It’s been a while since this blog featured a ‘Match from History‘ and what a bout to return with: Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart from In Your House 6: Rage in a Cage. This excellent match took place the month before Michaels would battle then WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart in a 60-minute Iron Man match at Wrestlemania XII.
Michaels enters the arena off the top of the house that forms part of the set, a stunt he would better the following month at Wrestlemania with his death slide from the top of the arena.
They trade punches before this one even starts before Owen is tossed over the top rope to the outside where he regroups with his manager Jim Cornette. We then get the trademark Michaels’ pyro and posing in the centre of the ring as the crowd, particularly the females in attendance, go wild at the Heartbreak Kid.
At this point in time, HBK was a face with Owen a member of Camp Cornette – he would team with the other members Vader & The Bulldog at Wrestlemania 12 – and a heel. Shoving match to start and the lock up. HBK dodges a clothesline and baseball slide to outside where he slaps the hands of various fans including, quite comically, Vince McMahon as well as planting a kiss on the lips of a woman in the front row.
Kick to the gut and Owen is in control. Leapfrog and a baseball slide from Owen and he tries to high five fans but is ignored and Michaels comes off the top rope with a moonsault, taking Hart down. He goes back to the top and comes off with a double axe handle for the first nearfall of the match.
Standing side headlock that Owen scoops HBK out of but he’s soon back to the hold. HBK is sent into the ropes but holds onto the hair. With Cornette distracting the referee, Michaels flagrantly grabs at Owen’s hair much to the delight of the crowd. Owen misses a punch but dodges a sunset flip but is taken down with a Frankensteiner. Another punch misses but he lands an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and begins to work on the lower back of Michaels with a series of kicks then a backbreaker.
Hart hits a neckbreaker for his first nearfall of the match before attempting a Sharpshooter that Michaels is able to kick out of. Hart is up first and drops the knee to the lower back and slaps on a Camel Clutch whilst pulling at Michaels’ hair.
HBK fights back and breaks free but is caught off the ropes with a knee to the gut and Hart flips over with a pinning attempt for a 2. Hart then applies the reverse chinlock. Michaels’ breaks free with a series of punches but is caught off the ropes with a spinning heel kick and Cornette is caught before he can hit Michaels with the loaded tennis racket.
Owen attempts to suplex Michaels back in but it’s blocked and it is Owen that is suplexed to the outside. Michaels dives off the apron but Owen catches him and powerslams him to the mat. It’s Owen’s turn to come off the top rope and he lands a dropkick and picks up a nearfall. Roll-up gets Michaels’ a nearfall but he’s sent hurtling into the corner and nearly has his head taken off with a flying clothesline.
Hart slaps on the Sharpshooter as HBK desperately crawls towards the ropes but is pulled into the middle of the ring but eventually makes it to the ropes, with Owen only breaking the move before the five count. Owen stomps away and scoops up HBK and slams him to the mat but is caught showboating and is rolled up for a nearfall.
Both men are back to their feet and Hart nails an enziguri sending a dazed Michaels out of the ring and to the outside. Michaels is back in but Hart misses a charge into the corner and takes an atomic drop as a concerned Cornette looks on. Michaels hits the fling forearm and nips up, to the delight of the fans in attendance.
He blocks Hart’s punch attempt and drives Hart into the turnbuckle before hitting another flying forearm before a stomp tot the face. Michaels scoops Hart up and slams him and lands the diving elbow. Cornette climbs to the apron but is punched to the mat. Owen is able to dodge a Sweet Chin Music attempt but misses an enziguri and its second time lucky for Michaels with his superkick and that’s all she wrote.
The early ‘In Your House’ events featured many underrated gems such as this match and it’s a match that’s rarely talked about when it comes to the history of ‘IYH’. However, this 20+ minute bout provided Shawn with the perfect warm up for the match against Owen’s brother the very next month.