We’re back with another episode of Flashback Friday, where we go back in time to a WWE event from yore and review it with today’s eyes. Last time I started at the beginning of Hulkamania and intended to just go through the timeline, but with the launch of the Smarks, Spotmonkeys & Superkicks YouTube channel we changed it up a little bit.
This season, our first season, we’ll be taking a “Remember when?” turn and reviewing matches from this week in wrestling history. As a companion piece, I’ll be reviewing the entire show here on GHG while the YouTube show will be focused on a live watch-along of one match from the show…
This week we’re going to go back to 1996. Specifically, May 26, 1996, for WWF In Your House: Beware of Dog. This show took place in two different arenas. No, not because they wanted to do two shows at once. No, not because it was too big for one night. Simply because the original show was blacked out for the most part by a thunderstorm and they decided to make the show up for the viewers at home the following Tuesday night.
One match that did go as planned that first night was the WWF Championship main event between the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog. So, if you haven’t already, click the video link for that match embedded in this article and find this week’s episode, fire your Network up and watch along with myself and Mike K. But before you go do that, let’s deep dive into your house…
So, to start out the Network mixed this up and played the matches that WERE recorded and aired the first night first and followed it up with the night two. We have Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler at the broadcast position for night one.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley v Marc Mero (16:23) –
This match went pretty long. Mero had gained the services of Sable, who was previously one of Helmsley’s valets. The future Triple H was kind of upset over this and wanted some type of retribution. Mero was a great talent that never seemed to get his chance to shine. He hit a hurricanrana off the top at one point. Something you don’t typically see happen in a Triple H match. The Wildman looked like a future star in this one. He was flipping and flying around the ring like guys we see today. But this is 1996 so it’s not the norm.
At one point, Helmsley went after Sable outside of the ring and made her watch what he was about to do to Mero. Helmsley went for the Pedigree and Mero reversed it and sent him face-first into the turnbuckle, knocking him unconscious and allowing Mero to get the pinfall victory. Kind of a let down after a well-fought match to have a f*ck finish to start the show. Wait… they mentioned that new tag team champions were crowned during the Kickoff show?? So, WWF is putting tag title matches on the Kickoff show instead of on the main card? These guys don’t respect their tag team division FFS!! – 3/5 …It would have been better if we didn’t get a stupid finish like that. Guess Helmsley needed to be protected here.
Next, we go to Mr. Perfect in the back with Jim Cornette announcing that Owen Hart had a manager’s license to be in Davey Boy’s corner tonight and that a big bombshell would be dropped.
The stream picks up with what was, in essence, the main event. Of course, the show was cut out by a thunderstorm and the show went on in the dark, making every match a literal dark match. Running down the in the dark card, Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin in a strap match (15:00). Yokozuna defeated Vader in 1-on-1 action (3:00). Goldust defeated The Undertaker in a Casket Match for the Intercontinental Title (8:00). Jake Roberts defeated Justin Bradshaw (0:30) in a match that was so meaningless, they completely left it off the second take.
Some of these matches would be recognized on the remainder of the broadcast but they would be doing a basic “redo” on Tuesday. This redo would feature the Marc Mero match and the main event being replayed with all the other matches being restarted.
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP: British Bulldog w/ Clarence Mason, Owen Hart & Diana Smith v Shawn Michaels (c) w/ Jose Lethario (17:21) – Clarence Mason served papers to Shawn Michaels that he would be charged with “Attempted Alienation of Affection”. This one went back and forth until the ref got knocked out. A second ref came out and Michaels hit a German-suplex into a pin.
The ref in the ring counted HBK’s shoulders down while Earl Hebner counted Bulldog’s shoulder’s down. President Gorilla Monsoon came out and called the match a draw and announced Michaels would retain the championship. Holy crap finishes. You’re not going to restart this thing? You’re just going to end it like that? You’re not even going to announce that it would restart in two days at the retake of this show? Really? Who booked this shit? … If you’d like my full thoughts on this match, click the embedded video or head over to https://youtu.be/ePHh796IKpo and watch along with myself and Mike K. – 2.5/5 …
Really??? Another horrible finish? Is this real life? I mean, I don’t even know why Bulldog was in the match, never mind why they decided to protect him with this finish. At this point, they should have just called the show In Your House: F*ck Finishes
Now we go to the second night of the show in Charleston, SC and they’re calling it Beware of Dog 2. Jim Ross and Curt Henning are at the broadcast position to further add to the lack of continuity.
CARIBBEAN STRAP MATCH: Savio Vega v Steve Austin w/ Ted DiBiase (21:27) – DiBiase announced that if Austin loses, DiBiase would leave the WWE. In fact, DiBiase was leaving for WCW at this time where he would be revealed to be the financier behind the nWo, but that’s a conversation for a different time. These two put on a classic strap match. Every strap match spot you would expect was here.
In the end, Austin dragged Vega around to all four corners with Vega touching the corner right after Austin. At the last corner, they got into what was basically a tug of war that ended with Austin sending Vega soaring into the corner for the win. Stone Cold then yelled at DiBiase and walked off, leaving the Million Dollar Man in the ring. Savio then took the mic and led the crowd in singing Vince’s favorite song, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” – 4/5
… An amazing match. No lies. We’re a couple of months out from King of the Ring where Austin 3:16 would be born and Austin was on his game. It’s clear why he was pushed like he was.
Vader w/ Jim Cornette v Yokozuna (8:53) – I completely forgot that Yokozuna went face. I guess if it was going to happen, it made sense to have it happen because of Vader. On the original show, Yokozuna came out with the win. For some reason, they decided to 50/50 book this one and have Vader walk out with the win. Corny trying to hit Yoko with the racket was great. Yoko turned his attention to Corny and it set up Vader for the win. I don’t know why the change in the finish. They didn’t even acknowledge the original match two nights before. 50/50 booking or just burying Yokozuna? Not sure. Don’t care. – 2/5
… Oh, joy. More 50/50 booking from the WWF. How the hell do they expect to get anyone over with shit like this?
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION – CASKET MATCH: Goldust (c) v The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer (12:36) – Of course, we’re not going to mention that these two took part in a casket match two nights before. Probably would have taken away from the match. How many false finishes can you do with the Undertaker in a casket match? He always gets rolled in and then stops the lid from getting slammed down or sits right back up.
I really don’t get why this match needed to happen. They just don’t go good together, Goldie and Taker. And this is now the main event because the real main event happened two days ago and for some ridiculous reason, they didn’t rule that there would be a rematch at night two.
Taker was about to win it and Mankind appeared in the casket and applied the Mandible Claw to Taker. He put the Undertaker into the casket and closed the top, winning the match for Goldust. Mankind locked the casket. Of course, this would lead to the fist boiler room brawl match at SummerSlam, so I guess if you’re going to bury the dead man, no pun intended, this is how you do it. When they finally got the casket opened the Undertaker was gone. – 2/5
… I don’t know why this happened. It definitely didn’t need to be the show closer. Someone should have told someone to book a rematch for HBK v Bulldog. Oh yeah… and, of course, another unclean finish. I can’t even…
Overall, this show was not anything big at all. In defense, In Your House shows weren’t supposed to be these huge spectacles. But I mean, three f*ck finishes, one 50/50 booked finish from night one to night two and a Stone Cold match. At least THAT saved the show from being a complete waste of my time.
Overall = 2.75/5 Bibles … This dog’s bark was worse than it’s bite.
Next week: Madison Square Garden, June 3rd, 1991. Hulk Hogan would face off against a Sgt. Slaughter in a Desert Storm match. Don’t know what that is? Me neither, but Hogan looked something like this…
and we’ll be doing a watch-long of it on the Smarks, Spotmonkeys & Superkicks YouTube channel, so you can find out right along with us. And I’ll be reviewing the entire show right here as we hop in the Way-Back Machine for another episode of Flashback Friday!