20 years ago wrestling had a busy week. As a result, we have carved our usual Friday post; ‘The Way We Was’ in two. We’ll take our usual look at Raw and Nitro tomorrow, but today we cast our eye over WWE’s latest pay per view offering from 1996 – ‘In Your House 6: Rage in a Cage’.
As with last Sunday’s Fastlane – and every other February PPV WWE have ever produced – In Your House 6 felt very much like WWE creative getting their affairs in order before concentrating exclusively on Wrestlemania. Up for grabs in Louisville were both the WWE Title and the role of challenger at Wrestlemania XII. Will we get Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart in a rematch from Wrestlemania X? Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels for the second year in a row perhaps? What about Owen vs. Diesel? What direction could WWE possibly be heading in?! Let’s find out…
Razor Ramon defeated The 1-2-3 Kid(w/Ted DiBiase) in a Cry Baby Match
Probably the best baby themed match between a fake Puerto Rican and a man pushing a three wheeled buggy I’ve ever seen. I know what you’re thinking, so I shall explain: The Kid had previously attacked Razor with the buggy, resulting in a lost wheel. Vince McMahon – who was skint at the time – refused to buy him a new prop, resulting in The Kid pushing a three wheeled baby buggy to the ring. I assume that’s the question you were asking yourself?! Despite the silly stipulation – loser must wear a nappy/diaper – this was actually a decent match. DiBiase berating the referee after Razor broke his own pinning attempt to inflict more punishment on The Kid still baffles me. Razor voluntarily kept The Kid in the match. That’s a good thing, surely?
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Elizabeth Hilden) defeated Duke Droese
Sporting a new haircut courtesy of Triple H, Duke Droese – who was dressed like a prototypical Spirit Squad member – was unexpectedly good in this match. Fired up Duke took the fight to Hunter for most of this match and, believe it or not, had the crowd with him throughout. Well, as much as a wrestling garbage man can. The highlight of the match was Duke tossing the lid from his bin into the ring, and landing it square on Triple H’s head!
Yokozuna defeated The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette)
The big story here was not the match – which was nothing special- but casual Vader casually making his way to the ring to casually handcuff Yoko to the ropes and batter him after the match. Vader – who I thought was suspended – managed to achieve his casual look by wearing a t-shirt and ill-fitting leather jacket over his wrestling gear. I always wondered how Vader would dress on his days off…
Goldust was hanging out in the WWF.Com area. He was literally hugging the guy enlisted to type up his responses to fans’ questions on AOL. Even better was that the guy completely no-sold the fact that a large gold man had his limbs wrapped around him.
Shawn Michaels defeated Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) in a #1 Contender Match
At the back end of 1995 HBK missed some ring time after he was attacked by the entire US Navy in Syracuse, New York. This was worked into a concussion angle, with Owen Hart taking credit for shelving Michaels. HBK returned and won the Royal Rumble, thus booking his spot in the main event of Wrestlemania XII. However, so annoyed with Owen’s gloating, Michaels allowed Jim Cornette to talk him into a match where his title shot would be on the line. Silly boy…
Michaels made his entrance via the roof of the ‘In Your House’ house. The wide shot of this entrance put into perspective just how awkward a mid-90’s HBK entrance must have been. Lots of thrusting and gyrating in the presence of bemused children and unimpressed men. The result of this match was never in doubt but – despite the obviousness of an HBK triumph – it was still very enjoyable. In keeping with the rest of this show, there was another inexplicable moment in this match too. With Michaels outside the ring, Owen broke the referee’s count by rolling HBK back into the ring, when it appeared as if Michaels might very well lose by count out. This wasn’t a title match, a count out win would have done the job for Owen.
Acting WWF President Rowdy Roddy Piper admonished Vader and booked a match between him and Yokozuna, presumably for Wrestlemania. Piper also doubted Michael Jackson’s innocence pertaining to accusations of child abuse. I’m not sure why this was relevant…
Bret Hart (c) defeated Diesel in a Steel Cage match to retain the WWF Title
As a match this was good. As a Kevin Nash match it was outstanding. Pretty standard backstory here: Diesel dropped the title to The Hitman at Survivor Series and having been last eliminated from the Royal Rumble last month, Big Daddy Cool was the logical contender for Hart here. As added spice, since dropping the title Diesel has been showing some heelish tendencies. In some instances he’s been an undoubted heel beating up Bret Hart and The Undertaker, but in others he’s tagged with babyface Shawn Michaels against Camp Cornette.
As with the previous bout, the result was never in doubt here. Not in the sense that Diesel vs. Michaels was out of the question, more the fact that Diesel had just started a feud with The Undertaker which would require the pair to have a match on pay per view sometime around, oh, let’s say; Wrestlemania. True to form, just as Diesel had played a part in the The Deadman’s defeat to Hart at the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker cost Big Daddy Cool this match. Appearing from under the ring, Taker dragged Diesel underneath with him. Diesel would soon escape, but not before The Hitman could exit the ring and retain his WWF Title.
So, off to Wrestlemania we head. Confirmed for the card is Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF Title and Yokozuna vs. Vader. It’s probably safe to assume The Undertaker and Diesel will do battle too.
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.