May 17, 2009
Matt Peddycord

In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies
April 28, 1996
Omaha, NE
Civic Auditorium

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (3/31/1996)
Intercontinental Champion: Goldust (4/22/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: The Body Donnas (3/31/1996)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted DiBiase) – Free For All Match
Looks like Kid is trying to grow a semblance of a goatee. Our little kid is finally turning into a man…with a goatee. Mero controls to start with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. They botch a headscissors out of the corner, but Kid falls outside anyway. Mero wants to do his somersault plancha, but Kid walks away over to DiBiase. In a show of excellent timing, Kid turns around right at the very last second to take a suicide dive from Mero! Back in, the slingshot legdrop gets two. Mero gets crotched, but throws off a superplex attempt. Here comes Hunter Hearst Helmsley to stalk Sable. Looks like Mero was going for his flying sunset flip and Kid gets out of the way of that completely. Kid unloads on Mero in the corner with kicks. Big jumping heel kick gets two. Mero avoids a dropkick in the corner as Kid crashes and burns. Now he sees the H man at ringside getting ever so close to his Sable. He jumps down to the floor and gets in Hunter’s face only for the Kid to knock him over with a baseball slide. Can anybody explain what this means? Another ref comes out and sends Hunter to the back. In the ring, Kid misses a flying splash. That signals Mero’s comeback as he hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. He looks like he wants to do the Kiss That Don’t Miss, but then remembers he’s not in WCW anymore. Hunter runs back down and attacks Mero for the DQ. (7:21) H leaves Mero laying with a PEDIGREE and then bows at Sable before heading to the back with the 1-2-3 Kid and DiBiase. Hunter throws up the sign again. Pretty good match as expected. **¾

During Dok Hendrix’s interview with the Ultimate Warrior, Goldust and Marlena interrupt to blow smoke and glitter in Warrior’s face. Warrior’s like “AHH GAYS!” and makes sure to beat his chest to show that they have certainly angered him and then goes to get some revenge.

Alright, onto the PPV!

Davey Boy Smith (w/Jim Cornette, Clarence Mason, & Owen Hart) vs. Jake Roberts (w/Damien the SNAKE~!)
Over in Germany on a recent European tour, Jake Roberts found out Davey Boy Smith is afraid of snakes. You know, anyone in their right mind would be afraid of a HUGE nine foot long snake wrapped around you. I don’t see how that confirms some big deep dark fear of snakes that Davey Boy has, but whatever. In this match, the greatest lawyer EVAR in Clarence Mason has a legal document stating that no reptiles are allowed at ringside for this match. Jake brings the snake with him anyway, rips up the document, and throws the snake on Cornette to cause him to faint. Of course, Mason got the F out of there before anything bad could happen to him. Mason helps Cornette to the back because he’s as white than a sheet (more than usual), leaving his tennis racket at ringside which becomes important later. And just when you wondered what became of Roberts, he returns to the ring with Ahmed Johnson – the man who has his thumb broken by Davey Boy Smith. The crowd goes insane as the match gets changed to a tag match just like that.

Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson
Early on, Davey Boy Smith doesn’t want him none of Ahmed and avoids him at all costs. Even so, Owen doesn’t want any of Ahmed either, but Davey Boy does his best to encourage him. We see Davey’s wife Diana in the audience, which becomes important later. Ahmed throws Owen around and tags Jake, who goes for the DDT and gets SO close to hitting it. Owen gets away from a second DDT attempt and rakes Jake in the face to take control. Davey Boy tags and misses an elbow drop, so Jake tags Ahmed. Davey Boy makes the tag to Owen and goes to the floor to sell the elbow that was injured in the arm wrestling contest a few Raws before this show. Lots of common sense psychology here. Is Jake booking this? Owen wants a test of strength with Ahmed, which proves unwise. Ahmed nails Owen with an ugly clothesline and then stomps a mudhole in the corner. Bulldog saves with a cheap shot from behind and then wants a tag once Ahmed is down. Ahmed NO-SELLS a slam and chokes Davey Boy back into his own corner. Dumb move. Tag to Owen, he can’t slam Ahmed. Ahmed press slams Owen and tags Jake. Owen cools down the crowd by catching Jake with a knee in the corner and a missile dropkick. Now here’s where the cheating comes into play as Davey Boy draws the ref away from his corner so Owen can choke Jake since he is YOUR face in peril. Jake elbows out of a chinlock and kicks away the SHARPSHOOTER, but still gets his tag cut off. Jake elbows out of Bulldog’s chinlock, but Owen catches him coming off the ropes with a knee and chokes him in the ropes. Classic Hart stuff. Tag to Owen, a sleeper gets countered with a jawbreaker as Roberts makes the HOT TAG TO AHMED! He pounds Davey Boy with his hand that has a broken thumb. That’s kind of a downer. Spinebuster to Bulldog! He tags Jake in hopes of a DDT, but Owen tries to save and takes a backdrop. Ahmed decks Davey Boy to the floor, leaving Owen alone for a double clothesline. After the faces celebrate, Owen pulls Ahmed to the floor while Jake looks to suplex Bulldog from the apron into the ring. Oh, but Bulldog has Cornette’s racket. He WHACKS Jake in the knee a couple times and locks in a kneebar for the submission. (13:47) Weird finish, but otherwise this was well-booked in spite of Jake and Ahmed’s limitations and had lots of solid heat from the crowd. I don’t know why people down this match so much. I was never bored here. ***¼

WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust (w/Marlena & an Italian Mafia bodyguard guy) vs. Ultimate Warrior
The unnamed bodyguard is the wrestler formerly known as Mantaur. Goldust is suffering a knee injury, but apparently this injury happened since the match was booked and advertised and they couldn’t have had someone sub for him. Anyways, Goldust stalls forever until Warrior chases him back towards the house. Warrior grabs Marlena’s cigar and sits in her chair in the ring. Goldust gets on the mic and threatens to kiss everybody in the audience if they don’t shut up. Eventually, Warrior hands Marlena her cigar back and helps put on Goldust’s robe for him. Goldust sits in the director’s chair and has his hand kissed by Marlena. He wants Warrior to do the same, so he takes Marlena’s cigar back and sticks the cigar on Goldust’s hand. He clotheslines Goldust out of the chair to send Goldust and Marlena running to the back for the countout. (7:43) After the bell, Mantaur gets ripped out of his suit and slammed by the WARYAH! Who could you really get to sub for Goldust though? I guess Vince just wanted to promise what was advertised, so they were certainly in a jam here with Goldust’s injury. Better luck next time though. CRAP

In the back, we see Davey Boy Smith standing outside Shawn Michaels dressing room shouting to get inside. Tony Garea and Dave Hebner try to calm him down.

Vader (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Razor Ramon
Vader has some fun mauling Razor to start. Ramon fires back and goes for a RAZORS EDGE, but Vader backdrops him over the top rope to the floor. Razor is TOO FIRED UP to sell that and hops right back in the ring to beat Vader down into the corner ala Dustin Rhodes. Vader takes a clothesline out to the floor and takes advantage of the count for a while. It’s all a set up as Cornette distracts Razor. Vader tries to sneak into the ring, but that guy can’t sneak anywhere. Ramon turns around and blasts Vader, but gets caught with an avalanche. Vader wants to elbow drop Ramon between the legs, but Razor thinks otherwise. Ramon manages a quick back suplex, but it does little good as Vader regains control with a series of jabs. Pump Splash gets two. Vader levels Razor with a back suplex and unloads in the corner. He tries a suplex, but Razor counters with a suplex of his own for two. Vader comes off the second rope and gets caught with a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Razor catches Vader with a boot in the corner and hits the flying bulldog for two. Oh, but Vader shuts Ramon down with a body attack off the ropes. Cornette gives a sigh of relief. Vader wants another Pump Splash, but Razor gets up and tries to give him the RAZORS EDGE out of the corner. No good as Ramon’s ribs give out. Vader goes up again for the VADERSAULT, but Razor stands up again and brings Vader down with an electric chair drop! Razor calls for the RAZOR’S EDGE again, but Vader backdrops out and sits on Ramon for the 1-2-3. (14:50) Even though he’s part of the Kliq, it’s not too surprising Vader wins clean considering all the trouble Razor Ramon was in back then with Vince over drugs and the red hot button issue being that Ramon was leaving for WCW in a few weeks. Good psychology here, but not the most exciting match in the world. The WWF had never had a man like Vader that was both big and skillful, so it would make sense that Razor wouldn’t quite know what to do with him. After the match, Dok Hendrix grabs Cornette and Vader to inform them that WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has said that Yokozuna would be returning at the next In Your House PPV to wrestle Vader. Of course, they are less than pleased with the news. So am I. ***

WWF World Tag Team Champions The Body Donnas (w/Sunny) vs. The Godwinns (w/Hillbilly Jim)
Before the match on the Free For All, Sunny bared it all to Phineas. Naturally, a rematch from WrestleMania 12 where Sunny resorted to showing off her Slammy-award winning buns to Phineas to give her Body Donnas the easy victory and the tag titles. Henry Godwinn fights off a double-team to start and brings Zip over to his corner to threaten him with the slop bucket. Skip tags in and gets nailed with a wheelbarrow suplex. Get it? Because they’re hillbillies and hillbillies have wheelbarrows. The Donnas try a twin switch, but the ref catches them so they have to tag out all legal like. Skip pulls the top rope down to send Phineas flying out to the floor. Back in, Zip covers for two. Double-team slingshot suplex gets two. Phineas escapes a chinlock, but gets nailed with a hurracanrana from Skip for two. As Phineas fights out of the corner, Sunny leaves and returns to ringside with a picture of herself. Tag to Henry, he cleans house on the Donnas while Sunny distracts Phineas from the apron with the picture. Hillbilly Jim threatens her with the slop as the ref watches what’s happening on the floor instead of paying attention to the match. Henry hits the SLOP DROP on Skip. When Henry goes over to grab the ref, Zip switches with Skip and gets a small package on Henry for the 1-2-3. (7:18) The Godwinns would go on to win the tag belts at the infamous MSG show in May before quickly returning them to the Smokin’ Gunns a week later at the IYH: Beware of Dog PPV. *½

WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Diesel – No Holds Barred
This is the swan song for Diesel as he’s leaving for WCW along with Ramon, so he’s looking to leave on an absolute high note. Diesel tosses Vince his leather vest as a goodbye present, I’m assuming. Mad Dog Vachon is in the front row. That becomes important later. Shawn has to clear the ring of Diesel in order to take off his chaps. HBK levels Diesel with a baseball slide and follows him out with a moonsault press off the top to the floor! Ha, Shawn takes a boot off one of the SAT guys and comes down on Diesel with it from the top rope for two. Diesel reverses a whip for the Flair Corner Flip and knocks Shawn off the apron onto the guardrail. Back inside, Diesel punishes Shawn with the usual stuff. He hits the Side Slam and unties his wrist tape to CHOKE OUT THE REF! WHAT. With ref Earl Hebner choked down, Diesel loosens Hebner’s belt to whip Shawn. Now that is cool. Diesel goes as far as to wrap the belt around Shawn’s throat and pulls back while he’s got his foot in Shawn’s back. Like you would in a strap match, Diesel flips him over the top rope and ties him to the middle rope to go get a chair. While the ref tries to get Shawn loose, Diesel kills him with a chair shot. In the ring, we see another chair shot to Shawn. He begs off into the ropes and ducks another chair shot as the chair bounces off the top rope back into Diesel’s face! Now Shawn has the chair, but Diesel low-blows him real good. Big backdrop from Diesel gets two. Shawn fights out of a neck wrench, but Diesel knocks him out to the floor. With Shawn out on the floor, Diesel slowly comes down and POWERBOMBS SHAWN THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE. Not the SAT either – Vince and King’s table. Such an insane bump at the time because a spot like that had never been done before in the WWF quite like that. Diesel has the belt in the ring and puts it around his waist while Shawn regroups. As he crawls over to the ring, Shawn pulls out a fire extinguisher from under the ring and shoots it off in Diesel’s face to push him back! With Diesel blinded, Shawn hits the Flying Forearm. Now Shawn brings the chair back into the ring and KO’s Diesel. Oh, but just when Shawn looks like he’s in control, he ducks low off a whip and takes a Big Boot to the face. Here comes the JACKKNIFE! No! Shawn punches out and hits the Flying Elbow Drop! Diesel catches Shawn’s foot during SWEET CHIN MUSIC and spins Shawn around for a clothesline. Back on the floor, Diesel hotshots Shawn on the guardrail. After he tosses Shawn back in the ring, Diesel goes over and pulls Mad Dog Vachon from the front row and pulls off his prosthetic leg! Back inside, Diesel looks to bash the artificial leg on Shawn’s head, but Shawn answers back with a low-blow. Shawn winds up with Vachon’s leg and blasts Diesel. He tosses the leg back to Mad Dog and finishes off Diesel for good with SWEET CHIN MUSIC. (17:54) You have to love Shawn’s big time emotional celebration afterwards. Not only had he never beaten Diesel, but the win gives him the confidence to know that his title reign is FOR REALZ now in his first big title defense. Well, at least in terms of the ‘boyhood dream’ storyline. Innovative stuff here for the WWF and one of my all-time favorite matches as both guys just absolutely tore the house down. ****¾

Final Thoughts: By the looks of a lot of reviews of this show on the interwebs, people will think I’m crazy that I actually enjoyed it. Of course the main event is the deal maker as they totally blew away everything that happened before. Even so, there’s nothing on it that just plain sucks outside of the Warrior/Goldust match. The tag titles match was nothing special, but was kept short and managed to be entertaining thanks to Sunny. Plus, there’s two other ***+ matches and you can’t go wrong with that in a 2-hour show. If nothing else interests you here, at least see the main event. It’s on the first Shawn Michaels DVD, so you can’t miss it. Overall, In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies gets a thumbs up from me. How many does that make for 1996 now? FOUR STRAIGHT! Awesome.

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