In Your House 5

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

In Your House 5

December 17, 1995

Hersheypark Arena

Hershey, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: The night after Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels faced Owen Hart on RAW. During the bout, Owen gave Shawn an enziguri. Shawn collapsed in the ring a few moments later. The commentary team went silent as medical staff attended to him. The show ended with uncertainty and eerie silence. (Shawn fought to get this aspect of the story. He believed silence on commentary would make it seem more legitimate.) They took the concussion Shawn received in Syracuse and made it into a storyline. It would garner sympathy for him and begin his rise to the main event. Doctors said Shawn suffered from post-concussion syndrome. There was doubt about when he would return, if ever. Todd Pettengill interviewed Shawn at home, but Michaels ended the talk early. He felt the WWF was mocking him for never winning the WWF Title before his career ended. He didn’t believe it was over and was determined to return. Meanwhile, Owen Hart gloated about putting Shawn out of action. This drew the ire of Diesel.

Diesel moved into a tweener role. He wasn’t fully a heel, but he was no longer a babyface. He didn’t apologize for his actions at Survivor Series. Diesel claimed he was back to his old self. He promised to still acknowledge the fans, but only if they wore his trademark black glove. He started attacking people and set his sights on Owen Hart. Diesel wanted to avenge his friend Shawn.

Open

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or, is it? Todd Pettengill says the Hart Family isn’t enjoying Christmas because they’re torn apart by the Bret/Bulldog feud. How would he know? Did he invite himself to their house for the holidays? He also claims Bret never beat Bulldog. I’m pretty sure that’s incorrect. I guess the Hart Foundation/Bulldogs matches don’t count. Todd mentions SummerSlam ‘92 while they show clips. He says it will be seasons beatings at In Your House. Then, the In Your House logo gets its comeuppance. Someone throws snowballs at its front door. That will teach the logo not to invade homes!

Commentators

Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to this holiday spectacular. They show a wide shot of the arena, and you can see a hog pen next to the crowd. I would hate sitting beside it. Vince gushes over Santa Claus, who is handing out toys with the Smoking Gunns. He says Santa will come down everyone’s chimney, but Lawler claims Bulldog will go down Bret’s throat. They had to know how that sounded! Lawler also promises a big surprise for everybody, so Vince says he’s in the holiday spirit. On a side note, I want to point out a fan sign. A guy named Ivan held up a sign asking Kimmy to go steady with him. Here’s to you, Ivan. I hope you got your wish.

FirstMatch

Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty vs. The 1-2-3 Kid & Sycho Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase)

Notes: Razor wants revenge on the Kid, and Marty wants payback against Sid for Survivor Series. Marty attacked the Corporation on RAW, but he received a powerbomb for his troubles. Lawler says DiBiase is restructuring the Corporation around Sid & The Kid. DiBiase also promised a new Million Dollar Champion, but we will discuss him soon enough. I have a feeling he will be significant. Meanwhile, Goldust is in the crowd. He has his own section, complete with an usher. Goldust applauds Razor and blows kisses at him. Todd interviews Goldust during the match and Goldust talks about Razor’s sexiness. He gives Todd a note to pass to Ramon. This begins the new direction for Goldust, so get ready.

The Match: The Kid avoids Razor early in the match. Marty trades shoves with him and attempts pulling the Kid into his corner. Jannetty tags Razor, but the Kid bails. Marty returns him to the ring, so the Kid makes a blind tag. Sid & The Kid double-team Ramon while Sid clubs him with forearms. Sid and Razor then trade punches until they both go down to a double-clothesline. Then, The Kid and Marty face each other again. Marty gains control with a powerslam and a blockbuster. He also wears the Kid down with some holds. The Kid rallies and Sid & The Kid use ref distractions and double-teaming to regain control. They taunt Razor, but the Kid misses a corner attack. Sid and Razor return and Razor cleans house. He whips Sid & The Kid into each other and gives the Kid a fallaway slam. But, Sid reverses a Razors Edge. Sid tries capitalizing with a leg drop and misses. Razor then surprises Sid with a boot and nails a diving bulldog for the win.

Thoughts: This was a decent opener. It dragged a little when Sid controlled the match, but it was still good. I liked the story they told with Razor and The Kid. Plus, Marty played the face-in-peril well. It wasn’t thrilling, but I enjoyed it enough.

Winners: Razor & Marty (12:22)

After the match, Razor grabs the Kid and attempts a Razors Edge, but Sid saves him. The Corporation retreats while Razor and Marty celebrate their win. Goldust fans himself while watching the festivities. Then, Vince plugs the Superstar Line. Sunny and Ray Rougeau are on the phones.

The ring announcer then attempts introducing the next match, but Lawler interrupts him. It’s a good thing because the guy said the wrong name. Lawler enters the ring with a wrapped gift in his hands. Jerry tells the fans Santa isn’t bringing them anything, but he has a gift. It’s somebody great. It’s—Double J Jeff Jarrett.

JarrettSegment

Jarrett is back, but he didn’t bring the Roadie with him. He patched his differences with the WWF and returned after a brief stint in the USWA. They explain his absence by claiming he was on tour. Jarrett spells his name and does some fake laughs. He calls himself the world’s greatest singer, entertainer, and wrestler. Lawler says Jarrett has a new CD and tour named Greater than Great. He then unwraps the gift to reveal a framed gold CD for Ain’t I Great. Jarrett claims he used the WWF for fame and took RAW to places it’s never been before. Then, Jeff declares himself as the first participant in the 1996 Royal Rumble. He promises to be champion at WrestleMania XII. Lawler finishes the segment by inviting Jarrett to join commentary for the next match.

The match was Ahmed Johnson vs. Dean Douglas, but Dean has an injured back. Jarrett doesn’t know who Dean Douglas is, but he likes his style. Jarrett also doesn’t know Ahmed Johnson. He didn’t watch the product while he was gone. Douglas says his doctor didn’t clear him to wrestle because his back is only 65%. He introduces his replacement. It’s his graduate student—Buddy Landel.

AhmedBuddy

Ahmed Johnson vs. Buddy Landel (w/ Dean Douglas)

Notes: They booked this match because Douglas insulted Ahmed’s intelligence. I guess he heard his promos. Douglas had legitimate back issues, so the WWF brought in Buddy Landel. He worked in Lawler’s USWA. I’ve always had a soft spot for Buddy, but this run doesn’t last. He tears his quad while slipping on some ice. The poor guy can’t catch a break. Buddy enters to Ric Flair’s old 1991-1993 WWF theme. I’m sure Vince jumped at the opportunity to mock Flair with this guy. Vince asks Jarrett what he thinks of Ahmed. Jarrett says, “Well, he’s got an earring in. All he wears is tights to the ring?” Jeff sounds like Art Donovan!

The Match: Ahmed slaps Douglas, so Buddy attacks Johnson. Ahmed absorbs Landel’s chops and forearms and chokes him in the corner. Jarrett thinks Ahmed is wrestling dirty. Johnson then catches Buddy with a spinebuster and nails the Pearl River Plunge for the win.

Thoughts: This wasn’t much of a match, but it made Ahmed look strong. The crowd reacted well to the squash. It did exactly what it needed to do.

Winner: Ahmed Johnson (0:45)

AhmedPromo

Dean Douglas does a facepalm after the match, so he doesn’t see Ahmed grab his paddle. Johnson swats Douglas with it while Jarrett complains about him. Jarrett says Ahmed needs an attitude adjustment. Vince dares Lawler to interview Johnson, so he accepts the challenge. Jerry invites Ahmed to ringside, but Lawler takes a moment to make sure the cameraman gets his good side. Jerry asks Jarrett if Ahmed’s win impressed him. Jarrett says absolutely not. Lawler then says Jarrett was a straight-A student and an athlete. He lettered in football. Jerry says when Ahmed lettered, he had to have the coach read it to him. Jarrett says, “Got ‘eem!” Ahmed has enough and calls Jarrett an achy breaky heart wannabe punk. He also calls him a fake urban cowboy. Ahmed then tells Lawler he has one more time to ever get in his face. He asks him if he understands that. At least, I think that’s what he said. It sounded more like, “DEWEY STAN THAT!?” I have no clue who Dewey Stan is, but it doesn’t matter. Jarrett sneaks behind Ahmed and smashes the framed golden CD over Johnson’s head. He then rams Ahmed into a chair Lawler holds. Jarrett continues attacking with the steps and Douglas’ paddle, but Ahmed no-sells it. He then chases Jarrett to the back, but he decides continuing through the curtain is too much trouble.

RazorSegment

Meanwhile, Todd is with Razor in the America Online room. He congratulates Razor on his win and mentions Ramon faces Yokozuna on RAW. Razor tells Yoko to take his Intercontinental Title if he can. Todd starts sending it back to Vince, but he remembers to give Razor Goldust’s note. Razor reads it and gets a look of disgust. He crumples the note and throws it before leaving the room.

HogPen

Arkansas Hog Pen Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Henry O. Godwinn

Notes: Triple H and Henry Godwinn’s feud escalated to this point. Or, should I say deescalated? They booked an Arkansas Hog Pen Match. You win by throwing your opponent into a muddy hog pen full of pigs. The WWF also brought in Hillbilly Jim to referee this bout. They replaced his iconic “Don’t Go Messing with a Country Boy” theme with generic banjo music. That makes me sad. Who owns the rights to that song? Triple H reacts with disgust at the hog pen while Vince makes silly pig noises. On the other hand, Godwinn loves it. He threatens to slop Hunter, but Helmsley pulls Tony Chimel into the path. Poor Tony gets doused.

The Match: They trade punches until Godwinn backdrops Hunter. He then ties him in the ropes and rubs slop in Helmsley’s face. A pissed-off Triple H responds with a neckbreaker and a knee drop. Then, they brawl to the floor where Henry reverses Hunter into the steps. He carries Triple H to the hog pen, but Hunter rams him into the rail. Hunter then attempts the Pedigree. Godwinn backdrops him onto the fence. Hunter avoids falling and drops an elbow off it. Both men then return to the ring where Hunter surprises Henry with a kick. However, Godwinn catches Triple H and nails a wheelbarrow slam. He also whips Hunter into the corner for a Flair Flip and throws more slop on him. They brawl back to the pen and Godwinn attempts the Slop Drop. But, Hunter blocks it and Godwinn lands hard on the floor. Hunter grabs him and whips Godwinn toward the pen, but Henry reverses it. Hunter smashes into the gate and cuts his back in the process. Godwinn then charges at Hunter, but he backdrops Henry into the pen for the victory.

Thoughts: I’m unashamed to say I enjoyed this. They kept it short and it was unique. Plus, some of the spots they did around the pen were good. I have to give Hunter credit for taking some of those bumps. The cut on his back was nasty, and the post-match shenanigans don’t help. He still has a scar from this match because the cut got infected.

Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (8:58)

Aftermath

Hillbilly Jim raises Hunter’s hand, but Helmsley shoves him. Jim returns the gesture and Godwinn grabs Triple H. He pulls him into the pen and press slams Hunter into the mud. He then gives him another slam for good measure. Hunter flails around and falls a couple of times. The mud and pig crap wasn’t good for his cut. I’m guessing he didn’t know about the wound.

Next, they show a commercial for the Royal Rumble. It looks like a fancy dinner party. Everyone except a kid is wearing tuxedos and dresses to watch the PPV. A Robin Leach imitator speaks of elegance and sophistication, but the party turns into a brawl. The adults fight while the kid continues watching the TV.

DieselRecap

Then, they recap Diesel’s actions since Survivor Series. He refused to apologize and said his actions were the tip of the iceberg. They also show Shawn Michaels collapsing and Owen Hart gloating about it. Pettengill says Diesel isn’t talking to anyone, but his actions speak louder than words. Diesel says Big Daddy Cool is back while they show footage of him attacking different people.

DieselOwen

Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Diesel

Notes: Owen Hart stated he had an open contract for this show because he was supposed to face Shawn Michaels. Diesel answered that challenge to avenge his friend. Owen claimed he ended Shawn’s career, so Diesel wanted to shut his mouth. Diesel sticks true to his words and only slaps hands with fans wearing gloves. He ignores the rest.

The Match: Diesel strikes Owen with elbows and knees before beal tossing him across the ring. He then nails a side slam. Owen tries using his agility and some punches, but Diesel shoves him to the mat. Owen then bails and Diesel retrieves him. But, Owen gains the advantage with a wheel kick and a missile dropkick. He then attacks Diesel’s leg and gives him an enziguri. Owen continues focusing on the leg until Diesel shoves him into the post. Diesel follows that with Snake Eyes and a running knee attack. He also uses a big boot and signals for the Jackknife. Diesel says it’s for Shawn before nailing the move. However, Diesel stops his pin attempt. He decides to give Owen a second Jackknife. The ref admonishes Diesel, so he shoves him and gets disqualified. Diesel delivers the Jackknife anyway and signals he wants his belt.

Thoughts: It was a short match, but they structured it perfectly. Owen got enough offense for it not to be a squash. It was more about the story, and they told it well. This keeps Diesel strong while also making Owen look like a little weasel. Where was this Diesel through his title reign? It figures they wouldn’t get it right until after he lost the title.

Winner: Owen Hart (by DQ) (4:34)

SantaSegment

They show Sunny and Ray interviewing the participants from the Hog Pen Match. Sunny is disgusted by the smell. Back in the ring, Ted DiBiase has a mic. Savio Vega and Santa hand presents to the fans, but DiBiase says he can buy anyone. He invites Vega into the ring to prove his point. Santa joins him. DiBiase calls Santa ridiculous fat and ancient. He mocks his lack of conditioning. Ted then asks Savio if he believes in Santa. Vega answers in both English and Spanish that he does. Ted asks for a translation, so Savio repeats he believes in the magic of Santa. DiBiase laughs and says, “Believe this, my friend!” Santa then attacks Savio from behind. They beat down Vega while Lawler laughs about DiBiase buying Santa. Vince can’t believe it. This is the introduction of the character Xanta Klaus. He’s from the South Pole. The future Balls Mahoney portrays the gimmick. It wouldn’t last long because Balls was unreliable and the character only works in December. He also didn’t help himself by cursing at Vince McMahon over the phone. He thought he was talking to Vince Russo. That move is why Paul Heyman nicknamed him Balls, but it also resulted in the WWF firing him.

MabelRecap

After that segment, they show a recap of the Mabel/Undertaker feud. Mabel talks about fans calling him scared for running at Survivor Series. He claims he has no fear for the Undertaker. He brags about pinning Taker and putting him out of action. He promises to be the first one to put him in the casket for good. Then, Paul Bearer admonishes Mabel for stealing the remnants of the urn and desecrating the casket. Taker says the image of his face will be burned into Mabel’s soul for eternity.

Mo leads Mabel to the ring. He pushes the graffiti-covered casket and waves the remnants of the urn. Dok Hendrix is backstage and he finds their actions disgusting. But, do you know what is more disgusting? The prices for WrestleMania the Arcade Game! It costs $50-$60 for the SNES, Genesis, and Playstation! Dok says he couldn’t find any copies, despite pointing at three of them. He then offers a free VHS of game strategies if you order now! Stores won’t do that for you!

CasketMatch

Casket Match: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo)

Notes: The Undertaker regained the remnants of his urn after months. But, Mabel stole the chain in short order. Oh, how original! We haven’t seen that storyline yet. Mabel increased his disrespect by spray-painting graffiti on the casket. He presented the artwork on the Brother Love Show. (Yes, that is back now.) Now, Mabel faces Undertaker in a Casket Match. The WWF was quite repetitive with Undertaker storylines in 1995. Thankfully, things are about to turn around for him.

The Match: Mabel lures Taker to the floor and attacks him as he enters the ring. But, Taker fires back with throat chops and chokes. He also nails a corner clothesline, but Mabel answers with a sidewalk slam. Mabel continues with a clothesline and a slam, but Taker keeps rising. Then, Mo distracts Taker. It opens the door for Mabel to nail a belly-to-belly and a leg drop. Taker can’t rise, so Mabel lands a splash. He then lets Mo carry Taker to the casket and place him inside. Mo forgets closing the lid and gives Mabel his crown instead. When Mabel turns to close the casket, Taker blocks it. He then enters the ring and floors Mabel with clotheslines. Taker gives Mabel a chokeslam. He sort of jumps for it. Next, Taker kicks Mabel into the casket. Mo attacks, so Taker throws him into the box as well. He makes sure to gather the chain before closing the lid.

Thoughts: They were merciful enough to keep it short and inoffensive. It was by no means great, but it was better than expected. The match was the decisive victory it needed to be. Now, Taker can move on to better things.

Winner: The Undertaker (6:11)

Taker celebrates with the remnants of the urn and hands it to Paul Bearer. Paul cradles it like a baby. Meanwhile, Taker makes the universal sign he wants a title belt. Lawler says that isn’t a promise, it’s a threat.

BulldogPromo

Jim Ross is backstage for an interview with Bulldog, but first, he recaps SummerSlam ‘92. They show footage of the joyful reunion of the Hart Family. Ross doesn’t think the same will happen tonight. Then, Bulldog, Diana, and Cornette join him. Cornette says Bret is jealous of Davey because Stu Hart favored him. He says Bulldog stole Bret’s thunder, fans, and Stu’s respect. Stu said Bulldog was like a son to him. Jim promises Davey will twist the knife more by beating Bret again. Jim then asks Diana if she has mixed emotions. She says there are none at all. She’s behind her husband. Next, Bulldog says he will win the WWF title and put it around his waist where it belongs. He also says, “In your ‘ouse.” I always chuckle when I hear that. Cornette was great. Davey did okay. But, Diana’s promo was about as exciting as watching paint dry.

BretPromo

Todd is with the WWF Champion, Bret Hart. Todd asks if history is on Bret’s mind. He says you have to go into the match like you normally would. Everybody wants to be WWF Champion, but he’s there to stop them. Tonight, he will prove he’s the best there is was and ever will be. He also says he lived with his loss to Bulldog since 1992, but tonight revenge is his. The excellence of execution will shine like it’s never shon before. Shon? Is that a word? Does he have Shawn on his brain? I wonder why. Bret then ends the promo by saying Bulldog is going down.

MainEvent

WWF Title Match: Bret Hart (c) vs. The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette & Diana Smith)

Notes: During the entrances, Lawler thinks Bret will lose his title. He’s so gleeful at the thought, he stumbles over his words. Vince mocks him for it. Jerry says it will be a great Christmas present to see Bret lose. Bret kisses the belt before handing it to Earl Hebner. Lawler says he kissed it goodbye. Lawler also claims Bulldog is wearing the same tights he wore at SummerSlam ‘92. That’s untrue. I checked.

The Match: Both men trade holds and takedowns, but Bulldog keeps pulling Bret’s hair. He uses the tactic to gain the advantage and puts Bret in a tree of woe. Bulldog stomps him and wears Bret down with some chinlocks. He also turns a crucifix into a Samoan Drop before nailing a leg drop. Then, Davey distracts the ref so Cornette can attack. Bret responds with a monkey flip, an atomic drop, and a piledriver. He then starts his finishing routine, but Bulldog crotches Bret on a superplex attempt. They brawl to the floor where Davey whips Bret into the steps. Bret cuts his forehead in the process. Fans chant he’s hardcore when they see the blood.

Bulldog takes advantage of the situation. He uses his own piledriver and gives Bret a stalling suplex. Davey also lands a flying headbutt—to Bret’s ass. Bret almost reverses a bow and arrow stretch into a Sharpshooter, but Bulldog sends him to the floor. They meet at the apron and Bret reverses a suplex into a German suplex. But, both men go down to a double-clothesline. The fight spills to the floor again and Bret lands a slingshot cross body. However, Davey catches him and does the running powerslam on the floor. He also pulls up the mats and attempts a suplex. Bret reverses it and crotches Davey on the railing. Then, they return to the ring where Bret whips Bulldog into an upside-down bump. He follows that with a superplex. Both men trade near falls until Bret backdrops Davey. He then surprises Bulldog with a boot and uses a La Magistral Cradle for the win.

Thoughts: This was great. It had good intensity and the blood added to the match. I loved the mixture of Vince’s horror and Lawler’s glee over Bret’s predicament. I dare say this match was better than the SummerSlam one. I know it doesn’t get as much love and that’s a shame. Plus, Davey redeemed himself after that poor match at In Your House 4. This probably saved his chances of getting more title matches in the future.

Winner: Bret Hart (21:09)

TakerPromo

During the match, Vince announced The Undertaker will face the winner at the Royal Rumble. Taker and Paul Bearer are backstage with Todd Pettengill. Paul says the fans asked when Taker would get a championship match. He thanks Mr. Monsoon for making it come true. But, Diesel interrupts. He’s angry and wants to know why Taker gets a title match before him. Paul Bearer says, “Big Daddy Cool, you haven’t been very cool lately!” Diesel grabs him by the tie, so Taker stops him. Diesel says people have been dodging him lately. Taker replies he doesn’t dodge anybody. Diesel asks if this is how it’s going to be. Taker says if it’s gotta be, it has to be. The two men then stare at each other as the show ends.

The Good:

* The main event was great.

* The Hog Pen Match was surprising fun.

* There was some good character and storyline work on the show.

The Bad:

* The silly Santa Claus stuff.

Performer of the Night:

I have to give it to Bret Hart. That was a great performance in the main event. It’s nice to see a little blood in a match. I don’t mind it when it is used on rare occasions. He convinced Vince it was done the hard way, but he bladed. Bret was pretty good at getting away with that.

Final Thoughts:

This was a solid show. There wasn’t anything terrible and the main event was great. This was a good way to close a disappointing year. The WWF has momentum going into 1996. They are still finding their way, but the product begins shifting in the next year. It is interesting to watch the evolution.

Thank you for reading. My next review is WCW’s Starrcade ‘95. Look for it next Sunday!

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