July 17, 2007
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
The Place to Be
In Your House #3
September 24, 1995
Saginaw Civic Center
Announcer: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
Buy Rate: .7
Fatu (Solofa Fatu) defeated Hunter Hearst-Helmsley (Paul Levesque)
Goldust (Dustin Runnells) defeated Bob Holly (Robert Howard)
Ahmed Johnson (Tony Norris) pinned Skip (Chris Candido)
Undertaker (Mark Callaway) pinned Mabel (Nelson Frazier)
1) Savio Vega (Juan Rivera) defeats Waylon Mercy (Dan Spivey) with a spin kick at 7:05
Fun Fact: Waylon Mercy was a very deep character, deeper than you would have expected from 1995 WWF standards. He was a happy go lucky, yet kind of creepy, guy who acts like a face but wrestles like a crazed heel. He was set for a big push, but injuries began to plague him and he was forced to the sidelines, thus bringing an aborted end to one of the more intriguing gimmicks of the mid-90s. Mercy made his TV debut on the 7/3 Raw when he defeated Jeff Hardy.
Fun Fact II: This is Dan Spivey’s first WWF PPV appearance since Wrestlemania II, where he appeared in the Battle Royal.
Scott: An entertaining opener to this show as Savio Vega, one of 1995’s hardest workers, wins over a former tag partner of both Mark Callaway and Sid Vicious. Dan Spivey is now what looks like a wife-beating hick from Ocala, Florida. The character was entertaining, if not head-scratching. This would be his only PPV appearance, although he does put on a memorable Superstars match against Diesel shortly after this. Too many sleeper holds, and the pace was kind of slow, but it wasn’t painful to the eyes considering what the main events have looked like the last 4 months. Grade: 2
Justin: A rather slow opening match, but I know at the time I was jazzed to see Waylon on PPV, and was just as shocked when they had him job to Savio. Mercy was a good little gimmick and he probably could have stuck around a while if his body had held up. He was one of those guys that came in, was kind of captivating, but disappeared before we really got to see him do much. Savio continues along picking up some pretty impressive wins, and continues being a solid and dependable mid-carder. Anyway, an OK match that is worth watching just to see the lone PPV appearance of Mr. Mercy. Grade: 2
2) Sid (Sid Eudy) defeats Henry Godwinn (Mark Canterbury) with a powerbomb at 7:20
Fun Fact: After Ted DiBiase refused to sign Henry Godwinn for the Corporation (he should be thanking him), Godwinn came out and slopped DiBiase on the 9/16 Superstars prior to a match with King Kong Bundy. Thus, DiBiase sent Sid after him to gain some revenge for the embarrassment.
Scott: Well, Sid successfully helped to tank 3 consecutive PPV main events with Big Daddy Cruel, so here he’s relegated to the mid-card, and beat newcomer Henry Godwinn. Godwinn was a heel before this match, and now crowds cheer the bucket of slop. Sid is also looking like a bucket of slop. Sid is one of wrestling’s biggest cult icons. Fans always flock to him, no matter where he operates. However, it’s safe to say 1995 was not one of his best years. Now of course Sid is not ever going to be compared to Bret Hart or Ricky Steamboat by any stretch, but he always brought some kind of energy to a match that fans latched onto. Not this year. He looks bored, unmotivated and very, very slow. Godwinn is distracted by DiBiase and Sid drops him for the win. There actually was a hint of psychology in this match, as Godwinn came in with a bad back from a powerbomb Sid delivered on the floor on that weekend’s Superstars, and Sid actually went after the back. That hikes the grade up a little from what I originally was going to give it. Otherwise this wasn’t much, a typical comment regarding Sid’s matches this year. Grade: 2
Justin: Another sluggish match featuring the very unmotivated Sid. Man, when he was unmotivated he made sure we all knew. Imagine if Sid seemed some lax and lazy during his Main Event run, you can picture how psyched he was to be in the second match wrestling a hog farmer. He must have been mad that he was forced to miss softball season in 95, so he intentionally tanked it. Bigelow makes the save for Godwinn at the end, but even he was at the end of his rope by this point as all the heat he once had has slowly evaporated. The match is serviceable but Sid is getting downright difficult to watch at this point and Henry wasn’t the one to carry him above average at this point. Grade: 2
3) British Bulldog (David Smith) defeats Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Bigelow) with a Powerslam at 12:00
Fun Fact: British Bulldog turned heel before Summerslam, when he jumped Diesel on the 8/21 Raw during a tag match against Men on a Mission. Bulldog had joined Camp Cornette shortly before this show, starting an on-air relationship with James E. that would last for the next year. This is also Bulldog’s first heel run in the WWF, and was a much-needed turn that helped rejuvenate his career.
Scott: Bulldog’s first match as a heel is a very good one against a fading Bigelow. Poor Scotty headlines Wrestlemania one minute, lays down for Bulldog the next. This is actually well-paced, with selective restholds to not overdo it. You can tell the difference between restholds for match pacing, and restholds for laziness. Here, it was to keep good pacing. Bulldog wins and gets a reward for next month’s show. Bigelow, who completely got duped by the Clique machine earlier in the year, is clearly falling lower and lower. Grade: 2.5
Justin: Poor Bigelow, he had such a solid little run in 1995, but it could have been so much more, as he was very over and very motivated and was looking good in the ring. All that promise and build up ends up being a big pile of nothing, as Bigelow is now being jobbed out in the undercard to the new big heel on the block. Bulldog comes out looking pretty good and would now go on to have the best run of his singles career. The match, as has been the trend all night, is a solid but unspectacular. Bulldog picks up the big win with the Powerslam, knocking the Bammer another peg down the ladder. Grade: 2.5
**Bob Backlund comes out to introduce Dean Douglas, and says the word “Exacerbate.”**
4) Dean Douglas (Troy Martin) defeats Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) with a roll-up at 14:50
Fun Fact: Shane Douglas had of course been in the WWF in the early 90s as a temporary member of the Rockers when Shawn Michaels was recovering from a knee injury. Since then, Douglas won the WCW Tag Titles with Ricky Steamboat in 1992, and then meandered to Eastern Championship Wresting, capturing their World Title and ushering in the era of EXTREME with his infamous throwing down of the NWA World Title after winning it in a tournament in the summer of 1994. He also openly bad-mouthed the WWF for being “cartoon characters,” which is ironic considering one year later he is a “cartoon character” of sorts.
Fun Fact II: Douglas had legit heat with the Clique, especially Michaels and Ramon, and thus was given a hard time in his brief WWF tenure and wasn’t really given the chance to get over. Of course, Douglas had heat with just about everyone in wrestling, most notably “Dick” Flair, as he called him. This storyline feud stems from Summerslam, where Douglas critiqued Ramon’s loss and Razor attacked him in the back. Douglas also cost Ramon a match against the Kid on the 9/18 Raw, throwing more gas on the fire.
Scott: This was a pretty good match for the Dean and the Bad Guy. Considering the heat Douglas had backstage with Ramon and his crew, you wouldn’t think it would be very good. Usually Clique members would get as motivated as Sid when not facing each other in matches. However this one is very good and very brisk, with nice pacing and good psychology. Douglas would have a very short stint in the WWF, but puts on some very solid matches. This leads to a 2-minute push for Douglas, but we’ll get to that two minutes in our next review. This match seemed a little over-scripted, but very necessary when 1-2-3 Kid comes in to accidentally cost Razor the match, giving even more evidence at the impending heel turn. Grade: 3
Justin: A pretty good match here, especially considering the circumstances of the heat between these two men. I liked the Dean Douglas gimmick and thought it could lead to some interesting storylines and matches, but alas, it joins Waylon Mercy on the failed gimmick pile. We do get a nice match here that helps further the impending Kid/Ramon split. Ramon is still quite over despite being quite stagnant overall, as he has basically been in the same exact role for a little over 2 years now. Douglas was a good heel and it is too bad he couldn’t have had a better run, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Dean picks up the big win and Razor takes the upset loss due to some accidental interference by his little buddy. Grade: 3
5) Bret Hart defeats Jean-Pierre Lafitte (Carl Oulette) with the Sharpshooter at 16:37
Fun Fact: This match stems from Jean-Pierre Lafitte stealing Bret Hart’s prized ring jacket.
Scott: I used to really think this feud was ridiculous, but then again bookers are reaching for straws on what to do with Bret since he’s not in more deserving feuds. But actually this works out since the match is really good. I enjoyed this match for two reasons: First, every time you thought Bret was about to finish him off, Lafitte would either get out of the way or reverse a maneuver to get back momentum. The other reason is that both men took a lot of risks in the match; Lafitte went to the top rope 4 times, and Bret went for a couple of high risk moves unorthodox for him. Lafitte even misses his “Cannonball” finisher and crashes on the outside right on his back. Eventually Bret ratchets the Sharpshooter up and takes the match. Kudos goes out to another above average match by the Hitman, but also to Lafitte for being a worthy villain and a solid competitor. Grade: 3.5
Justin: A really good match here, as Pierre was always quite underrated, and definitely someone who deserved another chance somewhere. Bret continues his string of solid PPV matches here, solidifying the MVP Award of 1995. In a weird way, maybe it is better that Bret wasn’t champion, as he probably would been stuck fighting stiffs like Mabel and Sid instead of getting some good workers to fight like Hakushi and Lafitte. Anyway, this was a really good match, as usual from the Hitman. As Scott said, the momentum battle within the match was intriguing to watch, as every time you thought Bret was about to fire up his finishing sequence, Lafitte would battle out and maintain control of the bout. This is a really fun match and is some what of a hidden gem on this show. Grade: 3.5
6) Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) & Diesel (Kevin Nash) defeat British Bulldog & Yokozuna (Rodney Anoia) to win WWF Tag Team Titles when Diesel pins Owen Hart with a Jackknife at 15:43; Michaels’ Intercontinental Title and Diesel’s World Title were also on the line
Fun Fact: Throughout the show, Gorilla Monsoon kept telling Cornette to find a replacement for Owen, since he could not be found and was missing from the arena. Cornette finally chose the Bulldog to replace Owen in the match.
Fun Fact II: Since Owen was not officially in the match, Gorilla overturned the decision the next night on Raw. However, he did force Yoko and Owen to defend the titles for real against the Smoking Gunns, and the Gunns actually won, finally getting revenge for their Wrestlemania XI and In Your House #1 losses and bringing an end to Yoko & Owen’s reign of terror on the tag division.
Scott: OK, so now the power backstage decides to try and win all the titles at the same time. This match paints you into a corner because someone has to lose. Well, unless there’s a countout or DQ but hey, the Clique says let’s win everything at the same time! So the “Dudes with Attitudes,” as their tights said in this match, take on the champs. Well half the champs. Apparently Owen Hart is nowhere to be found, but interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon tells Jim Cornette this match must go on, and if a replacement for Owen isn’t found, Yoko wrestles solo. So Cornette finds newly heeled-out British Bulldog to replace Owen. The match itself is OK, but the ending is illogical and completely stupid. In the climax, Owen miraculously comes out from the back and tries to jump Diesel. Diesel catches him in mid-air, then Jackknifes him, pins him and voila! New tag team champions! But wait, Owen wasn’t in the match! Well Vince McMahon tells you that doesn’t matter! Look at the celebration in the ring! How does the referee just count a pin where the guy getting pinned isn’t even in the match? This was just illogical and stupid. Of course the decision is rightfully reversed the next night. Now I think two guys with all the titles is lame in a situation where it isn’t warranted. When we review the next time that situation comes up (Backlash 2001) I’ll explain why it worked in that case, but not in this case. In any event, Diesel can’t be totally at fault as with Bulldog and HBK in this match the quality is much better than previous main event. Not bad action, just an illogical and lame ending. Grade: 2
Justin: A decent match that drags when Yoko is in there, as usual. The Triple Header (all three titles on the line) was intriguing but, as usual, they booked themselves into a corner, as they didn’t want any of the three to actually win the titles long term. At least when they did this again in 2001 they used the stipulation to their advantage. I guess the important part was that they got the picture of HBK and BDC posing with all three titles in the ring. Enjoy the moment Diesel, because it is swiftly downhill from here. The other result of the booking is the solid push Bulldog was in line for, as he gets double duty and gets to be in the Main Event, and doesn’t get pinned either time. Internet rumor has it that Bulldog got such a big push as a shot at Luger (since they were teammates) but I doubt Luger gave a shit at this point, as he was now locked into big money and a Main Event run in WCW. Also, I think Bulldog was in line for a push anyway, as they needed a fresh heel, and he was as fresh as they got on the heel side of things. Anyway, a decent match that meant nothing long term. Grade: 2.5
Scott: This show was actually pretty good, with a couple of 3-star affairs. That says a lot considering what we’ve witnessed for most of this year. We’re finally reaching the end of a very bad year for the World Wrestling Federation. The next PPV finally opens Vince’s eyes that Diesel is a complete loser of a World Champion, and gives the belt to one who deserves it. Doesn’t mean the situation gets any better, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. This show is good, maybe a top 3 show of the year. The stupidity of the main event takes it down a little bit, but it’s still a good show to watch if you have a couple of hours to kill. Final Grade: B-
Justin: A decent show with no long lasting effects. The lone title change was reversed the next night, so that doesn’t even count, and the only feud that continued on the under card was Douglas/Ramon/Kid. Vince was starting to turn things around, and would take a big step towards that goal in the upcoming months, when he starts flushing out the useless undercard and revamps his whole roster. Don’t you worry; we will be there soon enough. As Scott said, this show is a good little time killer, but nothing so important that it needs to be seen. I do recommend checking out the Hart/Lafitte match though, as it is classic Bret at his best, carrying a lesser opponent to a really good match. Final Grade: C+
MVP: Bret Hart
Runner Up: Bulldog/Bigelow
Non-MVP: Silly Main Event
Runner Up: Sid