Welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing, so let’s get right to…
THE MAIN EVENT
This lockdown has me watching a lot of television, especially the WWE channel that we have. Couple that with nostalgic thoughts, and I figured what better way to pass the time than by going back in time and reviewing one of many older shows that I haven’t watched before. So, for my very first retro review, I bring to you…
WWE In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies
This is the very first New Gen PPV I’ll be watching from top to bottom so it will be interesting to see if I enjoy it. Decent opening video package highlighting the main event, Shawn Michaels vs Diesel. McMahon and King are on commentary and Vince sounds HYPED.
British Bulldog & Owen Hart vs Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson.
Should I feel ashamed that I’ve never watched a full match from either of these men? From what I can gather, Roberts and Bulldog have been feuding and the latter is super scared of snakes. Funnily enough, a court order is produced to send the snake away from ringside. Jake rips up the court order and attacks Bulldog’s entourage, Jim Cornette and Owen Hart included. Jake eventually takes his snake to the back, however the snake was supposed to be his backup. Jake comes out with Ahmed Johnson and this is confusingly a tag team match now.
Ahmed Johnson is super over and I’ve read many opinions on him not having the WWE career some expected. He certainly has impressive strength, and an impressive amount of baby oil on his body… The crowd eats up everything he does though. Jake Roberts is fairly slow and prodding, but I’m assuming his best days are behind him. His DDT finisher, however, is over. Owen Hart and British Bulldog make a good team and they’re the ones really keeping this match together, especially Owen who appears to be a good seller.
Pretty standard affair for a tag match, but what boosts this match is the energy and investment the crowd has. A large part of the match saw Owen and Bulldog double-team Roberts. After Bulldog hits Jake with a foreign object, he picks up the victory by making Roberts submit. Not a bad match, although basic in its execution. The crowd involvement really helped this match.
We cut backstage and we see WWE has a telephone number that you can call into for some reason.
Goldust vs Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Championship)
Very strange seeing Goldust in full transgender gear. I bet he was a very controversial character at the time. According to the commentators, Goldust injured his knee while falling in an attempt to flee from Warrior earlier in the night when Marlena blew smoke in his face. ‘Dust with the knee bandaged. Warrior gets a big entrance and he is a ball of energy. By all accounts, Warrior was never good in the ring so I wonder how he’ll do at this stage of his career.
Goldust flees before the match starts, making it as far as the entrance way. However, Warrior lures him back by… smoking a cigar and sitting on a chair. So apparently Warrior is sitting in Marlena’s chair, which is apparently why Goldust is so upset. Its hard to think the Dustin Rhodes I see today used to be this Goldust. Warrior now taunting Goldust with his robe and he finally gets in the ring. I guess he has a problem with people touching his stuff.
Goldust now sits on the chair in the middle of the ring and touches Warrior, who in turn burns his hand with the cigar. A clothesline later and Goldust retreats, gets counted out and retains the I.C Title. Warrior then beats up Goldust’s bodyguard after the match. This just felt like prolonged filler and a waste of time. The fans loved it for some reason.
Backstage, Bulldog and Owen is in front of Shawn Michael’s locker room and Bulldog wants to get in for some reason.
Razor Ramon vs Vader
Another two wrestlers who I’ve never seen an entire match from before. I’m excited to watch this one. I hope Vader lives up to the hype and I want to see why Ramon was so beloved during this run. Before the match, they show how Vader took out Yokozuna’s leg three weeks prior so it appears to me like he’s getting beast booking. I’m sure they wouldn’t let just anyone own Yoko like that, even though his career was dwindling quickly at this time. Oh, and Vader is also managed by Jim Cornette. That guy is all over the place.
The early stages of this match show Vader overpowering Ramon, early signs of the story they looking to tell in this match. However, Ramon is no pushover and he’s actually able to the get the better of Vader during certain points in the match. This is turning out to be a nice back and forth match between the two big men. Vader eventually nails a Vader Bomb but Ramon kicks out and nobody can believe it! Well, come to 2020 and kicking out is pretty much expected.
I thought this match was pretty good. Both men really brought it and I can see why they’re legends. Vader gets the win after reversing the Razors Edge and then hitting a standing Banzai drop. Once again this crowd was very much into this match. After the match, it’s announced that Vader will face Yoko at the next PPV. At least they following up on a feud.
Backstage, Undertaker and Paul Bearer are sitting next to the “guys who are on cyber space”, for no reason. Anyway, is that what they used to call the internet in 1996?
Apparently, the number that you dial to get through to WWE is just to order merchandise. Jeez, I forgot they used to do things that way back then.
Boddydonnas vs The Godwinns (World Tag Team Championships)
Sunny accompanies the Boddydonnas and damn, I have to say she looks mighty fine. I’m not too familiar with either of these teams as I haven’t read much about them. Not much to say here as both these tag teams seem pretty basic and uninspiring. However, that does come from someone who is watching a full show from the New Gen for the first time. Sunny, however, is definitely not basic. Wow, I actually saw a hurricanrana in this match.
Sunny distracts one of the Godwinns with a sexy picture of her and I certainly don’t blame him for getting distracted. This causes the Boddydonnas to pick up the win by cheating after the commotion Sunny’s picture caused. This match actually wasn’t bad at all. I must say, from where I’m sitting, more of the focus was put on Sunny than the World Tag Team Champions. I guess they were catering to “Hogan’s kids” who were now hitting puberty. Wise choice.
Backstage, Marc Mero cuts a promo on HHH who he’ll be facing at the next PPV. He sounds super crazy with a mix of creepy. Anyway, Sable was there and she was nice to look at.
Shawn Michaels vs Diesel (No Holds Barred Match for the WWF Championship)
A nice video package which details their history together and it’s actually quite interesting to see. I’ll go into a bit more detail in the Dark Match section. Before the match, two short promos from both champion and challenger, with the interesting part being Diesel calling Michael’s fans “clicksters”. So even back then they were subtly breaking the forth wall. I’ve never like Kevin Nash in the ring. Granted, I only saw him wrestle from 2003 onward so he might have been good during this time. McMahon is putting Shawn heavily over as the leader of the New Generation. Michael’s is over, but not as over as I thought he’d be during this time. He still looks like an arrogant prick, or maybe I just see him as a heel still, especially since that’s been his alignment for the majority of the time after The Rockers split.
I’m curious to see what a No Holds Barred match looks like in 1996. This bout starts off pretty intensely with Michaels taking the fight to Diesel. That doesn’t last long though as Diesel soon takes control. Diesel hits the referee for no reason and takes the referee’s belt to beat Shawn with it. Nice spot. This was pretty much and aggressive brawl for the most part, which included a ring bell, belt, chairs, fire extinguisher and a table spot. During the match Diesel even took off someone’s prosthetic leg! Shawn then hit him with the prosthetic leg and followed up with Sweet Chin Music to win the match.
I really, really enjoyed this match. It was hard-hitting, fairly emotional and you could feel the intensity between the two men. Also, the stakes were high as not only was the title on the line, but apparently the title of leader of the New Generation as well. I thought Michaels won that title when he defeated Hart at Wrestlemania? Admittedly, Kevin Nash is much better than I expected and I thought he and Shawn meshed well. Although, Shawn can make almost anyone look good with his selling. Really good match!
Overall I didn’t think this PPV was good. In fact, it didn’t feel like an honest to goodness PPV at all. Perhaps they were still on a trial bases with the monthly IYH PPV’s? I don’t know, but I do know this show would get a lot of hate for being shit in today’s era. This “PPV” could have easily been a SME broadcast or even a RAW. With only five matches (four actual matches) and only two of them being any good, this just seemed like a waste of time. I won’t put the New Generation in a negative light because of this one PPV, but this is not a very good impression. However, I still have much more to watch so I’ll reserve judgement until I do. Overall, this show is not worth a watch despite having two good matches, and Sunny, on the card.
Did Shawn Michaels Almost Get Jannettyd?
Has anybody ever thought about why Diesel won the WWF Championship before Shawn Michaels? I found it to be quite interesting. Did Michaels almost get Jannettyd? It’s funny because according to my research, Michaels was the person who got Diesel into the company as they were friends in real life. From starting out as Shawn’s bodyguard and hardly competing in matches to eventually surpassing the man who brought him into WWE in the first place is an intriguing development.
You’d think Shawn would be the one to hit the top level first, yet it was someone who played a much lesser role than Shawn who managed to attain the top spot. And he held the WWF Championship for 358 days no less! Hell, he even defeated Michaels to retain that very title at Wrestlemania XI! So how did it come to be that Diesel was chosen over Michaels? How was it possible that Shawn almost got Janettyd by someone who he requested be signed?
Well, for starters, I think this can almost easily by digestible when you consider Vince’s love for big men. At seven foot tall and weighing over three hundred pounds, Diesel perfectly fit into the category of men Vince deemed to have the size to fit the role. That is quite possibly the main factor that contributed to Diesel being pushed so quickly to the moon. And during that time Vince didn’t really have any of his beloved big guys to run amok in the main event scene so Diesel was likely a blessing to him.
But once he finally got the nod you’d imagine Shawn Michaels’ being pretty upset. By all accounts Shawn was not the greatest of people during this time period, so one has to wonder if he felt any jealousy toward Diesel at the time. The Kliq was up and running by then and I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall in The Kliq’s locker room to see if there were any negative feelings from Shawn. It must be considered a slap in the face when someone you ushered into the company surpasses you. Hell, Diesel even used his popularity to help Shawn turn face!
Perhaps for a short time it can be argued that Shawn temporarily got Jannettyd, even though he was an upper midcarder during Diesel’s WWF Championship run. Luckily for Shawn, Diesel’s popularity began to dwindle. That possibly worked heavily in Shawn’s favour, who might have taken longer to reach that brass ring had Diesel maintained his popularity. We all know how the story ends, but for that 358 days Diesel was the man, whilst Shawn was arguably becoming a term used in wrestling that his actions created.
It’s funny when you think about it now, considering how much of a major player Shawn Michaels would become. Shawn was deemed better than Marty Jannetty in the same way Diesel was viewed as a better candidate for WWF Champion than Michaels was. Therefore, it can be argued that for the shortest time, Shawn did indeed get Jannetyd.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. I would love to hear from fans who lived through the New Generation. How would you rate Good Friends, Better Enemies? Do you think Shawn Michaels almost got Jannettyd? Please leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can pop me an email at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @donfranclop. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time folks…
This is Don Franc signing out.
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