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In Your House 7 was the WWF's first stop in 1996 after Wrestlemania. Bret Hart had for all intents and purposes gone on hiatus (barring completing the Germany tour that followed and a couple of Raw segments filmed while over there), leaving Shawn Michaels to firmly establish himself as the #1 guy.
In that time, Raw had smashed the previous best rating by nearly a full ratings point on April 8th, scoring a 4.7 over their previous best shows in April/May last year which both drew a 3.9. The big success was drawn with Nitro on a week off, and Raw delivered arguably its strongest showing since the Monday Night Wars started, including a memorable angle where Yokozuna was taken out into an ambulance via a forklift truck after Vader had Vaderbombed his leg.
What the WWF were pushing at In Your House 7 was a five match card that was essentially attempting to draw on two things. One was The Ultimate Warrior (who made his first TV appearance on the April 8th show) in action against Goldust and two tag matches.
But, while it wasn't really presented like this, two of the biggest matches of note historically were the final pay per views of both Razor Ramon and Diesel. Ramon had been away, serving a six week suspension that (seemingly) coincidentally happened right around the time of him handing in his notice. As for Diesel, he was getting the title rematch owed to him after In Your House 6, and the company had, for once, done an adequete job promoting their history.
The British Bulldog and Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette, Clarance Mason) vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Ahmed Johnson
Lots of antics before the match got going, Cornette and Mason claimed to have a contract that banned the snake from appearing, Roberts bought him out anyway and scared the shit out of Cornette so much he fainted. The match was fine, the kind of thing that wouldn't hold up to much these days but did sufficiently well through storytelling to makeup for the often less than compelling action. Once again, Ahmed Johnson in short bursts is a good thing. After a few shots to the back of Roberts' knee by Bulldog using the tennis racket, Roberts submits in a leg lock.
Goldust (w/ Marlena and a bodyguard - Mantaur in a suit) vs The Ultimate Warrior
Goldust came into this show with an injured knee... so they didn't work a match, they just pissed about for what felt like an age. Warrior grabs Marlena's cigar and Goldust's jacket, mocking him while he was contemplating leaving. Goldust grabs the mic and says "If you people don’t shut your mouths, I’m going to come out there and kiss each and everyone of you”, which is about the extent of the heat this match received. Goldust returns to the ring, Warrior puts his robe on for him (it's all very cordial really), eventually Warrior stubs the cigar out on Goldust's hand – Goldust legs in and the Warrior gets some offense in on the bodyguard. Absolutely awful. 7 minutes I won't see again.
Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) vs Razor Ramon
This was very nice. 15 minutes of two big guys having a largely stand up match with not a great deal of offense beyond strike based work that Vader is so good at. Given that it was Razor's last match, he received a fair amount of offense in the match, including getting under Vader who was on the top rope and hitting an electric chair drop. He also kicked out of the Vader-bomb. Vader backdrops Razor, then just sits on him and that's enough for the win. A decent outing this.
The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip w/Sunny) vs The Godwins (Phineas I, Henry O w/ Hillbilly Jim) for the WWF Tag Team Titles
Sunny really is the only act of note in this one, and you wonder whether they should've split her and Skip up months ago, she's really beginning to get that undercard stench about here – and no, that's not just the slop. The action is fine, if predictable and lacking drama. Skip and Zip are a very functional if completely uninteresting tag team. Skip goes down in the ring, Sunny distracts Phineaus with a personalised sign photo, Zip swaps places with Skip and does a small package for the win.
Diesel vs Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) for the WWF Championship in a No Holds Barred match
I'm still not really sure what Jose Lothario is doing with Shawn Michaels... anyway, this match had attitude all over it from the start, whether it was Diesel pelting Vince with his jacket or just the frantic pace this one started with. Shawn hits an early moonsault to the outside, Diesel levels the ref before removing the refs belt and whipping Shawn with it before strangling him with it and hanging him from the second rope. That spot looked great.
They spill to the outside, Diesel powerbomb's Shawn through Vince and King's announce table, that looks fantastic as Shawn gets submerged in monitors. Shawn staggers to hit feet before stalling by the ropes, Diesel leans in and gets a fire extinguisher deployed in his face. If there's one criticism it's that Shawn really does stop selling at this point. Diesel goes to ringside (where Mad Dog Vachon is) drags him over the guardrial and removes his prosthetic leg, he goes to hit Shawn with it but Shawn low blows him.
Shawn tees up the crowd (who really clap along with him tuning in the kick), before hitting a sweet chin music with the fake leg, he then resets and does a real one to retain the match. A distinct lack at selling but this was a barnburner of match. Shawn, despite winning the match, looks absolutely pissed off at some. He mouths down the hard camera and briefly does the Hulk Hogan pose.
Score Rating: 5/10
Go Back And Watch: Main event for sure. Vader/Ramon is good... maybe the opener if you've got ten spare minutes.