*** 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 #3: Triple Header!
September 24, 1995
Saginaw Civic Center
Announcer: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross
1) Fatu defeated Hunter Hearst-Helmsley
2) Goldust defeated Bob Holly
3) Ahmed Johnson pinned Skip
4) Undertaker pinned Mabel
Pay Per View
Fun Fact: A new three-man team takes over the broadcast duties at In Your House 3, Vince McMahon is joined by the King and the return of Jim Ross. This is the first WWF pay-per-view commentator role for Jim Ross since Royal Rumble 1994, where he teamed with Gorilla Monsoon to call the Razor Ramon/IRS match. It is also his first full call of a WWF PPV since King of the RIng 1993.
1) Savio Vega defeats Waylon Mercy with a spin kick at 7:05
Fun Fact: Dan Spivey and Scott Hall were trained in Florida, primarily by Dusty Rhodes with some additional work with Barry Windham and Rick Martel. Rhodes made a deal with Jim Crockett to bring the pair into the Carolinas when they were ready to debut, which took place in 1984. The team were called American Starship, a masked duo made up of Eagle (Spivey) and Coyote (Hall). After working with Crockett and some other NWA territories, Spivey went on his own and signed with the WWF in late 1985. He teamed with Mike Rotunda to replace Windham in the US Express. After Rotunda left the WWF, Spivey started a short and unsuccessful singles run as “Golden Boy” Danny Spivey. He stayed with the WWF until the spring of 1988, mainly paired with others in tag team action. Spivey left and started touring with All Japan Pro Wrestling, which he would do on and off until his return here. He also spent time in WCW starting in 1989, where he became a member of the Varsity Club. There he teamed with Sid Vicious to form The Skyscrapers, a pair that would feud with the Road Warriors. In 1995, Spivey returned to the WWF under the new character, Waylon Mercy, based on a character from the movie “Cape Fear”. This is Spivey’s first WWF PPV appearance since WrestleMania II, where he appeared in the Battle Royal.
Fun Fact II: 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.
Scott: Savio has been out of the loop since his epic (almost) run at King of the Ring, and now faces a very unusual character. The last time we saw Dan Spivey in the WWF he was replacing Barry Windham in the US Express way back in late-1985. He was part of the Skyscrapers in WCW but now in a completely different character. Perhaps a character that was maybe over the heads of 1995 wrestling fans. A guy who acted like a babyface and high fiving fans but working like a nasty heel in the ring. The problem was that it’s evident Mercy’s got leg and knee issues as he’s moving very gingerly around the ring. We get a news break from Dok Hendrix that Owen Hart is not in the building. Could that affect our main event? This match isn’t that bad actually, even with the painfully slow pace of Mercy because of his health. Savio is big time dead weight and wasn’t helping Mercy much with some power moves. Mercy gets caught with the spinning heel kick and Savio gets the victory. This was simply an opener to get the show started but Mercy was a great character that may have been way ahead of his time. Spivey’s health didn’t help matters with his company status either. Savio wins and we move on. Grade: **
JT: Our calendar of new PPV entries continues with our first official WWF September offering, the third In Your House installment. It also continues the trend of these shows being held in smaller venues as we venture up to Saginaw, MI for the night. Our opener seemed like a match with a foregone conclusion on paper, at least to me anyway. Waylon Mercy burst on the scene over the summer with a unique character and effective look. He had been rolling and it seemed like Savio Vega was slotted in here to give him a fairly marquee win. The Mercy character was pretty nuanced and Dan Spivey played it to perfection, really coming across as an unstable lunatic with an uncomfortably calm demeanor. We also have a new addition to the broadcast booth as Jim Ross is calling his first full show since King of the Ring 1993, but this time he is in the color commentator role which is an interesting touch. Savio got a nice welcome from the crowd and he has really carved himself out a nice little niche in the midcard. Even Vince notes that Savio is the underdog here due to Waylon’s hot streak. Vega started off in control, dodging a pair of charges from Mercy and then going to work on the arm. For as great as his character is, Mercy was clearly hurting a bit physically as his movements were herky jerky and he really just looked old. Mercy turned the the tide and dumped Savio to the floor where he rattled him with chops and slammed him to the ground. Back inside, Mercy tried for a hot shot but he couldn’t handle Vega’s weight and momentum and stumbled back into the move. It was bad enough that Vince had to cover for it. As Waylon hit a sidewalk slam, Dok Hendrix cut in and informed us all that Owen Hart was not in the building, which could cause issues for the main event. Mercy would hook his sleeperhold finisher and looked to be it, but Vega hung in and yanked Waylon into the corner to break the hold. Mercy recovered and grabbed hold again but this time Savio broke it right away with a back suplex and then rallied with some strikes and a kick to the chin. He followed with another spinning heel kick and bulldog for a pair of near falls. Mercy came back with a solid brainbuster, which again I figured was the finish, but Vega kicked out. He also kicked out of a nice back suplex by Mercy, countering into a German suplex into a bridge for two. Where the hell did all this come from? Both men ambled up but a moment later, Vega cracked Mercy with his spin wheel kick for the upset win. Boo! Mercy was hosed! I was legitimately surprised by this at the time as Mercy seemed to be getting a strong push, but it must have been right around this point that they realized Spivey wasn’t going to hold up much longer. Vega gets the win and continues to build an impressive resume in his rookie year. The early parts of this were messy but they really picked things up down the stretch with a nice series into the finish. Grade: **
*** Backstage, Gorilla Monsoon grills Jim Cornette about the location of Owen Hart and promises the main event will go down as planned. ***
2) Sid defeats Henry Godwinn with a powerbomb at 7:20
Scott: Wow do we have power guy vs. power guy here. Sid has fallen way down the card after his two atrocious PPV title matches earlier in the year. Sid will still be one of my favorite characters of all time but I never said he was a workrate marvel. So this is one of those matches where you know what you’re going to get and you just roll with it. Sid needs to be a tougher, ass-kicker heel like his Horsemen days and stop being the typical chickenshit WWF heel. That’s what ruined those matches with Diesel. If both those guys acted like the characters they needed to be and not typical cookie-cutter WWF characters then those matches could have been a lot better and more physical. Godwinn was a heel for most of the year but the slop bucket dump is a clear babyface maneuver so it was easy to slide him to the other side. It’s this show where the on-air relationship on PPV between Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler begins. Sid actually looks motivated in this match, really dropping his power moves on a durable Godwinn and taking the shots flush. I really enjoyed this quick power match with Sid getting the win after the powerbomb. We get the after match fun as the Corporation was going to slop Bam Bam Bigelow until Godwinn came from behind and Ted DiBiase took the Arkansas Goulash. The segment was fun and the crowd was into it. This is one of those matches where you take what you can get and end up really enjoying it. Grade: **1/2
JT: That breeze you just felt was Sid flying down the WWF ladder. After occupying a main event role since his February return, Sid quickly tumbled down the roster after his July Lumberjack Match loss to Diesel. He was pulled off SummerSlam and lost his big IC Title match on Raw, relegating him to the role of the Corporation’s muscle. Henry Godwinn had been acting as a mercenary for Ted DiBiase but after the Million Dollar Man refused to sign him, he slopped him twice. However, in the final build to this battle, Sid dropped Henry with a stiff powerbomb on the floor to ding up his back. Godwinn had been a solid enough heel, but the face turn seemed to be taking out of the gate. He used his beef early on to withstand a Sid attack and then hammer him to the apron before clotheslining him to the floor. Despite what it looked like on paper, this was probably a fine spot for Sid to rehab a bit with a stiff brawl. Godwinn would take Sid back in with a suplex but it was clear his back was bugging him from the aforementioned powerbomb. Sid would kick him to the floor and catch his breath as DiBiase laid some kicks in. Sid would work the back over with some pretty basic offense, whipping him hard into the corner and stomping away. Things slowed down when Sid hooked in a modified camel clutch in between axe handle blows to the lower back. The big man made a mistake by taking to the air as Godwinn caught him with a right hand on the way down. He followed with a big shoulderblock and the Slop Drop but DiBiase busted up the pin by yanking him to the floor. Sid caught him coming back in, dropped a leg and then planted him with a powerbomb for the much needed win. After the bout, Sid and DiBiase argued over who would get to slop Godwinn, but as they debated, Bam Bam Bigelow came out and nailed Sid. That drew Kama out and the two worked Bammer over until Godwinn snuck up and grabbed the slop bucket, which he then dumped on Ted’s head yet again. Well, the match was about what you would expect but the crowd was actually quite into it, especially the post both action, which was cool. There were some stiff shots in here and Sid going over was definitely the right call. Grade: *1/2
*** In the locker room, Gorilla Monsoon gives Jim Cornette two options for the main event: Yokozuna goes it alone or Cornette can find a replacement that will be sanctioned as one half of the tag team champions for just the night. After Cornette verifies that all of the same stipulations remain, he heads off to search for a new partner. ***
3) British Bulldog defeats Bam Bam 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: Our next match kind of fits the same mold as the previous offering. Two power guys who won’t give you crazy workrate but can entertain you anyway if executed properly. Bulldog was in dire need of a heel turn and now with Allied Powers mate Lex Luger down south this was the perfect move for him. He really had never been a heel before but I think his smarmy English attitude (somewhat like Steven Regal at that time) works perfectly with Jim Cornette’s crew. Bigelow has sadly been totally lost in the shuffle since his loss to LT back in April. Apparently promised many things as a babyface, he became Diesel’s little buddy and then the Corporation’s enemy. Sadly we didn’t see any of this on PPV. Now he takes on the new hot heel and again feels lost in the shuffle. Bigelow is still over with the fans and was an absolutely wasted asset to the company. As much as we all fondly love the Clique and all the guys in it, sadly Bigelow was one of the odd men out in that power struggle. However he gave his all in this match and in return Bulldog was really in a groove in ring after the heel turn. Thus this match was much more fun than it probably had any business being. Bulldog wins, but his evening isn’t over. Grade: **1/2
JT: At our last show, we discussed the heel turn of the British Bulldog and it was one that was very much needed. With the Allied Powers stuttering to a halt in July, Bulldog was starting to feel overlooked in a suddenly stacked sea of faces. With the heel side of the ledger lacking top level talent, a turn made perfect sense. It was also a great move to cut his hair short and switch over to long tights to really hammer home the change in attitude. It immediately gave him more of a main event level feel. His opponent is Bam Bam Bigelow, who is also quickly starting to fade after receiving the push of a lifetime for half of the year. With the Clique ascending to power and Bigelow clashing with them behind the scenes, the writing was on the wall. Which is too bad because he was working hard and really connecting with the fans. Jim Cornette is not with Bulldog here as he was backstage still searching for Owen Hart’s replacement. The two would feel each other out a bit early on with neither gaining an advantage. As Bulldog laid in some blows, we peaked backstage to see Cornette trying to sign up Sid for the main event. Bigelow came back with a slam but missed an elbow drop, allowing Bulldog to wrench in a chinlock. Bigelow broke free and levied some more right hands but he missed a charge when Bulldog ducked, causing Bammer to crash land on the floor. I haven’t mentioned Jim Ross much yet, but he has been a nice addition to the booth, talking about the British Bulldogs and how beloved they once were as a team. Bulldog would try to suplex Bammer back in, but the big man blocked it and crotched Bulldog on the top rope instead. Bigelow would scamper up top and land a headbutt but only got a near fall. When they got back to their feet, Bulldog clipped Bigelow’s knee and went right to work on the injured joint. Throughout the match, the announcers hyped Bulldog’s big match with Undertaker the next night on Raw. That is some nice promotion and something that they have barely done since Raw began. After some more leg work and another chop block by Bulldog, Bigelow hit a desperation enziguri but could not capitalize. Bulldog went to a half crab in between pelting the knee with kicks, but Bigelow decked him with stiff right hands to slow him up. Bulldog went back to the chinlock as the fans tried to rally the big man. They have really been into this whole match. Bigelow battled back again and was able to shift his weight on a Bulldog slam, collapsing on him for a near fall. Bulldog would try a sunset flip, but Bigelow also blocked that, this time by sitting down hard on Bulldog’s chest. Bigelow went for the kill with his moonsault off the top but Bulldog dodged it and then followed with his own headbutt of the top for a near fall. This has been a really well worked power match that has kept the crowd invested. A moment later, Bulldog caught a charging Bigelow and hit a powerslam to finally pick up the really hard fought win. I dug that match. They both worked hard and kept things moving. Even though there were restholds sprinkled in, they were kept short and aggressive. The finish was good too as Bulldog needed a nice win like this to continue to solidify his standing as a top heel. Grade: **1/2
*** Bob Backlund comes out to introduce Dean Douglas. ***
4) Dean Douglas defeats Razor Ramon with a roll-up at 14:50
Fun Fact: Shane Douglas (real name, Troy Allan Martin) began wrestling professionally in 1982, but later got training from Dominic DeNucci along with Mick Foley in the Pittsburgh area in the mid-80s. He wrestled some television matches under his real name for the WWF in 1986 as a jobber to Randy Savage and Paul Orndorff before moving on to work for the Universal Wrestling Federation and taking on the Shande Douglas persona. He was mainly locked into the mid-card where he had a one month run with the World Television Championship. He later moved on to WCW where he teamed with Johnny Ace as the Dynamic Dudes, a skateboarder tag team that crowds did not buy into since neither actually knew how to skateboard.
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. During that run with the WWF, he also recorded the 7th longest time in the first four years of the Royal Rumble in his 1991 performance. Since then, Douglas won the WCW Tag Titles with Ricky Steamboat in 1992, and then meandered to Eastern Championship Wrestling. On August 27, 1994, Douglas won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. During his post match speech, Douglas threw down the belt and claimed that he didn’t want to be the champion of a dead promotion. He prolaimed himself to be the ECW World Champion and ushered in the era of EXTREME. 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: This storyline feud stems from SummerSlam, where Dean Douglas critiqued Razor 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: Speaking of the the Clique, here a guy who was the most affected by them. Shane Douglas, former ECW Champion and the guy who infamously dumped the NWA Title a year earlier is a sneaky intellectual seconded to the ring by Bob Backlund. Douglas has spent the last couple of weeks on Raw antagonizing Razor and causing a rift in his friendship with the 1-2-3 Kid. Razor is clearly one of the most over guys in the company. His pops and crowd energy possibly competes with Diesel and Shawn Michaels, fellow Kliq members. The match is really good and a rare time during this run where a Kliq member has a great match with a non-Kliq member not named Bret Hart. The crowd gets really hot and the action goes back and forth. Razor has probably a 20-30 pound weight advantage on Douglas but the Dean utilized his speed and worked the match so well. Then the storyline continues with the Kid. Razor seems to have the match won, but the referee was down. The Kid comes in and actually counts the three count for some weird reason. Razor tells Kid to get out of the ring but then Dean Douglas rolls up Razor (with a handful of tights) and gets the upset victory. I was pretty shocked that Razor laid down here but to establish Douglas he needed to win this match. This continues the storyline and sets up the following month on PPV. Grade: **1/2
JT: President Backlund! Any match that starts with that type of promo and introduction gets a thumbs up from me. It was a nice pairing to have him associated with Dean Douglas, added a little credibility to the newcomer. Of course, this stems from SummerSlam when Douglas gave Razor Ramon a failing grade for his performance, leading to the Bad Guy decking him with a right hand. Douglas was a good pickup as he was pretty hot in ECW and the company needed more heels. I do wonder if this gimmick was the best choice, but he was never going to be allowed to use his ECW promo style here, so I guess it was worth a shot. After the mutual admiration between Douglas and Backlund ended, Ramon rushed the ring and peppered the Dean with right hands, driving him to the floor to regroup. After another flurry, Douglas again went outside to chat strategy with Backlund, who was apparently citing the dictionary during the meeting. While that was going on, we saw Cornette and Yokozuna chatting with King Mabel about the open main event slot. Back inside, they traded some holds as Lawler made jokes about Ramon’s intelligence. Douglas would try to charge at Ramon, but the Bad Guy caught him and hit a fallaway slam for a near fall. Douglas again bailed outside but left his arm too close to the ropes, allowing Ramon to snap it across the ropes and then hoist the Dean back into the ring with it. The Dean could get zero momentum going as Razor slugged him down at every turn, countering every attempt at offense and going right back to an armbar to neutralize Douglas. He finally caught a break when he sidestepped a charging Ramon and sent him flying outside. The Dean didn’t sit back, instead leaping off the apron and crashing into Ramon with an axehandle blow. He really poured on out there, slamming Ramon on the floor and then running him into the post a pair of times. I liked that acute attack from Douglas and how he didn’t sit back at all once Ramon was dinged up. Back in the ring, Douglas assaulted the back with knees and forearms, grabbing near falls in between the strikes. As Douglas hooked on a modified surfboard, Ross noted that Ramon has been battling lots of rib injuries all year long. Nice touch. After fending off a brief comeback, Douglas hit a nice springboard splash to the lower back before hooking in a seated chinlock.
Ramon would power up and spike Douglas back with an electric chair, leading to a long double count that both Dean finally broke at nine by going for a pin cover. From there, Razor mounted his comeback but Dean elbowed his way out of a super fallaway slam and hit a high cross body that Razor rolled through for a near fall. The ref would get bumped thanks to some shadiness from the Dean but Ramon fought him off and hit the Razor’s Edge. When he covered, the 1-2-3 Kid appeared and slid in the ring and counted three. Ramon assumed it was the referee and popped up to celebrate but when he realized what happened he shoved the Kid to the floor. While they argued, Douglas rolled up Ramon and picked up the win while hooking the tights. After the bell, Razor dragged Kid back in the ring and smacked him in the face, leading to a pull apart brawl. Ross opined that Douglas has destroyed their friendship. This was pretty good with both guys focusing on a body part and sticking with it the whole way through, building some good heat along the way. The finish was a bit clunky but advances the story of Ramon and Kid continuing to have issues in their friendship and gave Douglas a good heel win. I enjoyed the Dean’s cheating as he really excelled at the little sneaky spots without being super obvious or over the top with them. They worked tight too, making everything count and mixing in some good near falls along the way too. The feud between Ramon and Douglas looks to be continuing and the issues with Ramon and the Kid are reaching a boil as well. Grade: **1/2
5) Bret Hart defeats Jean-Pierre Lafitte with the Sharpshooter at 16:37
Fun Fact: This match stems from Jean-Pierre Lafitte stealing Bret Hart’s prized ring jacket.
Fun Fact II: Carl Ouellet began his wrestling career on the independent circuit in 1987 and continued there until he met up with Jacques Rougeau in Puerto Rico in 1993. Rougeau convinced him to be his tag partner and joined the WWF as the Quebecers. Ouellet took on the name Pierre and the duo dressed as Canadian Mounties. The run of the tag team saw them gain the WWF World Tag Team titles three times. The team remained together until 1994 when Rougeau retired from wrestling. Ouellet was repackaged as pirate Jean-Pierre Lafitte, the descendant of real life pirate Jean Lafitte, in 1995.
Scott: The leather jacket storyline. So the former Quebecer steals Bret’s jacket, because…he’s a pirate. Bret Hart was definitely a victim of the way the Clique was working backstage, but it is Bret Hart so he always will have the crowd reaction. Even with silly storylines like this Bret comes off looking like a champ. I wasn’t kind to Bret on our last show because as hard as he tried he could help Isaac Yankem and the match at SummerSlam was a dud. Lafitte is a much better worker and as dopey as the feud was this match is really good. Jerry Lawler amps up his commentary as his business with Bret isn’t over. I mean at this point it’s dying down after SummerSlam but not completely. What made the match great was that Lafitte took a lot of risks in this match and in return took some crazy bumps, like the somersault over the ropes flush to the floor. He also put over all of Bret’s offense, and throws himself all over the place. Back in this era, guys could work house show matches and these short PPV shows and just be added to the VHS releases. So these two worked this match many times over the past couple of months and when it hit the cameras here they are in complete symmetry. Bret’s always Bret but again Lafitte really needs to be commended as a career tag team guy he really showcased himself as a solid worker, even if the gimmick is somewhat corny. Bret takes a pretty good beating and comes back to win this match, and Lawler snaps his pencil in anger. At least Lawler keeps putting over his hatred of Bret and it makes the psychology of the match better. Once again if you really pore over these 1995 PPVs and not just summarily check them aside as garbage, you will see some entertaining gems. This show has actually been more entertaining than I remember. And we still have our main event. Grade: ***1/2
JT: Bret Hart’s midcard tour continues as he battles another newcomer with an interesting gimmick. After dispatching of the dentist at SummerSlam, Hart now has to go toe-to-toe with a pirate. A pirate that stole his prized jacket! While the premise is silly, there was some anticipation heading in here that they could deliver a strong in ring bout. Jean-Pierre Lafitte is former Quebecer Pierre and as we saw throughout his tag team run, he was a really solid worker. Putting him in there with one of the best the WWF had to offer, in a sort-of rematch from the awesome Royal Rumble 1994 tussle, had me pretty excited. I was always impressed that JPL could wrestle with that heavy eyepatch on as it must really limit his peripheral vision. Hart wasted no time getting this kicked off as he dove through the ropes and slammed into JPL on the floor with a tope. After smacking the pirate around, Hart yanked his jacket off and chucked him back into the ring. Hart was aggressive, hammering JPL with angry right hands and spiking him into the turnbuckles. This was a great start as it was fast, hot and hard hitting. JPL came back with some ax blows but Bret eventually twisted him into a crucifix pin attempt for a two count. Hart would go for a hip toss but JPL blocked it with a nice stiff clothesline. The pirate targeted the midsection of Bret, slowing the pace down and jawing with fans while doling out blows. Hart took advantage of his lax pace and grabbed a near fall before going to work with more right hands. However, he made the mistake of ducking his head, allowing JPL to crack him with a punch before sending him into the post shoulder first. Bret was able to dump JPL to the floor, but JPL bounced back and sent Bret hard into the steel steps. Bret briefly gained control back in the ring but JPL caught him on a charge and slammed with a spinebuster before hooking in a chinlock. Hart continually found openings and sneaking in near falls, but JPL was always quick to rebound and plant the Hitman down with a hard blow. After a JPL backbreaker, he nailed a big legdrop off the top for a good near fall. He then tried for the big cannonball, but Bret was able to avoid that one, avoiding peril.
Hart started to rally, landing a clothesline and going for the Sharpshooter, but JPL kicked him to the floor to block it. With Hart recovering, JPL took to the air with a big somersalt plancha over the top rope, but Bret dodged it and he splatted hard on the mat. Ouch. What a bump. Hart pitched him backside and went back to work, but JPL was able t kick him in the head as he came off the middle rope. Hart went back to the well and tried for another crucifix, but JPL stayed on his feet and then slammed Bret to the mat with a running somersault slam. He shook off a dropkick and turned a bulldog attempt around by shoving Hart off hard into the corner. I love this second heat segment here as the match certainly seemed over after the missed plancha, but we are back to JPL doling out offense. Ross was great here, pointing out how Hart was going away from his characteristic offense and it was coming him. Case in point, Hart went for a wild cross body and ended up flying into the ropes and falling back hard to the mat. JPL missed another high risk maneuver and after both men ended up prone on the mat, Hart was able to twist JPL’s legs around and lock him into the Sharpshooter for the win. What a great match! That was superbly booked and smartly worked with twists and turns all over the place. The teases kept piling up throughout the match and every time it looked like we were headed towards a finish, we headed back into some more offense by JPL. Hart worked his ass off and JPL hung right with him and despite the somewhat goofy gimmick, he looked like he could hang with the big boys if presented in such a way. Hart’s midcard run is starting to come to an end, but I am glad he got to have some really good matches with Hakushi and JPL during it. Grade: ***
*** Jim Cornette reveals that the British Bulldog will be doing double duty as he will replace Owen Hart in the main event. Gorilla Monsoon officially names him as one of half of the tag team champions for the evening. ***
6) Shawn Michaels & Diesel defeat British Bulldog & Yokozuna 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: Leading up to the match, it was announced that if any of participants in the triple header match tried to get themselves intentionally disqualified they would lose their championship belt. Shortly after the PPV begins, Dok Hendrix announced that Owen Hart could not be found and was not at the arena. This results in vignettes throughout the show with Gorilla Monsoon telling Jim Cornette to find a replacement for Hart. Cornette finally chose the British Bulldog as the replacement. Once Bulldog is chosen, Cornette emphasizes that for one night only, the tag team champions are Yokozuna and Bulldog. This important point sets up the reversal of the match result the next night on RAW.
Fun Fact II: Since Owen Hart was not officially in the match and took the pin, Gorilla Monsoon then overturned the decision the next night on Raw. However, he did force Yoko and Owen to defend the titles against the Smoking Gunns, and the Gunns 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: Our main event is the epitome of the Kliq at this time in history. We have all the titles on the line in one match, which is unprecedented in WWF history. Other than Ultimate Warrior at the end of WrestleMania VI, we haven’t seen anybody hold more than one title at the same time. It’s going to happen tonight, unless we get some screwy ending. I’m sure Diesel isn’t going to lose the WWF Title in a gimmicky mess like this, but I could see Shawn Michaels dropping the IC Title to say British Bulldog. Clearly this is set up so the “Dudes with Attitudes” can walk out with all the gold and look like incredible conquering heroes. Shawn bumps like a lunatic in this match, taking all of both Yoko and the Bulldog’s offense. To reiterate my point from earlier, seeing Bulldog as a heel is so refreshing and it creates matchups that you otherwise probably wouldn’t have seen. This is also clearly the best Diesel has looked since WrestleMania. Gee, I wonder why? On right, because he’s with Shawn and being in a tag team match he’s even more protected and is used for the hot tag and to hit all his big power moves against the slightly smaller Bulldog. The crowd is crazy for this match because everyone is working hard and they are all over with the crowd as faces or heels. Yokozuna projects this awesome heel confidence that neither Mabel nor Sid showed, which makes me think perhaps he was the one that should have been Diesel’s next opponent after WrestleMania, and maybe someone like Sid could have been a great tag partner for Owen Hart. Mabel? Eh, who cares. The match has bodies flying everywhere, until the FIFTH body starts to fly around. In comes Owen Hart to try and help his team win a singles title. However, Owen is caught in a Diesel Jackknife and three seconds later the Dudes with Attitudes hold all the titles. Of course this is absolutely silly and the result is simply the Kliq executing its power on the company. It was unnecessary to have these guys hold all the titles at the same time, even for a day. Having said that, this was a fun main event with all the major players in the company working hard at the same time. Grade: ***1/2
JT: It is main event time and I was a big fan of this concept and pretty hyped for the match. We have been soft on star power at the top of the card for much of the year, but here we have a match filled with gold and top dogs throwing down over all the company’s championships. The Owen Hart disappearance storyline was odd at the time but would make much sense eventually. Bulldog slotting in made sense here due to his ties with Cornette and also to easily get him into the title mix. The Diesel/Shawn Michaels alliance has both helped and hurt Diesel here. It helps because everyone loves Michaels and having them aligned helped transition the love a bit. However, it hurts because everyone loves Michaels and they want him to be the top dog. Regardless, it was a good pairing and in many ways they felt above most of the roster, outside of Undertaker, Razor Ramon and Bret Hart, both from a workrate and presence point of view. Although, watching Shawn’s entrance here, he may very well be the most over competitor in the company as the crowd just went batshit for him. Diesel got a nice welcome from his hometown fans and overall the crowd seemed hyped for this one. Ross makes a neat point here, calling out how Michaels had wrestled 31 of the last 35 days and wondered what toll that may take. Ir didn’t seem to effect him to start as he walloped Bulldog before clotheslining him to the floor. Yoko came in to even things up, but that backfired as Diesel met him with a right hand to drive him outside too. As the match reset, Yoko and Shawn went at it and big man won the first skirmish by clubbing the IC champ hard to the mat. Diesel would get back in the ring and take the fight right to Yoko yet again. Only some interference from Bulldog stopped his momentum. Bulldog would hoist Diesel high in the air and send him crashing back with a delayed vertical suplex, followed by grabbing a rear chinlock. The champ mounted a comeback and pasted Bulldog with a pair of clotheslines before tagging in Michaels, who launched himself off his buddy’s shoulders and hit a splash for a near fall. The crowd is still really revved up, rooting on the Dudes vociferously. Bulldog would hoist Michaels up for a press slam but instead of sending him to the mat, he crotched him on the top rope and shoved him to the floor. Once Michaels was back inside, Yoko was waiting for him with his power attack. Shawn would get pinballed back and forth, in and out of the ring, and he was assaulted wherever he was. Bulldog methodically worked him over and also cut off a comeback with a vicious clothesline.
Bulldog and Yoko worked well together, tagging seamlessly as they alternated beating on Michaels. Yoko even broke out his patented nerve hold. When he thought he had Shawn worn down enough, Yoko dragged Michaels to the corner but came up empty on a Banzai Drop. The crowd was red hot as Michaels slowly crawled to his corner and tagged in Diesel just as Bulldog came in as well. The champ was all over Bulldog, planting him with a clothesline and then dropping him with Snake Eyes. The Dudes continued to clean house on both challengers and just when Diesel was loading Bulldog up for the Jackknife, Jim Cornette tied up the referee and allowed Yoko to hit the champ with a Samoan drop. Michaels snuck in and knocked Yoko to the floor with SCM and then busted up a Bulldog pin cover. As everything was falling apart, Owen Hart showed up out of nowhere and dove into the ring but he was met by a Diesel right hand. Big Daddy Cool then planted Owen with the Jackknife and covered to win the match and the belts. Well, that was quite the finish. And I liked the way it was handled. Of course, it was a bait and switch, but preserving Bulldog from eating the fall while also allowing the Dudes to not have to really be tag champs was the way to go. I also thought Yoko looked really good here and agree with Scott that he could have been better utilized as a contender for the WWF Title during this stretch, specifically at SummerSlam. The match was pretty good and the crowd heat certainly added quite a bit to it. All four men really busted it out there and closed out a solid night of wrestling with a fun well worked affair. Grade: ***
Scott: After a substandard show at SummerSlam, I was expecting another ho-hum IYH, similar to July’s show. Perhaps Bret Hart’s match and the main event would be good but the rest would be junk. However, once again there’s proof that people shouldn’t just dump all over 1995 as a collective and perhaps maybe there are some hidden jewels that can be appreciated. I think this show is one of them. It’s not WrestleMania III or Great American Bash 1989 but in the context of the year it occurred, it’s certainly better than some of the other shows. Matches like Bigelow/Bulldog and even Sid/Godwinn were fun power matches that may not be workrate marvels, but both guys worked hard and gave what they could in a small snapshot. The show still doesn’t help the overall grade of Diesel’s WWF Title run, but it does snap his multi-PPV stinker streak. Give the show a shot, and perhaps watching the individual matches you’ll agree what maybe this show isn’t as bad as it seemed overall because it’s in between some real lousy shows. Final Grade: B-
JT: Well, this is a bit of a forgotten show but it ended being a pretty entertaining two hours. Everyone up and down the card worked hard and the crowd was digging it the whole way through. Sid/Godwinn was the only below average match and even that was solid enough. The rest were all good to very good, with nothing truly standing out. The main event was well worked but they clearly booked themselves into a corner with the stipulation and had to bait and switch their way out of it. But still, that match on top of the card made the show feel like a big deal. I also liked the running storyline of Owen Hart’s replacement that was mixed in throughout. I think this was a slight step back from SummerSlam but was very solid outing during a time of real upheaval in the promotion, as evidenced by all the new faces that keep pouring in across the card. For now, Diesel’s reign feels a bit better, thanks to being propped up by Shawn Michaels. Will it last? Time will tell. Final Grade: C+