I believe this PPV had the distinction of being one of the lowest, if not the lowest bought PPV in WWF history until a few short years ago when another December PPV took the honors.
The opening video on Bret Hart vs. Bulldog did a better job to build up the main event than anything we saw on RAW. Santa is shaking hands with the fans. That comes into play later.
Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty vs. Sid and the Kid
Razor and Marty are sporting leather jackets. Goldust is in the audience and is making eyes at Ramon. Marty and the Kid start, but Marty offers to let Razor in and is attacked instead. Marty gains control and teases another tag to Razor and the Kid runs.
After several teased tries with the same result, Marty stuns the Kid with an atomic drop and tags in Razor. The Kid bails and Marty tosses him right back in. Razor hoists the Kid up and he tags in Sid on Ramon’s blindside. Sid comes in and starts clubbing away. The Kid tags in with Razor down and tries some punches but Ramon no sells and Sid is quickly tagged back in. The big men hit a double clothesline and both make a tag.
Kid and Marty hit some quick back and forth moves. Marty hits a modified blockbuster and seems to not know what to do next as he pauses for a few seconds and then goes to a rest hold to regroup. Kid gains the upper hand and Sid is tagged back in for some more clubbing.
Goldust is interviewed at ringside and talks about the “hormonal urges” Razor creates in him. Creeper! The Kid and Sid take turns wearing down Jannetty. Razor finally tags in and he wounds both heels. Sid eats a bulldog and that earns the surprise pin. Razor tries to get at The Kid but Sid saves him. Not a bad match, but the heel heat segment dragged.
The ring announcer says “The Nature Boy” Buddy Landell is up next and Vince buries him for being confused. Lawler gets in the ring and introduces Jeff Jarrett, who is making his return after being away for 5 months. Jarrett is awarded a gold CD for his fictional music sales. He announces his intention to enter the Royal Rumble. Total waste of time.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Dean Douglas
Dean is selling his back the whole walk down towards the ring. Douglas announces his injury and brings out “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell – complete with Ric Flair’s music.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Buddy Landell
Ahmed no sells Landell’s shots, hits a spinebuster and a Pearl River Plunge for the pin. Lawler and Jarrett troll Ahmed until Jarrett busts the music award over his head. Ahmed makes his own comeback and they brawl to the back.
Razor is given a letter from Goldust in the back and he reads it in disgust and storms off.
“Hog Pen match”
Henry Godwinn vs. HHH
Vince McMahon is greatly amused by the pigs. Put your opponent in the hog pen to win.
HOG tries to slop HHH to start and he hits a ringside attendant. Godwinn tosses Helmsley around and ties him in the ropes. HOG grabs a handful of slop and shoves it all over HHH’s face. That riles him up and he proves he can toss his fists just as well as his country tough opponent. Henry locks him in a headlock and drives the crown of his head into the steel steps. HHH is then dragged down by the hog pen – the pigs are sleeping (they must have watched that Jeff Jarrett interview segment too).
Hunter tries a pedigree but he is back dropped onto the pen fence. HHH crawls back to the ring. HOG nails a reverse powerbomb and whips HHH from pillar to post. HOG tries a Slop Drop on the cement but Helmsley blocks it. Hunter is whipped into the pen’s gate and he slices his back open. HHH is hit with a Slop Drop and HOG charges at him, only to be backdropped into the pen & give the win to Helmsley.
HOG grabs HHH and press slams him into the mud. HHH takes a few pratfalls and HOG dances. Better match than expected.
Diesel vs. Owen Hart
Hart tries to escape but Diesel just chucks him around and nails a side slam. Owen’s punches are no sold and he is dumped to the floor. A spin heel kick and a flying dropkick down Diesel. Owen starts to work over the leg of Diesel and hits an enziguiri. Diesel kicks Owen into the ring post and nails the big boot. Owen is power bombed and pinned with one boot. Diesel takes his foot off before the 3 and goes for another power bomb – the ref tries to stop him so Diesel shoves the ref and hits it anyway. Owen is left emasculated but is awarded the DQ win.
Santa and Savio Vega are handing out WWF merchandise. Ted DiBiase comes down and says he can buy anyone and invites them in the ring. Ted says Santa is too fat to make the annunal Xmas trip. Savio takes offense to Ted’s Santa bashing and Santa attacks him from behind. Vince suggests that the real Santa hasn’t turned to the dark side. Santa and Savio brawl to the back. Eh, this was goofy but kind of fun.
Need a late Christmas gift? The WWF RAW video game is for sale for only 70 dollars! Gee, I wonder how much my parents paid for it? No way they paid that kind of money.
Casket Match: Undertaker vs. Mabel
Mabel, Dean Douglas and Sid are all members of the upper card roster who are leaving the WWF; not exactly encouraging considering the poor state of the roster. Mabel clubs away to start. Taker chokes away and hits a diving clothesluine. Taker no sells a belly to belly suplex. Mabel misses a second rope splash. Another belly to belly stops the Phenom. A big splash leaves Taker DOA. Mo carries Taker over to the casket and dumps him in. Men on a Mission celebrate but they forgot to close the lid like dopes. Taker crawls out and assaults Mabel. A flying clothesline finally knocks Mabel over. A chokeslam sets up Mabel to be knocked into the casket. Mo attacks Taker and that goes poorly for him. He ends up tossed into the casket as well & Taker does not neglect to shut the lid for the win. Mercifully quick.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith
Bulldog tosses Bret backwards to establish his strength advantage. Bret and Bulldog trade armbars as Vince breaks the fourth wall and says Bret makes his opponents look good. Bret is trapped in the tree of woe and Bulldog stomps away. Bulldog locks in a headlock and the crowd starts an “ECW” chant (Mick Foley was doing his anti-hardcore schtick in ECW at the time, headlined by extensive usage of the headlock). Bulldog LOVES his headlocks. Bret is whipped chest first into the turnbuckles – and back to the headlock.
Bret rallies with fisticuffs, a bulldog and a piledriver. Bret hits the elbow from the second rope, but a superplex attempt ends with Hart being crotched and falling to the floor. Bulldog slams him into the ring post and Bret is busted open bad. A big puddle of blood is on the mat. Bulldog nails a piledriver, a vertical suplex and a press slam on Bret. Vince begs the director to not show the blood. Davey hits a diving headbutt but hurts his knee. Bret’s blood is all over Bulldog’s tights and the mat, so thank god Kevin Dunn ignored Vince or we’d be watching crowd shots exclusively for the next few minutes. Bret sends Davey to the floor the hard way and launches on him. Bulldog catches Bret on another dive and powerslams him on the floor.
Bulldog tries to suplex Bret on the bare cement but Hart reverses and drops Bulldog balls first on the guardrail. Back in Bret whips Davey into the corner and Bulldog bounces off the mat right on his head and neck. Hart nails a superplex and both men are spent. They trade roll ups and Bret is able to lock one in tight enough to earn the win. The last five minutes was really good stuff, not sure this deserves the classic status it has garnered.
Diesel and Undertaker have a staredown in the locker room after Taker is announced as the number one contender.
The WWF has a lot of work to do yet to recover from its maladies, but business as a whole is down in the US, as even WCW with their bloated roster and mainstream names is failing to draw as well. WCW at least figured out that filling the mid-card with workrate can help make a show much better. With the Royal Rumble a few weeks away, its surprising that the WWF would let Mabel and Sid walk away and lose whatever limited star power they offer. Thankfully the Kliq is a few months away from splitting and that will help the WWF build new stars and hopefully make for a better week in and week out product to watch. I have been dreading RAW in recent weeks thanks to the uninspired product, and at this point I need some hope to cling to that things will get better.