IN YOUR HOUSE
May 14, 1995
Billy Gunn . . . shows some of the athleticism that led to him becoming the standout member of the Smokin’ Gunns.
Bret Hart . . . has two separate matches where he makes comebacks that look reminiscent of Hulk Hogan.
Psycho Sid . . . puts on an almost shockingly watchable performance in the main event.
BRET HART vs. HAKUSHI
If this is “The WWF at its best” then it’s easy to see why 1995 was such an unremarkable year for the company. They have a few good ideas, but the slow pace keeps this from getting out of first gear. The really cool moment comes when Bret takes the front bump into the corner, and Shinzaki smartly targets the midsection with a couple of nice spots, including a bronco buster before it was called a bronco buster, as well as Vader bomb. His penchant for chops and stomping Bret while he’s down also get a little more meaning. But, once Bret avoids the senton and does the kip up, the story is out the window. It’s not that far removed from Hogan. Bret gets to his feet and just plugs away with fists and his trademark spots, as though nothing had happened.
They work in a few nice spots to keep the crowd interested, such as Bret’s dive onto Shinja, the vertical suplex over the top, and Shinzaki’s Asai moonsault. There’s also a little bit of build to the finish, with Bret frequently trying to get a go-behind and catch Shinzaki with a cradle. It seems like Shinzaki has it blocked, but Bret is ready and managed to counter that into another cradle for the win. The match isn’t completely devoid of good things, but it’s certainly not the ideal way to kick off a PPV.
RAZOR RAMON vs. JEFF JARRETT/THE ROADIE
This is the second match in a row that goes far too long, given the amount of worthwhile work. Pretty much the only thing to see here is Jarrett’s bumping and selling in the early stages. But, it’s hard to understand why Road Dogg is making the save when Razor covers after the fall away slam, considering that Razor has never pinned anyone with it before. The heel control segment is just awful, it’s understandable that Dogg doesn’t do much of anything, but Jarrett isn’t all that much better. It’s a lot of punching and kicking, with long stretches of Razor laying on the mat to sell the punishment and fatigue. There’s a chance to take the match somewhere when Razor calls for the Razor’s Edge and gets back dropped over the top, but instead of working over his knee to build to the figure four, the heels just stick with the punching and kicking routine. And why is the guy with the title belt around his waist the one getting pinned?
MABEL vs. ADAM BOMB
Well, at least this doesn’t go any longer than necessary. Mabel takes a couple of nice bumps, including Bomb’s flying lariat, and then kicks out at one. They end things almost right afterwards, before anything else too absurd can happen.
YOKOZUNA/OWEN HART © vs. BILLY GUNN/BART GUNN (WWF World Tag Team Titles)
And now we’re at the other end of the spectrum, with something that only goes about five minutes, that should have gone at least twice that length, if not longer. Billy manages to drum up some nice heat, with exaggerated bumping, especially the segment with Yoko reigning fists on him, and Billy flopping like a fish out of water. Bart is no Robert Gibson, but Owen helps make up the difference with his own stooging. Even the finish is fine, with Yoko dropping a leg on Bart on the floor, and rolling him in for Owen to steal the pin. The match had all the makings of a good southern tag match, it just needed more time to develop.
BRET HART vs. JERRY LAWLER
Despite an unoriginal finish, this is fun for what it is. It’s fun to watch Bret unload on Lawler, and equally fun to watch Lawler’s stooging and reactions. It’s a bit of a downer for Bret to disrespect Lawler’s piledriver, but it make sense since in the context of their feud, and it’s nowhere near as bad as Bret’s kip up from the first match. Hakushi’s interference to cost Bret the match is fine, but there had to be a better way to do it other than a ref bump. At least Shinzaki kept his attacks focused on Bret’s midsection to continue the story from their match.
DIESEL © vs. PSYCHO SID (WWF World Heavyweight Title)
Nobody is going to mistake Sid for a great worker, but, he’s perfectly serviceable here. His method of wearing down Nash’s back, with tons of clubbing forearms and the camel clutch, gets old fast. But it’s consistent, and it’s attempting to build to something. There are some times that he could stand to show some personality. An example of this is when he tries to drop down onto Nash’s back, and Nash avoids it, causing Sid to literally fall on his ass. Sid is almost machine-like, he just gets to his feet and tries to keep working Nash over, rather than taking a second to make a pained facial expression, and let the crowd enjoy the moment.
Once Nash kicks out of the powerbomb (which is due to Sid crowd playing rather than going for the pin) the match falls apart. Nash forgets all about Sid working his back over, and just starts going through his spots, along with the jackknife, until the run-in that causes the disqualification. There’s nothing wrong with Nash doing his stuff, but, he could have at least continued selling just to create some doubt as to whether or not he’d be able to follow through. It’s watchable match, which some people probably think is overstating it, but it’s certainly not the proper note to end a PPV on.
Conclusion: I’ve made the joke before, but it bears repeating. This ought to have been called ‘In Your Outhouse.’ There’s just no reason for the most inspired performance to be a five minute throwaway tag titles match.