Hopeful I can do these daily going forward. I already have a few recaps written for the next couple of days and should be able to do it daily with more free time and a renewed interest in recapping again.
November 4, 1995
From the Agridome in Regina, Saskatchewan
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Jim Ross
This week’s featured match is Bret Hart vs. Psycho Sid.
The announcers bring up how Bret Hart will be accompanied to ringside by members of the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Rough Riders while Sid will be accompanied by members of the Million Dollar Corporation.
Clips of the conflict between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Henry O. Godwinn are shown.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mike Legacy
Helmsley works over Legacy to start. Vince talks about Helmsley being undefeated while Ross talks about Greenwich, CT. Helmsley beats down Legacy in the corner then takes him down with a high knee. Vince brings up that Godwinn will be in action next as Helmsley maintains control of the match. Ross tells us that Helmsley has a “slopping” coming his way as Helmsley hits a reverse neckbreaker then puts Legacy away with the Pedigree (2:30). And what a bump Legacy took on that move.
Thoughts: Quick win for Helmsley to give him momentum in his program with Henry O. Godwinn.
We get clips of the 20 Man Battle Royal from two weeks ago that was won by Owen Hart and that led to an Intercontinental Title match against Razor Ramon this past Monday night. And that match ended via DQ due to Yokozuna’s interference but also saw the debut of Ahmed Johnson where he made the save and slammed Yokozuna as Vince calls it the “slam heard across the world.”
Helmsley is in the aisle spraying his atomizer when Godwinn’s music hits. Godwinn comes out and stares down with Helmsley, who is pleading and backing away. Helmsley falls and now back at ringside until several officials hold Godwinn back as that allows Helmsley to head up the aisle. The segment was basic but really telegraphed when we came back from the clips to see Helmsley in the aisle taking his time.
Henry O. Godwinn vs. Otis Apollo
The camera zooms in on the slop bucket. Godwinn takes control to start as the announcers talk about the slop bucket and Godwinn’s character in general. Godwinn boots Apollo in the face as Vince wants Lawler to use the hog call. Lawler refuses as Vince just does it himself in the ridiculous manner you’d expect. Godwinn stays in control until he finishes Apollo with the Slop Drop (2:26). After the match, Godwinn grabs his bucket as Vince tells us that Ross is making his way to ringside.
Thoughts: Lots of talking up Godwinn on commentary throughout the match as they are really pushing his gimmick and the slop bucket.
Ross asks Godwinn about Helmsley as Godwinn says next time they cross paths he will beat and slop Helmsley. Ross & Godwinn then walk up the aisle together. The first 1/3rd of this show was focused on the Helmsley/Godwinn feud so expect this to heat up over the coming weeks.
Survivor Series Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. However, all we get are rundowns of some house shows lineups in the Midwest. We hear from Bret as he talks about teaming with Diesel & Shawn Michaels against Yokozuna & Mabel & British Bulldog as Bret says he wants his teammates, who he refers to as “boys” throughout the interview that it sounds better to get on the same page for this match.
Up next, an interview with Goldust.
We get our Bill Clinton impersonator who cannot wait to see the Survivor Series live in person. Yeah, well, good for him.
Barry Didinsky is back shilling the Mad Caps at ringside. 1,000 of these cost $21 and it comes with two free slammers. Emptying out the warehouse I presume.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Scott D’Amore
Vince says that D’Amore is on the “rotund” side then calls him out for being hairy. D’Amore lands a few shots until Bigelow takes him down with a clothesline. The announcers talk about the Bret vs. Sid match then Lawler says he will be conducting the first interview with Goldust. Ross now plugs the new WWF Interactive game on the Superstar Line where you are the detective to find out where the Million Dollar Man and his corporation took the stolen title belt. Back to the match as D’Amore hits a few shoulder thrusts but fails on a slam attempt and gets dropped with a headbutt. Bigelow now slams D’Amore then hits a fist drop before the slingshot splash gets the win (2:40).
Thoughts: The commentary focused on plugging other things going on in the company. This is also the final TV match for Bigelow in the company. WrestleMania XI was truly the beginning of the end for him.
We go backstage where the Bodydonnas are having Rad Radford work out but an angry Skip finds a pack of M&Ms and rips then open as Radford picks up the pieces and eats them. So, Radford’s new gimmick is the fat goof who is failing to get into shape.
Lawler is in the ring and introduces Goldust while putting him over as a Hollywood star. Lawler asks Goldust about his debut at In Your House and how he personifies the word “star.” The lights are off as Goldust’s theme plays and the spotlight with stars on the mat throughout the interview. Goldust quotes a line from “House of Wax” then tells us in time all the WWF Superstars will be shocked, including Bam Bam Bigelow. His music is still playing as he talks and the screen is way too dark with nowhere near enough spotlight on the people talking. Vince tells us that Bigelow is coming down the aisle then we see him in the ring. Bigelow says he doesnt know who or what Goldust thinks he is and challenges him to a match. Goldust then tells him to exit as Bigelow seems unsure what to do about Goldust and just stands there looking confused and perhaps a bit frightened. Personally, I thought this was terrible. The production sucked as it was way too dark on the screen that you could barely see Goldust. The promo itself was bad and the confrontation left me perplexed as Bigelow apparently came down to confront Goldust then all of a sudden got scared. Made him look like a wimp. So far, when Goldust appeared on non taped segments its been quite bad. And for Bigelow, he said in his shoot interview with RF Video that Vince let him leave with one more year left on his deal due to wanting to go elsewhere over lack of money (as you can learn more of in the “Final Thoughts” segment) and beef with the Kliq as he said there were rumors that Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, and Shawn Michaels were going to attack him in the locker room but in that video, Bigelow said he’d “take on all three” of them.
King Mabel w/ Sir Mo vs. Tim McNeany
We hear from Paul Bearer, who is standing in the cemetery as he vows Undertaker will return and get his revenge on Mabel. Lawler makes some joke about Bearer delivering Domino’s Pizza in his hearse as McNeany lands a dropkick in the corner. Mabel fights back and beats down McNeany then the camera shows the crowd for several seconds in a weird piece of editing. We get a replay of Mabel hitting an enziguiri then see Mabel stay in control while Vince runs down the upcoming house shows. By the way, the canned noise is really noticeable here. McNeany gets tossed outside and Mabel heads out to whip him into the steps. Back inside, Mabel takes control then hits an uranage for the win (2:38).
Thoughts: More build for the Mabel/Undertaker feud as Undertaker is not here because Mabel legit fractured his match. However, Undertaker will be back at the Survivor Series per Vince.
We get a hype video for Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid vs. Smoking Gunns for next week’s show.
Clips of a press conference where Ted DiBiase got in the face of Saskatechwan Rough Rider Glenn Kulka and was shoved as a result.
Psycho Sid w/ Million Dollar Corporation vs. Bret Hart w/ Glenn Kulka, Scott Hendrickson, Bobby Jurassin, and Mike Anderson
The Rough Riders members are all wearing Bret merchandise. Skip is now at ringside with the Corporation as Sid backs Bret in the corner and hammers away. Sid misses an attack in the corner then Bret fights back and clotheslines Sid over the top rope. The Rough Riders take Sid and toss him into the ring in an awkward spot then Sid is tossed out and sent back inside once again where Bret tries for the Sharpshooter until Sid grabs the ropes. DiBiase trips up Bret then we get a brief staredown between The Corporation and the Rough Riders. Sid hits a leg drop then beats on Bret in the corner. Sid stays in control before slowing things down with a chin lock. We see Kulka intimidate Skip by flexing his biceps then he takes him down with a three point stance as the crowd erupts. Lawler brings up King Kong Bundy’s appearance on “Married…….with Children” as Bret gets knocked outside and roughed up by The Corporation. DiBiase cheap shots Bret right before the break then we return with Sid choking out Bret in the corner. Bret fights back and hits a flying clothesline as both men are down. Bret is up first and fires away then hits his signature moves then we see Bret get shoved outside on a kickout. A scrum breaks out between The Corporation and Rough Riders as Sid looks on at the ref but Bret crawled under the ring and came out the other side. Kulka is up on the apron yelling at Sid and that allows Bret to sneak up with a rollup from behind for the win (8:19) *1/2.
Thoughts: Sid was bad here and everything he did was either mistimed or light as a feather. I’m not asking for snug with Sid but at least look like it could convince my four year old son that it might hurt. And the rollup finish was bad as Sid didn’t even attempt to get out. Lots of focus on Kulka here and the fans were into it as I do appreciate the playing up to local markets even on TV. And according to Dave Meltzer of the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Skip’s tooth was knocked loose after the forearm shiver he received.
Survivor Series Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. He thinks there will be problems between Bret Hart and Diesel in their six-man tag at the house shows. We then cut to Undertaker and Paul Bearer as Undertaker will face the winner of Bret Hart vs. Diesel at Survivor Series for the World Heavyweight Title. Not much of note was said but Undertaker’s back was to the camera to hide the damage to his face that was caused by Diesel. Most of this was on house shows than it was the PPV itself.
We go back to the ring as Bret celebrates with the Rough Riders.
Back from break, Bret is backstage and interviewed by the announcers. Bret says this time there will be a winner when he faces Diesel. Bret says the title is his and while Diesel is a great wrestler, he is the best there is, was, and ever will be. Lawler says there will not be any football players with him at Survivor Series but Bret tells Lawler off and reminds him about their Kiss My Foot match before once again vowing to become champion.
Next week will be Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid vs. Smoking Gunns for the Tag Team Titles.
Final Thoughts: The main event was fun even if the match itself was bad. And one-third of the show did focus on the Helmsley/Godwinn feud. There is the Survivor Series in a few weeks but all they’ve really talked about is Bret/Diesel for the show with mention that the Undertaker will be appearing. Really, not much good in the WWF at this point and the most drama was happening behind the scenes. Notably, at the house show in Cincinnati that took place on 11/3 where Vince McMahon addressed the wrestlers. Wade Keller of the “Pro Wrestling Torch” had a fantastic piece on this and here it is:
“Poor house show attendance and record low buyrates have caused ever shrinking paychecks for WWF wrestlers, which has led to low morale and in-fighting. What’s worse is there hasn’t been a distinct number two authority figure travelling on the road with wrestlers since Bill Watts’s departure who could create a sense of leadership and order. As a result, Vince McMahon was prompted to fly out at the last second to three house shows on the latest swing to address the problems.
The problems peaked twice, once when a group of main eventers known not-so- affectionately as “The Clique” (Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Diesel, 1-2-3 Kid, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley) essentially threatened to strike, and again when a good portion of the rest of the WWF crew threatened to walkout, upset with the preferential treatment they perceived The Clique was receiving and concerned with their shrinking paychecks and anemic schedule of bookings.
In general, the morale among wrestlers ranges from bad to horrible. The morale among management and front office workers is much the same. A laundry list of wrestlers have expressed openness to quitting because, as one main eventer said, “It just isn’t fun anymore. Combine that with dismal payoffs and it’s just not worth it.” Several wrestlers have already apparently given notice.
Directly and second-hand, over a dozen sources have indicated over the past week a literal concern for the future existence of the WWF. Some of those who have expressed that concern are usually reluctant to talk in such doomsday terms, which makes such talk all the more reason for concern.
As one long-time veteran wrestler said: “There are definitely a bunch of unhappy people here. The WWF has had better days. I’m very concerned with where things are going.” Another wrestler said, “I’ve never seen a dressing room in worse shape.”
Cause for alarm became apparent on Friday, Nov. 3 at the Cincinnati, Ohio house show when Vince McMahon showed up. It was the first time in many years he attended a house show outside of the Northeast (he usually only attends Madison Square Garden events). His surprise appearance got everyone’s attention. He had private meetings with several wrestlers to address the growing list of varying concerns.
For one, the lower-card wrestlers have been worried about whether they will be able to make a decent living in the WWF. Since wrestlers are paid only for dates they actually wrestle, the WWF has a glut of talent since they cut back from two shows per night to only one. As a result, the WWF was either going to have to book more wrestlers than usual on cards thus causing each wrestler’s share of the pie to be smaller or else many wrestlers would be left off cards entirely.
Wrestlers were also upset that a few house shows were cancelled along the 13 day tour and as a result wrestlers would have to pay for hotel, rental cars, and restaurant food on days when they couldn’t even earn a payoff to at least cover the costs. McMahon told some wrestlers under contract that they would be paid a base income of around $300-400 a week even if they weren’t booked on cards, an unprecedented move for the WWF. That didn’t help satisfy one main event wrestler whose most recent paycheck after his nightly $200 advances were taken out was said to be nearly zero. Others complained out loud that their WWF contract prohibited them from working elsewhere, yet they weren’t earning enough to pay their mortgage or rent.
McMahon’s appearance wasn’t enough to dissuade wrestlers from complaining and expressing concern for several more days. Jean Pierre Lafitte, Bob Holly, Kama, and Bam Bam Bigelow were reportedly among those who gave their notice, although a couple sources close to the wrestlers say they aren’t sure whether they actually gave notice or just threatened to quit. Because giving notice in the WWF means you still have to work three more months with the company, the above names will at least be tied up through early next year but may not get many bookings between now and then. They also may decide when the end of the 90 days rolls around to stay with the WWF if conditions improve.
Pierre missed the final three house shows on the latest tour due to stomach ailments. Some think those ailments will last exactly as long as his contract with the WWF runs (into early 1996).
Adam Bomb, meanwhile, decided against returning to the WWF for some of the above reasons and is now accepting independent dates. The WWF would have never “lowered themselves” in the past to actively seek the return of a wrestler who walked out on them. In Adam Bomb’s case, they did just that, which is another sign of the WWF’s fading mystique.”