WWF SummerSlam 1995
by Scrooge McSuck
- When it comes to popping in PPV's from my childhood, it seems like this is that one show I just can't stomach thinking about devoting nearly 3-hours of my time to. I am more willingly ready to sit through the abomination known as the 1995 King of the Ring, or marathon run it through the first dozen In Your House PPV's. Hell, the other day I re-watched WrestleMania IX and still maintain it's not even close to being the worst of all-time. This, though... it just gets on my nerves for whatever reasons. I guess we'll find out as we go from match to match.
- Originally broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View, on August 27th, 1995, from the Civic Center in Pittsburgh, PA. So in a three month span, the WWF ran two PPV's in Pennsylvania? That seems a little odd. Vince McMahon and Jerry "the King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Funny sidenote: WWF Magazine ran a preview of the show, which included a one on one match between Double J and the Roadie... that of course never happened thanks to Jarrett's sudden departure. Also, for an important PPV, the Tag Champions, Yokozuna and Owen Hart aren't featured, Sid is absent from the card, as well as Davey Boy Smith and Lex Luger. All that star power nowhere to be seen, and people wonder why the company was swirling in a bowl?
Opening Match: The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi:
This shouldn't be too bad of an opener. I honestly don't recall this match being advertised for the PPV until the very last minute, a move that WWF wasn't known for. They almost always had the entire cards put together weeks in advance, even with the monthly PPV's. Hakushi has been around for all of 1995 and going nowhere fast, even losing to Barry Horowitz that same weekend on Action Zone. We'll get to that one a bit later. Among several notable ECW regulars, WWF superfan Vladimir is also at ringside... you think I would get royalties for always mentioning that, but I don't.
Lockup, with the Kid grabbing a side headlock. They exchange hammerlocks until Hakushi yanks the hair, to a decent pop. Kid nips up and takes him over with an arm drag. Hakushi with the headlock and shoulder tackle, and the Kid follows that with a hip toss. Hakushi mule kicks him off, and a double nip up pops the crowd, back before every Indy geek did it in every match. The Kid with the headlock and shoulder tackle, but he misses a spinning heel kick. Hakushi works the throat and sends him to the corner. Kid counters a powerbomb with an arm drag, but runs into a tilt-o-whirl slam. Whip to the corner, and Hakushi follows in with a handspring elbow, followed by a Bronco Buster... so that's where the Kid ripped it off from. Slam and second rope splash for two. Whip to the ropes, Hakushi throws Kid high in the air, and sends him to the floor with a spinning crescent kick. Highspot of the Match: Hakushi with a handspring moonsault to the floor, which reads a hell of a lot less cool than it looked. Back in, Hakushi comes off the top with a shoulder tackle for two. To the top again, but this time he kisses canvas. Kid sends him to the floor with a dropkick, and follows with a springboard senton... Hakushi wins in the highspot contest, but barely. Kid slingshots in with a leg drop for two. Slam and splash for two. Kid goes for a spinning heel kick, but Hakushi catches and slams him for three at 9:29. started off really slow, but picked up nicely with some quality highspots.
- Dok Hendrix is backstage, on the verge of having a seizure, trying to convince us that King Mabel is going to be the next WWF Champion. Here's some forshadowing: when a 10 year old mark is clearly not buying Mabel as a threat to anyone above the level of a Bob Holly, then smart fans sure as hell weren't.
Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley:
Speaking of Bob Holly, we're really bringing the quality, aren't we? This is Helmsley's first match on PPV, having debuted shortly after WrestleMania XI. I never understood changing Bob Holly's name from Sparky Plugg. Did it really matter what we called a wanna-be NASCAR driver? Another match with no build and thrown on the card at the last minute. Remember the days when Helmsley was nothing but a no-name Lord Steven Regal clone? Even his stalling is second-rate in comparison at this point in his career. Holly grabs him and sends him across the ring with a slam. Helmsley with a sucker punch, followed by clubberin', Whip to the ropes is countered with an elbow, but Holly's charge is met with a Stun Gun. Helmsley with more rights and boots, followed by choking. Hard whip to the corner and a crappy backbreaker gets two. Suplex and knee drop for two. Meanwhile, Davey Boy Smith has arrived. More on that later. Helmsley with the abdominal stretch, but he uses the ropes too soon to make Mike Rotundo proud. Holly turns it around, only to take a hip toss to the floor. Back inside, Holly surprises Helmsley with a DDT, followed by a dropkick. Just call him the New Generation's Jim Brunzell. He catches Helmsley with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline. Whip to the corner and a back drop. Whip to the corner again, and another dropkick. One more time, but this time Helmsley counters the back drop with the Pedigree, and it's over at 7:10. This kinda' sucked, but in a boring way more than anything else.
The Smoking Gunns vs. The Blu Brothers (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(Billy & Bart Gunn vs. Jacob & Eli Blu)
More filler. I have to say, fans growing up on this era of wrestling have it easy. They didn't have to sit through the constant retooling of the Harris Twins, two of the worst wrestlers I can think of without a complete list of all the hundreds of people to ever work for the WWF. I guess we weren't supposed to know that every time a team of Twins came back, we weren't supposed to know it was them. Uncle Zeb is better known to older fans as Dutch Mantel, and to current fans as Zeb Colter. Side note: Who is this TERRIBLE ring announcer? He sounds like he's straight out of bad Indy hell. Billy starts with, let's say, Jacob. Lockup, and Jacob throws him down. Whip to the corner and Jacob follows with an elbow. Eli in with a slam and elbow drops. Jacob back in, and Billy rolls him up for two. He connects with a early form the Fame-Asser. Bart in with an axehandle, then works the arm. Billy tags in and takes a double spinebuster to become face-in-peril. Jacob traps him in the tree of woe and stomps away. Eli with a slam and knee drop for two. Powerslam for two. Jacob in, and he gets slammed face-first to the canvas. Bart with the hot tag, unloading with lefts and slams. We get heel miscommuncation, and the top rope leg drop finishes things at 6:11. Superstars feature match garbage, and the crowd couldn't have cared less.
Barry Horowitz vs. Skip (w/ Sunny):
After spending the better part of 8 years as a scrub to the Superstars, Barry Horowitz was finally given a push, picking up a surpise victory over Skip for his first win ever (we'll just pretend his wins over Jose Luis Rivera never happened, because no one cares), then beta Hakushi thanks to backfired distractions. Not a bad idea for a storyline, but Horowitz's push didn't last very long. Horowitz rushes the ring and pounds away. He takes Skip over with a back drop, then drops a knee. Jawbuster and a running knee, followed by a dragon screw and clothesline, sending Skip to the floor. Horowitz slingshots him back in, and a roll up gets two. Horowitz with an elbow from the apron, then brings Skip to the floor with a suplex. Sunny hops in the ring to be an attention whore. We almost get an accidental ref' bump, and Sunny trips Horowitz up from the outside. Skip with a snap suplex and second rope leg drop. He takes Horowitz over with a snapmare and pounds the back of the head. Gutwrench suplex and a second rope fist drop connects. Horowitz mounts a comeback, coming off the ropes with shoulder tackles. Sunset flip for two. Skip lays him out with a clothesline and goes for a resthold. Horowitz with a Thesz Press for two. Skip with a powerslam, followed by leg drops for two. They trade blows in the corner and both miss dropkicks. Skip climbs up for a moonsault, but a dropkick crotches him. Skip elbows him down and connects with a headbutt, but pulls him up at two. Piledriver is countered with a back drop. Horowitz to the top, and Sunny shakes him up. Skip with a Super-Plex, and out comes Hakushi. He causes enough of a distraction to allow Horowitz to cradle Skip for three at 11:22. Decent match, but nothing that would leave much on an impression for more than 15-minutes.
WWF Women's Championship Match:
I don't know how this program has been dragged out since immediately after WrestleMania, but I guess Alundra taking time off for (obvious) plastic surgery was enough of a reason to extend things. For whatever reason, someone in the WWF marketing department though dressing up Rhonda Singh in fishnet stockings and a short skirt was a great idea. Pairing her up with Harvey Wippleman and making them love interests was a nail in the coffin no career needed. Blayze opens things with an enziguri, followed by a spinning leg sweep, straight out of Mortal Kombat. Whip to the corner, Faye misses a charge. Blayze kicks away, but Faye's bulk knocks her on her ass repeatedly. Faye with a slam and leg drops for two. Slam near the corner, and a splash misses. Blayze with a victory roll for two. She unloads with knees until Faye sweeps the legs, and slams her for another two count. Blayze bridges out of the pin and comes off the ropes with clotheslines. Cover, but Wippleman distracts the referee, leading to a comedy chase. Back inside, Faye blocks a German suplex, but a crucifix takes her over for two. Frankensteiner for another two count. Blayze with missile dropkicks, but a third misses. Faye with a Ligerbomb, and it's all over at 4:40, despite Blayze kicking out. Match was much better than I thought it would be, but Faye's nuetered offense was obvious, sans the finisher.
Alundra Blayze © vs. Bertha Faye (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Casket Match: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kama (w/ Ted Dibiase):
Another angle stretched out for way too long. Kama stole the urn back at WrestleMania, then melted it down into a ghetto chain. How they got this much mileage out of the angle is beyond me. In the weeks leading up to the show, Kama beat the crap out of one of the Undertaker's "creatures of the night", looking like the Punk Kidô from King of the Ring '94. Spoiler alert: Casket matches typically suck, and it's Mid 90's Undertaker. You've been warned. I swear, if he owned the rights to the gimmick, the Undertaker would've left the WWF for WCW in half-a-second with all the nonsense he was put through.
'Taker pounds away to start. Whip to the corner, and he catches Kama in a double choke lift. He throws Kama over the top, onto the casket. Back inside, Undertaker with a charging splash in the corner, followed by the old school move from the top rope. Kama gets thrown into the casket, but quickly pops out. Kama to the top with a clothesline, followed by a powerslam. He puts 'Taker in the casket, but a sloppy headscissors trades places. Dibiase with a distraction to allow Kama to recover, and it's all punchy-kicky for a while. Undertaker avoids a charge, but a clothesline knocks him onto the casket. In the highspot of the match (so far), Bearer rips off his jacket and goes after Dibiase, but has to settle for shoving Jack Doan on his butt. Undertaker takes control on the floor until being rammed into the post. Kama with a suplex onto the casket, followed by a baseball slide. Piledriver attempt is countered with a back drop. Kama catches 'Taker off the ropes with a powerslam, and goes for a cover, despite constantly going for the casket all match until this point. Chinlock, and this kills the match even more. 'Taker escapes with a back suplex and puts the boots to him. Whip to the ropes, and the diving clothesline connects. Both men end up in the casket, but we can't have a tie. Damn it. Back in the ring, Kama with a swinging neckbreaker. Undertaker retaliates with a chokeslam, Tombstone Piledriver, and he rolls Kama into the casket for the victory at 16:27, sending Kama back to wherever the hell the WWF sent failed experiments and pushes. Way, way, WAY too long, but not the worst Casket Match, not by a mile.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.:
Welcome to Lame Program #10526: Heel gets his comeuppance, and sends his dentist after someone for revenge. What, you've never heard of that one before? Well, that's what happened when Bret Hart bested Jerry Lawler in a Kiss My Foot Match at the King of the Ring. Isaac Yankem was featured for two months in vignettes where he would torture people in need of dental care. The kicker... he had bad teeth. The role is being played by Glenn Jacobs, who fans, and myself especially, would know better as Kane. Bret goes for a waistlock, but practically throws himself to show how strong Yankem is. Chokes in the corner, followed by rights. Bret with rights of his own until taking a knee to the midsection. Yankem counters a body press with a slam, but misses a jumping elbow drop. Bret with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a trio of clotheslines, sending him to the floor. Bret follows with a plancha, and is it me, or does he almost always overshoot and land on his face? Bret with a second rope clothesline, but the Sharpshooter is blocked. A roll up gets two. Yankem goes for a hip toss, and Bret counters with a back slide for two.
Yankem catches Bret off the ropes with a press slam, dropping him across the top rope. They work in the chest-first bump in the corner, and Yankem unleashes with... choking. He slaps on the wicked awesome hangman choke, but Bret counters with a small package for two. Yankem with a clothesline, sending Bret to the floor. Back inside, he hangs Bret across the top rope, and comes off the top with a leg drop to the back of the head for two. Bret does his best to play "hide from the hoss" until a clothesline to the back of the head stops the clock. The action spills to the floor, and out of nowhere comes Bret with a suicide dive, followed by a flurry of rights. Back inside, the bulldog out of the corner gets two. Russian leg sweep for two. Back breaker and second elbow drop, and here comes the thumbs up/thumbs down about a decade before Batista got himself over doing it. Sharpshooter applied, but Lawler helps Yankem to the ropes. Yankem from behind, but Bret regains control, sweeps the legs, and ties him to the ring post to unleash more punishment. Lawler gets involved again, and it's a Disqualification victory for Hart at 16:07. Unfortunately, the good times aren't cherrished, as he's hung in the ropes for a while until a gaggle of officials break things up. Decent match, but way too long. Yankem's green-ness was obvious, and at times, Bret didn't seem too into it.
WWF Intercontinental Title; Ladder Match:
Here's a funny one for you... this was originally supposed to be Shawn vs. Sid, without a gimmick, but I guess someone knew it would suck to have Sid and King Mabel in seperate top of the card matches, and thus we got this, for no reason. Not that anyone was complaining. Dok Hendrix has joined McMahon, with Lawler's departure from the table, for those two of you who care. Fun Fact: Shawn Michaels is the only IC Champion to have retained at a Summerslam (1993).
Shawn Michaels © vs. Razor Ramon:
Slugfest to start. Criss cross sequence ends with Shawn going for Sweet Chin Music, but Ramon keeps away. Ramon gos for the Edge, but Shawn slips free. Hard whip to the corner, sending Shawn to the floor. Ramon goes for the ladder, but Shawn jumps him to keep the ladder out of play. For now. Shawn goes for a suplex, but Ramon counters, dropping Shawn's leg across the security rail. Ouch. Back inside, they do another sequence with their finishers and a double clothesline puts both down. Ramon sends Michaels to the corner, and takes him down with a fallaway slam. He gets the ladder, avoids the baseball slide, and lays him out with rights. Shawn prevents a climb and whacks Ramon in the leg with it. He climbs, moons the crowd as per his contract, and gets thrown off. Ramon sandwiches the leg between the ladder and stomps away. Ramon continues to punish the leg to crowd disaproval. Shawn collapses being sent to the ladder in the corner, so Ramon drops elbows on the knee. He goes for a Figure-Four, but Michaels kicks him off, into the ladder. Ramon recovers quickly, dropping Michaels' knee across the ladder. The work on the knee continues. Whip to the ropes, drop toe hold, and Ramon snaps back on the leg. Ramon casually dumps the ladder onto the leg, just to be a dick.
Ramon climbs, but Shawn makes it to the top and axehandles him off. Both men climb up the same side, with Shawn taking Ramon down with a back suplex. Shawn sets the ladder up in the corner, whipping Ramon into it and coming off the ropes with a diving forearm. Michaels with a slam, climbs the ladder, and comes off with a moonsault. He climbs the Ladder again, and this time a splash misses. We get the slow climb up both sides of the Ladder, and the slugfest that follows until they both get dropped across the top rope. Shawn tries to use the ladder as a battering ram, but Ramon avoids it, and both men are down and out on the floor. Ramon pulls out a second ladder, which seemed like a big deal at the time, before a match would have 9 ladders involved and no one would bat an eye. Shawn climbs and gets taken off with the Razor's Edge. Both ladders get set up, Shawn hits "sweet chin music", but a dive for the belt misses. Razor's Edge is countered with a back drop to the floor. Shawn climbs, grabs the belt, and falls down. Shawn throws an obvious fit, climbs up, and just casually pylls the belt off for the victory at 25:06. Great match, with some nice throwbacks to their previous encounter at WrestleMania X, but the long rest periods between high spots and the horribly blown finish kind of drags it beneath that one in quality.
WWF Championship Match: Diesel © vs. King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo):
This is YOUR Main Event of SummerSlam. Enjoy. Mabel won the King of the Ring, which seemed like a unofficial declaration of becoming the #1 Contender. In the weeks leading to SummerSlam, Shawn Michaels got his ass handed to him by the new King, and Davey Boy Smith turned heel in helping M.O.M. lay a butt-whoopin' on the Champion on Monday Night Raw. Did it make sense? No. Did anyone care? Not really. Seemed like it was something to do for the sake of doing it.
Diesel starts things with forearms. Whip to the ropes, Mabel with a crappy clothesline, followed by a shoulder. Diesel retaliates with a pair of clotheslines, then stupidly goes for a slam. If you like clotheslines, you'll love this match, 'cause here comes some more. Diesel sends Mabel to the floor with a diving shoulder tackle, then flies over the top with a plancha, hoping to drag this turd over a DUD rating. Mabel sends Diesel to the post, but the Bull Charge is countered with a boot to the face. Slow-motion action continues in the ring. Mabel with a lazy sidewalk slam for two. He sits down on Diesel, and I mean that literally, offering zero protection. He grabs... something. I can't even tell. Chinlock, nerve hold, you pick. Mabel with the most obvious referee bump in history, making it look like me playing Royal Rumble for the SNES. Mo comes in for some double teaming. Here comes Lex Luger, only to get nailed by Diesel and clotheslined to the floor... ZUH?! He's forgiving though, and takes Mo out for him in his last moment as a WWF Superstar. Diesel ends this nonsense with a second rope clothesline at 9:16. Worst main event of 1995. Even worse than the series of matches Diesel had with Sid.
Final Thoughts: A thoroughly unenjoyable show, with the exception of the Ladder ReMatch. There's a few undercard matches peppered throughout that were decent, but nothing to get excited about, Bret Hart dogged his way into a perfectly acceptable performance carrying a green Glenn Jacobs, the Casket Match was overly long and mostly pointless without many high spots, and the Main Event was one of, if not the, worst of it's era. I would recommend simply tracking down Shawn vs. Razor II, but I would rather watch their first encounter at WrestleMania X any day of the week. Strongest recommendation to avoid.
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