Review: WWE ‘The Best of In Your House’ DVD/Blu-Ray

May 7, 2013 by Joe Israel

WWE Best of In Your House DVD Logo

I don’t have too much of a connection with In Your House.  By the time I started watching wrestling, In Your House had already been replaced by your Backlashes and Unforgivens.  I liked the idea of a DVD to spotlight the “B-level” PPV’s, though.  While they may not have been essential from a storyline standpoint, oftentimes this was the place where great wrestlers were given the platform to put on longer, more complex matches.  This DVD/Blu-ray solidifies that idea.  What we get here are a group of matches that almost feel like they could have been pulled out of an indy promotion like ROH.  In the mid to late-90’s, the WWE was filled with wrestlers with great in-ring skills, and In Your House provided them a great opportunity to show off their skills.  The 1st disc of the Blu-ray runs around 4 hours, 15 minutes, and the 2nd disc runs just over 3 hours, with nearly 90 minutes of bonus content.  The Blu-ray is rated TV-14.  There is an edited moment in the Michaels/Diesel match involving Diesel choking Michaels with a belt, which was removed for obvious reasons.

   

 

“The New Generation”: The Format

Todd Pettengill hosting WWE Best of In Your House DVD

As with most WWE match compilations, the matches are interspersed with interview segments, and this time, Todd Pettengill was brought in for the intros.  Unfortunately, the intros don’t really add much to the set.  Todd is fine with what he is given to do, but there isn’t really that much to what he has to say.  The only real highlight is Todd explaining the house giveaway contest on the first installment of the PPV.  I wish he could have given a bit more context to each match.  Occasionally he does this, but those instances are pretty few and far between.  Todd does have plenty of charisma, so the intros never got boring, but they don’t really add much either.  To be honest, I don’t know that the set really needed the intros anyway.  Since the matches throughout the set are so disparate, it’s hard for there to really be an overarching story to this Blu-ray. Ultimately, it ends up being a collection of good matches from 1995 to early 1999.

 

“In Your House, In Your Face”: The Matches:

Bret Hart Vs. Hakushi (In Your House, 5/14/95) – *** 1/4

A solid wrestling match, but the storytelling was a little basic.  Hakushi destroys Bret for 3/4 of the match, until he makes a comeback at the end.

WWE In Your House Jeff Jarrett vs Shawn Michaels

Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett Vs. Shawn Michaels (In Your House, 7/23/95) – *** 1/2

A solid technical match that is given a nice amount of time.  Shenanigans with The Roadie at ringside bring the match down a little bit, though.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramon Vs. Dean Douglas (In Your House, 10/22/95) – *** 1/4

Another fun match, but the finish comes out of nowhere and feels somewhat off.  Razor’s nonchalance towards winning the title was also bizarre.

Arkansas Hog Pen Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs. Henry O. Godwinn (In Your House, 12/17/95) – **

While this match probably is a “classic”, it’s not necessarily a classic because it’s great.  Still a worthy inclusion on the set, though.

WWE In Your House Bret Hart vs British Bulldog

WWE Championship Match: Bret Hart Vs. British Bulldog (In Your House, 12/17/95) – **** 1/4

As we all know, these two have great chemistry and have put together some great matches.  This one is no exception.  It takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it’s great.

WWE Championship No Holds Barred Match: Shawn Michaels Vs. Diesel (In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies, 4/28/96) – ****

It’s interesting to look at the WWE’s early attempt at hardcore style matches here.  They put together a great story, and all of the high spots seemed to matter.

WWF In Your House Mind Games - Shawn Michaels vs Mankind

WWE Championship Match: Shawn Michaels Vs. Mankind (In Your House: Mind Games, 9/22/96) – *****

I don’t really care that this ends in a non-finish. Simply put, it’s one of the best matches ever, if not the absolute best.

Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (In Your House: Buried Alive, 10/20/96) – ***

A very solid match, but not anything out of the ordinary.  It also is strange that part of this match (a PPV match) was used to build to a match the next night on Raw.  Finally, just a quick note that heel Jim Ross complaining about his broken microphone and Vince’s bad commentary was pretty fantastic.

WWE Buried Alive Match Undertaker vs Mankind

Buried Alive Match: The Undertaker Vs. Mankind (In Your House: Buried Alive, 10/20/96) – ***

This is not one of my favorite gimmick matches, but Taker and Mankind do a great job putting together a decent match while working in the constraints of the gimmick.  The post match is also fun.

WWE Championship Four Corners Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs. Bret Hart Vs. Vader Vs. The Undertaker (In Your House: Final Four, 2/16/97) – ***

This match is a lot of fun to watch due to the constant action.  However, since there is so much going on, it can be difficult to follow, and it’s tough to find a cohesive story outside of the Hart/Austin rivalry continuing.

WWF WWE Hart Foundation

The Hart Foundation Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust & LOD (In Your House: Canadian Stampede, 7/6/97) – **** 1/2

Talk about brilliant storytelling.  This match is really well put together, and the action doesn’t disappoint either.

Shawn Michaels Vs. The Undertaker (Ground Zero: In Your House, 9/7/97) – *** 3/4

Of course, you are going to get a great match when these two are facing each other.  This match definitely is a “stepping stone” match to lead to their bigger feud, but it still is a lot of fun.

Non-Sanctioned Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack, & Chainsaw Charlie Vs. Triple H, New Age Outlaws, & Savio Vega (No Way Out of Texas: In Your House, 2/15/98) – *** 1/2

This is a crazy match, but I was really impressed that I was never too confused with how to follow the action (unlike the four-way title match I discussed above).  There are a lot of cool spots throughout this match, and it sets up WrestleMania XIV pretty nicely.

WWE WWF Attitude Era Stone Cold Undertaker Mankind

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Undertaker Vs. Mankind & Kane (Fully Loaded: In Your House, 7/26/98) – ** 1/2

A standard tag team match.  The interplay between Austin & Taker is well done, but it can’t elevate the match past average.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Ken Shamrock Vs. Mankind (Judgment Day: In Your House, 10/18/98) – ***

I enjoyed this match significantly more than I thought I would.  Shamrock & Mankind had pretty good chemistry.  I still can’t decide how I feel about the finish.  It’s definitely bizarre, but at the same time, it does end up making a lot of sense in the end.

WWE Rock Bottom to Mick Foley

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match: The Rock Vs. Mankind (St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, 2/14/99) – ** 3/4

I know I’ve spoken in the past about how much I dislike Last Man Standing matches and “brawl around the arena” matches.  Unfortunately, this match features both problems, and as great as Rock & Mankind are, they can’t really elevate the match past those problems.

 
Blu-ray Exclusive Matches

#1 Contender’s Match: Bret Hart Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (In Your House: Revenge of the Taker, 4/20/97) – *** 3/4

In this match, Hart & Austin had to follow up their WrestleMania classic, which obviously is not an easy task.  They decided to wrestle a different style of match, with a clear injury angle through the whole thing.  While it prevents the match from being another classic, it does make this match stand out as different.  Very enjoyable match in the end.

WWE Light Heavyweight Championship Match: Taka Michinoku Vs. Brian Christopher (D-Generation X: In Your House, 12/7/97) – ** 1/2

This match was OK for what it was, but I felt Christopher really hurt the match.  He was trying REALLY hard to get the crowd to react to him, and it was a big turn-off.  He also wrestled a really slow style, which did not fit for a Light Heavyweight Title match.

WWE Championship Match: Shawn Michaels Vs. Ken Shamrock (D-Generation X: In Your House, 12/7/97) – *** 1/4

Another fun title match.  Michaels was in full heel mode at this point, which worked well with the no-nonsense style of Shamrock.

D’Lo Brown Vs. X-Pac (Fully Loaded: In Your House, 7/26/98) – **

An average mid-card match.  It was nice to see the DX/Nation feud represented here, though.

 

“Mind Games”: Closing Thoughts

As you can probably tell from the match breakdowns, there is a lot to like on this Blu-ray.  The match quality is consistently great, and you get what I feel is a really nice balance between unreleased gems and classic repeats.  The repeat matches we’ve seen on other DVD’s also haven’t been released in quite a while, and this is the first time we are getting them unedited, so there are still some new aspects to them.  Another thing I appreciated was that this definitely felt like the best of In Your House.  Most of the great matches and moments were included, with the one big exception being the first Hell in a Cell match.  As far as match compilations, this has got to be up there as one of the best in terms of a match quality standpoint.  There aren’t any bad matches on the set, period.  For the “match quality” guys and gals out there, this is a must buy set.  I can absolutely see myself watching this again multiple times in the future.

WWF In Your House Shawn Michaels & Todd Pettengill

The biggest downside to the set is simply trying to figure out what the point of it is.  Ultimately, I’m satisfied as just taking it as a collection of great matches, but if you are looking for more of a through-line, you aren’t going to get that.  Usually, I am the type of person who wants to find a theme in each set, but in this case, the matches are so good that I’m willing to look past it.  I just can’t imagine anyone being disappointed after going through these matches.  Hell, I found this to be a better spotlight of Foley’s WWE career than the bonus matches on his own DVD from a few weeks ago!

The Blu-ray exclusive matches are also pretty solid.  You get a few historically significant matches, like the Austin/Hart rematch and the first Light Heavyweight title match, and the quality isn’t too bad either.  I wouldn’t say that you must get the Blu-ray over the DVD, but the bonus features are certainly welcome.  If it isn’t clear by this point, I highly, highly recommend you pick up either the DVD or the Blu-ray.  As far as match compilations go, this is one of the best the WWE has ever released.

 
Get your copy :: Amazon.com.   WWEShop.com.   Amazon.ca.

UK/Europe/Australia :: WWEDVD.co.uk.   WWEDVD.com.au.

 




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35 Comments left on this article...

  1. steve says:

    This is available on Iptorrents….Vince has enough money don’t feel bad
    Now if the money was going to some former wrestlers that worked IN YOUR HOUSE then that would be a different story. Guys that can’t wrestle anymore and have no money. I’m sure the godwins are not rolling in the dough right now….So download for free at Iptorrents. I already said I will never pay for any WWE product in this TVPG Cena era. Love the old In your house but the more money WWE makes right now the more they will say TVPG era made

  2. steve says:

    I don’t think this guy should be reviewing In Your House since he stated he is only like 16 years old and was not even alive when there was “In Your House”
    I remember when In your House first started I was so excited, At the time I believe the PPV was only 9.99. That was huge back then cause all the other PPVs were 30 dollars. I remember waiting for my mom to go to work (she worked at night) so I could call the 1800 number and order it. it was that simple before to order PPVs all u had to do is call the 1800 number. I loved all the “In your house” PPVs, I still also remember when they suddenly turned into things like Backlash and suddenly starting charging 35 bucks…It was like my child hood got stolen from me… IN YOUR HOUSE were always the best PPVs, The matches were always more exciting than any other PPVs. I can’t wait to download this DVD, I was hoping though there would be a documentary on the first disk and not just matches. I would of liked a whole back story in why they started to do In your house with Vince McMahons perspective and other wrestlers.. Oh and Todd Petengill…Even back then I remember saying to myself. WOW THIS GUY IS CHEESEY. He was over the top cheesy

  3. Brad Attitude says:

    i’m still not sold on the matches and that i think there are still better IYH matches in the WWE vault. Perhaps a volume 2?

  4. Ryan says:

    Like others have pointed out, it was really nice of them to include pre match interviews and some of the promo packages before the matches. They really need to do this more. Overall i really enjoy the set. also, I understand why they would take out the belt choke but at the same time i like my matches unedited!!

  5. t says:

    Gonna watch it with a BIG smile. Aah, those times back then! 😀 *sigh*

  6. Vincenzzzzzo says:

    I hope the “Best of In Your House” sells well enough for WWE to make a Volume 2 sometime soon. So many great matches took place at this event.

  7. Kane's Mother says:

    Something you left out that’s actually really cool, is that almost all the matches have the pre-match interviews and the pre-match payperview video packages. That stuff is really cool and puts you in the moment. I marked out for the diesel-shawn package and the shawn prematch interviews.

  8. Kenny says:

    One thing that really bugs me is someone reviewing a match compilation by mostly blowing through the matches with no real description of anything that happened. I don’t need a play-by-play call or anything, but noting a few really cool spots or key storyline points in a match would have been a really cool addition.

    I noticed the conversation below regarding Simon’s criticism of Joe (the reviewer) not being a fan at the time. I’m not going to say it’s a bad thing (it’s not…necessarily), but I think it could lend some more insight into a match review, including, again, a key spot that may not be apparent in the stand-alone match, personal memories of the match or feud, the follow-up to the match and/or feud in general. Things like that which is why I would personally prefer someone with first-hand knowledge of wrestling at the time to review a compilation of matches from the time period.

    It’s not a bad review by any means, but it could’ve given more insight. Nostalgia is a big reason for this and many other DVD sets like it. These sets are marketed directly for the fan who was following at the point in time in question. I feel sets like this should really be reviewed by someone who is a part of that group that the DVD is geared toward. I wouldn’t want someone with no (or very limited) knowledge of a subject reviewing a book, documentary, etc. dedicated to that very subject.

    My opinion.

    • Simon says:

      It’s a good point regarding the ‘personal memories of the match’ comment. For instance, the Michaels/Undertaker match at IYH 17 was a huge deal at the time – both had been in the company since 1990, but had never really crossed paths up until this point. This was a match that many people thought they’d never see, and it was years in the making. The build-up had been epic, with the HBK heel turn, and just seeing these two in the ring together was rather surreal: a dream match unfolding before our very eyes.

      In hindsight, having seen the two wrestle those classics at WM25 and WM26, the initial bout between the two at Ground Zero would definitely appear inferior – but it wasn’t the in-ring action itself that made their IYH 17 match so special. It was the entire story arc and the way it had come about.

    • Joe Israel says:

      I will definitely take into consideration trying to look a bit more into the “historical context” of each match for the reviews. I do think that’s a fair point.

  9. Lemo says:

    Final Four match is atleast ****, that match is tremebdous!!!

  10. Scsa says:

    This set should have included the first ever Hell in a Cell match between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels! This match also had the arrival of Kane!

  11. Steven Jackson says:

    Good review, but I feel the Final Four WWE Title match is at least **** in my book. Sure it was hard to follow, but it is the best 4-way match ever in my opinion. Overall though, fair ratings.

    • Dude says:

      Copy/paste from above — It doesn’t really hold up. I loved it at the time, but i’s so sloppy and disjointed. I think a bloody Vader helped mask those issues back then, but looking back now it’s just good, not great.

  12. Brian Kraemer says:

    You guys don’t need to be ragging on Joe. The review was great, gave a good fair rating.

    I don’t see anyone else posting reviews on WDN or anywhere else.

  13. WWEFAN2013 says:

    Editing the choking? During the New Gen Era? Which was the most kid friendly period in WWF/E ever.

    Thanks Benoit.

  14. Simon says:

    It’s hard for me to take this review seriously, because the reviewer clearly lacks historical context required to analyse such a set. That’s not his fault, either.

    • Joe Israel says:

      The fact that I am reviewing the set without historical context is actually an advantage when it comes to reviews. It removes any bias from nostalgia. When watching a DVD, you shouldn’t need any outside context to review it; if you do, that’s an issue with the DVD.

      • Harry Faversham says:

        I think both of those points are valid. I will be honest and say that I really like Joe’s reviews but sometimes find it hard to accept that element of it. Can you really separate a match from all its surrounding circumstances and context? Maybe you can, but sometimes that’s what makes the match. I can think of some high profile examples. I guess if the DVD makes ‘In Your House’ look great to someone who never saw it, then the DVD will have done its job in that regard. Thanks for the review Joe.

      • Simon says:

        I’m not sure if it is an advantage. My guess is that this set is aimed at fans of the Attitude Era, or late 90s – that’s its audience. Thus, it’s target audience will view it completely differently to how a modern day fan will view it, which will skew the review.

        Many of these matches were culminations of lengthy feuds, and if you’re watching on a weekly basis, you know every intricacy of the feud, and exactly what everything in the match means in a wider context. Only by following it at the time can you truly appreciate which matches were really anticipated, which were groundbreaking, how they fit into the context of the overall feud, and so on and so forth. You can’t appreciate all of that when you’re dipping into them 14-18 years later, and thus a fan from the 1990s would review this completely different to how a fan of the 2010s would review it.

        Again, I’m absolutely not criticising the reviewer, as it’s not his fault. I’m just saying that the older sets should be reviewed by fans of the older generation; ones who have an appreciation of the era and a deeper overall knowledge of that time.

        • Joe Israel says:

          I understand all that; I’m not trying to argue or say that you’re point is “wrong”, just trying to put things where I’m coming from. In my opinion, if you have a DVD set like this, then the WWE should have to somehow GIVE the context to the match through an intro or something like that. I agree completely that a match can’t stand on it’s own without a storyline, that’s not really professional wrestling.

          However, I do think people glamorize the wrestling they grew up with (particularly the Attitude Era), and I try to remove that from my reviews as much as I can.

  15. Simon says:

    “Razor’s nonchalance towards winning the title was also bizarre.” – Because once upon a time, wrestlers actually stayed in character when winning titles. Ramon was cool, thus his reaction was cool. It’s only in recent times that wrestlers break character and cry when winning meaningful titles (heels included) and that fans cheer them for their personal accomplishment, rather than cheering the actual character.

    • Harry Faversham says:

      Agreed. Razor was just oozing machismo at that moment I believe.

    • Kenny says:

      Looking back now, I think that was more of Razor before what we knew him and Nash to become in WCW. Internally, Shane Douglas was NOT on the good side of Michaels, Nash, Razor, etc., and looking back on it now, it really reeks of Razor burying Douglas, but at the time, we had never seen anything like that, so we didn’t look at it in that light when it actually happened.

  16. RKO530 says:

    The Mankind/HBK match is certainly not overrated in any form or fashion. If you dont enjoy it for whatever reason that is fine but dont call it overrated when it is universally considered by the majority of wrestling fans as a “classic”. Dont forget to take into account this match is from 1996. Try & find other matches during that time frame that had the brutality, psychology, & athleticism of this bout. Certainly one of if not the best match on the dvd. Bret & Bulldog put on a close second.

  17. Tony Kegger says:

    I don’t understand why Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels always get high ratings. I don’t even care about the DQ finish…I have a hard time watching the match. One of the most overrated matches of all-time and Mankind is one of my favorites.

  18. HunterWW says:

    Can’t wait til this guy re-views the Wargames DVD..

  19. HunterWW says:

    “that I was never too confused with how to follow the action (unlike the four-way title match I discussed above).” …Yeah, because that dang ol pro wrasslin’ is difficult to follow, man…

    • Joe Israel says:

      In the Final Four match, the camera can never be on both pair’s of guys fighting at once. Because of this, there is no ability to create any coherent story, since you can never see the whole thing going on. Thus, it’s nearly impossible to actually follow the action here. The fact that this didn’t happen during that 4-on-4 match is actually really impressive.

 

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