In Your House is coming back!
OK, so the return of a somewhat-cheesy decorative theme for B-Shows in WWE’s less successful days may not sound like The-Rock-coming-back-to-wrestle-Roman-Reigns-level news, but for us relentless diehard fans it’s a really cool retro touch to cheer us up during this lockdown.
And with NXT Takeovers being the apple of us diehards’ eyes, there’s no better place to launch it.
We know it’ll mostly serve to cover the obvious shortcomings of being forced to produce content without live crowds, but the IYH brand brings back so many happy memories, it prompted us to put together this list of all-time great moments and matches.
Now, fingers crossed there’s at least one brawl across a hokey suburbia entrance set on June 7…
Hell IN A CELL! – Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels @ IYH: Badd Blood
It’d be daft not to begin with the birth of the cage match to end all cage matches.
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels feud (no not that one, or that one, the other one) led to a blow-off in a structure that had kinda been done elsewhere but never like this.
Indeed, the performance of both men here gave HIAC a reputation that has even endured its overuse in the past decade. And the finish – featuring the haunting debut of Kane – would make any list of all-time character intros.
WELL….IT’S THE BIG SHOW! – ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon @IYH: St Valentine’s Day Massacre
That said, another cage-based debut would also stand a good chance of making that list, as WCW star The Giant officially jumped ship to save Vince McMahon’s bacon at St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
And though he did end the Rattlesnake’s pummelling of his nemesis in their highly-anticipated singles clash, he also accidentally confirmed Austin’s WWF title match at Wrestlemania by THROWING HIM THROUGH THE CAGE.
Hell of a way to make yourself known, at least. Shame about the booking that followed in the months afterwards for the man briefly called ‘The Big Nasty’.
HOME TOWN HEROES – The Hart Foundation vs. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, The Legion Of Doom, Ken Shamrock & Goldust @ IYH: Canadian Stampede
The Hart Foundation vs Austin and four unlikely allies in Calgary gave us an incredible role-reversal 10-man war, as the usually-beloved Stone Cold was despised in Canada up against national heroes Bret Hart and company.
The match itself was one of the best that year. The end results set the table for a memorable Summerslam. And the Foundation’s entrance – where each member of the team appeared on the stage individually to an increasingly-loud reception until Bret’s arrival blew the roof off – is an absolute must-watch for fans.
The rest of the event is considered one of the best top to bottom PPVs WWE has ever produced. A real gem.
FOLEY CAN GO! – Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind @ IYH: Mind Games
Early IYH events tended to give us interesting marquee matches considered too big for weekly TV but too small for Wrestlemania or Summerslam. Mind Games in September 1996 provided Shawn Michaels vs Mankind for the World title.
Seemingly displeased with such a contest being used to further feuds elsewhere, HBK and Mick Foley went out and staged an absolute banger on workrate and desire alone, showing fans and WWE top brass alike that Mick Foley was far more than just a wild brawler.
FOUR GO TO WAR! – ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader
Steve Austin won the 1997 Royal Rumble illegally. Bret Hart was the legit last man standing, only to be eliminated by the ineligible Austin. Undertaker and Vader also found themselves thrown out by the man who was already sent packing. And, most importantly, there’s a PPV to fill before we get to Wrestlemania.
So, what do you do? Stick all four in the ring and let them wreak absolute havoc, of course!
This wild melee set the table for 1997’s theme of low-key IYH crackers, and was also perhaps WWE’s best ever solution for keeping things ticking over between the Rumble and WM.
AIN’T HE GREAT? – Jeff Jarrett vs. Shawn Michaels @ In Your House 2
Jeff Jarrett, after a slow start in WWE, was getting over as an upper-midcarder in 1995. With the help of The Roadie and the Intercontinental title, he was ready for the next step a show-stealing match with HBK.
After singing (read: lip-syncing) his country hit With My Baby Tonight earlier in the show, Jarrett lost the IC title to Michaels at the second IYH in a corker of a contest.
Alas, Jarrett left the company straight after for ‘personal reasons’ before his split and feud with Roadie (who sang the song for him) could materialise.
GOODBYE OL’ BLUE BARS – The Rock vs. Mankind vs. Ken Shamrock @ IYH: Breakdown
If anyone ever asks you to name a great match that nobody remembers – This match from 1998 is your hook-up.
The match took place in the midst of The Rocks ultimately fake face turn and brewing feud with Vince McMahon. Mankind on the other hand was in Camp McMahon – Or so he thought! Shamrock….He was just nuts, right?
This match was set up to decide the number one contender to the WWF Championship and it was an utter delight that allowed all three men to show off their skills and characters in a believable and fun way. If you haven’t seen it or don’t remember it, go out of your way to give it a watch.
On a historical note, it’s also the final cage match to use the traditional blue bars. Remember that one, quiz fans
TOWERING INFERNO – The Undertaker vs. Kane @ IYH: Unforgiven
After Undertaker and Kane finally clashed one-on-one at Wrestlemania 14, it was hard to imagine how they’d top the six-month build in the rematch. Strap match? I Quit match? Another HIAC?
Instead, the two fought the following month at Unforgiven in a ring surrounded by FIRE.
This seemingly-dangerous concept was thankfully handled and controlled perfectly, making for an awe-inspiring spectacle – especially when the big men made the flames shoot up with their bumps.
STACKING THE DECK! – ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Dude Love @ IYH: Over The Edge
The Unforgiven 1998 main event was an inconclusive battle between Stone Cold and ‘Corporate’ Dude Love. That particular battle would be blown off the following month at Over The Edge.
In the bout that inspired a billion imitators, Vince McMahon and his stooges took over the key officials positions and changed the rules on the fly in their desperate efforts to get the title away from Austin. The chaotic brawl that ensued was essentially the prototype for the Stone Cold-style match and one both men have said they consider one of the most exciting of their careers.
IN YOUR… BRAND NEW HOUSE!
Finally, who remembers that the very first IYH featured the company giving away an actual freakin’ house!?
11-year-old Matt Pomposelli was the lucky winner of this unique giveaway. And when WWE.com caught up with him in 2012, he revealed his family decided to sell the property months later, which funded his college education.