TJR Retro: WWF In Your House 6 – Rage in the Cage (February 1996) Review  

TJR Retro: WWF In Your House 6 – Rage in the Cage (February 1996) Review  

The WWF In Your House 6 pay-per-view was the first-ever WWF/E February PPV event. It was May 1995 when the WWF started doing In Your House PPVs partly because they had WCW as stiff competition and WCW was running shows nearly every month as well. This was back in the day when In Your House shows were two hours long and I believe the price was $14.95 US, which was a pretty good deal for two hours of wrestling. My family had an illegal cable box, so we get them all free, which I really appreciated at the time.

The 1996 Royal Rumble took place prior to this with Shawn Michaels winning the Rumble match for the second year in a row. It was obvious that Michaels was getting the WrestleMania push. This event was followed by WrestleMania 12 with the Bret Hart defending the WWF Title against Shawn Michaels in the main event. Bret and Shawn were in the two biggest matches at this show.

In Your House 6 did 150,000 PPV buys, which is not a great number compared to the bigger WWF PPV shows, but it was strong compared ot the other In Your House events in 1996. Business wasn’t that strong in early 1996 because 1995 was such a down year for the company. The listed attendance for this event was 5,500 people in the Louisville Gardens and in my research I found out that was a legit sellout. That’s a smaller arena than you might think for a PPV show.

Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:

“WWE In Your House: Rage in the Cage features Yokozuna vs. The British Bulldog. In a Crybaby Match, Razor Ramon faces the 1-2-3 Kid. Bret Hart defends the WWE Championship in a Steel Cage vs. Diesel. Shawn Michaels faces Owen Hart with a WrestleMania title opportunity on the line. // TV-PG (V)”

The VHS looks 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 6: Rage in the Cage
Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky
February 18, 1996

There was a scene with Sunny in a silver bikini saying some of this show is too hot for some – viewer discretion is advised. This was prime Sunny in her mid-20s. Sunny days, indeed. Anyway, the show was PG. They just wanted to show a hot woman in a bikini and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The opening video package focused on the WWF Title match featuring Bret Hart and Diesel in a steel cage with a tease of The Undertaker getting involved.

As soon as they showed the arena, there was a visible “Bischoff Sucks” sign in the arena. The camera picking that up was not a mistake. The announce team was Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler as they stood at ringside to talk about the five-match card.

Razor Ramon made his entrance to a good pop. At the Royal Rumble, 1-2-3 Kid attacked Razor to cost him the Intercontinental Title against Goldust. That was followed by Kid repeatedly attacking Razor. The 1-2-3 Kid was up next with a stroller that had a Razor Ramon bear in it. Kid was joined by manager Ted Dibiase.

Crybaby Match: Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted Dibiase)

Pre-match notes: Razor Ramon was the face while 1-2-3 Kid was the heel. This was the first-ever Crybaby Match in WWF history. The 1-2-3 Kid was one of the youngest guys on the roster at this point since he was only 23 years old. Razor, Kid and Dibiase were all in WCW later in 1996.

They exchanged slaps, Razor ran the ropes, he hit a shoulder tackle and a huge clothesline over the top to the floor. Kid with a necksnap on the top rope followed by a springboard clothesline for two. Kid with a rising kick to the face. Razor off the ropes, but Kid stopped him with a spin kick to the face. Kid with chops, Razor came back with chops of his own and a toss across the ring. Razor with a running clothesline against the turnbuckle. Razor with a fallaway slam on Kid and Razor knocked Kid off the apron to the floor. Dibiase had baby powder, Razor went close and Dibiase threw it into Razor’s eyes. The referee did nothing about it as Kid jumped off the ropes with a missile dropkick for two. Kid with two running leg drops and a dropkick. Kid went up top and hit a Superfly Splash for a two count. Kid tried a sleeper, Razor got out of it, then Kid jumped on the back again and slapped on the sleeper with Razor selling it like he was fading a bit. Lawler kept making baby jokes saying things Razor was so ugly as a baby that his mother would breastfeed him using a straw. After Kid let go of the sleeper, he jumped back on Razor’s back with another sleeper. After Kid had Razor in the hold for a few minutes, Razor picked him up and sent Kid groin first into the top rope. Lawler thought he should be disqualified, but Vince didn’t agree. Kid managed to crawl over to Razor and covered the upper body for two. Razor got some offense going with punches to the face. Razor set up Kid up top, Kid with a back elbow and Kid with a cross body block off the ropes with Razor floating over for a two count. Razor went off the ropes with Kid hitting a spinning heel kick for a two count. Razor set up Kid on the top rope and hit a fallaway slam off the middle turnbuckle. Dibiase put the baby powder on the apron, Dibiase distracted the referee, Kid got some baby powder and Razor kicked the baby powder into Kid’s face. Razor hit the Razor’s Edge powerbomb on Kid for just a two count because Razor picked him up.

Winner by pinfall: Razor Ramon

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with Razor giving his shorter buddy (they were Kliq members) and a lot of offense until it was time for Razor to make the big comeback for the win. I think they went to the sleeper spot for too long because it was about two minutes of it. The more natural roles for them would see Kid as the babyface as the smaller guy, but Razor was a very good babyface in this era. Doing the Razor’s Edge twice was done to put an end to this rivalry for good since Kid did the cheap attacks, so this was Razor putting an end to the feud.

Post match, Razor got the huge diaper along with a big bottle that looked like it might have had water instead of milk. Dibiase went into the ring, so Razor threw some powder in his face. Razor put on the diaper and poured some baby powder all over Kid’s body. The fans liked that as Razor left. When Kid got back up, Dibiase pointed out what he was wearing and Kid looked down to see he was wearing a diaper. The fans laughed while Kid cried about it.

Analysis: It was an effective way of having a babyface win a feud and humiliate a heel while doing so. Nice selling by Kid.

There was a shot of Ray Rougeau and Sunny backstage ready to talk to superstars on the WWF Superstar Line. There was a clip from earlier in the evening when Jake Roberts teased putting his snake on Sunny, but she was scared and thought it was horrible. Sunny looked amazing at this show.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his entrance with a lovely lady named Elizabeth Hilden. The fans booed him as Vince pointed out that every time Hunter had a match, he was escorted by a beautiful young lady. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese was interviewed backstage by Todd Pettingill while saying that he’ll take out Hunter like garbage. A few weeks earlier, Hunter gave him a haircut. Duke made his entrance to a decent ovation from the crowd as Duke ran down to the ring.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Elizabeth Hilden) vs. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese

Pre-match notes: Hunter was the heel while Duke was the face. The idea here is that Hunter was an arrogant rich guy while Duke was a garbage man, so they led different lifestyles. This was about a year and a half before the name Triple H would be a regular thing.

Duke was aggressive with punches while grabbing the hair (since Hunter cut Duke’s hair) and Duke tossed Hunter across the ring. Duke with a press slam. Hunter was sent to the ropes leading to Duke hitting a boot to the face. Duke with some corner punches, but Hunter finally got some offense going by sending Duke face first into the top turnbuckle. Hunter teased a Pedigree, Duke powered out of that with an atomic drop and a bounce off the ropes leading to a clothesline.  Hunter came back with a back body drop over the top to the floor while Elizabeth applauded at ringside. Hunter followed that attack with a whip into the steel steps. The crowd was quiet as Hunter connected with some uppercuts along with a knee drop for two. Hunter with a whip into the ropes leading to a jumping knee to the face for two. Hunter with a suplex across the ring for two. The crowd wasn’t reacting to anything. Hunter with a hard whip into the corner, Duke with a boot to the face and they did a double clothesline spot to knock both guys down. Duke with a whip into the ropes leading to a spinebuster along with a back body drop. As Duke let out a big yell, the fans barely reacted as Duke hit two clotheslines that didn’t look that good. Duke with a powerslam leading to Duke saying: “It’s time to take out the trash.” The fans cheered that a bit. There was a spinning powerslam leading to Vince’s classic “WHAT A MANEUVER” phrase as he called it a Trash Compactor. Duke pointed at something outside the ring and threw a trash can into the ring. The referee moved the trash can out of the ring, Hunter grabbed the lid and hit Duke in the head with it. The referee Mike Chioda saw it, then acted like he didn’t and Hunter covered for the pinfall win at 9:40.

Winner by pinfall: Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Analysis: *3/4 It was a decent, somewhat boring match to put over Hunter against a guy that was never pushed that much anyway. The fans lost interest midway through the match. The crowd didn’t see Duke as a big guy since he had the garbage man gimmick and lacked the strong personality you want to see in a major star. Hunter was clearly a star on the rise while Duke was a guy that last that much longer due to the limitations of the gimmick.

There were highlights shown from Raw two weeks earlier when British Bulldog accidentally hit Yokozuna with a leg drop. Yokozuna was knocked out of the ring leading to Yoko’s team losing by countout since Yokozuna couldn’t get back up. Yokozuna knocked manager Jim Cornette down and Yokozuna sent British Bulldog and Owen Hart out of the ring. It was Yokozuna’s babyface turn.

Yokozuna was interviewed backstage by Dok Hendrix (Michael Hayes), who noted that for almost three years, Yokozuna will speak for himself. Yokozuna said: “Jim Cornette, for nearly three years I stood in the shadows while you hotdogged that spotlight. Now it’s my turn.” Yokozuna complained about Cornette, said Owen Hart behind Yokozuna and said that British Bulldog is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yokozuna said he would burn down Camp Cornette to the ground.

Analysis: I remember the promo well. You have to remember in 1996 a lot of us didn’t have the internet at home yet or if you did, you only had something like 40 or 50 hours of usage per month. We weren’t able to look up and find info instantly to tell us that Yokozuna was really a Samoan dude that was part of the Anoi’a family. Some people thought he was this Japanese guy. Then you heard him speak here and it sounds like perfect English, so it’s why didn’t he get to talk before? That’s because it was the gimmick.

The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith was in the ring with manager Jim Cornette. Yokozuna made his entrance alone with Vince saying he was about 650 pounds. The fans cheered a bit for Yokozuna, who had spent over three years as a heel before this.

Yokozuna vs. The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith (w/Jim Cornette)

Pre-match notes: Yokozuna was a face that was managed by Cornette for over three years, but now Yokozuna was on his own. Bulldog was a heel.

Yokozuna looked as big as ever here as he hit a back body drop and two clotheslines. Yokozuna went for an elbow drop, Bulldog moved and Yokozuna hit the match. Bulldog hit three running clothesline to knock Yokozuna down followed by some choking by the ropes. Cornette jabbed Yokozuna in the face with a tennis racket. Yokozuna sent Bulldog into the turnbuckle followed by a splash and a clothesline. Yokozuna set up Bulldog for the Banzai Drop, but Cornette pulled Bulldog out of the ring. Yokozuna whipped Bulldog into the ring post, Yokozuna charged and Yokozuna hit the ring post. Back in the ring, Bulldog jumped off the top with a punch to the head as Yokozuna did a power kickout. Bulldog off the top again, but this time Yokozuna punched him in the ribs. Yokozuna looked exhausted as Bulldog hit three clotheslines in a row and a huge Samoan Drop that drew a big reaction from the crowd. Yokozuna hit a side belly to belly suplex on Bulldog and Cornette hit Yokozuna with a tennis racket to the back for the DQ finish at 5:05.

Winner by disqualification: Yokozuna

Analysis: 3/4* This was a bad match. Yokozuna couldn’t move well and looked exhausted after a few minutes. When Yokozuna was on offense he was fine, but when Bulldog was hitting him with moves, Yokozuna could barely move out there. That’s why Bulldog likely kept it simple with basic stuff like clotheslines, punches and rope choking.

Post match, Cornette continued with the dreaded tennis racket to the back, but Yoko no-sold that attack. The fans turned to the entrance because they saw somebody and that led to Vader running out there in a Colorado Buffaloes shirt and jacket.

Vader attacked Yokozuna with punches, Bulldog joined Vader in attacking Yokozuna and Bulldog handcuffed Yokozuna to the ropes because Vader brought handcuffs with him. The heels beat on Yokozuna with punches, Yokozuna came back with punches, but he couldn’t do much since he was cuffed to the ropes. There were referees and officials that went to try to break it up including guys like Gerald Brisco, Tony Garea, Dave Hebner, George Steele and referees. Yokozuna kept trying to come back with punches, but he continued to get beat up by Vader and Bulldog. Cornette hit Yokozuna with the tennis racket again. Yokozuna was down on his knees looking exhausted. The heels left to boos. Cornette’s lawyer Clarence Mason was pleading with Vader to go to the back, so the heels left.

Analysis: Vader was a newer heel at the time that the WWF was building up a lot. This was all about getting heat on Vader. Due to the handcuff attack, it was very cheap, so it worked in terms of getting fans to hate Vader with Vince screaming about how crazy he was. Since Yokozuna wasn’t moving well, they did the smart thing by making it a six-man tag at WrestleMania with Vader and Yokozuna on opposite teams.

Goldust, who was the Intercontinental Champion, was backstage with Marlena at the America Online chat area. Goldust was telling a guy what to type in the chat with Goldust doing a promo about facing Razor Ramon the next night on Raw. Marlena looked tremendous.

A video package aired about the Shawn Michaels match with Owen Hart. In late 1995, Shawn Michaels was legitimately beaten up at a bar. That led to a concussion angle with Shawn collapsing during a match against Owen, who bragged about it. That match really put over Owen’s enziguri kick as a big deal. Shawn was back for Royal Rumble 1996, which he won to earn the WWF Title match at WrestleMania 12. After the Rumble match, Shawn hated Owen’s comments so much that he was willing to put up his WWF Title shot at WrestleMania 12. That led to this match.

Analysis: There was nobody that believed Owen was going to win here, but they were giving us a great match to watch at a PPV, so that was the appeal to me.

Owen Hart entered first with manager Jim Cornette.

Shawn Michaels was interviewed backstage by Todd Pettengill. Shawn said quite honestly it’s the biggest match of his life because without a W in this match he doesn’t get to achieve his goals. Shawn said that he’s going through Owen Hart and then it’s on to WrestleMania.

Shawn Michaels got the biggest pop of the night by far with Shawn dancing on the roof of the house entrance. Shawn got a rope and swung down to the floor. Vince was screaming about how unbelievable that was. Shawn went into the ring, tossed Owen over the top to the floor and Shawn took off his gear for his entrance. There was some pyro above the ring as well.

Analysis: Vince on commentary was very telling with how much he was pushing for Shawn to get the support of the crowd.

Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (w/Jim Cornette)

Pre-match notes: Michaels was the face while Owen was the heel. The winner of this match would go on to WrestleMania to challenge for the WWF Title.

Shawn ran the ropes, slid under the feet of Owen, went to the floor and greeted the fans at ringside including a kiss for a woman that was very excited about it. Lawler: “All these women in here would love to kiss Cornette.” Heels lie. Owen did the same thing Shawn did by sliding out of the ring as well, but he did not great the fans. Shawn attacked with a cross body block off the top onto Owen on the floor. Nice spot. Back in the ring, Shawn with a double axehandle to the head for a two count. Shawn tripped up Owen, then walked on the back and Vince kept mentioning the Clique, which was Shawn’s nickname for his fans. Shawn grabbed some hair, got caught, then did more of it when Cornette complained about it and the fans were laughing. Shawn with a shoulder tackle, Owen with a hiptoss, both guys did a kip-up and Michaels hit a hurricanrana followed by punches. Owen came back with an overhead belly to belly suplex along with a stomp to the ribs. Owen with a backbreaker, a whip into the turnbuckle and a neckbreaker. Owen slapped on a Camel Clutch submission for about a minute, Shawn powered out of that, ran the ropes and Owen hit a knee to the ribs that earned a “Forget about it” or “Fuggetaboutit” from Vinny Mac. Owen grabbed a headlock to ground Shawn again, but when Shawn ran the ropes, Owen hit a spinning heel kick out to send Shawn out of the ring. That led to another “Fuggetaboutit” from Vinny Mac. Shawn was on the apron, Owen tried a suplex, but then Shawn countered with a suplex to the floor. Shawn jumped off the apron with Owen catching him with a powerslam on the floor. Good sequence of moves there.

They were back in the ring with Owen on the top rope and Owen hit a missile dropkick for two. Owen had one of the best missile dropkicks that I’ve ever seen. Shawn got a pin attempt where he used his feet to set up Owen in a pinning predicament and it got a two count. Owen with a hard whip into the turnbuckle, flip bump by Shawn and Owen hit a clothesline. Owen slapped on the Sharpshooter submission with Shawn near the ropes, Owen pulled him out to the center of the ring and then Shawn managed to get to the bottom rope to break the hold. Shawn was grabbing the back while Owen hit a body slam, then blew some snot on Shawn and Shawn got a rollup for two. Owen hit the DEADLY ENZIGURI~! to the head with Shawn tumbling out of the ring to the floor to sell it in a big way. That’s the move that led to Shawn’s worked injury late in 1995. Referee Earl Hebner checked on Shawn on the floor, started the count and Owen brought Shawn back in so he can beat him in the ring, so Owen covered for one…two…and no because Shawn got the left shoulder up. Owen with a whip into the corner, Shawn moved and Owen crotched himself against the turnbuckle. Great bump there. Shawn with an atomic drop, Shawn ran the ropes and Shawn hit a leaping forearm followed by the kip up to a HUGE pop from the crowd. Shawn with punches, he sent Owen hard into the turnbuckle and another leaping forearm to the face. Michaels with a body slam. Shawn went up top and hit the patented elbow drop to the upper body along with a punch to Cornette to knock him off the apron. Michaels went for the Sweet Chin Music, Owen avoided it, Owen went for an enziguri kick, Shawn ducked that and Shawn hit the Sweet Chin Music superkick for the pinfall win at 15:57. Huge pop from the crowd! Vince: “Shawn Michaels is going to WrestleMania!”

Winner by pinfall: Shawn Michaels

Analysis: **** This was a great match with one of the most obvious match outcomes in WWE history. I loved that finishing sequence with Owen avoiding the kick, Shawn avoiding the kick and then Shawn hitting Sweet Chin Music for the pinfall win. We all knew Shawn was winning, so that hurts the match a bit in terms of being interested in Owen’s offense, but I thought the action was awesome. It would have been nice if Owen worked on the back/legs more leading to the Sharpshooter was applied, but I think they played the drama pretty well. I liked the spot where they teased the concussion with Shawn being able to overcome it. When there’s a backstory, you have to play into it during the blowoff match, so kudos to Owen and Shawn doing it well. They are two of my favorite wrestlers ever, especially during this period, so it was easy to get into the match. The match was also helped by the crowd being really into the match since Shawn was so popular with the fans at this point.

After the match, Shawn invited a kid in a Shawn Michaels shirt and danced with the kid in the ring. Vince shouted out the slogans about how it’s the New Generation, said it’s about Shawn Michaels and the Clique and was yelling “OH YEAH” with a lot of enthusiasm. Shawn greeted fans at ringside, shook Vince’s hand, had a sign about “The Clique” and continued to celebrate.

A commercial aired for WrestleMania 12 on March 31. Read my WrestleMania 12 review right here.

There was an interview with the acting President of the WWF “Rowdy” Roddy Piper with Todd Pettengill doing the interview on the stage. They did this because the blue steel cage was being set up in the ring. Piper talked about Shawn Michaels getting his WWF Championship match at WrestleMania 12 with Piper saying he’s not stopping the match until there’s a winner. Piper said he didn’t feel a bit sorry for Yokozuna being handcuffed because he was 640 pounds of beef. Piper said he doesn’t know what Vader’s major malfunction is, then joked that he’s obviously inbred from the Rocky Mountains. Piper insulted Vader’s mask saying that’s not where a jock goes. Piper said he won’t suspend Vader. He’s going to keep him around. Piper said at WrestleMania 12 it should be Yokozuna vs. Vader one on one at WrestleMania. They were joined by Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason on the stage. Cornette said he used to remember when Hot Rod used to come out with a “No Fear” shirt. Cornette said that there is one man that can scare Piper and scare everybody in the company. Cornette said that Vader is back thanks to Clarence Mason. Cornette said that what happens to Yokozuna is on Hot Rod’s head. Piper said that at WrestleMania 12 in Anaheim, Cornette may find himself cheek to cheek with Yokozuna. It looked like the cage was ready. Piper said that at WrestleMania, we’ll see people that are going to fight.

Analysis: They needed a promo to kill some time while the blue steel cage was being set up. Piper’s great at talking, so it was a smart choice. As I noted earlier, Yokozuna vs. Vader didn’t happen as a singles match at WrestleMania likely because they realized Yokozuna was in poor shape to have a singles match.

Diesel made his entrance for the main event. This was at a time when he was a bit of a tweener because he was a face, but he was acting heelish, so it was a bit of a mixed reaction for him. Bret “Hitman” Hart was the babyface champion that won the WWF Title from Diesel three months earlier at Survivor Series 1995 in a match that I rated ****1/2 out of five, which means it was an outstanding match. Bret got the louder ovation of the two men.

Analysis: I’m a bit surprised by no video package here. At the PPV prior to this, which was the Royal Rumble, Diesel cost The Undertaker the WWF Title, and now Diesel was getting a WWF Title match. That was the key story going into the match.

WWF Championship Steel Cage Match: Bret Hart vs. Diesel

Pre-match notes: Bret was the babyface WWF Champion while Diesel was also a babyface with some heel tendencies. I believe this was around the time when Diesel decided he was leaving for WCW in a few months.

The blue steel cage surrounded the ring with no referee in the ring with the wrestlers. The rules were that you had to win by escaping the cage by climbing out or going out the door.

Diesel was dominant early with forearms along with knee drives to the ribs. Diesel put his foot on Bret’s throat while Bret was against the turnbuckle. Diesel with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Bret whipped Diesel into the cage two times. Bret tried to climb, Diesel caught him and rammed Bret back first into the steel cage two times. Diesel asked for the door to open, he slowly walked towards the door and Hart pulled on the top rope while Diesel was standing over It and then Bret worked over Diesel with punches. Bret crawled towards the door, Diesel pulled him back in and then when Diesel tried to get out, Bret stomped him in the ribs. Bret jumped onto the left knee of Diesel along with a kick to the back of the left leg. Diesel with a clothesline to earn a “Fuggetaboutit” from Vinny Mac and then a sidewalk slam. Diesel went for an elbow drop, Bret moved, Diesel crawled for the door and Bret brought him back in after Bret was thinking about climbing out of the cage. Bret worked on the left knee some more by wrenching on it. Bret climbed up to the top of the cage, Diesel got a hold of him and Diesel slammed Bret off the top into the center of the ring. Bret came back with a bulldog. Bret went for a climb again, Diesel stopped him again and Diesel hit a back body drop. The crowd was pretty quiet for a main event match. After Diesel missed a charging attack, Bret worked on the left leg some more by stretching it and hitting an elbow drop off the ropes onto the knee. Diesel came back with a hard whip that led to Bret’s patented sternum bump into the turnbuckle. That sounded very loud.

Diesel worked over Bret with forearms to the back. The pace was…so slow…and the crowd was dead quiet. Bret with kicks to the left leg, then a climb up the cage, Bret was on the outside of the cage and Diesel managed to bring Bret back inside the cage. Diesel whipped Bret face first into the cage along with some posing, which led to a mix of boos and cheers. Diesel with a corner whip with Bret taking the bump sternum first into the turnbuckle. Diesel teased walking out the door, but he wasn’t done yet. Diesel jumped on Bret’s back across the middle ropes. Bret avoided being thrown into the turnbuckle and reversed it by shoving Diesel into the cage. When Bret tried a Sharpshooter, Diesel did a thumb to the eye to break it. There were some “Diesel” chants after that. Bret with headbutts to the back, punches to the ribs and a Russian legsweep. Bret went to the cage again, kicked Diesel down and hit a diving elbow off the top leading to a classic “WHAT A MANEUVER~!” from Vince. Bret climbed the cage again, but this time Diesel resorted to a cheap shot with a low blow uppercut punch and Bret getting crotches across the top rope. Ouch. Diesel tried pulling himself to the cage door, but Bret lunged forward and grabbed the foot. Diesel’s upper body was out the door when The Undertaker showed up from underneath the ring! The Undertaker ripped open the ring and grabbed Diesel by the foot to prevent him from leaving the cage. Vince: “WHAT? WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS GOING ON?” Undertaker pulled Diesel under a hole in the ring as some smoke came out of it. That allowed Bret to climb the cage, then out the other side and touching the floor to win the match at 19:13.

Winner by escaping the cage (AND STILL WWF Champion): Bret Hart

Analysis: ** This was a below-average main event, which is rare to say in a Bret Hart match. The match was memorable because you don’t usually see a guy like Undertaker opening up the ring to attack Diesel to set up Bret’s win, so I give them credit for creativity. Diesel was a slow, plodding wrestler who didn’t seem to want to pick up the pace and while it worked for these two in the past, it wasn’t as good in this match. The point of the match was to get out of the cage, yet Diesel barely attempted to do that. I think that hurt the match since there just weren’t enough moments of excitement due to a lack of climbing. Part of that was because Bret worked on the left knee of Diesel, but I just think they could have done more. The finish also made the Bret the champion feel like an afterthought because the story was about Undertaker/Diesel more than the guy holding the WWF Title, so that hurts the match as well.

After the match, Diesel got out of the hole in the ring and backed away. The Undertaker walked out of hole and stood in the ring. Diesel easily climbed up the cage and out to the outside. So much for that knee injury he was selling, huh? Anyway, Undertaker stared at Diesel from inside the ring while Diesel left up the aisle. The Undertaker did some posing near the top of the cage as his music played. Lawler said he had never seen anything like what happened in that match. Vince shouted one of his favorite phrases: “Anything can happen in the World Wrestling Federation.” The Undertaker walked around the ring some more, Vince wondered what will happen at WrestleMania and that was the end of the show.

Analysis: This would set up The Undertaker vs. Diesel at WrestleMania 12. It became official after this show. What Undertaker did was payback for Undertaker since Diesel cost Undertaker the WWF Title at Royal Rumble and now Undertaker cost Diesel the WWF Title at this show.

This event had a runtime of 1:50:03 on WWE Network.

The Deadman drags Big Daddy Cool into the darkness

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 6.5

It’s a good, but not great show with Shawn Michaels having the match of the night with Owen Hart. As I wrote in the review, the outcome of that match was very obvious, but it was still some excellent wrestling by two of the best in-ring performers in that era or any era. The Bret Hart/Diesel match was disappointing compared to their Survivor Series 1995 classic although the way it ended with The Undertaker appearing from under the ring was very memorable. The way Vince McMahon sold it on commentary was hilarious too.

A fun opener with Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid in the Crybaby Match that the fans enjoyed. The other two matches weren’t that interesting, but it did lead to Hunter Hearst Helmsley picking up a win and Vader attacking Yokozuna to set up that issue. Speaking of Yokozuna, his first-ever promo was on this show.

This was a lead-in show for WrestleMania 12 that was done to further the Undertaker vs. Diesel match at WM12 while locking in Bret vs. Shawn for the WWF Title. It served its purpose with some good matches too.

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Shawn Michaels
  2. Owen Hart
  3. Bret Hart
  4. Razor Ramon
  5. 1-2-3 Kid

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (****)

Worst Match: Yokozuna vs. British Bulldog (3/4*)

Most Memorable Moment: The Undertaker coming through the ring to attack Diesel, which allowed Bret Hart to escape the cage as the WWF Champion.

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

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