Douglas (w/ Bob Backlund) vs. Razor Ramon
Notes: Dean Douglas and Razor Ramon had a confrontation at SummerSlam. Dean began interfering in Razor’s matches. Meanwhile, Razor had issues with the 1-2-3 Kid. Recent losses frustrated the Kid. He felt he could recapture his glory with another victory over Razor. The Kid tried and failed multiple times. However, he finally won when Douglas cost Ramon a match. Also, they have another backstage segment with Cornette during this bout. He approaches Mabel, but Mabel can’t get along with Yokozuna.
The Match: Razor rushes the ring and gains control with punches and clotheslines. He also uses some surprising arm holds. Both men trade reversals until Razor catches Dean and nails a fallaway slam. Douglas responds with a fake-out and a sunset flip. Dean then focuses on Ramon’s back. He takes him to the floor and rams him into the apron, the steps, and the post. Douglas follows that with a bow and arrow stretch and a diving splash. But, Ramon reverses a rear chinlock into an electric chair drop. Razor also reverses a flying cross body. Then, Douglas pulls Razor into the ref. He attempts another diving splash and misses. Razor capitalizes with the Razors Edge, but there’s no ref. The 1-2-3 Kid arrives and counts a pin. Ramon thinks he won until he sees the Kid. Ramon is angry and shoves Kid out of the ring. Douglas takes advantage with a sloppy roll-up for the win.
Thoughts: I thought this was a really good match. They told a good story. The finish was rough, but it didn’t ruin it. However, both Razor and Vince didn’t like it. Douglas didn’t endear himself to the Kliq. They didn’t care for his attitude. This would be the beginning of his issues with the group.
Winner: Dean Douglas (14:53)
Razor is frustrated and pulls the Kid into the ring. They shove each other, so the Kid takes a fighting stance. The officials arrive to stop them. Razor and the Kid yell at each other but agree to leave. Then, Todd Pettengill plugs In Your House 4. It will take place in Canada. Undertaker will avenge his King of the Ring loss to Mabel. Also, the bizarre Goldust will debut. The Undertaker match won’t happen. I’ll explain why in the next review.
Then, Dok Hendrix is backstage. He’s wearing Shawn Michaels’ hat and sunglasses. It makes him look more ridiculous than usual. Dok tells the fans they can buy the merchandise by calling the 1-800 number. He then introduces Shawn and Diesel. Dok asks for their thoughts on the Owen situation. Shawn says he’s frustrated. He compares it to being unable to date a girl because she’s too crazy. That’s an odd analogy. Shawn asks if the gig is going to happen. Diesel then claims he smells a rat. Shawn says nah, that’s Dok. Diesel thinks something is up, but it doesn’t matter. After it’s said and done, the Two Dudes with Attitudes will be two chaps with four straps. He used that same line on RAW. Come on, Diesel.
During the entrances for the next match, they go to Bret Hart for a promo. He says his match with Jean-Pierre Lafitte is Captain Crook against Captain Crunch. Bret is Captain Crunch. He’s pissed about Lafitte stealing his jacket because it was special. Bret calls him a thief. He says Lafitte fancies himself a pirate. He thinks Jean-Pierre should walk the plank. You can hear the frustration in Bret’s voice over these ridiculous feuds. When he finishes, the camera follows Bret as he enters through the door of the In Your House set. It’s a cool visual.
Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte
Notes: Jean-Pierre Lafitte is the former Quebecer Pierre (PCO). He adopted a pirate gimmick. Pierre only had one eye, so the eye-patch wouldn’t be an issue. The story is he traced his lineage to Jean Lafitte. He stole items from wrestlers. Jean-Pierre took the sunglasses Bret gave to fans. He also nicked Bret’s leather jacket. Bret took offense because his mom gave him that. Lafitte wears the jacket to the ring.
The Match: Bret begins the match with a suicide dive onto Pierre. He nearly lands on his head. Then, they brawl on the floor until Bret retrieves his jacket. Jean misses a corner charge, so Bret works on his arm. But, Lafitte answers with a clothesline and stomps. Then, Bret collides with the post. Bret tries rallying, but Pierre pulls him to the floor and rams him into the steps. Lafitte also uses a spinebuster and a leg drop. He stops another Bret comeback and lands a flying legdrop. Jean ascends again, but he misses the Cannonball. However, he blocks a Sharpshooter and sends Bret to the floor. Lafitte then attempts a Cannonball over the ropes and misses! Bret sends him into the steps and begins his finishing routine. Jean keeps stopping it. He turns Bret’s crucifix into a rolling Samoan Drop and tries pinning Bret with his feet on the ropes. Bret then crashes on the ropes. Lafitte answers with a flying headbutt, but he misses. Then, both men collide. Bret inches into position and applies a Sharpshooter from the mat. It’s enough for the win.
Thoughts: This was a great bout. It’s a forgotten gem. They started explosive and set a good pace. Bret also gave Jean-Pierre enough offense to look strong. There were some great spots. It’s impressive seeing someone Lafitte’s size move as he does. I’ve heard the Kliq teased Bret for being stuck in this feud. He took it as a challenge to steal the show with this match. They accomplished that goal.
Winner: Bret Hart (16:37)
Dok is back in Camp Cornette’s locker room again. The British Bulldog is with them. Dok announces Jim found his replacement. Cornette says sometimes the things you search hardest for you find under your very nose. Bulldog has wrestled already, but he’s Owen’s substitute. Monsoon agrees and sanctions Davey as a member of the match. Gorilla says Bulldog is half of the tag team champions for one night only. Cornette asks if Bulldog is eligible to win one of the singles titles. Monsoon says he is, but he could also lose the tag belts. Cornette replies that’s fine. Monsoon backed him into a corner.
Then, Vince introduces former Women’s Champion, Alundra Blayze. She’s not there to wrestle. She models the In Your House t-shirt. Vince and Ross shill the merchandise. She finds a VHS tape hiding in the bushes. Vince says you can get it for free if your order now. It’s a blank tape. I love how they don’t tell you what tape it is. It could be two hours of Mantaur matches!
Triple Header Match for the WWF, Intercontinental, & Tag Team Titles: Diesel & Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna & The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji)
Notes: Owen isn’t in this match because his wife went into labor before this PPV. They decided to work it into the storyline. Adding Bulldog to this bout also sets up Diesel’s next feud. It’s an example of those interlocking storylines Watts prefers. Shawn and Diesel get separate entrances. Both men get pyro. Also, Vince and Jim Ross put over Diesel strong. Lawler sounds like he’s almost annoyed by it. Then, Shawn and Diesel play Rock Paper Scissors to decide who starts the match. Shawn wins.
The Match: Shawn and Bulldog trade holds and takedowns. Shawn & Diesel then clear both Bulldog & Yoko from the ring. Yoko enters. Shawn challenges him to a sumo match. But, Michaels slides under him. Yoko fends off both Shawn and Diesel with slams and clotheslines. Diesel answers with a big boot, but Bulldog attacks him. Davey suplexes Diesel after a couple of tries. However, Bulldog fails on a running powerslam. Shawn then returns and lands a flying splash off Diesel’s shoulders. Bulldog & Yoko retake control by attacking Shawn on the floor. Shawn takes an upside-down bump in the corner and a backdrop. Yoko uses a nerve hold, but he misses the Banzai Drop. Diesel then returns. He gives Davey Snake Eyes, the running knee, and a side slam. Then, Shawn & Diesel whip Bulldog & Yoko into each other. Yoko counters a Jackknife with a Samoan Drop. Shawn answers with Sweet Chin Music. But, Bulldog gives Diesel the running powerslam. Shawn breaks up the pin. Owen Hart then arrives. He dives at Diesel, but Diesel punches him. He then nails Owen with a Jackknife for the win.
Thoughts: This was a fun main event. They told a pretty good story. Shawn and Bulldog brought the athleticism. You can tell they match well together. We will see more between them in the future. The finish was questionable, but that’s on purpose. Cornette would contest the outcome on RAW. He brought his new lawyer, Clarence Mason. They argued Owen wasn’t in the match. Monsoon agreed and returned the belts to Owen & Yoko. But, they lost them to the Smoking Gunns. It sadly kind of makes this match pointless.
Winners: Diesel & Shawn (New Tag Team Champions) (15:42)
After the match, Diesel & Shawn celebrate with the Tag Team Titles. The finish of the match confuses Jim Ross. He doesn’t understand how they could pin Owen. Vince ignores him. Vince then says goodnight while fireworks explode.
Bret/JPL was a surprising but forgotten gem.
The main event was fun.
Douglas/Ramon was good.
The Waylon Mercy character.
Sid/Godwinn was slow.
Bret is stuck in silly feuds.
Performer of the Night:
I’m giving it to a surprising candidate. Jean-Pierre Lafitte impressed me. I expected good things from Bret, but JPL pulled his weight as well. PCO still moves with amazing agility for his size. He was even better in his younger days.
This event was solid but unremarkable. Almost everything ranged from decent to pretty good. I wouldn’t call it outstanding, but it’s not bad. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the next In Your House. It looks like the string of good to decent shows is about to end. If you watch anything from this show, check out the Bret/JPL match.
Thank you for reading. My next review will be In Your House 4. Look for it next Sunday!