WWE In Your House 6: Rage in a Cage
February 18, 1996
Razor Ramon vs The 1-2-3 Kid w/ Ted Dibiase - Crybaby Match
This match was a long time coming. After two years of being friends, Waltman became jealous of Razor. After losing a pair of matches in Fall 1995, Kid turned on Razor by costing Razor a match against Sid (Might of been Dean Douglas though). Things intensified at The Royal Rumble when Kid interfered and cost Razor the IC title against Goldust. In the weeks since then, Kid has been calling Razor a crybaby. So now, this match was made. The loser of the match must put on a diaper and carry a big bottle. Amazingly enough, while ECW was gaining a cult following based on their hardcore adult themed storylines, the WWF thought this stipulation would draw. The match comes to a halt once Kid locks in a sleeper. Kid keeps it on for way too long. The match isn't long enough to justify so long of a rest hold. Dibiase distracts Razor by throwing baby powder in Razor's eyes. Middle rope fall way slam gets a 2 count for Razor. Dibiase distracts Razor again. With the ref distracted, Kid grabs the baby powder. Razor spots him and kicks the powered hand into Kid's own eyes. Razor's Edge followed by another one for good measured gets Razor the win. Post-match has Razor punching out Dibiase and putting a diaper on Kid. Some squirting from an oversized bottle to the face of Kid. Finally, Razor pours baby powder all over Kid. Kid finally wakes up and begins crying once he realizes what happened. You kind of have to wonder what was going on in the office when this match was booked. Vince: "So what matches do you guys think will be good for the upcoming PPV?" Stooge #1 "Well, we've been building up Razor and 1-2-3 Kid for months. How about putting these two in a match?" Vince: "Hmm...I like. Any other ideas?" Stooge #2 "What about adding a stipulation Mr. McMahon?" Vince: "Hmm...I like. Any ideas what sort of stipulation?" Stooge #1 "I don't know if we should do a stipulation. After all, we already have a cage match. Just putting 1-2-3 Kid and Razor out in the ring would be a great match." Vince: "Maybe you have a point there..." Stooge #2: "But...what about a match where the loser has to wear a diaper? Both men have been called a crybaby lately. Think of the buys we'd get!" Vince: "I Like!" This match just showed how behind in the times the WWF was at this time. Even without the gimmick, this match wasn't as good as it should have been. My advice, once Razor wins the match, fast forward. 12 Minutes. 2 1/2 Stars.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Random rich bimbo vs Duke "The Dumpster" Droese
Since entering the company last summer ('95), Hunter had been feuding with all of the job wrestlers. Once '95 ended, Hunter finished his feud with Henry Godwin. So naturally, he needed another wrestler who's gimmick was having another job. In comes Duke Droese. On the first edition of the Free For All (Pre-show before PPV's shown on the PPV channel) before The Royal Rumble, these two fought each other for the 30th spot in the Rumble. IIRC, Hunter won, but it was later revealed that he cheated. So the ref reversed the call. Hunter was forced to be number 1 while Duke "The Rapist" Droese was number 30. In case you're wondering, Hunter lasted for over half of the match while Droese was eliminated after a minute. After the Rumble, Hunter attacked Droese on Superstars and cut his hair. So now it's a pissed off short hair garbage man vs a future 12 time World Champion. Sadly, this match doesn't have the entertainment value that the Godwin feud had. Late in the match, Droese hits his finisher, The Compactor (Irish whip into a Sidewalk Slam). However, instead of picking up the victory, Droese goes to the outside and gets a garbage can. The ref stops Droese from using the can and with the ref's back turned, Hunter hits Droese with the lid. Hunter picks up the win in a very underwhelming match. What a terrible match. The ending is something straight out of The Best of Jim Duggan. The WWF would finally give up on The Dumpster and release him soon after this match. Thank-God. How did this get nearly as much time as the opening match? 10 Minutes. 1/2 Star.
Backstage, Michael Hayes interviews Yokozuna. For the first time ever, Yoko cuts a promo. Yoko ends up sounded just like Rikishi in having a gangsta like sound to his Samoan. In one interview, the WWF threw kayfabe out of the window and practically made it obvious that he wasn't Japanese.
Yokozuna vs Davey Boy Smith w/ Jim Cornette
This came about when Yokozuna lost a tag match on Raw against Diesel and Shawn Michaels. After the match, Cornette started yelling at Yoko. Yoko had enough and started beating on Jim. Bulldog and Owen attacked Yoko. Bulldog keeps trying to take charge of Yoko, but he's no match for the size and power of the big man. Samoan Drop by Yoko. Yoko pulls Davey Boy for the Banzai Drop. Jim Cornette comes in and hits Yoko with the tennis racket twice drawing the DQ. Yoko no sells, but before he can get his hands on Cornette, Vader runs down and attacks Yoko. Vader handcuffs Yoko to the top rope and Davey Boy and Vader continues to punch Yoko. Yoko manages to not go down and keeps fighting until some officials can stop the assault. Yoko was at the worst shape of his career. However, much like Adrian Adonis, the guy could still work better than most. I would of loved to see this match back in late 1992 where Yoko was hundreds of pounds lighter. This was a better match than expected. At his size, Yoko could still have good matches with wrestlers who didn't need to be carried. It's only when he was matched up against someone like Mabel that you had a disaster. 5 Minutes. 1 1/2 Stars.
Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart w/ Jim Cornette - Wrestlemania Title Shot Match
This feud goes back to the night after Survivor Series '95. One enzuigiri kick and Michaels blacked out and there had been rumors that Michaels would be forced to retire. While Owen went around bragging about what he did, Shawn would return and win the Royal Rumble. So to settle this feud, Shawn would put his title shot on the line against the man who put him out of action. A lot of showboating early on in the match. Shawn slaps a lot of fans hands. When Owen tries to, no one holds out their hands. Another fun spot was when Cornette complains that Shawn was pulling Owen's hair. With the ref's back turned, Shawn decides to pull Owen's hair. Cornette goes crazy again which allows the distraction for Shawn to pull Owen's hair again. Owen locks in the Sharpshooter, but Michaels makes it to the ropes. Owen hits the move that started this whole thing - the Enzuigiri Kick. Shawn oversells a bit, but falls outside of the ring. Vince plays this up as a big deal. Owen decides that he wants to pin Shawn, so he rolls him back in the ring. Owen goes for another Enzuigiri kick, but misses. Sweet Chin Music! Shawn picks up the win and will head to Wrestlemania for the second year in a row as the number 1 contender. A pretty entertaining match. There has been some who claims this was a MOTYC, but there was just a little bit too much comedy for my liking. Had they added a few more minutes of serious wrestling, I might consider it a MOTYC. That being said, it's one of both man's best match from '96. Second to only the Jeff Jarrett IYH 2 match, this has to be the best unknown Michaels match. For whatever reason, it's yet to be released on DVD. And yet, they've released the HIAC and Mind Games match several times. 16 Minutes. 4 Stars.
While the WWF crew puts together the steel cage (The motorized steel cage has to be one of the best things Vince ever did), Michael Hayes talks to Roddy Piper. Piper officially announces Shawn Michaels as the number 1 contender. He also makes a Wrestlemania match between Vader and Yokozuna. That match would eventually be changed into a 6 man tag which I can only assume was because of time restraints.
Bret Hart (c) vs Diesel - WWF World Title - Steel Cage Match
Bret defeated Diesel for the title at Survivor Series. Since then, Diesel had been showing a new attitude. Diesel would cost the Undertaker the World Title at The Royal Rumble (Which includes the very first middle finger on WWF TV). So now it's pissed off former champion against transitional champion. The rules are you have to escape the cage to win. So pinfalls and submissions are meaningless. Which by the way, I hate these rules. It should always be pinfall/submission instead of just climbing out of the ring. Like the previous matches between the two, Bret works over Diesel's knee while Diesel just looks to over power Bret. Bret takes several sternum first bumps in the corner which creates a great noise from the cage. Vince says how the fans no longer support Diesel. Moments later, there's a loud Diesel chant. Bret is lowblowed on the top rope and takes another nut shot when he falls on the ropes. Diesel crawls to the door, but before he can escape, the Undertaker breaks through from under the ring to pull him down. Smoke comes out of the hole while Bret escapes to retain the title. Diesel crawls out of the hole with his hair messed up and his pants ripped. The Undertaker pulls himself out of the hole causing Diesel to climb quickly out of the cage. Before WCW started doing this on a weekly basis, The Undertaker spot was fairly new and quite creative. This match dragged on a bit though. Their other 3 PPV matches (KOTR '94, RR '95 and SS '95) were much better. That doesn't mean that this was bad though. While the finish was cool, it did little to help Hart. While Michaels was winning the Royal Rumble and defeating Owen Hart, Bret was stuck retaining the title due to interference in back to back PPVs. It really just re-enforces the idea that Bret was nothing more than a transitional champion in between the Clique's title reigns. I loved the Diesel character around this time though. Nash doesn't get enough credit for really planting the seeds of the Attitude Era. Little things like giving the finger on PPV, being a "Cool" character who didn't care whether people cheered or booed him and the table spot at the April PPV were all things that wasn't seen at this time in the company. As the crowd showed, they enjoyed this type of character. Once Nash left though, it took several months before the fans found another character like that. Looking back at the overness of Nash's character, maybe it wasn't such a surprise that Steve Austin became so over. Just something to think about. 20 Minutes. 2 Stars.
Backstage, Roddy Piper announces Diesel vs The Undertaker for Wrestlemania.
End of PPV
But wait there's more~!
Goldust (c) w/ Marlena vs The Undertaker - IC Title Match
A bonus match from after the camera went off air. They claim it's after the PPV, but since the ring doesn't have a hole, I assume it's either before the show or they just fixed the ring. Idk. Anyways, there's a long amount of Goldust acting scared in front of Taker. It's pretty funny, but it goes on too long. Once Goldust gets cocky, he tries his signature pose only to get a right uppercut from Taker. Goldust tries to get serious so he does a long sleeper and much like the first match, it slows the match down to sleep inducing. The ref lifts Taker's arm three times, but on the third one, Taker grabs the refs hand. Earl Hebner freaks out and pulls back. He looks at Paul Bearer who only shrugs as if saying "What do you want me to do about it?" Taker hits a closeline, but Goldust rolls out of the ring and retreats allowing Taker to win by Count out. It was a fun match with Goldust being hysterical in the early part. A large part of the match was just taunting though. Since this was a dark match, I'm perfectly happy with the outcome of the match. Seeing how the Free for All match was Jake Roberts vs Tatanka which was supposed to be terrible, I'm happy that I got this match instead. 10 Minutes. 2 Stars.
To no surprise, this PPV heavily featured the Clique and the Harts. In fact, every match on the actual PPV involved one or the two or even both. With the lack of talent the WWF had at the time, that was a wise move. Even though this was an above average IYH, it wasn't as good as it could of been. With such matches as Razor vs Waltman, Owen vs Michaels and Nash vs Hart, this should of easily been one of the better PPVs of the 90's. The main reason to hunt this PPV down would be to get the Owen vs Michaels match. If you're a fan of the Kid/Razor or Diesel/Hart feuds, it also features some of that, albeit weak efforts. To show how pathetic the WWF was at this time, this PPV was easily better than The Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania of this year.
Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart
Worst Match: Triple H vs Duke Droese
Overall Grade: C+
WWE In Your House 6: Rage in a Cage