WWF In Your House 3 (1995): A Retrospective Review

The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) of the mid-90s, finding itself at the crossroads of the larger-than-life superhero era and the burgeoning Attitude era, attempted to bridge the gap with diverse character showcases and storytelling. “In Your House 3,” which took place on September 24, 1995, is emblematic of this period—a mixture of traditional wrestling, character-driven plots, and a hint of what was to come. Central to this transition was the elevation of “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and the reign of “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel as the WWF champion.

Savio Vega vs. Waylon Mercy:

Kicking off the event, Savio Vega took on the eerie Waylon Mercy—a character inspired by Robert De Niro’s Max Cady from “Cape Fear”. This matchup was an example of WWF’s character-rich mid-card, where the company built narratives around unique gimmicks. While not a technical masterclass, it was an engaging battle that saw Vega come out on top. Mercy’s character, though short-lived in WWF, was a precursor to Bray Wyatt’s chilling persona years later.

Sycho Sid vs. Henry O. Godwinn:

A bout that showcased power moves and raw aggression, Sid, being managed by Ted DiBiase, was on the ascendant, while Godwinn played the role of the sturdy mid-carder. Sid’s victory was expected, as he was being built as one of the company’s primary heels.

The British Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:

Two versatile big men clashed in a bout that had decent in-ring action. Bulldog, transitioning to a heel role and aligning with Jim Cornette, was being prepped for bigger storylines, and this win solidified his push. Bigelow, ever the reliable hand, contributed to making this a worthwhile watch.

Dean Douglas vs. Razor Ramon:

An interesting feud, with the schoolteacher gimmick of Douglas clashing with the “bad guy” persona of Ramon. Behind the scenes, Shane Douglas (who portrayed Dean Douglas) has often spoken about his tumultuous stint in WWF, and this match epitomized it. Ramon clinched the victory, further solidifying his position as one of the company’s top babyfaces.

Diesel, Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna, British Bulldog:

The main event carried a unique stipulation—the WWF Championship and the Intercontinental Championship were on the line, with Diesel and Michaels respectively holding those titles. Behind the scenes, Shawn Michaels was gradually being elevated to main event status, mirroring the real-life camaraderie he shared with Diesel (Kevin Nash).

The match was chaotic, with Michaels and Diesel displaying their synergy, while Yokozuna and Bulldog showcased moments of dissent. The initial celebration of Diesel and Michaels as victors was marred by controversy due to the interference of Owen Hart (who wasn’t originally part of the match). Later, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon would rectify the outcome, letting Michaels and Diesel retain their individual titles.

Behind-the-Scenes Narrative and The Kliq:

This PPV came at a time when WWF was trying to create a fresher product in the face of competition from WCW. Diesel’s run as WWF Champion was marked by attempts to build a new face for the company post-Hogan. However, business-wise, Diesel’s reign was often criticized for not drawing as expected. Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels’ push was more organic, with the audience gradually warming up to his in-ring prowess and charisma.

“In Your House 3” was also significant for its off-camera narratives. The Kliq—a backstage group consisting of Diesel, Michaels, Ramon, Triple H, and the 1-2-3 Kid—was becoming increasingly influential in terms of match outcomes and story direction.

Their combined star power was set to be showcased in the main event, where both their titles were on the line against Yokozuna and the British Bulldog. It’s not far-fetched to suggest that The Kliq’s backstage influence played a role in placing two of its members in such a high-profile match and/or capturing all the WWF championships.

However, one can’t talk about the event without highlighting the unusual match outcome. The initial finish saw Diesel and Michaels win, only for the decision to be later reversed due to Owen Hart’s interference. Given The Kliq’s reputation, many speculated that the convoluted finish was a way to ensure Diesel and Michaels stayed strong without necessarily taking the tag titles.


“In Your House 3” stands as an intriguing snapshot of WWF in 1995—juggling with its identity and laying down seeds for its future. While not every match was a show-stealer, the evolution of Michaels and the portrayal of Diesel as a fighting champion showcased WWF’s attempts to recalibrate its direction. It’s a must-watch for those interested in observing the company’s transitional phase, providing insights into both the on-screen drama and the behind-the-scenes machinations.

While “In Your House 3” was just one of many events during this period, it’s emblematic of the larger influence The Kliq wielded. Tales of them burying other talents, dictating finishes, or altering storylines to suit their desires became part of wrestling folklore. They were often criticized for using their backstage pull to ensure they remained at the top, often at the expense of other deserving wrestlers.

However, on the flip side, one can argue that their influence helped shift WWF’s direction towards a more edgy, realistic product. They were early proponents of treating wrestling as something real post-1980s Hulkamania Era. It was that renewed realism that would become the cornerstone of the “Attitude Era” that followed just two years later.

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