Hello wrestling fans, you are in for a treat this week – another two part edition of Coliseum Corner!
In anticipation of the WWE DVD release ‘The Best of in Your House’ expected in 2013, let’s take an early look into some of the best IYH moments in WWF history.
The In Your House name was used with a subtitle for each event. Beginning on May 14th 1995, Mother’s Day, “Premier” featured Diesel defending his WWF Title against Psycho Sid. The final In Your House pay-per-view was Backlash, with The Rock challenging Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship on April 25 1999.
When ‘In Your House’ began, these events were just two hours long and priced at $14.95. The major events (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, King of the Ring, Summerslam, Survivor Series) were priced at $24.95 and had 3 hour running times. IYH was not an annual event but a PPV designed to build feuds leading up to the major events. During its run, there would be seven IYH PPVs annually, except for its first year (1995) when there were five, and its final year (1999) when there were two. In 1996 Acclaim even released a console game in its name.
From 1995/96, some matches have stood the test of time and some are more likely to be on an episode of ‘WWE’s Are You Serious’. Take the Hog Pen Match between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Henry Godwinn or the Cry-baby match between Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid as examples. On the flip side, we will be looking at three great matches from that time.
From Hershey Pennsylvania on December 17 1995 Seasons Beatings offered its viewers a classic main event between WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart and his brother-in-law The British Bulldog.
In what might be considered a rematch from Summerslam 1992 where Bret Hart relinquished his Intercontinental championship, these two men put on a wrestling clinic. In August of 1995 The Bulldog had turned heel against Diesel and for the first time in WWF history had turned his back on his fans. The Hitman had just regained the WWF Championship from Diesel and Davey Boy was named the number 1 contender. In the build-up to this match Bret’s sister had declared that she was no longer torn between her brother and her husband; her full support was with The British Bulldog.
The match immediately begin with wrestling manoeuvres and holds, so fluid were these two men, brawling and power moves were not a factor in this match. Although The British Bulldog was a powerful man and his signature moves were used, technical wrestling prevailed. This encounter offered excitement and anticipation and involved Bret being busted wide open consequently turning the canvas blood orange. This definitely is one to watch.
At Wrestlemania XII Shawn Michaels realised his dream of becoming the World Wrestling Federation Champion. 1996 really was his year.
In his first Pay-Per-View as champion, he defended his title against his friend turned rival Diesel. This In Your House (7) was christened ‘Good Friends Better Enemies’. This match took place in Omaha, Nebraska on April 28 1996 and was fought under the No Holds Barred stipulation. In the build-up to this match, Diesel had turned on the Heartbreak Kid prior to Wrestlemania. Obsessed with winning the WWF title back, Diesel had Shawn in his sights.
These two beat the living daylights out of each other with Michaels going through a table, Diesel ripping off legend Mad Dog Vachon’s prosthetic leg (Mad Dog, uncle of Luna Vachon was spectating from the front row) and attempting to use it as a weapon, plus, Shawn makes full use of a chair. This is one to watch over and over. This was Diesel’s last pay-per-view as a month later he’d show up on the screens of WCW under his real name.
As Shawn’s reign of success continued, he lived up to his reputation and put on another classic with Mankind at Mind Games, live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 22.
Shawn yet again put his WWF Championship on the line against another dangerous man. One month before at Summerslam, Mankind defeated the Undertaker with the help of Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer. Gaining new momentum as well as a new manager, Mankind was the perfect threat to Shawn’s reign. At In Your House 10, these two tangled in what Mankind (Mick Foley) considers one of his top three matches. In this violent classic, a table becomes a factor yet again, at a time when the WWF didn’t use such extremities. The match combines great wrestling ability with the good guy fighting back from a severe beating. This match is still a classic and one of the greats from 1996.
Join us next time Coliseum Corner fans, when we pick it up from 1997 for more of the best moments of ‘In Your House’ history.