In Your House 12: It’s Time

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James Dixon: There is much to say about the HELL that is this tape. When compiling these books we look to be as accurate and informative as possible, but we nearly didn’t make it with In Your House 12. We just couldn’t fathom out why it was never released by Coliseum Video, and what made it so special that it bucked convention and avoided a silly renaming. The reasons are still unclear, but at least we knew it did get a US release, only it was a direct port of the UK distributor Silver Vision’s version of the tape. However, the only difference was the format, being that the US version was NTSC rather than PAL, with everything from the artwork (albeit the American version sported a slightly darker shade of blue, for whatever reason) to the catalogue number the same. What that means for anal collectors is that both In Your House 12 and In Your House ‘97: Final Four (In Your House 13) have the same cat number. Maddening. If you have the US version (and make sure you do, because many an unscrupulous trader has attempted to make a quick buck from the UK one) then sell it and buy yourself a house. That’s how rare it is…

 

Arnold Furious: Part of the reason the WWF abandoned their event specific titling was that occasionally the booking went array. When they named IYH #12 as “It’s Time” it was back in the summertime when the intention was for Vader to win the WWF title from Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam and dominate the title scene toward the year’s end. Hence the riffing of “It’s Time” from his catchphrase “It’s Time, It’s Time, It’s Vader Time”. But Shawn nixed losing the title until Survivor Series, believing he needed a longer reign to prove himself to the marks, and eventually jobbed to Sid instead. The New York crowd at Survivor Series was clearly tired of Shawn’s title run and booed him out of the building, cheering a cheating Sid to his first world title. Maybe they’d caught wind of Shawn’s politicking backstage? New York has always been a smart crowd. After all, at the same event they happily latched on to new star Steve Austin. Speaking of which, neither Austin nor Michaels feature on this PPV, instead appearing in special dark matches for the live crowd. What? The two hottest talents in the company don’t work the PPV? They must have been mad.
For your amusement here are the dark matches from IYH 12:

 

Rocky Maivia vs. Salvatore Sincere

Brakkus vs. Dr. X

Steve Austin vs. Goldust

Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind

Can you believe this lot didn’t make the PPV? Rocky Maivia had only just debuted and he’s relegated to the Free For All. Meanwhile two potential showstealers are left to the live crowd. Madness. When you look at some of the shit that made the card you’d have to question the WWF’s sanity and the structure of In Your House shows. Brakkus is an odd fellow. A gigantic 300lb German the WWF signed with high hopes but he never quite mastered enough in-ring technique to get a push. He got farmed out to the USWA and ECW before returning in 1998 and getting shoved out the door after losing to Savio Vega in the career destroying Brawl for All. His opponent, Dr. X, is his trainer and former Heavenly Body and Bodydonna, Tom Prichard.

We’re in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. The latter predicts Bret Hart will submit Sid to win the title.

Survivor Series ’96

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Arnold Furious: Fans in the UK often don’t give this show the credit it deserves. I daresay it’s because it aired on a several day delay on the then-new Sky Sports 3, and was VERY heavily edited to fit a 3-hour slot, with the Undertaker-Mankind match getting about 4-minutes and the Bret-Austin match losing 10-15 minutes, with both matches having ad breaks in the middle of them to account for the clipping. The response from fans in Power Slam magazine was overwhelmingly negative, because while Sky had begun showing PPVs live in ’95, this got the shaft because the England cricket team was on tour in Australia and thus needed the all-night slot since it got bigger ratings, and Sky Sports 3 used to close at midnight. But, I love this show. For years I had a copy taped off TV that I played over and over again. I eventually had to buy a copy because I wore it out. Not even from watching the entire show, but rather watching Austin vs. Bret. I watched that match more than any other during this era, including their WrestleMania 13 rematch that other people seem to prefer. When it came to claiming stuff for Volume #4, James tried to barter with me to get Survivor Series ’96, that’s how great this show is. The vibe of the show is that something special is going to happen. Some shows have an atmosphere to them before they even begin. Survivor Series ’96 is one such show.

 

We’re in New York City at Madison Square Garden, the home of professional wrestling. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Ross. The following match is from the pre-show Free For All:

 

In Your House 9: International Incident

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Arnold Furious: The WWF released In Your House 9: International Incident as Tour de Force ‘96 in the USA, after SummerSlam ‘96, which it preceded. I don’t know either. Just go with it. Nothing makes sense from this era thanks to Coliseum’s insane renaming of the PPV events. If I had to hazard an educated guess it’d be due to the poor buy-rates of the PPV’s and attempting to con Johnny Punchclock into buying the shows on tape without knowing what they were. Living in the UK, the In Your House shows were just released under their PPV names, due to their limited availability when aired live. There was a market for the shows as the audience had never seen them.

 

We’re in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. The three man team was established at this point. JR was too good not to be on the shows, but Vince wanted to be there to keep his control over commentary.

 

The following is from the pre-show Free For All:

 

SummerSlam ’96

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Arnold Furious: We’re in Cleveland, Ohio. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross & Mr Perfect. Lawler has a match tonight so he’s not commentating. Jake Roberts actually turned up for this PPV so Lawler’s match is still on. Ahmed Johnson’s isn’t however as his kidney problems caused him to forfeit the IC title.

 

The following is from the pre-show Free For All:

 

There’s a beach party going on, which gives Sable an excuse to run around in a bikini. Aldo Montoya wearing his head-strap and shorts makes him look like an uber-dork. Interesting that Marlena gets a huge pop for wearing her skimpy beachwear. She’d end up being the driving force behind Goldust’s face turn. Todd Pettengill makes creepy remarks about wanking into Sunny’s bikini. I’m not even joking about that. Steve Austin walks past for his match and threatens to kick Pettengill’s ass. His attitude is starting to pay off and he gets a decent reaction. Shame about his generic heel music.

 

Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna
Yoko was a WHALE by this point. Before the year was out he’d be sent home to get into a better shape than “round”. Austin flips him off, which would normally lead to a Stunner, but he runs into a Samoan Drop. Yoko goes for the Banzai Drop but he’s too fat and pulls the top rope off, allowing Austin to roll him up for the win. They’d done a similar finish before, most notably at WrestleMania X against Bret Hart, but this was the best version of it. I still don’t understand why they couldn’t rig the rope to do that at ‘Mania X. It would have made more sense than Yoko’s sudden inability to stand. Perhaps he suffered from an inner ear infection or something?
Final Rating: *

 

JR interviews the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Jim mentions the Boiler Room Brawl is no DQ and asks Bearer about the match. Bearer mentions how the urn will be safe because he’ll be holding it. Hmm. In retrospect that sounds suspicious.

 

Backstage, Jerry Lawler appears to have shit in the pool so they call TL Hopper to sort it. Turns out it’s a chocolate bar. Poor guy. I bet he misses SMW already. They switch to a shot of Sunny sunbathing and WOW. That’s the money shot right there.

 

King of the Ring ’95

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Arnold Furious: Before we get started do yourself a favour and NEVER watch this tape. Ever. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix. You’d think they’d learn from the catastrophe they created at IYH, but switching commentary would stop King of the Ring ’95 from being one of the worst shows, ever. So we’ll stick with them. Keeping in mind this show is in Philadelphia. You seriously don’t want to run a terrible show in Philly because those m*th*rf*ck*rs are unrelenting. To put it into perspective; John Bailey aka Hat Guy from ECW is in the front row. He hates everything.

 

(Editors note: not all comments made by Hat Guy in this review were actually made by Hat Guy, just to make that absolutely clear. But he does shout at all the heels like a champ.)

In Your House

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Arnold Furious: With the WWF desperate for revenue, they had opted to increase their number of PPV shows. The PPV’s were the only thing that was selling. They’d burned the home video market with too many releases of poor quality (as was evidenced in the previous two books!) and the house shows were no longer the draw they were in the 80s. Back in ’95 it was felt that doing monthly themed PPV’s would be too much like effort and instead the new PPV’s would be branded as “In Your House”. IYH would mean shorter, cheaper PPV’s with a vaguely PPV quality card. While they didn’t sell as many IYH PPV’s as they did Big Four PPV’s (not including King of the Ring) it was all additional revenue stream for a company barely afloat. Within the industry, people suspected the WWF would go out of business in 1996. That’s how bad things were. We’re in Syracuse, New York. Hosts are Vince McMahon and “Handsome” Dok Hendrix. The reasoning behind Dok being thrown in at the deep end is that Jerry Lawler is wrestling on this show. You’d think Gorilla Monsoon or Jim Ross would have got the gig but apparently Vince liked the face/heel thing he had going on with Lawler and wanted to replicate it.