I’ve also included a bonus review of the Jeff Jarrett vs. British Bulldog ladder match from the “WWE Unreleased 1986-95” DVD.
May 15, 1995
From the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, NY
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
We get a “Saturday Night’s Main Event” style dueling promo for tonight’s IRS vs. Bam Bam Bigelow match.
The hosts run down the show as Lawler gloats over beating Bret Hart last night at In Your House. Also on the show we will have Bob Backlund’s announcement and Bob Holly vs. Mantaur in a King of the Ring qualifying match.
Yokozuna & Owen Hart w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. Bill Weaver & Nick Barberry
Cornette makes fun of a fan and says he is the result of when a “fetus does not get enough oxygen.” Lawer makes fun of Bret as Yokozuna hits a double clothesline. Owen tags in and beats on Weaver as Vince says the Allied Powers are looking forward to a Tag Title match and how the Smoking Gunns want another shot. Owen now works over Barberry with an armbar. Barberry fights back and tags out but Owen catches Weaver with a knee to the gut. Yokozuna is back in now and he stomps Weaver. Vince says that Yokozuna is over 600lbs and continues to grow as Yokozuna hits Weaver with a belly-to-belly suplex for the win (3:08).
Thoughts: A quick win for the champs as they are gearing towards making the Allied Powers the #1 contenders.
We now get still photos of Lawler’s match last night and his “mother” as Lawler says she propelled him to victory.
A new wacky ad airs with martians that ends with the tagline of WWF “saving the world” airs. Yes, 1995 WWF is saving the world.
The show is back and the lights are out. Then, Man Mountain Rock is introduced and the spotlight shines on him in the ring as he plays the guitar.
Man Mountain Rock vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Sharpe has gained quite a bit of weight in the gut. Lawler said Rock’s performance was so bad that Jimi Hendrix is rolling over in his grave. Sharpe bounces off of Rock then fails to slam him as Vince laughs at Lawler saying Rock needs Jenny Craig. Rock drops an elbow but Sharpe rakes the eyes but Rock shoves Sharpe into the corner then takes him down on the rebound with the Whammy Bar and gets the win (1:26).
Thoughts: The are trying once again to push Rock but the initial presentation was horrible and no one cares. And this match was fucking dreadful on a night filled with bad action. This would be Sharpe’s final televised singles match with the company.
Highlights from last night’s winner of the Orlando vacation home are shown. Vince tells us how the winner’s favorite wrestler is Shawn Michaels, who will be returning to RAW next week against King Kong Bundy. Now we have a main event for next week.
Still photos from last night’s Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie match.
Now, we hear from Savio Vega backstage. Savio is mostly speaking in Spanish hear. He then apologizes to the people for the attack but no one is going to attack his friends. He also tells us about knowing Razor for a long time. it seems like the company is going to push Savio & Razor as friends but lets see how long that will last.
Barry Didinsky shills a Diesel vs. Sid In Your House shirt that is only available tonight. It costs $16. He also shows us a Bret Hart t-shirt and mocks Lawler for not having a shirt of his own.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Mantaur w/ Jim Cornette vs. Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly
We see the KoTR tournament bracket with Mabel the first entrant. Vince stresses how Bomb was attacked before his loss to Mabel last night. Mantaur tosses Holly halfway across the ring then through the ropes. Holly returns and lands a dropkick then they mess up an Irish whip sequence that ends with Mantaur using a scoop slam. Mantaur hits a front falling slam for two then attacks the back. Vince talks about the King of the Ring being held in Philadelphia as Mantaur roars after hitting a side slam. Vertical suplex gets two then he headbutts Holly as the announcers now talk about Shawn Michaels returning next week. Mantaur rams Holly into the corner as Vince says that Shawn originally challenged Sid but Ted DiBiase is sending Bundy in his place. Holly avoids a corner charge and rolls up Mantaur for two. Holly fights back and staggers Mantaur then hits a missile dropkick for two. Holly goes back up top and hits a flying body press for the win (5:30) 1/4*.
Thoughts: Just dreadful as Mantaur has no business being on TV as pushed talent. He is lost in everything he does and frequently out of position. Holly’s comeback at the end kept it from being a total dud. Mantaur’s time with the company would be done in a few weeks and its not tough to see why.
A hype video for Shawn Michaels return next week against King Kong Bundy.
Vince now welcomes Bob Backlund into the ring. He gives him the opportunity to make his announcement. Backlund tells us how his announcement will hurt our feelings. He saw a “minute” ray that grew and ionized over the Hartford Civic Center roof at WrestleMania. Vince wants Backlund to get to the point and Backlund goes off on a tangent listing historical events then has to take a break as he was getting choked up. Backlund then says he is in complete control but has to stop again then finally tells us that he is contemplating running for President of the USA. We then get a band playing down the aisle and a fireworks display. This has been more amusing than most of Backlund’s latest tirades at least as he did a pretty good job teasing his announcement. It was hokey for sure but keeping Backlund’s craziness contained to this is better than being in feuds that aren’t getting his opponent over with horrendous matches to boot.
Back from break as Lawler is wearing a “Backlund for President” button as the announcers talk about what just happened.
Still photo package of last night’s Diesel vs. Sid World Title match.
We are shown Jim Ross interviewing DiBiase & IRS as they came into the arena today. DiBiase says IRS will put the biggest “audit” on Bigelow tonight and just in case there is something left of Bigelow, he should form a team with his new buddy Diesel and face his team of Sid & Tatanka. DiBiase then screams about them costing Sid the title. Looks like we are getting a tag match and the heel side is so dire that Tatanka is being put into a main event angle.
Bigelow comes out for his match then announces the man in his corner tonight, Diesel. We see Diesel come out and chase DiBiase away as DiBiase heads backstage. But speaking of Diesel, the following night at the “Superstars” tapings, he injured his arm in a tag with Shawn against Sid & Kama when during a double clothesline with Kama he ended up tearing his tricep. And let’s see how that injury came into effect going forward.
IRS w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Diesel
Bigelow is wearing his outfit that shoots flames from his arms. IRS sneak attacks Bigelow before the bell. Bigelow then hits an atomic drop that sends IRS through the ropes. Vince tells us that Bigelow has a leg injury and how IRS will be targeting that during the match. Bigelow misses a falling headbutt in a completely mistimed spot then IRS bails but heads out near Diesel and gets rolled inside. We go to break then return as Bigelow clotheslines IRS and this time hits the falling headbutt. Bigelow heads up top but misses a flying headbutt and IRS goes back on offense. IRS drops a pair of elbows for a two count then applies a chin lock. IRS now switches to an abdominal stretch as Vince says Bigelow hurt his leg last night in a match against Tatanka. IRS misses a charge in the corner but able to kick Bigelow in the gut and hammers away. IRS drops Bigelow with a back elbow smash then unties the top turnbuckle pad. Bigelow misses a corner splash and hits the exposed steel so IRS covers with his feet on the ropes but Diesel takes IRS’s feet off of the ropes then Bigelow fights back and hits a falling headbutt for the win (5:11 shown) 1/4*. We now see Sid & Tatanka head to the ring as we go to break.
Thoughts: This was just as bad as the KoTR qualifier. They played up Bigelow’s leg being hurt on commentary and how IRS knew this yet it was never targeted during the match. The work was incredibly sloppy and Bigelow selling the whole time and winning with a basic falling headbutt while the story was him running through the entire Corporation certainly did not ignite the crowd. Sid & Tatanka coming out was never followed up here either as we went to break and they were not there.
We get a Shawn Michaels music video. Its a mix of wrestling highlights and female fans going nuts for him in the crowd set to his theme music.
The show closes with Bundy telling Shawn he might be back next week but won’t be back for long. The first we’ve seen of Bundy since WrestleMania XI.
Final Thoughts: The whole was really about setting up Shawn Michaels’ return and establishing Diesel & Bigelow as a team and I thought they did a solid job with Shawn but the Diesel & Bigelow buddy duo is coming off too forced to be effective. And laming up Bigelow with the flame shooters and the terrible match we saw tonight is not doing him any favors but they are still trying to push him as a face, regardless. We got the Backlund announcement too but the action here was really bad but throughout all WWF programming expect more King of the Ring qualifying matches as we build up to the next PPV since we are now in the monthly PPV era. And what a change since i first started this review timeline over 7 years ago with 1984 WWF.
WWF Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Jeff Jarrett (c) w/ The Roadie vs. British Bulldog
This match was from the 5/16 “Superstars” tapings in Danbury, CT. Bulldog comes out to the Allied Powers theme. Roadie distracts Bulldog, allowing Jarrett to attack from behind. Bulldog comes back with a delayed vertical suplex then a clothesline but is tripped up by Roadie then knocked outside by Jarrett. Bulldog fights back on the outside until Roadie makes the save. Jarrett sends Bulldog into the guardrail then holds hi,m up for Roadie as the ref for some reason is in the opposite corner outside of the ring doing nothing. We finally get back into the ring where Jarrett chokes out Bulldog then we finally get some cheers as Lex Luger appears and backs off The Roadie. Bulldog drops Jarrett with a back elbow smash as both men are down then starts firing away. He hits a vertical suplex then clotheslines Jarrett over the top rope as we saw Luger chase Roadie backstage. Bulldog slides the ladder into the ring and sets it up but Jarrett runs in and pushes him off. Jarrett chokes out Bulldog with the ropes then takes the ladder and rams Bulldog in the ribs. Bulldog gets dumped outside and Jarrett sets up the ladder but stops to kick Bulldog off of the apron. Jarrett starts climbing but Bulldog makes it inside and knocks Jarrett off as Jarrett hits the ropes. Bulldog is up and sets up the ladder only to knock it into Jarrett then starts using it as a weapon. Both men climb up the ladder and slug it off until they fall off. Jarrett is up first and sets up the ladder in the corner but Bulldog reverses an Irish whip and Jarrett crashes into the ladder as that po[s the crowd. Bulldog keeps ramming Jarrett into the ladder then catches him with a press slam. Bulldog sets up the ladder and climbs but Jarrett is able to take him off with a dropkick then Jarrett climbs and is able to grab the belt before Bulldog shoves him off and retains (7:45) **1/4. After the match, Bulldog fights Jarrett and is about to hit him with the running powerslam until Roadie runs him with a chop block. Luger comes out for the save and the Allied Powers clear the ring.
Thoughts: The match was starting to get good until the abrupt finish as the first couple of minutes was just meandering with a terrible segment spend outside of the ring fighting with the ref seemingly hiding from the action. It looked dumb and the crowd was dead for it all. Anyway, they got Bulldog’s heat back after the loss and you could also run a tag match between these four if you wanted.