The SmarK Rant for WWF In Your House #6 – 02.19.96
(Originally written 11.26.20)
Getting close to this point in the Observer Flashbacks so I thought I might as well get ahead of things with a redo.
Live from Louisville, KY, drawing 5500 and a 0.75 buyrate
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler
This is the last In Your House without a catchy subtitle, by the way.
Crybaby match: 1-2-3 Kid v. Razor Ramon
So yes, the loser of the match gets to wear diapers and a baby bottle. To say this had Jim Cornette’s fingerprints all over it would be an understatement. But, you know, Kenny Omega is ruining the business. Jerry Lawler has apparently done research on Razor Ramon as a baby and will be updating us on how ugly he was during the match. If only we had a TitanTron so that he could put up hilarious Photoshopped images! Razor chases Kid out of the ring, but Kid comes back in with a springboard clothesline as Lawler reveals that Razor’s mother received a ticket for littering when she gave birth. That’s an ugly baby. Kid puts him down with a spinkick as Lawler reveals his next shocking revelation about how ugly that Razor was as a baby: His father went down to the zoo and threw rocks at the storks. “That’s not a very nice thing to say” notes Vince. Razor comes back with a fallaway slam, but Kid escapes the Edge and bails to the apron, where Dibiase throws BABY POWDER in Razor’s face, immediately blinding him and allowing Kid to hit a missile dropkick for two. Really, actual talcum powder as a foreign object? Oh no, now his hair will be slightly less greasy! Kid with a pair of snap legdrops and he goes up with a flying splash for two. Kid slugs away in the corner and gets the sleeper, but Razor reverses out, so Kid gets another sleeper. BREAKING UGLY BABY NEWS: Razor was so ugly as a baby, his mother had to breastfeed him through a straw. Kid holds the sleeper for a while, but Razor crotches him on the top rope to break and both guys are down. Razor makes the comeback and slugs him down, but Kid goes up with a flying bodypress and Razor rolls through for two. Kid puts him down with a spinkick for two, but Razor brings him to the top for the Sack of Shit Slam. Dibiase takes the ref and Kid goes for the TALCUM POWDER OF DEATH, but Razor kicks it back in his face and hits the Razor’s Edge, but he picks him up at two. So he adds a second one and this one finishes at 12:04. Disappointed that we only had three ugly baby updates from Lawler. So indeed, as promised, Razor puts Kid into a diaper and dumps water from a comically oversized baby bottle on him. At least you can’t say they didn’t deliver on the stip. As you might expect, Kid wasn’t around the promotion for much longer after this. Match was pretty slow and by the numbers as well, as they’d worked together a million times on the house show circuit and Kid was all beat up. **1/4
Meanwhile, Ray Rougeau and Sunny man the Superstar Line backstage, and Sunny has flashbacks to Jake Roberts waving his snake at her. Many women do, unfortunately.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese
Duke debuts his new crewcut look here after they did an angle on Superstars where Hunter attacked him and gave him a haircut. Duke slugs away in the corner and throws him around by the hair, then follows with a press slam and puts him down with a big boot. Hunter gets a cheapshot and tries for the Pedigree, but takes forever to set it up and Duke backdrops out. Droese charges and Hunter backdrops him out to take over. Back in the ring, Hunter USES THE KNEE to put him down for two and the crowd is completely dead. Like, why the fuck are we supposed to care about a wrestling garbageman? Especially in Kentucky, where the crowds were probably jealous that he was able to earn such a prestigious job. They collide for a double down and Duke comes back with a spinebuster and flails away with some combination of punch and clothesline before hitting the Trash Compactor, but he decides to throw his garbage can into the ring instead of going for a cover, and Hunter hits him with the lid for the pin at 9:40 because Droese and the ref are both fucking morons. The lid literally hit the ref after bouncing off Droese’s head! This was AWFUL. ½*
Meanwhile, Todd shills the new WWF sweatshirts which are “one size fits all”, or “about the size of an adult XL”. How many wrestling fans is THAT going to fit?
Meanwhile, Yokozuna turns babyface on RAW, and then joins Dok backstage and suddenly he’s a Samoan Gangsta doing thug promos after three years of standing there and going “YOSH!” and “BONZAI!” Is he even Japanese now? What other things has wrestling been lying to me about?
The British Bulldog v. Yokozuna
Wait, is Bulldog actually British? I bet he’s not even a real bulldog. Yoko slugs away on him puts him down with clotheslines, but misses an elbow and Bulldog comes back with his own clotheslines and chokes him out on the ropes. Yoko gets a corner splash and sets up the butt splash, but Cornette pulls Bulldog to safety and they fight on the floor. Yoko charges and hits the post in slow motion, and back in Bulldog goes up with a clubbing forearm from the top for two. Yoko catches him with a samoan drop and belly to belly, but Cornette runs in for the DQ at 5:00. Just a mid-level TV midcard match, as Yoko had nothing left in the tank but I guess they wanted to build to the Vader-Yoko singles match and didn’t want to beat him yet. In hindsight, they shouldn’t have bothered protecting him. ** Vader comes in for the beatdown, wearing half of his gear and a leather jacket for some reason, and they handcuff Yoko to the ropes and pound on him with absolutely no one making the save. Was there no Samoans around who could have joined up with him? I find that hard to believe given how many of them were running around in the 90s. You couldn’t throw a rock in the streets of San Francisco without hitting a member of the Anoia family tree.
Meanwhile, Goldust fondles the poor jerk who has to transcribe him for AOL’s chat.
Shawn Michaels v. Owen Hart
So Shawn is putting his Wrestlemania title shot on the line here as they do the final blowoff of the Owenzuigiri angle. Yes, if Shawn loses, he has no clear path to Wrestlemania! This is such a big deal to him that he dances on the roof of the house while making his entrance. But I mean clearly everyone with a functioning brain knew who was winning this one anyway. Shawn immediately leaves the ring to go slap hands and kiss babies, already eroding what got him to that level. Owen tries the same trick to no success in a cute bit, so Shawn dives onto him and then comes back in with a double axehandle for two. Shawn grabs a headlock and does some wacky hairpulling behind the ref’s back while Cornette protests, and we get a dueling kip-up before Shawn takes Owen down with a rana and slugs away. Owen gets his patented belly to belly and stomps away and a neckbreaker gets two. Owen tries the Sharpshooter early and Shawn fights him off, but charges and runs into a knee, allowing Owen to get a jackknife cover for two. He goes to the chinlock and Shawn fights up, so Owen hits him with the leg lariat and puts him on the floor. BREAKING NEWS: Goldust has apparently made a “startling statement” on the hotline! I heard it was “My half-brother is going to start a competing wrestling promotion 25 years later from now” and everyone SCOFFED at the time. Especially Jim Cornette. Shawn gets back in and Owen gets a missile dropkick for two, but Shawn rolls him up out of the corner for two. Owen whips him into the corner and follows with a lariat, however, and now it’s time for the Sharpshooter. And given that Owen is the one who taught it to Bret, you know it’s over for Shawn! Luckily, Shawn makes the ropes, so Owen stops to blow some snot on him and Shawn rolls him up for two. But then Owen unleashes the OWENZUIGIRI and by god the crowd shrieks in horror as Shawn falls to the floor and sells it like death. Owen rolls him in, but only gets two. Owen charges and misses, crotching himself in the corner, and Shawn makes the comeback as Jim Cornette knows exactly how to fire up this crowd for Shawn. Shawn goes up with the flying elbow and Cornette takes the ref, so Shawn takes him out, ducks the Owenzuigiri, and finishes with the superkick at 15:57 to put this thing to bed. Once Shawn stopped fucking around with the lovable babyface stuff, this was a great match. ****
Acting President Rowdy Roddy Piper joins Todd for a special interview while they set up the cage for the main event. He can’t be bought! Well, WCW would certainly disprove that theorem by the end of the year. Piper does some comedy, calling Vader “inbred” and noting that he’s wearing a jockstrap on his face, really drawing out the interview while they set up. So he officially books Shawn v. Bret as the main event of Wrestlemania, and Vader v. Yokozuna (which of course didn’t happen), but Cornette and Clarence Mason interrupt, and even Cornette is busting on Piper stretching this interview out. A literal waste of time.
WWF title, cage match: Bret Hart v. Diesel
Diesel emerges from a giant cloud of smoke in the back. Vince was probably like “Weird, I didn’t bring any smoke machines for his entrance?” Diesel pounds away in the corner to start as they make the mistake of not having a camera inside the cage, so the view is always interrupted. They’ve gotten infinitely smarter about that kind of stuff as the years have progressed. Bret manages to run Diesel into the cage and goes to work on the leg before climbing, but Diesel follows him up and beats on him with knees up there before bringing him down and running the back into the cage. Diesel strolls to the door, but Bret waits for him to step over the top rope and crotches him, but can’t crawl out either. The crowd is pretty dead for this and honestly the Shawn-Owen match should have gone last, but I guess the logistics of the cage setup meant this either would have to go first or last. Bret slugs away with forearms, but Diesel gets a short clothesline and a sideslam, but misses an elbow. Bret goes back to the knee and Diesel goes to the back, and they both go for the door and fail as this drags on and the crowd dozes. Diesel misses a blind charge and hurts his knee, allowing Bret to go to work and stomp away on it, and he goes up with a middle rope elbow onto the knee. Diesel whips him into the corner for the turnbuckle bump, but Bret kicks the knee and climbs out, only to be foiled by Diesel grabbing his hair through the cage and hauling him back in. Diesel runs him into the cage while Vince is literally reading the obituary on Bret’s WWF career, and Diesel whips him into the corner again, but Bret escapes Snake Eyes and shoves him into the cage. Bret beats on the kidneys and follows with the Russian legsweep, then goes up and drops the elbow from the top rope instead of the middle one. Bret climbs again, so this time Diesel just hits him with a blatant low blow to bring him down. He crawls for the door and gets caught by Bret, but fights him off…only for Undertaker to burst out from under the ring, haul Diesel down with him, and allow Bret to escape at 19:20 like a complete afterthought. Man, they just done Bret so dirty with this lame duck title reign. This was glacially paced to say the least, but the finish was pretty memorable at least. **1/4
For me, this one is a pass these days. The cage match is pretty bad and the Owen-Shawn match doesn’t justify watching the whole thing.