Classic Wrestling Review: In Your House 2

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

In Your House 2

July 23, 1995

Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Nashville, Tennessee

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News & Notes: Jeff Jarrett was quite busy since King of the Ring. He debuted a music video for his new single, “With My Baby Tonight.” That wasn’t all. He promised to perform the song live at In Your House 2. The event would be in his hometown of Nashville. It was going to be Jeff’s defining moment, but that pesky Shawn Michaels rained on his parade. Shawn was filling in on commentary because Jerry Lawler was at the dentist. (I’ll explain more in my SummerSlam review.) The Roadie antagonized Shawn during a Jarrett match, so Shawn interfered. This led to Jarrett challenging Michaels to a match for In Your House. Double J would now have to perform a song and wrestle on the same PPV.

Meanwhile, the Diesel/Sid feud continued. People accused Sid of cowardice after walking out of the match at King of the Ring. Ted DiBiase denied this. Sid challenged Diesel to a Lumberjack Match for In Your House. Both men would have fifteen hand-picked lumberjacks around the ring. DiBiase claimed he bought the best he could find. I doubt that. His team includes Mantaur. I also find it funny the WWF is having a Lumberjack Match weeks after WCW did the same.

The Lumberjack Match means there will be some new faces. It’s also the only chance I’ll get to speak about some of these people. I’ll introduce some players before we begin. One will get his own section because he’s a significant addition to the roster. First, there is Tekno Team 2000. They are Chad Fortune and our old pal Erik Watts, but they wrestle as Travis & Troy. The team may or may not be time travelers from the year 2000. Next, there is Skip and his manager Sunny. They call themselves the Bodydonnas. The gimmick is they’re fitness gurus that look down upon out of shape fans. Rad Radford is another new face. He wrestled elsewhere as Louie Spicolli. His gimmick is the embodiment of the 90s grunge scene. It’s a good compliment to the next newcomer. Man Mountain Rock is the former Maxx Payne. Rock has a similar gimmick. He plays a guitar shaped like the WWF logo before his matches. Finally, the former Headshrinker Fatu returned with a new persona. He’s now a motivational character. The story is he grew up from the streets and now wants to make a difference for underprivileged youth. His name is still Fatu. I guess they expected fans to have short memories.

There is one other I want to discuss. I’m sure you’re familiar with him. The WWF hired the former Jean-Paul Levesque from WCW. They gave him a similar character. Instead of a French snob, he’s now a snooty rich man from Connecticut. He represents Vince McMahon’s annoying neighbors. I swear Vince sometimes creates ideas as a form of therapy. A psychologist would have a field day with him. The WWF gave Jean-Paul the name Hunter Hearst Helmsley. His arrival means the backstage group known as The Kliq is now complete. It consists of Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, The 1-2-3 Kid, and now Hunter. They were friends who banded together to watch each other’s backs. The Kliq would also brainstorm creative ideas. The group gained notoriety for getting in Vince’s ear. They also tended to run people they didn’t like out of the company. Needless to say, they didn’t endear themselves to everyone in the locker room.

The show opens with a country music video. It’s all about buying Chevy pickups and going to dance halls. He mentions Double J will sing for his baby tonight. They show clips of Shawn Michaels dancing. It also includes various other wrestlers involved in the event. It ends with the In Your House logo knocking on a front door. It can’t gain entry, so the logo heads through the window instead. Are they implying this PPV is invading our houses whether we want it or not?

Vince then welcomes everyone to Nashville. He mentions the Grand Ole Opry and talks about dreams of stardom. It’s Jeff Jarrett’s chance to realize his dream, but it could also get crushed. Vince is with Jerry Lawler. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m glad to see the King. I’m tired of Dok Hendrix. Vince calls Jerry Minnie Pearl’s favorite WWF Superstar and says he has the price tag on his hat to prove it. Lawler claims the hat was a gift from Garth Brooks. Lawler then predicts a Sid victory and claims it will be the first Lumberjack Match in the world on PPV. I guess he’s technically correct. WCW had a Lifeguard Match at Bash at the Beach. You know that was a shot at WCW. Then, Lawler says it will be Jeff Jarrett’s greatest night, as long as the Roadie has everything ready. He follows that up by telling Vince to two-step his way out of town.

The Roadie vs. The 1-2-3 Kid

Notes: This match is the last remnants of the Razor/Jarrett feud. There wasn’t much of a build. They claimed Jarrett and The Roadie were the ones who injured the Kid’s neck. He’s back from that injury and looking for revenge. The Roadie is alone. Jarrett is backstage preparing for his performance. They cut to footage of him during the bout. He doesn’t seem interested. Jarrett is too busy drinking water and talking with his backup singers.

The Match: The Kid jumps the Roadie in the aisle. He then throws him in the ring where they trade leapfrogs until Roadie trips. Then, the Kid sends Roadie to the floor with head scissors and nails a slingshot kick. The Kid continues whipping him around the ring, but the Roadie catches him in a powerslam. The fight spills to the floor again. Roadie crotches the Kid on the post. He also presses him into the air and lands some leg drops. The Roadie follows that with a backdrop and some dancing. He works on the Kid’s neck but misses a flying splash. The Kid responds with various kicks and a frog splash. However, the Roadie reverses a hurricanrana into a powerbomb. They go back and forth before Roadie crotches Kid on the top rope. Roadie then performs a dangerous second-rope piledriver for the win.

Thoughts: It was a decent opener. The finish was sloppy and a bit scary, but the rest of the action was good. I’m surprised they used such a dangerous move. The Kid came back from a neck injury. I liked the story of Roadie working on his neck, but they don’t need unnecessary risks like that one.

Winner: The Roadie (7:26)

The Roadie struts down the aisle, while Vince and Lawler watch a replay of the finish. Lawler jokes he broke the Kid’s neck like a pencil. Then, The Roadie heads to the stage to do a soundcheck.

Meanwhile, Todd Pettengill is with the Million Dollar Corporation. Todd says there’s nowhere for Sid to run. DiBiase has enough of that and interrupts him. Ted talks about Diesel calling Sid psycho. He says he bought fifteen outpatients to surround the ring. Did Ted imply he staffed his corporation with mental patients? I wonder how they feel about that. Ted also says Diesel will be in Sid’s house tonight. Next, Tatanka speaks. He says Diesel is in Sid’s asylum. Then, he calls the corporation crazy nuts. They’re waiting for Diesel to fall out of the ring, so they can destroy him. They’re not doing a good job of dispelling the idea Sid is psycho. Sounds like they’re reaffirming it. Kama speaks next and refers to the Bates Motel. Sid follows that by inviting Diesel to his asylum to meet the master and ruler of the world. Sid then ends the segment by making amusing faces at the camera.

Next, Barry Didinsky is with Diesel, Shawn Michaels, and Diesel’s lumberjacks. They fire each other up in the background while Barry shills the In Your House t-shirt. It’s a typical gaudy mid-90s shirt. Diesel and Sid are on the front and the words Lumberjack Match are on the back. Barry says, “Lumberjack Match City!” It doesn’t have the same ring as Suplex City. Shawn and Diesel notice Barry and decide to make fun of his hair for a bit. Barry sounds a little annoyed as he sends it back to Vince.

Men on a Mission vs. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega

Notes: Mo has his own cape and crown now. He was knighted and is now known as Sir Mo. They show clips of Mabel winning King of the Ring. Why would they want to remind us of that? Razor still has his ribs taped. Lawler notices and questions why he would take this match if he’s still injured. It’s a ruse. Razor removes the tape and throws it at Mabel. Vince says he threw it in Mabel’s kisser. Lawler responds, “Huh!?”

The Match: Razor throws his toothpick in Mo’s face and receives a slap for it. He then catches Mo in a fallaway slam. Savio doesn’t fare as well. Mo knees him and Men on a Mission nail an assisted corner splash. Mabel follows that with a sidewalk slam and tosses Savio to the floor. Mo attacks. Then, Mabel whips Savio around the ring and lands an enziguri. There is more double-teaming before Mabel uses a nerve hold. I see he’s learning from Yokozuna. Savio fails on a slam, but Mo misses a moonsault. Razor finally makes a hot tag. He gives Mo a super back suplex, but Mabel distracts Ramon. Mabel then ascends to the top rope and gets slammed. Razor is in control until Mo kicks him in the back. Mabel capitalizes with a DDT but misses a splash. Savio tries fending off Mo, and they brawl to the floor. However, Mabel splashes Razor in the corner and performs a belly-to-belly for the win.

Thoughts: This was a surprisingly good match. Savio played the face-in-peril well. Men on a Mission even attempted some different spots. I wasn’t expecting Mo to perform a moonsault. I was a bit shocked to see Razor lose cleanly. I get it. They’re pushing Mabel, so this was a big win for him. That doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I understand why they did it. I enjoyed the match, despite the continued Mabel push.

Winners: Men on a Mission (10:09)

There is a weird edit on the network before we go to Todd Pettengill on the stage. I’m guessing there were technical difficulties. Todd speaks with Jarrett’s backup singers. He points out the equipment. The singers start listing the product names, so Todd interrupts. They’re not paying for advertisement! Todd then asks Big Al if he’s ready. He replies he is in a bored voice. Then, Todd asks the drummer for some drum solos. Pettengill acts like a complete doofus. He keeps doing imitations of drum sounds. Vince has enough and speaks over him while Todd sends it to Dok Hendrix.

Dok is with Diesel’s lumberjacks. He claims DiBiase bought one of them. Hendrix then lies and says he doesn’t want to stir the pot. He does exactly that. Dok says the Smoking Gunns bought new trucks. Billy Gunn tells DiBiase to stick it. Bart Gunn claims he saw Man Mountain Rock speaking with Ted. Rock says he could use a new guitar, but DiBiase’s money is dirty. Hendrix then says Adam Bomb is first alphabetically, so that means he’s the sell-out. That’s great logic, Dok. Bomb denies this nonsense. Then, Dok turns his attention to Bam Bam. Bigelow says no one knows the corporation like him, but even Dok wouldn’t make a deal with them. He then says he wants Diesel to press Sid over his head and out of the ring. The lumberjacks all cheer for the idea.

Next, The Roadie introduces Jeff Jarrett for his performance. The band plays Jarrett’s theme while he approaches the stage. Jeff and the Roadie strut for a moment and Jeff introduces himself. He gives everyone a fake laugh after every other word. He claims he used the WWF to reach stardom. He also mistakenly calls the song “Back with My Baby Tonight.” He performs the song. It’s obvious he’s lip-syncing. Anyone with a keen ear can tell who is the real singer. The song is cheesy, but I’ll admit I have a soft spot for it. It’s catchy. Vince and Lawler react as if he sang the song. It impresses Vince. The story is the Roadie was the real singer. He recorded the vocals. The ruse would lead to the pairing splitting. However, Jarrett and The Roadie quit the company the following day. They had issues with their contracts and creative and left in protest. They reveal the truth about the performance a year later when Jarrett was in WCW.

They show a commercial for SummerSlam ’95. Some old men and a young lady watch wrestling outside a gas station in the desert. Diesel arrives in a Hummer and invites the girl to join him. She agrees and leaves with him, but the old men don’t notice until she’s gone.

Then, Todd enters the crowd and asks some fans for their thoughts about Jarrett’s singing. The first guy says he was okay. One guy calls him a killer. Did he mean that in a good way? Another fan says he stinks, which surprises Lawler. A lady and a kid both think he was pretty good.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Henry O. Godwinn

Notes: I introduced Henry Godwinn in a previous review, but this is his first PPV match. He is a fringe member of the Corporation. They hire him to do dirty work. Godwinn’s gimmick is that of a hog farmer. He carries a bucket full of pig slop and dumps it on his opponents. The Corporation hired him to get revenge on Bam Bam. He cost him a match on Superstars. Henry also slopped members of Diesel’s lumberjacks, such as Adam Bomb.

The Match: Henry and Bam Bam trade back suplexes before Bigelow sends him to the floor with a shoulder block. Godwinn then ducks and receives a DDT. Bam Bam continues attacking until Henry low-bridges him. He then rams Bigelow into the steps. Henry maintains control because Bam Bam misses a corner charge. He puts Bigelow in a chinlock, but Bam Bam breaks free. He gives Godwinn a cross body, but Henry answers with a clothesline. The ref then stops Godwinn from using the slop bucket, so Henry chokes Bam Bam instead. Bigelow rallies with headbutts and clotheslines. He misses a flying headbutt. Godwinn responds with a flying knee but misses it. This opens the door for Bam Bam to win with a roll-up.

Thoughts: The match was basic. Not much happened and it was short. The finish was also pretty weak. This is Godwinn’s first appearance on PPV. It didn’t do much to establish him. I get this is a comedown match after the Jarrett segment, but it was forgettable.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow (5:33)

Godwinn grabs the bucket and threatens to slop Bam Bam, but he’s too dazed to succeed. Meanwhile, Bob Backlund is in the crowd. He lectures a kid in a Kurt Cobain t-shirt. We can’t hear him, which makes me sad.

Todd is with Shawn Michaels. He says HBK is popular enough to run for office. Shawn does a little Richard Nixon imitation in response. Todd then brings up Jarrett’s performance. Shawn calls Jarrett Goldilocks and says Jeff is on a roll. Shawn also complains about no one calling him on his birthday. That was random. He follows that by telling Goldilocks his fairy tail run is over in the WWF. Shawn flubs his line. Todd tries covering for him. He says they didn’t rename it the Double J-F. Shawn replies Jarrett is going down courtesy of the Heart Break Kid. He then leaves. Todd finishes the segment saying Michaels could win the Intercontinental Title for a record-tying third time. Shawn seemed a bit out of it. I don’t want to assume anything, but he was sweating a lot for a promo.

Intercontinental Title Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett (c) (w/ The Roadie)

Notes: The band plays a live version of Jarrett’s theme as the Roadie enters the arena. He takes the mic from the ring announcer and does his own introduction. The Roadie claims Jarrett will be the Intercontinental Champion today and tomorrow. He also calls Shawn Michaels the Heartbreak Punk. Roadie buys time for Jarrett to towel off after his performance. Jarrett then enters the arena and struts in his flashy outfit. Shawn enters next and runs Jarrett out of the ring. He grabs the belt and uses it to check his reflection. I’m not sure that’s a reflective surface.

The Match: Both men outwit each other and pose in the corner. Jarrett decides to stall for a bit until Shawn chases him into the ring. Michaels then fends off interference by the Roadie and sends Jeff crashing into him. Shawn follows that with a flying cross body to the outside. Then, Jarrett takes control with a backdrop over the ropes and attacks on the floor. He locks Michaels in holds. Meanwhile, Vince’s mic stops working. It amuses Lawler. Shawn rallies, but the Roadie nails him with a clothesline off the apron. Jarrett attempts winning by count-out only for Shawn to return. They trade reversals until Jarrett uses a sleeper hold. Shawn breaks free and nails a couple of forearms and a twisting axehandle. He also lands a flying elbow. The Roadie stops him again. This leads to Jarrett attempting the Figure Four. Michaels blocks both attempts but takes out the ref in the process. The Roadie uses the opening to stop Sweet Chin Music with a chop block. Jarrett then motions for Roadie to trip Michaels. The Roadie decides to do it without looking and gets Jarrett by accident. Shawn capitalizes with Sweet Chin Music for the win.

Thoughts: This was a great match. I think it’s forgotten when people mention Shawn’s best matches. The pace and storytelling were near perfect. Plus, the finish does enough to keep Jarrett looking strong. He lost because of the Roadie. It’s almost a shame they can’t capitalize on that because Jarrett & Roadie leave. I would have liked seeing more matches between these two. They have good chemistry.

Winner: Shawn Michaels (New Champion) (20:01)

Shawn celebrates with fireworks while the Roadie checks on Jarrett. They have a conversation in the ring. I imagine they’re discussing grabbing their bags and leaving. Shawn then heads backstage and joins Diesel and his lumberjacks. Barry Didinsky shills his t-shirt, but it’s hard to hear him. Barry asks Shawn how he feels. He says wonderful and then complains about people not calling him on his birthday. Let it go, man! He says he has the only present and friends he needs and hugs Diesel. Barry attempts once more to plug Michaels’ merch before sending it back to Vince.

Then, they go backstage where there’s a commotion. Dok Hendrix is outside Jarrett’s locker room. Dok explains a fight between Jarrett and the Roadie. He sounds like an excited toddler. Hendrix doesn’t take a breath as he says Jeff got mad and Roadie got mad. Then, Jeff hit the Roadie and the Roadie hit him. Dok complains they won’t let him into the room. He doesn’t know what happened. What was this!? It was embarrassing. They couldn’t film the fight. Jarrett & Roadie left the building immediately after the match. It was a protest over the frustrations I mentioned earlier. That doesn’t explain Dok acting like a fool. I’m surprised Vince didn’t fire Hendrix after this abysmal segment.

Tag Team Title Match: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (c) (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. The Allied Powers

Notes: There wasn’t a lot of build for this match. The Allied Powers got a few wins on TV, but that’s it. It feels like a reason to get Luger & Bulldog on PPV. It might be too little too late. I’ll explain more in a future review. Let’s say, Luger isn’t long for the WWF world. The Powers get some cool fireworks during their entrance. I hope they didn’t spend too much on that. Meanwhile, Vince introduces the Spanish announcers. Lawler says he wants someone to ring Carlos Cabrera’s taco bell.

The Match: Yoko controls the match early by headbutting and slamming Luger. Luger rallies by ramming Yoko into the corner. Yoko stumbles and sits on Owen’s foot. Owen responds by throwing a fit and shoving Yoko. Cornette restores order and makes them hug. Then, Owen slaps Lex and runs. Luger answers with hip tosses and arm drags. Bulldog then enters the match. He trades holds and reversals with Owen. He also gives Owen a scary backdrop. However, Yoko nails Davey and Owen works on Bulldog’s legs. Yoko & Owen double-team him. Yoko uses his usual nerve hold. Bulldog fights until Yoko clotheslines him and tags Owen. He gives Davey a wheel kick and they trade near-falls. Luger eventually returns and cleans house. He crotches Owen and press slams him onto Yoko. The match becomes a brawl and the Powers perform a double back suplex on Yoko. They can’t capitalize because the ref wants Davey to leave the ring. Owen uses the opening to land a flying elbow. Yoko follows that with a leg drop for the win.

Thoughts: This was a fun match. Owen was entertaining, and they let the right people control most of it. Owen and Bulldog always put on a good show against each other. They also gave the Allied Powers enough to look strong in defeat. Yoko even looked more lively than usual. They didn’t let him stay in the ring for too long. I enjoyed this.

Winners: Owen & Yokozuna (10:54)

Vince then plugs the Superstar Hotline, where fans can speak with Shawn Michaels. He comments Jeff Jarrett couldn’t stand the heat. I think that might have been a shoot comment. Vince was reportedly quite angry at Jarrett & Roadie for walking out of the building.

The lumberjacks approach the ring while Vince introduces a recap video for the Diesel/Sid feud. They show Sid turning on Shawn Michaels in April. We also see clips of Diesel vs. Sid from In Your House. Then, they talk about Diesel’s elbow injury and show footage from King of the Ring. They finish with the events from RAW. Sid confronts Diesel, but he doesn’t enter the ring. Pettengill accuses Sid of cowardice.

Next, Todd is with Diesel. He says there’s nowhere for either man to run because of the 30 lumberjacks. Diesel replies he has no problem running anywhere. Just give it a few years, Kevin. The camera zooms in on Diesel while he yells about being in your house and in your face. I see what they did there. He promises to finish it once and for all. Diesel then adjusts his glove while Todd sends it back to Vince.

Lumberjack Match for the WWF Title: Diesel (c) (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs. Sycho Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase)

Notes: Vince refers to all the lumberjacks as beef. I see he always liked that term. Then, they show the Undertaker’s creatures of the night while Sid enters the arena. I guess they wanted us to remember the Undertaker since he’s not on this PPV. Diesel enters next and Shawn Michaels is with him. Vince calls them Two Dudes with Attitudes, which is their tag team name. Don’t confuse them with Sting’s Dudes with Attitudes from 1990. On a side note, I have to point out a couple of amusing things about the lumberjacks. Mantaur spends most of the match mooing. Also, Duke the Dumpster Droese yells at Sid. I clearly heard him say, “How does that feel, dick face!?” I’m sure Vince loved that.

The Match: Sid immediately brawls with Diesel. They trade forearms until Diesel sends Sid to the floor. The babyfaces return him a couple of times, and Diesel slams Sid. He decides to regroup on the heel side, and they allow him some time. Sid returns and dumps Diesel to the heels. They attack until Shawn Michaels and the faces stop them. Sid gains control and targets Diesel’s elbow. He also distracts the ref so the heels can beat on Diesel. Big Daddy Cool responds by diving onto them! He then gives Sid a running knee attack and snake eyes. However, Mabel pulls Diesel to the floor and rams him into the post. He follows that with a leg drop and returns him to Sid. Sid stomps Diesel and nails a big boot. He also lands the powerbomb, but he celebrates instead of covering. Sid attempts another one, but Diesel backdrops him. This apparently makes Sid angry at Diesel’s lumberjacks. He fights them. Shawn answers by performing a flying cross body to the outside. He then sends Sid into the ring. Diesel fends off the heels and hits Sid with a big boot for the win.

Thoughts: This wasn’t great, but they did enough to hide its flaws. The Lumberjack stipulation was a good idea. They knew these two wouldn’t have an amazing match. They made up for it with shenanigans. I would normally hate that, but this bout needed it. I would be thankful this feud was over if it didn’t mean we get Diesel vs. Mabel next.

Winner: Diesel (10:06)

Diesel then celebrates with his lumberjacks and some fireworks. Vince tells everyone goodnight, and they show the country music video again.

The Good:

  • Shawn/Jarrett was outstanding.

  • The Tag Title Match was fun.

  • The M.O.M./Razor & Savio match was surprisingly good.

  • The opener was decent.

  • The Jarrett stuff was well done.

The Bad:

  • That Dok Hendrix segment.

  • Bam Bam/HOG was bland.

  • The main event wasn’t great.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Shawn Michaels. He shined in that match with Jarrett. You can tell they’re beginning the big push for him.

Final Thoughts:

This was a very solid PPV. It’s exactly what the WWF needed after the disastrous King of the Ring. There were only a couple of missteps on this show. The rest was great. They put a lot of focus on Jeff Jarrett. It’s a shame it was wasted because he left. We will see him again before the end of the year. Then, he will leave again. However, Shawn is there to stay. Big things are coming for him.

Thank you for reading. My next review will be SummerSlam ’95.


Written by Paul Matthews

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