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WWE: The Best of In Your House(TV) (1995-2013)
No synopsis for WWE: The Best of In Your House.
For more about WWE: The Best of In Your House and the WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray release, see WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on May 13, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mankind, Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH
» See full cast & crew
WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray Review
Take it in.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, May 13, 2013
I feel like I'm in a time warp.
Big hair; loud clothes; electric pinks, lime greens, teals, and magentas; standard definition; and professional wrestling, all coming directly IN YOUR HOUSE, like, literally, Hakushi, Razor Ramon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Ken Shamrock are going to wrestle IN YOUR HOUSE! Or not. OK, so the name really wasn't spectacular -- it's not like all of the other Pay-Per-View events weren't broadcast "in your house" too -- but whatever. Back in the days of the rise of the Attitude Era and with stars like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Mankind on the roster, the then-WWF could have called the Pay-Per-View "Money Thief" or "Event Guaranteed to Suck" and fans would have still called in to order in droves, because most everything Vince McMahon's company touched back in those days turned to gold, anyway. In Your House was, regrettably, a fairly short-lived Pay-Per-View staple that began in May 1995 and ended in April 1999, not a particularly long run but it did offer multiple events per year, something the WWE has shied away from in recent times. It even spawned a mediocre video game on the old PlayStation console. Even if the name wasn't great and even if it lacked the prestige of the other events on the Pay-Per-View calendar -- WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, King of the Ring, Survivor Series -- it was nevertheless a fun yet kinda tacky-in-a-good-way event that promised nonstop action from the best superstars. As The Best of In Your House Blu-ray shows, the PPV didn't disappoint.
Though the In Your House PPV didn't enjoy the same prestige (or lifespan) of the more prominent and historically dominant WWE events, it did enjoy its fair share of classic match-ups, title battles, and general fun. The wrestler roster that appeared over the years is as deep as any event's four-year stretch in pro wrestling history, no surprise given the bevy of Superstars to emerge at the time, not to mention those already established legends-in-the-making who graced the colorful event with their bigger-than-life presences. It doesn't get any better than a tag match featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane, and Mankind. Title bouts between Shawn Michaels and Mankind, The Rock and Mankind, and Jeff Jarrett and Shawn Michaels represent just a taste of the kind of legendary participants who made In Your House a nearly half-decade rock of the WWF landscape. That's not even to mention some of the more uniquely entertaining matches, like one featuring HHH in a pigpen or Mankind and The Undertaker in a "Buried Alive" contest. One thing's for sure: The WWE/WWF never skimps on its pricy events; every minute is worth its length in dollars and cents, and The Best of In Your House is a quality showcase of the greatness that was during one of the most memorable stretches of time in professional wrestling history.
On the technical side of the ledger, WWE's Blu-ray is pretty much exactly what most of their classic compilation releases have been, with the notable exception of the excellent and in-depth Bret Hart: Dungeon Collection video. It's hosted by In Your House-era interviewer/commentator Todd Pettengill. Unlike the Hart release that offers detailed analysis of each match, this is a basic rapid-fire collection that shows events in their entirety but with only scant background information that Pettengill occasionally injects into the space between some of the matches. The insight isn't at all revelatory; he shares a few personal anecdotes and offers less insight into the nuts and bolts of the In Your House PPV lifespan than one can find with a ten second Google search, but here that seems satisfactory. The action does most of the talking and better defines the In Your House experience than any talking head ever could. It's so decidedly 90s that it basically screams all it has to say with every Shawn Michaels costume or colorful graphic. The release oozes an unmistakable sense of nostalgia that every WWE fan will feel with the case layout before even breaking the seal and, after, the 90s-inspired minimalist-but-colorful disc artwork. This is a no frills but very much entertaining throwback piece that captures the series' highlights with the same quality fans expect from WWE. Sure, full releases of each classic PPV would be preferable (though regrettably not cost-effective from either a production or consumption perspective) but this is a fine substitute that will please hardcore and casual wrestling fans alike.
The following In Your House matches are included:
WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Best of In Your House features pretty much the same sort of transfer fans have seen in previous standard definition-sourced Blu-ray releases from WWE. The HD Todd Pettengill segments look like pretty much any other; he appears in a dark-walled but well-lit room. The shadowy backgrounds can look a bit blocky, and light aliasing is seen at times, but generally the HD video source appears crisp and del defined, revealing the cardboard textures of the cutouts and the clothing and facial details nicely enough. The bulk of the material is made up of the 4x3 standard definition broadcast footage, here framed on either side by WWE-decorated "black bars" to preserve the original presentation ratio for 1.78:1 displays. As usual, the image is quite stable and very watchable, even if it suffers from a myriad of understandable and source-specific flaws. Cruddy details, muddy colors, only basic definition and sharpness, and all sorts of jagged lines and false colors define the image. This is a classic case of "it is what it is;" cliché as that may sound, it does hold true here. There's no making this look appreciably better, but as always the WWE's presentation ensures fans will enjoy this low quality material at the highest quality possible.
WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Best of In Your House features the WWE-standard Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and there's really not much at all to it. The Pettengill clips offer straightforward dialogue that comes through cleanly and accurately from the center. The audio accompanying the standard definition video doesn't offer much room for detailed exploration. It's also very much focused up the middle with terribly limited range but adequate clarity. There's certainly a light muddiness to even the ringside commentary. Crowd noise never stretches its legs to immerse the home video audience, and various sounds of wrestlers falling to the mat and crashing onto one another lack the sort of heft found in the newer releases. This at least provides a basic, functional listen but no more.
WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Best of In Your House contains several additional matches and moments.
Disc One Blu-ray Exclusives:
Disc Two Blu-ray Exclusives:
WWE: The Best of In Your House Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Best of In Your House will delight wrestling fans who pine for the good old days of loud clothes, big hair, exaggerated colors, and some of the finest wrestling the world has ever seen. The short-lived In Your House Pay-Per-View will be remembered for the legacy built by the passage of some of the finest performers of all time through its lifespan. Though it's gone the way of the cassette tape, the LaserDisc, and the "WWF" monicker, In Your House holds up as an impressive venture, thanks more to the stars than anything special the event did to stand apart from it peers. Wrestling fans now have the opportunity to enjoy the cream of the crop all over again through another rock-solid WWE compilation title. Video and audio are satisfactory for the material and the supplements, while not deep, are largely enjoyable. Highly recommended to nostalgia-hungry wrestling fans.
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