Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WWF In Your House #3: Triple Header

WWF In Your House #3: Triple Header
September 24th, 1995
Saginaw Civic Center, Saginaw, Michigan
Attendance: 5,146

So quite a bit has happened since the last PPV, the most important of which is that WCW unveiled it's flagship show Monday Nitro to go head-to-head with Raw. To make matters worse for the WWF Lex Luger had jumped ship without notice and appeared on the inaugural episode of Nitro, leaving the British Bulldog without a partner or angle. So they turned him heel for the first time in his career, which was a big shock at the time. Vince would try to match the big moves by bringing in former Mid-South promoter Bill Watts to help on the booking committee, which didn't last long.

Going into tonight the big angle is the main event in which all 3 WWF championship titles will be on the line in a tag-team match between Diesel and Shawn Michaels against Owen Hart and Yokozuna.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry "The King" Lawler (the first time Ross and Lawler were ever paired together on PPV)

Waylon Mercy vs. Savio Vega

Mercy is of course a repackaged Dan Spivey in a gimmick based off of the Max Cady character from Cape Fear. This was actually a really cool and dark gimmick but it never got the chance to get off the ground as Spivey would get injured again and have to retire shortly after. This is his first (and only) PPV appearance. Vega starts out laying shots in th corner, too quick for slow old Spivey and Vega applies an armbar for a bit. It's great to hear Jim Ross on WWF PPV again. Mercy wrestles a slow pace here, tossing Vega around and brawling with him outside. Vega get's clotheslined on the top rope for a two count. Dok Hendrix shows up on a split-screen and tells us Owen Hart hasn't show up to the event yet, setting the seeds for a main event change. Waylon locks on a sleeper and gives us some of the most demented facial expressions I've ever seen, looking like a cross between murderous vengeance and constipation. Vega gets a back suplex to break it up. Spinning heel kick, but it only gets a two for Savio. Big bulldog and Waylon kicks out again. He even tries a strange backslide rollup, but Waylon comes back with a few meager clotheslines. STIFF brainbuster from Spivey, holy SHIT that's not something you see often then or now outside of Japan. Somehow Vega kicks out of it though and eats a big back suplex, but again Vega kicks out. Vega hits a weak German suplex of his own though for a near fall. Another big spinning heel kick and Vega gets the clean pin at 7:06. Slow to start but it got good at the end with the trading of big suplexes, and that brainbuster from Spivey was crazy. Fun if forgettable opener. **½

Backstage Dok Hendrix tries to get a word with Jim Cornette and WWF President Gorilla Monsoon, where Cornette is trying to get the main event canceled because Owen Hart isn't going to be there tonight.

Sycho Sid vs. Henry Godwinn

Godwinn "slopped" Sid on an episode of Superstars apparently, so there's your big backstory to this match of titans. Godwinn had been turned face simply because he was creepy and totally out of place as a heel (this was still before his "brother" Phineas was introduced). Sid gets thrown out of the ring quickly and is suplexed back in from the apron. Godwinn is thrown out and Ted DiBiase gets some cheap shots. Sid hits a pair of axe handles off the apron and then tosses him back inside. JR and Vince start putting over Sid's targeting of Godwinn's back, which consists of a few punches. Sid continues hammering away at the back, putting him in a sort of crossface momentarily, clawing away at Godwinn's eyes. Camel clutch gets applied briefly. Godwinn starts the comeback and hits a big shoulderblock. He hits the "Slop Drop" (reverse DDT) but DiBiase pulls Godwinn out, and the ref does nothing for some reason. Sid distracts the ref and DiBiase trips Henry up, and Sid hits the big power bomb for the win at 7:23. Not bad actually considering who was in there, and there was a coherent rhyme and reason to it all. **

After the match Bam Bam makes the save and Ted DiBiase gets slopped, which the crowd loves. Backstage Gorilla tells Cornette that he has to find a new partner for Yokozuna tonight.

British Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Bulldog had just turned heel for the first time in his entire career, pumping new life into his character while Bigelow was coming to the end of his last WWF run here and would be gone by Survivor Series allegedly because of backstage politics with the Kliq. Lockup to start and Bam Bam makes the first strike. Bigelow hits a big hiptoss while Cornette tries to convince Sid to tag with Yoko backstage on the splitscreen. Bulldog slaps on a chinlock and the crowd is pretty hot here. Big headbutts and a snap suplex from Bulldog, but Bigelow just stands right up. Bulldog pulls the top rope and Bigelow flies outside for a moment. Bulldog tries to suplex him back in but gets suplexed crotch-first on the top rope. Bigelow hits the flying headbutt, but only for two. Bulldog takes out the leg and starts going to work on it. Legwork continues and the crowd rallies behind Bam Bam, chanting his name. BIG enziguri from Bam Bam but it just hurts his leg more and Bulldog keeps chipping away. Half Boston-crab from Bulldog but Bam Bam won't quit. Bulldog applies a sleeper hold for a bit, and things has slowed down considerably. Bulldog goes for a body slam but can't lift Bam Bam and gets a two count. He tries a sunset flip as well but Bam Bam just sits on him. He goes to the top and attempts the moonsault, but Bulldog moves out of the way just in time! Two count for Bulldog and he comes off the top with a flying headbutt for two. Bulldog finishes with the Power Slam at 12:01. This was actually pretty good for the most part aside from a few rest holds, both guys were game though it could have used a few minutes shaved off of it. **¾

Bob Backlund comes to the ring and scares the living shit out of everyone in attendance with an insane rambling promo, demanding to know where our "lexicon" is. My god Backlund is batshit crazy here. He introduces Dean Douglas for us, leading us into the next match.

Dean Douglas vs. Razor Ramon

Dean is Shane Douglas of course, and he had criticized Razor directly after his loss to Shawn Michaels at Summerslam the month before, leading us to this match. The whole thing was supposed to eventually finish with Douglas defeating Shawn for the IC title until Shawn basically vetoed that and gave something for Shane to bitch about for the next 15 years. Razor rushes the ring and clotheslines Dean out quickly, firing himself and the crowd up. Sweet headscissors-takedown countering sequence from both men and Razor gets two. Dean gets thrown out again and we get a splitscreen of Cornette trying to convince Mabel to join Yokozuna tonight. Not even you could be that cruel Vince McMahon, could you? Wristlock exchange back inside which Douglas counters out of with a big flip. He shoots off the ropes but gets the fallaway slam from Razor for two. Razor snaps his arm over the top rope and drags him back inside with another wristlock. Douglas tries a sunset flip off the top and they exchange quick near-falls. Very fast-paced action here from these two. Razor gets tossed outside and Douglas dives from the inside out with a slingshot axe handle. He slams Razor on the floor outside and then breaks the ref's count, coming back out to get a big running knee that sends Razor into the steel steps. He gets slammed into the steel post while the crowd chants "Razor! Razor!" Douglas looks really motivated here. He hits another axe-handle back inside for a two count. Douglas applies a Greco-Roman bow and arrow for a bit, digging his knee into Razor's back. Razor reverses it but Dean gets the ropebreak and follows up with a running splash off the second rope. Camel clutch and the crowd is chanting for Razor again. Razor hits the electric chair and both men are laid out. They trade blows and Razor hits a Greco-Roman suplex for two. Douglas flies off the top with a body-press but Razor rolls through, only for two. Douglas is frustrated now and throws Razor into the referee, knocking him out. Dean misses another running splash from the second rope and Razor hits the Razor's Edge, but Bob Backlund is distracting the referee now. The 1-2-3 Kid runs down to the ring suddenly and unofficially counts to three for Razor but this obviously doesn't count so Razor shoves him out of the ring, giving Douglas the chance to sneak up behind him and roll him up, tights and all for the upset win at 14:53! Surprisingly fun match up here as I've never seen Douglas so fired up, he got some great offense in here and came out with the upset win while the Razor-Kid drama continues. Well crafted and fast-paced match-up. ***¼

Backstage Dok Hendrix gets an interview with Diesel and HBK.

Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte

This was another in a long-line of random midcard feuds Bret was occupied with in 1995 while he was off filming a mini-series. Bret had beaten Lafitte in a dark match at the last In Your House event and to get revenge he stole Bret's custom jacket on an episode of Superstars. Yes, we really are having a PPV match over a stolen jacket. Bret starts the match with a crazy tope through the ropes to the outside and we're off! Back inside they trade blows in the corner for a bit. Armdrag takedown from Bret and he wrenches back on it. He gets a crucifix rollup for two and goes back to the armwork, but get's clotheslined. Lafitte counters a hip-toss with one of his own and stomps away at Bret's midsection. Rollup from Bret gets two and Bret misses a takedown, throwing his shoulder into the steel post. Pierre slams him again into the post and taunts the crowd to a chorus of boos. Lafitte get's tossed over the top but Bret get's thrown into the steel steps much to the King's delight. Back inside Lafitte hits an awkward powerslam for two and then slaps on a chinlock. Big legdrop gets him another two, but Bret gets a quick sunset flip for a near fall of his own. Big sidewalk slam from Lafitte and he hits a legdrop off the top rope, but only for two. Lafitte goes for the Cannonball somersault but Bret moves out of the way just in time. Atomic drop and a clothesline from Bret and he goes for the sharpshooter, but he gets tossed to the outside instead. Lafitte bounces off the ropes and does a somersault plancha to the outside but misses, hitting the floor instead! That's a pretty awesome bump from the former Quebecer. He gets tossed into the steps and Bret is fully in control now, sliding Lafitte back into the ring and slamming him into the turnbuckle, similar to the spot Bret usually takes into the corner. Russian leg sweep gets Bret two, followed by a roll-up for two. Backbreaker here as he's fully into his five-moves-of-doom sequence at this point, but Lafitte get the leg up when Bret goes for the diving knee. Bret goes for another crucifix but Lafitte counters with a the big Finlay-roll for two. Lafitte tries to catch Bret shooting out of the corner but Bret's weight takes him down for another near fall, and Lafitte tries to get the cover with his feet on the ropes in classic heel fashion. Big dropkick from Bret and he tries for the bulldog, but gets slammed into the turnbuckle. Awesome stuff here with Bret going for his trademark stuff but Lafitte realizing that and being able to counter him each time. Bret gets straddled on the ropes and Lafitte goes for a splash, but Bret move just in the nick of time! Both men collide off the ropes and are laid out on the mat, but Bret grapevines one of Pierre's legs and then rolls over into the sharpshooter for the win at 16:37! After the match Bret reclaims his stolen jacket and all is right with the world. Great match here as they threw a new spin on your typical Bret match with him not being able to get any of his signature offense in, both men going for high-risk moves and getting laid out. Simple but effective booking + great wrestling = good match. ****

After the match Cornette has finally found his replacement for Owen Hart, and that's the British Bulldog, which Gorilla accepts, giving us our main event.

WWF World, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Title Match
Diesel (C)/Shawn Michaels (C) vs. Yokozuna/British Bulldog (C)

This is the big Triple Header main event in which all three titles are on the line, it's Yokozuna and Bulldog's tag titles against Diesel and Shawn's World and IC titles. If Yoko or Bulldog pins Diesel they win the World title or if they pin Shawn they win the IC title. Got all of that? Good. Shawn and Bulldog start us off with lightning-fasat exchanges and Bulldog gets clotheslined out. Things break down and the Kliq clean house of Yoko as well as the crowd eats it up and the heels take a breather. Yoko and Shawn go at it for a bit with Yoko dominating with his power. Diesel tags in and he and Yoko trade clotheslines before Diesel takes Yoko out with a big boot. Bulldog hits the big stalling suplex for two, which is a pretty incredible show of strength from Davey Boy. Vince puts over Davey's conditioning being able to wrestle with such power in his second match of the night, as this is all setting up for Bulldog's title shot against Diesel next month. Shawn tags in and hits a big splash off of Diesel's shoulders, but Yoko and Davey quickly start double-teaming him. Shawn eats some steel steps outside and gets thrown back in. Shawn continues getting beaten down by both members of Camp Cornette, playing the babyface in peril and selling the back. Big slam from Bulldog gets a two. Yoko tags in and Davey waves the Japanese flag. No one in this ring, including Yoko, is Japanese. The Banzai Drop misses and Shawn gets the hot tag to Diesel. He cleans house again and gives Davey a sidewalk slam and all four men are in the ring as Bulldog gets tossed upside down into Yokozuna, who collapses on him! Ouch. Big boot to Davey Boy and Yoko kicks superkicked outside. Davey hits the running powerslam, but Shawn Michaels breaks it up. Suddenly Owen Hart comes in out of nowhere and gets the jacknife power bomb from Diesel for the 3 count and the tag titles at 15:44. This would of course be overturned the next night because Owen wasn't officially in the match. A bit slow at points, but overall this was a good old school formula tag with Diesel and Shawn playing the cool babyfaces. ***

We go off the air with Shawn and Diesel celebrating in the ring holding all four titles.

Bottom Line:
While not an excellent show it definitely has it's moments and nothing here is truly bad. Douglas and Razor had a good match, and Bret and Jean -Pierre Lafitte had a forgotten classic. The main event is solid as well if forgettable, so overall I've got to give the show a mild Thumbs Up.

Score: 6.5/10

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