Thursday, 18 April 2019

Top 10 Best Ever WWF In Your House Matches

WWE / WWF In Your House logo - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches
Next week on Retro Pro Wrestling we'll be looking at Backlash 1999, the 28th and final ever instalment of In Your House.

That means that, over the past few years, we've been through every single In Your House event ever and, you know what?

There was a lot of good stuff to enjoy on those shows.

Sure, there was a lot of crap too, but while the In Your House brand may have a certain whiff of mid-90s, New Generation era cheese about it, the 28-show series did actually produce a lot -and I mean a lot- of good matches.

So, to celebrate this milestone on the road to reviewing every WWF PPV up to Wrestlemania 30, I thought we'd take a look back at the ten best In Your House matches ever.

Before we do, a word about how I determined which matches made the list, and in which order they made it.






The following list is based on nothing more than how much I personally enjoyed the match. I'm not necessarily too concerned with the technical excellence of the wrestlers, the work rate or any of that nonsense - it's all about how much fun I had watching a bunch of men pretending to fight each other.

Without further ado then, here's just ten of the best WWF In Your House matches to have taken place between 1995 and 1999.

10: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel 

In Your House 7: Good Friends Better Enemies


As a 12 year-old kid back in 1996, I absolutely loved this match, and not just for the spot where Michaels and Diesel used Mad Dog Vachon's false leg a weapon.

This dramatic and violent (by the WWF's standards) No Holds Barred match was, in many ways, a precursor to the kind of stuff we'd later see in the Attitude Era, but of course, at the time I didn't know that.

All I knew was that this was a match unlike anything I'd seen as a WWF fan, and I absolutely loved it.

Watching it back years later, I was delighted to find that it had lost none of its appeal.

A forgotten highlight of the mid-90s, this is a match I highly recommend you check out.

9:  WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog 


In the first draft of this list, nine out of the ten matches included Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, or Stone Cold Steve Austin. While that does go to show what a great body of work those men created, I thought it might be good to change things up a little, so I put this match in. 

Not that the December 1995 match doesn't deserve a spot. With The British Bulldog challenging brother-in-law Bret for the title, all the attributes were there to make this one a fine follow-up to their Summerslam 1992 classic. 

In my original review, I wrote:

A hard-hitting, dramatic and utterly captivating main event match, things started off slow with some back-and-forth mat action before the two combatants gradually picked up the pace, beating the living daylights out of each other inside and outside of the ring
I stand by that. This may not have been my first choice for inclusion on the list, but it certainly belongs here.

8: Non-Sanctioned, Anything Goes Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and WWF European Champion Owen Hart vs. Triple H, Savio Vega, and WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James) w/ Chyna


On the road to Wrestlemania 14, Steve Austin was at war with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Owen Hart had their issues, and The New Age Outlaws were a thorn in the side of Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. 

All eight men were set to meet in one big, eight-man tag team match but then Shawn Michaels suffered a devastating back injury and despite being advertised for the show, was switched out at the last minute for Savio Vega.

The wrestling world groaned in unison at such a poor substitute, but even that didn't stop this from being an incredibly fun main event that got us all well and truly fired up for 'Mania.

7: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels 

Ground Zero: In Your House 17

Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at In Your House Ground Zero - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

OK, so this wasn't the greatest Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match ever. Heck, it isn't even the greatest Undertaker/Michaels match on this list, but it's still very, very, very good.

The whole thing came about when Michaels, in his role as special referee, cost The Undertaker the WWF title to The Hitman back at Summerslam 1997 and would eventually lead -via Badd Blood- to a casket match at Royal Rumble 1998, the same casket match that would cause Michaels the injury which kept him out of the aforementioned No Way Out match.

Its context in wrestling history aside, however, this was was a fantastic match that saw Undertaker absolutely demolish Michaels before the whole thing descended into utter carnage.

Everything about it was an absolute joy to watch from start to finish.

6: WWF European Champion D’Lo Brown vs. X-Pac w/ Chyna 

Judgement Day: In Your House 25



Originally the only match on this list not to feature Austin, Michaels or 'Taker, X-Pac vs. D'Lo Brown was a surprising highlight of the WWF's 1998 pay per view offering.

The two met multiple times that year, but I don't think they ever quite managed to make the kind of magic they made back at Judgement Day.

5: Final Four Way Match for the Vacant World Wrestling Federation Championship
Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart


A little after Shawn Michaels lost his smile, four of the WWF's biggest stars met in a brutally brilliant, brilliantly brutal four-way match to determine which one of them would win the title that poor old HBK had vacated.

The match is perhaps most memorable for Vader being busted wide open and wrestling the bulk of the match looking as though somebody had caved his face in with a hammer - this at the time when blood wasn't a common sight on WWF TV.

Still, that wasn't the only highlight. 

All four men worked their asses off to put on a compelling main event that was undoubtedly one of 1997's best. 

4: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind 

In Your House 10: Mind Games


Shawn Michaels vs Mankind at In Your House: Mind Games - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

Mick Foley famously said that this was his favourite match and, when you watch it, it's easy to see why.

Foley was in the best shape of his career here, keeping up with champion Michaels for the better part of 30 minutes.

This one had it all. Actual wrestling holds (even from Mankind), wild, crazy brawling, and yes, Foley destroying his body by crashing off the top turnbuckle into the Spanish announce table.

In fact, just reading my original review makes me want to go back and relive the excitement of it all over again.

A true classic that was just about as good as you were going to get in 1996.

3: The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, and The Legion of Doom 

In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 


Canadian Stampede is up there among my favourite PPVs of all time, and this fantastically enjoyable match is a big part of the reason why.

Of course, the match had the novelty value that the roles were reversed here. The Hart Foundation - usually the biggest heels in the company, were beloved babyfaces in their home country of Canada, making popular faces Austin, Goldust, Shamrock and the LOD into firm heels.

But that was only part of what made this such a wonderful match.

All ten men brought their A-game on that hot, summer night in Calgary. Add to that a red-hot crowd the likes of which you rarely saw in mid-90s WWF, and you had the perfect combination for a truly memorable main event.

2: WWF Champion Steve Austin vs. The Rock 

Backlash: In Your House 28



Yes, I'm cheating a little here. I haven't yet posted the review for Backlash, but man, this return match from Wrestlemania 15 was just so good that there was no way I couldn't include it.

Austin and Rock always worked well together, but in this April 1999 bout the two really excelled.

By using Austin's Attitude Era Main Event blueprint (wild brawling, trips up and down the ilse, a blatant disregard for the rules) and adding in Rock's own unique way of delivering an entertaining match (doing his own mid-match commentary for example), the late 90s' two biggest stars put on an impeccable performance that is well worth tracking down.

1: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Badd Blood: In Your House 18


Didn't I tell you that their outing at Ground Zero wasn't the best Undertaker/Michaels match?

Just when you thought the two couldn't top their September '97 outing, they locked up again a month later in the first ever Hell in a Cell match.

By far the most violent WWF match in history up to that point, this one didn't just pave the way for what was to come, it set a standard for Hell in a Cell matches that only Mick Foley's career-defining moment in 1998 could match.

Here's what I said about it in my original review:

Certainly, one of the best matches of the year, most likely one of the best matches of the 90s, and easily the greatest match of its type, this groundbreaking first Hell in a Cell match was gloriously violent and brilliantly entertaining from beginning to end.

I don't believe I'm exaggerating there either. This really was that good.

In fact, it wasn't just good, it was important.

What a lot of people forget about this match is that it was a number one contender's match. The winner would earn a title shot against Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, and we all know what happened there.

Plus there's the novelty of this being the first ever Hell in a Cell match and, oh yeah, a certain wrestler called Kane happened to debut in this match.





Combine all of these factors together, and I'm prepared to say that this wasn't just the best In Your House match from a technical standpoint, it was also the most important.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.