Can it really be 20 years since WWE debuted In Your House events? Yes, yes it can. On May 14 1995, Onondaga War Memorial, Syracuse, New York hosted In Your House 1 to a crowd of some 7,000 fans. But was it any good? Not to put too fine a point on it, no it wasn’t.
We often reminisce on this blog about, what we the authors perceive, as the good old days of wrestling. We rarely hark back to 1995 and describe it as anything like a glorious year for the WWE. In fact, it was an absolute abomination of a year, a topic that I looked at recently.
It’s crazy to think about it now, but ahead of the debut of In Your House all the WWF fans used to get were The Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, King of the Ring – a newish addition as it was, Summerslam and Survivor Series. In Your House, though, meant that there were PPVs every single month for the WWE, a position WCW were already in.
This one event starts brightly enough with a sizzling encounter between Bret Hart and the awesome Hakushi. Bret did double duty that night, later facing Jerry Lawler, but this match is the stand-out of the show a. A match very much unlike anything at the time and probably not the sort of bout you would have seen in America and it bounces back and forth for the entire time.
Unfortunately, that’s as good as it gets for this event and it’s pretty grim for the rest of the card. The handicap match pitting Razor Ramon against Jeff Jarrett, which Razor wins, succeeds in making the losers look so weak. We then get the KoTR qualifier between Mabel and Adam Bomb which amounts to nothing more than a squash win as the company builds Mabel up for winning King of the Ring the next month.
The next two bouts are fractionally better, Owen and Yoko defending their belts against The Smoking Gunns and Bret Hart v Jerry Lawler, although neither are anything particularly special before we get a very short main event between the WWE Champion Diesel and Sid which ends in a DQ.
The Coliseum Home Video – remember that? – has two exclusive matches but even they are woeful, The Undertaker fighting Kama over the urn he had taken at Wrestlemania 11 and beating him and Bam Bam pining on Tatanka. There was also another match recorded that night for a future Raw, pitting the British Bulldog against Owen Hart in another King of the Ring qualifier, one that went to the fifteen minute time limit for a draw.
It certainly was an unremarkable beginning for the In Your House series with the only things of note being the giving away of a house – an interesting enough quirk that was eventually dropped, the very different looking stage set up and the excellent encounter between Bret Hart and Hakushi.
As good as that match was it’s not even enough to warrant watching this show on The Network. That said, the event was a success at the time, garnering 332,000 buys, which is equivalent to a 0.83 buyrate, a number that surprised the majority of the PPV providers.
And, of course, the In Your House series has continued to this day, although no longer carries the name ‘In Your House’ and would eventually run 3 hours, like of other WWE PPV events, while this event only lasted two hours as did every IYH until number 17, Ground Zero.