IN YOUR HOUSE II
July 23, 1995
King Mabel . . . has a perfectly watchable tag match, despite the myth that he was completely useless as a worker.
Shawn Michaels . . . unsurprisingly, steals the show on the undercard.
Yokozuna . . . gets the last laugh on Lex Luger, finally avenging what happened in July of ‘93.
1-2-3 KID vs. THE ROADIE
There isn’t much to see here aside from a few bumps from Kid, including a crazy finish. A second rope piledriver was definitely not a common spot in the WWF at the time. The execution isn’t flawless, but, it makes sense with Kid coming off a neck injury. Dogg does a couple of holds to work the neck, but, between the short length of the match and the camera cutting away to show Jarrett in the back, it’s impossible to get any real sense of flow or story.
RAZOR RAMON/SAVIO VEGA vs. KING MABEL/SIR MO
For the most part, this is completely watchable. It drags a bit during the control segment on Savio, but once Razor tags in, it picks up nicely. It’s a bit of a downer that it ends before the question of how healed from his rib injury Razor really is, but, the avalanche in the corner followed by the belly to belly would be a believable finish, even if Razor came into the match completely healthy. Razor gets to have a little fun with Mo, and show off his familiar spots, before Mabel cuts things off and gets the win. And, Mabel pinning a former IC champion makes for a nice lead in to his challenging Diesel the following month.
BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. HENRY GODWIN
Aside from a couple of nice spots, like Henry’s lariat, there really isn’t anything to see here. They seemingly try to cram as much as they can into the time allotted, and, as a result nothing they do has any real meaning. Bigelow misses his diving headbutt finisher, and then pins Godwin a minute later with a flash cradle after Godwin hurts his knee. The finish would have had a little meaning if either it was established that Henry had a bad wheel, or Bigelow showed that he could outwrestle him. But, they didn’t and it doesn’t.
JEFF JARRETT © vs. SHAWN MICHAELS (WWF Intercontinental Title)
It’s not much of a surprise, with Shawn being involved, but this is easily the best match of the night, and also the best In Your House match up to this point. From the moment that Shawn takes the back drop to the floor up to the finish, this is insanely good. Before that, the match isn’t bad, but it’s rather directionless, both Michaels and Jarrett spend more time playing to the crowd instead of taking the match somewhere. They had a chance to get things going a little bit earlier, when Jarrett was teasing getting counted out and then rolling back in the ring to break it. After two rounds of it, Shawn has enough and follows Jarrett to the floor. Jarrett ambushes Shawn as he’s getting into the ring, which would have been a great way to start a control segment. But, Shawn fires back, and sends Jeff to the floor so that he can do his own strut.
But, once Shawn takes the big bump, the match picks up and the fun never stops. Jarrett does a good job of working him over, including a spikey looking front suplex and it’s nice to see an abdominal stretch get some real meaning. Road Dogg heat mongers as much as possible, whether he’s distracting the ref or interfering to help Jarrett. At one point it looks like Shawn is going to make a comeback, only for Jarrett to reverse a corner whip so that Shawn can take another big bump to the floor. There’s a little bit of goofiness when Shawn does make his comeback, which is by ‘powering out’ of a sleeper hold and hitting a big backdrop suplex, only to then continue selling like he’s KO’d. But, once they’re past that, it’s back to good stuff, with a nice counter and reversal sequence, and a really smart touch with Jarrett surprising Shawn with a dropkick and hurriedly going for a pin, to show the urgency of it. Jarrett’s crucifix into sunset flip looked ugly, but, that was also part of its charm, with Jarrett trying uncommon things in order to put Shawn away.
The finish is a little overbooked, but not to the point of detracting from the match as a whole. Shawn had already been thwarted once when he was going for the superkick, so, in a way, it’s appropriate to see Road Dogg’s interference go the other way and allow him to hit it. Some won’t care for Shawn doing the superkick after his leg had been singled out. But, it was only the sneak attack from Roadie and a single kneebuster from Jarrett, and Jarrett never did get the figure four applied. So, it’s not a huge deal to see Shawn using the spot with relative ease. This doesn’t hold a candle to the better matches going on in Japan during this time frame, but, it’s easily on the higher end of the spectrum from the WWF during the year. ***1/2
YOKOZUNA/OWEN HART © vs. LEX LUGER/DAVEY BOY SMITH (WWF World Tag Team Titles)
Aside from the finish being notable for Yoko getting the pin on Luger, which I believe is the first and only time that he’d done so in a televised match, there isn’t much to see here. There’s some fun when Owen stooges for Davey and Luger, and Davey takes a nice bump from Owen’s enzuigiri. But, despite being almost twice as long, this is far away from the level of the Yoko/Owen tag titles match from May.
DIESEL © vs. PSYCHO SID (WWF World Heavyweight Title - Lumberjack Match)
I figured this was going to be a snoozefest, and I was mostly right. But, then Diesel did a tope onto a pile of lumberjacks, and deserved to be called Big Daddy Cool! Both of them are content to do little else other then punch, kick, and their usual spots, and Sid would rather just throw Diesel to the floor and let the heel lumberjacks get the heat for him. The one nice thing is that Diesel opts to not even try the jackknife, after taking an avalanche from Mabel, and instead pins Sid after a boot. It adds a little anticipation to Diesel/Mabel, although it doesn’t say much about Sid as a top guy that the champion didn’t even need his finisher to beat him. But, honestly, the best way to spend most of this match is eyeing the lumberjacks and being surprised at who was still around.
Conclusion: It’s better than the May IYH, but that isn’t a particularly high bar to clear. Jarrett/Michaels is the only reason to seek this out.