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WWF In Your House #2: The Lumberjacks
by Scrooge McSuck
- We're in between King of the Ring and SummerSlam with this stop, and for those who forgot what exactly happend at King of the Ring... well, we got King Mabel out of it, and a whole lot of nothing else. Honestly, it was one of the worst PPV's when it came to developing and blowing off programs, with no title changes, two of the champions being left off the card entirely, and just a poor, poor excuse for a PPV. Oh, yes, forgot one thing... Sid vs. Diesel are having a rematch, because the world demanded more Sid vs. Diesel. Enjoy!
- Originally broadcasted on July 23rd, 1995, from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN, with Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler calling all the action (or what could loosely be considered action). I distinctly remember watching this one live with my father, one of the last live PPV's watching with him. Usually I just watched them by myself, but it's pretty weird of me to remember that all of a sudden. Huh. Again, this isn't the Special Edition review, cutting out the "Exclusive" dark matches between the Undertaker and Kama, and Bret Hart and Jean-Pierre Lafitte, because the world demands matches from a part-time wrestling "roadie" and a pig farmer!
Opening Match: The 1-2-3 Kid vs. The Roadie:
You know, I still, to this day (17 years later!), don't quite understand keeping Bret Hart off the PPV, but putting The Roadie on it, a mostly non-wrestling personality compared to one of the top babyfaces in the promotion. I guess this is supposed to close the door on the Jarrett/Ramon program that was shelved after the last In Your House. Who is this bum doing introductions? He sounds incredibly Indy, well below even the standards of the second rate ring announcers of the time. The Kid attacks in the aisle, which leads to a silly criss-cross sequence. Kid with his signature kicks in the corner, followed by a sloppy head scissors, sending the Roadie to the arena floor. After some stalling, Kid slingshots out with a dropkick. Whip to the corner, and Kid charges in with the weakest avalanche possible. They do it again, with Roadie countering with a powerslam. Backstage, Double J is more concerned with his wardrobe than the match. Back to the ring, and Roadie lays the Kid out with a clothesline, then rams him into the ring post in an awesome spot. Back inside, and Roadie presses Kid high for a crash landing, then comes off the ropes with a pair of leg drops. Roadie with some time wasting before settling into a chinlock, and hey, Double J is backstage with the back-up singers! Well worth the $14.95! Roadie with a snapmare, but a top rope splash misses the target. They play dead as if this match had gone on for an hour already. Kid with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Kid charges in with a dropkick. Kid with a slam, and a crappy frog splash gets two, again. Whip to the ropes, and Roadie counters a leap frog with a sit-out powerbomb for two. Whip to the corner, and Roadie meets the post on a charge. Kid to the top rope, but Roadie crotches him, follows up, and fucking kills him with a super piledriver for the three count at 7:27. I'm sorry, but that was AWESOME. Solid opener, even if it was a bit sloppy at times, and the Kid's offense was a bit weak looking.
- Todd Pettengill is backstage with a word from Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar Corporation. For those who really care, the group at the time consisted of #1 Contender Sycho Sid, Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine, Tatanka, Irwin R. Schyster (otherwise known as I.R.S.!) and face of the New Generation, King Kong Bundy. Poor Dibiase got saddled with the biggest bunch of sucks to ever suck (and Mike Rotundo, but he's past it anyway).
Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs. Men on a Mission:
The nose-dive begins, as we go from a very strong opener to... this. The Mabel Push. Yes, that does deserve capital letters for more emphasis, because it was that big of a deal in 1995 to have MABEL pushed to the moon as the next big monster. This is directly result from the King of the Ring Finale, where Mabel went over Savio Vega in the Finals, and punked out the "injured" Razor Ramon, as well. Oh, and "Sir" Mo is leeching off his "heat" as well. Ramon is STILL selling this mysterious injury with the magic tape of healing. Sounds like something you would find in a Legend of Zelda game. Ramon rips off his own bandage, because IT'S A TRAP! Ramon starts with Mo, trading toothpicks for bitch slaps. Ramon works the arm and takes Mo down with a fallaway slam. Vega tags in and pounds away. Mabel tags in, and quickly misses an avalanche. Vega with a clothesline to clear Mo from the ring and a spinning heel kick to Mabel, but Mabel no-sells and flattens him with a sidewalk slam. Whip to the corner, and Mabel busts out an enziguri, but it only gets two. Double clothesline from M.O.M. for another two count. SIR Mo with a snap suplex for a lazy two count. Mabel back in, as Vince claims Vega's four matches in one night is a NEW record (revisionist history at it's best! Macho Who?). Vega escapes a chinlock,but unwisely goes for a slam and turns into a splattered la cucaracha for a two count. Mabel with an overhead slam, and Vega continues to take a beating. Whip to the ropes, Mo with a drop toe hold, and Mabel with a leg drop. Mo heads to the top rope, and misses a MOONSAULT. Who told Mabel and Mo to bust out the movesets tonight? Ramon gets the hot tag, and quickly takes Mo off the top turnbuckle with a back suplex. He calls for the end, but Mabel gets involved. Mo with a slam, and Mabel heads to the top rope, only to get slammed off. That pops the crowd, but only gets two. Mo hits Ramon from the apron, allowing Mabel to connect with a DDT. Mabel hits the ropes, but misses a splash. Mo and Vega get wiped out of the ring, leaving Mabel to crush Ramon in the corner, and finish him off with the belly-to-belly suplex for three at 10:11. I guess Ramon putting Mabel over clean here makes up for the lack of a thrilling finale for the King of the Ring. To my surprise, this was actually a very watchable match, thanks mostly to Men on a Mission.
- Double J lip syncs "With My Baby Tonight", wasting 10 minutes of PPV time on a show that only ran 105 minutes. We all know the deal... it was supposed to lead to an angle between Jarrett and the Roadie, but we'll get into that one later. Total fast forward material.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Henry O. Godwinn:
I'm surprised the Fink, or whoever did introductions for any given card, didn't do the I.R.S. intro (Henry O. Godwinn, otherwise known as HOG). Poor Bam Bam's "main event" push must be over, as he's doing midcard nonsense with Godwinn, who is attempting to get in good favor with Ted Dibiase, leading to the inevitably lame babyface turn. Earlier this month on Raw, Godwinn cost Bigelow a match against Sycho Sid, then in another incident slopped Adam Bomb on the back of the head. How rude! Bigelow grabs a quick lockup, and Godwinn with a takedown. Bigelow responds with two of his own, then takes it to the floor with clubberin' blows. Back inside, Bigelow takes Godwinn down with a DDT, but a lazy charge sees Godwinn pull the ropes down, causing Bigelow to spill to the floor. Godwinn follows, and plants Bam Bam with a slam. Back inside, Bigelow misses a charge to the corner, and Godwinn with a clothesline for two. CHINLOCK! Bigelow escapes and comes off the ropes with a cross body for two. Godwinn regains control with a clothesline and chokes Bigelow across the middle rope. Godwinn with a slam and elbow drop for two. Whip to the corner, and Bigelow surprises Godwinn with a clothesline. Bigelow with headbutts, but the top rope version misses! Godwinn goes high risk and misses a knee drop, allowing Bigelow to roll him up for the three count at 5:33... wow, that was an incredibly unimpressive victory. Godwinn grabs the bucket o'slop... and they just kind of look at each other while the crowd sits on their hands. This sucked.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
"Double J" Jeff Jarrett © (w/ The Roadie) vs. Shawn Michaels:
I don't know of there being much behind this, other than a brief confrontation on Monday Night Raw where Michaels came to someones rescue. Maybe Savio? Who cares... everyone and their dead grandmother knew who was walking away with the gold here. Jarrett poses to boos, and Michaels responds by checking his reflection in the IC gold. Lockup, and they exchange blows, with Shawn coming out on top. Lockup, and Jarrett celebrates a well executed arm drag. They trade wristlocks until Double J knocks the taste out of Shawn's mouth, sending him to the floor for a breather. Jarrett even lays in the ropes, mocking Michaels, to my pleasure. Back inside, and Jarrett grabs a headlock. Whip to the ropes, and Michaels thumbs the eyes after Jarrett does the flip out escape we're used to Michaels doing. Whip to the ropes, and Michaels with an arm drag, followed by a clothesline, knocking Jarrett to the floor. Michaels with the Fargo strut, in the on going battle of stealing each others spots. Jarrett decides to take a walk, but then changes his mind, because... I don't know, he's retarded? Jarrett uses multiple long counts to stall for time. Michaels finally brings Jarrett back inside, but a dive from the top meets a fist to the midsection. Jarrett misses a dropkick, then gets tossed onto the Roadie after some miscommunication. Michaels to the top, and he dives onto both Jarrett and Roadie in a high spot I remember getting a kick out of as a 10 year old. Michaels with a baseball slide, knocking Jarrett into the security rail. Back inside, and Double J pulls a Lawler, begging from his knees. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Michaels with a twisting sunset flip. Charge to the corner, and Michaels takes a man-sized bump OVER the ring post, to the floor. We get a nice replay in slow motion, just because it was an awesome bump.
Jarrett brings the action back inside, and drops Michaels with a front suplex for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Jarrett slaps on the abdominal stretch. Yes, he DOES use the Roadie's grip for added leverage. Hebner catches them in the act, allowing Michaels to escape. It doesn't matter much, as Jarrett quickly connects with a DDT, but a cover only gets two. McMahon's headset dies to the delight of Lawler and anyone with a sense of taste when it comes to broadcasting. We get heel miscommunication, and Michaels rolls Jarrett up for two. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Michaels with the flair flip to the floor to turn the tide back in Double J's favor. Jarrett heads to the top rope, but Hebner talks him down. In the meantime, Roadie heads to the apron, and comes off with a diving clothesline. Michaels manages to beat the count back in, ticking Jarrett off. Jarrett with a top rope body press, but Michaels rolls through for two. Jarrett turns a crucifix into a sunset flip, but Michaels blocks for two. Jarrett counters, then lays Michaels out with a dropkick for two. Whip to the ropes, and Jarrett slaps on a sleeper. Michaels battles back to his feet, and breaks the hold with a back suplex. They do the double count out spot, but surprisingly Shawn doesn't kip up, instead choosing to slowly crawl over for a two count. Michaels with rights, a diving clothesline, and it's kip up time. Whip to the corner, and Michaels with a diving forearm. He heads to the top rope, and connects with a double axehandle for two. Michaels with a slam, followed by a top rope elbow drop for another two count. Whip to the corner, and Jarrett ends up getting crotched across the ring post. Michaels heads to the top again, but Roadie shakes the ropes to stall him. Jarrett climbs up now, and brings Shawn down with a super-plex. Jarrett goes for the figure-four, but Michaels counters for two. Jarrett quickly goes back to the leg, but a ref' bump results from a second figure-four attempt. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Roadie clips the knee. Jarrett to the top rope, and a body press gets two. Whip to the ropes, and Roadie accidentally trips Jarrett, allowing Michaels to hit sweet chin music for his third Intercontinental Title at 20:06. Didn't care for this back in the day, but it's a pretty good match, and easily Jarrett's best in the WWF. This was to begin a program between Jarrett and Roadie, but for whatever reason, they vanished from television soon after. WWF Magazine even ran a SummerSlam preview, hyping an encounter between the two. Oh well... in a weird note, Michaels gives a kiss to some blonde in the front row that we've occasionally seen throughout... girlfriend? Ring rat? You make the call...
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Owen Hart & Yokozuna © (w/ Fuji & Cornette) vs. The Allied Powers:
Yes, Yokozuna and Lex Luger, the big program two years earlier, are in a worthless, thrown together tag team match on the undercard of an In Your House PPV. You can argue the misuse of Owen and Bulldog too, but they were the big WWF Title money match... I don't blame Luger for jumping back to WCW. Yokozuna and Luger start, as Vince mentions the Bodyslam on July 4th, 1993, then claims Yokozuna was "much lighter those days". Lockup, and Yoko shoves Luger to the corner. Yoko pounds away, until Luger returns the favor. Yokozuna with a slam, but an elbow drop misses. Luger introduces Yoko to the buckle ten times, and then knocks him on his ass, right on top of Owen's foot, who wasn't paying attention in the corner. Crowd didn't catch it, and barely react. Owen and Yoko have a bit of a shoving match, but eventually settle down in hopes of making Luger choke again. Owen bitch slaps Luger, then hides in the ropes, THEN he cheap shots him. Owen rules. Whip to the ropes, and Luger with a pair of arm drags. Bulldog tags in and works the arm, as well. They do their usual routine of counters until Bulldog throws Owen in the air, and drops him on the back of his head. Ouch? Bulldog gets two off a clothesline, then slaps on a chinlock. Yoko nails Bulldog from the apron as Vince warns the audience that we'll get all the action we can before 8:58, when the PPV signal ends... yes, we have FOURTY MINUTES to fit a Diesel/Sid match in at this very point. Vince references Dynamite Kid as Yoko slows things to a crawl. Owen tags back in and connects with a spinning heel kick for two. Whip to the ropes, and Bulldog with a sunset flip for two. Owen with an enziguri for two. Owen misses a charge to the corner, allowing Luger to get the hot tag. He pounds away on Yoko and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Owen to the top, and gets slammed off. Luger press slams Owen onto Yokozuna, then nails both with an Allied clothesline. Yokozuna misses a charge, then gets taken down with a double back suplex! Luger covers, but Owen comes off the top with an axehandle. Yoko recovers, drops the leg, and gets three at 10:56. Are you kidding me? Yokozuna pinned both Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger with leg drops. Match was junk unless it was Owen vs. Bulldog.
- We recap the Diesel/Sid program, and introduce all the Lumberjacks. For those who care, here's the complete list... Heavenly Bodies Tom Prichard and Jimmy Delray, Tatanka, Kama, Irwin R. Schyster (otherwise known as I.R.S), King Kong Bundy, Jacob and Eli Blu, King Mabel and Sir Mo, Henry O. Godwinn, Bodydonna Skip, Rad Radford, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jean-Pierre Lafitte, Mantaur, Bam Bam Bigelow, Savio Vega, Razor Ramon, the 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly, Man Mountain Rock, Duke Droese, Troy and Travis of Teckno Team 2000, Makin' a Difference Fatu, Billy and Bart Gunn, Adam Bomb, and last and certainly not least (his ego wouldn't allow it), the NEW Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels
WWF Championship; Lumberjack Match:
Diesel © vs. Sycho Sid (w/ Ted Dibiase):
The rematch absolutely nobody wanted to see! They tanked the first In Your House and did a terrible tag match at King of the Ring. Enough is enough! Sid attacks before Diesel could finish his entrance, but Diesel quickly fights back, knocking Sid to the floor. the Lumberjacks toss him back in a few times, until Sid wisely rolls into the heels following a slam. Sid returns to the ring and pulls Diesel out, where all the lumberjacks brawl after the heels stomp a mudhole in Diesel. That's one way to make him sell. They roll Diesel back in, and Sid covers for two. Sid pounds away as we get a POV shot from Man Mountain Rock and Erik Watts... yes, 1995 wasn't a good year for the WWF. The heel lumberjacks get more cheap shots in, actually working harder than the challenger in the match. That's not a good sign. Sid comes back with a clothesline and a pair of elbow drops, then does a suicide dive onto the heels! Okay, so maybe he won't sell it, hammering on a good 6-7 of them. Diesel rolls the dice, but soon gets pulled out by Mabel, and crushed into the ring post... oh no, please no... yes, at 10 years old, I just realized "Diesel vs. King Mabel - SummerSlam 1995" was going to happen. Mabel drops a fat leg on Diesel before throwing him back in the ring. You know, I wonder how bad Teckno Team 2000 vs. The Blu Brothers would be... sorry, I'm more interested by the lumberjacks. Sid has yet to do anything but kick, choke, or punch, and we're 7-minutes in! Sid with a charging boot for two, and it's CHINLOCK TIME! My God, Sid was one fucking awful worker. Sid with the powerbomb, but Sid spends too much time high fiving everyone, allowing Diesel to kick out at two. Diesel counters a second powerbomb, and they play dead. Sid decides to attack Erik Watts, probably for the fact he's Erik Watts. Shawn hits an axehandle from the top rope, and Diesel finishes Sid off with a fucking big boot at 10:05. This sucked. That's all I can say. When the Lumberjacks are working harder than a guy actually working the whole match, you have problems. I never thought I'd say Mabel deserved a push more than Sid, but I just did, I guess.
Final Thoughts: This one was a little rougher than the In Your House Premiere... Michaels vs. Jarrett is a must-see, as long as you ignore the Memphis-style stalling at the beginning, and the opener was solid as well. Even MOM vs. Ramon and Vega was worth watching. However, the main event sucked, the tag title match preceding it sucked, and the undercard clash between Bigelow and Godwinn would make for a bad feature match on Superstars, let alone a match you have to pay good money for. Definitely a miss in the big picture, but it's still mostly watchable because of the short run time, if that makes any sense.
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