What the World Was Watching: In Your House 4

Toni Wilson sings “O Canada” to kick off the show.  Vince McMahon bills her as an “up and coming star” but no significant achievements came to her career the best I can tell.

Interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon tells the viewing audience that due to Shawn Michaels concussion he will not allow him to compete.  Monsoon promises that there will still be an Intercontinental title match tonight as Michaels will be asked to forfeit the title to Dean Douglas, who will then defend it against Razor Ramon.  The crowd is heard noticeably booing this announcement from the arena as the company has yet another “bait and switch” for the second pay-per-view in a row.

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are doing commentary and they are live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Opening Contest:  Hunter-Hearst Helmsley (20-0) pins Fatu (6-2) after a Pedigree at 8:03:

Fatu’s knit hat has the “BSK” initials inscribed, referencing the WWF’s backstage faction known as the Bone Street Krew that was composed of the Undertaker, Yokozuna, Fatu, Kama, Henry Godwinn, and Savio Vega.  Helmsley tries to spray Fatu with cologne, reprising a source of tension between both men on Superstars, but Fatu steals it and then decides not to blind Helmsley because that is not how one makes a difference in a positive way.  Helmsley gets no reaction until the finish, but Fatu carries things, getting his head caught in the ropes on a blind charge and then doing a 360 after a clothesline.  It seems like Fatu is going to break Helmsley’s streak after a Samoan bulldog but he waits too long to do the top rope splash and Helmsley pounces to win, getting some cheers from a few fans in the front row.  This was Helmsley’s best match to this point in his career, but that was largely due to the reactions given for his opponent.  Rating:  **

Lawler interviews Helmsley, who says that he hated wrestling a non-aristocrat.  Henry Godwinn comes out to slop Helmsley, with Helmsley grabbing Lawler as a human shield.  Lawler freaks out but the distraction allows Helmsley to run to the locker room to avoid the Arkansas hog man.

Dok Hendrix interviews the British Bulldog and Jim Cornette.  Cornette puts over how the Bulldog pinned Diesel in a six man tag two weeks ago on RAW and how his man is going to repeat the feat tonight to win the WWF title.  The Bulldog tells Diesel that he cannot hide.

Razor Ramon & the 1-2-3 Kid, decked out in matching purple, tell the announcers that they have worked out their problems and they are ready to wrestle for the tag team titles.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:  The Smoking Gunns (Champions) (23-3-1) defeat Razor Ramon & the 1-2-3 Kid (1-0) when Billy pins the Kid after a crucifix combination at 12:46:

Since Ramon is already getting a title shot tonight it makes zero sense how he is also booked to face Dean Douglas for the Intercontinental title later in the evening.  For example, there are other babyface-aligned wrestlers who did not make this card that could get a title shot like Bob Holly, Savio Vega, Bret Hart, Hakushi, Henry Godwinn, Barry Horowitz, or Bam Bam Bigelow.  Of those, Bigelow would have been a good option and even Horowitz had some credibility due to winning his feud against Skip.  On another note, the Gunns have altered their look, ditching the long hair that has been their trademark for three years for generic short haircuts.  The story that this match tries to tell is that the Kid is turning heel as he pulls down the top rope to send Bart to the arena floor early in the bout and then tries to provoke Billy into the ring so he and Ramon can do some two-on-one attacks.  However, the crowd refuses to play along as they cheer the challengers.  Both teams make good use of their double team maneuvers, with Ramon fall away slamming the Kid into Bart and the Gunns nailing the Kid with a suplex-dropkick combination.  Ramon and the Kid appear set to win the titles when Ramon gives Billy a Razor’s Edge.  However, the Kid insists on making the cover and when he covers Billy, the cowboy from San Antonio State University rolls him up and the Gunns retain the titles in a directionless tag division.  How directionless?  This was the last time that the titles were defended on pay-per-view in 1995.  Rating:  **½

After the match, the Kid attacks the Gunns as McMahon and Ross condemn his poor sportsmanship.  Ramon enters the ring as a peacemaker, preventing the Gunns from getting revenge on the Kid, and giving the tag titles to the Gunns.

Hendrix puts over how fans need to buy a cardboard cut out of Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels, which he says would be a great gift for women or kids that want to wake up with either star in their bedroom.  Of course, that makes Hendrix’s later comment that both cut outs “are stiff” pretty funny.  If you want one, it will cost you $25 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

Goldust says that the time has come for his Hollywood premiere.

Goldust beats Marty Jannetty (3-0) after an inverted suplex at 11:16:

Based on the small push Jannetty was getting in the lead up to In Your House using him as a sacrifice for Goldust’s debut was somewhat surprising.  Goldust’s entrance is definitely a spectacle, with gold lighting, glitter falling from the sky, and good theme music.  The audience also learns that Goldust’s hair is just a wig, as it is removed before the bout, an incident that causes McMahon to freak out.  This Goldust character is devoid of the “mind games” and sexual tendencies that made GLAAD upset later since Dustin Rhodes had yet to figure out the character.  Instead, Goldust slows things down with rest holds and methodical offense, all of which serve to tick off the crowd.  The match just gets worse when Goldust messes up the finish by forgetting to put his boot up when Jannetty does the flying fist drop.  That forces Jannetty to improv another comeback and repeat the spot, which segways into the finish.  This was awful and went too long.  Things would have been better served having Goldust wrestle someone lower on the card that he could beat in less than five minutes.  I doubt anyone bought this pay-per-view for this contest.  Rating:  ½*

Jim Cornette tells the announcers that Gorilla Monsoon wants to create tensions between Yokozuna and Mabel so they do not work together.  He promises that Yokozuna will prevail and is critical of McMahon when he notes how Cornette has been working closely with the British Bulldog and Mabel in recent weeks.

King Mabel (w/Sir Mo) (11-2) wrestles Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) (1-1) to a double count out at 5:11:

This is Mabel’s first singles match since SummerSlam and Yokozuna’s first since King of the Ring.  When someone argues that putting on ***** matches is the best way to sell tickets or get a reaction, all you have to do is show them this contest between super heavyweights.  Both men do not do a lot, but the small spots like knocking each other out of the ring or knocking each other down, illicit a better reaction than most of the matches in the evening.  A weird bulldog effort, where Mabel goes down attempting the move but Yokozuna does not, leads to both men brawling on the floor and that is where the match ends as Yokozuna gets dazed and falls on top of Cornette.  After the bell, Mabel and Yokozuna act like they are going to resume the match but Cornette and Sir Mo get them to back off.  Again, the match was bad from a quality standpoint but it was an interesting spectacle for the time.  Rating:  DUD

The broadcast spend some time hyping Survivor Series, with Ross discussing the idea of a “wild card” match that will feature some fan favorites and heels on the same side.

Intercontinental Championship Match:  Dean Douglas (5-0) defeats Shawn Michaels (Champion) (19-1-1) by forfeit to win the title:

Michaels arrives looking worse for wear, showing the effects of a black eye and gingerly walking to the ring.  He reluctantly holds out the Intercontinental title to forfeit the match and Douglas gleefully grabs it, marking the third time in his career that Michaels loses a title without being pinned or submitted.  However, he does not get to hold onto it very long because he has to wrestle another match…

Intercontinental Championship Match:  Razor Ramon (20-6-1) pins Dean Douglas (Champion) (6-0) after a side suplex to win the title at 11:01:

These two men have a history, but you would never know it based on the way that this match is laid out.  Ramon gives Douglas very little offense, working a long armbar and knocking him out of the ring several times.  Ramon does take a bump over the top rope when he tries a Razor’s Edge but that is as close as Douglas gets to a successful title defense as Ramon counters some dives off the top rope and wins the title for a record fourth time with an underwhelming side suplex.  Douglas’ leg is shown on replay to be below the bottom rope but that never counted for anything later on.  The way Douglas was treated in this match showed that the company had given up on him – this loss saddled him with the label of being the shortest lived Intercontinental champion to this point in the company’s history – but giving the belt to Ramon did little to help anyone because Ramon was beyond stale as a babyface by this time.  Like the tag team titles, the Intercontinental division was a mess and this was the last time the belt was defended on a pay-per-view in 1995.  Rating:  ½*

Bret Hart comes out to do commentary for the next match and runs off Lawler, getting in a few punches before Lawler flees to the dressing room.

Hendrix puts over how kids need a Two Dudes with Attitude t-shirt to be cool in school.  Buy yours for $20 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

WWF Champion Diesel tells Hendrix that he is ready to “get funky” in the next match.

WWF Championship Match:  The British Bulldog (w/Jim Cornette) (11-5-1) beats Diesel (Champion) (9-1-1) via disqualification when Bret Hart interferes at 18:13:

For the first time since WrestleMania Diesel gets to wrestle someone that is not a super heavyweight and the match had some potential as the Bulldog had worked some very good matches against Bam Bam Bigelow and the Undertaker in the lead up to this show.  From a psychology perspective this match is fine, as the Bulldog spends about three-quarters of the match working Diesel’s left leg, but the problem is that the leg work spots are not mixed up with enough Diesel’s comebacks or other types of action, especially near-falls, so the match just drags out, really irritating the crowd once the match goes past ten minutes.  You get the sense that the crowd is going “Oh c’mon, really?!?!?” every time that the Bulldog goes back to the leg.  Who knows, there is probably some alternate universe out there where the Bulldog is still working on the injured body part to this very day.  And Jim Cornette is not joking when he says that his elbow drop of Diesel’s leg on the outside of the ring receives the biggest pop of the entire match, as well as his later heel miscommunication spot near the end of the bout.  As is the case of most guest commentary appearances, Bret cannot help but get involved, especially after the Bulldog attacks him at ringside and this leads him to run into the ring, prompting a disqualification and causing Diesel to lose his third straight match.  The ending was totally out of left field and was not built throughout the encounter, not to mention that Diesel was not drawing enough sympathy heat from the crowd to make the Bulldog’s beatdown worthwhile.  Rating:  *

After the match, Diesel argues with Bret and both men slug it out until WWF officials, Henry Godwinn, Fatu, Marty Jannetty, Savio Vega, Bam Bam Bigelow, and the Smoking Gunns get involved and they are not much good as the brawl continues as the show goes off the air.

The Last Word:  If not for the debacle that was King of the Ring, this would have been the worst pay-per-view effort from the company in 1995.  Many of the talent seemed to be going through the motions, and who can blame them as over the past two weeks the company saw Shawn Michaels get beat up by a marine (or “ten thugs” if you want to tow the WWF’s company line in 1995), B-level house shows cancelled due to poor ticket sales, the Undertaker go down with a major injury, and Bill Watts quit.  The company’s title scenes were also a mess as Razor Ramon is now Intercontinental champion but has few credible challengers to face as the decimation of the heel side of the roster throughout the year is rearing its ugly head.  The tag titles are in no better shape as the only teams left to fact the Smoking Gunns on the roster are Owen Hart & Yokozuna, Men on a Mission, and Ramon and the Kid (who have only wrestled two matches together this year).  Faced with these ugly prospects, it is not surprising that after the show went off the air Vince McMahon famously tossed down his headset and glasses in disgust and shouted “Horrible,” storming off the locker room.  As fans would soon see, McMahon had seen enough and it was time for a change.

Attendance:  10,339 (9,000 paid)

Buyrate:  0.40 (90,000 buys)

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for October 23, 1995!