To celebrate 25 years since the first In Your House PPV, WWE recently revealed that NXT will bring back the show name next month.
What better time for Matthew Roberts to hop into the TWM Time Machine™ and look for the most memorable moments from the In Your House series…both good and bad!
Giving Away An Actual House (In Your House 1)
Well, if WrestleMania was sometimes (quite often) sold on the basis of what else other than the wrestling was on offer, why not kick start a new PPV series called In Your House by giving away an actual house to one lucky PPV purchaser. Ok, so it’s no McMahon Million Dollar Giveaway, but these were lean times. And at least this went a lot better. No time-lag, no password needed and a winner who sounded thrilled to get their prize. That the young man and his family sold the house around six months later and the proceeds funded his college education is a nice touch too.
Double J ‘Live’ In Concert (In Your House 2)
Of course these days the Internet would be awash with spoilers informing us that Jeff Jarrett couldn’t sing a note and that the “plans” were for it to be revealed that it was in fact the Roadie who was providing the backing track to which Jarrett was miming to.
In 1995, however, many of us had no clue, even if it would become apparent after this show when there was no way around the fact that Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie had walked out moments after the former had lost the Intercontinental Title because Jarrett felt that storyline would ruin his character.
But for a few glorious minutes, Jarrett was the man who could do it all.
Bonus points for the fantastic Jarrett/Michaels match and almost being able to pinpoint the exact second that Vince gets told through his headset that Jarrett has left the building, for real!
Triple H Taking A Mudbath (In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings)
As daft as an Arkansas Hog Pen match sounds, and as unappealing as a Hunter-Hearst Helmsley / Henry O Godwinn (you know, he’s a farmer so…HOG…get it?) match from 1995 sounds, the two actually assembled a very decent back and forth brawl.
The idea was that you threw your opponent in to a Hog Pen (that had been erected in the building) to get the win. Triple H got the win by backdropping HOG.
As the heel HHH had to take a bump into the pig muck after the event, because heels always get their comeuppance and mid 90’s babyfaces can’t take a loss in the correct manner and have to be petty about it.
Diesel Gets Taken Straight To Hell (In Your House 6: Rage In The Cage)
Diesel had some stinkers in the early days of the IYH pay-per-views, and if we’re being brutally honest about it, his Steel Cage match against Bret Hart wasn’t that much better. It did have a memorable finish though. Just as it looked as if Diesel was making for the door to escape (the way a heel always should), The Undertaker ripped through the canvas from beneath the ring and dragged Diesel straight to hell.
Sure, it’s a finish that we’ve seen a hundred times since in various guises, but that doesn’t make this version any less memorable.
An Eight Minute Match With One Move (In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies)
The Ultimate Warrior had a certain charm at his peak and, with the right opponent, could deliver dramatic moments. Dustin Rhodes was a very competent worker at his peak, but his Goldust character didn’t really allow for technical classics.
So, this match would have been terrible even if Goldie hadn’t hurt his knee in a pre-show angle. At least I hope that was the case and that the injury wasn’t a device invented purely for storyline, because if it was, that means someone, somewhere thought an eight minute match with the grand total of ONE wrestling move in it (a clothesline) was a good idea.
Still if you’ve ever wanted to see Warrior smoke a cigar, this might be the match of the decade for you.
Diesel Takes Mad Dog Vachon’s Leg (In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies)
Shawn Michaels’ first PPV defence as world champion came against best friend (but now “better enemy”) Diesel in the latter’s last PPV match prior to his departure to WCW.
It was a very good no holds barred type match, made all the more memorable when Diesel grabbed Mad Dog Vachon, who was in prime ringside seats, and tore off his prosthetic leg to use as a weapon.
It backfired and was used against him, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’d like to believe the urban myth that Vachon didn’t know this was going to happen, but this is wrestling. Of course he knew.
When The Lights Went Out (In Your House 8: Beware Of Dog)
Beware Of Dog would eventually be seen as one of the better all-round cards from the early months of In Your House.
But the likes of HHH/Marc Mero and even the Caribbean Strap match between Steve Austin and Savio Vega that ends Ted DiBIase’s full-time WWE career are largely forgotten today.
This is the show where a raging thunderstorm plunged the Florence Civic Centre into complete and utter darkness, thus ruining the PPV feed.
After the HHH/Mero opener there was nothing to see as the WWE battled to get things up and running again. They did, just in time for the Shawn Michaels/Davey Boy Smith match (and a combination of a trademark mid 90’s HBK tantrum at being told their time was being cut by 10 minutes plus the Hart Family getting in Davey and his wife Diana’s ear over the STORYLINE where Diana was supposed to have attempted to seduce the champ meant that was a disappointing match), but that meant that the other three planned PPV matches were not seen.
Ever resourceful, Vince taped and showed them two days later (hence the In Your House 8 ½
When WWF Was Taken To The Extreme (In Your House 10: Mind Games)
Ok, so it went precisely nowhere, as Paul E. pulled out of the planned follow up. But the sight of him, Tommy Dreamer and Sandman front row on a WWE pay per view while Vince acknowledges that another promotion exists….well that was more than enough to blow your mind in 1997.
Mick Foley’s Personal Greatest Match (In Your House 10: Mind Games)
Some people will no doubt be saying “but Undertaker vs. Mankind was at King of The Ring”, or any number of hardcore classics that Foley had over the years, and that’s fine.
That was a big part of the Foley appeal. But in a pure “wrestling” sense, he was never better than he was here.
It would be tempting to say that 1996 Shawn Michaels could have got the best out of anyone in the ring (and he usually did) but if there was ever any doubt that Foley was about more than the insane bumps that risked his health then this was it, which isn’t to say he doesn’t take some daft bumps in this one either.
Photos courtesy of WWE
You can find me on Twitter @IWFICON. Thanks for reading!