Induction: In Your House: Great White North – Nine thugs, one bad pay-per-view

68 Submitted by on Thu, 22 September 2016, 20:00

WWF, 1995

In just a few days, WWE will be holding a pay-per-view event. It doesn’t really matter when you read this, as WWE seems to run one every two weeks nowadays, but the one I have in mind is Clash of Champions.


It’s all part of WWE’s expansion to a 19-event schedule on the WWE Network, with each minor show running three hours long, and each major show expanding further and further until Wrestlemania 35 spans the entire season of Lent.

But even back in 1995, when the WWF started running two-hour “In Your House” event every month between its Big Five shows, the Federation’s pay-per-view market seemed over-saturated.


Not only did October 1995 see the WWF’s second consecutive cut-rate show, it also saw two big injuries among its top stars, both of whom had been booked in high-profile matches. Without The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, In Your House’s card risked falling apart like a house of, uh, cards.

Life had given the WWF lemons, so they pissed in a pitcher and sold it as lemonade.

Eight days prior to In Your House, Shawn Michaels was attacked in the infamous Syracuse night club incident, where nine thugs had beaten Michaels so badly that he suffered a major concussion, but not so badly that he couldn’t count exactly nine of them.


With Shawn Michaels’s status in jeopardy, it was more important than ever for fans to catch the pre-show to get the official word on Shawn’s match.

gwn04gwn03(even if it meant listening to this goof)

Federation President Gorilla Monsoon? He wouldn’t say on the pre-show whether Shawn would wrestle that night.


Sure, he did call the possibility “highly unlikely,” but he said that about everything. He did, however, guarantee an Intercontinental title match, the details of which he didn’t know yet.


Monsoon would indeed figure out the details, but would you believe his luck? It was already two minutes into the pay-per-view, and too late for viewers to cancel, when he informed everyone who’d paid to see Shawn Michaels that he most certainly would not be wrestling.

Dean Douglas was to be awarded the Intercontinental title before defending it against Razor Ramon…


…whom Monsoon decided should get two title shots that night, in case his tag team title match didn’t work out.

Vince McMahon hyped up the next two hours of action to be held in front of what he called a “capacity crowd” in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


He would have gotten away with it, too, if the opening fireworks hadn’t exposed large sections of empty seats and an entirely vacant upper deck.


The night’s opening match saw Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Fatu, the newly-repackaged Samoan American from the streets of San Francisco trying to make a difference.


Kudos to the WWF for finally giving a Samoan a non-stereotypical gimmick.


Instead of getting dropped on his thick head, then popping right back up, Fatu got dropped on his thick head, popped right back up, and danced!


What little feud there was going into this match revolved around Triple H thinking that Fatu smelled bad.


In fact, at the outset of the match, Fatu yanked the perfume away from Helmsley. What was Hunter so afraid of? That Fatu would make him smell heavenly?


And why didn’t Fatu just use the Raid to kill the roaches?


And how did this fan manage to get his sign past security?

I don’t have answers for any of those questions, but Triple H had some answers for Fatu, putting his opponent away with the Pedigree to prove himself the better-smelling man.


Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid then wrestled the champion Smoking Gunns in a rare tag match featuring four faces and no heels.


Or, as Jim Ross might say after reading some Apter mags, four fan favorites and no rulebreakers.

The challengers looked poised to win until the Kid insisted that he be the one to make the pin.


Instead, Billy Gunn reversed the cover to win the match and retain the titles. The Kid then went nuts on the Gunns, while Razor Ramon took the loss in stride, as if he could just be handed a title shot whenever he wanted (against Dean Douglas, for example).


Speaking of Douglas, the WWF’s resident professor took notes on The Bad Guy throughout the bout. And when I say took notes, I mean literal notes, in dialectical journal format with in-line citations and everything.

Barry Didinski might not have been on hand to push merchandise, but that didn’t mean Dok Hendrix couldn’t promote the life-size WWF Superstars cutouts…


…or try to sell kids on the idea of Bret Hart standing in their bedrooms all night, watching them sleep.

Great White North also offered the debut, or “premiere”, of the bizarre Goldust, and more significantly, a rare look into those brief few weeks when the announcers could pretend that “bizarre” wasn’t just their euphemism for “gay”.


But, make no mistake, Goldust was bizarre. How bizarre?


How bizarre.

So bizarre that when he took off his gold wig for the first time…


…Vince thought he had just scalped himself.


Under the face paint and unflattering body suit was, of course, Dustin Runnels, who in 1995 was many years removed from his physical and technical prime.


(Meaning the mid-2010s, of course)

Goldust may have been bizarre, but he was bizarre with a purpose, playing mind games to defeat Marty Jannetty.


Now, if you really wanted “bizarre”, you should have checked out the fan in the front row who came dressed as a vampire, and no one knew who he was or why he was wearing makeup and a cape.


A subsequent close-up served only to rule out Joe Flaherty.

The next match was originally scheduled to feature the Undertaker and King Mabel, but after Mabel crushed Taker’s orbital bone with a leg drop


…the Dead Man was subbed out for Yokozuna, Mabel’s fellow heel and partner in crime.

The story leading into the match, therefore, was one of two allies with no animosity towards each other being forced into a match where nothing was at stake. In that sense, the ensuing match highlighted both men’s unparalleled commitment to storytelling, as neither Yokozuna nor Mabel gave a flying body press about putting on a competitive match.


Mabel couldn’t even be bothered to walk to the ring. Rhyno had to carry him in on a throne

Whereas an earlier match between the two men, released the year before on home video, saw the two behemoths trade body slams…


…their rematch consisted mainly of the two stalling and occasionally running into each other.


Most live telecasts operate on a seven-second delay, and so did Yokozuna when selling Mabel’s bulldog.


Both men ended up outside of the ring, where Yokozuna tripped on Jim Cornette and could not get back in, ending this catch-as-catch-can farce via countout.


Even Vince himself called the bout a “less than stellar matchup”.

Yoko and Mabel then stared each other down for what felt like longer than the match itself until the two mammoths realized that violence was not the answer and hugged it out.


Forget Fatu; Yokozuna and Mabel were the ones making a difference.


After watching a match like that, can you really blame these fans behind the announce table for putting away a beer or five?

It was then time for Shawn Michaels to not wrestle.


I’ll cut this pay-per-view some slack here: at least there were unavoidable real-life reasons for pulling Undertaker and HBK off the card… unlike at that year’s King of the Ring tournament, where both men were eliminated in the first round on purpose.

A battered Shawn Michaels made history by forfeiting his title for only the fourth or fifth time in his WWF career.


It would have been a very emotional scene, were it not for that fan dressed up as a vampire for no reason.


Dean Douglas snatched the title belt away and wasted no time celebrating, making the most of his (literal) fifteen minutes of fame before he’d have to lose it to Razor.


I get that Dean was living large now as champion, but that was no reason to put his hands on the referee, which Vince McMahon deemed “very uncool”.

The match was humming along until Razor Ramon hit a standard belly-to-back suplex, with which he had never beaten an opponent, then lay down and draped his arm over the Dean while his own shoulders were down. For good measure, Douglas stuck his leg out of the ring.


The referee saw none of these things, nor did Vince McMahon until he saw two replays. But the referee nonetheless counted to three to the confusion of the audience.


But if you didn’t like it, Razor had two words for ya.

Dean Douglas really got screwed over by the Clique here, holding the IC title for the shortest length of time in history. At least the doubly-screwy finish would have made the perfect justification for a rematch, had anyone ever mentioned it again, which they didn’t.

It was certainly an anti-climactic ending to a title match, but not an anti-climactic ending to the pay-per-view. if you wanted that, you’d have to stick around for the main event featuring Big Daddy Cool Diesel and The British Bulldog.


Backstage, Dok Hendrix asked Diesel (who had been betrayed by the British Bulldog in a tag match, pinned by the Bulldog in a six-man tag, and even cost a match against Waylon Mercy by countout because of Bulldog’s distraction) what his mindset was. It was a pertinent question, with a less-than-pertinent response:


The champ was feeling awfully funky.


Well, if anyone knew funky, it was Dok.

Eleven months into his planned years-long run, Diesel had failed to have a decent match with anyone but Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, but Vince figured that he could count on a technician like Davey Boy Smith who also had the muscle to manhandle the seven-foot Kevin Nash.


Instead, the fans in Winnipeg were subjected to the most effective cure for insomnia since Steve Urkel’s Snooze Juice, with even less entertaining wrestling action.


Instead of throwing the champion around, Bulldog tried to immobilize Diesel by applying leg hold after leg hold, with varying degrees of success.


Bret Hart, who was on commentary with Vince, critiqued Bulldog’s application of a sharpshooter so sloppy that if The Rock were watching, he’d say, “Damn, that’s almost as bad as mine.”

At least the plodding, ground-based strategy would have been excusable if it had in any way figured into the outcome of the match.


Instead, after working over Diesel’s leg with rest holds for 18 minutes, Bulldog inexplicably walked over to the announce table and slapped Bret Hart.


By far the biggest pop of the match, nay, the night, occurred when Bret Hart ran in to punch out the Bulldog.


You know, maybe Vince should have put the Canadian guy on the card.


He then got into a skirmish with Diesel that emptied the babyface locker room.

The (two-thirds) capacity crowd went wild.


But the result? A disqualification victory for Bulldog.

If Diesel and Bulldog had managed an entertaining bout, it’s likely that Vince would have stuck with the seven-footer as the top guy. Diesel would have retained his title the next month at Survivor Series, and the WWF would have run on Diesel power for months or years to come.

Maybe Kevin Nash would have never left for WCW.

Or maybe he would have left anyway the following May, and the MSG Curtain Call would have become the MSG Screwjob.

Instead, so frustrated was Vince McMahon with Diesel’s performance that, according to sources at the arena, he threw down his headset and said “Horrible!” after the show went off the air. Then again, you have to wonder how reliable those sources were.


Written by

Art has been writing inductions for WrestleCrap since 2012. He also writes reviews of old Monday Night Raws, posted here every other Sunday. You can find his old reviews at the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at:
68 Responses to "Induction: In Your House: Great White North – Nine thugs, one bad pay-per-view"
  1. Peter says:

    I vaguely remember this PPV, but I seem to “vaguely remember” a lot of things about WWF in 1995.

  2. The Doctor of Style says:

    Was that “vampire” supposed to be one of the “Creatures of the Night”, the kayfabe Undertaker fans who followed him around?

    The WWF in ’95 definitely should’ve hired Joe Flaherty (Count Floyd the vampire). Floyd’s specialty was to shill dull TV shows…

    More SCTV: how could any PPV called “The Great White North” not have the McKenzie Brothers?!

    • Rob says:

      Yes. I was going to post that. I never understood what this was leading to, if anything, but I remember occasionally turning Raw on and seeing a goth woman and/or goth man sitting ringside, and VInce yammering on about them being the Undertaker’s creatures of the night.

      My memory wants me to sya they were aroud whenever Undertaker wasn’t. LIke an omen of his return,

      • KatieVictoriasSecret says:

        I went to a TV taping around that time and that’s exactly what they were trying to set up. I think whoever Taker was feuding with at the time beat up one of them and the lights started to flicker, which heralded the arrival of Bat!Taker.

  3. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Outstanding job, Art!

  4. mfm420 says:

    didn’t realize it til now, but look at the pic of fatu. he’s got a bsk cap on his head (him being a part of taker’s crew)

    • Caveman says:

      Yeah. His gimmick being that he wasn’t in a gang any longer, yet still sporting gang Tattoos and proudly wearing a gang cap.
      They should have made him a heel that just pretended to make a difference but really was just doing it for dubious reasons.

  5. Alexandru says:

    “Horrible’ is an understatement. I don’t understand how WWE was able to stay in business after 1995. I know 2015, and period between 2006-2012 were bad but 1995 takes it to a whole new level. I know I would’ve quit watching wrestling forever if I watched back then (not like WCW was setting the world on fire then either.)

    • Slapps says:

      I was watching back then, and looking back it was horrible. Didn’t think it at the time though. Personally I started watching WWE around Mania 8 and Slam 92, so I really didn’t know any better. But yeah, 1995 was the drizzling shits.

  6. Hulk6785 says:

    I still can’t believe they put Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker in the 1995 King Of The Ring tournament and didn’t have them wrestle each other. Fucking idiots.

    Also, who would have ever thought Goldust would hit his prime in 2014?

    • Guest says:

      Why have them Wrestle at King Of The Ring when you can have them wrestle dozens of times afterwards and then pretend they have no history wrestling each other to sell a Wrestlemania main event.

    • The Kid From Iowa says:

      Instead we get HBK…and Kama with a climactic ending…a time limit draw. Classic.

  7. sanefan says:

    You hold a PPV in Canada and neither Bret nor Owen Hart compete in any (televised) matches? Then you wonder why the show drew a crowd of 10,339 (source: Wikipedia)? Of course, they had no control over the injuries, but smart booking would mean taking advantage of the available spots. Even if you just throw together some 6-man-tag with Yoko, Owen & Mabel vs. Bret & The Smoking Gunns, for instance, and Razor vs. Sid with the winner facing Douglas the following night on RAW for the belt would have sufficed. But I suppose this event was a testament to the backstage political power of The Kliq.

  8. Keato says:

    Is this PPV the reason Winnipeg gets nothing but house shows nowadays (aside from the Raw/Smackdown shows a decade or so ago)? Can we apologize and promise to sell out the next crappy D-level show?

    • Caveman says:

      Yeah, well. If they finally did put on a PPV in Winnipeg, they’d likely make it a Smackdown Live one without Jericho or any other Canadian anyway (Nattie might be on color commentary for the Womens Match, though).

  9. I'm Not Using My Real Name says:

    Was original plan to really leave the belt on Diesel for YEARS?

    • RomackSuites says:

      No, the original plan was for him to hold it until Wrestlemania 12, where he & Shawn were going to have a rematch for the belt like the year before.

  10. Doc 902714 says:

    Has it ever been confirmed by anyone that 9 THUGS actually did attack Shawn Michaels outside a nightclub in Syracuse? That sounds like a brow beater (pardon the pun) to me. Oh, Shawn is soooo tough that he could take on 8 THUGS outside the ring but throw in the 9th guy and he’s done for. And where was the rest of the KLIQ during all of this? Surely they could have evened the score a little. Perhaps it was in actuality, 9 MARINES? CUB SCOUTS maybe?

    • Jimbolian says:

      I’m thinking it was The Scoutmaster and his boys from that campy Radioactive Man show from the 70’s.

    • Nicholas Nutter says:

      I heard it was one marine and that Davey Boy was in the car, wanting to get out and help Shawn, but was too Soma’d out to move. Can’t remember where I heard that, though. Might’ve been Bret’s book maybe? Possibly someone else’s shoot interview? Not sure.

    • Jerm says:

      Read Titan Sinking (and the two follow-ups for that matter). It was one guy.

      One. Guy.

    • RomackSuites says:

      Stories change depending how who’s telling it, but it was definitely 6 to 9 Marines.

      Shawn didn’t take them on, for one thing. He was pilled up and drunk, barely able to stand and a woman at the bar was giving him, Davey Boy and the Kid a ride to their hotel. But the woman was the girlfriend of one of the Marines, and they were pissed. They beat on Shawn and tried to hold back Bulldog and Pac (who were both also wasted) as they put the boots to him.

      Hunter, Hall & Nash were all in Germany at the time finishing up a European tour.

  11. Jason S says:

    You could do an entire induction on WWE’s vendetta against the word “the” in their Clash branding.

  12. jp says:

    Can confirm I was in attendance as a 10 year old.
    I was still reading kayfabe mags at the time, and knew this ppv was shit.

  13. Gold Standard says:

    I’ve worked several shows with Shane Douglas in Pennsylvania and I can understand why the Kliq didn’t like him. He’s a nice guy and very knowledgeable, but he does speak his mind and say what he thinks. He is very upfront and cares more about the truth then feelings.

    I remember one story he told about how he was still trying to be forced to push the storyline about “Dick Flair” long after it was relevant or useful. Though Shane and Ric don’t talk, they have both moved on from it. It’s too bad really, the guy is really talented and smart.

  14. Adam says:

    Two things of note here…

    That Yokozuna sell of the bulldog is to the Jackie Gayda match what the Spider Lady was to Montreal.

    Also, can anyone verify who appeared in WWE first? Was it the Undertaker in late 1990, or Dustin Rhodes alongside Dusty in late 1990? The “Golddust is getting younger” thing has made me question that. The guy may have actually been there before the Undertaker.

    • Jason H Smith says:

      I think they actually debuted days apart but Wikipedia has Undertaker’s debut as November 19, 1990 (prior to Survivor Series). I think Dusty introduced Dustin very soon after Survivor Series as his feud – and time in WWF – were winding down.

      Add Dustin to the handful of wrestlers who happened to find the mythical fountain of youth. Other “bathers” include: JJ Dillon, Bruno Sammartino and, as much as I dislike him, Hulk Hogan.

  15. whorefinder says:

    Even back then, before we knew much Triple H would ruin wrestling, I thought it made zero sense for the lame-ass Pedigree to defeat Fatu, the man with the super-hard head. I had a suspicion that the match would be an excuse for Triple H to change his finisher to an actually good one—the Pedigree wouldn’t work, so Triple H would alter it to something else, and use that from then on.

    Shawn, if you remember, had used a modified suplex when he first went solo, but then changed it to the Superkick when Vince decided to push him against bigger guys. The Superkick became a great finisher that worked well for Shawn’s persona and gimmick.

    but I guess like all things in wrestling that don’t involve marrying your boss’s daughter and sabotaging good wrestler’s careers, Mr. McMahon’s son-in-law was too poorly talented to realize how awful, boring, and second rate his finisher was–and still is.

    • Hulk6785 says:

      Seriously! Fatu took a DDT, a move that drops a person on his head, and got up, but the Pedigree, which also drops a person on his head, was able to finish him!?

      • Guest says:

        Outside of Marty Garner no one’s ever been dropped on their head taking the pedigree as it’s a modified facebuster so unless Fatu had a hard face to match his hard head him jobbing to the pedigree actually works.

        • whorefinder says:

          The face is part of the head, silly.

          • Guest says:

            The face and the head can be considered two seperate things.

            Hence why you get

            “I just shot Marvin in the face” and not in the head.

            • whorefinder says:

              “The face and the head can be considered two seperate things”

              lol. just lol. Now you’re just spewing nonsense.

              Here’s a tip: doubling down on your mistakes doesn’t work.

              ““I just shot Marvin in the face” and not in the head.”

              Face is a specific part of the head.

              Walk it off, son.

    • Guest says:

      Someone’s salty.

    • CP says:

      Did Paul Levesque run over Whorefinder’s dog, light his corpse on fire, piss in the ashes, then take a dump on them and mail it to him in a box?

      There’s being a hater and then there’s just being a prick. And I for one find this annoying.

      • whorefinder says:

        another stamford mark, eh? Looks like Triple H is trying to protect his “legacy” of ruining wrestling again.

        • CP says:

          Not a mark, just a person who finds people like you incredibly stupid.

          • whorefinder says:

            Now now little stupid stamford mark, Triple H is paying you to cover for him, not to expose yourself as a fraud.

            But your defense of Mr. McMahon’s son-in-law is adorable in its failing.

            • CP says:

              Except I’m not defending him. I’m criticizing your stalker-level obsession with the man. Which is restraining order material if ever there was any.

              And I’m probably not the only person who feels that way. I’m the only one apparently willing to say it to you. Creepy bastard.

              • 80's Guy says:

                “Stalker level obsession” for making one comment about somebody he plainly doesn’t like?

                Sorry, but that happens all the time, so why single him out? Maybe it’s you who is the stalker, or he’s right and you’re an offended HHH fan.

                Besides, he’s right, Triple Ego is a hemorrhoid.

                • CP says:

                  Maybe you need to pay a little more attention to what’s going on in a discussion before choosing to insert yourself into it.

                  Had you done so, you would have seen that he has spread this crap across several articles for little discernible reason. And most of is not rooted in sensible terminology.

                  So next time don’t bring a butter knife to a gunfight.

                • CP says:

                  Did you ever stop and consider that he might have been doing this over the course of several entries and that maybe, just maybe, a lot of it is based on misinterpretations?

                  Don’t think ya did or else you wouldn’t have responded trying to defend an obvious troll.

    • Gold Standard says:

      that “Modified Suplex” is actually called a Tear-drop Suplex. It wasn’t modified.

  16. escape says:

    Lol to this whole induction. I was there as a 14-year-old and it was exciting just being at a PPV. Loved the dark matches more than the PPV itself. The crowd was restless and hilarious throughout the show, loud ‘bullsh*t” chants at the end of the tag title match. Fans were wanting Razor and Kid to win.

    A couple matches were outright changed. I still have the original newspaper ads all saved. Here’s what was originally advertised:

    Undertaker vs Waylon Mercy
    Smokin’ Gunns vs Owen Hart & Yokozuna
    Razor Ramon vs Psycho Sid

    Undertaker-Mercy would have been something else.

  17. El Atomico says:

    I loved Douglas’ promo on ECW PPV awhile after this, where he buried shawn and the I-C title

  18. Hulk6785 says:

    I didn’t like the King Mabel gimmick, but I did like that he forced a bunch of guys to carry his fat ass to the ring. That was funny to watch.

  19. Gerard says:

    They had a king Mabel vs yokozuna match and they didn’t do the whole omg the ring has exploded bit?? Between Mabel and Yoko I am sure there was almost 2000lbs crashing around in the ring like a pair of rutting humpback whales!!!

  20. CP says:

    From being offended because he smelled to hiring him to run over Steve Austin. The complicated relationship between Messrs. Helmsley and Fatu.

  21. John Q Occupier says:

    So Maybe broke Undertaker’s orbital bone with a legdrop? Why on Earth didn’t WWE get him to re-record the old Python song “Sit On My Face”?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow this was shit.

    LOLing at the vampire guy though.

  23. ClawsomeMan says:

    Wait, WrestleMania 35 will cover the entire Lent? Seriously?

  24. Thomas Moffatt says:

    The In Your Houses were a touch lame to be fair – mind you I always thought that Summerslam 96 was a stinker – they cocked up the Boiler Room Brawl (watch the ending and the ‘druids’ and you can see Owen and Savio Vega making their second appearance of the PPV) and the main event between Shawn and Vader had to be restarted twice… good grief, I’m going mad…

  25. The Kid From Iowa says:

    Funny how during the dark ages they would host PPVs in dinky venues then say they got a capacity crowd. Of course it’s not hard to fill a place in which the cameras don’t have to zoom out too far for you to see the top of the bleachers. Or when the ceiling can be seen clearly. I watched Ground Zero: In Your House last night and it’s a perfect example of WWE using a pitiful venue during lean times. Top row and especially the ceiling visible most of the time. Accentuating how hard WCW was pounding their ass at the time.

  26. Sean Bateman says:

    On behalf of Canada, we are not sorry for the event. Blame Vince

  27. Denny says:

    Went to this one… 🙁

    I remember what they did was they sold tickets for only half the arena at first to make sure they could get things looking full on camera. They only opened up the rest of the lower bowl on the opposite side after they had a sufficient number of tickets sold on the one side. While you mention things looking empty from the fireworks, they were A LOT more empty than it looks.

    There were dark matches after the show, dark matches after a PPV?! I believe there were two but I only remember Bret Hart wrestling Lawler with CFL players accompanying Hart to the ring.

  28. Max says:

    Who would’ve thought “Make a Difference” Fatu and Hunter Hearst Helmsley would conspire four years from this PPV to run down Stone Cold Steve Austin

  29. Drew Bludd says:

    Does that graphic say “Shawn Michaels vs The Dean?” I dont remember them callingDean Douglas “The Dean” like as a nickname

  30. CF says:

    “Wrestlemania […] spans the entire season of Lent”.

    Does that mean WWE gives up showing wrestling for 40 days and 40 nights?

    Oh, wait…. >;)

  31. segaz says:

    I like how the subtitle says “Well, i’m FELLING awfully funky”. I wish Diesel really had said that

  32. Jason Lee says:

    Oh man I actually remember this one bit forgot about Lawler doing that. Today thats freaking priceless.

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