Classic Wrestling Review: King of the Ring ’95

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

King of the Ring

June 25, 1995

CoreStates Spectrum

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: Welcome to my 100th entry on this blog! It’s hard to believe I have written one-hundred of these. What better way is there to celebrate than reviewing one of the worst PPVs of all-time? I want to thank everyone who reads on a regular basis. If you enjoy these reviews, spread the word. I would love seeing the readership grow. Tell a friend and share the links on Facebook and Twitter. Now, let’s get into this stinker of an event.

The primary focus of the show is the tournament itself. In fact, there are no title matches. Vince apparently thought the tourney was enough to carry the program. I’m unsure how considering the field of competitors. This is perhaps the weakest group to date. It becomes even worse when you look at who was eliminated early or didn’t participate. Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Lex Luger, Jeff Jarrett, The 1-2-3 Kid, and Hakushi all do not wrestle on this event. Razor Ramon was supposed to be in the tournament. He suffered a rib injury during a ladder match with Jarrett. They would replace him by holding a qualifying match on the preshow. Don’t get excited. The qualifier is between Savio Vega and IRS. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are the biggest names in the tournament, but the WWF still finds a way to botch it.

You may ask why the WWF Title isn’t defended on this PPV. Diesel had a legitimate elbow injury. He was cleared to wrestle, but Vince booked a tag match to alleviate the stress on his champion. Diesel teams with Bam Bam Bigelow to face Sid & Tatanka. The injury prevented the match from having much of a build. It mostly centers around Diesel’s quest to get revenge on Sid for attacking Shawn Michaels. Speaking of which, Michaels returned to TV and won a King of the Ring qualifier against King Kong Bundy. After the match, Diesel and Bam Bam arrived to congratulate him. Diesel offered a handshake to his old friend. Shawn didn’t want it. He asked for a high-five instead. Diesel held up his arm and Shawn gave him a jumping five before they hugged.

There is one more feud to mention before we begin. Jerry Lawler continued mocking Bret Hart and his family. Beating Bret at In Your House wasn’t enough. Bret finally snapped and confronted Lawler at the commentary table. Hart even called him a piece of shit and it wasn’t censored. I recall being shocked when I saw it live. He challenged Jerry to any type of match. Lawler chose a stipulation where the loser would kiss the winner’s foot. He then spent weeks making his foot as dirty as possible. Jerry would stand in dirt and horse manure. He refused to wash. Lawler wanted it as rancid as possible when Bret kissed his foot.

The show opens with an aerial shot of downtown Philadelphia from the WWF blimp. Vince tells everyone Captain Kerwin Silfies is flying over the city. This is an inside joke. Kerwin is the name of one of the WWF’s directors. Vince then talks about the history of Philadelphia, but he says monarchy will rule over it tonight.

Regal music plays us into the event (no, not Lord Steven Regal), and we’re greeted by Stephanie Wiand. She says we all know the last qualifying match took place on the preshow. Don’t tell me what I do and don’t know, Stephanie! She also says they’re proud to present the match in its entirety. It’s Savio Vega vs. IRS. They can’t be that proud!

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Savio Vega (w/ Razor Ramon) vs. Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Ted DiBiase)

Notes: Razor accompanies Savio to the ring. Ramon’s ribs are taped, which means his belly because wrestlers apparently have a ribcage that extends to their hips. They enter through a set of fancy double-doors that are manned by a pair of enhancement talent. Wait a second. Those guys look familiar.

The doormen are Matt and Jeff Hardy! They were quite young here and had short haircuts, but it’s definitely them.

The Match: Savio gets some quick pin attempts off roll-ups and a sunset flip. He also surprises IRS with a hip toss and a dropkick. However, IRS tosses Vega to the floor. The camera misses it because Vince was introducing the Spanish announcers. IRS then dives off the ropes, but Savio raises a boot. Vega retakes control with punches and IRS attempts to leave. Savio catches him and returns to the ring. He then nails a wheel kick for the win.

Thoughts: This was short and basic. It wasn’t very interesting. I’m unsure why they included it on the home video or network versions. I guess they wanted to drive home how many times Savio had to wrestle in one night. I’m glad IRS didn’t try slowing it down with a chinlock. That seems his style even in short bouts. That’s not to say anything happened. It was still uneventful. Also, this is IRS’s last PPV match in the WWF. He appears as a lumberjack at In Your House 2, but then he leaves for WCW.

Winner: Savio Vega (5:01)

The PPV properly begins with Dok Hendrix and Vince McMahon. Dok does some odd posing while Vince tries to get us excited about the main event. Even he can’t make a pointless tag match sound interesting. Hendrix also gets way too excited about the Kiss My Foot Match. He is quite annoying on this show. He keeps drawing out words and jumping around like a child on a sugar-rush.

Yokozuna enters the arena for his first-round match. Vince introduces a clip of Yoko’s qualifier. He defeated Lex Luger by count-out to advance. Ha! Yoko finally got revenge for SummerSlam ’93!

Then, Todd Pettengill is backstage with Savio Vega and Razor Ramon. Todd cut off his mullet. I know one podcaster who was sad about that. He congratulates Savio on qualifying and asks him how he prepares for Yokozuna. Savio answers with some Spanish and says it’s hard but he will try. Savio then claims it’s the first time a Puerto Rican is in the King of the Ring tournament. Somewhere, Pedro Morales throws a brick through his TV. He competed in the ’85 and ’86 tournaments. I guess the WWF forgot about that. Finally, Savio says, “I’m happy. I’M HAPPY, and I go straight to the ring right now!” Something tells me he’s happy. I’m not sure what.

Quarterfinals:

Savio Vega (w/ Razor Ramon) vs. Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji)

Notes: Oh, it’s Savio Vega’s music again. It has been so long since I heard it! Happy Savio enters the ring while Dok supposedly translates his Spanish promo. He claims Vega said he couldn’t win. This is sadly not the last time Hendrix gives us his Spanish translations. Meanwhile, Yoko waves the Japanese flag. Savio answers by waving two little American and Puerto Rican flags he taped together.

The Match: Yoko keeps knocking down Savio while Vince rambles about his girth. Savio tries rallying, but he misses a wheel kick. Yoko then beats on him in the corner while they show Owen Hart speaking on the hotline. Then, Yoko attempts the Banzai Drop. Savio moves. Vega answers with chops to no effect. Yoko responds with the dreaded double nerve hold. He eventually throws Savio to the floor and overpowers him. However, Yoko misses a leg drop. Vega then floors Yoko with clotheslines and a wheel kick. He also fends off Jim Cornette, but Owen Hart arrives. He attacks Razor for a distraction. Savio tries helping Razor. Yoko follows. Savio evades Yoko and rams him into the steps. He then rolls into the ring before the ten-count for the win.

Thoughts: It was slow and boring. Yoko is more suited for tag matches at this point. Having him control most of a singles match isn’t a good idea. It was mostly nerve holds and punching. They did the typical story of Savio trying to knock him off his feet. The fans reacted well enough to it. It didn’t make the match good. It’s also sad to see Owen relegated to a run-in instead of competing in the tournament.

Winner: Savio Vega (by Count-Out) (8:24)

Next, they head backstage for a closeup shot of Jerry Lawler’s nasty foot. Jerry uses air freshener while Vince does a cheap plug for some foot spray. Vince claims Lawler’s locker room reportedly stinks. Jerry denies it, but he says he was nearly arrested for sock abuse. Please, those socks are clearly too old for Jerry. He then talks about grabbing Bret by his stringy hair and making him kiss his foot. He finishes the promo by saying he will be Bret’s Achilles heel. He laughs at his own joke but chokes on the stench in the air.

Quarterfinals:

The Roadie (w/ Jeff Jarrett) vs. Bob Spark Plug Holly

Notes: Jeff Jarrett leads The Roadie to the ring. Jeff looks like he skinned a cow for his outfit. Jarrett is still the Intercontinental Champion. He traded the belt back and forth with Razor on house shows. It makes you wonder why he’s not in the tournament instead. He lost his qualifier to the Undertaker, but they could have booked him against someone else. Meanwhile, Jeff and The Roadie strut while Dok says Roadie beat the illustrious Doink the Clown to advance. He’s facing Bob Spark Plug Holly, who defeated Mantaur to qualify. Dok calls it an upset. I’m sure the fans were quite upset. It was a Holly/Mantaur match.

The Match: Holly surprises Roadie with multiple pin attempts until he regroups. The Roadie tries using some cheap-shots, but Bob hip tosses and slams him. Roadie eventually turns a hurricanrana into a powerbomb. He follows up by whipping Holly around the ring and doing a stupid dance. Bob rallies with more pin attempts until Roadie nails a running clothesline. He then attempts a piledriver after some odd hip-thrusting. However, Holly backdrops him and hits a powerslam. Then, Holly blocks a superplex and dives off the ropes. Roadie raises a boot into his face. He then covers and gets what appears to be a two-count. The ref calls for the bell, despite the kick-out.

Thoughts: Other than the botched finish, this was halfway decent. I’m saying that in comparison to the rest of the show. It was still mediocre at best. The lack of star power in this tournament is glaring. This isn’t 1999. We’re not watching Hardcore Holly vs. Road Dogg in a Hardcore Match. In 1995, this was filler on RAW or Superstars.

Winner: The Roadie (7:11)

Todd is backstage with Shawn Michaels. He introduces a clip of Shawn beating King Kong Bundy to advance and calls it a tremendous match. Shawn sarcastically agrees. He says being big doesn’t make you good. I feel that was a shot at both Bundy and Mabel. Shawn also says a little chin music is all it takes. He threatens to deliver it to Kama. The promo is interrupted by Ted DiBiase’s music, so they go to the finish. Shawn jokes he doesn’t know whether he should warm-up or oil down for his match. Vince does his fake laugh at the comment.

Quarterfinals:

Kama (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Shawn Michaels

Notes: Kama enters the arena wearing the gold chain he made from the Undertaker’s urn. He destroys a black wreath that some goth fans brought. The fans are known as Undertaker’s creatures of the night. They appeared in the audience a few times on TV. Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels arrives, and there’s an odd edit. There are two reasons for this. First, they cut out a Barry Didinsky segment. Secondly, Shawn approached the throne and tried on the crown. It was clearly too big for his head, which spoils the fact he isn’t winning. He wasn’t supposed to do this, and Vince wasn’t happy. They removed it from the home video release.

The Match: Shawn sticks and moves and skins the cat when Kama tries throwing him to the floor. He controls the match early with arm work until Kama clotheslines him over the ropes. He then rams Shawn’s back into the post. Kama focuses his attack on Michaels’ back and ribs. He locks Shawn in both a Half Crab and a Canadian Backbreaker. Shawn tries rallying, but Kama whips him into an upside-down bump in the corner. DiBiase even attacks him before Kama nails multiple backbreakers. Michaels finally rallies with two-minutes left. He hits forearms off the ropes and a flying axehandle. Both men trade near-falls off cross bodies and roll-ups. Then, Shawn tries a sunset flip. The time expires before a three-count. Shawn mouths bullshit and then gives Kama sweet chin music for good measure.

Thoughts: This was decent but slow. Shawn did a good job bumping to make Kama look good. Kama’s offense simply wasn’t that interesting. I get they don’t want Shawn losing if he’s not going all the way, but this was a disappointing finish. Shawn’s career is about to elevate to the main event over the next few months. It would have made sense for him to win King of the Ring. I know he doesn’t need it, but he’s a better choice than what we get.

Winner: Time-Limit Draw (15:00)

Pettengill claims the Undertaker vs. Mabel is one of the most anticipated matches on the card. Is it really? I doubt that. They recap Mabel qualifying at In Your House and show Undertaker defeating Jeff Jarrett. Vince and Dok discuss the match. Hendrix asks if Taker can Tombstone Mabel and then answers, “Nooooooooo.” Shut up, Dok.

Next, Vince introduces a video of Bob Backlund on the campaign trail. He tours around Philly and scrutinizes the city. Bob visits a statue of John Barry. He reminds everyone it’s not Marion Barry. He then threatens to add large carrots to Philly Cheese Steaks. He wants everyone to get their vitamin-e and beta-carotene. Bob finishes his tour with a carriage ride and yells he knows how Washington felt riding to Liberty Hall. This segment was amazing. It was filled with awkward pauses that only made Backlund seem even crazier. I love insane Bob Backlund.

Vince asks both the Spanish and French commentators for their thoughts on Backlund. Dok claims Hugo was mad he didn’t get a Philly Cheese Steak. Then, Mabel enters the arena, and Stephanie Wiand asks what’s going through his mind. Mabel says Undertaker is going down, and he will head to the finals. He also calls her Pretty Stephanie. It is quite creepy.

Quarterfinals:

Mabel (w/ Mo) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

Notes: Since Kama and Shawn wrestled to a draw, the winner of this match heads straight into the finals. I guess they didn’t want Mabel wrestling too many matches. I also want to point out they added wind noises to Undertaker’s entrance. I guess cheesy sound effects aren’t a new thing for Vince. It thankfully doesn’t last long. Dok spends the entrances saying ridiculous things. He claims Paul Bearer has an obituary blackboard and invents the word unnerveable. Vince calls them Dok-isms. Meanwhile, the camera shows us the creatures of the night again.

The Match: Taker knocks down Mabel with multiple clotheslines and nails Old School. Mabel answers with the worst-looking sidewalk slam. Then, they fight on the floor and the apron until Taker’s foot is tangled in the ropes. He escapes, but Mo distracts Taker. This allows Mabel to nail a belly-to-belly and slow down the match with a chinlock. The fight eventually spills to the floor. Mabel rams Taker into the steps and stands on him. He follows that by whipping Taker around the ring and landing a suplex. Taker surprises him with a boot, but Mabel responds with a piledriver. They collide and Mabel misses an elbow. Taker then hits a corner splash. He attempts whipping Mabel across the ring, but Mabel reverses it into the ref. He’s down, but Taker performs the jumping clothesline and a chokeslam. Unfortunately, Kama arrives and kicks Taker in the head. Mabel follows that with a leg drop and gets the win.

Thoughts: This was slow and sloppy. Mabel had to take long breaks after moves because of his poor conditioning. I felt bad for Taker. He did his best to make Mabel look good. I’ll give him credit for being willing to lose. It was simply the wrong decision. Vince is convinced Mabel is a star. You could practically hear the crowd deflate when Taker lost. They knew this show was doomed.

Winner: Mabel (10:44)

Kama continues attacking Taker until he rises and chases him out of the ring. Kama retreats, but he continues taunting Taker. Vince shows the updated bracket showing Mabel gets a bye into the finals. Dok calls it amazing. Is he serious?

Then, Todd recaps the Hall of Fame banquet. It was held the previous night. They surprisingly show Undertaker out of character. He’s wearing a snazzy hat while he shakes hands with Freddie Blassie. The inductees were Ernie Ladd, Ivan Putski, Antonino Rocca, George Steele, The Fabulous Moolah, The Grand Wizard, and Pedro Morales. Wait a second. They inducted Pedro, but they couldn’t remember he was in a King of the Ring tournament? Savio Vega accepted the award for Morales. He wasn’t dead. He was working for WCW. Rocca’s widow accepts his award. George Steele then received a video message from Bill Murray, who challenged him to a match from the back of an elephant. Bill sounded quite drunk. Finally, Ivan Putski did some singing. Dok Hendrix obnoxiously clapped along until Vince had enough of it.

We hear Savio’s music again before they go to Todd. He’s with The Roadie and Jeff Jarrett. Pettengill asks for Roadie’s thoughts, but Jeff interrupts. He says he trained the Road Dogg. He even spells it with the double G. I forgot Roadie was using that nickname this early. Jeff predicts Roadie will go all the way, and people will say ain’t he great. The Roadie then says the Road Dogg doesn’t have to prepare. He adds, “You’re doggy doggone right!” Finally, Roadie talks about having his own statue next to Rocky Balboa. Todd looks annoyed as they hug him head to the ring.

Semifinals:

Savio Vega (w/ Razor Ramon) vs. The Roadie (w/ Jeff Jarrett)

Notes: Oh, joy. It’s Savio Vega again! You can tell the crowd lost interest. The thought of a Savio Vega vs. Roadie semifinals isn’t great. Dok tries his best to put over Roadie’s victory against Doink. He calls him a great wrestler. However, he purposefully messes up Bob Holly’s name. It’s no wonder Holly said he hated this night in his book. Dok also accuses Savio of being a hubcap thief. I have no clue why people accuse Michael Hayes of being racist. It seems out of character for him.

The Match: Savio gets the early advantage, and Roadie regroups. He then attacks the Roadie’s arm until Roadie answers with a knee and a neckbreaker. He follows that with punches and choking. Then, he lands a diving headbutt. Roadie attempts another one, but he misses. Vega responds with an elbow and a slam. Jarrett attempts stopping the attack by tripping Vega. However, Savio shoves the Roadie into Jeff and rolls him up for the win.

Thoughts: This was another uninteresting bout. The crowd was dead and losing hope. The Roadie’s offense was mostly punching. Savio’s attacks weren’t much more thrilling. This match was a bad mixture of dull and heatless.

Winner: Savio Vega (6:36)

Savio does an interview with Carlos Cabrera after the match. Dok Hendrix joins them to translate. They speak in Spanish. Dok claims Savio doesn’t know how he got there and can never beat Mabel. He also says Savio will quit stealing hubcaps when Mabel beats him. Dok then says Carlos told Savio to quit now. Vince says he’s had enough of that. I agree.

Vince says they’re moments away from the first Kiss My Foot Match. They air comments from Bret Hart. He talks about his history with Jerry the Slimeball Lawler. Bret calls him a thorn in his side and looks forward to it ending. He also says he doesn’t want to make a mistake like last time. He’s prepared for anything. Bret then talks about Lawler humiliating his family. He says he let his fans down when they watched him lose to Lawler. However, he’s confident Lawler will kiss his foot and he’ll rip him apart.

Kiss My Foot Match: Bret Hart vs. Jerry the King Lawler

Notes: Stephanie interviews Lawler on his way to the ring. Jerry claims the bad smell is her instead of his foot. He then tries to make her kneel for him. Whoa, Jerry! Easy now! Then, Jerry grabs a mic and threatens to make everyone in the crowd kiss his foot. Vince claims Bret’s career will be over if he loses this match. That’s a bit of an overreaction.

The Match: The two men slug it out and brawl to the floor. Bret rams Jerry into the rail, but Lawler pulls him onto the steps. He also rams Bret against the apron and the turnbuckles. Then, Lawler nails three piledrivers. He’s slow to cover. Bret kicks out at two. Lawler cuts off a Bret comeback and removes his boot. He hits Bret with it and gets another two. He also tries sticking the foot in Bret’s face. Bret answers with a headbutt to the gut. Jerry rallies with another boot attack and nails a diving fist drop. He tries following that by crotching Bret on the post. Bret reverses it. Lawler is in trouble, so Hakushi and Shinja arrive. Shinja distracts the ref while Hakushi tries attacking Bret. He moves and Hakushi gets Jerry instead. Bret uses the opening to do his finishing routine and makes Lawler submit to the Sharpshooter.

Thoughts: This was a decent match. The crowd was hot and they kept it entertaining. They also kept it the right length. It didn’t overstay its welcome. It felt like a nice payoff to this feud. However, it’s not over yet. Things are about to get even sillier.

Winner: Bret Hart (9:20)

Bret teases not releasing the Sharpshooter. The ref admonishes him, but Bret releases Jerry. He then removes his boot. Hakushi and Shinja return to stop him. Lawler holds Bret, but he moves and Hakushi hits Lawler again. Bret then sends Hakushi packing and shoves his foot in Jerry’s mouth. Bret doesn’t stop there. He grabs Lawler’s own foot and bends it until Jerry is kissing it. I’m surprised Lawler was flexible enough for that. It looked painful. Lawler dry heaves a few times as he leaves the ring.

Next, Todd narrates a commercial for the WWF’s participation with the Special Olympics. They show some of the Superstars interacting with competitors. Vince then introduces footage of the previous King of the Ring coronations. It might not be a good idea to draw attention to something far better than this.

Finals:

Mabel (w/ Mo) vs. Savio Vega (w/ Razor Ramon)

Notes: Vince does his best to put over Savio’s tenacity. He compared Vega to Rocky the entire night. The crowd clearly couldn’t care about this match. They’re in disbelief this is the finals. In fact, some popular ECW fans start an ECW chant during the match. Vince doesn’t recognize it at first. He draws attention to the noise. When he realizes what they’re saying, he yells his commentary to cover it.

The Match: Mabel shoves Savio around the ring. Vega answers with punches and chops. He also evades a Mabel clothesline, but Mabel slams him. Then, they brawl to the floor and take turns ramming each other into the steps. Mabel gains control and puts Savio in a long bear hug. Savio almost breaks free, but they return to the hold. We almost get a respite from the rest holds. Mabel shoulder blocks Vega. However, he switches to a rear chinlock. Savio tries rallying and the ECW chants begin. Vega then lands a wheel kick. It’s not enough. Mabel answers with a powerslam. He only gets a two-count. Mable follows that with a splash and it’s enough for the victory.

Thoughts: This was awful. Mabel was so fatigued he had to spend most of the match in long rest holds. Then, they killed the crowd even more by having him win. Vince was enamored by Mabel’s size. He thought he could make him into a star. This night proved the fans didn’t care. I get the story they tried to tell with Savio. It simply didn’t work.

Winner: Mabel (8:32)

After the match, Razor checks on Savio. Mo gets in his face, so Ramon attacks Mo and Mabel. The numbers are too much. Mabel slams Razor and drops a couple of elbows onto him. The 1-2-3 Kid arrives to stop the attack, but he too falls to the double-team. The officials finally make them leave, and Mabel heads to the throne.

Mo tells Todd Pettengill to get lost and presents Mabel with his cape, crown, and sword. Mo then unfolds a scroll and slowly reads his proclamation. The fans sound air-horns and throw trash. A piece nails Mabel in the head. He looks pissed. Vince begs Mo to get it over with because he keeps pausing. He says Mabel has beaten the very best and proved his superiority. He will now be known as King Mabel. Mo tells everyone to bow. Razor and Savio return while Mo places a cheap-looking crown on Mabel’s head. The officials prevent them from attacking.

Next, they go to Jerry Lawler in the bathroom. Don’t worry. It’s not what it sounds like. He’s chugging mouthwash and eating toothpaste. He even pukes in the sink. Vince asks what he’s doing, but Jerry tells the cameraman to leave. Vince says something about Toe-maine Poison (a play on ptomaine poison). Dok isn’t amused.

They go to Stephanie next. She interrupts a Million Dollar Corporation planning session and Sid stares at her. She asks what they’re planning. Sid politely asks for a moment of Stephanie’s time. He whispers and screams about injuring Diesel’s elbow. They show clips while Sid says, “Crush crush crush!” Sid, you’re facing Diesel. It’s not Crush. He then jokes about Diesel holding his mom for support. Now, Diesel holds Bam Bam. Tatanka then butts into this great promo to ramble about going to battle with Bigelow. He says he’s there for the money and mocks Bam Bam for getting fired from the Corporation. DiBiase finishes the promo claiming Diesel & Bam Bam will be on the ice, just like the champagne.

Sid & Tatanka enter the arena, but they cut to earlier comments from Diesel and Bam Bam. Todd asks about Diesel’s elbow. He says even if he’s 50% of the man he was a month ago, it’s more than Sid can handle. That’s understandable. Sid only has half the brain Diesel has. I guess Sid’s infamous promo was an answer to this. Diesel follows his math lesson by calling Tatanka Pocahontas. Then, Todd asks Bam Bam for his thoughts. Bigelow says they’re not going out there for a waltz or a dance. He also follows Diesel’s lead and lists some percentages. Bam Bam claims their combined 110% will make them 220% ready. Scott Steiner would be proud of this promo.

Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sycho Sid & Tatanka (w/ Ted DiBiase)

Notes: Bam Bam enters the arena to a new theme and wears a new outfit. He has this ridiculous jacket with a fire fringe. He even wears gauntlets that shoot fire into the air. Some fans are highly amused by this. Diesel enters separately. He’s wearing a large elbow pad. It looks like something a skateboarder would wear. Sid attacks immediately when Diesel enters the ring. Sid & Tatanka regroup and Sid is distracted by fans calling him psycho.

The Match: Diesel wants Sid. He gets Tatanka instead. They quickly attack Diesel’s elbow. Sid rams it into the post and the turnbuckles. Tatanka chops it while doing a war dance. Bam Bam finally enters when Sid misses a leg drop. He lands a DDT and a flying headbutt on Sid, but DiBiase distracts the ref. Sid uses the opening to give Bigelow a chokeslam from the second rope. Sid & Tatanka then take turns giving Bam Bam big boots and suplexes. Tatanka blocks Bigelow’s slingshot splash and Sid attacks him on the floor. Bigelow finally gets a tag. However, Diesel hurts his elbow and has to exit the match. Tatanka retakes control with a cross body and a jumping DDT. Then, both men go down to a double-clothesline. Bam Bam recovers and hits a somersault senton. He tags Diesel again, and Diesel nails a Jackknife on Tatanka. However, Diesel pulls up Tatanka before a three-count. He then demands Sid, but Sid leaves. DiBiase is upset. Sid ignores him and heads backstage. Diesel then turns and drops an elbow on Tatanka for the win.

Thoughts: This was dull and uninteresting. It was a pointless match. I get they had to work around Diesel’s injury. That didn’t stop this from being a bland way to end an already awful event. It was meant to prolong the Sid feud. I’m not so sure this makes anyone want to see another match.

Winners: Diesel & Bam Bam (17:35)

Diesel and Bam Bam celebrate in the ring with fireworks, and Vince quickly says goodnight. I’m sure he was glad to get off the air.

The Good:

  • The Bob Backlund segment was entertaining.

  • Bret/Lawler was fun.

  • Roadie/Holly was decent.

The Bad:

  • King Mabel

  • No title matches.

  • Too much Savio Vega.

  • Most of the matches weren’t good.

  • Almost nothing felt important.

Performer of the Night:

I think I’ll give it to Bob Backlund. He’s the only one that fully entertained me on this show.

Final Thoughts:

Was this the worst PPV of all-time? It is certainly near the bottom. I would call it the most disappointing one of all-time. They could have put together a better tournament with their roster. Vince chose to push one of the worst choices imaginable. In order to not sacrifice anyone too big for that experiment, he had to fill the brackets with lesser stars. He shot himself in the foot and this show suffered for it. It’s unfortunate Diesel couldn’t wrestle a one-on-one match in his condition. However, they could have booked a better main event. This PPV is the epitome of the bad booking in ’95.

Thank you for reading. My next review will be ECW’s Hardcore Heaven ’95.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I am chronologically reviewing all the pre-network era WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs from Starrcade '83 to WrestleMania 30. Join me on this journey every Sunday!
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