With the upcoming NXT Takeover: In Your House special, I thought it’d be an ideal time to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the very first In Your House pay-per-view. Taking place in May 1995, In Your House was WWE’s reaction to WCW’s move to monthly pay-per-views. WWE in 1995 isn’t remembered fondly by some. IYH 1 follows a poor WrestleMania and although the “New Generation” is suffering, there were some bright spots on the roster.
The show kicked off with a video package narrated by Todd Pettengill. There are two title matches, a King of the Ring qualifier and two Bret Hart matches. Oh, and they gave away a house. Vince “one-two-NO!” McMahon and Dok Hendrix (Michael “PS” Hayes) were on commentary. Hendrix said he had “golf privileges” on the competition house, playing the heel-favouring announcer.
With six matches squeezed into just 100 minutes, IYH 1 looked like an easy watch, but the match quality gradually diminished. The night started off promisingly with Bret Hart vs Hakushi. The undefeated Japanese superstar is joined by Shinja as he removed more gear than he probably needed. Hart wished a Happy Mother’s Day, a recurring theme throughout the show. They seemed to have good chemistry until a miscommunication led to Hart delivering a stiff elbow. Hendrix pointed out that Hakushi is “on foreign soil”. He forgot they’re in New York, so Bret was too.
Bret’s second opponent, Jerry Lawler, was watching backstage. Shinja tried to interfere but Bret dived through on to him. The back and forth contest picked up pace as a suplex took both Hart and Hakushi outside the ring. Something you rarely, if ever, saw in 1995 WWE. Hakushi followed with another high spot as he performed a moonsault onto the outside. Bret got the win with a reversed roll-up. Dok speculated how much the match had taken out of Hart as he “twisted his knee” leaving the ring.
Pettengill was in the “Superstar Hotline” room with Lawler who said he’s ready to go now. Todd explained Bret is on his way to the room as its where all winners go. Lawler pretended his beeper went off and left. Todd’s co-presenter Stephanie Wiand hyped up the sweepstake for the house in Orlando, Florida.
Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie came out next for a handicap match against Razor Ramon. Vince spoke to an injured 1-2-3 Kid on a distorted telephone from home. As expected, Double J and the Roadie used heel tactics to get the upper hand. Razor rallied to get momentum but he’s dumped outside. The Roadie marked his in-ring debut with a flying clothesline. Ramon and Jarrett clash into each other in the ring. Jarrett went for a figure-four leglock but is kicked away into the Roadie. Ramon delivered the Razor’s Edge for the win. Jarrett and Roadie beat down Ramon. Aldo Montoya attempted… and failed to save Razor. However, an unnamed man came in and had Razor’s back. Later on backstage, he introduced Savio Vega, a childhood friend.
After seeing Lawler speak to President Jack Tunney, we had a King of the Ring qualifier as Mabel took on Adam Bomb. Bomb’s fans were unfortunately called “the Bomb Squad”. Thankfully, this was a short match. While Bomb showed some promise early on, Mabel won short of two minutes after catching Bomb mid-air.
Next, there was some Tag Team title action as The Smoking Gunns were already in the ring. Lawler attempted again to have his match with Bret early. The Tag Champions, Yokozuna and Owen Hart made their way with Mr. Fuji and James E. Cornette. Billy and Bart Gunn had some early momentum as Yoko ran into the ring post. Bart missed a flying crossbody as Owen dodged. Billy knocked Cornette off the ring apron as Yoko dropped a leg onto Bart outside the ring. He rolled him back into the ring and Owen picked up the win. A forgettable match.
WWE Champion Diesel spoke to Pettengill. He mentioned it’s the first Mother’s Day since his mum passed last year. He also spoke about his opponent, Sycho Sid.
Lawler was in the ring and with an attractive woman who was definitely not his apparent mum. Bret talked to Pettengill and reveals he faked the knee injury. Lawler looked surprised as Bret made his way to the ring. Both of them hit piledrivers on each other but Bret had the momentum. Shinji attempted to interfere, but Earl Hebner noticed and got knocked into and tangled up in the ropes. Bret attempted a pin but “the Modern Day Kamikaze” Hakushi arrived. He dropped a couple of diving headbutts as Lawler got the cheap win. The trio attempted a post-match beatdown but Hakushi accidentality hit Lawler with a clothesline, leaving Bret with Shinji.
A whispering Sycho Sid cut an intense promo. He said he was “the ruler of the world!” Todd and Stephanie gave away the house to an 11-year old kid with some awful comedy. The kid sold the house six months later.
The main event saw Diesel defend against Sid with Million Dollar Corporation leader, Ted DiBiase. Much like Sid’s style, this match was slow and methodical. He dominated throughout, mainly through a camel clutch. Diesel hulked up but Sid delivered a chokeslam and a powerbomb. The tide turned as Diesel hit a big boot and a powerbomb, but it’s another match with interference as Tatanka came in and made the match a no contest. Bam Bam Bigelow ran down for the save. “Diesel was robbed of certain victory,” said McMahon.
The show ends with a random promo involving aliens discovering the WWE with the tag line – “the World Wrestling Federation – you never know we might be saving the world.”
In Your House was pretty much a one-match show; Bret vs Hakushi. At a push, the handicap match was decent. The rest is forgettable with interference playing a part in the final three matches. This questionably shows why WWE was in a lull at this time. IYH wasn’t designed for big payoffs, just a way to move forward. One thing for sure is that the quality of NXT Takeover: In Your House will be much better.
NXT Takeover: In Your House takes place on Sunday, June 7th 2020 live on the WWE Network.
Photos and video courtesy of WWE.