Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more delusional than Mr. Trump! It’s WWF In Your House 8: Beware Of The Dog! Or Beware of Dog, how does that make sense? Anyways, the main angle going into this show is Shawn Michaels vs British Bulldog for the WWF Championship. Diana Smith proclaims that Michaels made unwanted advances towards here, Michaels is a womanizer and Michaels defends himself which leads to Bulldog wanting to beat the piss out of the man who allegedly went after his wife. We also have The Undertaker vs Goldust for the Intercontinental Championship. The Bizarre One might be in trouble as nobody messes with The Deadman and gets away with it. Also, Yokozuna is back from his leg break which means we will see Vader and Yokozuna go at it inside of the ring. So will this work out? Let’s find out!
Wildman Marc Mero W/ Sable vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley
These two have been feuding for a while since Helmsley attacked Mero at Wrestlemania XII, Mero comes down to the ring and pummels Helmsley, Helmsley takes control briefly before Mero unloads with big right hands on Helmsley. Plancha to the floor and slingshot leg drop for two, eye poke from Helmsley to stop Mero’s momentum. Irish whip reversed by Mero, Helmsley takes a corner bump and a massive left hook. Two for Mero, right hands in the corner. Helmsley dodges Mero who rams his shoulder into the ring-post, Helmsley hurls Mero shoulder-first into the opposite ring-post. Sable checks on Mero as Helmsley poses in the ring. Mero fights back with his good arm, Irish whip and boot from Helmsley. Single arm DDT from Helmsley, Helmsley chokes Mero in the corner.
Helmsley stomps and pummels Mero who can hardly defend himself. Mero collapses to the mat, Irish whip and knee from Helmsley for two. Arm-bar from Helmsley, Mero fights back with a schoolboy for two. Backslide does not work as Mero’s arm gives out, Helmsley rams the arm of Mero into the ring-post. Helmsley continues wrenching the arm with assaults to the arm, stomps onto the arm as Helmsley talks trash to Sable. Hammerlock throws to the buckle, cross arm-breaker from Helmsley in the middle of the ring. Knee drop onto the arm of Mero, Mero fights back before an eye poke. More arm-wrenching from Helmsley, another hammerlock throw to the buckle. Helmsley attempts the back suplex but Mero flips out and does a beautiful roll-up using his legs for a close two.
Helmsley delivers a vicious clothesline to shut down Mero, Helmsley drops all his weight on the arm over and over, Helmsley hangs the arm over the rope. Helmsley is on the top rope, diving axe handle from Helmsley who uses the ropes for leverage when applying an arm-bar. Three times Helmsley uses the ropes, another knee drop to the arm. Hammerlock scoop slam from Helmsley, Helmsley tries going to the top rope. Mero crotches Helmsley and lands a huge super hurricanrana. Helmsley whips Mero but Mero counters with a head-scissors takedown, boot and knee-lift from Mero. Back body drop, Mero is firing up.
Mero climbs high, diving sunset flip for a close two. Mero is not happy, Mero dropkicks Helmsley to the floor, Mero tries a tope con hilo but Helmsley dodges. Mero’s knee buckles, Helmsley wants The Pedigree but Sable is not looking so Helmsley is like damn woman, you have to watch me hit my finish. Sable is told to watch, Helmsley slaps Mero. Mero catapults Helmsley into the ring-post, Mero wins the match.
Wow, that was not my cup of tea at all. I do enjoy Helmsley’s work and Mero can be good with the right opponent, there were a lot of Johnny B Badd matches that I thought were enjoyable but this did not work for me. The arm-work was interesting at first for sure but I thought that heat segment went on for far too long. On top of that, I thought Mero’s tope con hilo knee buckle looked brutal and could have been a far more believable sell but with the arm work going roughly nowhere and the tope bump not being worked into the match in the slightest, I was left disappointed when it was over. Also the ring-post bump for a finish is so 1980s wrestling, I am surprised they did that in 1996, what a strange finish to see considering just how much more athletic wrestling has become with the likes of Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels and Bret taking centre stage during this era.
Winner: Marc Mero over Hunter Hearst Helmsley via Catapult into The Ring-post!
(WWF Championship Match) Shawn Michaels © W/ Jose Lethario vs The British Bulldog W/ Owen Hart & Diana
What is the bombshell? What does Jim Cornette have to tell the world? How can Shawn Michaels be focused going into this match with the idea that the world has been told that HBK is a womanizer who went after another man’s wife. Clarence Mason is on the microphone, berating Michaels for trying to break up the Smith Family. Bulldog jumps Michaels who was reading his court papers, Bulldog pummels Michaels. Irish whip to the buckle, Michaels leaps over and continues to counter Bulldog before attempting Sweet Chin Music. Bulldog powders which leads to a plancha from Michaels, Owen speaks strategy with Bulldog. Side headlock from HBK, Bulldog tries to shove off Michaels but Michaels uses the turnbuckle to score with a big headlock takedown.
Michaels continue his headlock control Bulldog tries a back suplex but Michaels flips out and leaps over, Bulldog clamps on a bearhug but Michaels escapes with an ear clap. Enzuigiri for two from Michaels, the champion is in firm control of this match. Hip-toss into a short-arm scissors from HBK, Bulldog has been unable to get started in this match at all. Bulldog lifts up Michaels and electric chair drops HBK down. Two stomps from Bulldog, back body drop from Bulldog. Stomps and right hands from Bulldog, Bulldog yanks out the hair of Michaels with a big slam. Headbutt by Bulldog, reverse chin-lock from the challenger. Michaels elbows his way out but Bulldog lands a massive forearm before applying an Argentine back-breaker. Michaels bridges up and pulls apart the arms, crucifix attempt is blocked as Bulldog lands a massive Samoan drop and leg drop for two.
Reverse chin-lock from Bulldog, Michaels fights his way out with right hands. Michaels ends up on the floor trying to avoid Bulldog, Michaels is whipped hard into the guardrail. Michaels is on the apron, two massive shoulderblocks and a hot-shot leaves Bulldog down. Slingshot clothesline from Michaels, both men are slow to their feet. Dropdown from Michaels before both men bang heads inside of the ring, Michaels lands his flying forearm. Kip-up from Michaels, Diana looks on concerned. Scoop slam, foot stomp to the head. Michaels lands a diving axe handle for two, Michaels Irish whips Bulldog and lowers his head. Bulldog boots Michaels but Michaels reverses an Irish whip, dropdown from Michaels. Bulldog wipes out Earl Hebnar the referee, scoop slam and diving elbow drop from Michaels.
Michaels calls for Sweet Chin Music, Owen Hart slithers into the ring but Michaels sees Owen coming and lands Sweet Chin Music. Bulldog pummels Michaels with clubbing blows, running powerslam is on Bulldog’s mind but Michaels shoves off Bulldog and lands a German Suplex. 1…2…3! Bulldog is declared the winner, what’s happening here? Earl Hebnar declares Michaels the winner, Mike Chioda declares Bulldog the winner. Gorilla Monsoon steps into the ring and soon will make a ruling, the match is declared a draw and the championship cannot change hands on a draw.
Good way to keep the feud going as they felt they had a hot angle here with Michaels defending his honour and Bulldog being a big bastard who batters everyone’s heartthrob Shawn Michaels. I thought the match was a little lacking in the heat department, not the standard I am used to with Shawn Michaels considering how good HBK has been in 1995 and 1996. So, finish leaves things open for the rematch, I hope they do even better for the rematch.
(Caribbean Strap Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin W/ Ted Dibiase vs Savio Vega
If Stone Cold loses, Ted Dibiase will leave the WWF. I suppose it made little sense for Dibiase to stick around considering his Million Dollar Corporation were nothing with Tatanka gone, IRS gone, Bam Bam Bigelow gone and Sid gone too. This is the second time this match is taking place as the lights went out at the first Beware of Dog which meant the PPV had to take place again on a Tuesday night from another arena. Austin and Vega are tied to the strap, you win by touching all 4 corners in quick succession. Hard right hands from Austin, elbows from Austin. Repeated blows to the back of the head, Irish whip but Savio reverses and back body drops Austin who rolls to the floor to avoid his attacks. Savio pulls Austin into the ring apron twice, big chop from Savio.
Savio whips Austin repeatedly, Austin is being tortured by Savio. Suplex from Savio, Savio touches two corners before Austin yanks back Savio. Austin whips Savio with the strap over and over, Savio takes down Austin to break Austin’s advantage. They roll to the floor, Austin rams Savio into the ring apron. More whipping from Austin, Savio is tossed into the guardrail. Austin chokes Savio with the strap, apron suplex back into the ring. Austin touches two corners, Savio pulls back Austin and rams Austin into the buckle. Both men end up on the floor, Savio suplexes Austin on the floor. Savio whips Austin on the floor with the strap before Austin rakes the eyes of Savio. Austin tries a double axe handle off the apron, Savio blocks with a massive right hand.
Savio touches three corners before Austin trips Savio, Austin whips Savio time and time again. Savio places Austin on the top rope, Austin chops away Savio. Savio lands a kick that crotches Austin, superplex from Savio. Savio staggers towards the buckles, three corners from Savio. Austin spinebusters Savio who ran towards the final turnbuckle. Austin chokes Savio with the middle rope, driving his weight across the neck and back from Savio. Austin continues choking Savio, Austin touches two buckles before Savio eye pokes Austin. Austin looks for a tombstone, Savio counters but Austin counters again, dumping Savio to the floor. Savio kicks away Austin who proceeds to hang Savio as Savio spills to the floor.
Austin is on the top rope, Savio yanks down Austin who face-plants into the guardrail. Savio touches two buckles before Austin tries a sunset flip, Savio beats off Austin for three before Austin yanks Savio away from the buckle. Austin looks for a piledriver, it connects. Austin picks up Savio for another, Savio back-drops Austin. Austin has The Million Dollar Dream, Savio touches two buckles with Austin on his back. Savio touches three and kicks off Austin with both men collapsing to the mat. Stun-gun from Austin, Austin ties the strap around the neck of Savio. Austin drags Savio by the neck, Savio touches the buckles after Austin hits the buckles. We are tied with three each, Savio uses his momentum to touch the final buckle and Dibiase is gone from the WWF.
Well, both men worked hard and it was super physical, that’s the constant between Austin and Savio’s feud, they come in like two people who absolutely hate one another and just beat one another half to death with the leather strap. It’s vicious and I don’t know if I have seen the stipulation work as well as it did in this match as these two just beat the shit out of one another. However, the finish ends like every other strap match to ever exist with one man touching the buckles, the other touching the buckles without the first man noticing and wham, someone ends up winning 4:3 on buckle touches. Dibiase leaves after being one of my favourite wrestlers to watch during the late 80s, constantly putting on solid performances while this would kickstart the most important moments in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s career. As for Savio, he’s never won me over as a babyface but then again, the WWF rarely give me a reason to care.
Winner: Savio Vega over Stone Cold Steve Austin!
Vader W/ James E. Cornette vs Yokozuna
Vader broke Yokozuna’s leg, Yokozuna wants to murder Vader. Yokozuna is at his biggest and looks blown-up after two punches, they take a breather as Vader claims Yokozuna got him in the throat. They stall and stall and stall, they finally charge one another. Yokozuna runs over Vader and clotheslines Vader to the floor, Vader re-enters the ring and hammers Yokozuna with rights and lefts. Clubbing blows before Yokozuna leg-trips Vader, massive elbow to the leg of Vader. Vader rolls to the floor, Vader limps around selling the damage done by Yokozuna. Yokozuna lures in Vader twice, same result. Headbutts in the corner and chops from Yokozuna, Vader eye-pokes Yokozuna. More clubbing blows from Vader, Vader tries a scoop slam but Yokozuna is too heavy.
Yokozuna answers with a uranage, corner splash from Yokozuna. Samoan Drop from Yokozuna, Yokozuna wants the Banzai Drop. Cornette distracts Yokozuna, Cornette is pulled into the ring. Cornette begs for mercy, Yokozuna squeezes the hand of Cornette and a massive headbutt. Yokozuna wants to Banzai Drop Cornette, Vader pulls Cornette out of the way. Vader elbow drops and splashes the leg, Vader Bomb and it’s over.
Dull, slow and far too long. Vader should have steam-rolled Yokozuna, Vader is your big heel for 1996 and Yokozuna is almost immobile. They were wise to stall but that does not make me entertained or want to cheer Yokozuna or boo Vader, it makes me want to change the channel.
Winner: Vader over Yokozuna via Vader Bomb!
(WWF Intercontinental Championship Casket Match) Goldust © W/ Marlena vs The Undertaker
Before the match starts, we see Ahmed Johnson bringing Goldust back to the ring for his match against Ultimate Warrior, we then see Owen Hart cost Ahmed Johnson his match against Vader but the key here is Goldust gives CPR to Ahmed Johnson to bring him back to life. So, that all sounds great we have Ahmed Johnson for Goldust right? Nope, we have Undertaker vs Goldust. Why? No reason, no real explanation. Undertaker is in the ring behind Goldust, Goldust slowly turns around and eats an uppercut, Goldust is down on the floor. Taker is in pursuit, Goldust continues to walk away before stomping The Deadman. Irish whip, Goldust ducks the head and Taker yanks Goldust to the mat. Irish whip to the buckle, down goes Goldust. Goldust is bounced off the buckle too, elbow for Goldust. Taker clotheslines Goldust down, Marlena is not happy at ringside. Goldust is thrown onto the casket, Goldust quickly runs away from the casket.
Undertaker lands a leg drop in the ring, Goldust tries to fight back before Undertaker wrenches the arm, looking for Old School. Taker connects, Taker chokes Goldust in the corner. Irish whip to the buckle, Goldust elbows away The Deadman. Scoop slam from Goldust, Taker sits right back up. Uppercut from Taker, Irish whip but Taker lowers the head. Goldust manages to nail a tombstone on Taker, Taker sits up again. Strikes to the head from Goldust, low clothesline from the champion. Taker is rolled into the casket, Goldust cannot close the lid as Goldust eats right hands from Taker. Irish whip and boot from Taker, Goldust manages to back-drop Taker to the floor. Goldust chokes Taker with a camera cord, Goldust has Taker down in the ring.
Axe handle from Goldust, Taker is staggering around the ring. Taker lands a right hand and a boot, throat thrust knocks Goldust down. Irish whip but Goldust reverses, sleeper from The Bizarre One. Taker goes out, Goldust rolls Taker into the casket. Goldust calls for the finish, Taker’s arm shoots out from the casket. Goldust is in shock, Goldust puts his full-weight on the casket but Taker shoves Goldust to the floor. Irish whip but Taker ducks the clothesline, flying clothesline from The Phenom. Boot and uppercut, Goldust and Taker spill to the floor off Taker’s clothesline. Taker has a chair, Goldust boots Taker away. Big clothesline from Goldust, powerslam in the ring from Goldust.
Goldust is climbing to the top rope, Taker sits up though. Diving clothesline from Goldust, Goldust eats a low blow from Taker. Goldust wants to try Old School, Taker yanks off Goldust. Tombstone Piledriver, Taker opens the casket and who the hell is that? It’s Mankind who emerges from the casket, Mankind chokes out Taker with a Mandible Claw and Goldust is your winner. On this night, Mankind has made a statement but The Deadman never forgets!
It was ok, I thought Goldust looked decent in there with The Deadman, Taker hasn’t had someone good to work with in what seems like forever at this point. The Bret Hart match was disappointing so hopefully, things will improve with Mankind willing to do anything and everything to get over in the WWF. Strong debut for Mankind, happy that Foley was shining brightly in the WWF in his first major angle. The match did seem pointless based on everything they showed before the match so it made it a lot harder to be invested in the match but it was fine for what it was, hardly a main event calibre match though.
Winner: Goldust over The Undertaker via Casket!
That was WWF’s In Your House 8: Beware of Dog and technical issues aside, this was a disappointing In Your House. I had come to enjoy these lighter and shorter pay per views but the quality is decreasing despite the trimming of fat. We kick off with Mero vs Helmsley, it looks like a good match on paper with both men having reason to feud and both climbing the card in the WWF with Helmsley being more than solid in ever appearance and Mero coming in off his Johnny B. Badd gimmick in WCW. The heat segment just sucks me out of this match, I get the logic of taking away Mero’s punches but Helmsley is in control for far too long and Mero’s comebacks just don’t work for me. On top of that, the tope bump where it looks like Mero fucks up his leg is better and nastier than any of the arm work I saw, the finish doesn’t work for me in 1996 either. I would have bought a roll-up jacknife style over what took place.
Michaels vs Bulldog is of less quality than I would expect from a HBK title defence, this could be due to the fact that they were saving the big match for KOTR 1996 but I’ve enjoyed a lot of Shawn Michaels’ matches on his way to the championship and I don’t see why Shawn Michaels didn’t steal the show here as usual. It just was a little flat to me, not a bad match by any stretch of the imagination but because of the way I view Michaels and hold him so highly, it was disappointing for me. Things do not get better with Vader vs Yokozuna, they rightfully stall to try not expose poor Yokozuna but it does little in the end. It’s brutal and should have been a case of Vader coming in and destroying Yokozuna. Austin vs Savio was physical and intense but beyond that, they are hurt by the awful gimmick and the finish is a variation of the same finish that occurs every time there is a strap match so I would have much preferred a street fight or no holds barred match between the two. Finally, the main event made little sense angle-wise if only to give Taker a new person to feud with for months on end. This is not a bad thing but Taker was in the main event, had no real interaction or reason to go after Goldust who was being setup for a showdown with Ahmed Johnson. So, why have this match? Only for Mankind’s debut which was impactful but maybe could have been done another way? Regardless, this did not feel like a main event but rather an angle to have Mankind go toe to toe with Taker. This was not a rough show to sit through like some of the 1995 pay per views but it’s not an entertaining one, I hope that the quality picks up soon because it seems like the 1995 days are still looming large over the WWF. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!