House Of Horrors Match

House of Horrors

I’ve been running since April 1, 2000. In the seventeen year history of the site, I’ve always had a rock solid rule, a law if you will, that I would never, ever induct anything in the same calendar year that it happened. When David Arquette won the WCW title, I shook my head but didn’t induct it until the following year. Katie Vick? No proper induction until the January after it took place. Claire Lynch, the Invasion…they all had to wait their turn.

My logic behind this is I feel it is important to let things play out. Sometimes you have a storyline that begins atrociously but it takes a turn and it far exceeds its humble and horrible origin. I mean, I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I’m sure they exist. Has to, right?


I also like to let things lie so we can nominate the very worst of the very worst for our annual Gooker Award. At the end of each year, we put what we view as the ten worst characters, matches, cards, or storylines to a vote to let you determine the stupidest thing you saw all year. I generally have a pretty good idea of what’s going to win, but sometimes I am surprised.

Screw it. I ain’t gonna be surprised this year.

Especially after long-time contributor Justin Henry sent me this early Sunday evening, after he’d read the spoilers for how the first half of this induction was going to play out at Payback:

Ahh, Simpsons memes. There’s a Simpsons quote that can applied (or paraphrased, then applied) for any occasion.

I read those same spoilers and quickly came to the same conclusion as Mr. Henry had.

So tonight I am breaking my own rules. Again, I’ve never done this in SEVENTEEN YEARS. But three simple words have finally broken me: House of Horrors.

And here I thought this was the stupidest thing I’d see in a match with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. Little did I know.

Despite projecting maggots onto the canvas, Bray loses at WrestleMania and thus has to come up with a new goofy scheme to get the upper hand on his foe. And with that goofy scheme we got yet another long-winded though admittedly well delivered spiel about his latest creation, the House of Horrors.

A moment if I may – just the name “House of Horrors” legit had me flashing back to other epic encounters like The White Castle of Fear and Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal. That’s not a compliment. And at least those had a one-eyed midget named Cheatum to add some laughs (and both of which are available in the archives).

Would it have really been that hard to bring Hornswoggle back and slap an eyepatch on him?

But hey, before we get to the house, here’s JoJo to explain that this match will begin at the house and somehow end in the ring, where we’ll get a pin fall, submission, or forfeiture. Forfeiture, we are told. I am pretty sure I’ve never heard that uttered as a way to end a match before, so it must be Vince’s hot word of the month. Can’t wait for a “superstar” to capitalize on a “championship opportunity” to end in such a manner in front of the “WWE Universe”, who are about to vacate all hope that the House of Horrors match will be any good. Er, make that, “leave their hope in abeyance.” Stupid buzzwords.

There is a “follow the buzzards/buzzwords” joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave that particular bit of punnery to you, fellow Crappers.

Anywho, from JoJo to the pitch black of night we go, as a limo pulls up to the house. I would ask why, exactly, it is so dark out in San Jose at 5:30pm local time, but I am going to guess that we have far bigger issues ahead of us that will require my keystrokes.

Inside the limo, Randy prepares himself for battle by clenching his fists. Or maybe he’s psyching himself up with a one-man game of one-potato-two-potato, who knows. Should also note for whatever reason he’s shirtless. Not sure that’s how I’d go into a fight inside a haunted mansion. To be fair, I’d probably just hang out in the limo contemplating why someone thought putting neon green napkins in glasses was a good idea.

Behold the HOUSE OF HORRORS! It’s bathed in blue and has a light that goes on and off on the second story. Are you scared yet?

Seriously, what’s so frightening about an upstairs window? Maybe if you were Jimmy Stewart and you could peer inside the window with a telescope, you’d see something truly mortifying, but no: it’s a freakin’ light being switched off in a generic, unimpressive window. The inflatable octopus that Martin Landau graciously sold for in Ed Wood projected more menace than this Brand X window.

Then, in a scene right out of Disney/Pixar’s Cars, a tractor very slowly backs up! I’ve long held the belief that one day when Vince is finally ready to sell WWE, Disney will be there to scoop up the ashes. This here would be your proof. It’s called cross-promotion. Synergy, kids!

After far too long a walk, Randy finally gets to the porch. He looks inside, and sees Bray, who channels his inner Tom Boddet and turns the lights on for him. Randy then goes to the front door, only to discover it’s locked.

So Bray’s master plan was apparently to have Randy fight him here, but only after he rang the doorbell and waited to be invited in first.

As doors (I guess mysteriously) open and close, Bray attacks Randy from behind. He throws him into a lamp, then in true Bray form stops to monologue, explaining that Randy can never leave. This would make Bray like James McAvoy’s conflicted character in Split, except he doesn’t hand his personal spotlight off to other personalities within his body. That’s a shame, because if Bray were overtaken by Husky Harris, Orton would have certainly ended this “match” a lot quicker, possibly with an arm drag.

Besides, for a purported “House of Horrors”, it’s pretty tame. There’s a couch there, and apparently magical tractors mow the lawn for you. I’ve lived in worse.

I should note that while this wanton violence is going on, we’re treated to scary music. Seriously, like out of a horror film. Which makes it like any New Jack match ever, except the crowd wasn’t exactly eating up the staged mayhem with glee (as we’ll soon see). Additionally, a New Jack match would also hold more potential for ring psychology than what we have here. Don’t believe me? When New Jack slams a vacuum cleaner on his opponent’s scrotum, it’s because he’s trying to injure his opponent’s scrotum. That’s more logical than 97 percent of whatever this was.

All of the spooky soundtracking reminds me of Beyond the Mat where Vince was explaining what the WWF was all about, ending with taking a swig of water then smugly looking at the camera and stating, “We make movies.”

Yes, yes sir you do.

Unfortunately, a lot of your movies really suck.

Especially this one.

Bray gets the upper hand on Randy, then vanishes into fat air. As Randy trepidatiously moves through the house, Bray’s hand breaks through a wall and grabs him by the throat, with Orton escaping only to find himself in a room with a bunch of doll babies hanging from the ceiling. Poor Randy then gets beaten over the head with a baby crib and collapses to the ground.

As we posted on here a couple days ago, the fine folks over at Deadspin actually found this house and discovered it was up for sale. A bargain at $36,000! I’ll Paypal $10 to the first of you to videotape yourself looking at it with a realtor, with an additional fiver if you ask, “Will this ceiling support 500 plastic dolls hanging from it? I’d seen a video of that and I found it quite charming.”

To the craft room we go next, as Randy discovers a twine and twig sculpture, I guess proving that someone involved in this fiasco was a fan of The Blair Witch Project. I’d say something else witty here, but I’ll be honest – I saw that movie like one time and legit remember the little figures and pretty much nothing else about it. And if you’re being honest, you’d probably say the same thing.

Like any good house fight, it climaxes in the kitchen, where the two men wildly fling pots and pans at each other. Despite being pummeled repeatedly with various blunt objects, it is in fact a kick to the genitalia that drops Randy to the floor, incapacitating him to the point that Bray can drop a very small and incredibly filthy refrigerator on him.

This allows Bray to crawl out to the front yard, fall on his knees, and turn his house from blue to red. I guess because he’s on Raw now instead of Smackdown. That’s brand loyalty!

Meanwhile, the cameraman doesn’t try to assist the possibly-dead WWE Champion in any way. Nor is he inside the house to potentially film Bill Kurtis walking beside the motionless Viper to ominously tell of how other overconfident wrestlers had been led to their premature demises in latently-ghoulish homes similar to this one.

Bray then stumbles into the limo (looking like a cross between Predator and a possibly-homeless Robert Z’Dar) telling the driver to take him to the arena. Because, you see, having this stupid match end at the house wouldn’t be torture enough. We need to have it continue under the bright lights at a WWE pay-per-view. If ever Vince would dare bring back those smoky arenas he saved wrestling from all those years ago, tonight would be the night!

And hey, isn’t Orton trapped under a fridge? How’s he supposed to get to the arena? And why weren’t we treated to any periodic motionless footage of Orton on the linoleum, a la the Famous Historian from Monty Python’s Search For the Holy Grail lying dead in the field?

So many unanswered questions.

Corey Graves immediately becomes my all-time favorite announcer by asking for the street address for the House of Horrors. That’s a knee slapper right there. Well played, kid.

And wait a minute, I just remembered this. Those poor people in the arena had to sit and watch all this crap. Can you imagine paying whatever stupid amount of money you may have paid for front row tickets and then being subjected to THAT?

Clearly, they had the time of their lives.

Also of note was the short-lived empathy coming from the announcers. Like, Randy Orton’s laying dead in Ed Gein’s kitchen, and Cole mulls over it for 45 seconds like he’s choosing an ice cream flavor. Then it’s off to the Seth Rollins/Samoa Joe match, while poor Orton is trying to blink morse code out the window in the hopes that a messenger bird sees him. And Cole? There he was, moving the show along, with all the emotional depth of Krusty posing for his trading card photo.

Then again, Cole grieved over the hanging of The Big Boss Man for all of 15 seconds before deftly seguing into WrestleMania Rage Party footage.

Maybe he finds snuff films to be emotionally settling, in the vein of a white noise machine.

Bray makes it back to the arena, and gets his full ring entrance, complete with his idiotic LED lantern. I know I’ve ranted about this before, but that lantern is seriously one of the stupidest props ever. Like if I could seriously change one thing – ONE THING – in WWE, it may well be that lantern. The guy is supposed to be a hillbilly cult leader or whatever, and yet his lantern isn’t a flickering gas jobber, but a nuclear bright and environmentally friendly LED that he somehow blows out.

Which he does here and of course Randy Orton is right behind him.

If you were expecting any kind of explanation as to how Randy somehow made it back to the arena, you’re out of luck.

If you were expecting Randy to be revealed as the limo driver that brought Bray back to the arena, you’re out of luck.

If you’re expecting footage of Randy hitchhiking back to the arena and being picked up by Large Marge, you’re out of luck.

Most of all, if you were wanting to see these two have anything resembling a good match, you’re out of luck.

But hey, if you wanted to see jobber turned #1 contender Jinder Mahal cost Orton the win, ding ding ding!

We have a winner!

Speaking of winners, is it too early to post this graphic?

Probably not.

But with this company? Probably way too early to bet against them.

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