August 12, 1995
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
This is a fan-cam recording of the show thus no commentary. Also, it is far from a complete show with just four matches shown.
Allied Powers vs. Jacob & Eli Blu
Before the match, Bulldog tells the fans to not chant “USA” as it offends him being from England and wants them to chant “UK” when he is in the ring. Not too unreasonable of a request but I guess he wasn’t nice enough to the crowd. Jacob & Eli beat down Luger to start and taunt the crowd. Luger finally comes back with a hip toss and tags out as Bulldog now works the arm of I believe Jacob. Bulldog hits a delayed vertical suplex and tags out as Luger covers for a two count. Luger works the arm of Jacob but Eli distracts him and Jacob comes back with a big boot. Jacob now works the arm as the crowd chants for Luger while Bulldog has his hands on his hips facing the crowd then motions to them with his hand to calm down as they chanted USA. Bulldog continues to get pissed and now on the steps pissed off at the crowd as Jacob works a chin lock on the mat. Bulldog now walks off of the steps and starts walking out while stopping to stare at some of the fans. Bulldog gets booed as Luger is down on the mat now tries to get himself up using the ropes but goes out and tries to catch up to Bulldog and is stopped by the referee. The guys behind the camera talk about ECW as this match is a bore and Luger just beats the ten count. Luger runs wild and catches Jacob with a powerslam and takes a swing at Eli but gets attacked and rammed into the corner. We get louder USA chants as all three men are from the same country then Luger kicks out of a pin attempt at two. Luger gets up and runs wild with clotheslines then hits Jacob with a running forearm smash but that only gets two as the ref stops counting because Eli was late for the save. Luger slams Jacob but in the process knocks out the ref by accident as Eli attacks Luger from behind and does the switcheroo and covers for the win (10:02) *. After the match, the Brothers Blu leave and Luger gets himself up to some cheers.
Thoughts: The actual work in this match was fucking terrible but the real story was Bulldog heeling on the crowd and walking out on Luger. And he got a considerable amount of heat for turning on the fans. So, its crystal clear here they were gearing up for a Bulldog heel turn and feud against Luger but that did not happen as we will find out soon enough. The “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” mentioned that the Bulldog turn was suddenly planned which checks out to me since they kept pushing how close they were bonding on TV and never showed and dissension other than the announcers saying Bulldog was going to show Luger how to win a title in the WWF, which you could say was a seed planted to have Bulldog turn on Luger but this was just starting out the weekend of TV the day this show aired, which was taped weeks ago.
Rad Radford vs. Savio Vega
Radford is replacing the previously advertised IRS for this match as IRS is already gone from the company. Vega pumps up the crowd before the match or at least tries too as I cannot make out what he is saying. Vega hammers away and catches Radford with a back drop. Radford bails after getting dropkicked then Vega knocks him off of the apron. Radford stays on the outside for a bit then comes back in and is hip-tossed a few times before Vega works an armbar on the mat. Radford cheap shots Vega to escape then catches him with a hotshot. Radford taunts the crowd then starts choking out Vega in the corner. Radford decks Vega then bites him in the corner. Vega comes back with a flying clothesline for two but walks into a dropkick immediately afterwards. Radford drops an elbow for two then Vega comes back with a sunset flip for a two count. Radford takes Vega down and covers for two and goes back to choking him out on the mat. Radford taunts the crowd then starts kicking Vega in the ribs. Radford catches Vega with a spinebuster for a nearfall as he cannot believe that did not give him the win. Vega tries to fire himself up as Radford hammers away then slugs it out and drops Radford with a back elbow smash. Vega punches away and hits a side slam for a two count. Small package gets two. Backslide gets two. Radford headbutts Vega and lands a chop but Vega reverses an Irish whip and catches Radford with a spinning heel kick for the win (7:22) *1/4.
Thoughts: This was disappointing with both guys wrestling noticeably slower than usual. Plus they really didn’t seem to gel. Vega getting the win was not a surprise since Radford has never beaten anyone of note on TV and Vega is getting somewhat of a push still in the midcard.
Men on a Mission & Diesel & Shawn Michaels
Diesel & Shawn immediately go after Men on a Mission and take them out of the ring as the crowd goes nuts. Men on a Mission take their time on the outside then the match settles down with Shawn and Sir Mo in the ring. Mo tags out to King Mabel as he demands Diesel enter the ring so Shawn plays it up for a bit and paces around before locking up Mabel. He gets tossed in the corner but escapes and fires away. Mabel blocks a sunset flip and pulls Shawn over the top rope as Shawn takes quite the bump. Mo runs out for an attack but Shawn ducks and clotheslines Mo then Diesel runs over and attacks Mabel before he could get at Shawn. Diesel now tags in and with assistance from Shawn runs over Mabel. Diesel peppers Mabel with elbow smashes in the corner then starts firing away. Diesel knocks Mabel down with a flying shoulder tackle after several clotheslines thetntags out as Shawn uses a flying body press for two as Mabel tried to catch him with a slam but failed. Shawn fires away on Mabel but gets caught in a sidewalk slam. Shawn gets whipped into the corner and goes up and over before falling off of the apron. Mo tosses Shawn back into the ring where Mabel is stepping on top of Shawn. Mo tags and hits a suplex for two then yells at the ref, allowing Shawn to roll him up for a two count. Mo takes Shawn down then Diesel runs in and decks Mo from behind until the ref escorts him back to the apron. Mabel tags back in and beats on Shawn in the corner. Mabel covers for a two count then applies a reverse chin lock. Shawn fights out then avoids a charge in the corner and uses mounted punches. Mabel then whips Shawn into the corner and hits an avalanche for a two count before tagging out. Mo comes off the top with an elbow but Shawn rolls away as both men are down. Mo squirms around the mat as Shawn slowly goes towards Diesel and makes the tag before Mo could make the save. Diesel slams Mo after some awkwardness and runs wild on both of his opponents then puts Mo away with the big boot as Mabel stood there waiting for the pin before attacking Diesel (11:34) **. Mo gets up and holds Diesel for Mabel to attack as Mabel fires away then Razor Ramon runs out of the save until he is outnumbered. Several officials run out to stop Mabel but Mabel drops a leg on Razor. They leave and Bulldog comes out and looks pissed as the crowd chants USA. Bulldog looks over Diesel and Razor and ends up raising the hands of Diesel & Shawn as they are announced the winners in a disinterested manner before leaving. Diesel then raises the hand of Razor and celebrates as Razor now holds the Intercontinental Title belt and hands it to Shawn as they appear to have some words after Shawn neglects to shake his hand with Razor pointing up to the sky to build suspense for the ladder match. Diesel gets between the two as they keep jawing and Razor leaves and still talks with Shawn running out and shoving him in the aisle. They have more words as Diesel steps in between them to play peacemaker. Razor leaves backstage as Shawn goes back ringside with Diesel trying to calm him down. Diesel gets his World Title belt in the ring and Shawn takes his IC title belt and puts it on the mat before slapping hands with Diesel as Shawn tells him he’s calmer now and the two hug. Shawn kicks his IC title belt into the corner before stepping outside.
Thoughts: Decent match especially considering some of the competitors. However, the real stuff took place after the match with more tension built for the Shawn vs. Razor ladder match at SummerSlam. Bulldog’s involvement here was odd but they did try to get a lot of heat for the ladder match.
Sid w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Razor Ramon
Per the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Sid had been out the past couple of weeks due to bone spurs in his neck and this was his return. Sid attacks Razor to start. He lands some stomps then backs off as Razor was on the ropes. Sid boots Razor back down to the mat then punches Razor in the gut a few times in the corner. Sid hits a running boot to the gut then a running stomp that looked incredibly soft. Sid punches Razor down then uses a mat slam to cut off a comeback attempt. Sid taunts the crowd before choking out Razor with the ropes. DiBiase cheap shots Razor as Sid distracts the ref then Sid goes back to using stomps. Sid drops a pair of elbows for a two count but ducks his head and Razor goes for the Razor’s Edge until DiBiase runs in and pulls Sid down for the DQ (5:27) 1/4*. Sid then boots Razor down and continues the attack and even powerbombs Razor as the bell keeps ringing. Sid looks around as DiBiase taunts the crowd. They eventually leave and Razor gets up and does his pose before leaving.
Thoughts: The match was lousy as Sid’s offense looked even softer than usual and that’s no good considering he took just about all of the offense in the match. And Razor got laid out after the match as Sid is pissed Razor replaced him in the Intercontinental Title match at SummerSlam.
Final Thoughts: What we saw here wasn’t good at all wrestling wise but they did some angles like Bulldog heeling on the fans and built tension towards Shawn/Razor.
However, behind the scenes was more interesting as Bill Watts was in the crowd speaking with fans about this show and taking notes to familiarize himself with the talent per the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter.” Watts was hired to replace Pat Patterson, who was reported by both the Observer and “Pro Wrestling Torch” to be retiring as the Vice President of Wrestling Operations. The Torch’s Wade Keller also reported that Ross sold Vince McMahon on the idea of Watts replacing Patterson.
Also, at the TV tapings following this show, Adam Bomb quit the company as he went home and sat home the remainder of his contract. According to Bomb in his shoot interview with RF Video, he was told by Pat Patterson & Gerry Brisco he would get the Intercontinental Title following the first “In Your House” and was sick of the poor payouts (which was a common theme at this time) and decided to quit. On this show, Bomb lost to Henry Godwinn in 28 seconds per the Observer since Henry Godwinn had hurt his ankle playing softball the day of the show. I assume that was also the final straw but he did not specify that moment other than talking about “sick of all the bullshit” from the company. His last match aired on the 9/2 edition of “Mania” as an exclusive match against Mike Bell.
And here is the rest of the card:
Skip d. Bob Holly
Fatu d. King Kong Bundy
Hunter Hearst Helmsley d. 1-2-3 Kid
Tatanka d. Bam Bam Bigelow in an Indian Strap Match (Bigelow couldn’t even beat Tatanka here?)
Bret Hart d. Jean Pierre-Lafitte
Later on today I’ll have the 8/13 episode of Challenge posted.