Classic Wrestling Review: SummerSlam ’95

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

SummerSlam

August 27, 1995

Civic Arena

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

News & Notes: There were sad times in the WWF in 1995. Jack Tunney was no longer the on-screen president of the company! He wasn’t impeached. The rumor was they fired him for using company funds to pay gambling debts. That might explain why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame. The WWF appointed a new on-air authority figure. They chose Gorilla Monsoon. He got involved in storylines and was responsible for many of the matches on this show.

The main feud for this PPV is Diesel vs. Mabel for the WWF Title. Mabel earned the opportunity by winning King of the Ring and attacking Diesel at In Your House 2. He implemented what he called his royal plan. This included attacking both Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Then, Diesel was doing an interview on RAW when The British Bulldog approached him. Davey suggested they team together to face Men on a Mission. It was suspicious. Bulldog confirmed those suspicions when he clotheslined Diesel from behind during the match. He knocked him into a sidewalk slam by Mabel. This might be the first time Bulldog was a heel in the WWF.

In other news, Shane Douglas arrived. They gave him the character of Dean Douglas. He’s a school teacher that moonlights as a wrestler. Somewhere, a young Matt Striker takes notes. Douglas uses his great intellect to critique the performance of his fellow Superstars. He appears many times on this PPV to offer analysis. They did this to build his first big feud.

Todd Pettengill narrates the opening video package in his best dramatic voice. He speaks of Mabel’s royal plans to win the WWF Title. Diesel threatens to use a blowtorch on Mabel. That could have made the match interesting! Todd also talks about Jerry Lawler’s evil dentist. Bret Hart promises to knock out his teeth the old-fashioned way. Meanwhile, The Undertaker wants to take Kama’s soul. Then, Razor Ramon predicts the Ladder Match will end the same as the last one. It’s time to face the heat because it’s SummerSlam!

Vince welcomes everyone to Pittsburgh. He claims it’s the largest crowd in the history of the Civic Arena (aka the Igloo). Lawler says it’s been a long hot summer. He also predicts King Mabel will win the WWF Title. He knows this because it takes a king to know a king. Vince looks annoyed while Jerry speaks. Jerry looks annoyed as well, but that’s because the fans are chanting Burger King.

Then, Vince introduces Dean Douglas. Dean will critique the matches from his satellite classroom. He scrapes his fingernails down the chalkboard, which makes Vince and Jerry cringe. Douglas defines the word dean. He also says he will conduct summer school for the intellectually impaired. He punctuates his words with a fake laugh that would make Jeff Jarrett proud.

Hakushi vs. The 1-2-3 Kid

Notes: There’s no build for this match, but that’s okay. You don’t need a deep reason to give the fans a bout like this. It could be amazing. During the entrances, they show a clip of Hakushi losing to Barry Horowitz. Skip caused the loss by getting in Hakushi’s way. (I’ll explain more about Horowitz later in the review.) Vince points out that Shinja isn’t with Hakushi. He speculates Hakushi is adapting to American ways. They’re trying to transition him into a fan-favorite. Getting rid of the manager is the beginning of that. I also want to point out something amusing from the Kid’s introduction. The ring announcer says he’s from Minnesota, Minneapolis. I guess he forgot which is the city and which is the state.

The Match: Both men trade holds, reversals, and kip-ups. They also evade each other’s attacks. Hakushi finally catches the Kid in a tilt-a-whirl slam and nails a handspring elbow. He follows that with a form of the Bronco Buster. I’m sure the Kid thought to himself, “I’ll file that away for later.” Then, Hakushi hits a Vader Bomb. He sends the Kid to the floor and performs a Sasuke Special over the ropes. Next, Hakushi uses a couple of flying headbutts, but he misses the second one. The Kid answers with dropkicks and a springboard cross body to the outside. He also gets near-falls with a slingshot leg drop and a frog splash. However, Hakushi catches him on a wheel kick and lands a powerbomb for the win.

Thoughts: It was a fun opener. I like they took their time to build up to the big spots. The match did a great job showcasing Hakushi’s moves. You could hear the crowd turning in his favor. They still booed the finish, but the crowd is warming to him. This did exactly what it needed to do. It also sets up the Kid’s storyline going forward. He is going to grow frustrated over the next few months.

Winner: Hakushi (9:27)

Next, Vince sends it to—oh, no. Dok Hendrix is interviewing King Mabel. Hendrix is still in excited toddler mode. He begs Mabel to give him the final royal plan. Mabel tells him to wait like everyone else. Then, he says fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me three times? What’s your story, Big Daddy Fool? I don’t believe that’s the saying. I could be wrong. Mabel also says the plan with the Bulldog wasn’t the big plan. He will reveal the big one tonight. Mabel finishes by saying long live the king.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Bob Spark Plug Holly

Notes: Helmsley walks to the ring to some fancy-sounding harpsichord music. Vince laughs at people saying Hunter stinks. Vince also refers to him as an American blue blood. That’s fitting. Hunter teamed with Regal before leaving WCW. Then, Bob Holly enters the arena. They forget to remove Triple H’s logo from the entryway. I can hear Holly grumbling from here. Perhaps this is the beginning of Bob’s hatred of Triple H.

The Match: Hunter tries avoiding Bob, but Holly catches him in a slam and an arm drag. Then, they trade punches and chops. They whip each other around the ring until Helmsley catches Holly with a hotshot. He also whips Bob into the corner hard enough to shift the ring. Hunter then spends a few minutes wearing Bob down with holds. They reverse through an abdominal stretch and Triple H hip tosses Bob over the ropes. Holly answers with a DDT when Hunter ducks. He also gives Triple H a dropkick and an atomic drop. Holly uses a backdrop and attempts another one. He ducks, so Hunter grabs him and nails the Pedigree for the win.

Thoughts: It was a basic match, but it did a good job establishing Triple H. The fans reacted well to it. Vince also did a good job putting over Hunter’s undefeated streak. The bout served its purpose. Holly had enough offense to look formidable and Hunter accomplished a decisive victory. Plus, they kept it to a good length.

Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (7:10)

Next, Todd Pettengill narrates a video package about the War on the Water. No, the WWF didn’t build a navy. It was a tug-of-war between WWF Superstars and the Pittsburgh fire department. They raised money for the department’s charity. The losing team had to swim in the river. The WWF team won because they stacked it with the heaviest wrestlers. The firefighters dove into the water afterward. I hope they had their shots. I doubt the water in Pittsburgh is clean.

The Smoking Gunns vs. The Blu Brothers (w/ Uncle Zebekiah)

Notes: I find it odd this match is on the card, but the Tag Champs aren’t. Where are Owen & Yoko? Why are they putting a filler match on the show instead of the champions? It’s especially strange when you realize the role Owen & Yoko play in the next PPV. Also, there’s a weird edit during the Gunns’ entrance. It feels like they cut out something. I’m going to guess it was a Barry Didinsky segment. The Gunns music plays, and they cut to them in the ring. I know Billy Gunn can’t teleport.

The Match: The Blu Brothers whip Billy around the ring and drop elbows on him. He answers with a surprise roll-up. Then, he nails the move that will become the Fame-asser. Bart enters the match and the Blus give him a hotshot. He responds with a cross body. The Blus use a double-team back suplex. They also place Billy in a tree of woe and attack him. Jacob & Eli control the match through ref distractions and double-teaming. They get a near-fall on a powerslam because Billy almost forgot to kick out of the pin. Billy then surprises a Blu with a facebuster. Both men tag and Bart cleans house with some slams. He eats a big boot, but the Blus crash into each other. Billy makes the tag and the Gunns land the Sidewinder for the win.

Thoughts: I didn’t mind this match. I know it’s filler, but they kept it exciting. It never dragged, and the action was decent. They kept it short and explosive. It was good but forgettable. I still wish they had a Tag Title Match instead.

Winners: The Smoking Gunns (6:09)

Next, Pettengill narrates a video recap of the Skip/Barry Horowitz feud. Todd speaks of Horowitz’s long career of losing. He also talks about the Bodydonnas disdain for unhealthy people. Then, they show clips of Horowitz’s surprising victory over Skip. He also went the distance in a ten-minute time-limit match. Todd says Skip and Sunny are livid and humiliated. Pettengill finishes with a bad pun about the Bodydonnas Stridex’ing the blemish on their record. (Stridex was the sponsor of this event.)

Barry Horowitz vs. Skip (w/ Sunny)

Notes: Barry Horowitz is a perennial jobber in the WWF. He always showed some personality, but he never won. Barry loved patting himself on the back as if competing was an accomplishment. Skip performed push-ups during his matches, especially against jobbers. This came back to bite him because Horowitz rolled him up for a surprise victory. Jim Ross immortalized the moment by yelling, “HOROWITZ WINS! HOROWITZ WINS!”

Sunny cuts a promo on the way to the ring. She says Barry cheated them, and they will teach Barry Horriblewitz a lesson he will never forget. Horowitz runs to the ring to a remix of “Hava Nagila.” The WWF isn’t known for its subtlety. Barry attacks Skip immediately.

The Match: Barry flusters Skip early with backdrops and punches. He sends Skip to the floor a couple of times. One is a suplex from the apron. Sunny attempts stopping the match, but Earl Hebner is having none of it. Then, Sunny trips Horowitz. Skip does jumping-jacks before nailing a suplex and a diving leg drop. Horowitz shows hope with roll-ups and a Thesz Press. However, Skip cuts off his comebacks. He lands a few sliding leg drops on Barry and locks him in holds. Skip then makes the mistake of pulling Barry up before a three-count. They fight back and forth, but Sunny crotches Barry on the top rope. Skip capitalizes with a superplex. He looks to have a victory, but Hakushi appears. Skip dares him to enter the ring. Hakushi does a springboard over Skip. It distracts him long enough for Horowitz to roll him up for the win.

Thoughts: I loved the storytelling in this match. It was great character work for both men. They engaged the crowd and it made for an enjoyable bout. The Horowitz push isn’t one that has longevity, but it was one of my favorite stories in ’95. I thought they did it well.

Winner: Barry Horowitz (11:21)

They go to Dean Douglas for a critique of the match. He defines the word vivify. It means to imbue with renewed life or vigor. Douglas shows a replay of the finish and says Horowitz’s victory vivified him. He calls it a travesty. He calls out Hakushi for getting involved. Dean gives the ref an F for allowing it. Then, Dean gives Barry an S for slacker. S isn’t a grade. However, I like the use of the word slacker. It reminds me of the principal from Back to the Future.

Todd is backstage. He doesn’t think Horowitz cares about vivification. Todd talks about the Ladder Match. They show clips from WrestleMania X. Then, he speaks with Shawn Michaels. Todd says Razor has thrown out friendship and guaranteed victory. Shawn says there’s no way to prepare for a match like this. He also says he and Razor are the only cats in the WWF who can do the match. Is that a shot at Bret? Shawn then says he hated the way the last Ladder Match ended. He needs to win this match for himself. There isn’t an injury that will keep him from climbing the ladder. He also says nothing on Earth will stop him from winning. He calls himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion.

Women’s Title Match: Bertha Faye (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Alundra Blayze (c)

Notes: Oh, look. Vince remembered he has a Women’s division. He hired a wrestler named Rhonda Singh and renamed her Bertha Faye. The character wears pastel-colored outfits and has a cheesy theme. Her manager/boyfriend Harvey Wippleman sings it. He professes his love for her and it’s amazingly awful. It feels like the gimmick mocks her for being a—large woman. Like I said; the WWF isn’t subtle.

The story of this match is Bertha attacked Alundra and broke her nose. This was a kayfabe explanation for Blayze getting plastic surgery. Between that information and the Bertha character, you get a snapshot of how Vince viewed the women in ’95.

The Match: Alundra has trouble knocking down Bertha until she nails a leg sweep. Bertha answers with shoulder blocks. She also pulls Blayze to the mat by her hair and lands some leg drops. Bertha misses a diving splash. Alundra answers with knee strikes and a victory roll. She escapes Bertha’s pin attempts by bridging out of them. Then, Harvey interferes. Alundra chases him until he falls. Blayze returns to the ring and uses a crucifix pin. Bertha responds with an avalanche attack. Blayze rallies again with dropkicks, but she misses a diving one. Bertha capitalizes with a sit-out powerbomb for the win.

Thoughts: I thought this was a decent match. It did a good job making Bertha look powerful. The gimmick is questionable, but Bertha is a good wrestler. The crowd wasn’t that invested. The finish didn’t get much of a reaction. It also looked like Alundra tried to kick out after the three and was a bit early. It caused the ending to fall flat.

Winner: Bertha Faye (New Champion) (4:14)

Jim Ross meets Bertha and Harvey in the aisle. He places a hand on Bertha’s shoulder, so Harvey yells at him. He tells Ross to look but not touch. Ross replies he’s a happily married man. Wippleman then claims Bertha finished the makeover she started on Alundra. He calls her his beautiful princess. Bertha then calls Alundra a Barbie Doll and tells her to look and weep. She says she has the beauty and the man. She then claims she will put the belt around her Slimfast waist. Bertha grabs Harvey’s hand, and they leave together while Ross looks annoyed.

Next, they recap the Undertaker/Kama feud. Kama stole the urn at Mania and melted it into a chain. Todd says Undertaker reached out to his creatures of the night for strength. They brought a black wreath to shows, but Kama destroyed them and attacked the creatures. Gorilla Monsoon ordered a Casket Match as punishment for Kama’s actions.

Paul Bearer says we witnessed the history between Kama and Taker. We will see more history when the Undertaker puts an end to the supreme fighting machine. Taker says Kama dug his own grave and will lie in it. He says Kama crossed the line of what he can tolerate by attacking his creatures. The sands of time passed through the hourglass and it’s Kama’s day of reckoning. I think Taker watched too many Days of Our Lives episodes. Then, Taker says Kama will face the reaper and pay for his evil. His soul will belong to him, and he will rest in peace. He follows that with a low grumble as they return to the arena.

Casket Match: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kama (w/ Ted DiBiase)

Notes: It’s not the greatest of feuds, but I understand why Taker wanted it. Kama is part of Taker’s backstage crew of friends. They call themselves the Bone Street Krew (BSK). That’s what Taker’s BSK tattoo means. The group was the antithesis of The Kliq. BSK liked playing dominoes and keeping the Kliq from misbehaving.

Kama confronts the Undertaker during his entrance. He taunts him while Taker raises the lights. Vince and Lawler speculate he’s not afraid of the Undertaker. Taker attacks him after removing his jacket.

The Match: Taker has control early. DiBiase tries distracting him, but Taker nails a corner splash and Old School. Taker places Kama in the casket. He scrambles out again. Kama then responds with a hotshot and a flying clothesline. He also catches Taker in a powerslam. They fight over the casket and Taker uses a surprising head scissors. But, DiBiase distracts Taker again. Kama begins targeting Taker’s ribs. He takes him to the floor and DiBiase attacks. They brawl and Kama rams Taker into the post. Then, Kama suplexes Taker onto the casket and breaks the lid. He attempts a piledriver on it, but Taker backdrops Kama. It’s not enough. Kama controls the match with holds. Paul Bearer stops Kama using the ropes and struts. Both men brawl back and forth. Taker nails a jumping clothesline. Next, they both end up in the casket. The lid closes, but the refs allow the match to continue. Kama crawls out, so Taker grabs him. They return to the ring, and Kama nails a neckbreaker. Taker responds with a chokeslam and hits the Tombstone. He then rolls Kama into the casket for the win.

Thoughts: It wasn’t great, but I didn’t dislike it. There are some who hate this match. It had its moments. There were some cool visuals. I liked how they broke the casket. It makes it seem more like a war. It dragged a bit when Kama was in control, but it was decent. This was definitely the best Casket Match yet. I know that’s not saying much. It also helps the crowd was hot for it.

Winner: The Undertaker (16:26)

Vince talks about the remaining match and brings up Isaac Yankem. Lawler predicts he will defeat Bret Hart and knock out all his teeth. They show a video recapping the Bret/Lawler feud. They show clips from both the ’93 and ’95 King of the Ring. Lawler recruited his demented dentist, Isaac Yankem. There are clips of Isaac extracting people’s teeth while Lawler cackles. We see closeups of Yankem’s nasty teeth. Todd Pettengill makes a lot of puns. It’s a silly video.

During Yankem’s entrance, Todd interviews Bret Hart. Pettengill says it’s Bret’s chance to shut Lawler’s mouth. I see what he did there. Bret says Jerry is brooding about losing to him. He also puts Yankem over for being big and bad. He then dares Lawler to send a chiropractor next. Jerry says he can hear him. Then, Bret threatens to knock out all Isaac’s teeth. He says he’s had it up to here with Jerry. He finishes by telling Yankem he’s the best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be.

Bret Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.

Notes: After the Kiss My Foot Match, Lawler claimed Bret Hart damaged his mouth. He went to the dentist to get it fixed and recruited him for revenge against Bret. Glenn Jacobs (the future Kane) portrays Yankem. This is the first of a few bad gimmicks he has before Kane. It’s also peak silliness for ’95. His name is I. Yankem. Oh, WWF!

Lawler enters the ring and introduces Isaac. His theme music is the shrill noise of a dentist drill. The best part is Yankem’s hometown. He’s from Decatur, IL. Get it? Decay-tur! Hahahaha! Make it stop!

The Match: Yankem controls the match early with chokes and elbows. Bret responds with clotheslines and sends Isaac to the floor. Bret then lands a slingshot cross body and a diving clothesline. He attempts the Sharpshooter but fails. Yankem retakes control by press slamming Bret onto the ropes. He also whips Bret chest-first into the corner. Bret attempts rallying with a roll-up. Yankem answers with a hanging choke. The ref pulls Yankem off Bret. Then, they brawl to the floor. Isaac rams Bret into the post. He follows that by draping Bret on the ropes and nailing a flying leg drop. They fight in and out of the ring. Bret starts his finishing routine, but Lawler helps Yankem. Bret responds by tying Isaac’s legs around the post and attacking him. Lawler interferes again, so Bret chases him. This opens the door for Yankem to nail a flying axehandle. Lawler prevents Bret’s rally, and both men tie Bret in a hangman spot. The ref has enough and calls for the bell.

Thoughts: This wasn’t good. Yankem was still too green to control a match. A lot of his offense wasn’t interesting. There were a couple of cool spots, but he mixed them with boring punching and choking. Bret did his best to make him look good. Glenn Jacobs would thankfully improve over the years.

Winner: Bret Hart (by DQ) (16:07)

After the match, Isaac and Jerry pull on Bret’s body while he is trapped in the ropes. The ref tries freeing him, but they continue attacking. More officials arrive and finally force them to stop. They free Bret and check on his condition. Lawler and Yankem retreat. This, unfortunately, means Dok Hendrix replaces him on commentary.

Then, Dok is with Razor Ramon. He asks Razor if history will repeat itself. Razor replies, “You know, Dok? History has a way of repeating itself.” I see Razor ignores Dok as much as I wish I could. Ramon says it might be a new time and a new place. The officials then carry Bret through the shot and Razor seems annoyed. Dok calls Shawn Michaels the Eval Knievel of the WWF. Razor says he takes chances too. He then reminds Shawn his body and career could be on the line. If Shawn wants to dance, Razor says he leads. His music plays and Razor heads to the ring.

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Razor Ramon

Notes: This was going to be Shawn Michaels vs. Sid. Vince realized this PPV needed a better hook than Diesel vs. Mabel. He switched to Shawn vs. Razor. Sid would face the winner on RAW. Gorilla Monsoon made the announcement on TV. He said the fans wanted to see this match more than Shawn/Sid. He’s not wrong. This led to Vince calling Monsoon the fan-friendly president. It seems odd to me they’re admitting on TV Sid/Shawn wouldn’t have been a great match. To their credit, Sid and Shawn match well with each other. It would have been fine. But, I get why they made the change.

There is another story about this match I want to tell. Vince told both men there were new rules about violence. They couldn’t use the ladder as a weapon. I’m not sure if this was true or Vince was challenging them to build a different match from the last one. Either way, it made for a unique encounter. They would get around the rule by performing moves off and onto the ladder or making it look accidental. On a side note, they have a bit of trouble getting the belt in the right position before the match. It annoys Shawn.

The Match: Both men attempt their finishers early and fail. Then, Razor suplexes Michaels from the apron. He whacks his foot on the guardrail. They try their finishers again. Razor then lands a second-rope fallaway slam. He uses the opening to grab the ladder and evades a baseball slide. But, Shawn topples the ladder when Razor climbs it. He also clips Razor with the ladder. He makes it look accidental. That’s cheeky of him. Speaking of cheeky; Shawn’s ass is exposed again. Next, Razor knocks over the ladder and begins attacking Shawn’s knee. He lets the ladder fall on Michaels’ leg. Razor climbs, but Shawn uses a flying axehandle to stop him. He also suplexes Ramon off the ladder.

Shawn retakes control by whipping Razor into the ladder. He follows that by performing a moonsault off it. Shawn then attempts a flying splash from the ladder, but he misses. Both men climb and trade punches until they fall. They brawl on the floor and Razor grabs a second ladder. He nails Shawn with the Razors Edge, but Shawn recovers. They climb separate ladders and Shawn nails Sweet Chin Music to topple Ramon. He then jumps for the belt but misses. Razor attempts another Razors Edge. Shawn backdrops him over the ropes. Shawn climbs and grabs the belt. It won’t budge. He’s upset at the flubbed finish, so he does it again and retrieves the title.

Thoughts: The finish was a bit botched, but it didn’t ruin anything. This was a great match. I dare say it’s better than their last one. I liked the story and psychology of Razor working on Shawn’s leg. Plus, I like Razor showing an edge in the match. (No pun intended.) They did enough to make this bout different from Mania.

Winner: Shawn Michaels (25:04)

After the match, Razor enters the ring and pulls the belt out of Shawn’s hand. He looks angry, but he hands it to Shawn and raises his arm. The two men then hug while fireworks explode. Razor leaves and Shawn celebrates in the ring.

Meanwhile, Dean Douglas critiques Razor’s performance. He defines the word bad. It’s a failure to reach an acceptable level of performance. He mocks Razor for being the bad guy. He says they’re not using the slang version of bad because that means good. Razor has enough and interrupts. Ramon says he doesn’t need a bookworm telling him out to fight. Douglas tells him he has no right to enter his classroom. Razor wants to fight. Douglas declines because the classroom is no place for violence. Razor says he’s all bluff. He turns to leave, but Dean attacks. Razor hits him and leaves Douglas laying. Dean reaches up and scrapes his fingers across the board in anger as the segment ends.

Todd interviews Diesel during Mabel’s entrance. Pettengill mentions the royal plan. Diesel talks about Bulldog smacking him and Mabel giving him leg drops. One or both attacks means Diesel is gone, but Big Daddy Cool is there. Is he implying those are two different entities? I wasn’t aware he had a split personality. Then, Diesel threatens to get medieval on Mabel. If he means that in the Pulp Fiction sense, this will be a disturbing match!

WWF Title Match: Diesel (c) vs. King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo)

Notes: A group of indie wrestlers carry Mabel to the ring on a platform. I feel bad for those guys. They look like they’re in pain. Vince and Dok talk about Bulldog being in the building. Vince wonders if there are others under Mabel’s employ. Diesel enters the arena and both men yell at each other. Diesel poses with his fireworks while Vince says the WWF runs well on Diesel Power. He has to be sarcastic with that comment. The opposite is true.

Before I begin, I want to mention a story about this match. Diesel had back issues. Mabel had a reputation for hurting people. Diesel asked him to be careful. Remember that in this match.

The Match: Both men trade forearms and shoulder blocks. Mabel takes control with chops, chokes, and stomps. Diesel responds with corner clotheslines, but he fails on a slam. Diesel recovers and sends Mabel to the floor. Mabel stalls. Diesel is having none of that. He dives over the ropes onto him. Then, they return to the ring and Mabel catches Diesel with a weak sidewalk slam. He follows that by sitting full-force on Diesel’s back. You can hear Diesel yelling at him about it. Mabel then slams Diesel and attempts an elbow. He wipes out the ref in the process.

Mabel & Mo begin double-teaming Diesel, so Lex Luger arrives. Diesel thinks he’s there to attack. He sends Luger to the floor. The distraction allows Mabel to bring Diesel outside. He nails a leg drop and Mo returns Diesel to the ring. Luger recovers and attacks Mo. He chases Mo to the back and Lex is never seen again—on WWF TV. (I’ll explain in a later review.) Meanwhile, Mabel hits a belly-to-belly on Diesel. It’s not enough. He attempts a diving splash. Diesel moves. Mabel then rises, so Diesel nails a diving forearm for the win.

Thoughts: This match was a mistake. But, it’s not as bad as people remember. They worked within the limitations of the performers. There were enough shenanigans to keep the crowd hot. Also, it didn’t overstay its welcome. They kept it to a good length. Should it have been a SummerSlam main event? No, but it wasn’t terrible. On a side note, Vince nearly fired Mabel for sitting on Diesel’s back. Diesel convinced Vince not to do it. Say what you will about Kevin Nash, but he saved Mabel’s job when he didn’t have to.

Winner: Diesel (9:14)

Diesel is clearly in pain, but he celebrates with fireworks. Vince calls him the leader of the new generation as the show fades to black.

The Good:

  • The opener was good

  • Skip/Horowitz had great character work.

  • The Ladder Match was great.

  • The Women’s Title Match was decent.

The Bad:

  • Bret/Yankem was bad

  • No Tag Title Match

  • Mabel in the main event.

Performer of the Night:

It’s a tie between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. They were both great in the Ladder Match. It’s especially good when you realize they had to work around Vince’s rules for the bout.

Final Thoughts:

This is an underrated event. It gets more hate than it deserves. There were only a couple of bad things. The rest ranges from decent to great. It’s an unappreciated gem in an otherwise bad year. There were even a couple of good storylines mixed into it. The main event was a poor choice, but I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed the show as a whole.

Thank you for reading. My next review is a bonus. I will cover the first episode of WCW Monday Nitro. That entry will be on Wednesday. Then, I will review ECW’s Gangsta’s Paradise ’95 on Sunday. Look for my reviews!

 

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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