The Law Reviews: In Your House VI: Rage in the Cage

In_Your_House_6_-_Video_Cover

It’s another show leading into Wrestlemania, though this one isn’t nearly on the level of No Way Out 2000. This is In Your House VI from February 1996, featuring a double main event.

We’re now on the road to Wrestlemania, and this show’s main events will have huge consequences for that show: Bret Hart will defend the WWF Championship against Diesel in a Steel Cage Match, and Shawn Michaels will put his Wrestlemania title match on the line against Owen Hart. In both cases, old rivals come back to haunt them: Bret beat Diesel for the title back at Survivor Series and the night after that Owen Hart knocked Shawn out with an Enziguri Kick.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary tonight.

Crybaby Match: Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid

Alright, worst gimmick ever. Worse than Chamber of Horrors, Kennel from Hell, Doomsday Cage. Loser of this match gets diapered by the winner. This feud has been brewing since the fall, when Kid turned on his friend and sold out to Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation.

Razor beats Kid’s ass to start. He goes for the Razor’s Edge, but Kid slips out. DiBiase throws baby powder in Razor’s eyes, which for some reason isn’t a DQ even though it’s in full view of the referee. Kid works over Razor for a few minutes. Razor fights back, and DiBiase accidentally throws powder in Kid’s eyes. Razor hits the Razor’s Edge to put it away.

Analysis: **½. Solid opening match.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Duke Droese

Epic feud continues. Droese had an abysmal gimmick, but wasn’t a bad wrestler. He was a good athlete for a big man, and this match is actually a little better than I expected. It does drag a bit, with some long holds from Helmsley. The finish comes when Droese hits a Powerslam (his finisher, dubbed the “Trash Compactor”) but neglects to make the cover. He goes for the trashcan he brought to the ring, but the referee stops him. That distraction allows Hemsley to smack him with the trashcan lid for the pin.

Rating: *¼. Some decent action, but dragged. The gimmicks were so silly they overshadowed everything in the ring.

Dok Hendrix interviews Yokozuna. I think this was the first time he had spoken on television. He cuts a nice promo promising a beatdown for his former Camp Cornette stablemates.

British Bulldog vs. Yokozuna

This one is kept short, which is definitely for the best. They go to a DQ when Cornette hits Yoko with his tennis racket.

Rating: ½*. Didn’t really want to see anymore of that anyway.

Cornette and Bulldog beat Yoko down after the match. Vader shows up to join in.

#1 Contender’s Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart

This plays off the great angle they ran back at the end of 1995 where Owen knocked Shawn out with an Enziguri and re-aggravated Shawn’s previous head injuries. Winner goes to Wrestlemania to face the WWF Champion, whoever it is.

They take their time getting going. Shawn is messing with Owen, including a great moment where he pulls Owen down by his hair right after Cornette falsely claimed Shawn had pulled the hair. Owen keeps getting shots in on Shawn’s head and the crowd holds its breath until he makes it up to his feet. Owen keeps teasing the Enziguri, which is the equivalent of a shotgun blast at this point.

Owen locks on the Sharpshooter, but Shawn is able to fight to the ropes. Owen stays in control and hits the Enziguri! Owen covers, but can only get two. Well, that really kills the move. Shawn goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Owen ducks. Owen goes for an Enziguri, but Shawn ducks. Shawn levels Owen with Sweet Chin Music for the win in just over fifteen minutes.

Rating: ****. Excellent match. They paced themselves early, but built to a super hot finish that made sense given their history. Great work from both guys, loved the psychology of the match.

Todd Pettengill interviews Roddy Piper, the interim president of the WWF. He took over the role after Vader attacked and injured Gorilla Monsoon on the Raw after the Royal Rumble. Nothing really happens here. Piper rambles for a bit, Cornette and Clarence Mason show up and confront him. Nothing is announced or resolved. This is all just to stall for time so that the crew can set up the cage for the main event

Steel Cage Match for WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. Diesel

Diesel finally gets his rematch. After a No DQ match back at Survivor Series it makes sense to up the ante even more and go with a cage match here.

This match…sucks. No energy at all. They mill around the ring punching each other. Bret works Diesel’s legs a little bit. After a long time, Diesel puts Bret down and heads for the door, but he’s cut off by Undertaker coming up through the match and dragging him down into the fires of Hell. Or something like that. This allows Bret to climb over the top and escape the cage for the win.

Rating: *. Only thing worthwhile about this was the cool finish. I do like the symmetry of Diesel costing Taker the title at the Royal Rumble and Taker costing Diesel the title here.

Diesel climbs back out of the hole and walks away. Taker poses in the ring.

Dok Hendrix catches up with Roddy Piper backstage. He announces Undertaker vs. Diesel at Wrestlemania.

Overall: One match show, which was pretty common in this time period. Great Shawn/Owen match, nothing else of any note.

Grade: C

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