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Random Network Reviews: In Your House – Season’s Beatings

May 6, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: In Your House – Season’s Beatings  

In Your House: Season’s Beatings
December 17th, 1995 – Hersheypark Arena in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania – Attendance: 7,289

In 1995, the WWE began to run In Your House Pay-Per-Views. These shows ran in between their big five PPVs, were shorter at two hours and cheaper at $14.95. Season’s Beatings would be the fifth In Your House and the first with Bret Hart as WWF Champion. I’ve actually reviewed the Pay-Per-View before this, Survivor Series, where Bret captured the title and really liked that event. The WWF was just turning the corner for a big, game changing 1996.

The opening video package discusses the dissension within the Hart Family, which will be our focal point in the WWF Title match. They bill it as Bret Hart, the WWF Champion, having never defeated British Bulldog, even losing to him at SummerSlam 1992 in England. Commentary consists of Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

1-2-3 Kid and Sycho Sid w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Marty Jannetty and WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon
Talk about an oddball pairing; Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty just don’t go together even if they wear dumb matching leather jackets. Goldust is shown in the crowd as he is stalking Razor Ramon, and he has an usher with him who looks like Jeremy Jam from Parks and Recreation. Jannetty starts with 1-2-3 Kid, who was the sole survivor of a Survivor Series match last month involving Marty. They have a nice exchange, with Marty having the upper hand. Anytime Marty is close to tagging, Kid is fearful for his life. When the tag finally comes, Razor throws his toothpick at Kid and slaps him. He does one atomic drop, allowing Sid to blind tag in. He pounds away on Razor, but I hope they aren’t going to try and work the hot tag to Marty. They work a double clothesline spot, giving me time to mention that I think Razor is severely underrated as a worker. Dual tags are made, with the fast paced guys coming in. We go to a split screen with Todd Pettengill interviewing Goldust, who is pretty much lusting over Razor. This goes on for too long, until Sid catches Marty with a powerslam. We get classic heel work as Razor ends up accidentally distracting the referee while they double team Marty. Razor does get the hot tag and takes down heels. He hits Kid with a fallaway slam but his Razor’s Edge attempt on Sid is reversed into a back drop. Sid misses a leg drop that would put Hulk Hogan to shame, leading to Razor hitting a Rick Steiner like second rope bulldog on Sid to win.

Winners: Marty Jannetty and WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon in 12:22
I didn’t expect much from this, and it was about as good as expected. Neither team is very familiar with each other, but my main issue was that the finish was abrupt. Also, shouldn’t Kid have eaten the pin? **¼

We go to the WWF Superstar Line, which has two options. On one hand, you can talk to Sunny. On the other, you can speak with Jacques Rougeau. Who the hell would choose option 2? I liked Jacques but poor guy.

Jerry Lawler enters the ring and badmouths Santa Clause before bringing out Jeff Jarrett. THAT’S J-E-DOUBLE F. J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T. He is given a plaque or whatever for selling 500,000 copies, which I’m pretty sure should have been all credited to the Roadie. This goes on for far too long but he at least makes a noteworthy announcement that he is the first entrant into the 1996 Royal Rumble. He joins the commentary booth.

Dena Douglas comes out for his match with Ahmed Johnson. He claims that he is injured and can’t compete, so he brings out Buddy Landell, his graduate student as his replacement.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Buddy Landell w/ Dean Douglas
Buddy Landell is a complete Ric Flair knockoff, which is made all the more interesting when you consider Dean and Ric’s hatred for each other. Ahmed Johnson has a REALLY weird body. He goes after Dean, but Buddy stops him and levels him. It has no effect. He hits the Pearl River Plunge and this is over quickly.

Winner: Ahmed Johnson in 0:44
Here we have the beginning of the Ahmed Johnson push that would not go far due to his series of injuries. SQUASH

Jerry Lawler tries to get a word with Ahmed Johnson, but he instead just reels off some of his usual terrible jokes. Ahmed interrupts and does a Billy Ray Cyrus joke that you can barely understand before Jeff Jarrett breaks the gold record over his head. Ahmed is a monster though, who shakes this off and chases Double J to the back. We cut to the back where Todd Pettengill is with Razor Ramon in the AOL room. He has to defend the belt against Yokozuna tomorrow night on Raw. Before Todd leaves, he hands Razor a letter from Goldust that leaves him uncomfortable.

Arkansas Hog Pen Match
Henry O. Godwin vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Hillbilly Jim is the special guest referee, which I just seem to think is pretty unfair. He would have a clear biased towards Henry. Also, I’m not sure of the rules for this match, but there is a pig pen with live pigs near the entrance. Henry tries to slop Hunter early but misses and takes out the time keeper. This comes just months before that same time keeper eats Sweet Chin Music at WrestleMania. Hunter gets tied up in the ropes like he’s Andre the Giant and is forced to eat slop. Gross. He fights back and works over Henry as we see that the pigs have taken a nap. The fight spills up to the hog pen and Henry is tossed into the gate. Henry nearly back drops Hunter into the pen, which Vince McMahon now explains would be how you win. Hunter hits an elbow from the top of the pen as they’re working hard despite the odd stipulation. Jerry Lawler is just busting out a ton of Jeff Foxworthy jokes. Back to the ring where Godwin hits a huge wheelbarrow slam, which should be his finisher over the Slop Drop. Back up to the pen where Henry nails the Slop Drop. He waits for Hunter to get up and charges at him, only to get back body dropped into the pen and Hunter wins.

Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley in 8:58
I expected this to suck hard, but I actually thought it was pretty good. Both guys did a good job of making the match fun. **¾

Hunter doesn’t want his hand raised by Hillbilly Jim and ends up getting thrown into the slop. He has a huge cut on his back, which I’m guessing is from being whipped into the gate. The right guy wins, but the fans get what they want. Booking 101 guys.

A promo airs for the Royal Rumble, which is next month. I miss these 90’s commercials. Next, we are taken to a video package focusing on Diesel’s attitude since losing the WWF Title to Bret Hart at Survivor Series. He hit him with two more powerbombs and has been a tweener since then. During that time, Shawn Michaels collapsed in a match against Owen Hart. With Owen being Bret’s brother and Shawn being Diesel’s best friend, it makes for an obvious match. This was very well done as Diesel wasn’t giving anyone answers or anything like that.

Diesel vs. Owen Hart w/ Jim Cornette
Owen Hart is very cautious and rightfully so as he eats trademark Diesel knee lifts in the corner. Owen gets in some shots but is knocked outside. Owen tries to leave, completely regretting his decision to brag about Shawn Michaels’ injury, but Diesel stops him. Inside though, Owen nails a big spinning heel kick and climbs up top for a missile dropkick. He starts to work the leg, which I love because it’s something Bret did against Diesel that worked, but Owen does it in a different manner. It just goes to show how good and different both brothers were. He does connect with the enziguri that took out Shawn but Diesel kicks out. His attempt at more leg work is stopped when Diesel sends him into the corner. Diesel now plants Owen with the Jackknife, saying he did it for Shawn. He puts his foot on Owen’s chest for the pin but stops at two. As he goes for a second Jackknife, he shoves the referee to the mat.

Winner via disqualification: Owen Hart in 4:34
From a wrestling standpoint, this wasn’t anything special. Owen Hart did a good job of working the leg, but the storytelling is what’s important. Diesel could have won but wanted to dish out punishment and leads him closer to a straight heel turn. **¾

Diesel hits the second Jackknife before signaling that he wants the WWF Title. Ted Dibiase’s theme music plays while Santa Clause, Savio Vega and Barry Horowitz are giving out gifts. Dibiase is trying to by Savio Vega’s services, leading Jerry Lawler to say it probably cost “two tacos and a burrito.” So the redneck jokes during the Hog Pen match weren’t enough I guess. Dibiase badmouths Santa but Savio says he believe in Santa. Santa then does the biggest heel turn in pro wrestling history by taking out Savio. The Million Dollar Man just bought Santa. Also, Santa is actually Balls Mahoney. As they leave, I think he forgets that he’s a heel because he slaps hands with a kid.

While Mabel makes his entrance for the next match, Dok Hendrix plugs WrestleMania the Arcade Game. Understand this. It cost $64.99 for the Super Nintendo and $70 for the Sega Genesis. That’s more than games nowadays! Also, if you called at that time, you would get a VHS strategy guide. So if you got stuck in the game, you’d have to switch to your VHS, fast forward to where to were and watch what to do. The struggle of being a 90’s kid right?

Casket Match
King Mabel w/ Sir Mo vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer

I consider 1995 to be a really bad time for the Undertaker. I mean, he didn’t have many memorable matches before this year but 1995 was awful. He feuded with Mabel, Kama, King Kong Bundy, IRS…you get the point. After being taken out by Mabel, he returned at the Survivor Series with his badass half mask. Despite being scared at the bell, Mabel comes at Undertaker with some big offense. However, Undertaker just sits up. He starts getting in his stuff until Mo trips him, leading to a belly to belly suplex. Mabel nails the leg drop that broke Undertaker’s face and a splash, and the Undertaker tries to sit up but can’t. They roll Undertaker into the casket but don’t shut the lid like dummies. Mabel gets his crown and struts to the casket but Taker stops it from closing. He gets back in and nails a big clothesline. He hits the Chokeslam and sends Mabel into the casket. Mo attacks, but is nailed with the gold chain that is supposedly the remnants of the urn. Mo is rolled onto Mabel and both guys are locked in.

Winner: The Undertaker in 6:11
At least this was kept short. It marked the end of a dreadful year for the Undertaker, which was great because 1996 would be the first year that I remember loving any Undertaker matches. As for this though, it was just there. **

Undertaker pulls a Diesel and motions that he wants the WWF Title. Bret Hart and British Bulldog may not want to win the main event.

We are taken back to SummerSlam 1992 as Bret Hart and British Bulldog had a respectful match for the Intercontinental Title. Jim Cornette is Bulldog’s mouthpiece, which was an awesome idea as Davey wasn’t great on the mic and Cornette is awesome. Diana Smith is not conflicted like she was in 1992. She’s 100% behind Davey. Bret also cuts a promo that disappointed me. I’m one to say that Bret’s promos were better than given credit for, but I think he needed to be a bit more upset since this is so personal.

WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. British Bulldog w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Smith

This opens with your standard feeling out process. Bret earns the first near fall with a cross body before hitting one of the hardest looking inverted atomic drops ever. Bulldog now comes back and sets up Bret in the tree of (Joey Lawrence voice) woe. He accidentally nails Earl Hebner, who is clearly in pain but nothing is called because it was a legit accident. During this exchange of basic stuff, we get small “ECW” chants. Commentary informs us that the winner of this will face Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. We get the signature Bret Hart sternum bump in the corner and I still don’t understand how it doesn’t cause an instant heart attack. Bret begins to make a rally with his headbutt to the midsection and a bulldog that leads Vince to say “CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? A BULLDOG ON THE BULLDOG.” I’m sure he waited a while to get that out. Bret counters a back body drop with a piledriver for two. He goes for a superplex but ends up crotched and falls outside. Bulldog throws Bret into the steel steps and this is where the match kicks into the next gear as Bret is bleeding a ton. He hits his own piledriver inside but only gets two. Bret is resilient, surviving a gorilla press slam and then Bulldog nails a diving headbutt to Bret’s kidney. The mat is just stained from Bret’s blood as Davey applies a bow and arrow. Bret wriggles free and tries the Sharpshooter but it’s quickly broken. Bret comes from out of nowhere with a beautiful German suplex for a near fall before we get the double clothesline spot. Bulldog charges and Bret sends him over and out, followed by a dive outside. He tries it again but is caught with the running powerslam on the outside! They continue to fight outside, where Bulldog is crotched on the guardrail. Inside, Bret connects on his perfect backbreaker for two. We get some split screens of Diana’s face and she is selling her emotions incredibly well. Bret sends Bulldog into the corner and he flips into the turnbuckles. The superplex hits this time, and again, Bret had one of the best of those as well. Bulldog tries to roll up Bret the same way he did at SummerSlam ’92, but Bret counters and pulls the tights for a near fall. That desperation from a face is a great touch. After a boot to the face, Bret does the La Majestral cradle for the 1-2-3.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Bret Hart in 21:09
On par, if not better than their SummerSlam encounter but in a very different way. It says something that they can have two great matches, one a wrestling classic and the other a violent brawl. The only thing I didn’t like was that the finish was odd. It should have ended with Bret countering the rollup from SummerSlam to bookend the story. ****¾

We get an “In Your House Extra” here on the WWE Network. Undertaker and Paul Bearer are interviewed about the Royal Rumble title shot, when Diesel interrupts because it’s his shot next. They have a stare down to foreshadow WrestleMania XII.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Maybe it was because it was only two hours, but this was a very easy watch. Nothing dragged and everything had a purpose. The opener was decent and the Ahmed Johnson squash got him more over. I enjoyed the Hog Pen match way more than I expected to. The Casket match was kept short, while Diesel/Owen told a good story and the main event is an all-time classic that is often overlooked. Definitely worth your two hours and one of the better In Your House events.