May 26, 2009
Matt Peddycord

In Your House: Beware of Dog
May 26, 1996
Florence, SC
Civic Center

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 Godwinns (5/19/1996)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

WWF World Tag Team Champions The Godwinns (w/Sunny & Hillbilly Jim) vs. The Smokin’ Gunns – Free For All Match
With her good looks and charm, Sunny has manipulated her way thanks to Phineas into becoming the co-manager of the Godwinns because now they have the tag titles instead of her Body Donnas. What a tag team title whore. Oh well, she looks good in cowboy boots so I’m down with it. The Smokin’ Gunns are a few weeks back after Billy’s neck injury from earlier in the year. The Gunns gain a few quick nearfalls on the champs to start. They work over Henry’s arm a bit. He tries the SLOP DROP early, but Bart slips out and eats a clothesline instead for two. More arm twisting from both sides. During an armbar, Sunny gets up on the apron and walks over to Billy. He pulls her in for a smooch. The love struck Phineas sees what’s happening, so Bart takes advantage with a bridging back suplex for the 1-2-3. (4:57) As the general consensus seems to be, the Body Donnas and the Godwinns were just keeping the belts warm until the Gunns came back anyway. Sunny seems pretty blown away by the kiss – almost to the point where she has no clue where she is at right now. Even though we ARE in the future, I think it’s safe to say where this is heading. *

Dok Hendrix interviews the new tag champs. Billy does all the talking. What about the kiss? He just gave her what she wanted, bro.

They show a few video recaps of the HBK/DBS and UT/Goldust feuds.

Dok Hendrix brings out the IC Champ Goldust and Marlena. Goldie calls out the Undertaker and the arena goes dark just as the Free For All show ends. Pretty smart way to get people to buy the PPV at the last second thinking something big was about to happen. Doubt it was too successful though.

And now the PPV begins.

Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/some brunette)
This feud is all about Sable rejecting HHH to be with Marc Mero. H baits Mero around the ring and back inside to drop a knee on him to take control, but Mero changes that real quick and knocks Hunter with the Kiss That Don’t Miss. He follows Hunter out with a plancha and brings him back in for a slingshot legdrop for two. Hunter blocks another Kiss That Don’t Miss with a thumb to the eye – or the facial area if your Vince McMahon. Mero reverses a cross corner whip to set up Hunter for the Ray Stevens bump into the Kiss That Don’t Miss for two. H avoids a corner charge, sending Mero shoulder first into the ringpost. To do more damage on the shoulder, Hunter grabs Mero and throws him again into the ringpost. H delivers an armbreaker DDT and then abuses Mero in the corner. High Knee gets two. Hunter begins to dismantle Mero’s arm and shoulder by slamming it into the ringpost. He runs Mero’s shoulder into the corner and goes for a cross armbreaker, but Mero makes the ropes. HHH follows up with a knee drop on the injured arm and keeps putting the pressure on the arm. Mero gets a big hope spot as he flips out of a back suplex into a rolling clutch pin on HHH for 1-2-NO! H puts him back down with a running clothesline for two. Back to the arm, Hunter yanks down on Mero’s arm across the top rope and then comes off the top rope with a double sledge to the arm! Hunter applies the Ole Anderson stepover armbar and uses the ropes for leverage. The ref never catches him though. Hammerlock slam connects, but then Mero crotches H up top. A hurracanrana brings Hunter down. Mero’s too hurt to capitalize with a cover though. Mero hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and follows up with a knee lift. Mero does a great job selling the arm here and working with the one good arm. Flying sunset flip gets 1-2-NO! Dropkick puts Hunter on the floor for the somersault plancha, but Hunter gets out of the way just in time, thus jamming Mero’s knee on the impact. Back inside, Hunter says something to Sable that makes her run away before setting up for the PEDIGREE! Sable doesn’t want to watch, so Hunter lets Mero go and heads outside to grab Sable. He yells at her to watch and heads back inside, but Mero counters the PEDIGREE this time with a catapult into the top of the ringpost! Mero covers for 1-2-3! (16:24) Mero gets a lot of praise for this match, but I think they both did a great job. Hunter did just about everything possible to the arm for a good long match while Mero provided showed off some of his best spots. ***½

In the back with the Cornette Camp, James E. announces that Owen Hart has earned a one-day managerial license from the South Carolina athletic commission to legally be at ringside for the British Bulldog’s match tonight instead of Cornette since he’s got his hands full with Vader.

So as Savio Vega was heading to the ring for his strap match with Austin, the power goes out in the arena for close to an hour. Since no one watching on PPV could see what was happening, most cable companies aired a tape of Vince apologizing for the inconvenience. The matches were still going on for the live crowd and in typical WWF order when tragedy strikes, all the babyfaces went over. Finally, the power came back on in time for the main event. Funny how that worked out.

WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Davey Boy Smith (w/Diana Smith & Owen Hart)
On his way to the ring, Shawn bumps into Mr. Perfect in the hallway who was doing the non-Hendrix interviews tonight. That becomes important later. After Shawn’s entrance, evil lawyer Clarence Mason serves a subpoena to Shawn Michaels. The charge – Attempted Alienation of Affection. You see, Davey Boy thinks Shawn is trying to get him some of Diana, which his coo-coo talk. Shawn rips up the subpoena and gets nailed from behind by the Bulldog. Lots of moving around to start from Shawn. SWEET CHIN MUSIC? No. Davey Boy puts on the brakes and heads to the floor. Shawn follows him out with a pescado. Back inside, HBK’s all about the headlock. Davey Boy catches Shawn off a leapfrog, but he thumbs his way out and rolls up Davey Boy for 1-2-NO! Enziguri gets two. Shawn grabs an armbar and floats over into the short-arm scissors, which sets up the Bulldog’s counter by lifting Shawn up and slamming him down. DBS takes over with a backdrop and grabs a chinlock. Shawn tries escaping, so Davey Boy hoists Shawn up in a Canadian backbreaker. Shawn actually powers out, but Bulldog counters his crucifix by falling backwards. Running legdrop gets two. Back to the chinlock. Shawn fights out and as they’re both running off the ropes, he falls out to the floor. Not sure how that happened. DBS smashes HBK’s face on the guardrail before heading back into the ring. Shawn buries DBS with shoulders and snaps his neck on the top rope. Shawn flies into the ring with Air Pillman! Double-KO ensues. Shawn hits the Flying Forearm and kips up for the flying double ax handle for two. Ref Earl Hebner gets bumped and I mean he takes a SERIOUS fall through the ropes to the floor. Flying Elbow connects. Shawn sets up for SWEET CHIN MUSIC. In comes Owen, who eats a superkick. Another ref comes in as Bulldog nails Shawn from behind. Shawn shoves off the RUNNING POWERSLAM into the corner and delivers a bridging German suplex for 1-2-3. (17:22) While you think Shawn just successfully defended his title, they consider the finish to be a double-pin situation as Bulldog lifted his shoulder up at two where HBK Shawn did not. Diana delivers the belt to her husband as Cornette and Owen come in to celebrate. Hebner wakes up and raises Shawn’s hand in victory even though he never even saw the finish. Diana tries to leave with the belt, but WWF President Gorilla Monsoon comes up from behind and grabs the belt away from her. He’s the DECIDER! Howard Finkel says since both men shoulders were down for the three-count, Monsoon declares the bout a draw. This sets up their rematch for the King of the Ring. ***

In Your House: Beware of Dog 2
May 28, 1996
North Charleston, SC
North Charleston Coliseum

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 Smokin’ Gunns (5/26/1996)

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Mr. Perfect.

Just so that you didn’t miss Raw, Vince decided to air the previous two matches for the replay and included the other three matches live that we missed on the original broadcast from Sunday night.

Steve Austin (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Savio Vega – Caribbean Strap Match
On the previous night’s Raw, DiBiase declared he would leave the WWF if Austin didn’t win this match. If Austin wins, Vega becomes DiBiase’s chauffeur. So what Austin have to gain other than pride here? Anyways, JR and Perfect sell the strap match they already had two nights earlier – meaning neither man could be 100%. Like in most strap matches, nobody wants to take that first lashing. Austin strikes first on Vega and beats him down to the mat. Austin bails after taking a backdrop, but he can’t go too far. Savio yanks him into the apron a bunch. DiBiase, being the great manager he is, tells Austin to slide back into the ring when he feels the tug. He does just that, but slides out again. Vega follows him out and pulls him into a big chop. Back in the ring, Savio begins to whip the crap out of Austin. He knocks Austin down with a spin kick and taps two corners before Austin pulls the strap between Vega’s legs to send him for a loop. Austin starts whipping Vega like a dog, but that just gets his Latin temper going. Out on the floor, Austin backs Savio into the apron and then hotshots him on the guardrail. Back over on the apron, Austin hangs him by the strap real good. Suplex brings Vega back in to start up some turnbuckle tapping for Austin. As Austin goes to reach for his third buckle, he gives up too much slack to allow Vega to spin him around the ring into a corner to stop the turnbuckle counting. Savio continues with the strap violence until Austin backdrops him over the top rope to the floor. Seems like it would be a break for Austin, but he comes flying out over the top with him. Vega counters a suplex on the floor. Austin tries to come back with a flying double sledge off the steps, but he gets caught on the way down. Back inside, Vega drags Austin around to three corners. As he starts for the fourth corner, Austin trips him up. In between lashes, Vega counters a suplex and puts Austin up top. They fight over a superplex and Savio does deliver. That’s pretty ballsy with the long strap and all. So much can go wrong. Vega taps three corners, but Austin stands in his way of the fourth corner and spikes Savio to the mat. Even though he couldn’t reach the other side of the ring, Austin delivers the Bossman straddle. More whipping action from Austin. He reaches two corners and then walks over to Vega instead of slapping the third corner only to take a thumb to the eye. Oh, but Austin answers back with a low blow. They get into a tombstone reversal sequence ending with Austin backing up to the ring ropes to dump Vega out to the floor. Austin chokes on Vega and then heads to the top rope only to be yanked down to the floor into the guardrail! Awesome. From there, Austin gets pulled into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Vega carries Austin around on his shoulders and starts tapping turnbuckles! After two turnbuckles, Austin slips away and tries to prevent a third turnbuckle. No good. Vega nails Austin and taps the turnbuckle. On his way to the fourth corner, Austin gives the strap one big hard pull to wallop Vega. Austin gets a piledriver and it looks to be over, but DiBiase wants another one. But that never works out, Ted! Savio backdrops out, but then gets caught in the MILLION DOLLAR DREAM! With Austin on his back, Vega carries Austin around and taps two turnbuckles. The problem is he begins to wear out and can’t reach anymore. Savio kicks off the third turnbuckle and falls back on Austin to break the hold. With Vega in bad shape, Austin STUNGUNS him on the top of the corner post. Austin wraps the strap around Savio’s neck and drags Vega around to each corner. What Austin doesn’t realize is that Savio is tapping every corner after Austin. Once they get to the fourth corner, they get into a struggle where Austin pulls Vega into the corner to give him the win. (21:24) DiBiase is now history and Austin doesn’t seem to mind. I had forgotten how GOOD this match was. Not only was there constant action, but all the neat elements of ring psychology with the strap was there that made an old gimmick match feel fresh. Definitely one of Austin’s better matches in the WWE and certainly Savio Vega’s best match of his career. Savio encourages the crowd to sing the “Nah Nah Hey Hey Goodbye” song to Ted DiBiase. I’m guessing this is where the tradition begins? ****¼

Vader (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Yokozuna
Two months earlier, Vader broke Yokozuna’s leg with a couple pump splashes. Now he’s back for REVENGE~! Supposedly, Yoko needed to lose some serious weight. Unfortunately for him, he only lost like 30-35 pounds – which for Yoko at this point is like skipping a meal. Once. Yoko wants a sumo match with Vader, but Vader chickens out. They finally collide and Yokozuna takes Vader right off his feet. Vader fires back with a TON of head shots. Yokozuna trips him up and elbow drops the knee. Vader sells that REAL well and crawls out to the floor. Vader’s knee brace has been broken! Back in, Yoko does the same again on Vader’s knee. Vader unloads again and goes for a slam, but Yokozuna is just too fat. Uranage by Yoko! He follows up with an Avalanche and a Samoan Drop. Cornette interrupts a possible BANZAI DROP and gets flipped into the ring. Corny lays the tennis racket down and wants to play nice, so Yokozuna just gives him a headbutt. He wants to give Cornette a BANZAI DROP, but Vader pulls his manager out of the way just in time. Vader elbow drops the knee and gives him a good Pump Splash for the 1-2-3. (8:54) Actually not a bad big man match. I liked the idea of Yoko going after Vader’s knee because it MAKES SENSE. *½

WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) – Casket Match
Last night on Raw, Goldust gave Ahmed Johnson ‘mouth to mouth’ to resuscitate him after Owen Hart nailed Ahmed with his cast. Of course, it got all gay with Goldust and Ahmed became ENRAGED. That should tell you this feud is ending tonight. UT shows up in the ring behind Goldust when the lights come back on. Taker whips Goldie around and tosses him near the casket, so Goldust freaks out and runs away. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Down on the floor, UT bashes Goldust’s head onto the steps and then onto the casket. Back in, Taker slams Goldust for a jumping legdrop. OLD SKOOL! Goldust catches UT charging at him with an elbow. He slams Taker, but the man sits up. Back to work. Goldust tries to slide underneath UT with an uppercut, but they blow that one. Goldust delivers a tombstone piledriver instead. ZOMBIE SIT UP~! He tries putting UT in the casket after a sliding clothesline, but Taker punches out. He hits a big boot, but Goldust backdrops him over the top to the floor. Now it’s Goldust smashing UT’s head on the steps. He even chokes the dead man down with some ringside cables. Back inside, Taker fights back. He gets caught with a sleeper though. Once Taker is down, Goldust drags him into the casket. He’s got an arm sticking out though! Goldust hops on the lid, but Taker pushes the lid open and breaks the lid! In the ring, Taker hits the jumping lariat. They tumble back out on the floor where Goldie kicks a chair back in Taker’s face. In the ring, Goldust delivers a powerslam and comes off the top with a flying clothesline. He covers, but DUHH. That doesn’t work here, you freak. Goldust walks the ropes himself, but Taker flips him down to the mat. TOMBSTONE to Goldust! As Taker opens the lid, out pops Mankind! He applies the MANDIBLE CLAW on Taker and places him down into the casket! Taker is completely out of it as the lid closes to give Goldust the win. (12:36) And just like that, this feud transitions over to Mankind’s first and arguably most famous feud during his time with the WWF with the Undertaker. After Mankind, Goldust and Marlena head to the back, Paul Bearer opens the casket to see that it’s EMPTY! Where is Taker?! **¼

Final Thoughts: Another great PPV for the WWF. Three matches over *** make for an easy recommendation if you can even find this show. Since the commercial VHS copy wouldn’t be called “Beware of Dog”, I believe the tape is called Wrestlefest 1996. Anyways, everything felt important here and they managed to make me want to see what happens next with each and every match and feud, so you can’t go wrong with a philosophy like that. Thumbs up for IYH: Beware of Dog.

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