June 25, 1995
From the CoreStates Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix
On the countdown show, Todd Pettengill says its no longer the “countdown show” but will now be called “Sunday Night Slam.” We learn that the winner of Savio Vega vs. IRS will take Razor Ramon’s spot in the King of the Ring tournament.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: IRS w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon
Vince says despite Razor Ramon pleading with WWF officials to wrestle in the tournament as we see his ribs all taped up. Vega is holding the American and Puerto Rican flag. The winner of this will face Yokozuna in the first round. We get a lot of rollup attempts early from both men then Vega works a side headlock. Savio uses a hip toss then a dropkick for a two count before going back to the headlock. IRS dumps Vega outside then IRS takes his time and steps out on the apron and stomps Vega. IRS rolls Vega back inside then heads up top but Vega got his foot up. Vega pumps up and fires away and hits a suplex for a nearfall. IRS bails then goes up the aisle so Vega follows and brings him back into the ring where he hits a spinning heel kick for the win (4:02) *. Vega celebrates then is interviewed by Pettengill in the aisle, where he is informed about facing Yokozuna in 10 minutes. Vega is happy to be the first “Latin American” in the King of the Ring and promises to win.
Thoughts: Really basic match but it was fine. However, I don’t think a single person bought IRS as winning this and facing Yokozuna in the first round. IRS was practically retired at this point and a road agent I believe or was going to be quite shortly but his run as a performer was well past its expiration date.
We cut to Owen Hart & Stan Lane at the Superstar Line. Owen says he is an expert and will interview all of the tournament wrestlers while giving them the advice that only a former KoTR winner can give. Owen then says he would have won this year but got cheated out of the first round.
Shawn Michaels all of a sudden comes out. Pettengill asks him how “King Shawn” sounds while Shawn says it sounds good he promises the fans he will deliver tonight. Shawn makes a joke about never remembering the last time he mentally prepared for anything and that “Bulkhead Ted” is boring. Shawn then says he has knocked down bigger and better than Kama and how the Million Dollar Corporation has been a giant thorn in his side the past few months. Shawn then says while not being the most popular guy in the dressing room, the fans love him as he gives them what they want. Shawn is really being pushed hard here to the point you think he just might be the favorite to win the tournament.
We get another Savio Vega promo as he is backstage with Razor Ramon and Todd Pettengill. Vega once again talks about being the first Latin American to win King of the Ring. He was quite excited here but this seemed to be the only thing the company was hyping him with regards to the tournament.
King of the Ring First Round Match: Yokozuna w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon
Vince says all first round matches have a 15 minute time-limit. Vega pumps up the crowd then the two finally lockup. Yokozuna backs Vega into the ropes and hits a chop. He then catches Vega with another drop but misses an elbow drop as Vega starts working the arm. Vega uses ten turnbuckle smashes to stagger Yokozuna but whiffs on a spinning heel kick. Yokozuna hammers away in the corner as we go split screen and see Owen yell at people on the Superstar Line with the monitor in the background. Vega rolls away as Yokozuna was setting up for the Bonzai Drop then Yokozuna chokes out Vega with the top rope. Yokozuna now works a nerve hold as Dok brings up Yokozuna winning the WWF World Title two years ago at King of the Ring. We now briefly go split screen to the Spanish announce team as Yokozuna still has Vega in the nerve hold. Yokozuna tosses Vega outside but Vega eventually comes back in and fights back. Yokozuna cuts off Vega with a throat thrust and chokes out Vega in the corner. Yokozuna hits a slam but misses a leg drop as the crowd gets behind Vega. We see Vega get up first and he tries to knock down Yokozuna and finally does with a spinning heel kick. Cornette jumps up on the apron and Vega knocks him off then we see Razor walk towards Cornette. Owen sneaks out to attack Razor then both Vega and Yokozuna wind up outside and fight until Yokozuna misses a charge and hits the post then Vega rolls inside and beats the ten count for the win (8:23) *.
Thoughts: Yokozuna, while not as badly blown up as he was during his match against Lex Luger on RAW, is still in awful shape. There is not much you can do with him as a performer at this point as his matches require multiple spots in it to give him rest. Vega winning didn’t get a bad reaction at least and the finish made sense because Yokozuna was still going to be protected despite his deteriorated condition.
The camera cuts backstage with a closeup of Lawler’s dirty foot. Lawler is spraying his foot as he talks about how awful his feet smell and promises to grab Bret by his hair and shove him on his foot.
We now see Vega & Razor on the Superstar Line as the numbers flash on the screen. Dok notes that Vega has won two matches in less than 20 minutes.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: The Roadie w/ Jeff Jarrett vs. Bob “Spark Plug” Holly
Holly goes for a few quick pin attempts at a lightning fast pace. Roadie bails and regroups with Jarrett and heads back inside. Roadie cheap shots Holly in the corner but gets run over after an Irish whip sequence. Holly stays in control then uses a scoop slam for a two count. Holly leaps up but Roadie counters with a powerbomb that sees Jarrett celebrate on the outside. Roadie targets the back then applies a chin lock. Holly escapes and uses a rollup for two but Roadie sends him back on the mat with a clothesline. Roadie dances around then drops an elbow for a two count before going back to the chin lock. Roadie then boots Holly and tries for a piledriver but Holly counters with a backdrop as both men are down. Holly takes Roadie down with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors then after that hits a dropkick. Holly pumps himself up but the crowd does not care. Holly hammers away then covers for two. Powerslam gets two. Roadie begs for mercy in the corner then cheapshots Holly and sets up for a superplex. Holly fights him off and Roadie crashes to the mat but Roadie gets his foot up as Holly comes off the top and covers as the ref counts to three as Holly’s arm was clearly up but the bell rings and Roadie advances as even the announcers seem confused (7:33) **1/2.
Thoughts: A solid, faster-paced match. Holly’s offense looked good and Roadie was a hell of a bumper. Roadie was behind his brothers as far as ring work but had more charisma than all of them combined. The finish was wonky but that’s the only real complaint here. Its also clear that Roadie will be given more of a push.
Pettengill is backstage with Shawn Michaels. We see how Shawn qualified after beating King Kong Bundy on RAW five weeks ago. Shawn says that being big doesn’t mean you’re good then heads out to the ring.
Bruce Prichard is now shown in front of the King’s throne as he shills some of the merchandise. They apparently did not even trust Didinsky on this live PPV. Shawn even comes out and puts on the crown and even the hat Prichard was selling before giving Prichard his own hat. That rapscallion.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Kama w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Shawn Michaels
Kama slams down the black wreath at ringside courtesy of Creatures of the Night. Shawn floats over on a back suplex attempt then dodges a few punches before nailing Kama with a jab. Shawn taunts DiBiase then continues to elude Kama and even skins-the-cat and waits for Kama to turn around and charge so he can backdrop him to the floor. Dok brings up Shawn having success at the King of the Ring PPV and how he sucessfully defended the Intercontinental Title without mentioning his opponent, Crush. Kama heads in and overpowers Shawn before clotheslining him over the top rope. Kama picks up Shawn and rams him into the post. Kama taunts the crowd then Shawn rolls back inside where Kama stays in control. We are shown Joe Frazier with his daughter in the crowd as Kama punches Shawn down to the mat. The crowd gets behind Shawn as Kama continues to punch away. Kama places Shawn across the top rope in the corner and punches and kicks Shawn, who takes some high bumps. Kama now uses a bodybreaker submission but Shawn kicks his feet and winds up in the corner where he flips over and gets Kama down for a two count. Kama gets up and sends Shawn into the corner as Shawn flips up and over onto the floor. DiBiase boots Shawn a few times as Kama distracted the referee. Shawn barely beats the ten count as Vince sells the shit out of this with the crowd interest waning. Kama hits a few backbreakers then stretches Shawn out over his knee as we get a split screen of the French commentary table. Shawn punches Kama and eventually breaks the hold. Kama misses a corner charge then Shawn knocks him down with a flying forearm as both men are down. Vince believes Shawn is playing possum as we see Shawn’s head turned towards Kama. Shawn avoids an elbow drop as Vince tells us how “cagey and crafty” Shawn is as both men are down on the mat again. A timer appears on screen as we are at about 2:30 remaining. Shawn punches back then floats over and hits a clothesline as both men are down again. Shawn kips up as the crowd cheers then starts firing away. Shawn heads up top with a double axe handle for a two count. Shawn uses mounted punches in the corner as there is just one minute left in the match. Kama rolls through a crossbody for a two count as there is now thirty seconds left. Shawn sneaks in a small package with ten seconds left then a sunset flip attempt but did not get Kama over until there was just over one second left yet the announcers sell this as a close call. We get the final ruling of a draw and both men are eliminated as the crowd is deflated. Kama tries to fight Shawn but gets drilled with a super kick as Vince yells out “sweet chin music” (15:03) **. Shawn poses after displaying his disappointment.
Thoughts: Some nice bumping from Shawn here but this wrestled slowly without much urgency until the final thirty seconds. Kama just doesn’t have it in this role. And Shawn, who the fans clearly love and wanted to win, losing in the first round of a tournament with such luminaries as Savio Vega and The Roadie advancing was certainly a choice. And it wouldn’t be the first questionable choice of the PPV.
Video package on how Mabel and Undertaker qualified for the tournament.
We see Bob Backlund campaigning earlier today in Philadelphia. He wants to get rid of the Philadelphia Cheesesteak and provide carrots for more vitamin D and beta carotene. After that, Vince asks the foreign announce teams about Backlund’s campaign and they give their answers in their native tongue. This was some amateur hour stuff I thought with a tired gimmick.
King of the Ring First Round Match: Mabel w/ Mo vs. Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Before the match, Stephanie Wiand tells Mabel the winner goes to the finals. Mabel says Undertaker is going down and he’s going to the finals while referring to her as “Pretty Stephanie.” Mo is sporting a suit. The announcers also stress how you need to see The Undertaker live. The Creatures of the Night are also in attendance. We get a staredown to start then Undertaker fires away. as Vince brings up Mabel weighing 568 lbs. Undertaker finally takes Mabel down with a clothesline and follows with his ropewalk attack. Undertaker chokes out Mabel in the corner but soon after that Mabel tackles Undertaker to the mat. Undertaker sits right back up then lands on his feet when Mabel clotheslines him over the top rope. Undertaker snaps Mabel’s arm off of the top rope but knocks Undertaker into the ropes as Undertaker’s foot gets caught. Mabel knees Undertaker as the ref desperately tries to untie Undertaker’s foot. Back inside, Undertaker fights back and chokes out Mabel in the ropes. Mo distracts Undertaker and that allows Mabel to hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Mabel now uses a reverse chin lock as Vince marvels over his size. Mo, looking like a villain from a Steven Seagal movie, yells at the fans. Several in the front rows yell “rest in peace” including superfan Vladimir. Mabel takes Undertaker outside and kicks him a little then Mo lands a stomp but almost gets caught. Undertaker rolls back inside where Mabel whips him into the corner. Mabel hits a suplex for a two count as this match stays at a snails pace. Mabel slams Undertaker and sits on him for the cover but only gets two. Mabel eats boot on a corner charge then Undertaker comes back with a clothesline. Vince brings up Undertaker not having the same power due to the urn then we get an absolutely pathetic spot where Undertaker ducks his head for a back drop and has to sit there like an idiot since Mabel was essentially walking as he bounced off of the ropes and Mabel hits a piledriver for two. Both men then collide and are out on the mat as Mabel is up first but misses an elbow drop. Undertaker hits a corner splash then back to the choking but Mabel reverses an Irish whip and sends Undertaker into the referee. The ref is out then Undertaker drops Mabel with a clothesline and hits a choke slam. Mo gets up on the apron and is decked. However, Undertaker covers despite in front of him out on the mat and Kama runs down to kick Undertaker in the ribs then Mabel hits a leg drop and Mo yells at the ref to get up and count and the ref crawls over and counts to three as Mabel wins and the crowd boos (10:47) 1/4*. Kama kicks Undertaker a few times but Undertaker gets up and heads backstage after Kama.
Thoughts: Mabel winning was a major shock but Undertaker lost in the lamest way possible. And it took balls to do this right after the finish of Shawn/Kama. Mabel had a poor performance in this match though and it would pale in comparison on the awfulness scale to his next match as he now gets a buy into the finals and faces the winner of Savio Vega and The Roadie.
We see the tournament graphic as the winner of Savio Vega vs. The Roadie will face Mabel in the finals.
A video package from last night’s WWF Hall of Fame Ceremony is shown. A video of Bill Murray on an elephant talking about George Steele was shown as was the widow of Antonino Rocca giving a speech.
Pettengill is backstage with The Roadie & Jeff Jarrett as they talk about Roadie being the next King of the Ring.
King of the Ring Semi-Final Match: Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon vs. The Roadie w/ Jeff Jarrett
Vince notes this is Savio’s third match in an hour. Roadie backs up Vega into the corner as the announcers bring up Vega vs. Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title tomorrow night on RAW. Vega fights back and knocks Roadie to the floor as this crowd is just deflated. Roadie re-enters the ring and Vega starts working the arm. Dok implies that Vega stole his hubcap then Roadie hits Vega with a neckbreaker for two. Roadie chokes out Vega in the corner. Roadie stays in control and hits a diving headbutt for two. Roadie targets the back of Vega then stops to taunt the crowd. Dok says that Jarrett’s “Ain’t I Great” music video is coming out soon. The crowd is chanting stuff then Roadie misses a flying fist drop as both men are down. Vega gets up and fires away as the crowd is dead. Jarrett distracts the ref then Roadie stops short on the apron to avoid Jarrett but Vega sends Roadie into Jarrett and rolls him up for the win (6:38) *.
Thoughts: They are really playing up Vega as a modern day Rocky Balboa but instead of starting it weeks before the show they decided to have it occur on the preshow. I get that Razor got hurt and you needed a replacement but this story so quick was incredibly forced and since it just started today, it doesn’t connect with the crowd as they do not know what is being said on commentary and Vega is still a new character. The match itself was completely forgettable though.
After the match, Carlos Cabrera interviews Vega at ringside in Spanish. However, Dok heads down for some translation and talks about Vega being afraid and wanting to steal hubcaps. Dok also says that Vega is contemplating quitting. Dok was kinda funny here with a few good lines.
We cut to Shawn and Owen on the Superstar Line with Stan Lane in the middle.
A video package on the Bret Hart/Jerry Lawler feud.
Kiss My Foot Match: Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Wiand stops Lawler in the aisle for an interview as Lawler says he will win then tries to get her to smell his feet. Bret fires away in the corner to start. They take it outside and Bret roughs up Lawler for a bit before the action heads back in the ring. Bret continues to beat on Lawler and goes out after Lawler but this time gets whipped into the steps. Dok wonders if Hakushi & Shinja will play a part of this match like at “In Your House.” The crowd chants “Burger King” at Lawler then Lawler heads back outside to beat on Bret. Lawler takes Bret back inside and hits a piledriver then gets pissed at the crowd before hitting another piledriver. Lawler gloats and taunts the crowd. A few in the front row yell at Lawler before the third piledriver then Lawler covers casually and Bret is able to kick out. Lawler yells at the crowd again as they chant “Burger King” then he tosses Bret through the ropes. Lawler takes off his boot to reveal a filthy sock and is able to nail Bret with his boot behind the ref’s back. Lawler covers but only gets two then he chokes out Bret with his foot as Dok sells how he can smell Lawler’s foot. Bret then grabs Lawler’s foot and takes him down as the crowd pops for the first time in a bit. Bret knocks Lawler down as Lawler crawls over to grab his boot. Lawler once again uses his boot as a weapon out of the ref’s vision and hits a flying fist drop for a two count. Lawler tries to crotch Bret against the post but Bret pulls Lawler into the post with his legs. Bret goes out to hammer away and we see Shinja run out. The ref is now distracted as Hakushi goes to hit Bret but accidentally hits Lawler and freaks out. Bret takes Lawler back into the ring and hits his trademark moves before applying the Sharpshooter and getting the win (9:21) **. Bret keeps the hold on after the bell and releases after a five count as to not get disqualified. Hakushi & Shinja run back out as Lawler is about to kiss Bret’s feet. Hakushi tries to hit Bret with a flying forearm but misses and takes out Lawler once again. Bret dumps Hakushi and shoves his foot into Lawler’s mouth. Then, after some celebration, Bret makes Lawler kiss his own foot as Lawler is gagging and coughing. Bret celebrates as Lawler is coughing and gagging up the aisle.
Thoughts: This at least had a little bit of crowd heat and Bret’s offense was good but too much clowning by Lawler here and its tough to have a blood feud with all of the goofy shit we saw leading up to this show. Plus, this feud had run its course. Still, I don’t think it was terrible especially when compared to the other matches on the card. We also saw that the speculation by commentators this weekend about Hakushi & Shinja being involved were true. And since they cost Lawler, we will likely see the fallout.
Prichard is now shilling Bret Hart merchandise in the aisle. Bret walks by and gives his shades to a kid in the front row.
A video package on the WWF’s partnership with the Special Olympics airs.
We get a video package on the first two King of the Ring winners, Bret and Owen Hart.
King of the Ring Finals: Mabel w/ Mo vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon
Vince stresses Mabel has had a bye while this is Savio’s 4th match tonight. They are really playing up Savio as a Rocky Balboa type underdog…..in Philadelphia. How fitting. Mabel shoves Vega around to start but misses an avalanche. Vega fires away in the corner as the crowd does not care at all. Mabel finally stops this with a rake of the eyes and follows with a scoop slam. Vega avoids an elbow drop then sends Mabel over the top rope with a clothesline. Mabel drags Vega outside but Vega fights back and sends him into the steps. Mabel returns the favor then takes Vega back inside and chokes him out on the top rope. Mabel then applies one of the least convincing bear hugs ever as Vince tries to claim that fans everywhere are cheering for Vega as this crowd couldn’t care less. This bearhug is still going on and to even suspend disbelief and think it would hurt might an aneurysm. Mabel sends Vega into the corner and back into another bearhug as this match is just a pile of shit. Vega stops this with a bell clap but runs into a clothesline and Mabel covers for a nearfall. Mabel now uses a chin lock as this crowd is practically asleep. Razor hits the apron to rally Vega with only one hand as I see one person on the hard cam clapping along. The announcers still try to convince us fans in attendance like this garbage. The fans now chant “ECW” as Vega makes a comeback. Vega almost puts Mabel away with a spinning heel kick but Mabel catches him with a front falling slam for two then a splash for the win (8:35) -*. After the match, Razor decks Mo then hammers away on Mabel. Razor is then outnumbered as Vega is still out. Mabel drops an elbow then hits another elbow drop but this time from the second rope. 1-2-3 Kid runs out in street clothes and runs wild until he us also outnumbered and dropped. Vega, Razor, and Kid are all out while Mabel & Mo stand tall.
Thoughts: A complete embarrassment. Mabel applying long bearhugs like he threw his back out and his slow, shitty work in general made it clear he was not cut out for any sort of major push as a heel. Diesel already has a crappy big guy in Sid he’s currently working. I also thought this night was the worst Mabel has looked so far in his WWF run.
We get an ad for the next PPV, which is another In Your House that will air on July 23rd.
Its now the crowning of the King Mabel. Mo tells Pettengill to shut up and chases him off stage then handles the duties by putting the crown and cape on Mabel. Vince notes that Mabel is a very “unpopular” king in the understatement of the night. Mo then reads off of the scroll as the crowd tosses garbage. Vince then says who would have ever thought we’d hear the words King Mabel tonight. Well Vince, I watched my “Wrestling Challenge” this weekend and heard those words. Vega, Razor, and Kid try to run in and interrupt the ceremony but are held back by two referees and it made them look like pussies.
We now see Lawler basically eating toothpaste and chugging Listerine to get the taste out of his mouth.
Wiand is backstage with Ted DiBiase, Sid, and Tatanka. Sid talks about injuring Diesel and hearing all of the “crunching” of his elbow and joints. Tatanka then asks if Bigelow is nervous without Diesel at 100%. Tatanka says he is here for the money and tonight is payday for Bigelow.
Pettengill is now with Diesel & Bigelow. Diesel says he’s not going to lie and say his elbow is 100% but even at 50% he was going to be here tonight. Bigelow says they are going out for a street fight and despite not having teaming together, their confidence makes them at 220%. I guess Steiner Math is derivative of Bigelow Math. And the complete lack of chemistry between Diesel & Bigelow remains.
Sid & Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Diesel
Separate entrances for best friends Diesel and Bigelow here. (2:47:48). Both teams fight before the bell with Diesel & Bigelow clearing the ring. Match settles down then we see Sid kick Diesel’s elbow from the apron and ram it off of the post as Tatanka distracted the referee. Tatanka dances around between chopping the injured elbow. Tatanka now uses an arm wringer with Sid slapping Diesel’s elbow behind the ref’s back. Sid is in and also goes after the elbow. Sid misses a leg drop then Diesel tags out as Bigelow runs wild. Bigelow dropkicks Tatanka through the ropes and hits Sid with a DDT. Bigelow now heads up top and hits a flying headbutt but the ref is distracted once again, this time by DiBiase. Bigelow looks over to DiBiase now then runs over and covers Sid for two so Bigelow looks over at DiBiase again and gets attacked from behind by Sid. Just a way to make Bigelow look like a moron. Sid chokeslams Bigelow off of the middle rope then taunts the crowd. Tatanka is in and kicks Bigelow in the ribs. Sid & Tatanka neutralize Bigelow in their corner then take him outside. Bigelow trips up Sid and sets up for a slingshot splash but Tatanka yanks Bigelow off of the apron. Sid heads out and hits Bigelow with a running boot. Sid has Bigelow in a front facelock but Bigelow powers forward and makes the tag as the ref did not appear to see it but never bothered throwing Diesel out of the ring. Diesel hurts himself trying an elbow drop and tags out. Tatanka hits a crossbody for two then puts Bigelow in a chin lock. Tatanka hits Bigelow with a jumping DDT for two. Bigelow gets up and tries to fight back then both men collide. Bigelow covers for two and this crowd doesn’t give a shit. Tatanka puts Bigelow in a chin lock then the hold breaks and Bigelow hits Tatanka with a somersault senton as both men are down. Tatanka tries to prevent a tag but Bigelow drops him with an enziguiri. Diesel tags and runs wild on Tatanka then signals for the Jackknife. Diesel stares down Sid and Jackknifes Tatanka. The ref hops out to count for some reason as they were close to the ropes but Diesel pulls up at two as he wants Sid. However, Sid gets off the apron and heads up the aisle and leaves. Sid gets pelted with trash then back inside we see Diesel hit an elbow drop for the win (17:36) 1/4*. Diesel celebrates and hugs Bigelow eventually as Vince yells about Big Daddy Cool being back as the fireworks display ends the show.
Thoughts: Awful match with a shit finish. Sid came off like a pussy here too but at least the face team got over. The crowd had already given up on the show at this point and the wrestlers energy in the ring matched the crowd. Tatanka was also working with a hurt knee at this time so that didn’t help matters. Its also clear we are getting Sid vs. Diesel again and it was reported in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” even before this show aired that Sid vs. Diesel for the title was advertised as the main event of the next PPV.
Final Thoughts: A truly pathetic show. Lousy wrestling and awful booking. They used it for a vehicle to push a wrestler no one cared about. What was Mabel’s biggest win heading into this? At least Owen beat Bret and had a long feud with him before winning last year. Mabel was a guy stuck in a tag team then turned a few months ago. A lot of this show mirrored what’s wrong today with the face wrestlers looking like wimps and pushing wrestlers fans dont give a shit about along with awful, embarrassing stipulations and stories the fan does not connect with. As far as the worst PPV ever at this point in WWF history its probably the top of the list as there was nothing satisfying here unless you count Bret getting his win over Lawler.
Saturday: WWF Monday Night RAW 6/26/95
Sunday: WWF Superstars 7/1/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/2/95
Monday: WWF Action Zone 7/2/95
Tuesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/3/95
Wednesday: WWF Superstars 7/8/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/9/95
Thursday: WWF Action Zone 7/9/95
Friday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/10/95