History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 1995 – Bret Slays The Giant

Survivor Series 1995
Date: November 19, 1995
Location: USAir Arena, Landover, Maryland
Attendance: 14,500
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect

It’s show #9 in this series as we’re in the New Generation, which means this likely will absolutely suck. Your main event is Bret vs. Diesel for the title. Nash has held it for nearly a year at this point with Hart off having completely random feuds. Other than that, it’s all Survivor Series matches and a random singles match. We have an interesting concept here called the Wildcard match, which means random teams, meaning faces teaming with heels.

Amazingly, this didn’t happen again. I haven’t seen it in years so I’m not sure why. The card looks rather lackluster actually. Maybe I’m wrong though, as I’ve been surprised before and I may be again. Also, I’m FINALLY caught up from the four shows I lost, so for the first time since 1992, this is fresh material for me. Let’s get to it.

Side note: Nitro debuted two and a half months prior to this, meaning Luger is freshly gone and that Hall and Nash will be gone in less than a year and the true dark days are coming for the WWF. Oh and another note: HHH has since debuted, but he’s barely, and I do mean barely, above being a jobber at this point.

We open with an interview with Razor talking about the Wildcard match that he’s in. I’ll spare you the participants for later. He says he doesn’t trust his partners. Hall so clearly didn’t care anymore at this point and I can’t blame him at all. He was never going to get past the upper midcard there and he bailed. I can’t blame him at all for that one.

Mr. Perfect is introduced to do commentary as we go to our opening video which is about Hart vs. Diesel. Nash is said to be the only person to win the Triple Crown (not called that) in a year. At the time that was true, but now Punk did it, plus the ECW Title, and in fewer days. Take that old man. We’re presented by Karate Fighters and Todd is way too excited over that. Since we’re outside of Washington D.C., everything has a patriotic theme. Oh joy.

Surprisingly, the Public Enemy of all teams was in the dark match. I’m guessing this was a tryout that didn’t work?

Underdogs vs. BodyDonnas

Underdogs: Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz, Sparkplug Holly
BoddyDonnas: Skip, Rad Radford, Tom Pritchard, 1-2-3 Kid

Oh dear. Oh dear indeed. This is borderline frightening it looks so bad. Marty Jannetty is the freaking captain of a team of jobbers. Well at least they got his role right. Honestly, this is just awful looking. Sunny is the absolute saving grace of this match. How in the world was she not made into the biggest Diva of all time? That continues to blow my mind. I shouldn’t mention Sunny and blow in the same line as it can have multiple connotations. Her talking intro was always great.

Radford is Louie Spicolli for those of you that don’t know. His debut with Monsoon on commentary was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard as Gorilla just never got it. Kid is freshly heel here and is officially annoying. This led to a series of some of the biggest wastes of time ever between Kid and Razor. I absolutely hated them all and they got no heat so they naturally continued for about 4 shows in a row.

He’s gone from hanging out with Razor Ramon to teaming with Skip. I thought he was supposed to be moving up on the roster. Razor comes out but the referees hold him back, which gives us time to see the clip of the turn from Raw. Kid fast counted Razor on Raw and took money from DiBiase. What’s so bad about this? He was tired of being Razor’s apprentice and turned heel. This is set up strangely.

The faces are in the bottom right hand corner as opposed to the upper left hand corner like they usually are. It’s just odd to see and I’m having issues getting used to it actually. Bob Holly is still the NASCAR guy at this point and both he and Jannetty have been tag champions with the Kid. Wow they were burying the tag belts even this far back.

Hakushi is getting all kinds of pops, which goes to show you that no matter how many stupid gimmicks you have, exciting wrestling will shine through in the end. Kid comes in and is booed out of the freaking building. Oh I just got why Pritchard is out there. Very soon, as in maybe a month after this, he would be turned into Zip, the other Body Donna. I guess this is a trial run. They touch on Holly being a two sport athlete.

Perfect says he’s an ALL SPORT ATHLETE. That’s either a great slogan or a great tag line. Either way, it’s more proof that he’s awesome. The crowd actually chants We Want Barry. My goodness has the WWF stumbled onto something here? I think they might have. Since they have, naturally, they did nothing with it and I think this was the last thing they ever did with him of note and he was jobbing again in like a week. And Vince wonders why his company more or less died in less than two years.

Holly comes in and takes out Pritchard with a cross body. Skip immediately comes in and rolls him up for the pin. I know that’s kind of cheap, but it’s a sequence that accomplishes two things here: Number one, it clears the ring of some clutter which when you have less than 20 minutes like these guys do, you have to clear the place out relatively quickly. Second, it plays up the idea of survival, because once you get pinned the match doesn’t stop at all. That’s actually very smart, despite it looking incredibly cheap.

Hakushi was freaking sweet in the ring. Again, he’s getting big pops, so he was jobbing and then gone soon after this. He and Bret had some great matches over the summer of 95. You should check those out. This crowd is white hot too which is helping things a lot. These guys are wrestling an almost cruiserweight style match that’s working very well.

See, WWF managed to screw up the light heavyweight division in so many ways. The first way was in the name. What sounds better: Cruiserweight or Light Heavyweight? It’s just a big garble of words to say. Cruiser sounds smooth and sleek. Second, they kept the belt on the inaugural champion for I think 9 months. Dude, that’s freaking stupid. The point of having a title like that is to have a bunch of fast paced matches for the belt.

People aren’t looking for substance in something like this, but rather flash. Third, they had no rivalries or anything like that. It was just a bunch of random one off matches that meant nothing. The other issue with the matches was that they weren’t flashy at all. They were just small guys wrestling. Look at WCW, where the Cruiserweights were a huge part of the show. They’re all over the place with Mexican and Japanese styles and the fans are all over it.

Finally, there was no Mike Tenay or anyone like him. He was annoying to me, but his commentary got the guys over because he was talking about how great they were. Those little stories he told were interesting and you remembered them. That’s what a commentator is supposed to do. The WWF guys would just sit there and say WHOA! The point of this rant/history lesson is that this right here could have been a great division.

With the exception of Radford, these guys are all the right weight and they had the right style. Also, we know these guys. They’re not just random wrestlers having matches but familiar faces having fast paced matches. This, while looking horrible on paper, is actually pretty good. Naturally, none of these guys ever did anything despite getting good reactions, because they’re not 300lb muscle heads.

It’s part of why Vince can’t expand better than he has already: he won’t import and set up new things that he has the resources to accomplish. Ok I think I’m good now. Actually I’m not. Look at the Kid here. He’s a freshly turned heel that has a very limited track record. Wouldn’t being the evil lightweight champion be a great career move for him?

He’s this young guy that sold out and while everyone hates him, he’s the lightweight (I’d call it Flyweight or something like that) champion that everyone hates. Imagine some of the feuds he could have with that before setting up the showdown with Razor (had he stayed).

I’ve said it a million times: the Kid was suited to face small guys but he failed on all levels against big men like Razor. Imagine Hakushi vs. Kid in a 20 minute match to open the Rumble. That’s a freaking classic. But alas, we’re stuck with him wearing a diaper after losing his 128th match in a row to Ramon. Ok, now it’s out of my system for now.

Razor and some of his buddies are watching in the back as Hakushi misses a springboard splash. Kid hits a spinkick to take out the White Angel. Apparently Horowitz is the captain? Then why did they come out to Jannetty’s music and not the Hava Nagila rock song instead? That’s just awesome on so many levels. On top of that, why mention that JANNETTY WAS CAPTAIN EARLIER IN THE FREAKING MATCH?

Seriously, if you’re going to have a team of jobbers, know who the head jobber is. Radford uses the Perfect neck snap that gets no recognition from Perfect. That surprises me. The way Horowitz is laying on the mat it looks like he’s wearing a thong. If wrestling ever dries up, he could strip. It’s not bad. Anyway, Radford beats on him some more but then poses and Horowitz hits a three quarter nelson rollup and pins him to make it 2-2.

Less than a minute later after a fast tag, Kid Hogan pins Barry with a legdrop, which Vince calls a devastating maneuver, to an even bigger amount of booing than he’s used to, which is to say a freaking ton. That leaves us with Marty against Skip and the Kid. Skip and the Kid sounds like the name of a really bad rap duo. When Marty wasn’t looking like a freaking idiot, he was actually pretty good in the ring.

He hits a Rocker Dropper, which is more or less a slow Fameasser on Skip. Perfect says that’ll break your neck. Bad choice of words Curt: it did break someone’s neck once and massive lawsuits against the WWF followed. Granted that’s obscure so he likely didn’t know. Ok, now this part I just don’t get. Marty goes up top, and Sunny shakes the ropes to crotch him. The referee is watching her do this and yelling at her not to, yet somehow this isn’t a DQ.

It doesn’t matter anyway because Marty hits a freaking powerbomb off the top to eliminate Skip. That was awesome looking. We’re down to Marty vs. Kid and if you don’t know who is going to win this then you’re a freaking idiot. Kid hits a running dropkick which is a move that I can never figure out how is possible. Wow that doesn’t sound correct. Both guys go down and we’re at a double count. I have no issue here because they’ve been wrestling a fast pace and they deserve a short break.

For no apparent reason Sid comes out as Jannetty hits one of my favorite moves ever in the jumping back elbow. I’ve always marked like crazy for that move. Ok, now Razor got sent back but Sid doesn’t? Yeah I love wrestling logic. Every time they say Marty I hear Power of Love from Back to the Future. DiBiase distracts the referee and Sid clotheslines him on the top rope as the crowd chants bull for the pinfall.

Kid needs new music that I don’t think he ever got. The big celebration happens. The beat to that song sounds like a faster LOD song, at least to an extent. We see Razor in the back throwing a freaking fit over Kid winning. He chucks a monitor at the wall. DAng man get laid already.

Rating: A-. I really liked this match. On paper this looks freaking awful but it was great in the ring. Like I said, if you just let small guys have a long fast paced match, it’s going to work most of the time. That’s what happened here. There’s no real story here other than 8 guys having a match and it was very, very good. Find this match as it’s worth checking out.

The mostly heel Wildcard team says that Razor better have his head on straight. Cornette’s rant here is great as he looks like he’s about to fly off the floor from his lips moving so fast. Owen says nothing special and Dean Douglas continues to prove that he’s better than Matt Striker at this gimmick.

Alundra Blayze’s Team vs. Bertha Faye’s Team

Since it’s the captains and three Japanese wrestlers each, I’m not going to bother writing out their names because most of them don’t have Wikipedia pages and I doubt more than 5 people have heard of all of them. There’s a big rant coming later about why this is a bad idea, but I’ll save it for after the rating of this match. The only one you need to worry about is Aja Kong for the heel team. The heels get no intro and the faces get something close to one.

Vince immediately tells JR to do the commentary, which is his way of saying I have no freaking clue who I signed for this so get me someone that either knows or cares at all. The bell rings and the botches begin. Yeah this match is rather sloppy. A woman named Chaparita Asari is put in a giant swing by Lioness Asuka which looks awesome. She must have been spun around 12 times. That was impressive.

After it though Blayze gets tagged in for about 20 seconds before slapping the tights of Asari (who stands 4’9) while she’s on the top rope, only to throw out a big flip called the Skytwister Press. It looked awesome as heck either way. It would have even been better if she was closer than the foot off that she was. I mean she missed EVERYTHING. Her arm grazed the other girl, but that was just bad, and considering it was a three foot jump or so, that’s not good.

After some botched chops, Blayze eliminates her with the bad German Suplex that she used. Also on a related note, when women of this era did slams, why did the tuck the head instead of putting their arm under the head? I’ve never gotten that. Watanabe comes in and in one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, sees Blayze standing between her legs as she’s on the top, and then throws the moonsault anyway. Yeah that was dumb.

Blayze follows that up with a cross body to the floor that almost misses as well. Look, I get that it’s rare to find women that are high fliers like this, but at least hit your opponents please? Hasagawa, a face, hits rolling butterfly suplexes. Ok that looked awesome. Perfect has some really chauvinistic lines. Aja Kong comes in and beats up Hasagawa while we’re randomly thrown to the Spanish commentators. Back to the English guys and JR, who is given the commentary again by Vince.

A big suplex puts out Hasagawa. Less than 30 seconds later, the tiny Asari goes out to a splash and we have our monster. An Earthquake drop puts out Inoue after 40 seconds. What’s with Kong sticking her tongue out with every cover? Does she think she’s the Undertaker or something? In something very smart, the three heels just all go at Alundra at once. That’s really smart.

Eventually it’s Blayze against Watanabe, and after an ok piledriver it’s 2-1 to actually give us a reaction for the first time in this match. I know I’m not saying much here but that’s the first time since the beginning of the match that there’s been more than a minute between eliminations. How much can I say about a girl coming in, getting clotheslined and after a big move getting pinned? The crowd is just dead here until after what’s called a German suplex it’s Blayze against Kong.

Kong hits her in the shoulder as apparently she thinks she’s Rocky Marciano. Both try their finishers but they don’t work and now Kong uses the girth of her stomach to crush Alundra in the corner. We get some decent back and forth stuff until Kong tries to do the Vader body splash thing then beat on her chest.

She does the exact same sequence again before standing her up and hitting the Awesome Kong spinning back fist which hits Blayze square in the arm for the pin. Yep, the women’s champion got pinned by a woman that was never seen on PPV again. Kong uses the old Orient Express’ music which is awesome.

Rating: D. Ok, now I’m waiting on a Joshi or Puroesu fan to come in here and argue with me over this, because I’m going to tear them apart on this one. I’m going to say this once and for all: Japanese wrestling does not now nor has it ever worked in mainstream American wrestling companies. Now before you jump down my throats, the wrestling is traditionally fine. Guys like Chono and Muta can wrestle five star classics and that’s fine.

However, for the most part, these guys never get over and they never will for a variety of reasons. The biggest is clear: we don’t know who these people are. Now I know the biggest argument here is going to be “well then go watch their matches and find out for yourself.” Well no that’s not how it works. When I turn on Raw I don’t want to have to have watched a series of matches to prepare. It’s wrestling, not a college exam.

Wrestling is supposed to be something that anyone can turn on and watch. This is where problem number 2 comes in: we have no idea why these people are feuding. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but just tell us why they’re fighting. Is that so hard? I’ve never once heard of a storyline between two big name Japanese stars, not a single one. The system works fine for Japan, but here it’s just a failure. Finally, get wrestlers that aren’t going to botch 20% of the moves they attempt.

I’m sorry, but this was mostly botches. Coupling that with the fact that no one knew who 6 of these women were along with Kong never being seen again other than I think a lone Raw match, this was just a waste of time. The fans were bored out of their mind for the most part too. Bring it on people.

We go to a Bill Clinton impersonator for absolutely no reason. They did this at Mania 10 and the guy was awesome. This is just weak. Bigelow is on his way to the ring and the Lewinsky Enthusiast says he watches Bam Bam every Saturday. He watches Fred and Barney too. Yes, this actually got PPV time.

Goldust vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Goldy is a rookie here, having debuted in late October in one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen. Hopefully this is better. It can’t be worse. Bigelow is the epitome of a jobber to the stars here, despite having main evented an In Your House recently. He would be gone very soon though. This match is just flat out boring. It runs a bit over eight minutes and is just run of the mill stuff. You could see anything here at say an indy show or a house show.

While not entirely a squash, it’s very close to one as Bigelow never really is winning past more than maybe a punch here or there. I get why this is on the PPV, but I wish it was more like 5 minutes or so. There’s just not a lot to say here. Goldust wins with a bulldog. Yep that’s all I’ve got.

Rating: C. Honestly, what else can I give this? It’s a generic match that there’s absolutely nothing special at all about. I can’t really grade it so I’ll just call it average. Goldust is brand new so no one really knows anything about him. It’s fine, but overly long.

Back to the president, who is now chatting with Bob Backlund. Backlund was doing a weird gimmick where he wanted to be President. He actually ran for Congress in I think New Hampshire. Naturally he was destroyed, but at least he tried. These are more bad attempts at comedy.

We get a recap of Taker getting his face crushed by Mabel, which leads us to this.

Dark Side vs. Royals

Dark Side: Undertaker, Savio Vega, Fatu, Henry Godwinn
Royals: Mabel, Jerry Lawler, Isaac Yankem, HHH

Dang I was hoping it would be Darkseid. This is Taker’s first match in I think a month, and that’s the team he picks? Geez. As for feuds, the only one I can think of is HHH vs. Henry which apparently is just getting going. The idea of the other team King Lawler, Isaac is the royal dentist (it’s 1995 just go with it. He’s more commonly known as Kane in case you didn’t know that) and HHH is regal-esque I suppose.

Lawler does a short promo explaining this since at the time he’s the only one that has a clue about how to talk at this point. Mabel comes out on the throne that King Macho used to use. That’s just amusing. He is with Sir Mo, as a small part of my soul dies. The king is wearing sunglasses, but not the kind Savage wore. He could pull those off. Mabel, not so much.

Taker of course gets his own entrance, as he should. He’s wearing this weird mask that looks like a skull mixed with Warrior’s face paint. It’s not paint, but it’s in that shape. It just looked weird. Fatu is in his make a difference era, which was somehow stupider than Rikishi. In a great looking shot, Taker pulls off the hat but the camera is from behind him and we see Mabel’s reaction to Taker’s face. That’s awesome.

The curtsey that HHH used was just sweet. He needs to be a full time heel. Vince says Fatu is one of the premiere athletes in the WWF. That’s beyond laughable. After some stupid fear spots from the heels, we’ve got Godwinn vs. future Kane. WOW. Mr. Perfect refers to Helmsley as HHH. That name wouldn’t actually take effect for over two years. How far ahead of the game (pun intended) was he?

Oh all of the faces are wearing shirts that say Rest In Peace on the back. Wow what a show of team unity that is. While Lawler’s selling was great, Savio continued to be a complete waste of oxygen. He dances a bit and according to Vince, that means “Come on Jerry Lawler get up and let’s go.” Did Vince major in interpretive dance or something in college? It amuses me that of all the heels, Yankem would become the second most successful.

He pulls off a half decent dropkick which amazes me. I’ll never get over a guy that big being able to get in the air like that. It was sloppy but it was good enough I suppose. Vince brags about Vega. Was he an affirmative action guy or something? What talent did he ever have? He takes the Lawler piledriver as we are LIVE from USAir Arena. Can someone explain the point of those to me? I just don’t get it.

Savio gets back in with what we would refer to as a Rock Bottom. It doesn’t have a name here yet though, and it wouldn’t have been wasted on someone like Savio so there we go. Ok, now we have a sequence that is literally too dumb to describe. Ok no it’s not because I’m going to describe it but you get the idea. All right, now you all know that Lawler’s big move is the piledriver. He’s beaten a ton of guys with it and it’s devastating right?

The people were surprised that Vega kicked out of it a few seconds before, so apparently it’s a good move right? It worked on Savio a few seconds before, so logically it should work now. Instead though, Lawler hits it again, and while he’s sitting on the mat, Savio jumps up and dives to his corner to tag Taker, and THEN collapses from it. What in the world was that supposed to be?

Now I could understand if it was a move like a sharpshooter or something where it’s an extremity and you could get to your corner on pure adrenaline. Even a powerbomb or something like that where you land on your back would make something close to sense here, but not a freaking piledriver. You get dropped on your head but apparently Vega has a titanium cranium and can withstand blows to it like that. That just looked so stupid. Sell the move you imbecile.

Now that Taker is in, I think you can figure the rest out. In less than three minutes, two tombstones, a chokeslam and Mabel running means a clean sweep. Taker was AWESOME here as they put him over as an unstoppable force that was obsessed with revenge, which is when he’s at his best.

Above all else: the crowd was white hot for him as he continues to be possibly the most over face in the company at the time. Also, who would have thought that in less than three years, Taker vs. Isaac Yankem would have been the second main event at Wrestlemania with Taker looking like he was going to go down. Taker beats up Mo after the match so this was a good ending.

Rating: B-. This was a tale of two matches. The first part, which is before the tag to Taker, was ok at best. The second part, after the tag to Taker, was awesome. When Taker is used exactly right, he’s one of it not the most exciting wrestlers to watch ever. No one, and I repeat no one, goes off on someone like Undertaker. When he’s pissed off, he’s my all time favorite character to watch. This might as well have been a handicap match.

Taker would go on to feud with Diesel very soon after this. I think it started at the Rumble. Taker and Mabel had a worthless casket match at the next PPV that I actually forgot about. It was just horrible as Vince pulled the plug hard on Mabel and fed him to Taker.

Bret says that he’s not worried about facing Bulldog at the next PPV and that he feels like Wayne Gretzky.

Diesel says he wants the Bulldog too but he’s not sweating Bret. I probably should mention that Smith got cheated out of his title shot at the last PPV and therefore he’s getting a rematch with the winner of Bret vs. Diesel at the next In Your House.

Cornette is now with the other Wildcard team and says he wasn’t with the other one earlier. DiBiase says not to cross him. My goodness what I would give for a long term program between those two.

Wildcard Match

Team 1: Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon, Dean Douglas
Team 2: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, Sid, British Bulldog

The idea here is faces mixed with heels. That’s a decent idea actually, but it begs the question of what is this going to accomplish? The point of a Survivor Series match is to continue a feud, but there’s nothing major going on here feud wise. This is Ahmed’s PPV debut, so no one knows much about him. Cornette is trying to figure a way to manage both teams which is amusing. Yoko’s fat has reached gargantuan proportions.

Dean Douglas here is the teacher gimmick that was 100x better than what Matt Striker did with it. Razor’s pop is still solid and he’s STILL the Intercontinental champion. Did he ever lose that thing? Razor’s pop is still solid, but at this point I completely understand him leaving. He’s been stuck in the same place for three years now and is STILL feuding with the 1-2-3 Kid. He could wrestle, he got pops, he could talk, yet he never got out of the midcard. That just makes zero sense.

He easily could have been a main event level guy and maybe even have had a very short title run. Are you telling me people wouldn’t have bought Razor vs. Diesel for the title? I would have been interested in it. At least he was vindicated though as he went to WCW and was a major reason as to why the WWF almost died.

As for why these people are in the match, Shawn is because he’s on the verge of breaking through the glass ceiling, Owen, Bulldog and Yoko are Camp Cornette, Razor and Douglas had fought for the IC Title at the last PPV where Douglas had been awarded the title after Shawn had to forfeit it and Sid had fought Razor on Raw this past Monday. Ahmed is there…just because I guess. He slammed Yoko a few weeks ago so he’s been booked very hard early.

Vince really wanted to make him world champion, but injuries and a lack of talent prevented that from happening. Shawn’s pop is ridiculous. He was in the angle where he had been really badly injured time after time but kept coming back, which would ultimately result in him getting hurt one more time and returning at the Rumble, where he would win it to face Bret in the Iron Man match at Mania. Perfect can’t stand him, saying Shawn has nothing on him.

At least Perfect keeps up his feuds from the past. Ross makes a political analogy out of this which completely fails. Naturally they argue over who is going to start. Shawn can’t find his corner. Yep he’s likely bombed. We start with Shawn and Owen, so this will at least begin well. In case you didn’t notice the first 10 times, this was made by President Gorilla Monsoon. These two start hot with Shawn hitting a very impressive move.

He’s thrown over the top, skins the cat and grabs Owen’s head with his legs to pull him over, and then skins it again to get back in. Who in the world named that move? What kind of a creepy name is skinning the cat? Is that some weird masturbation reference that I’m just not getting, or did people actually skin a cat and think this looked like it/ That’s just creepy.

Anyway, they stay hot in the ring. How in the world was this not the main event of the 98 Rumble? Everything was there, yet it never happened. I’ve always thought it was because Shawn was afraid Owen would shoot on him and kill him, which is understandable I guess. Dean comes in and punches Shawn down which is surprising. Shawn has TR on his boots. I have no idea what that means.

This was during the time where Shawn was so far above just about everyone not named Hart that it was a given that he would be in the title picture very soon. This is easily the best time of his career from an in ring perspective. We get the warm tag to Ahmed and Perfect changes his stance on him about every two seconds which is amusing. Now it’s Ahmed vs. Yoko, in a match that could set wrestling back decades.

Thankfully Douglas comes back in. What am I saying? It’s a scary thought when he’s the improvement. Razor shows some heel tendencies by beating on Ahmed a bit in the corner. Honestly, they picked Ahmed to get beaten on out of all the people they have on their team? In a cool spot, Ahmed picks Shawn up and launches him into Dean with a cross body. That was cool. Eventually Douglas tries to bail but Razor stops him before punching his partner into a roll up by Shawn for the pin.

Shawn used the tights, but since he’s almost the top face in the company we’ll overlook that. We move on to Owen vs. Bulldog which should be good. Davey offers a left handed handshake which even thinking about is making typing feel weird. Owen takes it but both have the same idea and punch each other with their right hand. They tag out to Razor and Shawn, who apparently are nervous about fighting despite having had a ladder match two months prior.

Ross gets in either a huge insult or a joke, asking if they can wrestle each other without a ladder. Vince laughs, but it’s one of those that’ll be a week’s pay laughs. They stand there looking at each other for about a minute, so we cut to an arena shot and we can barely see them finally make contact. Dude, were the production people on drugs or something? These cuts make zero sense most of the time.

Anyway, we have them going at it after missing ten seconds of it due to needing to see the 192nd row for some reason. Shawn goes for the forearm but Razor isn’t in place I suppose and it’s more like a shoulder block. Shawn nips up anyway, as Razor suddenly remembers he’s supposed to be up. That was a weird looking sequence. Razor actually gets the Razor’s Edge clean and covers but Ahmed makes the save. That was really surprising.

Shawn ducked and Razor just got him up and hit it like Shawn was a jobber. This is a weird match. Within 30 seconds we have two instances where both guys are down. Oh yeah they’re both in the clique. That’s why this is a weird sequence.

For some reason Sid is facing the crowd as Shawn gets the tag to him and we have Razor vs. Sid now. Has there ever been a more overrated big man than Sid? If there has been I can’t think of one. Naturally he got a huge main event push everywhere he went, but he still was just bad in the ring most of the time. In ANOTHER weird spot, Sid is stomping Razor and Yoko comes in, hits him once, gets kicked in the chest and then leaves as Sid goes back to stomping. Yeah that was pointless.

Oh look two guys are down again. What’s with this stop and go style of wrestling? I really don’t care for it. Sid tries to go to the top but since he used to be a Horsemen, that doesn’t work as he pulls the Flair spot from it. Sid does impress me though as he hits a one handed chokeslam on Razor, who weighs about 270. Wait, why is Sid up that fast after getting slammed off the top? Sid calls for Shawn to kick Razor and you know where this is going.

Yep Shawn kicks Sid but doesn’t really seem to mind. Razor covers him but Bulldog runs in for the save with a leg drop that somehow misses and hits Sid. Razor covers him again like nothing went wrong and pins him. Vince and Ross are confused as to why Bulldog tried for the save there. Maybe because his partner was about to get pinned boys? Could that have something to do with it? Apparently not.

See even Vince and JR can’t figure this thing out and one of them likely came up with it. Ok so it’s 3-3 now as I’m trying to remember who is who here. Ok so it’s Bulldog vs. Razor, making it heel vs. face but the face is on the heel team and the heel is on the face team but the heel on the face team is acting like a heel despite supposedly being a face for this match while the face on the heel team is acting heelish, meaning that everyone is doing their job? I need a chart or something here.

This is like the smark’s nightmare match. As Bulldog is beating on Razor, Sid comes back and powerbombs his partner Shawn. I really hate this match. Oh and Bulldog goes to the apron despite never tagging in Shawn. Shawn of course kicks out to a short but loud pop. We’re back to Shawn and Owen now, which hopefully makes this more sensible. Since that would be the best case scenario, we switch out to Yoko to make this bad again.

JR says this is a bigger mismatch than Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett to really date the show a bit. Uh oh it’s Yoko with the evil nerve hold! They discuss the idea of Shawn being world champion but they’re not sure if it could ever happen, which more or less cements that it’s going to happen in the future. Owen runs in to stomp on Shawn a bit while the referee isn’t looking, which again confuses Vince. It’s run of the mill heel tactics, so why is this weird?

A diving headbutt by Owen misses and allows Shawn to tag Ahmed. A Pearl River Plunge, called the Tiger Bomb which is a better name, ends Owen to make it 3-2. That gives us Razor vs. Ahmed which on paper sounds appealing but in reality it’s not a great match up due to Ahmed’s limited ability. Granted he’s a rookie so I’ll cut him a break here. Razor does manage to get a bad Edge on him but sans tag, Bulldog comes in to beat on Razor instead.

Kid and Sid come out and trip Razor, leading to the powerslam and a 3-1 disadvantage. It’s Yoko vs. Shawn, Bulldog and Ahmed for those idiots out there keeping score. They mention that the next night it would be Shawn vs. Owen on Raw, which is the infamous black out match which led to the Rumble return and victory for Shawn.

Ahmed comes in and slams Yoko (kind of) but the Bulldog breaks it up. Shawn and Ahmed end him, leading to sweet chin music and a splash from Ahmed which for some reason comes with a scream while he’s in the air to end this.

Rating: C+. The wrestling was ok, but I have no clue what the point of this was. It’s one of those matches where it’s just thrown out there to see if it works and apparently they didn’t think it did because it was never seen again as far as I can remember. The psychology was all screwed up here since it was faces and heels together which throws everything off. This was an ok concept on paper, but in reality it was a failure to me.

We kill some more time with Sunny sitting on the fake President’s lap. This is stupid.

We recap Diesel vs. Bret which is part three of a trilogy apparently. I have issues with a trilogy going nearly a year, but whatever. Bret points out that he’ll have the advantage in a longer match, while Nash points out that he is going to try to knock Bret out. That makes sense. Bret says Diesel has been walking about with his title. That makes a bit of sense because Bret got one rematch but there was no winner. That kind of makes sense I guess.

The announcers talk about who will win.

WWF Title: Bret Hart vs. Diesel

Bret gets a ridiculous pop. The announcer calls this the WWF’s Championship. It just sounded weird. Bret is still the only man that can make pink look intimidating. Apparently this is no holds barred which I think was mentioned earlier. Both guys pull a turnbuckle pad off. Yeah it’s no holds barred. They imply they might run out of PPV time, which is a rarity but can happen.

Bret goes for the leg but Diesel immediately goes for a power move. That makes a lot of sense actually as Diesel has the mindset of he can’t get caught with a bad leg. The announcers mention that this could go anywhere which pretty much guarantees that it won’t. Bret keeps running from him which again kind of makes sense as he’s trying to run Diesel down and avoid the big power moves.

Of course Vince thinks Bret is wrong here. I’m sure Vince is right here. After all he’s a former WWF Champion remember? They’re starting really slowly here which is ok I guess. Bret is in trouble and that means it’s a good thing. He’s one of the best ever at just getting beaten up which happens even more with Diesel beating on him with a chair. Back in the ring, Diesel goes for the Jackknife but Bret grabs the leg. That’s so basic it’s amazing.

Bret finally gets to the knee as they try to make this sound like it’s about survival. Perfect says that everyone is the same when they’re on the mat. No not really as Diesel is still really tall. Ross says this is vintage Hart which has now entered the lexicon of wrestling jokes. We hit the figure four so at least the thought process is solid here. Diesel gets the ropes and Bret doesn’t let go. It’s no DQ so what can the referee even do? Not anything when you think about it.

Naturally Bret lets it go because he’s just a nice guy I guess. Bret finds a cord at ringside and ties one end to the post and the other to Diesel’s leg. He can naturally tie knots. He used to be a cowboy after all. Nash fights out of it though so there’s no point to that whole sequence. Now Bret gets a chair, which makes sense because all that cowboy stuff must have worn him out. Diesel’s leg is still tied as he knocks Bret down.

Ok Bret pops right back up and hits him with the chair. Bret gets crotched on the top rope and slammed off as Diesel finally unties himself. Ross suggests that Bret was a boy scout since that was a great knot. No Jim, he was COWBOY BRET HART! Bret goes chest first into the exposed turnbuckle and Vince says he should give up right now, and Vince would know all about when Bret should quit. He would prove that in two years.

Diesel puts Bret in the same position for the 619 and tries to run back and jump on him but he can’t because of the leg. Instead he just jumps in the air and crashes down on him. That’s both smart and stupid at the same time. If his leg is hurt, how can he jump? However, it’s smart because it’s an intelligent and innovative move.

Nash takes a head first shot to the exposed buckle. Perfect says this is a great fight and he’s correct. It’s a bad match though. Bret is in control now as we’re running out of time. He hits that perfect Russian leg sweep of his. I love that move. With Diesel on the floor, Bret goes for a pescado but over rotates and crashes badly. As he’s trying to get back in, Bret gets knocked to the floor through the Spanish Announce Table which deserves its own place in the hall of fame.

This was a new thing at the time so that was considered a huge spot. It’s just a run of the mill table and not the kind they have now so this looks and sounds a lot better than the traditional kind. Back in the ring Bret collapses as Diesel goes for the Jackknife. He picks Bret up again and there is the small package for the title. Diesel calls Bret a few profane words after this before jackknifing Bret in half. He also hits two refs which stuns Ross as Diesel turns heel. We get a recap of the show as we’re done.

Rating: C+. Like Perfect and I combined to say, it was a good fight but not a good match. There’s no flow to this at all as it’s just almost random spots going back and forth. It felt like an Attitude Era title match, which is fine if you’re Austin or someone like that, but Bret didn’t need to use that style and it failed to me. Still, it’s entertaining enough I guess, but I’m rarely a fan of no holds barred matches for the title. It just isn’t my thing. It was ok, but far from great.

Overall Rating: B-. This show is the epitome of just barely above average. There’s some good stuff here but there’s also some bad stuff. There really isn’t a truly bad match outside of arguably the women’s match, but that was something that is going to be loved by marks and hated by smarks so there we go. Other than that, this is pretty good I suppose. The title change was big as it ended a year long run.

Other than that, the matches are all at least decent, but nothing really jumps off the page as great. It’s good for a one time view, but it’s not likely to be something you’re going to watch more than once. Granted I think that has to do with the company as a whole at this point as very little was going right around this time. Still, it’s ok, but like I said don’t get your hopes up.

 

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1 comment

  1. Anton82 says:

    A C+ for the Bret vs diesel match? What the hell? Great storytelling and great psycology and even great selling by Kevin freaking Nash!!!! I’d give it ****1/2 easy or in your system, an A. Was this review done a long time ago? Maybe u should go back and give it another shot

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