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WWF In Your House: 
Good Friends, Better Enemies  
May 8, 2003

by Rick Scaia   
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


[NOTE FROM THE PRESENT DAY: On this past Monday's otherwise tremendous RAW, Kevin Nash was singled out for brutal criticism by the Online Smark Brigade.  He's too old.  He's too slow.  He has too few moves.  And thus, his World Title feud against Triple H is entirely undeserved.  Well, I disagree.  Nash is working off essentially two and a half years of ring rust, for one thing; and like it or not, he actually does seem to be in better physical shape today than he was in his last extended WCW run.  And for another: even back in his "prime," Diesel was not a favorite of the online wrestling fans.  And yet, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a number of really memorable matches.  One fantastic example would be his WWF farewell match, against Shawn Michaels.  It was a wild brawl that led my arch-nemesis of the day, Herb Kunze, to note that they let HBK/Diesel use all kinds of props to hide the fact that Diesel can't wrestle... but that comment led many others to respond that wrestling skill or not, Diesel contributed hugely to a VERY entertaining match.  It's something that he just might do again before he hangs up the tights for good, too.

Here, from April 1996, is my recap of Kevin "Diesel" Nash's farewell WWF match... it was also Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall's farewell WWF match.  Less than a month later, they'd be in WCW making history as the first two "invaders" representing a faction that would become known as the nWo.]

WWF In Your House VII --/-- April 28, 1996

NFD Review Originally Published May 1, 1996

"So Scaia, what the hell happened at In Your House?"

That's the content of the scores of e-mail messages I've been getting the past two days, wondering where my witty, insightful, and always comprehensive PPV report was at. Of the hundreds who e-mailed, many had actually seen the PPV themselves. They just wanted to read my report, to make sure they had seen the same fantastic even I had.  That's how good my reports are, dammit! And that's why I took two whole days to prepare this one.

Or maybe the truth is entirely more mundane and less self-serving... It could be that only two people (kind souls the both of you) have  e-mailed. It could be that my reports are the same load of crap everyone else posts here. And it just might be that I'm in the middle of finals week, so perhaps I've been a bit busy, and unable to slap together a crappy report till today. I'll leave it up to you, Constant Reader, to decide which is fact, and which is fiction. 

So. What did happen? Well... let's get on with some rasslin': As I hinted at above, I may or may not be in the middle of finals, so I may not have been appropriately fired up and hammered for the PPV.  I may even have been meeting at the library all day, and might have had to work on paper starting immediately after the PPV. So this wasn't the same sort of fun extravaganza our PPV parties usually are. On the whole, the night left me feeling fulfilled, but not exactly blown away or anything. Another $20 spent well by our group. I guess the laid back mood of our party and the time I've had to reflect upon the show have left me less emotionally peaked as I usually am when I do a report. So I guess I'll call this show a very strong thumbs in the middle; bordering on a thumbs up, but not quite the big time fun experience we'll be talking about till the next PPV.

So: good show. You should feel somewhat moronic if you missed it. As always, I care about my readers and admirers. The play at home segment this month will be for a grand prize of the contents of my food shelf when I move out of my house here at school on Monday, May 6. Currently, the contents are: 3 boxes of Rice-a-Roni (1 Chicken flavor, 1 Broccoli Au Gratin, 1 Rice Pilaf), 1 box of Kraft Mac and Cheese, half a bag of nacho chips, and a mostly empty box of Corn Flakes. Sorry, but the good shit is long gone.  And I may be forced to eat some of this before Monday, so your prize could be different.

Instead of the usual play-at-home game of matching star ratings to the appropriate matches, a new game will be introduced with this PPV. I will give you a "Mutant Scale" of genetic freaks at various stages of de-evolution. You will have to decide where on the Mutant Scale each match belongs by figuring out what level of mutation is necessary to say "Hey, that was cool" instead of "That was not entertaining".

This is a tricky scale, I admit. But after forging ahead in the name of science last summer, with the creation of the Hot Poker Up the Ass Rating System, I feel it is once again time to redefine how we think about wrestling. Here are the genetic markers I will use (this time, at least), and some defining comments about each level. Remember, this is a continuum, you can pick points in between each marker, if you  feel it is appropriate.

Stage One - Mean Old Lady Sitting Ringside with a Cane 
     -  Not stupid or inbred, but completely markish 
Stage Two - ECW's "Dreads" (ringside mutant fan) 
     -  A little too enthusiastic about violence for violence's sake Stage Three - Steve McMichael 
     -  Loud, obnoxious lovers of guys beating each other up; 
          must have single digit IQ 

Stage Four - Herb Kunze 
     -  Likely to chant "We Want Blood" and encourage the 
          destruction of referees 

Stage Five - Chuck Manson 
     -  The mutilation of children, the elderly, and the handicapped 
          is fun for the entire commune

A special bonus (the remaining dregs of milk that remain in my fridge at the time of moving out) will go to anyone who also identifies which of the above stages is exemplified by someone who really doesn't fit the bill as a hilarious joke by yours truly.

All entries for this play at home segment must be accompanied by a note saying that Rick Scaia is the coolest guy you can think of on the Internet. To be eligible for prize(s), entry must be received by December 31, 1993, and you must prove that you are one incredibly gullible son of a bitch.

On to the show:

In Your House XXVIII 

April 28, 1996

We begin with the Free For All and the noted absence of one Todd Pettingill. Didn't really miss him too much, since Dok Hendrix was in his slightly-less-annoying-than-usual mode, and we  also made use of Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect as interviewers throughout the evening.

Before Dok gets too carried away with his hype for the show, it is immediately time to hit the ring for:

1-2-3 Kid vs. "Wild Man" Marc Mero 

You'd expect a decent match out of these two, and that's what we got. A decent match. Nothing special, but Kid was on with his kicks and stuff, and Mero is probably on his way to being comparable to an Eddie Guerrero type of wrestler. Sable seems to be taking a liking to leather, and is now carrying a little whip with her. Nice look. They go about 7 minutes, then Hunter Hearst Helmsley comes out and begins stalking Sable. This goes on for another couple minutes, and then HHH enters the ring, and comes to blows with Mero. Ref calls for DQ win for Mero, but HHH isn't done. He manages to get the Pedigree on Mero, and leaves claiming a moral victory. Nice way to start off the night, and it does set up the match at the next IYH between Mero and HHH.

The rest of the Free For All has history on some of the matches, as well as a bunch of interviews. Ultimate Warrior is back to his ranting ways (though he is using big words now), as he gave a somewhat understandable interview; as he was wrapping up, Marlena and Goldust came in and put smoke and gold dust in his eyes, then Warrior  gave chase (setting up the angle that would explain Goldust's knee injury later on). Michaels had a couple words to say in a canned piece with Ross; wasn't bad, and showed a more intense side of Shawn. Diesel gave a great interview, too; it's gonna be a shame to see him leave, cuz he's really hitting his stride as the perfect bad-ass heel.

Now, we head to the PPV, proper:

First match up is suppossed to be Jake vs. Bulldog, but events quickly dictate that we will instead see:

Jake Roberts/Ahmed Johnson vs. 
British Bulldog/Owen Hart


This was one of those ECW-style get-a-guy-in-the-ring-then-run- the-angle-and-match-together sorts of things. If you know what I'm talking about, great... if not, deal with it. Bulldog hits the ring with Corny and Owen, and have fine print in the contract that says Roberts can't have a snake a ringside. So Roberts comes down, and takes the snake out, putting it on Corny. Before he can be double teamed, he takes the snake back to the dressing room, but comes back with Ahmed Johnson. As a friend noted, I'd be a LOT more scared of Ahmed than of a python. It turns into an impromptu tag match, with Jake starting with Owen. Personally, I liked the match best when Ahmed was in; both Jake and Ahmed got beat down and had to make hot tags, though Ahmed enjoyed more offense in between than Jake did. They did a funny bit where both Owen and Bulldog were scared to tag in against Ahmed at the start, but ended that bit before it got old. Finally, it looked like Jake was in charge in the ring, as Ahmed and Owen were brawling outside, but Corny and Bulldog were able to work things so that Jake got bashed in the knee with the tennis racket. A half-crab later, and Jake submitted. A decent little match, and the angle was more enjoyable than you might have guessed.

Next up, we were suppossed to have the IC Title match... and well, we still got it sort of. But with Goldust's legit injury, they did a lot more with the angle, and a lot less with the angle.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust (IC Title)

Goldust comes in first, selling knee injury. Warrior runs in, and does a lengthy celebration before finally setting sights on Dust. But Dust keeps begging off, claiming his bad wheel. Finally Warrior is in hot pursuit and Dust and Marlena hightail it for the back. But  Marlena drops her cigar. Warrior picks it up and starts puffing. Then he grabs Dust's chair, robe, and wig, and sets them up in the ring. He makes like he kinda enjoying the stogie, then sits down in the chair quite contentedly. At first, Dust is pissed that Warrior is touching his stuff. Then he and Marlena start to be intrigued by Warrior's interest in Goldust's paraphernalia. They head back to the ring, and Warrior makes a big show of giving Marlena back her cigar. Then he gives Dust back his robe and wig. Then he invites Dust to sit back in his chair. The trio are getting along extremely well. Marlena even gives Warrior another puff off the smoke. Then, when Dust invites Warrior to kiss his hand, Warrior returns to form, and clotheslines Goldust out of the chair. The ref rings the bell, and the match starts. It ends about 30 seconds later, as Goldust and  Marlena immediately headed to the back and got counted out. Warrior celebrates again, as the fans go wild. I won't say it was all that great, but it probably was the most interesting thing the Warrior's been involved in since he was locked in a casket by the Undertaker.

Next up is the first match on the Kliq Farewell Tour. [For the record, I'm giving up, and just adopting the misspelling of "clique" that the WWF is choosing to perpetuate.]:

Razor Ramon vs. Vader 

We were all thinking squash city for this match... didn't turn out that way. This was actually a pretty good match, and quite competitive. If anything, Vince was really going out of his way to mention that Razor was really putting on a great performance, something that we might not have expected against Vader (as if saying, "Hey you smarts... you thought we were gonna have Razor do a squash job? Well fuck you!"). Even though Vader looked like he tired VERY quickly (the last half of this 15 minute match, he was laboring... but he still put on a good show), this was mostly action. A lot of teases with Vader bombs and Vadersaults, and a couple of Razor's Edge teases, even. Some nice stiff work from both (it looked like Vader might even have taken the worst of it with a couple shots to his head), too. Finally, after reversing the second or third attempted Edge by Razor, Vader did a sit-down on Razor's chest for the three count. Really a good match, and Razor goes out looking fairly strong. I guess he made a partial peace with McMahon.

Next up, the tag titles are on the line:

Bodydonnas vs. Godwinns (Tag Team Titles)

This wasn't a bad match at all... but it tended towards being a bit boring. I don't know... I think it's just cuz there is absolutely no heat on the Godwinns. And most people would probably say that Sunny is the most talented 'Donna. The work was OK, and the angle they are building towards (Sunny seducing the simple-minded Phineas) is alright. But nothing in this match sticks out as being worth mentioning. Finish had Sunny go to the back to get an autographed picture of herself for PIG. With PIG thus mezmerized, the 'Donnas scored a quick roll-up victory. Like I said, not bad... but it does expose the weakness of the WWF tag division.

Finally, the match we had spent our twenty dollars on. And did it ever pay off. It was good enough to completely make you forget it was match two on the Kliq Farewell Tour.

Shawn Michaes vs. Diesel (World Title; No Holds Barred)

Starts off quick, as Michaels attacks before his music is turned off. Michaels does an opening highspot that includes a sliding drop kick, and the moonsault body block from the buckle to the outside of the ring. Then he grabs a boot off one of the Spanish announcers to use. Finally, he loses the advantage, and Diesel goes to brawling; at about the 5 minute mark, Diesel starts untaping his wrist. To choke out Shawn? Nah... he chokes down the ref, then steals the ref's belt to whip Michaels with. Then he hangs Michaels using the ref's belt; this was really well-done. We were all honestly worried that Michaels was gonna need help at first. He took the bump well, then really sold it perfectly. Then Diesel intro'ed the first chair into the proceedings, and used it to smack Michaels for a bit. They get back to some more traditional wrestling tactics for about 5 minutes or so, then Diesel tosses Michaels out and gets ready to deliver his gift to Vince. Actually, you could call it a sacrifice to the altar of Vince. Or to the announcing table of Vince. Diesel drives Michaels through the announce table with a wicked jackknife. Well done. My only complaint is that Michaels didn't sell the table shot the way he should have. He got up, and immediately went to his "secret" retaliation weapon: the fire extinguisher under the ring. He should have done a couple minutes of Diesel continuing to dominate before getting the advantage back. Still, after Shawn did the extinguisher, the match was not over. They brawled for another few minutes, again using a chair. Diesel looked to be in control at around the 20 minute mark. But instead of getting back in the ring with Shawn, he made his way over to the guardrail near the entrance aisle. He pulls Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (who was briefly intro'ed as a former WWF superstar who had his career cut short by a car accident, and now resided in Omaha, earlier in the show) into the aisle. He tussles with him. And walks away carrying Mad Dog's prosthetic leg. I kid you not. We were all in shock. I vaguely recalled hearing the Vachon did have a bum leg, but no way did I see this coming. Even after seeing it, it took a while to have it register. Sick, twisted, fun shit! Seeing Diesel stalking Shawn with a prosthetic leg was a sight to behold. Shawn blocked the plastic leg shot with a shot to BDC's ball-sac, and then took control over the limb. After clocking Diesel with it, he loaded up the superkick, and got the three count. A really super brawl, with an incredible twist at the end. This is the sort of match we'll be talking about for a while.

Post-show included set-up for three matches at the next IYH:

Undertaker vs. Goldust 
HHH vs. Mero 
Bulldog vs. Shawn

Also, they had announced Savio vs. Austin for that PPV, as well. Doesn't look like a show that'll sell all that well, but it already has three solid matches lined up. Perhaps they need to do something with Warrior on this card.

On the whole, it's pretty clear this was an alright show... it built to a great finish, for sure! Circumstances made it a bit less fun than it may otherwise have been. So for the sake of being a cynic in a bad mood every once in a while, let's stick with that strong thumbs in the middle.



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

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