WWF In Your House #4: Great White North
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View on October 22nd, 1995, from the Winnipeg Arena, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I don't have the extended edition of PPV locations in front of me, but I'm pretty sure this is the first WWF PPV to take place in Canada... other than WrestleMania VI, of course. We're in for a wonderful treat, as "up and coming singing sensation" Toni Wilson sings O'Canada... yeah, I don't know, either. Things are slowly going further downhill, when the singing of the Canadian Anthem is one of the highlights of the show.
- Right away, the show flushes itself down the toilet, as Interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon addresses the home viewing audience regarding Shawn Michaels being unable to defend the Intercontinental Title against Dean Douglas, and will publicly forfeit the championship to Douglas, who in turn, will defend the title against Razor Ramon. For those completely clueless to the situation, Shawn Michaels, Davey Boy Smith, and the 1-2-3 Kid got into a scuffle at a bar in Albany, NY a week or so before this PPV. The numbers and damage have been greatly exaggerated, but the common theme is that Shawn and Company pissed off a few Marines and got into a bar fight, with Shawn "suffering" serious head trama, while Davey Boy walked away with a swollen eye at worst. What does this make, three times where Shawn Michaels lost a title without actually losing it? The list would continue, too...
Opening Match: Makin' a Difference Fatu vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley:
To clear something up, Fatu was simply known as Fatu, but because he's constantly hyped as "Makin' a Difference", it's hard not to tag that along with his name for a joke. This must be early in the gimmick change, he's still sporting Headshrinker tights. We see highlights from Superstars where Hunter sprayed Fatu with cologne... because he smells? Hunter tries to do it again, but Fatu steals the bottle and BREAKS IT! Whip to the ropes, back body drop, and punches in the corner from Fatu. Whip across the ring, and Helmsley does the Harley Race bump out of the corner, to the floor. Back in the ring, Helmsley unwisely rams Fatu into the buckle, forcing him to boogie. Fatu with headbutts, but a charge misses, and he hangs himself up in the ropes in the process. Helmsley stomps away and hits a piledriver. Slugfest in the corner, and Helmsley with a swinging neck breaker for two. Whip to the ropes, and Helmsley with a knee to the midsection for another two count. Helmsley slaps on a chinlock as Jerry Lawler runs down Fatu for having a house full of cockroaches. High spot of the match so far is some dude with a headset on having a conversation with fans in the front row, who are seated directly next to Dracula, it appears. Helmsley sends Fatu to the corner and hits a clothesline (complete with oversell) for two. Helmsley goes for the pedigree, but Fatu back drops free, then no-sells a DDT by dancing some more and connects with a super-kick. Whip and a back drop, followed by a clothesline. Fatu with a back breaker and second rope headbutt for a two count. Fatu with a running Diamond Cutter, and he calls for the finish. He heads to the top rope, but misses a splash. Helmsley recovers, and the Pedigree finishes Fatu off at 8:01. Watchable opener, just not very good, either. Lawler joins Helmsley for a word at ringside after the match, and the microphone barely works. Suddenly, Henry Godwinn comes down with a bucket of slop and Helmsley uses Lawler as a human shield before running for his life. I forgot about THAT feud.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Not really an angle here to set up the match itself, but between Ramon and the Kid, who have been having issues with each other for whatever reasons. Probably because the Kid sucks and he tries to prove he doesn't need Razor's help. Razor and the Kid have matching Purple and Gold tights on, because they're UNIFIED! Razor and Kid offer false handshakes to start, because the Kliq rules, I guess. Kid takes Billy down with a quick arm drag, and Billy responds by shoving the Kid on his ass. Criss-cross sequence, and Billy throws Kid across the ring with a hip toss. Bart tags in, and gets a taste of the Bad Guy. Crowd wakes up, chanting "Razor!" as they take time to lockup. Bart surprisingly wins the shove off. Bart with a fireman's carry as there's another commotion in the front row. Ramon counters an armbar with a roundhouse right, and Bart spills to the floor thanks to the Kid pulling the ropes down. Too bad the camera mostly missed it. Back inside, and Bart is playinh dead. Whip to the corner, and Ramon follows in with a clothesline. Kid tags in and hits his signature kicks in the corner, followed by a spinning heel kick. Ramon tags back in, and takes Bart over with a fall-away slam. The Kid tags in and gets thrown into Bart the same way, for a two count. Bart takes a beating in the corner and Kid covers for two. Ramon tags in and gets thrown down by the hair. Whip to the ropes, and a colission knocks both men down. Meanwhile, Dean Douglas is scouting Ramon for his match later in the night. Weak hot tag spot, as the crowd barely pops for anyone. Billy cleans house with forearms and dropkicks. Billy with a slam and high jumping elbow on the Kid for two. Bart with a trio of back breakers for a two count. The Gunns with a double team suplex/dropkick for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Billy eats post on a dive. Ramon and Bart play the game of "put partner on the other guy", but we only get a two count. Ramon gets the "hot" tag and hammers on both Gunns with rights. The Razor's Edge lays out Billy, but the Kid wants to make the cover. He lays across Billy arrogantly and gets rolled up for the three count at 12:47. The Kid attacks the Gunns afterwards and takes the belts until Ramon calms him down like the whining 7-year old he is trying to come across as. Match was dull and pretty heatless for the most part. Neither team took too much effort into heeling it up, and it seemed like Razor was in cruise control for this, too.
The Smoking Gunns © vs. Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid:
Marty Jannetty vs. Goldust:
This is Goldust's in-ring debut, after months of hype promos. Honestly, I didn't know it was Dustin Rhodes until a few weeks after he started wrestling (I didn't watch WCW much and didn't know his voice well enough). Hard to say what his "gimmick" is... a film buff who looks like an Oscar statue? Jannetty made his return a few weeks earlier after about an 18-month hiatus, but when you're the opponent in someone's debut, on PPV, you're doomed. I do admit, I've always loved Goldust's entrance, especially when they started doing the letterbox screen effect. Jannetty avoids the bum rush to start, and clears Goldust from the ring with a clothesline. Jannetty follows up the aisle, and Goldust over-sells a clothesline. Jim Ross mentions Jannetty's "personal demons", which is code for "drug addict" or "alcoholic." Goldust with a roll up for two, and a nice sounding roundhouse right to knock Jannetty to his knees. Goldust blocks a roll up, but Jannetty takes him over with a hurricanrana instead. Whip to the ropes, and Goldust lays Jannetty out with a clothesline. Whip to the corner and raking of the eyes across the top rope. Goldust with a snapmare, followed by a fist drop for two. Goldust settles in with a chinlock as McMahon lists Jannetty's victories in recent weeks over Skip and Duke Droese. Goldust tosses Jannetty to the floor, as this one just drags on... Goldust rams Jannetty into the steps, and J.R. drops "methodical" on us, which means "slow and boring." Jannetty snapmares Goldust to the floor, and gives him a taste of the steps, but Goldust has enough in him to whip Jannetty into the ring post. Goldust brings Jannetty back in the ring with a suplex for a two count, then goes back to the chinlock. How is this match still going?! Jerry Lawler notes "Bela Lugosi" is at ringside, THAT'S how bored they are. Whip to the corner, and Jannetty misses a splash. Goldust plants Jannetty with a DDT for two. Jannetty hits the Rocker Dropper (smart move to use after the lawsuit?), and drops an elbow for two. Jannetty with a series of clotheslines and snapmare. He goes to the top again, but eats boot like a champ, and the forward suplex finishes him off at 11:17. I guess he didn't use the Shattered Dreams yet, despite Lawler coining the term after the match. Slow and boring. You can't protect someone like Jannetty in favor of making the new heel look good, and that's what we got here: confused booking.
- We recap the incident where Yokozuna and Mabel dropped so much fat asses on the Undertaker, that it "crushed" his face. Despite most of the attacks being splashes and headbutts to the chest, but whatever... we'll see the Undertaker back in action in a few weeks at the Survivor Series. Yes, hype something for PPV ON a PPV.
King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo) vs. Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji):
What sick bastard thought this would be a good idea? It's "punishment" from Gorilla Monsoon for the two and their dastardly deed, but I still don't want to see it. We've had a face-vs-face match, so now we get heel-vs-heel? What the hell is wrong with this company? Please be short, please be short, please be short... Mabel starts with a bitch slap, leading to a slugfest, won by Yokozuna. He nails the King with a clothesline, sending him to the floor, in the process. Back in the ring, and Mabel's grunting punches is louder than anything coming from the crowd. Criss-cross sequence (those poor ropes), and Mabel comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline. This time it's Yokozuna who falls to the floor. Yokozuna climbs back in and gets "crushed" by an Avalanche instantly. Mabel gets down with his funky 'self and sends Yokozuna to the corner. Mabel charges in and gets laid out with a clothesline. Yokozuna goes for a leg drop, but Mabel rolls out of the way, and then he misses an elbow drop. This crowd is DEAD. They exchange headbutts, and Mabel with a BULLDOG HEADLOCK, but Yokozuna Jackie Gayda's it! They spill to the floor and things get out of control. Cornette gets shoved down by Mo, and Yokozuna lands on him as we get a Double Count-Out at 5:13. That was bowling shoe ugly. Afterwards, they hug and make up in the center of the ring. Wow, that was bad.
- Interim President Gorilla Monsoon and Dok Hendrix are in the ring for the forfeiting of the Intercontinental Championship, from brutally injured Shawn Michaels to Dean Douglas. I've said it already, but this was complete horse shit for people who ordered the show to see the match, even if it was only 30-seconds. Have I mentioned how much I hated Shawn Michaels from 1995 through 1998?
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Honestly, should this COUNT as a Title Change? It should've straight up been a match for a vacant belt. These two had a brief program before it magically changed into being about Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid. Ramon rushes the ring and pounds away with rights, knocking Douglas to the floor. Back inside, and Ramon goes to work on the arm. The crowd is still dead, with Douglas' random grunting and "selling" louder than anything in the arena. Ramon with some extended bitch slapping and more arm work. Douglas finally escapes with elbows, but misses a charge to the corner. Douglas escapes another armbar and stomps a mudhole in Ramon. Whip to the ropes, and Ramon catches Douglas with the fallaway slam. Ramon with a clothesline, sending Douglas over the top rope, to the floor. Ramon snapmares Douglas across the top rope and sends him to the floor, again. Ramon brings him back in with a suplex, then stomps away. Whip to the corner, and Douglas to the outside once more. Ramon grabs a bottle of water from the announcers table and dumps it on Douglas. HIGH SPOT! Ramon with an atomic drop, but the Razor's Edge sets up near the ropes, and we all know what to expect. Finally, almost 9-minutes in, and Douglas has control of the match. Douglas to the top rope, and he jumps into a modified chokeslam. So much for that offensive flurry. Ramon sets up for the top rope suplex, but Douglas fights free and comes off with a body press. Ramon rolls through, but only for two. Douglas with a dropkick for a two count, his first successful move of the match. Whip to the corner, and Ramon with a back suplex... for the three count at 10:55. Total ass of a match. If this pile of crap was good enough to put on PPV, then why couldn't Michaels work? Ramon took MAYBE one bump the entire fucking match, and Douglas was made to look like a complete jobber, never getting any momentum and being pinned by a secondary move. Garbage.
Dean Douglas © vs. Razor Ramon:
- Bret Hart shows up to scare Jerry Lawler away from ringside and hit him a few times, because Bret Hart, IN CANADA, should be left off the card entirely, and only brought out to call the main event. Got to love the WWF and their wonderful booking team at the time.
WWF Championship Match:
What a main event this is going to be... can't say it's much worse than what WCW was throwing at us a week later at Halloween Havoc. This is a direct result of... I don't know, something. Bulldog pinned Diesel in a Tag Team match on Raw, so momentum is on his side, I guess. One has to wonder what this would be had Luger not jumped to WCW. There's a Diesel look-a-like in the crowd, because Canadian's are weird. Lockup, and Diesel shoves off. Bulldog grabs a headlock, and a criss-cross ends with a Diesel forearm. Bulldog goes for a body press, but Diesel casually slams him. Diesel with a second slam, sending Bulldog out for a breather. Bulldog trips Diesel up, and tastes ring post for his efforts. Back inside, and Diesel works him over in the corner. Bulldog clips the knee and pounds away. Whip to the ropes, and Bulldog dropkicks Diesel to the floor. Bret somehow gets involved, and takes a pie face for it. Bulldog clips the knee from behind, and teases a shot at Bret, too. We replay the previous incident, and it's played off as a "whoops, thought you were someone else" moment. In the meantinme, Bulldog grapevines the leg. We're informed Bret will face the champion at Survivor Series, again hyping a PPV on a PPV. Bulldog continues working the legs, and has the SUCKIEST leg lock applied that I have ever seen (other than The Rock's sharpshooter). Diesel gets sent to the floor, and Cornette with an elbow drop to the knee... Jim Cornette is bringing more workrate to the match than anyone else. Bulldog finally follows out, and introduces Diesel to the steps. Cornette continues getting cheap shots in behind the back of the referee.
Diesel © vs. The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette):
Back in the ring, and Bulldog goes back to working the knee. He turns over a single leg crab as a screen pops up telling us that Bret Hart is talking, for those who may have walked away and not paid attention for the last 10-minutes. Bulldog turns it into the regular version of the Boston crab, but Diesel is too close to the ropes, so he powers out. Zuh? Bulldog stomps the leg and applies another single leg crab, but Diesel fights free. Bulldog with a leg drop for two, then back to the leg grapevine. Bulldog clips the knee again and goes back to the grapevine, but Diesel is in the ropes. Bulldog sweeps the leg, and guess what... applies another grapevine. This thing is just dragging on. Diesel fights free again, but Bulldog regains control with the usual. Suplex attempt, but Diesel counters with one of his own, popping the crowd for the first time in a while. They're just desperate for anything at this point. Diesel surprises Bulldog with a back suplex, and both play dead, again. Bulldog pounds away for a two count. Bulldog points to Bret, and slaps on the sharpshooter, but he can't even apply it properly. Diesel kicks free, because this match just won't end. Bulldog goes for a slam, but Diesel lands on top for a two count. Bulldog scoops him up again, but Diesel slides off and boots Bulldog across the face. Diesel slingshots Cornette into the ring, and we get heel miscommunication. Diesel does the Fred Sanford waddle to drop ass across the back of Bulldog, and the "action" spills to the floor. They blow a spot ramming Diesel into the post. Bulldog slaps Bret, so Bret attacks, drawing a Disqualification at 18:23. Then Bret and Diesel hug around and "brawl" to close things out. One of the worst main events I can think of, even worse than the stuff Diesel did with Sid and Mabel. Those matches were at least booked to be somewhat short. This was long, tedious, heatless, and just plain bad.
Final Thoughts: I forgot how bad this show was, from beginning to end. When the best match is a mediocre opener between Fatu and Hunter Hearst Helmsley before he got good, you're in for a long night. The main event was a turd bomb, the Intercontinental Title fiasco was an embarassment to any fan of wrestling, the debut of Goldust was so poor and the resulting match questions how they didn't abort the gimmick entirely, and the lackluster tag title match with a barely motivated Scott Hall rounds out the list of problems. Did I mention the negative star stinker between Yokozuna and Mabel? If not for the King of the Ring, this would've been the Worst PPV of 1995, but instead it's just a pile of shit that never gets any attention for its atrocious quality.
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