In Your House #8 – Beware Of Dog – This Will Probably Never Happen Again

In Your House 8: Beware of Dog
Date: May 26/28, 1996
Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence, South Carolina/North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Attendance: 6,000/4,500
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect

We’re four weeks removed from our last show, and not a lot has really changed. Bulldog vs. Shawn is your main event for the title, and that’s all well and good. However, some of you might be wondering why there are two locations, dates and attendances listed for this show. Well, the answer is simple: it happened on two different nights and there were two different PPVs.

This wasn’t intentional though, as during the Sunday night broadcast, a severe thunderstorm knocked out the power in the arena. While the people inside could still see the show to an extent, the feed was knocked out and the PPV went off the air.

The opening match, Marc Mero vs. HHH and the main event, British Bulldog vs. Shawn Michaels, were seen as the power went off after the first match and was restored before the main event. For the second PPV, the two matches that were aired on Sunday night were simple re-aired However, the other three matches weren’t seen until later on, when the home video was released.

The matches were recorded but I’m really not sure what version is on the video that I have. I’d assume it’s the originals, but I could be wrong. The second night’s matches were longer as there were two matches that weren’t redone, and on the first night there was a 30 second squash that wasn’t redone either, so we’ll be able to tell soon enough.

Also, this is the first PPV to be held after Razor and Diesel left. At the super house show at MSG on May 19, we had the Curtain Call Incident. For those of you that don’t know, it was the show where Razor Ramon, HHH, Diesel and Shawn broke kayfabe and hugged as it was Ramon and Diesel’s last night with the company.

Since Hall and Nash were leaving and Shawn was world champion, the blame and punishment was all on HHH. He was supposed to be given the King of the Ring that year, but because of this it was given to a bald headed man named Austin. After winning that tournament, he uttered the legendary Austin 3:16 promo.

Wrestling was changed forever, and without the Curtain Call, it may never have happened. On May 27, Hall showed up on Nitro and wrestling would never be the same, so this is really a landmark time in the history of the sport. I’ll go more into the historical aspects of things later as also tonight something huge happened but no one really knew what it would be.

Starting with this video, I’ll be including the Free For All match that airs. This was shown on the pre show as a free match in I suppose an attempt to get the fans that were on the fence to buy the show. Not sure how this particular pairing is going to do that but let’s try it out.

Tag Titles: Smoking Guns vs. The Godwins

The Godwins took the titles from the Bodydonnas at a house show a week prior to this, the same one that the Curtain Call happened at. Before the match, Mr. Perfect talks to the Godwins, but Sunny interrupts. Apparently Phineas signed a contract making her co-manager of the team. This is certainly from the first show as there was no dark match at the second.

This is a very fast match as it goes less than five minutes. There’s about three minutes of a match and then Billy kisses Sunny, messing up Phineas long enough for him to get suplexed and pinned. Post match, the Guns talk to Doc Hendrix and use the words “more aggressive”, signaling their heel turn. They say they’re the champions and proud of it, which is fine as they won the belts more or less cleanly. No one cares really.

Rating: C. There’s really nothing to say about this as it was so short it’s hard to grade. Granted it was on the free show, so what are you really expecting? Nothing great, but Sunny was as sexy as ever.

Now onto the main show as the rest of the pre show is nothing but promos and recaps.

Standard recap video to begin here. Shawn is great, we all love him, he might have tried to rape a woman, blah, blah, blah.

HHH vs. Marc Mero

This is the continuation of another feud that no one really cared about. It started at Mania 12 as Helmsley had Sable with him, but later said that Sable was a dime a dozen. Later on, he and Mero who was debuting that night. He and Helmsely got into a fight backstage and they had been feuding ever since with Mero being joined by Sable.

Fairly slow pace to start as Mero keeps getting his shoulder worked over. It looks like HHH’s only desire here is to hit the pedigree, as for the most part that was the extent of his offense. Vince mentions the storms and says that if they leave they will indeed be back. If nothing else at least they mentioned that it was a possibility. Mero is getting his head kicked in so far as Vince is complaining about the officiating in the WWF as of late.

He goes on to say that working on the shoulder is “smart on the part of Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s part.” Say that out loud and see how it sounds. Lawler continues chatting with HHH’s valet, who never talks or does anything at all for that matter. It’s been all arm work by HHH so far which is a different side to him that I really like. He even goes to the top and gets a decent looking chop.

That was smart as HHH isn’t a high flier but he went for something basic that looked good. Well done. He tries it again a bit later and gets crotched, which is a nice little thing saying don’t try something you’re not experienced at more than you have to. Mero hurts his knee as this is getting solid time. We’ve cracked 15 minutes and this isn’t boring yet. It’s holding up quite nicely which is always a good sign.

I really don’t like the ending here though. HHH has the pedigree hooked but drops it so Sable is sure to be watching. When he turns around he gets catapulted into the post and pinned. Way too abrupt.

We cut to the back to see Cornette talking about how he has a big bombshell for the main event, but he’s got a good one before it: Owen is the manager of Bulldog for tonight only. He gets a great line in about how Shawn made his bed and he tried to get Diana in it but now he’s sleeping alone. This is definitely from the second show as we cut from this interview where Cornette talks about a match that hasn’t happened yet to the start of the main event, but I’ll save that for the end.

I was planning on doing the original matches as well as the second editions of them, but as Beware of Dog 2 as they refer to it begins, they show why this would be difficult: not only did the feed get cut, but so did the lights at the arena.

That’s right, the matches happened, but they happened in the dark. Due to that, we move on with the rematches. Also starting with this show, Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect are your commentators. JR saying that Austin is really tough is something that never gets old. There are no rules in this so they can beat on each other all day and all night if they want to. All that matters is touching all four corners. It’s kind of trivial but at the same time it makes the match have a nice flow to it.

Strap Match: Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin

Now this was still the Ringmaster version of Austin and not yet Stone Cold. The stars continue to align for the WWF as on Sunday night, you had a standard strap match. On Monday night, DiBiase, Austin’s manager, said that if Austin loses, DiBiase would leave the company. Obviously this was the case as DiBiase joined the NWO. This is the famous part that I’m sure you’ve all heard of about the development of the Stone Cold character.

Once his manager left, the company had no idea how to use Austin. They knew in real life he was a redneck that could out curse a sailor. Since no one else had an idea, they said just do that on camera. The Texas Rattlesnake was born. Once again, something that seems so insignificant for the WWF, the power going out and DiBiase leaving, ultimately saves them.

This is one of the matches where you have to touch all four turnbuckles, so this is one of my all time favorite gimmick matches. We start with your standard back and forth beatings with the strap which is always fun. The commentators call Savio a Caribbean legend. Far from it, but it’s an interesting idea. They go onto say that he’s never lost this kind of a match. Now I have no idea if that’s true or not, but even if it’s not, that’s brilliant.

It makes Savio look like a tough guy in this match. You can see the future crazy man in Austin during this match as he beats the heck out of Savio with that strap. Apparently if Savio loses he becomes the Million Dollar Man’s chauffeur. The strap goes for 10 feet and we get a spot that I like as Austin backdrops him over the top but gets pulled out with him. That’s a good illustration of how these matches work.

I’ve always loved this match as it offers a lot of fun spots and can go for a long while before you get a winner. This was Savio’s first feud worth anything and it’s really a good one. Granted, I think most of that was because of the guy he was feuding, but it was at least entertaining. At the time it was awful in my eyes, but now it’s quite good. This match is going on for a very long time but it’s still holding its own weight.

Austin actually jumps from the top rope and hits the barrier on the floor. That’s amazing to see considering what happens to his knees in the future. This is a great fight as they’re beating the living crap out of each other. Things like that are always fun, but when they can keep you entertained for this long, you know you have something good going for you which is the case here.

After over twenty minutes of nearly killing each other, we get to the ending which is Austin dragging Savio behind him and touching the buckles, but Savio gets them as well just behind him. Finally, it comes down to one buckle with the winner being the person that gets to it. They fight over the strap, but Austin accidentally slingshots Savio into it and sends DiBiase out of the company. Post match, Savio gets the crowd to sing that song when people are leaving.

Rating: A. This was a great match. They beat the tar out of each other and it never got dull. They had a ton of time to work with and you could tell these guys wanted to beat on each other. It was the blowoff match for their feud and it went better than it should have. Excellent match, the best Savio ever had, and a great way to put Austin over without him getting pinned.

Yokozuna vs. Vader

This is the match that we were promised last month at Good Friends Better Enemies. It comes about 7 weeks after Vader hit three Vader Bombs onto the leg of Yoko on Raw, breaking it and sending him out on a forklift. We get the JR code talk, saying yes we know this match is going to suck but we have to put it on anyway because Vader needs someone to squash. However, this wasn’t the case on the last show from two days prior as Yoko pinned him after a Samoan Drop. Now however we move onto this which could be ok but it’ll likely suck.

They start off by hammering each other with big shots. That’s fine as these kinds of matches follow a very specific formula. Usually they’ll beat on each other for the big showdown then one will take over with some bad offense until we get to our finish. We set for the big clash, but Vader pulls up twice. I get that the spot works once but after that it kind of loses its specialness. When they finally explode, Vader goes flying.

That’s just not something that you say every day. Vader gets back in and just goes off on Yoko. Think of a Mike Tyson fight from the 80s or early 90s. That’s what you get here. However, he never goes off his feet. He actually hooks a takedown on Vader and takes control. This is mostly punching and ramming into each other. For the two guys that you have in there that’s as good as you’re going to get. That being said, this has been pretty good.

Finally Yoko beats Vader down long enough to set up for the Banzai. However, Cornette interferes to try to hit Yoko with the racket. He gets beaten down too as Yoko sets for the Banzai on him. Vader saves him and Vader Bombs Yoko for the pin.

Rating: C. This was a fun little match. It’s kind of like a cheap action movie. You don’t expect anything masterful, but you like what you get. Vader gets to beat the living heck out of Yoko and finally end this feud. This set up Vader as the challenger to Shawn’s title at Summerslam in a match that to this day I have never seen all the way through. Very fun little match.

Intercontinental Title: Casket Match-Undertaker vs. Goldust

Yes you read that right. This is probably the most forgotten feud in the history of the 90s. These two went at it for about three months but somehow Taker never won the title. Goldust kept escaping somehow, but no one remembers this at all. This match was designed to end the feud though with the ending to this match. We see a recap last night of Ahmed Johnson and Goldust beginning their feud.

Taker appears behind Goldust to start the match. As can be expected, this is mostly Taker beating the living tar out of Goldust for about ten minutes before a short comeback and then about five more minutes of beating down Goldust. The announcers are stunned when Goldust goes on offense and he’s the champion in this match. That’s saying a lot actually. At one point Goldust almost gets Taker in with the lid closed but Taker fights out.

We end with Taker tombstoning Goldust, but of course when he pops open the lid Mankind is inside. Mandible Claw knocks the Deadman out to end this. Post match, Mankind screws the casket shut but once the lid starts smoking and is removed, there’s no Taker inside as the show ends.

Rating: C+. Certainly not a match that was designed to mean much of anything. The whole point of this was to begin perhaps Taker’s best feud ever as he and Mankind finally get going. The match was almost a squash with Goldust absolutely getting his head handed to him by Taker for about 15 minutes, then Goldust goes on some token offense for three before Mankind comes in to take care of the big guy. If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll like it.

WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog

After Smith makes his entrance, we cut to the back to Shawn, who says anything can happen and instead of Beware of Dog, it should be beware of Kliq. He makes his intro to a big pop as could be expected.

As this is happening, Vince mentions that anyone that bought this PPV will be given a special encore of the show Tuesday night, which was actually a completely new show, save for the opener and this main event, which is kind of cool because the matches were extended on the Tuesday version. Cornette’s lawyer, Clarence Mason declares that Shawn will be sued for trying to break up the marriage of the Smiths.

Nothing ever came of this at all. Shawn dominates the early part of the match with all kinds of jumps and flips and other TNA specialties. He then puts on a headlock for far too long and while it doesn’t bring the match to a screeching halt, it does slow things down. Shawn pre-injury is amazingly impressive. He’s all over the place but he never once looks like he’s just doing random moves.

There’s a sequence to his stuff that most people just don’t have. Following a long short (yes that’s an oxymoron) arm scissors, Bulldog does the same, yet always impressive, lift up spot as these two did four years ago on SNME. More or less, Bulldog dead lifts Shawn with one arm. That’s just flat out amazing no matter who you’re for in this match.

When Shawn is down, Bulldog does this weird little hop when he kicks Shawn. He kicks his left foot out before stomping with the right one. It’s a weird looking thing as Smith almost looks like he’s dancing. Bulldog beats on Shawn for about five minutes but Shawn makes his comeback, but instead of just pinning him, we get a longer sequence which is a very nice break.

They trade the advantage for awhile but eventually we get a ref bump. Owen tries to interfere but gets a little chin music. Bulldog sets for the powerslam but Shawn gets out of it and lands a German suplex, but both men get pinned. Diana grabs the belt and tries to leave with it. To further prove why she shouldn’t be allowed on television, she holds it over her head upside down which makes her look even dumber than she already does.

Monsoon comes out and literally grabs it out of her hands. He talks to the referees and the Fink. We get the official decision: a draw, meaning Shawn keeps the title but there will be a rematch. Until then, Shawn is the champion. His music and dancing play us out.

Rating: B. This was a pretty good match. While it wasn’t a classic or anything, it did two things that great matches need to do: it surprised me with the ending and it kept me entertained. These two indeed had some chemistry together as the power game that Smith had was something that could have beaten Shawn and he was a somewhat believable challenger. They had a far better match a month later at King of the Ring where Shawn kicked his head off to pin him clean. This was good though.

Overall Rating: B+. This one is really hard to grade considering all of the confusion that happens because of the storm. However, you get five matches here, and the worst is certainly watchable. There’s nothing bad on here and with the NOW being a strong force to come against, it’s a good sign to see all that the company had coming up. You have HHH, Austin, Taker/Mankind and Michaels coming on strong and you can tell they’re all going to do something.

However, no one really remembers any of this because of how mind blowing WCW was at this time. If you watch this show out of the order that it was presented in on Tuesday night, it’s a fine way to spend two hours. Excellent show, by far the best In Your House so far and definitely a good way to spend two hours. Very high recommendation.

 

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