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Elsewhere, Diesel was on a collision course with King Mabel for the WWF Title in the main event, Bret Hart’s never ending feud with Jerry Lawler moved onto the debuting Issac Yankem DDS and Undertaker vs Kama was changed to a casket match. We’re in Pittsburgh, and Jerry Lawler joins Vince McMahon on the call.
123 Kid vs Hakushi
Hakushi, sans Shinja to accelerate his babyface turn went to a very nice opener with the 123 Kid. Both managed to showcase their athleticism without ever stretching things to a logic defying pace – which the Kid has definitely been guilty of in the past. The Pittsburgh crowd were louder than most WWF crowds at the time, and audibly began to get behind Hakushi. Kid goes for a running side kick, Hakushi pops up and nails a one handed powerbomb for the victory.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Bob “Sparkplug” Holly
Continuing on from his first appearance on pay per view at Starrcade in 1994 but now under the name “Hunter Hearst Helmsley”, Levesque demonstrates once again that he already has a good knack of working a crowd. A solid if nothing match, Holly shows he’s more than a solid hand in the ring, but Helmsley wins it with the pay per view of a double underhook face-first piledriver, aka “The Pedigree”.
The Blu Brothers (Eli & Jacob, with Uncle Zebakiah) vs The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart)
Two “proper” tag teams, and Vince McMahon still hasn’t worked a way of telling the Blu’s apart. A nice match, with the Blu’s showing their size and dominance as Billy plays the babyface in peril. A shame that the number one contendership wasn’t on the line here, but it at least made sense given the main event coming up for In Your House 3. In the end, the Gunns do their double team slam/leg drop for the victory.
Skip (w/ Sunny) vs Barry Horrowitz
We get a video package previewing this match. Horrowitz got the 1-2-3 Kid treatment in picking up the shock jobber victory over Skip on Superstars. The following week Skip offered Horrowitz a rematch, where to win all he had to do was not to lose in ten minutes – which he managed. This match got a lot of time – the longest so far and longer than the main event. The story is perhaps more compelling than the match, with the crowd rallying behind the babyface Horrowitz. But credit to both, as this could (and may well have) died a death in front of a different crowd. In the end we get Hakushi coming out to the ring, he provides the distraction for Horrowitz to pick up the roll up victory. The crowd like that.
Bertha Faye (w/ Harvey Whippleman) vs Alundra Blayze © for the WWF Women’s Title
They tried, and Faye despite not being great is by no means awful for someone of her size, but this just didn’t stick. I think part of the issue with this is that the crowd didn’t particularly seem to be into either act. The action was fine, Faye plays a decent big womens wrestler, and in Blayze they had a nice foil for that. Blayze goes for a trio of second rope dropkicks, but Faye sidesteps the third. She then hits a powerbomb, and just about pins Blayze – who did seem to kick out at the last minute.
Dr Isaac Yankem vs Bret Hart
Yankem comes out with music that’s just dental drilling, lovely. Ever watch a wrestling match that lasts a while, contains some solid action but seems entirely inconsequential? Thing kind of felt like that. The crowd didn’t really care for Yankem, despite Lawler’s best efforts from ringside, Yankem does quite a nice leg drop from the top rope onto Hart who’s draped over the top rope across the ring. Match ends as Yankem doesn’t let go before five
Shawn Michaels © vs Razor Ramon – Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title
If I was being critical – I’d say their first match was slightly better. If I was also being critical, I’d say Michaels didn’t full sell the beating on his ankle later in the match. But screw being critical, this was excellent and well-paced with Razor quite rightly playing a not so subtle heel working over Shawn’s ankle. Shawn fights bravely back into the match as it crescendos towards the finish. These are now two for two in genuinely great ladder matches.
After the match, we join Dean Douglas backstage analysing the end of the match. The gimmick still blows, but you can feel a bit more of the Shane Douglas character creeping in here. Razor confronts him, then lays him out.
Diesel © vs King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo)
Good luck following that. Mabel shouts “I’m ready to be the first black champion” early in the match. One big spot early, as Mabel seems to drop the entirety of his bodyweight on the base of Diesel’s spine. If I’m being kind, I’ll say this match really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but that’d be where the compliments end. The ref takes a bump, out comes Luger (who Diesel initially fights off, thinking he might be turning on him like Bulldog did on Raw). Luger runs off Sir Mo, but Mabel hits a big belly to belly for the big near fall of the match. The ref takes an age to come around and Diesel barely kicks out of the slow count. Mabel goes to the second rope, misses his move, Diesel goes to the second rope, hits a sloppy clothesline/crossbody and retains his title.
Score Rating: 8/10
Go Back And Watch: Well, Shawn and Razor is an absolute must, but the entirety of the show has a good focus of in ring action (if you skip the main event). But Shawn and Razor add two points onto this scoreline.