In 1995, WWE decided to expand their pay-per-view lineup beyond the Big Four shows with the introduction of "In Your House". These shorter, cheaper major shows would help the company build to something every month. This would improve the weekly television as well as present more opportunities for stars to stand out.
The first year started slow with not the most well built-up events for the In Your House brand. However, as the calendar changed to 1996, WWE would find a formula that would gain success throughout the years to come. The addition of sub names for these events also allowed for them to be identified in their own way as well.
With the NXT TakeOver: In Your House event on the horizon, it seems like a perfect time to look back on the rich history of these events. In this article, let's take a look at the top five best In Your House events in WWE history.
- In Your House: Mind Games (Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind)
- In Your House: Bad Blood (Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - Hell In A Cell Match)
- In Your House: Cold Day In Hell (Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin)
#5 In Your House: Buried Alive
- Undertaker vs. Mankind - Buried Alive Match
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
One of the overwhelming themes of In Your House was one match cards. Whether from the build-up or the aftermath, these major events are usually remembered for the show stealing encounter. Heading into In Your House: Buried Alive, the main event was where all the attention was centered.
The rivalry between Undertaker and Mankind was the Feud of the Year for WWE. The two iconic characters had built a brutal feud that had so many memorable moments and truly put the Mankind character on the map. Following their hard-hitting, insane Boiler Room Brawl at Summerslam 1996, this rivalry had gotten even more personal after Taker's longtime manager, Paul Bearer, turned on him.
With Bearer in his corner, Mankind embarked on a daunting task at this show, facing Undertaker in a Buried Alive Match. The object of the contest was to bury your opponent under dirt near the entrance way. The two men had a wild brawl all over the Market Square Arena with Taker gaining the victory. However, Mankind would get help from The Executioner to dump Taker in the grave afterwards.
This wasn't the only good bout on the show though. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley had a very good heel vs heel opening contest, with The Rattlesnake getting the win ahead of his showdown with Bret Hart at Survivor Series. Sid defeated Vader in a #1 Contenders Match to face Shawn Michaels for the WWF Title. It was a night of surprising quality up and down the card.
#4 In Your House: Over The Edge
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Dude Love w/Vince McMahon as special guest referee - WWF Championship Match
- The Nation vs. D-Generation-X - Six Man Tag Team Match
1998 was considered one of the most successful years in WWE history, with In Your House: Over The Edge being one of their best pay-per-views that year. This was another major show that was built on the back of a heavily pushed main event. The drama between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon was the top rivalry with Dude Love acting as the Chairman's proxy for this event.
At In Your House: Unforgiven 1998, Austin was disqualified after nailing Dude Love and Mr. McMahon with a steel chair. This led McMahon to name himself the special guest referee for their rematch at Over The Edge. To further stack the deck against Stone Cold, he made Pat Patterson the special guest ring announcer and Gerald Brisco the special guest timekeeper.
This became a crazy brawl all over the Wisconsin Center Arena, which led to the stipulation being changed multiple times to a No Disqualification Match and then to a Falls Count Anywhere Match. With everything against Austin here at In Your House: Over The Edge, Undertaker made the save, taking out Patterson and Brisco with a chokeslam through the broadcast table.
After Dude Love hit Mr. McMahon with a steel chair and the stooges were taken out, Austin hit Love with the Stone Cold Stunner and made the three count using McMahon's hand for the win. This insane contest was one of the matches that set the standard for what would become the WWE's main event style for the Attitude Era.
The rest of In Your House: Over The Edge 1998 featured The Rock and The Nation in prominent roles. The Rock was a part of multiple segments, including getting a piledriver on a chair from Faarooq ahead of their IC Title Match. Commissioner Slaughter made him defend his title still with The People's Champion beating Faarooq to retain his belt.
The Nation, represented by Owen Hart, Kama Mustafa and D-Lo Brown, defeated D-Generation X in a six-man tag team match later in the show. Another memorable moment at In Your House: Over The Edge was Marc Mero beating Sable in a match where Sable would have to leave WWF if she lost. Overall, this event is remembered for the main event, but it had plenty of Attitude Era staples.
#3 In Your House: Final Four
- Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs. Vader vs. Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Four Corners Elimination WWF Championship Match
- Chyna's debut
Heading into In Your House: Final Four, WWF Champion Shawn Michaels suffered an alleged knee injury that required him to take time off. This led to his infamous "Lost My Smile" promo. Following this, the WWF Championship was relinquished with the main event of the next event deciding the new champion.
At the Royal Rumble 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin won in controversial fashion. With the referees distracted by a brawl on the floor, Bret Hart eliminated Austin from the match. Austin noticed the referees did not see this and got back in the ring to eliminate Hart. He then eliminated Vader and Undertaker to win the match. This led to the main event of In Your House: Final Four
To end the controversy, the final four competitors were placed in a Four Corners Elimination Match with the vacant WWF Championship on the line. This contest was truly compelling, being the first of its kind in WWE history. It was a chaotic, fast paced encounter with all four men putting on tremendous performances.
All four men stood out in their own ways in this In Your House: Final Four main event. Austin being the dangerous heel and instigator of action, despite a banged up knee. Vader was intense and on his game here, putting in the best effort of his WWE run. Undertaker delivered and Bret Hart held everything together. In the end, Hart eliminated Taker to win his fourth WWF Championship.
Earlier at In Your House: Final Four, fans witnessed the first encounter between Rocky Maivia and Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the Intercontinental Championship. Although this wasn't as good as their later matches, the post match had an awesome debut. Goldust and Marlena distracted Helmsley leading to his loss, but Chyna debuted by choking out Marlena on the floor after the match.
There was also a fun tag contest with Owen Hart and British Bulldog losing to Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon by DQ. With these two matches and the shocking arrival of Chyna, In Your House: Final Four has to be considered among the best of 1997 and in the history of the event.
#2 In Your House: Beware Of Dog
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega - Caribbean Strap Match
- Undertaker vs. Goldust - Casket Match for the Intercontinental Championship
In Your House: Beware Of Dog is one of the most infamous events in WWE history. The pay-per-view night featured the craziest freak accident seen in wrestling. Due to a thunderstorm, the power went out during the event causing a blackout that meant only two matches were seen during the telecast. The company would hold an encore presentation two days later.
Despite this, the performances that were showcased over the two nights of In Your House: Beware Of Dog were good for the most part, with some even being career changing. Shawn Michaels defended the WWF Championship against the British Bulldog in the main event of the evening. Despite two all-time great superstars and 1996 being the year of HBK, this wasn't his best performance.
The main event was average at best with the no contest finish not helping matters. The result did lead to a better matchup the following month at King of the Ring, but the rest of the show delivered for the most part with the second night showcasing the best match of the card.
On night 2 of In Your House: Beware Of Dog, Stone Cold Steve Austin faced Savio Vega in a Caribbean Strap Match. It was a superbly paced and physical contest that stole the show. The final sequence and race to the final corner was captivating for the fans in attendance and watching from home.
Both competitors were mid-card stars, but this encounter more than showed that both were capable of much more. Austin showed his worth as one of the best wrestlers in the company leading to his King of the Ring win the following month. The opening match on night 1 of In Your House: Beware Of Dog was another quality matchup as well.
Marc Mero went against Hunter Hearst Helmsley in an entertaining bout over 16 minutes. It was a good encounter that kicked off the show well. Hunter controlled most of the contest until Mero made his comeback and got the win after Helmsley's head struck the ring post.
Along with a solid Casket Match with Goldust beating Undertaker thanks to Mankind, In Your House: Beware Of Dog will always be remembered for the unique nature of the two-night spectacle.
#1 In Your House: Canadian Stampede
- The Hart Foundation vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and Legion of Doom - Ten Man Tag Team Match
- Undertaker vs. Vader - WWF Championship Match
- Mankind vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
In Your House: Canadian Stampede came during arguably the most riveting television that WWE ever produced. 1997 is looked back on as the start of the Attitude Era with the feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Hart Foundation one of the all-time best.
The main event of In Your House: Canadian Stampede featured the entire Hart Foundation against Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and Legion of Doom in a Ten Man Tag Team Match. The insane brawl took place in front of a sold-out, hot crowd in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The hometown of The Hart Foundation was in uniamous support of the Hart Family and hated Stone Cold's team.
The crowd, action and intensity of this main event was off the charts. Austin was at his evil best, taking out Owen Hart early in the match. However, the youngest Hart would return to the bout and roll up Stone Cold for the win. The scene with the entire Hart Family celebrating this victory was quite the sight to behold.
Although the Ten Man Tag Team Match is the most talked about from In Your House: Canadian Stampede, the overall card is one of the best in company history. The opening match featuring Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley battling to a double countout was a very good chapter in their long rivalry.
The light heavyweight division kickstarted on this pay-per-view as well. Taka Michinoku faced The Great Sasuke in a revolutionary bout. The two Michinoku Pro stars put on a high-flying showcase that had never been seen before in WWE. The Undertaker-Vader WWF Championship Match brought a totally different style in a hard-hitting, bruising battle.
This pay-per-view had a little something for every wrestling fan. With a spectacular crowd, a diverse lineup, and an iconic main event, Canadian Stampede has to be considered the very best In Your House event in WWE history.