WWF In Your House #3 9/24/1995

September 24, 1995
Saginaw Civic Center
Saginaw, Michigan
Announcer: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
Attendance: 5,146
Buy Rate: .7

Dark Matches

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)

Actual Show

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 Raw 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

FINAL ANALYSIS:

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

All Time PPV Active-Wrestler Roster

Tito Santana
Buddy Rose
“Special Delivery” Jones
King Kong Bundy
Ricky Steamboat
Matt Borne
Brutus Beefcake
David Sammartino
Greg Valentine
Junkyard Dog
Barry Windham
Mike Rotundo
Iron Sheik
Nikolai Volkoff
Andre the Giant
Big John Studd
Leilani Kai
Wendi Richter
Paul Orndorff
Roddy Piper
Mr. T
Hulk Hogan
Don Muraco
Randy Savage
George Steele
George Wells
Jake Roberts
Fabulous Moolah
Velvet McIntyre
Corporal Kirschner
Ted Arcidi
Tony Atlas
Brian Blair
Jim Brunzell
Bret Hart
Jim Neidhart
Hillbilly Jim
King Tonga (Haku)
Pedro Morales
Bruno Sammartino
Danny Spivey
Jim Covert
Russ Francis
Bill Fralic
Ernie Holmes
Harvey Martin
William Perry
Davey Boy Smith
Dynamite Kid
Hercules
Uncle Elmer
Adrian Adonis
Terry Funk
Dory Funk, Jr.
Rick Martel
Tom Zenk
Bob Orton
Billy Jack Haynes
Hillbilly Jim
Haiti Kid
Little Beaver
Lord Littlebrook
Little Tokyo
Harley Race
Jacques Rougeau
Raymond Rougeau
Danny Davis
Butch Reed
Koko B. Ware
Honky Tonk Man
Jim Duggan
Ron Bass
Judy Martin
Dawn Marie
Donna Christanello
Sherri Martel
Noriyoi Tateno
Itsuki Yamazaki
Rockin’ Robin
Ax
Smash
Tama
Boris Zhukov
Jim Powers
Paul Roma
One Man Gang
Rick Rude
Ken Patera
Bam Bam Bigelow
Ultimate Warrior
Sam Houston
Sika
Bobby Heenan
Barbarian
Warlord
Big Boss Man
Marty Jannetty
Shawn Michaels
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Conquistador Uno
Conquistador Dos
Blue Blazer
Mr. Perfect
Scott Casey
Akeem
Red Rooster
Rockin Robin
Ronnie Garvin
Bushwhacker Butch
Bushwhacker Luke
Mr. Fuji
Dusty Rhodes
Jimmy Snuka
Zeus
Earthquake
The Genius
Sapphire
Sato
Tanaka
Kerry Von Erich
Crush
Hawk
Animal
Undertaker
Tugboat/Typhoon
Sgt. Slaughter
Kato
Mountie
Virgil
Dustin Rhodes
Shane Douglas
Brian Knobbs
Jerry Sags
Genichiro Tenryu
Koji Kitao
General Adnan
Irwin R. Schyster
Ric Flair
Berzerker
Skinner
Blake Beverly
Beau Beverly
Repo-Man
Owen Hart
Tatanka
Nailz
Kamala
Samu
Fatu
Razor Ramon
Yokozuna
Rick Steiner
Scott Steiner
Bob Backlund
Papa Shango
Jerry Lawler
Max Moon
Carlos Colon
Doink
Lex Luger
Giant Gonzalez
Mr. Hughes
Billy Gunn
Bart Gunn
Jimmy Del Ray
Tom Pritchard
1-2-3 Kid
Ludvig Borga
Diesel
Adam Bomb
Keith Hart
Bruce Hart
Black Knight
Blue Knight
Red Knight
Robert Gibson
Ricky Morton
Mabel
Mo
Bastion Booger
Pierre
Kwang
Great Kabuki
Bob Holly
Luna Vachon
Dink
Alundra Blayze
Bull Nakano
Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker
Wink
Pink
Queasy
Sleazy
Cheesy
Eli Blu
Jacob Blu
Duke Droese
Timothy Well
Stephen Dunn
Mantaur
Aldo Montoya
Henry Godwin
Dick Murdoch
Lawrence Taylor
Hakushi
Roadie
Savio Vega
Kama
Hunter Hearst-Helmsley
Barry Horowitz
Skip
Bertha Faye
Isaac Yankem
Waylon Mercy
Dean Douglas

PPV Rest in Peace List

“Playboy” Buddy Rose (Wrestlemania I)
“Special Delivery” Jones (Wrestlemania I)
Uncle Elmer (Wrestlemania II)
Adrian Adonis (Wrestlemania III)
Haiti Kid (Wrestlemania III)
Little Beaver (Wrestlemania III)
Junkyard Dog (Summerslam 1988)
Big John Studd (Wrestlemania V)
Sapphire (Summerslam 1990)
Dino Bravo (Wrestlemania VII)
Andre the Giant (Summerslam 1991)
Texas Tornado (Royal Rumble 1992)
Hercules (Royal Rumble 1992)
Elizabeth (Wrestlemania VIII)
Sensational Sherri (Wrestlemania IX)
Ludvig Borga (Survivor Series 1993)
Captain Lou Albano (Royal Rumble 1995)
Dick Murdoch (Royal Rumble 1995)

Next Review: In Your House #4

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