Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: In Your House #1


*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

In Your House #1: Welcome to Hell…I mean Syracuse

May 14, 1995
On Center
Syracuse, New York
Announcer: Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix
Attendance: 7,000

Dark Matches:

1) Jean-Pierre Lafitte defeated Bob Holly

2) British Bulldog and Owen Hart fought to a Draw in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match

Coliseum Video Exclusives

1) Undertaker defeats Kama in 13:05

2) Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Tatanka in 8:49

Fun Fact I: This is the dawning of a new era in WWF PPVs. In response to WCW increasing the number of yearly PPVs they were holding (from seven in ‘94 to nine in ‘95), the WWF countered with a less expensive two-hour B-show PPV that would run in the months that didn’t have major PPVs. Initially, the In Your House PPV would cost $14.95, in comparison to the $29.95 retail price for the Big Five PPVs. This would last until the end of ‘95 when the price would increase to $19.95. The shows in the beginning did not have names other than In Your House. They were later given taglines when they were sold on VHS tapes.

For the inaugural event, the WWF held a contest to give away a brand new home in Orlando, Florida. Viewers could send a postcard to enter the contest and a winner would be chosen at random during the show. There will be more about this contest when we reach that point in the show.

Fun Fact II: This is the PPV debut for Dok Hendrix, otherwise known as Michael Seitz or his stage name, Michael Hayes. He, of course, is a member of the famed Freebirds group, mostly teaming with Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts. Hayes was in World Class Championship Wrestling as a fan favorite in 1981 until he and Gordy screwed over Kerry Von Erich in a Christmas Day NWA Title match against Ric Flair. The blood feud between the Freebirds and Von Erichs was one of wrestling’s best, and it lasted for almost three years. The Freebirds wrestled in the WWF in the summer of 1984 being managed by Cyndi Lauper’s manager/husband David Wolfe. After being in New York they moved on to the AWA and wars with the Road Warriors, then back to World Class. After that it was off to the NWA where they won the World, US Tag and Six-Man Tag Team Titles. Hayes also upset Lex Luger to win the US Heavyweight Title in 1989. After managing Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton for a short time, he left WCW and came back to Stamford.

Pay Per View

1) Bret Hart defeats Hakushi with a reverse roll-up at 14:20

Fun Fact: Hakushi had started in Michinoku Pro Wrestling in 1993. He was known for doing the “praying walk”, similar to Undertaker’s top rope walk. A vignette aired on the December 10, 1994 Superstars that Hakushi was debuting in the WWF. His actual first match was at a Poughkeepsie house show on November 29. He made his TV debut on the December 18 Wrestling Challenge, defeating Gary Scott. Hakushi attacked Bret Hart on the March 25 episode of Superstars while Bret was receiving an award from the Japanese media for being the most Popular American Wrestler in Japan. He hit a beautiful Asai Moonsault on Bret from the interview podium. Also, Hakushi’s manager Shinja is former Orient Express member Sato.

Scott: The WWF’s historic first “secondary” PPV begins with pure workrate. Knowing that our main event will likely be devoid of any real great in-ring work and Shawn Michaels being absent, Bret Hart gets to wrestle twice. It won’t be the last time he’ll be doing that this year. Hakushi is a guy that seemed to be ahead of his time in the WWF. Immense workrate and almost no promos needed. His manager is Shinja, otherwise known as Sato from the Orient Express. If Hakushi had arrived in say, 1989 or 1990 I think he would have been a revolutionary move for Vince McMahon to counter when guys like Great Muta were in NWA/WCW feuding with Sting. Alas Vince wasn’t in that mode during the Federation Era so we never got to see real Japanese studs like Muta and Fujinami in their prime. Now was different because of the thin roster, Vince needed to take some risks but with a foundation guy like Bret he could throw Hakushi in there and really throw the kitchen sink at each other. This match was so much fun and a great opening to a show that really needed to succeed. They spend over 14 minutes really laying into each other with kicks and strikes while having a few solid chain wrestling sequences. Adding Dok Hendrix (an absolutely silly name) brings a different announcing dynamic and makes Vince much better than he normally is. They go back and forth and really throw each other around. Bret wins with one of his classic school boy rolls and the crowd loves it. The length of the match somewhat throws the rest of the show off and I’ll explain that as we progress. Bret tweaks his knee with leads to a plot point later in the show. One of the best openers in WWF history and a great start to this new show. Grade: ***1/2

Justin: With WCW making the push to just about monthly PPV offerings, it was time for the WWF to do the same. But, there is a hook. These off-month shows would be at a discounted rate and would last just two hours long. That was a great little touch, as it gives us checkpoint shows for feuds to burn through, but at he reduced pricing and length, they felt like mini-specials and not full blown extravaganzas. To help promote this first edition of In Your House, the hook was that the company was literally giving away a house in Florida. It also took place on Mother’s Day, so it made a really great gift for those special ladies in your life! Also, since Jerry Lawler will be wrestling later, we have the PPV debut of Dok Hendrix alongside Vince McMahon. It was clear that a new color commentator was needed to help back up the King as the depth chart had gotten very shallow over the last year, so Michael Hayes was brought in to help fill the gap a bit. And now, for our opener. Bret Hart is settling into his new role of established veteran mid-carder, taking a step back after a year at the top of the promotion. And right away, he is pushed into double duty to help ensure a high quality offering out of the gate. First up, he is battling newcomer Hakushi, a Japanese import that immediately caught fire thanks to a style unlike anything else in the WWF at the time. He was smooth and graceful as he flew around the ring and it was clear he would be set up for a decent push. After taking issue with Hart’s popularity overseas, he attacked the Hitman and a match was set up for this show. And having it open the card was a great move. Heading into this match, I thought it was most likely that Hakushi would get the win here and Hart would rebound by beating Lawler later in the night, very similar to WrestleMania X. I immediately took to Hakushi and was really hyped for this battle, which seemed like a perfect fit for the Hitman’s talents. Hendrix brought the analysis right away, calling out how Hart has to focus on grounding Hakushi and keeping him out of the air to avoid a loss in his first match tonight. Vince then wondered if Hart would hold anything back in reserve but Dok said he shouldn’t because it would cost him.

The two would feel each other out early on, resetting after a quick trade off of holds. Hakushi would grab control first, working the arm a bit. Hart turned the tables and sent Hakushi to regroup with Shinja after a series of armdrags. While Lawler has been good in the booth, Hendrix is a nice change of pace with more focus on analysis and some jokes sprinkled in on top. Hakushi would turn the tide and slowly wear down Hart, building some nice heat with the fans as well. He would shoot Bret hard into the corner and when the Hitman slumped down, Hakushi charged and slammed down hard into his chest. He was so smooth and graceful, it is a pleasure to watch him. He did stop to celebrate a bit, though, and it seemingly gave Bret enough of a breather to float over on a slam attempt, but Hakushi reversed momentum and dumped the Hitman hard to the floor. Shinja stomped him a few times and then Hakushi pounced as soon as he rolled in. He constantly looks like he is stalking on offense, which I love. Shinja would continue to work alongside Hakushi, as the two took turns distracting the referee, which allowed for some choking. The crowd started to rally the Hitman but he could’t avoid a beautiful handspring elbow. Hart continuously tried to find an opening but Hakushi countered every attempt, planting him hard with a big tilt-a-whirl suplex before heading up top and drilling Hart with a flying headbutt for a near fall. I really like how Hakushi is a step ahead here, blocking every offensive spot by Hart. However, he went to the well again and this time came up empty on a dive off the top. Hart popped up and went to town, running through his usual offense and picking up a near fall after a bulldog. He would set up for the Sharpshooter but Shinja hopped up and distracted him. It didn’t slow Bret down otherwise, though, as he mowed through Hakushi with a big clothesline that left him completely dazed. With Hakushi slumped into the ropes, Hart turned and launched into Shinja with a suicide dive, bringing a big pop from the crowd. It cost Hart as Hakushi drilled him with a dropkick as he came back inside. The two would block suplex attempts, ending with Hart supplying Hakushi over the top and to the floor in a great bump. As Shinja and Bret tussled a bit, Hakushi came off the middle rope with a gorgeous springboard moonsault into the Hitman. This guy is so great. Back inside, Hakushi tucked and rolled Bret up, but Hart rolled through into his patented Victory Roll and snuck out the win, just as he has done dozens of times before. What a fantastic opener! It was really fluid and saw no slow spots at all. Hakushi’s offense is a joy and Hart went toe-to-toe with him. They worked the mat, they took to the air, we had some basic heel work, some fighting from underneath…we had it all. And the finish was done perfectly too, as either man could have won, but Bret rolled through and held it for that one extra second. In an interesting note after the match, Hart seemingly twisted his knee hopping off the apron to the floor. As he hops away, he heads to the back to prep for his next bout. Grade: ****

*** Backstage, Jerry Lawler wants to wrestle Bret Hart immediately as Todd Pettengil informs him that Hart injured himself leaving the ring. ***

2) Razor Ramon defeats Jeff Jarrett & Roadie when Ramon pins Jarrett with the Razor’s Edge at 12:37

Fun Fact: This was supposed to be a tag match featuring the Kid on Ramon’s team, but he messed up his neck a few weeks before this, so it was changed to a handicapped match. Ramon even has Kid’s name written on his boots.

Fun Fact II: Savio Vega, who we get to meet for the first time at the end of this match, is Juan Rivera from Puerto Rico. After graduating from high school, Rivera took a trip to Miami, FL in 1986 to try out for the WWF. The WWF liked what they saw, but sent Rivera back to Puerto Rico to get some experience in the World Wrestling Council. While there, Rivera wrestled under the name TNT and won numerous titles in the organization. In early 1994, Rivera was brought back to the WWF where he started his Federation career under the name Kwang, a role he would hold until mid 1995. At this time the Kwang character had lost steam and had become stale. Rievera was repacked under the new name, Savio Vega.

Scott: This feud has been raging since January and it’s all about the Intercontinental Championship. Jarrett and Ramon battled at the Rumble and WrestleMania, passing the belt back and forth a couple of times. For this special show we need a little variety, plus the Roadie needs to start getting involved in-ring. Razor, in banana yellow, and Jarrett brought their working boots as the pacing here is pretty fast paced with quick tags by the heel team and Razor crisply throwing these guys all over the place. I remembered liking the opener, but this match is really opening my eyes. I’ve said all along that all Jarrett needed was some sort of direction and he can easily get motivated. The Roadie, in his first PPV performance in-ring really worked his butt off to keep the tempo fast paced and push Razor to the limits. I thought Roadie would eat the pin to avoid Jarrett having to job. However Jarrett indeed takes the Razor’s Edge and Ramon gets the victory. The IC Title isn’t on the line but Razor does indeed stay in the hunt with the win. Watching this 1994-95 run again I’m starting to wonder: Could Razor Ramon have gone in the Diesel slot and been World Champion? The crowd was really into him, more than they were perhaps anybody besides Bret. Something to think about as the year progresses. This match was surprisingly better than I remember it being. Grade: **1/2

Justin: Up next continues one of 1995’s hottest feuds, but this time around there is no gold on the line. Originally this was slated to be a big tag team match to play off the brawl during WrestleMania, however, weeks before this show the 1-2-3 Kid injured his neck and was forced to sit things out. Ramon vowed to go it alone as he had basically been fighting both of these guys off since January anyway. Hendrix says he expects Jarrett and Roadie to finish off Ramon’s knee for good here, calling back to the attacks during both of their previous bouts. Keeping the title on Jarrett has done wonders for him, as has this prolonged program with the always red hot Ramon. Dok does wonder how Jarrett will do with a new tag partner after excelling as a singles competitor for so long now. He does think their goal may be to finish the knee and not win, though. I am a big fan of Dok Hendrix, that I know. Jarrett started things off but Razor just wrecked him with right hands until he bailed to regroup, very similarly to the start of their previous two bouts. Vince notes that this is the Roadie’s first official match so we still aren’t sure what he brings in the ring. Razor kept on top of Jarrett, but fell pray to the numbers game on he floor when Roadie clubbed him from behind. Jarrett kept him off balance back in the ring before finally tagging in Roadie for the first time. And he did a fine enough job of barreling the Bad Guy with a barrage of elbows after spiking him back to the mat. Jarrett and Roadie would trade tags and also use double teams when needed to ensure Ramon couldn’t come back. And Vince was all over referee Mike Chioda for allowing it all to go down. Razor made a brief comeback but tried for a Razor’s Edge near the ropes, allowing Jarrett to back drop him outside. Roadie followed that up with a clothesline off the middle ropes to the floor. Back inside, Double J hit a flying body press but Razor rolled through for a near fall. This has been some really good heat building and that continued with a Jarrett dropkick and swinging neckbreaker to stunt Ramon’s burgeoning momentum. After both men slammed heads, it gave Razor the opening to land some big blows, including a nice suplex. Dok lands a funny joke here, noting that Razor should have “Kid” taped under his boot and not on the side of it. And playing up the lopsided stipulation here, Jarrett is able to tag in Roadie, who pasted the Bad Guy and reestablished control. That didn’t long though as Razor made one last gasp at a comeback, rattling both men and smacking them into each other. With Jarrett down, Razor took Roadie off the top with a back suplex but Jarrett drilled his knee to slow him up. Razor fought through a figure four attempt and was able to wipe out Roadie, which gave him the chance to hit the Edge on Jarrett and finally pick up a pinfall over his nemesis.

After the match, Ramon loaded Roadie up for the Edge, but Jarrett clipped his knee and they went right back to work on it, including a figure four. With the Kid out of the picture, Aldo Montoya tried to make the save, but he was made quick work of by Jarrett. With him and his “athletic supporter on his head” (according to Dok) out on the floor, some random guy jumped into the ring and wiped both Jarrett and Roadie out to save Ramon. He would eventually be taken out by police, but he was able to save the Bad Guy from further damage. That was a lot of fun too, as these guys have some great chemistry in the ring. At first glance you would think the handicap format may hinder them, but they did a hell of a job with it. The crowd was red hot behind Razor and Jarrett & Roadie worked together seamlessly in building some tremendous heat. The finish was well done too with Razor finally getting Jarrett alone and polishing him off. Now the question that remains: can the Bad Guy get his gold back eventually as well? Grade: ***

*** Backstage, Jerry Lawler is yelling at Jack Tunney, demanding to have his match occur next, but Tunney won’t back down. ***

3) Mabel defeats Adam Bomb with a Powerbomb at 1:52

Fun Fact: This was the first televised King of the Ring Qualifying Match for the 1995 event.

Fun Fact II: On the 3/12 Action Zone, Men on a Mission lost a tag title match to the Smoking Gunns. After the match, MOM snapped and brutally beat down the Gunns to the shock of the crowd. Then, on the 3/26 Wrestling Challenge, Men on a Mission defeated Ken Raper & Gary Sabaugh in a squash match. After the match, MOM apologized for their attack on the Gunns and invited them to shake their hands. Once the Gunns came out, however, MOM once again attacked the Gunns and then turned their attention on their manager Oscar. They beat Oscar down and Mabel crushed him with a huge Legdrop. MOM were officially heels and Oscar would never be seen again.

Fun Fact III: This is Adam Bomb’s last PPV match. His final record is 0-6. He was 0-2 at the Royal Rumble, 0-1 at WrestleMania, 0-2 at Survivor Series and 0-1 at other PPV events. He would hang around into August before leaving the promotion.

Scott: Now, we begin the experiment that sunk 1995. Already with a wealth of decent heels, was there a need to turn a mid-card tag team gag? Even more so give them a limited edition spot on a short PPV? If you wanted to grab a heel to challenge Diesel, why not turn Lex Luger heel instead of this goof? We can discuss this more as time moves on, but for now we get a throwaway two minute dumpster fire against a guy who’s leaving anyway. Sadly, I liked Adam Bomb as a character but he never really went anywhere. Mabel gets into the KOTR tournament, and we gulp at the thought. Grade: *

Justin: Up next is our first KOTR Qualifying Match of the year, featuring two big men in interesting positions. Men on a Mission shook things up and turned heel back in March. They ditched Oscar and transitioned to having Mabel mainly be a singles wrestler with Mo managing him. It was a good switch as they had run their course as faces. There is no more rapping or pandering, just a subtle beat and sirens as Mabel angrily stalked to the ring. This was a chance to ditch the purple, but they stuck with it for some reason, at least adding some black and gold in to balance it out. Bomb had really taken well to the face role as he had good charisma and seemed to connect well enough with the fans. It was still surprising that he wasn’t getting more of a push, but this seemed like a strong spot for it to start. I am not sure how many people expected Mabel to win this one and advance in the tournament but I sure did not. Mabel jumped Bomb before the bell, putting him in a big hole immediately. Bomb would survive a splash in the corner and knock Mabel to the floor where he met him with a dive over the top rope. He shoved Mabel back in and hit a slingshot clothesline for a one count. Bomb followed that with a flying clothesline off the top but again could only get a one count. Bomb has looked pretty damn good here, flying all around. However, Mabel would catch him with a heavy spin kick and then catch him with a falling powerslam for the victory. I know they had some faith in Mabel as a potential top heel, but how can you watch this match and not see something more in Bomb? He had the look, some charisma and could really move in the ring. Odd missed opportunity for a time that they were devoid of stars. Mabel moves on as the legitimizing continues. Grade: *

*** Backstage, Razor Ramon introduces his longtime friend Savio Vega, a legend from the Caribbean. He was in attendance and couldn’t stand watching Jeff Jarrett and Roadie attack his friend. Ramon is happy to have Savio on his side as they have wrestled in the past. ***

*** As the Smoking Gunns make their entrance. Jerry Lawler comes down to ringside demanding to have his match with Bret Hart now, but Jack Tunney continues to shout him down. ***

4) Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeat the Smoking Gunns to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Hart pins Bart Gunn after Yokozuna leg drops him on the outside at 5:44

Fun Fact: The Smoking Gunns had won the tag titles back on the January 23 episode of RAW, defeating Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Kid. Following the match, Vince McMahon interviewed the former champions and they made a rematch challenge. The following week, the Gunns won the rematch when the referee stopped the match due to an injury to the 1-2-3 Kid.

Fun Fact: This is a rematch of their tag team encounter at WrestleMania XI. On the 4/23 episode of Action Zone, the Blu Brothers were facing the New Headshrinkers when Owen Hart and Yokozuna came to the ring and attacked the Headshrinkers. The Gunns came from the back to break up the attack and celebrated with the Headshrinkers holding the tag team belts. The following night on RAW it was announced that the Smoking Gunns would get a rematch for the titles here at In Your House. Bart Gunn would defeat Owen Hart on Raw leading up to the show.

Scott: With the first two matches adding up to close to 30 minutes, other matches that probably deserved more time got severely cut. After the shocking return and tag title switch at WrestleMania, we get a rematch between the top babyfaces and (now) the top heels and the champions. The Gunns have great continuity while Owen spent most of the match in the ring as Yoko was selling a post shot to the head. The crowd was getting fairly pumped up until Yoko recovers and hits a legdrop on the floor to retain the titles. The match could have gone on longer with time permitting, as it was it seemed like a Raw match and not a special PPV match. I think the next match could have been skipped and the time been given to this one, but I’ll get into that shortly. This was a solid affair but with more time it could have been better. Grade: **

Justin: Time for a WrestleMania rematch as the Smoking Gunns are angling to take back their tag team titles. This time, they are more prepared and won’t be surprised by a mystery opponent, but we will see if that makes a difference. Owen and Yokozuna already had great presence as a team and their entrance felt like a big deal thanks to the gold and their entourage. Yoko has sadly shaved his beard, though, and I do miss Owen’s theme, but those are minor quibbles. Yoko would use his size to plant Billy early on but Gunn used his speed to rock the big man with a pair of dropkicks. The challengers tried to quick tag and work a double team, but Yoko hammered Bart and tagged in Owen. The Gunns took advantage of the evening in size and worked over Owen with another double team. Owen escaped and tagged in Yoko, who punished Billy with right hands before going to his nerve hold. Billy stole a near fall but Owen cracked him with a spinning heel kick to knock him to the floor. Billy would avoid disaster by slipping away from a Yoko splash and then back inside he dodged an Owen charge and made the tag. Bart came in hot, hitting a back suplex and then had Billy come in for the Sidewinder. However, they didn’t cover right away and it allowed Owen to kick out, much to the anger of Dok, who really ripped them for it. Bart tumbled to the floor by missing a cross body and Yoko dropped his hug leg across his chest. He pitched him back inside and Owen covered for the win. That was tidy! Not as good as their match at Mania because it was lacking the spectacle feel and the moment of Owen finally winning gold, but it was still good enough to get the point across. This puts the Gunns out of the title picture for a bit as Owen and Yoko continue to build their championship legacy as a tandem. Grade: **

5) Jerry Lawler defeats Bret Hart after Hakushi interferes at 5:01

Fun Fact: Bret Hart pretended to have injured his ankle coming out of the ring after the first match so Lawler would think he was hurt. Bret let everyone know he was fine during a pre-match interview and the King found out as he walked to ring bouncing back and forth on his “injured” ankle.

Fun Fact II: Bret Hart’s feud with Jerry Lawler dates all the way back to King of the Ring ‘93, but intensified early in 1995. The match and feud Bret had at the beginning of the night was a result to Jerry Lawler stirring the pot. After Bret had won the “Award of the People”, on the February 20 episode of RAW, Lawler mentioned that the Japanese votes had been excluded from the count and that Hart was a racist. He was able to persuade Hakushi of this, which resulted in his attack on Bret. On the May 1 episode of RAW, Bret offered to not only wrestle Hakushi at In Your House, but also to wrestle Lawler. He stated that he would dedicate the match to his mother since it would be held on Mother’s Day. To one-up Hart, Lawler stated one week later that his mother would be at ringside for the match.

Scott: We haven’t seen the long awaited rematch to what happened way back at SummerSlam 1993, but it didn’t need to happen here. After Bret wrestled a great opening match against Hakushi, Lawler and the Kamikaze could have beaten Bret down to keep their heat and set up the Lawler/Bret match for the bigger show the following month. The time from this match could have gone to the tag title match and made it that much better. Instead of a well told story and extended main event-type match we get five minutes of decent action but Shinja interferes and eventually Hakushi comes in to hit two diving headbutts while the referee is hanging upside down on the outside of the ring. By the time the referee is back in the ring, Lawler has the cover and the three count. This could have been done at the end of the earlier match, instead of having to do a separate bout that had been over a year and a half in the making. I don’t agree with the choice here since we get a rematch next month anyway. I still love Hakushi as a solid heel but this match on this night was unnecessary. Grade: **

Justin: And after a lengthy wait, the King finally gets his chance to battle Bret Hart, as their feud from two years ago has been reignited. In a funny bit, Lawler brings out a young hottie that he claims is his mother. He dedicates the match to get for Mother’s Day and she says she wants to challenge Helen after Lawler knocks off the Hitman. In another nice touch, Hart reveals that he was faking the knee injury in a backstage interview with Pettengil. How can you not love that? It is interesting that they went back to this feud, but it never really ended due to Lawler having to take his hiatus in late 1993. I guess it gives the Hitman something to do at least. Hart showed off that he was not injured and goes right at the stunned Lawler off the bell, clubbing him with right hands and knocking him to the floor. Hart worked over the King back inside the ring but Lawler caught a break when Hart ducked his head, allowing Lawler to hit a piledriver. It had no effect though, as Hart popped right up and rammed Lawler to the mat with a bulldog. Dok attributed it all to adrenaline. Hart hit a piledriver of his own but didn’t bother covering as he still wanted to put the boots to the King. Lawler would go to the eyes out of desperation, allowing him to land a shot in but for some reason he went to the top, which backfired badly. Lawler’s mom is a real smokeshow. As Hart pounded away, Shinja showed up and distracted the referee, which caused him to get tangled in the ropes when Bret whipped Lawler into them. As he hung upside down, Hakushi charged out and smashed into Hart with an axehandle off the top rope. He followed that with a pair of diving headbutts, allowing King to roll over Hart and steal the upset win. I definitely wasn’t expecting that, but there you go. The feud will continue. Both of them. After the bell, they tried to work over Bret more, but he fought through it and ran them all off before beating on Shinja. The match was nothing and effectively a squash, but the King’s antics and Bret’s fire were enough to make it passable as a tool for some angle progression. Grade: *1/2

*** Todd Pettingill and his Mania co-host, Stephanie Wiand, give away the house to a lucky winner. That winner was Matt Pompacilli of Henderson, Nevada. Vince had this contest as a way to get people to watch his new PPV venture. Since he obviously wasn’t making money hand over fist like in the past, he didn’t try this gimmick again. Years later, WWE would follow up with Pompacilli to find out what happened to the house. The house was sold six months after the event. The family had just moved from New York to Nevada, so turning around and moving again to Florida wasn’t really an option. The sale of the house, which was over $175,000, created a college fund for Matt. ***

6) Diesel defeats Sid by disqualification at 11:28 to retain WWF World Title

Fun Fact: The night after WrestleMania, Vince McMahon interviewed Shawn Michaels and Sid in the ring on Monday Night Raw at the end of the show. After Shawn challenged Diesel to a rematch, he told Sid that he reviewed the tape of the WrestleMania match and saw that Sid was the reason the ref was knocked out and couldn’t count his pinfall. Shawn told Sid that when he faced Diesel again (presumably at this PPV) that Sid could have the night off. Well, that didn’t sit well with Sid, and he snapped on Shawn, telling him “you don’t give me the night off…you don’t give me nothing but respect!” Sid then dropped Michaels with some nasty looking powerbombs. As the show was going off the air, Diesel rushed to the ring to fend off Sid and come to his former friend’s aid. Shawn was now the face as the fans had been calling for, but was sidelined from the powerbomb attack. Diesel challenged Sid for a PPV match to get some revenge for Shawn. On the 4/16 Challenge, Ted DiBiase cut a promo where he unveiled his new look Corporation, which featured a new centerpiece: Psycho Sid. Sid had his first WWF match in three years on 4/29, when he destroyed Aldo Montoya on Superstars in a squash reminiscent of his 1992 run of terror. Finally, things really boiled over on the 5/1 Raw. Sid was set to face Razor Ramon, but while Razor was posing in front of his pyro, Sid charged through the pyro and drilled Razor from behind. He dropped Ramon with two powerbombs before Diesel came out and ran Sid off again.

Scott: Our main event pits two men of similar styles. Sid was the “can’t miss” guy for years, and now he gets the long awaited WWF Title shot he didn’t get during his first run. Diesel is coming off his WWF MOTYC against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, but for the first time in his title reign he’s facing someone who’s equal to him in not only size but in wrestling ability. You can interpret that statement any way you choose, but let’s just say wrestling purists weren’t looking forward to this one. And after the first few minutes, we all understand why. We loved when Diesel fought Bret and Shawn because those guys are awesome workers who will bounce around the ring and sell, while at the same time build crowd emotion in a big guy/small guy way. Now we have a completely different dynamic and it’s just not working. The pace is dreadfully slow, as Sid takes about 30 seconds between moves and does nothing but punches, double axe handles and other dreadfully simple maneuvers. Diesel selling for this guy seems so unnatural that the crowd isn’t sure what to make of it. Sid’s working the lower back and even uses a camel clutch, but it pretty much looks like he’s resting on Diesel’s back and is barely pulling on the maneuver. The match continues to slog along at a snail’s pace when it mercifully ends with Tatanka interfering and Diesel winning by disqualification. This match has opened up Big Daddy Cool’s biggest weakness: He can’t sell against bigger guys and guys who clearly shouldn’t be dictating the pace of a match. Sid needs guys like Shawn and Bret to help them out, just as much as Diesel does. The heat stays on the feud and is added when exiled Corporation member Bam Bam Bigelow comes out to help Diesel from the beatdown. Not having Shawn Michaels at this show left a gaping hole that this main event couldn’t plug up. The other unfortunate thing: This feud is obviously not over and we will get more of it. Grade: *1/2

Justin: So, some stuff has changed since WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels finally turned face but is laid up on the shelf thanks to a punishing attack by his former bodyguard Sid. To his defense came his former buddy Diesel, and this battle of the big men was inked for the PPV. Sid went on a run of terror leading up to this show, murdering some lower card wrestlers and jobbers and wiping out Razor Ramon amidst a hailstorm of pyro on Raw. The match was pretty well built and had some decent hype and anticipation. But there is a strong argument to be made that this is the beginning of the descent for Big Daddy Cool. As always, Sid had star presence and swagger and a buzz surrounded him as he slowly prowled to the ring flanked by Ted DiBiase. Dok keeps pushing how DiBiase had this scheme hatched for a long time, finally launching it at WrestleMania. Diesel gets a strong welcome from the fans and as he swaggered down the aisle, Sid went to the outside and just glared stoically at Vince as he put over the champ. Diesel opened with a series of forearms to the face and followed with two heavy charges into the corner that really shook Sid up. The challenger slid outside to consult with DiBiase as Diesel paced inside. This repeated itself a moment later, with Sid again bailing to the floor. This time he pulled Diesel out but the champ clubbed him with right hands. The crowd chanted behind the champ but a distraction from DiBiase allowed Sid to drill Diesel with a knee from behind to drive him to the floor. Sid followed him out and pounded on the champ’s balky back, ramming him into the post and then kicking him in the head. Back in the ring, Sid hammered away on the back, softening him up for the powerbomb. The crowd is buzzing a bit here and booing Sid heavily as he hammers on Big Daddy Cool’s back. Things slowed down when Sid locked in a camel clutch, continuing to pressure the champ’s injured area. He would release the hold and dole out more punishment before going back to the hold. And it is too bad, because the match was pretty solid and moving at a good pace until this. Diesel would battle back but Sid planted him with a big chokeslam to cu that short. He followed that with his powerbomb but wasted time celebrating before finally covering, which gave Diesel the chance to kick up. The champ made a quick comeback from there, landing a big boot and the Jackknife but Tatanka hit the ring and broke up the pin to draw the DQ. Blah finish, but I get protecting Sid. As DiBiase, Sid and Tatanka hammered Diesel, Bam Bam Bigelow showed up and made the save for the champ.

Well, that match started well but went off the rails during the long camel clutch spots and then capped with a shaky finish. I mean, I can’t say it should have been shorter because eleven minutes is pretty brief for a WWF Title match, but we didn’t need the lazy resthold spot twice to slow it up. That said, Diesel really worked hard here trying to keep this together and the crowd was really into the match, both cheering the champ and booing Sid. So maybe there is some juice here after all? We will see. But for now, the reign of Diesel rolls on. Grade: **

Final Analysis

Scott: WCW joined the monthly PPV game around this time, so the WWF knew it needed to as well. Having a shorter card was a smart move to test the waters in this endeavor, and considering how shallow the roster was it also made sense. Timing out a shorter card was a bit of a hassle, as they took over half an hour for the first two matches. No complaints here as watching Bret Hart and Hakushi go all out for 14 minutes is fine with me. However the rest of the card seemed to be rushed a bit, as well as having Bret wrestle a second match against Jerry Lawler that wasn’t really needed. That could have been added to the tag title match. The main event was a slow, plodding affair that exposed the weaknesses of Diesel because he didn’t have an opponent that emphasized his strengths. The disqualification was merciful, but also meant that a rematch was in the offing. No Shawn Michaels and no Undertaker also took a lot of sparkle out of this show. Shawn was selling the injuries from the Raw after WrestleMania XI, but Taker? He was on the dreaded “Coliseum Video Exclusive”. So they wanted to make sure there were sparkling matches, on the video? That was indeed a terrible decision as they should have loaded this show as much as they could. Why not have Shawn second Diesel to the ring, maybe take a crazy bump or two? That would have added some much-needed energy to the match. The next few months of PPV’s have “missed opportunities” titled all over them. This is the first one. Final Grade: C

Justin: I rather enjoyed this show as it cruised along at a brisk pace with the good matches getting time and the softer offerings going fairly short. There was very little fluff and at under two hours, the show flew by. Vince and Dok were really fun in the booth and they had good chemistry and did a strong job pushing the angles and selling the stories of the matches. Bret Hart and Hakushi had a great opener, one of my favorites of all time. That was followed by a really good handicap match. From there, things were up and down but nothing on here was bad enough to really sink the show. Even the main event wasn’t terrible, it just got a little boring. So far the two hour IYH experiment seems to be a positive one. We will see if that continues throughout 1995. Final Grade: C+