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[1995-12-17-WWF-In Your House V] Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith

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This is a great match, one I believe holds up well today. I can still remember watching it on Raw during the early days of it being broadcast on TSN in Canada, when it was on late at night on a Friday or Saturday (this would not change until early-97). I guess airing the match on TV was a ploy to sway viewers away from Nitro.

 

Anyway, I look at this match, along with the debut of Goldust and Hart regaining the strap, as a symbol of the awakening of the WWF in late-95 after the long coma that was Diesel's run on top. I had missed most of 95 and was just getting back into wrestling when this match aired. The addition of blood, at a time when it was extremely rare in WWF rings (first juice since Mania 8?), helped kick things up a notch, as did Davey's use of the powerslam on the floor and Bret using la magistral for the pin.

 

Just a fantastic match in my books. Totally different and more exciting than their more famous encounter in Wembley.

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Totally different and more exciting than their more famous encounter in Wembley.

You know, I never really thought of that. It's a testament to both guys that they could have two great matches that scarcely resemble each other.

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I have actually never seen this match, so I'm looking forward to watching it. In the buildup, Davey Boy and Diana sitting by the Christmas tree talking about how Bret Hart is a liar and a horrible person with family time smiles on their faces (also on the yearbook) was outstanding.

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the WWF aired the match on the 1/8/96 edition of RAW. They aired the hog pen match the week before.

 

they had planned on airing the entire Royal Rumble match on TV before they regained their sanity

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I also prefer this to the Summerslam match, which I always thought was really overrated. It takes a while to get going, and the finish is kind of out of nowhere, but the middle part is awesome. Come to think of it, did Bret have any pre-Wrestlemania title defenses that ended with anything other than a fluke roll-up or a crappy schmoz finish?

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the WWF aired the match on the 1/8/96 edition of RAW. They aired the hog pen match the week before.

WWF also aired the Undertaker vs King Mabel casket match on WWF Superstars a few weeks after In Your House 5. So they aired three big matches from that same PPV a few weeks after it aired.

 

I never heard about them wanting to air the entire Royal Rumble match, where did you hear that?

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Watched this last night. I agree with Ricky that this is a great match. Bulldog brings the crazy bumps and I loved his powerslam to the outside on Bret. Meanwhile, Bret bleeds a lot and the cameras try not to keep focus on it but Lawler continues to mention it. The end came out of nowhere though.

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I have actually never seen this match, so I'm looking forward to watching it. In the buildup, Davey Boy and Diana sitting by the Christmas tree talking about how Bret Hart is a liar and a horrible person with family time smiles on their faces (also on the yearbook) was outstanding.

Davey wearing the Summerslam '92 t-shirt was a nice touch.

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So the first half of this is ... *runs and hides* ... really boring. When Bret starts bleeding, the match gets really interesting, because it goes from Bret-by-the-numbers to Bret fighting for his life. He feels like a huge underdog at that point and has a pretty dramatic comeback. I love La Magistral, and I'm happy to see it as a finish. Don't get me wrong -- this was a really good match -- but maybe it looks better without seeing everything else going on in the world at this point.

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Guest DWS

I also like it better than the SummerSlam '92 match. I liked how Bret's usual moveset is countered towards the ends.

 

Three little things that bug me about it:

-Bulldog's pants. They're billed as being "the same ones he wore at Wembley", but they're not. It just sticks out to me because he seems to stop after every other move and pull them up. Thus, the first time I saw this match, I bought into the "same pants" thing and chuckled that his old pants didn't fit him.

 

-Diana Smith with her Mutant Eyelashes and Polka Dot Shirt getting way too much screen time.

 

-Bret doing a reverse-splash from the apron to the floor; which allows Bulldog to catch him perfectly for the running powerslam.

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Bret hit that dive successfully in the Hakushi Raw match, so it wasn't a brand new spot created so he could fall onto Davey's shoulder.

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Guest DWS

Bret hit that dive successfully in the Hakushi Raw match, so it wasn't a brand new spot created so he could fall onto Davey's shoulder.

Did not know that. So in that case it's not a custom spot but rather a "well-scouted" tactic on Davey's part. You've improved my appreciation of the match :)

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I saw this for the first time a few months ago, and I was with Loss. I just couldn't understand the big deal besides Bret getting opened up and the finish wasn't typical of the WWF. I'm probably gonna watch this again sometime soon, so I'm hoping something changes for me.

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Probably my favourite Bret match. Feels very intense and heated, it's a great example of how blood can really help a match, as it steps up a notch after Bret gets busted, and he brings out an aggressive side that you don't often see. Both guys bring out pretty much everything in their movesets, it all fits together beautifully and is paced perfectly. Has the feeling of a champion desperately battling through the pain to win, matches like this give the belt so much more value. Incredibly compelling match, believable near falls, has everything you can want from a mainstream US style main event.

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Sort of disappointing--I agree, the first part of this didn't really hold up, as it was very Bret-by-numbers and Davey-by-numbers. Once Davey crotches Bret on the top rope on the superplex attempt, this picks up in a hurry. There are some great spots to follow, including a payback spot to spark Bret's comeback, the powerslam on the floor, and of course the blood (!). Still, I think the blood sort of gives this match a rep that it doesn't quite earn on its own--it simply can't match SummerSlam for atmosphere and uniqueness of the story being told. And Davey didn't seem sure whether to work the cut or work Bret's back. And this is an incredibly nitpicky point, but given all the talk about Wembley in the build-up to this, I really wanted to see a re-do of the SummerSlam sunset flip finish, with Bret kicking out. Still a fine match, thanks to the balls-out closing stretch, but I no longer think it's better than SummerSlam.

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When I first saw this (when it aired free on Raw a couple of weeks later) I thought it was a fair bit better than the Summerslam match. In retrospect though, I think it was the blood which coloured (so to speak) my judgement at the time.

This really is a cracking match all the same. There are some amazing spots (I've no idea how Bret took that crotching from the height he did, and Davey Boy's mad flip bump in the corner), awesome visuals (The blood splattering in the power slam spot) and the story of them being very familiar rivals and partners, all woven into a smoothly and cleverly executed wrestling match.

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Put me in the camp that thinks the Summerslam 1992 match is better.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart vs British Bulldog - In Your House V

 

Between September 1995-June 1996, there were ten PPVs, Bulldog main evented half of them. Pretty crazy stat that often goes over looked, This match has a pretty huge reputation, not quite as big as Summerslam in WWF lore, but in terms of match ratings. This is either my third or fourth time watching it, I come away with the same thoughts each time. This first half is boring and the second half is badass. First half is Bret formula to a tee with an unmotivated Davey Boy. Bret's bulldog and piledriver look nice, but Bulldog was chinlock city. On top of that no struggle, just moving spot to spot. Just too neat. Once Davey Boy crotched Bret Hart on the top rope when Hitman was trying to do a superplex the match picked up in a big way. Bret slams his head into the edge of the steel steps in order to blade, but make seem like it was hardway (I think that was his intent) as I imagine Vince was not thrilled about this. Bullodg kicked some ass here. Piledriver and delayed vertical suplex all great blood rushing to the head spots. Loved the press slam. I think he jammed his knee pretty good on the diving headbutt. Bret sprinkling in some hope spots helped give some struggle. I liked Bret diving out onto Bulldog. Then trying the Vaderomb on the outside to be caught with the POWERSLAM on the floor. That was big. Bulldog really wants to hurt him and exposes the concrete, but Bret crotches him on the railing (receipt), clothesline city. Great clothesline really! He finally gets to hit his superplex that is how this all started! I really think that should have been the finish. They do some rollups to try to recreate the Wembley magic, but it is off and La Magistral feels abrupt.

 

Tale of two halves, first half is formulaic and second half is bloody and dramatic. Finish is too abrupt also. No way is this better than Summerslam 92. ***3/4

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Like people have said it was pretty boring early on. The pace picked up, but then there was this surreal moment when Bret decided to blade after going back first into the ring post. WTF? That took me out of it and I'd lost interest in the match by the end. How anyone could prefer this to Summerslam 92 is mystifying.

 

Despite not liking the action in the ring, this was one of the most fun chapters of the Yearbook. The real entertainment was the frequent close ups of Diana Hart Smith. She was comedy gold. I'm not sure if it was acting per se. Pretending to be something or someone else requires a rudimentary level of intelligence. It's the same impression I get when watching my guinea pigs staring into space sometimes. There's not a lot going on in there.

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The only highlight of a lackluster IYH PPV. This is arguably better than their Wembley match as these two simply don't like each other anymore. They work a lot of technical wrestling spots into this, and to their credit, none of it looks out of place. This match is yet another carryjob by Bret, but Bulldog clearly isn't in the rough state he was in '92. Bret bumps like mad for Smith, with him attempting to land an Asai Vaderbomb, only for Bulldog to violently Powerslam him on the mats outside. Bret bleeds like a pig, and you can hear Vince getting pissed off by asking for the production guys not to show any close-ups, robbing us of some great visuals. Cheers Vinnie Mac. The finish came out of nowhere with Bret Hart retaining by rolling up Bulldog in a La Magistral, a fancy looking pin that doesn't really lend itself to creating an appropriate conclusion for such a personal feud.

★★★★¼

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