WWF In Your House I: Premiere
WWF was on it’s arse financially (and creatively) in 1995, but realised they had a (mostly stupid) fan-base that would lap up whatever they put out…including two hour $14.95 shows in between the big full-priced ones.
- Bret Hart vs. Hakushi is a damn good way to start the IYH idea. They called the shows ”IYH” because ”Watch Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels or Razor Ramon have a really good match with someone” doesn’t fit on a VHS spine. Jerry Lawler (who Bret was somehow STILL feuding with) had informed Hakushi that Bret ”wasn’t a fan of…’the Jap People”’ and Hakushi did what any self-respecting stereotype would do and immediately attack Bret and ask questions later. Hakushi was an incredibly cool character for 1995, combining the best bits of The Great Muta, Raiden from Mortal Kombat and Kanji. Bret Hart makes Hakushi look like an awesome threat before eventually out-wrestling them, which was what made Bret’s matches so damn good: you believed the guy he was wrestling could beat him whether he was a Japanese Mid-carder, a Canadian Pirate or a Diesel.
- Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie is an under-rated feud that people seem to forget/ignore because Jarrett was actually (gasp!) entertaining during this time thanks to Hall and Dogg’s efforts.
- Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler first met at Summerslam 1993 in two must-see matches. Lawler claimed to be injured so he sent his Court Jester (Doink) to wrestle Hart first. After Hart beat Doink, Lawler attacked Bret and once WWF officials realised Lawler was OK, they had Lawler wrestle Hart. Hart was so furious at Lawler’s actions against his family that he kept his Sharpshooter on until the referee disqualified him and Lawler somehow ended up winning. So with that in mind…Lawler decides to play the odds by having Hakushi wrestle Hart earlier in the night and Hart ended up hurting his knee, so Lawler comes out extremely cocky for his match. And then Hart reveals his knee is just fine as soon as he gets in the ring and pounds on Lawler. Hart’s gotta win this time, right? Hakushi sneak-attacks Hart and Lawler somehow gets the pin AGAIN. Just excellent story-telling done by two men who spent their careers telling them.
- The event takes place on Mother’s Day, so Lawler introduces his mother to the audience…who appears to be in her twenties. I love Lawler.
- Mabel quickly (ha) squashes Adam Bomb to prepare him for that big ol’ push everyone on Usenets across the country were begging for.
- Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. The Smoking Gunns is a waste of time. The Gunns’ justification for this Wrestlemania Rematch = Yokozuna was a surprise partner for the previous match…so knowing he was going to be there would mean more success. The crowd’s reaction is ”Yeah, right” and sure enough The Gunns lose again in a match that’s even shorter than the first one.
- Diesel vs. Sid is the main event. It’s a terrible match but you knew that anyway, the biggest issue is poor Sid. After getting (overly) cheered at Wrestlemania XI for being cool as fuck, WWF’s best idea was turn him heel and join Ted DiBiase’s Corporation, easily the lamest group of heels WWF put together until X-Factor. Nikolai Volkoff was a member for Christ’s sake. Crowds liked and would continue to like Sid as a big, scary dude who crushed people. Sid in this match and for the rest of the year would wear red trunks and hang out with Tatanka. And this main event ends via DQ.
- The finish to the handicap match sees Aldo Montoya running in to make the save…and gets immediately pounded.
- This is the pre-show with Sid Vicious fucking up his lines and asking to do them again. WWE loved this segment so much they featured it in WWE’s Funniest Moments DVD.
- J.D. Dunn sums up the painful segment where WWF tries to give away a house via phone: Todd Pettingill and Stephanie Wiandgive away a lovely Florida home. These two are the reason there needed to be an ECW. See, the WWF just naturally assumed that all the people who watched during the Hogan era moved on to other things and a new group of kids started watching. Instead, those kids who were nine years old in 1988 were now 16 and still wanting to watch wrestling. So when Stephanie and Todd acted like they were hosting a public access kiddie show with a bunch of fucking muppets surrounding them, it just came off as pandering and insulting.
- As said above, the general rule for WWF 1995 is watch Bret, HBK and Ramon and skip the rest.