Reviews

TJR Retro: WWE In Your House 8 – Beware of Dog (May 1996) Review

The WWF/E In Your House Beware of Dog 1996 PPV was one of the most unique shows in WWE history and not for a good reason. It was a bad night in Florence, South Carolina when the power went out on Sunday, May 26, 1996 and that meant that only two matches were shown to the television audience. The rest of the matches were in front of the crowd, but they weren’t broadcast due to the power outage. The next night was Raw, so on Tuesday, May 28, 1996, WWE did a Beware of Dog 2 event with the three matches that would have aired on Sunday night if they were able to show it to us. Back in those days, Tuesday night was the replay airing of PPVs so if you missed the show on Sunday night, you could check it out on Tuesday. Plus, they were doing it because it was Memorial Day weekend in the US that week. In this case, it was a way to air three new matches on Tuesday in addition to the two matches from Sunday.

That means the broadcast version of Beware of Dog is two matches from Sunday, May 26 in Florence, South Carolina and then three matches from Tuesday, May 28 in North Charleston, South Carolina. It was a unique situation, but I guess you could say that WWE did the best they could to present the show they wanted to the fans.

Here’s a video from the Sunday night broadcast when the power went out. You won’t see this on the WWE Network version of the broadcast.

On Raw the next night, they explained the power outage some more and even showed footage of what it looked like with wrestlers trying to compete in the dark.

Needless to say, they couldn’t air the whole event on Sunday night.

The reason for the “Beware of Dog” PPV name is because the British Bulldog was the challenger for the WWE Championship held by Shawn Michaels. It was the start of their championship rivalry that was built around the idea that Shawn was hitting on Bulldog’s wife Diana Hart Smith. I don’t think the story worked, but it was a case of the heel Bulldog and his team trying to make things tough on Michaels.

It did 110,000 PPV buys, which isn’t a great number by any means, but there were worse In Your House shows. It did do poorly in terms of attendance because they were in a 9,000 seat arena on the Sunday night and only had about 4,000 people there. Perhaps the storms were part of the reason why.

If you were paying attention to the Monday Night Wars at the time then you would have seen some big news on WCW Monday Nitro. The May 27 edition of Nitro was the night when Scott Hall (former Razor Ramon) debuted on Nitro. I remember having no idea that was happening and we didn’t get Nitro live in Canada, so I saw it like a day or two later. I was shocked by it. Soon after, Kevin Nash (former Diesel) arrived and the stage was set for the New World Order’s debut a few months later. Pro wrestling would never be the same.

This show followed In Your House 7 – Good Friends, Better Enemies.

Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:

“In Your House: Beware of Dog features Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog for the WWE Championship; Goldust vs. The Undertaker for the Intercontinental Title; ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs Savio Vega and more.” (PG, V)

The VHS looks like this:

Vader was on the poster for the show even though it was called Beware of Dog for the British Bulldog. The poster looked like this:

Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

WWF In Your House 8 – Beware of Dog
From Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina and North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina
May 26 & 28, 1996

The opening video package focused on the Shawn Michaels rivalry with the British Bulldog leading to their WWE Title match. Bulldog’s wife Diana Hart Smith accused Shawn of sexual harassment, Shawn denied it and it would lead to their match on this show.

The announcers were Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his entrance with a lovely woman joining him for his entrance. They showed a clip from WWE Superstars from the weekend with Hunter hitting Marc Mero with a Pedigree after Bob Backlund attacked Mero.

There was a backstage interview with “Wildman” Marc Mero and Sable with Dok Hendrix doing the interview. Mero didn’t say much other than tonight will be the call of the wild. Mero made his entrance with Sable to a decent pop.

“Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Pre-match notes: Mero was the face while Hunter was the heel. Mero was married to Sable at the time although WWE didn’t say they were a married couple. Sable was just Mero’s manager.

Hunter was punching Mero against the turnbuckle, then Mero came back with punches and Hunter bumped over the top to the floor. Mero jumped over the top with a splash onto Hunter. Mero with a punch that knocked down Hunter again. Mero with a corner whip, Hunter moved and Mero went shoulder first into the turnbuckle. That led to Hunter sending Mero’s left shoulder into the turnbuckle. Hunter with an armbar where he drove Mero’s arm to the mat. Hunter worked over Mero with punches followed by a jumping knee to the face. Mero got a running rollup for two. Hunter went back to working on the left shoulder of Mero. Lawler was hitting on the woman that Hunter brought to the ring. Hunter drove Mero’s left arm into the ring post. Hunter continued to work on the left arm of Mero and he went for a cross armbreaker, but Mero managed to get to the ropes after about one minute. Hunter hit a running knee drop to the left shoulder. Hunter applied an armbar on the left arm with Lawler saying Sable was a dead ringer for Mr. Ed (the horse). Hunter sent Mero shoulder first into the turnbuckle, then Mero came back with a pin attempt using his legs to roll up Hunter. A clothesline by Hunter got a two count. Hunter went back to jumping on the left arm. Hunter pulled down on Mero’s left arm against the top rope. Hunter went up top, which was rare for him and Hunter jumped off with an awkward punch to the back. Hunter with an armbar along with a rope grab and Hunter hit two knee drops to the left arm. Hunter with a body slam with Mero’s left arm underneath. Hunter went up top for nothing, so Mero bounced into the ropes to knock Hunter down. Mero hit a hurricanrana off the top rope. Mero with a headscissors takedown, then two knee lifts and a back body drop. Mero was selling his left arm well while doing those moves. Mero jumped off the top with a sunset flip for two leading to Vince’s classic “one…two…he got him…no he didn’t” call. Mero dropkicked Hunter out of the ring. Mero went for a somersault dive, but Hunter moved and Mero was grabbing his left knee as if he hurt it. Hunter teased going for a Pedigree, Sable turned her back to it and Hunter was mad about it because he wanted Sable to watch it. Hunter left the ring, Sable tried to slap him, but Hunter blocked that and told Sable to watch. Mero tripped up Hunter leading to a catapult into the ring post. Hunter hit his hand against the ring post, but sold it like a headshot. Mero covered for the pinfall win at 16:23.

Winner by pinfall: Marc Mero

Analysis: *** A good match with Hunter working on the left arm throughout the match and then Mero found a way to make the big comeback to win. I think the finish could have been booked in a way that was more exciting. The move Mero won with shouldn’t win a match normally, but Hunter did sell it as a big move so at least it looked like it was a damaging finishing move. I just think if Mero won with his top rope 450 Splash it would have looked more impressive and would have meant more than winning with the move he did win with.

Marc Mero celebrated with Sable with Mero selling the left arm injury. Hunter remained down on the floor.

Analysis: This was right after the “MSG Incident” where Hunter and Shawn Michaels hugged Diesel/Razor Ramon in their WWE farewell matches. As a result, Hunter was punished and lost a lot of matches because of that.

The Camp Cornette was interviewed in the locker room by Mr. Perfect. Jim Cornette said he had a manager’s license for Owen Hart to accompany the British Bulldog on his way to the ring. Cornette also promised some big bombshell for Shawn Michaels.

It was time for the WWE Championship match with The British Bulldog making his entrance with his wife Diana Hart Smith and Owen Hart (brother of Diana), who had a cast on his hand along with a Slammy Award in his hand. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler were at ringside thanking the fans for their patience with the storm.

Shawn Michaels, the WWE Champion, was interviewed backstage by Dok Hendrix. Michaels said that he is focused and all of this stuff would make for a storyline on Melrose Place (a popular TV show at the time). Michaels brushed off the “Beware of Dog” name and said Beware of The Kliq. When Shawn was shown walking towards the ring, he bumped into Mr. Perfect. Shawn, with manager/mentor Jose Lothario, kept on walking to make his entrance. Big ovation for Michaels as the top babyface in WWE at the time.

Clarence Mason, who was Bulldog’s lawyer, was at ringside saying that Shawn has tried to break up the happy home of The British Bulldog and Diana Smith. Mason said that he assured the Smiths that Shawn’s actions will cease & desist immediately. Mason said that Michaels was served with a summons as a defendant with the charge of “attempted alienation of affection” and they will see him in a court of law where justice is swift and hard. Michaels was handed the summons in the ring. Michaels ripped it up and the fans cheered.

WWE Championship: Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. The British Bulldog (w/Owen Hart & Diana Hart Smith)

Pre-match notes: Michaels was the WWE Champion that won the title about two months earlier at WrestleMania 12 while Bulldog was the heel.

Michaels with an arm drag, Bulldog sent Shawn to the apron, Michaels back in with a superkick attempt, but Bulldog bailed to the floor. Michaels with a slingshot dive over the top onto Bulldog on the floor. Michaels grabbed a headlock in the ring for about a minute or even longer than that. I don’t know why Michaels was holding that headlock for some long. Michaels went for a leapfrog, Bulldog caught him, Michaels broke free and used his feet for a pin attempt. Michaels hit an enziguri kick for a two count. Michaels applied a weak looking armbar for about a minute, then Michaels with a hiptoss and a short-arm scissor submission. Michaels applied this hold for several minutes as well. There was some screaming fan at ringside that was picked up by the microphone. More on that later. Bulldog powered out of the armbar and fell back so that Bulldog slammed Shawn into the mat. Bulldog with a back body drop. There were definitely some fans against Shawn and you could see other fans staring in the direction of those fans. Bulldog was in control with a headbutt and Bulldog applied a chinlock. Michaels got out of that with elbows and punches. Bulldog picked up Michaels on his back for a submission, Michaels fought out of it by breaking the grip and Michaels tried a crucifix pin, but Bulldog hit a Samoan Drop. Bulldog with a leg drop for two. Bulldog applied a chinlock for over a minute. There was this woman screaming at ringside, Bulldog yelled “shut up” at her and you can see Shawn’s lips moving “shup you fat cow” or something like that. The referee Earl Hebner looked over towards the woman while fans were looking at her too. The wrestlers could tell, so Bulldog held onto the chinlock for several more minutes. Michaels went running the rope, Shawn ducked a clothesline and then Shawn bumped to the floor. I don’t know what happened there, but that may have been what Shawn wanted. Bulldog sent Michaels into the railing at ringside. Bulldog sent Michaels into the apron. Michaels was on the apron, he hit two shoulder tackles and a neckbreaker off the ropes. Michaels jumped back into the ring with a clothesline over the top. Bulldog was sent into the ropes, Michaels with a dropdown and then Bulldog ran right into Michaels, so both guys were down. Michaels ran the ropes leading to a forearm to the face. Michaels jumped off the top with a double axehandle. Bulldog ran the ropes again, but this time he ran into referee Earl Hebner, who bumped to the floor.

Michaels with a body slam. Michaels went up top and hit an elbow drop. Michaels set up for the Sweet Chin Music superkick, Owen went into the ring and Michaels hit the superkick on Owen. Referee Mike Chioda went into the ring to take over while Hebner was down on the floor. Bulldog went for the Powerslam, Michaels sent him into the turnbuckle and then Michaels hit a bridging German Suplex for the one…two and three. It went 17:21.

Match Result: Draw

Analysis: **1/2 This was just an average match that was not at the level of a Shawn Michaels PPV match in this era. I think half of the match was just rest holds. It didn’t work. Michaels was clearly off his game, Bulldog didn’t really know how to adjust and both guys were thrown off by some screaming fan at ringside. They also had to do this match where they booked a controversial ending to set up a rematch at King of the Ring 1996, so that’s also probably why the match felt off in a lot of ways.

Analysis x2: I was wondering what was up with Shawn in this match because he seemed off. Here’s what Dave Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer about this match: “Let’s just say this wasn’t Michaels day. He appeared to be in a bad mood from the start. Apparently, a heckling fan got under his skin and he was unprofessional enough about it that it hurt the match. He kept mouthing things at her to the point that all the ringside fans around her began turning on him as well and only made things worse. It wasn’t like it was a bad match, but it was far below the expected standards.”

During a 2020 episode of WWE’s The Bump Youtube show, Michaels talked about this night:

“That was the absolute worst day in the entire world. It’s going off and on as far as whether we’re gonna be on, whether we’re not gonna be on. Whether it’s gonna make the air or it’s not gonna make the air. Whether the lights are gonna be on or whether the lights are gonna be off. We had to sort of set up different scenarios for every different situation. There was about three different wrestling matches going on in my head that I was trying to convey to Bulldog. If this happens, this is what we’re gonna do. If this happens, this is what we’re gonna do. But, if everything goes well, this will be our original plan. It was just constantly changing the entire time. It was chaotic. And then, of course, heck, the only thing I can remember is that we painstakingly got through it but I can remember this one person, this lady, I was in a chinlock I think, and you can just hear this one person like RAAAH, her voice was just piercing the air. And I just pulled Davey Boy’s arm and I used some pretty brutal language to tell that person to pipe down and it was said a little more colorfully than that.” (Thanks to Bleeding Cool for the transcript.)

I didn’t notice the heckling that much, but I certainly could hear some people, especially at least one very loud woman, that was yelling at Shawn.

After the pinfall, referee Mike Chioda raised the British Bulldog’s hand and Bulldog’s music played. However, original referee Earl Hebner argued with Chioda. Hebner raised the hand of Shawn Michaels. Ring announcer Howard Finkel announced Bulldog as the WWE Champion first and then Shawn Michaels as the WWE Champion. Diana Hart Smith was holding the WWE Title. That led to WWE President Gorilla Monsoon going down to ringside. Monsoon talked to the referees as the fans chanted “HBK” for Michaels. The replay showed that Hebner was in the distance counting the pin. Both men had their shoulders down. It was announced that both officials counted both athletes’ shoulders down for the three count. That means that Gorilla Monsoon has declared this bout a draw. The WWE Title cannot change hands on a draw, so Shawn Michaels remained the WWE Champion.

Official Match Result: Draw (Shawn Michaels remains WWE Champion)

They showed another replay from another angle that showed that while the replacement referee Mike Chioda was looking at Shawn’s shoulders and counting him down, the original referee Earl Hebner was counting down Bulldog’s shoulders. Michaels did some posing with the WWE Title. Vince McMahon kept putting over the fact that this had never happened. Shawn left.

The second part of the show was next with Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect on commentary for the final three matches. It was Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler on the Sunday broadcast, so Ross and Perfect were on the call for the Tuesday broadcast. The graphic said “Beware of Dog 2” for the Tuesday showing.

It was time for the Caribbean Strap Match with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the ring with Ted Dibiase with Austin holding the Million Dollar Title. They showed video from Sunday night when Steve Austin and Savio Vega faced eachother in the dark because the power was out. On Raw one night prior, Ted Dibiase said he’ll leave WWE if Austin doesn’t win. Savio Vega entered as the opponent.

Caribbean Strap Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (w/Ted Dibiase) vs. Savio Vega

Pre-match notes: Austin was the heel while Vega was the heel. If Vega loses then he has to be Dibiase’s chauffeur. If Austin loses then Dibiase has to leave WWE.

The rules:

  1. The left wrist of each opponent will be connected to a 10-foot leather strap.
  2. The first superstar to touch all 4 corners in succession wins.
  3. Pinfalls and submissions do not count. Neither do countouts or disqualifications.

Austin worked over Vega with punches. Austin rolled out of the ring and then Vega aggressively went after him with a hard chop on the floor. Vega attacked Austin with the leather strap to the body. Austin went to the apron, Vega hit Austin with the strap a few times and then a strap to the shoulder. Vega with a suplex into the ring. Vega with a roundhouse kick. Vega touched two turnbuckles and then Austin tripped him up. Austin used the strap aggressively to hit Vega with it repeatedly. Austin sent Vega back first into the ring apron and then Austin dropped Vega across the steel security railing. Austin choked Vega with the strap around the throat. Austin suplex Vega into the ring from the apron. Austin dragged Vega a bit as Austin hit two turnbuckles and Vega interrupted that as he sent Austin into the ropes. Vega with a clothesline plus more strap whipping by Vega. Austin dumped Vega over the top to the floor and then Austin also bumped over the top to the floor due to the presence of the strap. Vega suplexed Austin on the floor. Austin with punches, then he tried to attack off the steps, but Vega punched him and Vega hit Austin with the strap again.

They were back into the ring with Vega using the strap to tie up Austin’s legs a bit as Vega hit three turnbuckles in a row until Austin kicked the leg to stop that. Austin with leather strap shots to the back and to the chest. Vega set up Austin on the turnbuckle leading to chops and Austin headbutted Vega off the turnbuckle. Vega kicked the turnbuckle while Austin was there, so Austin was crotched on the top rope. Vega delivered a superplex off the top. Dibiase was freaking out telling Austin to get up. Vega touched three turnbuckles in a row, Austin stood up in front of the fourth turnbuckle and Austin hit a spinebuster. Great counter. Austin hit a running splash on Vega’s back against the middle rope. Austin touched two turnbuckles in a row, but then Vega did an eye poke to stop a third attempt. Vega hit Austin in the back and then Austin hit a low blow back kick, which I think the announcers missed. Austin and Vega fought over a Tombstone spot leading to Vega bumping over the top to the floor. Vega was hanging from the strap for a few seconds. Austin was on the top turnbuckle, Vega was on the floor, Vega pulled on the strap and Austin went crashing into the barricade. Austin drove Vega back first into the steel steps. Vega managed to pull the strap so Austin went knee first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Vega had Austin on his shoulders, Vega got two turnbuckles and Austin held onto the belt, but then Vega managed to get the third. When Vega got close to the fourth turnbuckle, Austin pulled on the strap to take down Vega. No fourth touch there. Austin followed up with a piledriver. Dibiase wanted another one. Vega did a back body drop out of the piledriver. Austin applied the Million Dollar Dream sleeper, Vega touched the turnbuckle once, Vega touched a second turnbuckle and then Vega kicked the turnbuckle to land on Austin to break the submission. Both guys were down. Austin with a Stun Gun that sent Vega into the turnbuckle. Austin put the strap around Vega’s neck, Austin touched a turnbuckle first, then Vega did, then Austin touched two, Vega touched two (Austin didn’t know that since Vega was behind him), Austin touched three, Vega touched three and they battled going for the fourth turnbuckle. Austin tried to use the strap to take down Vega, but then Austin pulled Vega towards the turnbuckle and Vega hit the turnbuckle to win the match at 21:27.

Winner: Savio Vega

Analysis: ***3/4 This was a very good match. I don’t know if I’d call it a classic, but it was a very physical match that was well-paced and they worked well together. They set up a lot of the strap spots in a way that made sense with Austin trying to pull Vega many times while Vega kept trying to reach for it as the babyface. I liked the final sequence where it looked like Austin was full control of the strap, but after he touched the turnbuckle three times, it was evident that Vega also did so then it was a race to see who would get the fourth one. It was booked in a way that made sense. Even though Austin lost here, he would go onto win King of the Ring at the next PPV, so it’s not like he was hurt by this loss.

Post match, Dibiase was angry about what happened and was yelling at Austin about it. Austin didn’t seem to care about Dibiase being fired, so Austin just left on his own. Vega led the fans in singing the “na na na hey hey goodbye” song to Dibiase. Ted was furious about it while Vega loved it and the fans joined in singing goodbye to Dibiase.

Analysis: The Dibiase departure wasn’t originally part of the stipulation. They added it on Raw. The reason that the Dibiase stipulation was added to the match is because he was headed to WCW, so this was a way to write him out of WWE. With Dibiase out of the picture, Austin would thrive on his own. It was the best thing for him.

They showed Shawn Michaels chatting with fans at the WWF on American Online station.

Vader made his entrance with Jim Cornette. They showed a clip from Raw seven weeks earlier when Vader hit three Vader Bombs on the left leg of Yokozuna. They took Yokozuna away on a forklift.

Vader (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Yokozuna

Pre-match notes: Vader was the heel and Yokozuna was the face. Vader was announced at about 450 pounds and Yokozuna was around 650 pounds as his announced weight. I don’t know what the real numbers were, but Yokozuna looked huge.

Yokozuna was aggressive with a shot to the throat. Vader backed into the corner for a break. Vader teased running at Yokozuna, but then Vader backed away like the heel that he is. They teased another charging confrontation and then Vader stopped again. The fans cheered about three minutes of nothing, then Yokozuna charged with a running body attack that knocked down Vader. Yokozuna with a clothesline that sent Vader over the top to the floor. The fans loved that. Vader was back in with punches to the head, Yokozuna with a single leg trip of Vader and Yokozuna did an elbow drop to the left knee as payback for when Vader attacked Yokozuna. Vader went to the floor to take a break. When Vader went back into the ring, Vader was aggressive with punches, but Yokozuna did another elbow drop on the left leg. Vader with strikes to the head. Vader teased a body slam, but Yokozuna was too fat and then Yokozuna hit a uranage slam (like a Rock Bottom). Yokozuna was so fat and he looked exhausted. Yokozuna with a running splash against the turnbuckle followed by a Samoan Drop. Cornette tried attacking with the tennis racket, but Yokozuna flipped Cornette into the ring. Yokozuna squeezed Cornette’s hand and Yokozuna gave him a handshake. Vader saved Cornette from a Banzai Drop and Yokozuna hit the mat with his ass. Vader hit a running splash on the left leg. Vader hit the Vader Bomb splash on Yokozuna for the pinfall win at 8:53.

Winner by pinfall: Vader

Analysis: ** It was a passable match. Yokozuna could barely move, but I liked the story they told with Yokozuna working on the left knee and Vader coming back thanks in part to Cornette’s interference causing Yokozuna to focus on him. Vader was new in WWE in 1996, so this was all about putting him over on his way to the main event scene in the summer.

There was a commercial for the King of the Ring 1996 pay-per-view on Sunday, June 23. I have not reviewed that as of this writing, but I will get to it at some point soon. Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect mentioned some of the matches that were announced for it.

They showed the King of the Ring 1996 brackets. I think “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will win. Just a guess. Sorry for the spoiler.

Goldust made his entrance as the Intercontinental Champion with the lovely Marlena. They were married at the time. Terri looked tremendous as usual. One night earlier on Raw, Owen Hart hit Ahmed Johnson with a cast and Vader covered Ahmed to give Ahmed his first loss in WWE. Then Goldust gave Ahmed mouth to mouth resuscitation, so Ahmed freaked out and was looking for Goldust.

The Undertaker was in the ring behind Goldust instead of walking down the aisle, so that was different than the usual Undertaker entrance.

Casket Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)

Pre-match notes: Goldust was the heel Intercontinental Champion while The Undertaker was very popular as a babyface. It was rare to see The Undertaker in an Intercontinental Title match since he never won that title.

There was a gold casket beside the ring since it was a casket match. Taker was in control early with punches and hard whip into the turnbuckle. Taker with a back elbow that rocked Goldust to send him into the turnbuckle. Goldust was scared of the casket when it opened. Undertaker threw Goldust over the top onto the casket and Goldust freaked out about it. Taker whipped Goldust into the steel steps along with Taker sending Goldust into the casket. Taker with a body slam followed by a leg drop. Taker did the old school rope walk with the punch to the shoulder. Taker with some choking, Goldust hit a back elbow and body slam for Goldust’s first bit of offense. Goldust tried an uppercut, it didn’t connect and then Goldust hit a weak looking Tombstone piledriver. That’s rare to see. It barely got a reaction. Taker sat right back up. Goldust hit a running clothesline while Taker was on the mat. Goldust shoved Undertaker over to the casket, but Undertaker fought back before Goldust could shut the lid. They had a “Casket Cam” in the casket. Taker with a boot to the face and then Goldust gave Undertaker a back body drop over the top to the floor. Goldust sent Taker into the steel steps followed by Goldust choking Taker with a cable. They were back in the ring with Goldust working on the back and connecting with punches. Taker with two punches that knocked Goldust down. Goldust applied a sleeper hold where Goldust took Taker down to the mat for about one minute in that hold. Goldust put Undertaker into the coffin, but when Goldust tried to shut it, The Undertaker got his right arm out to prevent the casket from shutting. Undertaker managed to shove Goldust off the casket and then the top part of the casket broke off a bit. They went back in the ring, ran the ropes and Undertaker hit a leaping clothesline. Taker wit ha clothesline that sent both guys over the top to the floor. Taker got a blue steel chair, Goldust kicked Taker in the face and hit a clothesline. Back in the ring, Goldust hit a powerslam. Goldust went up top, which he rarely did and Goldust hit a clothesline off the top. Goldust covered Undertaker and hit the mat three times as if he was doing a three count. That was bizarre. Taker came back with punches, Goldust with an armbar and then Goldust tried to walk the ropes, but Taker slammed him down. Undertaker connected with a Tombstone near the casket. Undertaker opened the casket and there was Mankind! Mankind applied the Mandible Claw to Undertaker and Mankind drove Undertaker into the casket. The casket cover was placed on top, so Undertaker lost. It went 12:36.

Winner: Goldust

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match with a finish that was about as cheap as it gets. Goldust got the win even though he didn’t do anything to win the match since it was Mankind attacking Undertaker and putting him into the casket. That’s about as cheap as it can get. I thought Goldust sold everything really well. That was always one of his strengths. Undertaker was willing to sell for him too, so they had some good moments in the match. It’s just hard to rate it higher or call it memorable in any way.

Post match, Mankind locked the casket with a key. Mankind did his screaming routine along with ripping off his own air. There as smoke coming out of the casket, so Mankind left the ring. Goldust left with Marlena and Mankind went with them.

There was still smoke coming out of the casket. Bearer and the referees managed to open the casket up. When they did, The Undertaker wasn’t in there. Bearer was freaking out about how The Undertaker was gone. The Undertaker’s music played as the lights went out in the building. The show signed off with the lights off in the arena and Undertaker’s music playing.

Analysis: This would help set the stage for The Undertaker’s feud with Mankind that would last into the summer and fall. It was probably the longest WWE feud of 1996.

This event had a runtime of 1:50:48 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 6.5

This was a slightly above-average show with some good wrestling and nothing that was terrible. The main thing people are going to remember about IYH Beware of Dog is that the power went out on the Sunday night live PPV show, so they had to air three more matches live on Tuesday night. If you watch it on Peacock/WWE Network you probably won’t notice that many differences other than the announcers being different on the two nights. It’s memorable for that reason, but not necessarily for anything that happened on the show.

I thought the best match was the Vega/Austin Caribbean Strap Match. They did a great job. The crowd was really into it. Austin lost that match, but had an impressive showing and would be just fine after since he won the King of the Ring tournament one month later. The Shawn Michaels/British Bulldog match was just average. A rare case of Michaels being off his game in a PPV match. The draw finish set up a rematch. I liked the opener with Marc Mero and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. This was when Hunter was being punished for the Curtain Call/MSG Incident, so he was putting a lot of people over in the coming months.

They main evented with Goldust and The Undertaker in a Casket Match. Cheap finish with Mankind getting involved to set up his rivalry with The Undertaker in the months ahead. It was a tough couple of days for WWE I’m sure, but they got through it just fine and it was a solid show overall.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Steve Austin

2. Savio Vega

3. Marc Mero

4. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

5. Shawn Michaels

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin (****3/4 out of 5)

Worst Match: Vader vs. Yokozuna (**)

Most Memorable Moment: Mankind attacking The Undertaker while in the casket and costing The Undertaker the win.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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