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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House VIII & VIII 1/2 – Beware of Dog

November 27, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House VIII & VIII 1/2 – Beware of Dog  

IYH 8: Beware of Dog
by J.D. Dunn

This is the infamous PPV where storms knocked out the power in the arena, disrupting the show and leaving PPViewers in the dark during the last half of the show. To set things right, Dr. Sam Beckett leapt into Vince’s body and put on a second PPV a few days later. The combined matches became known as “Beware of Dog, Parts 1 & 2.”

The storylines are as follows. Diana Hart, sister of Bret and wife of the British Bulldog, started accusing Shawn Michaels of hitting on her. Shawn is shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that his reputation is being sullied.

In other big Shawn Michaels news, about a week and a half before this show, Razor Ramon and Diesel said their goodbyes at Madison Square Garden – along with Shawn and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. This was a huge breach of kayfabe (even for a house show), and it derailed the push of Triple H until the following year. Instead, the WWF decided to go with a comparable heel – newly renamed Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Meanwhile, the Godwinns finally upset the Bodydonnas for the tag titles after months of trying, so Sunny decided that she’d just follow the tag titles and saddle up with the pig farmers.

  • May 26, 1996
  • Live from Florence, S.C..
  • Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.
  • The Free-For-All match sees the Smoking Gunns steal the titles (and Sunny) from the Godwinns.
  • Opening Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/debutante) vs. Marc Mero (w/Sable).
    Sable was one of Hunter’s debutantes, but Mero “saved” her. You know what? She really would have been better off with Hunter. Hunter’s replacement for this evening looks like a drag queen, so I’ll file that under “trading down.” This match is actually quite good, which is odd because I remember being bored to tears by this feud. Mero fires away with rights early because he was a former boxer. He misses a charge to the corner and posts his shoulder, giving us the story of the match. Hunter actually does quite well in working over the shoulder, showing an in-ring maturity that he really hadn’t before this match. I wonder if the flak over the MSG incident woke him up. Mero keeps things interesting with a Victory Star Rollup, but Hunter goes back to the stepover armbar with a handful of ropes for some heat. Mero comes back with a huracanrana and a flying headscissors. That sets up a sunset flip off the top for two. Mero sends hunter to the floor but misses a somersault plancha and wrenches his knee. Hunter starts to work it over, but like the cad he is, he goes out to make Sable watch what he does to her man. That allows Mero to recover and catapult Hunter into the post for the win at 16:22. Good, solid match with some psychology and high-flying thrown in. ***1/2

  • In the back, Jim Cornette announces he’s secured a manager’s license for Owen Hart.
  • This is where the power goes out, and all of those matches were cut out of the final product. I say this just so you don’t think they bumped the title match down to the second match of the night.
  • WWF Heavyweight Title: Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. The British Bulldog (w/Jim Cornette, Owen Hart, Clarence Mason & Diana Hart-Smith).
    Before the match, shyster attorney Clarence Mason serves Shawn with a summons for “attempted alienation of affection” for intervening with the Smith’s marriage. It’s actually kind of clever because the process server hands over the summons and then the bell rings for the title match, so to say the least, that should be a big distraction. Instead, Shawn no-sells it and goes on about his business. Bulldog attacks him from behind, but Shawn uses his quickness to stay one step ahead. Shawn grabs a headlock for a while. He hits an enzuigiri and locks in a short-arm scissors. Bulldog powers up and stomps away. He settles into a chinlock and then to a Canadian Backbreaker. Shawn powers out, but his crucifix is reversed to a Samoan Drop. It goes back to the chinlock, which is the point where Shawn throws one of his infamous in-ring tantrums and refuses to sell the hold right there on camera while he argues with Earl Hebner about finishing the match. Shawn elbows out but falls to the floor off a missed Bulldog clothesline. No idea what happened there. Back in, they collide for a double KO, and you can hear Shawn calling spots to Earl Hebner. Shawn comes back with the usual, but Bulldog bumps the ref. It’s a good one too! Owen sneaks in but takes Sweet Chin Music. Bulldog jumps Shawn from behind and sets up for the powerslam as a new ref runs down. Shawn slips out of it and hits a Bridging German Suplex. ONE, TWO, THREE! (17:20) The fans erupt…until the ref raises the Bulldog’s hand. See, both men’s shoulders were down. Hebner gets in, though, and reverses the decisions, so Gorilla Monsoon has to come out and rule that the match is a draw. Shawn’s in-ring meltdown and tendency to dog it (no pun intended) dragged this down from the heights it could have reached. Shawn Michaels dogging it is still better than most guys on their best day, and the match got hot near the end. It’s just not on the level of the other matches he was having that year. ***

  • May 28, 1996
  • Live from Charleston, S.C..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect.

  • Opening Match, Caribbean Strap Match: Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin (w/Ted Dibiase).
    If Austin win, Savio has to become Dibiase’s chauffeur. I think there was a Seinfeld episode like that! If Savio wins, Dibiase is gone from the WWF. That should tip the ending right there. This is a “touch all four corners” match, which is fine by me. Austin tries mind games early, but Savio goes nuts on him with the strap. He hits a spinning back kick and touches three corners, but Austin yanks him away from the fourth. To the floor, Austin rams Savio’s back into the apron and delivers more stiff shots. Back in, Austin hogties him and drags him around the ring, touching three of the four corners. Savio whirlwinds him into the corner to break up Austin’s momentum. Austin tosses him over the top, but the strap pulls Austin over too. Funny inside-comment exchange from JR and Perfect regarding Dibiase: JR says, “Would you want to be leaving the WWF?!” Perfect retorts, “Not now.” Perfect would leave later in the year. Perfect also makes a great point – if there’s no DQ, why doesn’t Dibiase just jump in there and help out? Back in, Savio hits a superplex for a double KO spot. Great spot as Savio staggers to three corners, but Austin positions himself in between Savio and the fourth buckle. Savio dives for it, but Austin catches him with a spinebuster. Awesome! Austin goes for a Tombstone, but Savio reverses and goes tumbling to the floor. Austin goes up top, so Savio just yanks him down into the railing! Back in, Savio touches three, but Austin yanks him away from the fourth. Austin delivers a piledriver, but Dibiase calls for one more. Savio is able to backdrop him over this time, much to Dibiase’s chagrin. Austin hops on Savio’s back with the Million Dollar Dream, but Savio drags him around the ring hitting two turnbuckles. He starts to fade, so he desperately busts out the Bret counter to get out of it. Austin wraps the strap around Savio’s neck and drags him around the ring, touching all the corners. Little does Austin know, Savio is touching all the corners just behind him. Dibiase freaks out because he sees Savio touching all the corners. Austin stops struggling to get to the corner and “accidentally” pulls Savio right into the fourth corner at 21:23. Austin would later reveal that he wanted to get rid of Dibiase all along and cost himself the match. Hence, the puzzling finish. It was an intense, well-booked match throughout. A highly under-appreciated classic, thanks largely to the unavailability of this show. ****1/4

  • Vader (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Yokozuna.
    Vader broke Yokozuna’s leg to set this up. He spends most of the match calling for a sumo contest with Yoko and then chickening out at the last second. When the meeting of the guts finally does go off, Vader gets knocked on his ass. He stalls for bit. Back in, Vader rocks him with a series of haymakers, but Yoko takes him down and drops an elbow on Vader’s knee in retaliation for Vader splashing Yoko’s leg months earlier. Vader calls for a slam, but it’s Yoko. Yoko sets up for the Banzai Drop. Jim Cornette tries a cheapshot to break it up, so Yoko drags him in and is about to give him the Banzai Drop. Vader saves Cornette from getting squashed and hits the Vader Bomb at 8:53. Well, they couldn’t wrestle, so they at least booked the mach in an entertaining way. *

  • I feel the need to point out three bizarre incorrect statements made by the separate announce crews (paraphrased).

    1) “Shawn Michaels has never given up – never submitted.” Vince McMahon said it, but Shawn submitted to Bret at the 1992 Survivor Series.
    2) “There’s only one man who has slammed Yokozuna…and that’s Ahmed Johnson.” Jim Ross. Oh, come on! I know the guy ran out on you, but they made a whole big deal about it, and it changed the course of the WWF in 1993. I understand that they’d take it back if they could, but pretending it never happened depends on one important thing – the fans don’t remember it either.
    3) “Goldust could become the first person to beat the Undertaker in his own casket match.” Mr. Perfect said this, proving that his name is just a clever marketing gimmick. The odd thing was they had just come from the Yokozuna match, so that should have jogged his memory.

  • Intercontinental Title, Casket Match: Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer).
    I can’t remember the Undertaker ever challenging for the Intercontinental Title. Taker appears behind Goldie during the intros and slugs away. He works in the Ropewalk Forearm and chokes Goldust down. Goldust comes back with his own Tombstone, and we get a lot of punching. See, the problem here is that both guys have characters that are methodical in their execution, so what you get is a match that is at half-speed. Goldust hits a flying clothesline and counts his own cover, but of course, covers are meaningless. Taker whips Goldust off the top and hits the Tombstone, but when he opens the casket to roll his carcass in, Mankind pops out and puts Taker out with the Mandible Claw. He shoves Taker in and locks the casket to give Goldust the win at 12:36. Goldust and Mankind would go on to form a bizarre relationship. The casket starts smoking and, by the time they get it open, the Undertaker is gone. Of course, laughter is probably not what they wanted to elicit, but that’s the reaction from the ringside fans. **
  • The 411: Probably the best of the IYHs to this point, and the second or third best WWF PPV of 1996 (with Survivor Series being the best, and Mind Games being somewhere in there as well). Despite his attitude problems, Shawn continued to put on great matches, and some of the guys like Austin, Mankind and Goldust were about to step up to stardom. If you want to check this one out, search for Coliseum Home Video's WrestleFest '96, which is its commercial title.

    Highly recommended.

    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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