(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
In Your House 4
October 22, 1995
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
News & Notes: Shawn Michaels did not have a good October in 1995. Most of the Kliq was on an overseas tour. This left Shawn vulnerable. First, The Blu Brothers/Harris Brothers confronted him backstage. They were leaving the company and decided to give him a piece of their mind. They cornered him in the locker room and threatened him. Then, Shawn, Bulldog, and the 1-2-3 Kid went to a bar in Syracuse. Shawn was drunk and hit on a Marine’s girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend). The man took exception and confronted Shawn in the parking lot. A fight ensued. Accounts of the incident vary. Either one or many Marines beat up Shawn and slammed the car door on his head. Bulldog couldn’t escape the backseat of the two-door car, but the Kid was able to fend off the attackers. The attack left Shawn bruised and concussed. He was supposed to defend his Intercontinental Title against Dean Douglas at In Your House 4. The concussion changed those plans.
Meanwhile, Jim Cornette made good on his promise to get Bulldog a title match. They booked Bulldog in a match with Diesel for the WWF Championship. The WWF also announced the winner would defend the belt against Bret Hart at Survivor Series. Months of facing dentists and pirates paid off for Bret. It was also a sign that Vince finally gave up on the Diesel experiment. The writing was on the wall. This PPV wouldn’t help matters.
The show opens with Canada’s own Joanie Wilson in the ring. She’s there to sing “Oh, Canada.” I tried looking her up. I couldn’t find anything about her. I’m guessing this appearance didn’t boost her career. Based on the buyrate of this PPV, that’s not surprising. Footage of Canada airs while she sings. It includes snowy mountains and forests. There’s an amusing moment where the camera startles a wolf. It had no idea it would be on a WWF event.
Next, a somber Gorilla Monsoon says he won’t allow Shawn Michaels to compete. His concussion is too severe. However, there will be an Intercontinental Title Match. Shawn will publicly forfeit the title to Monsoon. Gorilla will give the title to Dean Douglas. But, Dean will defend that title against Razor Ramon. Monsoon calls it the most difficult decision of his career.
We then hear the In Your House theme again. They show fans buying tickets and merchandise. That pesky In Your House logo walks through the front door without knocking. It tries sitting on the couch, but the TV sucks the logo into its screen. Then, Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to Winnipeg—you idiot. He calls Monsoon’s decision controversial. Lawler agrees with the move. He says a champion should forfeit the title if he can’t compete. Ross disagrees.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Fatu
Notes: I talked about Fatu’s new gimmick in a previous review. He’s making a difference now. Fatu tells kids to stay in school and off drugs. The original plan was to bring in Samu and the future Rosey as the Samoan Gangster Party. They were thugs from Fatu’s past. The pair made one appearance before the WWF dropped the idea. There’s no build for this match. It’s a showcase for both men. If you listen closely, you can hear Hunter ask, “Would you run over that Steve Austin guy for me? It would help Rocky Johnson’s son.” I kid, of course. Also, Triple H added a new quirk to his character. He carries a bottle of cologne. He sprayed it on Fatu because he stinks. Fatu takes the bottle before the match and threatens to spray Hunter.
The Match: Fatu backdrops and punches Hunter before he can remove his jacket. He then sends Helmsley to the floor with a Flair Flip. They brawl in and out of the ring. Triple H rams Fatu into the corner. He absorbs it. But, Fatu is caught in a hangman spot when Hunter sidesteps him. He escapes. Hunter nails a piledriver. He also gives Fatu a neckbreaker. Then, Triple H wears down Fatu with a chinlock. Hunter follows that by turning Fatu inside-out with a clothesline. Fatu rallies by backdropping Hunter on a Pedigree attempt. He also no-sells Triple H’s DDT. Fatu kicks him and nails a backbreaker. He continues with a diving headbutt and a running cutter. Fatu then climbs the turnbuckles, but he misses a flying headbutt. Hunter capitalizes with a Pedigree for the win.
Thoughts: It was a good opener. They kept a good pace and didn’t let any holds dwell too long. Both men got in enough offense to look good. Fatu was able to shake off attacks to the head, but the Pedigree still put him down for the count. That does a good job putting over the move. This bout did everything it needed to do.
Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (8:06)
Lawler interviews Hunter after the match. Jerry jokes about Fatu using Raid as a deodorant. He used that same joke during the match. Hunter agrees Fatu smells ghastly. He calls him repulsive. While he speaks, Henry Godwinn sneaks behind Helmsley. He threatens to slop Hunter. Triple H uses Lawler as a shield. Jerry begs Godwinn not to do it. Hunter then escapes unscathed. They did this because Hunter had issues with Godwinn. He doesn’t care for smelly peasants. It will lead to a unique match in a couple of months.
Next, Dok Hendrix is with the British Bulldog and Jim Cornette. Dok says Bulldog has waited for a WWF Title Match his entire life. I can’t picture baby Bulldog thinking about WWF titles. Hendrix then recaps Bulldog’s heel turn. Cornette tells him not to worry about the setup. Worry about the execution. They show footage of Bulldog pinning Diesel with Yokozuna’s help. Cornette says it will happen again. Then, Bulldog calls Winnipeg a fifty-below hell hole. He also calls the show In Your ‘Ouse. Bulldog predicts victory and flexes for the camera.
The Smoking Gunns arrive for their match, but Vince goes to Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid for comments. He points out their matching outfits. That’s adorable. Razor claims they put their problems behind them. He hands it to the Gunns. They’re looking for a fight. Razor & the Kid will give it to them.
Tag Team Title Match: The Smoking Gunns (c) vs. Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid
Notes: The Gunns won the title from Owen & Yoko the night after In Your House 3. Meanwhile, Razor & The Kid patched their differences. They booked this Tag Title Match before Razor entered the Intercontinental Title picture. He pulls double-duty on this event. Ross says it will divide Razor’s focus. On a side note, I should point out Billy Gunn cut off his mullet. He has a 90s haircut now. Bart is still a little behind the times. Before the match, Razor & The Kid fake out the Gunns with a handshake. Also, Dean Douglas watches the match backstage and takes notes.
The Match: Billy and The Kid trade takedowns until Razor and Bart enter the match. Bart takes control, but Kid low-bridges him behind the ref’s back. Razor & Kid then double-team Bart in their corner. The Kid uses kicks and sliding leg drops. Razor utilizes a fallaway slam and drops Kid onto Bart. Eventually, Bart rallies and tags Billy. He cleans house and the Gunns begin double-teaming. Bart gives the Kid multiple backbreakers. Then, the Gunns nail a suplex/dropkick combo. But, Billy misses a corner splash. Both teams take turns pulling their partner into a pin attempt. Razor then returns and lands a Razors Edge on Billy. However, the Kid demands a tag. Razor obliges, but Billy surprises Kid with a crucifix pin for the victory.
Thoughts: I liked the storytelling in this match. The slow build with the Kid is great. The action was also good. Both teams performed well. I know where they’re going with the Razor/Kid storyline. But, this match made me want to see the team more often. I almost wish they had a short run with the titles before the split.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns (12:46)
After the match, the Kid throws a fit. He kicks the ropes in frustration. Razor stares at him in disbelief. The Kid shoves him, so Ramon leaves. However, the Kid attacks the Gunns. He knocks them out of the ring with kicks. The Kid grabs the tag belts. Ramon returns and takes them from him. He hands the titles back to the Gunns and convinces the Kid to leave.
Dok Hendrix is backstage with cardboard cut-outs of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. They’re only $25! Dok tells women they can have Shawn in their house 24/7. Then, he tells kids Bret Hart can watch them sleep. It’s getting creepy. Something tells me Hendrix took these cut-outs home with him. Dok also jokingly asks Bret for comments. Hendrix says he’s feeling a little stiff. Lawler laughs when Dok almost knocks over the Bret cut-out. But, Jerry freaks out when Vince tells him Bret will join the commentary team for the main event.
Marty Jannetty enters the arena while Vince introduces pre-recorded comments from Goldust. He tells Mr. Rocker it’s time for the Hollywood premiere. It will be lights, cameras, and so much action. Goldust says, “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.” He then takes a deep breath and tells everyone to remember the name Goldust. Vince calls him bizarre.
Goldust vs. Marty Jannetty
Notes: Marty Jannetty returned to the WWF in September. But, this match is about the debut. Dustin Rhodes joined the WWF. They gave him a strange gimmick. His name is Goldust. He paints himself gold like an Oscar statue. He also quotes movies. The original idea is he’s a Hollywood weirdo. Once Vince heard the crowd reactions, he went a different direction. Vince pushed the homophobia button for heat. It worked. The character was intriguing in the early days. Goldust wears a golden robe and a blonde wig to the ring. He removes both before the bell. Gold dust also rains from the ceiling during his entrance.
The Match: Marty fends off Goldust’s attacks and sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Goldust stalls and regroups. He then answers with shoves and punches. Marty counters with a hurricanrana. Goldust takes control with more punches and chinlocks. But, they brawl in and out of the ring. Both men take turns ramming each other into the steps. Goldust responds by shoving Marty into the post. Then, he suplexes him into the ring. Goldust uses more chinlocks until Marty does a sloppy reversal to a backdrop. Goldust nails a DDT. Marty lands a Rocker Dropper. Next, Marty fakes out Goldust on a flying fist drop and gives him clotheslines. He attempts the fist drop again, but Goldust raises a boot. Goldy then gives Marty a face-first suplex for the win.
Thoughts: You can tell Dustin changed his wrestling style for this gimmick. He hasn’t yet worked out the kinks. This match was slow and dull. There were shades of good things. But, it wasn’t great. Early Goldust is more about character work.
Winner: Goldust (11:15)
Vince and Ross say it’s in Goldust’s contract he gets a golden spotlight when he leaves the arena. Then, they plug the AOL chat and the Superstar Hotline. The Smoking Gunns and the 1-2-3 Kid are speaking with fans. Next, Vince recaps Mabel and Yokozuna attacking the Undertaker. Vince says Taker suffered a crushed face.
Jobbers and indie wrestlers carry Mabel to the ring. Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji, and Yokozuna are backstage. Cornette says something absurd. He claims fans wanted to see Mabel vs. Yokozuna. I doubt anyone but Vince desired that. Jim then says Mabel and Yoko becoming a team scares Monsoon. He booked this match to cause problems between them. Cornette says Yoko will mow down anyone in his path. Monsoon booked this to save the WWF. Vince asks if Cornette’s loyalties are torn. Jim says no, but he will have a plot if Gorilla keeps instigating.
King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo) vs. Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji)
Notes: This was originally Mabel vs. The Undertaker. However, Taker suffered a broken orbital bone. The injury happened on a house show. Mabel botched a clothesline. They explained on TV he injured Taker with a leg drop. That sounds better than saying Mabel is sloppy and dangerous. Mabel and Yokozuna attacked Taker on RAW. Monsoon punished them by booking this match. I say it’s a punishment to the fans.
The Match: Both men trade slaps and punches. Yoko sends Mabel to the floor with a clothesline. Mabel then answers with punches and a jumping clothesline. He also sends Yoko to the floor. He returns and Mabel nails a corner splash. But, Yoko clotheslines him on another attempt. Yoko then misses a leg drop. Mabel misses an elbow. They trade headbutts until Mabel botches a bulldog. Yoko bumps anyway and falls out of the ring. He then lands on Cornette. Mabel joins him and they brawl. The ref has no choice but to count out both men.
Thoughts: This was an awful waste of time. It’s two large men throwing strikes and botching moves. They had to keep stalling to catch their breath. Then, it ended with no clear winner. Only Vince would think this would be good. No one wanted to see this.
Winner: Double Count Out (5:12)
Vince calls it a less than stellar match-up. He’s not wrong. Yoko and Mabel return to the ring. They stare at each other. Their managers calm them. Then, they hug and raise each other’s arms. Next, Vince plugs Survivor Series. They show a commercial. The Undertaker returns and Bret Hart will face the WWF Champion. Milton Bradley’s Karate Fighters sponsors the event. Vince also mentions there will be a Wild Card Match. They will randomly pair friends and foes to face each other.
Dok Hendrix is in the ring with Gorilla Monsoon. He introduces Dean Douglas. Dok then invites Shawn Michaels to the ring. He slowly enters the arena. Shawn looks bruised and sad. He hesitates and stares at the belt. It looks like Shawn is ready to cry. The fans chant no. After a few pauses, Shawn holds out the belt. Gorilla tries taking it, but Douglas snatches the title and poses on the turnbuckles. Dean says it was easy. Shawn watches him with a look of despair. He then leaves without a word, but Shawn looks back at the ring. They milked this for sympathy. It worked.
Intercontinental Title Match: Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas (c)
Notes: Dean Douglas already had issues with the Kliq. He made them worse since the last PPV. Douglas pulled out of a house show match because of back issues. The Kliq told him everyone was working hurt. They took exception to his special treatment. You can tell in this match Razor doesn’t like working with the guy.
The Match: Razor flusters Dean with punches and begins working the arm. He uses arm wringers and holds. Razor cuts off Douglas’ rallies and returns to the arm a few times. Dean responds with cheap shots and stomps. But, Razor catches him in a fallaway slam. He also sends Dean to the floor with a clothesline. Razor stops more comebacks and suplexes Douglas into the ring. Then, they brawl to the floor again and Razor dumps water on Dean. Ramon then attempts the Razors Edge. Dean backdrops him over the ropes. He rams Razor’s back into the apron. They return to the ring, but Razor catches Douglas with a sloppy chokeslam. Douglas then blocks a super back suplex. Razor responds by reversing a flying cross body. He then ducks and gives Dean a back suplex. Razor drapes an arm over him and the ref counts three. However, Dean’s foot was under the ropes.
Thoughts: You could tell Razor wasn’t motivated to face Douglas. He barely gave Dean anything in this match. The rumor is Ramon sabotaged it in protest of Douglas. It wasn’t great. It was slow and the finish was weak. The ending was supposed to set up a rematch. That doesn’t happen.
Winner: Razor Ramon (New Champion) (11:01)
Razor collects the belt with a look of indifference. His face says, “Oh, this again?” They show a replay. Lawler complains Douglas’ leg was under the ropes. Vince disagrees until he sees another angle of the finish. But, Vince says the referee’s decision is final. Then, they show Shawn Michaels speaking on the hotline. He still looks sad.
WWF Title Match: The British Bulldog vs. Diesel (c)
Notes: They announced Bret Hart will face the winner of this bout at Survivor Series. He joins the commentary team. Lawler makes threats, but Bret chases him away from the table. Bret throws punches. Lawler runs, but he attempts sneaking back a couple of times. Bret chases him down the aisle. Meanwhile, Dok Hendrix models another gaudy t-shirt. He then gets a word with Diesel. He asks Diesel his mindset. Diesel says he’s feeling awfully funky. The camera then follows Diesel through the curtain.
The Match: Diesel nails Bulldog with forearms and slams. Davey regroups until they brawl on the floor. Diesel reverses Bulldog into the post. He then nails him with corner clotheslines and elbows. However, Cornette distracts Diesel and Bulldog attacks the knee. He sends Diesel to the floor where Diesel stumbles into Bret. Bret nudges him, so Diesel shoves Bret. Bulldog uses the opening to nail a chop block. Davey then uses endless leg grapevines and leg attacks. Cornette tries adding excitement by attacking Diesel on the floor. It doesn’t work. Bulldog spends ages working Diesel’s knee. Diesel responds with suplexes. Bulldog answers with a shoddy Sharpshooter. Bret rightfully mocks it. Then, Diesel blocks two attempts at the running powerslam. He also nails a big boot. Diesel stops Cornette’s interference and Bulldog collides with Jim. Diesel follows that by limping into a knee attack on the ropes. Next, the fight spills to the floor and Diesel tweaks his knee. Bulldog sends him into the post and turns to slap Bret. Bret responds by attacking Davey. It causes a DQ.
Thoughts: Oh, man. This match was dull! I get the story Bulldog was telling. But, he couldn’t carry this match. Davey has a limited leg-based offense. He used the same hold too often. Plus, that disappointing finish didn’t help. I know both men are capable of better matches. This wasn’t good.
Winner: The British Bulldog (by DQ) (18:14)
Bret brawls with Davey until Diesel enters the ring. He shoves Bret. Bulldog uses the opening to leave the ring. The ring announcer declares Bulldog the winner. Diesel is angry. He and Bret get into a fist fight until the officials arrive. The fans chant for Bret while he scuffles with Diesel. The officials have trouble. The Smoking Gunns and Henry Godwinn can’t even stop the fight. The show ends with Diesel and Bret still trying to attack each other.
The opener was solid.
The Tag Title Match was fun.
The main event was dull.
Razor/Douglas was bad.
Goldust/Marty was disappointing.
Performer of the Night:
This will be a first. I’m not giving it to anyone. No one stood out on this show.
The show started decently, but it fell off a steep cliff. It got progressively worse. I don’t think it’s the worst show of the year, but it’s a close third. WrestleMania and King of the Ring are the only ones ahead of it. Don’t watch this show. Vince McMahon threw down his headset in disgust when it ended. I can see why.
Thank you for reading. My next review will be WCW’s Halloween Havoc ’95. Get ready for—THE YEH-TAY!!! Look for it next Sunday.