King of the Ring 1995: The Darkest Of Dark Days

King of the Ring 1995
Date: June 25, 1995
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 16,590
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Doc Hendrix

Dang it it’s this show. This is considered to be one of the all time worst shows as absolutely nothing ever happened at it. I mean the show exists and some of the matches are ok, but nothing of note happens here. It’s the epitome of the dark ages for the WWF up to this point as just nothing at all is going on that means anything at all. Diesel is world champion here and your main event is him teaming up with Bam Bam Bigelow to face Tatanka and Sid.

Yeah see what I mean about nothing happens here? Also, this is the show that is referenced on Rise and Fall of ECW as the show where the ECW faithful show up and boo it to death as it’s so terrible. The tournament is half screwed already by injuries here and one of the spots isn’t determined until the preshow, 30 minutes before the PPV begins. My copy has that match on it, so let’s get this over with.

The intro says that while this is the place where democracy was born for America, monarchy will reign tonight. Eh I can live with that one I guess.

KOTR First Round: Savio Vega vs. IRS

It was supposed to be Razor Ramon, but he was legitimately hurt in a ladder match with Jarrett at a house show a few weeks prior to this, and because Vince is such a genius he didn’t give Razor a replacement in the two weeks he had before this show. Savio is young and annoying here while IRS is a glorified jobber, so guess who wins this? Razor is with Savio for moral support I guess.

I would have thought he was there to be Savio’s drug runner but whatever. IRS gets no intro or anything and within 20 seconds we have a boring chant. Vince says that it will be nearly impossible for one of these two to win four matches in one night, despite Randy Savage having done the impossible apparently in 88, but why remember anything over a week ago? Hat Guy is in the front row. The referee is wearing a long sleeved shirt and it just doesn’t look right. A spin kick from out of nowhere ends this after like four minutes.

Rating: C-. It was crap, but this was literally a free match so it’s hard to complain about it. It felt like a TV match and that’s about all it was.

That makes your brackets as follows:

Mabel
Undertaker

Kama
Shawn Michaels

Bob Holly
Roadie

Yokozuna
Savio

That’s better than last year but not by much at all. Let’s get this over with.

We get a more formal intro to the show where nothing of note is said. If Hendrix isn’t on all kinds of crack, my name is Sharona.

KOTR Quarterfinals: Yokozuna vs. Savio Vega

Yoko here is about as fat as a small country. He and Owen are tag champions here. Naturally Vince sees nothing wrong with booking more or less a cruiserweight against a guy that outweighs some large rocks less than 15 minutes after the hardest crowd in the world to please just saw him wrestle last. And people wonder why this company went so far down so fast.

Yoko beat Luger to get in here as Luger was about to leave for WCW and the debuting Nitro in just about 2 months while Savio just beat IRS. I really don’t want to review this show. Since we haven’t seen enough Savio already, we go back to Todd with Razor and Vega. Savio has an American flag and speaks mostly Spanish. There’s no way I can comment on that without getting an infraction.

We have a 15 minute time limit here. I’ve always wanted there to be like a 4 minute time limit or a 12 minute and 5 second time limit. That would just be interesting to hear in my mind for some reason. This reminds me of the freak shows of the early days of the UFC. Yoko was more or less worthless at this point as his weight just got completely out of control. Well I’m already bored out of my mind.

Savio, who can’t do much of anything to begin with, is in there against a guy that’s too big to do anything and no one cares about him anymore anyway. Hendrix calls Savio’s four minute match with IRS grueling. That sums up the announcing perfectly. Vince thanks the people listening in Spanish, which is again completely pointless as THEY AREN’T LISTENING TO THE ENGLISH COMMENTARY! Vega is apparently a Caribbean legend.

All Yoko can really do is punch and chop and choke. Razor has done absolutely nothing in this match either in case you were wondering. Owen comes out in a suit to attack Razor’s ribs so Yoko comes out to defend him, leading to Savio ramming him into the post for the count out. In other words, Savio has done what Lex Luger managed to do in the main event of Summerslam 1993. What does that tell you?

Rating: D. Yes, this is what they wanted to set the tone of the night with. The styles just COMPLETELY clashed here as neither guy could do anything here. Savio getting the win was kind of stupid when you think about it as Yoko’s minimal credibility is completely killed off in the name of a one night push. This was just stupid all around in my eyes and the match was both boring and pointless as well.

Jerry Lawler talks about the Kiss My Foot match later tonight against Bret with some dumb jokes.

KOTR Quarterfinals: Roadie vs. Bob Holly

Oh baby feel the greatness here! Jarrett is with Roadie, and since Jarrett is IC Champion, Savio gets a shot at him tomorrow. Roadie beat Doink to get in and Holly, who is still a racecar driver, beat Mantaur. Yeah this was just a horrible time in wrestling. Nothing of note is happening here. It’s just a bare bones basic match that might as well be on Superstars or something or even a house show.

There’s just nothing going on here and the fans are booing them out of the building. Why in the world should I care about these two fighting? I can’t think of a single reason. It’s a racecar driver against a guy that allegedly takes care of musical equipment for a fake singer. You know I love gimmicks, but this is absurd. This is nothing but house show material here. Why am I supposed to care about this match at all? It’s just flat out not interesting.

The wrestling isn’t bad I guess, but it’s two lower midcard guys fighting to go face a slightly higher up the midcard guy. I think they botch the finish as Roadie is on the mat and Holly jumps into his boot for the pin but Holly pops his shoulder up just afterwards. I think there was an error in there. Either that or they just ended this before everyone fell asleep and they didn’t have enough smelling salts for the entire arena. Thank goodness this is over.

Rating: D+. Again, why in the world should I have cared about this match? It might as well have opened a house show in Dalton, Georgia or some other town that no one has ever heard of. The crowd was bored to say the least as I can’t believe these two matches were picked to open the show. Again, the wrestling was ok I guess, but why in the world should I care about these two?

Todd is with Shawn, who is freshly face at this point. We see a clip of Shawn qualifying for the Rumble, FIVE WEEKS AGO! Seriously, why wait that long for it? There were In Your House shows around this time so it’s not like they didn’t have time for it or anything. Shawn would win the IC Title the next month now that I think of it.

KOTR Quarterfinals: Kama vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn beat King Kong Bundy and Kama beat Duke Droese. Kama was kind of feuding with Taker at the time, as was the entire Million Dollar Team. Shawn’s music is messed up here, opening with the guitar solo instead of the regular opening. That’s very odd indeed. Kama is more commonly known as Papa Shango or Godfather depending on what era you’re from.

The crowd is into Shawn as he was at the point on the card where he was bigger than the midcard but not quite into the main event yet, sort of like Austin after Mania 13. Joe Frazier is here. This is a very standard Shawn match which means it’s the best match of the night. Kama works over Shawn, who of course has a bad back as all faces are required to have at some point in their career, until Shawn starts his comeback.

And then we get the evil of the clock on the screen, which means this is going to end in a draw. After a very fast 15 minutes that likely wasn’t really 15 minutes, Shawn has a sunset flip on Kama but as the hand is coming down for three the buzzer goes off and so does the crowd. Why in the WORLD would you have a draw here to eliminate the guy that is likely the most over in your whole company?

I have a bad feeling I know why, but I want to convince myself that’s not really the reason to keep myself from going on a killing spree. Shawn hits the kick after the match to get the fans to put down their pitchforks, but DANG this was stupid. Seriously, why in the world would you get rid of your most over guy?

Does Vince actually believe that Savio freaking Vega is going to be enough of a reason for people to care about this show? That’s flat out stupid. If Vince believes that, then he deserved to almost get put out of business in a year and a half.

Rating: B. Like I said, this is likely going to be the best match of the entire night. Shawn was on the top of his game around this time and no one other than Bret could stay with him in the ring and this was no exception. Shawn carried this thing as Kama’s basic offense wasn’t able to do a thing at all.

He was kind of an MMA sort of character that just didn’t work, much like all of his other gimmicks. This was pretty good though. It’s not great, but Shawn could really do no wrong in the ring at this point.

We get a recap of Mabel vs. Taker, which is kind of pointless. Mabel beat Adam Bomb and Taker beat Jarrett. Yeah that’s all the recap you get. Taker walks with angels apparently.

We get a recap of Backlund campaigning for President. This was in a word BIZARRE. He’s walking around Philadelphia with random kids holding up signs and asking people if they’re related to George Washington. He wants to put carrots in cheese steaks. The editing keeps jumping to him riding in a carriage. This is somehow weirder than it sounds.

KOTR Quarterfinals: Mabel vs. Undertaker

Mabel is interviewed on his way to the ring and cuts the most generic uninteresting promo of all time. He looks like a frekaing idiot too in case you were wondering. I think Hendrix is trying to be like Jerry Lawler and of course it’s just completely failing. Taker has no urn here thanks to Kama so he’s weak or something. Remember all of those really not great Undertaker vs. Big Show matches?

One of those would be great compared to this. Mabel is just a complete and utter joke of a wrestler to put it mildly. He can’t move, he can’t do much of anything as far as offense, he’s tired after about two seconds, and he doesn’t sell anything. Naturally Mabel’s “power (read as elbows, splashes and chinlocks)” offense wears down Taker as Vince and Doc try so hard to convince us that Mabel is a monster.

This just needs to end with Taker beating him and taking the crown. BREAKING NEWS: MABEL CAN PICK UP UNDERTAKER! For some reason this is a big deal and I have no idea why at all. Why in the world would that be a surprise? Mo is more annoying than Santino ever dreamed of being.

Oh great the referee went down after they both laid around for a few minutes. That means it’s going to go on even longer. Taker hits a chokeslam that was pretty good considering he was picking up a beached whale. Kama runs out and kicks him in the head and a legdrop sends Mabel to the finals, to meet the winner of Road Dogg and Savio Vega. I hate this show so much.

Rating: D+. This was just putting me to sleep. What was the point of this anyway? Seriously, Mabel and freaking SAVIO VEGA are going farther in this than Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Does Vince really think that this is a good idea? Shawn vs. Diesel at Summerslam wouldn’t have been good? It just headlined Mania but it can’t be on Summerslam? This just needs to end now and have people come out from nowhere and say it was all a big joke then let us see the real show.

We get a highlight package from the Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night. This was when it was a complete and utter joke and no one cared about it at all. More or less this was when it was done some time during the year and the inductees were announced after they had been inducted and nothing was televised.

It was somehow a bigger joke than it is today. The seven in this class, which is the third ever, are Ernie Ladd, Moolah, Ivan Putski, Pedro Morales, Ernie Roth (Grand Wizard of Wrestling), Antonio Rocca and George Steele. Bill Murray of all people inducts George Steele from atop an elephant. I seriously don’t have any idea how or why they did that. Putski sings a song and I really hope he’s drunk.

KOTR Semi Finals: Road Dogg vs. Savio Vega

Winner gets Mabel in what I’m sure will be a masterpiece. In what is I guess kind of historic we go to Roadie and Jarrett in the back and Jarrett calls him Road Dogg for the first time. Well at least it’s better than Roadie. He’s really quite good on the mic. Vince making fun of Jarrett never gets old. This is apparently already a great story. I give up.

Oh and Savio has SV cut into the back of his hair. I really don’t like him in case you can’t tell. Jarrett’s pants are cow print. Why? Hendrix is making this show worse. He’s just an idiot on commentary. He’s fine if he’s just being Michael Hayes but this Jerry Lawler impersonation is complete and utter crap. OH Savio is supposed to be Rocky. Yeah that’s just freaking stupid and something else that no one got until Vince told us.

He tends to have to do that a lot with his great ideas. Hendrix accuses Vega of stealing his hubcaps. Apparently Razor would be allowed in if this was a one on one match but he couldn’t handle a tournament. Why say something like that and imply he’s just not tough enough? Just say that he’s injured and be done with it at that. The fans are booing this out of the building while Vince is desperately trying to make Vega look good. It’s failing insanely.

This is just another match where neither guy is ready to be out there and it’s failing completely. To finally end this mess that Razor still isn’t involved in, Jarrett gets on the apron and Savio rams Roadie into him and rolls him up to set up the classic Savio vs. Mabel match we’re all looking forward to.

Vince more or less orgasms over this. To further the stupidity, a Spanish announcer interviews Savio in Spanish, and he responds in Spanish. I hate this show. I understood it, but I’d guess I’m one of the few that did.

Rating: D+. Again, what in the world was the thought process here? Savio was a rookie here and all of a sudden he’s up against Mabel. Mabel is the veteran in the finals. That’s a scary thought in itself. Why in the heck did someone think this was going to be a good idea? In short, it’s really stupid.

The crown looks like a Burger King crown. I wish I was making this up.

We recap Bret vs. Lawler which has gone on for two years now, on and off. More or less, Bret won King of the Ring and Lawler said he was the only real king and beat him up. Lawler then brought in a bunch of royal people to fight Bret and Bret kept winning and beating up Lawler. Jerry kept insulting Bret’s family etc. Bret says this ends tonight and he’s happy for that. This was a good feud if nothing else.

Jerry Lawler vs. Bret Hart

Remember, the loser kisses the winner’s feet. Lawler has no music at first but some kicks in later. The interviewer in the aisle is repulsed by the smell of his feet. This is stupid but it’s something other than Savio and Mabel so it’s an improvement. The idea here is that Lawler knows he has no chance but Bret hates him so much that he’s going to beat on Lawler so much that he’ll get disqualified.

That would be like an MMA fighter having the strategy of he’ll stand there and get punched in the face so much that the other guy has to quit due to exhaustion. Only in wrestling could this be considered a good idea. Finally, 9 minutes after we started this segment, the match begins. Amazingly enough, this is a standard match between these two.

Bret starts hot, Lawler takes over, Bret fights back, Lawler takes over and used his famous foreign object, Bret fights back, Shinja and Hakushi run in and mess up, allowing Hart to take over and hit his finishing sequence for the win. The pop for the Sharpshooter was great. I know that’s REALLY short for a nearly 10 minute match, but there’s just nothing to talk about here.

Bret and Lawler almost always had good matches, but this just wasn’t interesting at all. There was no reason to care here other than it ended a two year long feud that was good but never really great. Again, what was the point of this?

Rating: C+. Again like it’s been all night: the wrestling is ok but I have no reason to care here at all. That’s not a good sign ever. I might as well be watching guys I’ve never seen before. I have no desire to see these guys fight again and while it’s the last match of their feud, that’s just not good ever. The whole show has been like that.

We get an ad for the Special Olympics. I guess they’re the charity of the month or something.

KOTR Finals: Mabel vs. Savio Vega

Smell those buyrates baby. The problem s instantly become apparent here: first of all, these two both suck and there was no logic at all behind pushing them as the focal points of the show. Second, the fans hate them. Neither guy gets anything resembling a good reaction either from a heel perspective or a face perspective. Third, how in the world is Savio supposed to win here other than a fluke rollup or something like that?

This match again follows as basic of a formula as you could possibly imagine: Savio starts hot and Mabel knocks him down and goes into his basic moveset: punch, stomp, punch, bearhug, chinlock. Seriously, I just covered the first 8 minutes of a ten minute match. Savio of course gets some token jobber, because that’s what he is here in case you didn’t realize it, offense in including that pesky fluke rollup attempt.

Here’s the real point of this match as far as we’re concerned though. Just after the chinlock that nearly goes for a minute, the crowd turns on the match and start LOUDLY chanting ECW. It’s so loud that Vince actually acknowledges it. This wasn’t planned or anything, but it was so loud that Vince stopped his commentary, I think out of shock. He really and truly believed what he was putting out there was getting over, and sadly enough I would bet he blamed the wrestlers for the failure here.

Savio’s spin kick gets two, and it’s over soon thereafter. I know this was really short again, but honestly there’s just nothing at all to talk about for any ot these matches, period. It’s just so basic and phoned in that it’s sucking the life out of me. Razor gets beaten up and 1-2-3 Kid runs out and gets beaten up too. There was a tag match at the next In Your House that no one cared about either. Yes, Mabel joins Owen and Bret and eventually Stone Cold as KOTR winners.

Rating: D. Dang it just end this nonsense already! No one likes this stuff, no one cared about Mabel. No one gave care about Savio. YOU HAD FREAKING SHAWN MICHAELS IN THIS THING and you picked MABEL. Seriously, here’s your tournament: Shawn beats Kama and Mabel while Yoko beats Savio and gets the bye so he only wrestles twice. Shawn kicks him in the face and wins the tournament so the fans are happy.

Instead though, Vince has to decide what we like and tell us that Mabel is our new top heel, and shockingly, IT BOMBED. Mabel was complete and utter crap as a big heel and there’s no shock at all as to why. We had to watch Diesel vs. Mabel to main event the worst Summerslam of all time because Vince is fascinated with big men. At the same time we had Hogan vs. Giant in a monster truck match. Do you see why the NWO was considered a gift from God? Dang I hated this tournament.

The coronation might save this nonsense though. It literally goes on for five minutes with bad music playing and Mo reading a proclamation. The only good part here are the fans, who are booing so loudly and chanting ECW so loudly that you can barely hear Mo. Savio comes up and gets pulled back, and the fans pelt both guys with garbage. No one bought this, plain and simple.

Jerry is sick. You and me both brother.

Oh and look! It’s time for the main event! Yes, in something completely forgotten, we have a tag match to go here.

Sid says he can beat Diesel and his injured elbow. Tatanka doesn’t like Bigelow. This was really bad just like everything else with Sid talking about Diesel holding his mother and Bigelow for support.

Diesel and Bigelow say they’ll win. END THIS NOW!!!

Diesel/Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sid and Tatanka

For some reason Bigelow had a pyromaniac gimmick going on or something like it. His outfit consists of a full body costume with orange and black flames sticking off of it and forearm things that shoot fire. This is so stupid. This match hasn’t been mentioned or hyped or anything at all tonight. Literally, I forgot about it for a lot of the show. That’s how important this match was for the company.

Sid and Diesel had fought at In Your House with Diesel winning. Bigelow was fired from the Million Dollar Team because he kept losing. Other than that, the Team injured Diesel’s arm so it’s bandaged. This feels like a dark match after a show is over that isn’t advertised or anything. Seriously, it’s added on at the end or something like that. What’s the point here?

It’s your standard main event tag match with the faces dominating early and then the heels work on the injury to set up the hot tag, then beat down face #2, Bigelow in this case, leading to the final hot tag to the champion. That takes 15 minutes, and NO ONE CARES! That’s the issue with the whole show. No one cares about anything here because there is zero effort being put into it. You can tell the wrestlers don’t care because this show means nothing at all.

This might as well have been a big house show or something. After working on the injured elbow, which Vince wants them disqualified for in a stupid string of comments, Diesel hits the powerbomb on Tatanka but wants Sid, who runs away so Diesel can get the pin. There would be a lumberjack match the next month and that’s all there is to it. Yeah seriously that’s how the show ends.

Rating: C-. And that’s out of pity. This was just so generic again that all I can call it is average. It had some ok spots but nothing special at all. Sid and Diesel were crushing the company with their horrible feud that never went anywhere. The company somehow managed to screw things up even worse in a few months with Diesel vs. Mabel.

Vince’s love of big men continued to suck the life out of his company and more importantly the fans with these stupid big men matches. Diesel was talented, but the opponents weren’t. Seriously, you have Bret, Shawn, Owen and Taker to put him against and you picked Mabel. That’s just freaking stupid. Anyway, this was ok, but like every single match tonight, there was no reason to care about it and I’m glad this crap is over.

Overall Rating: F-. Just no. This show was completely and utterly awful. As I read somewhere else, NOTHING HAPPENED HERE. Mabel was a bomb in his new role and was out of it in about 3 months. Bret would move on to fight Isaac Yankem who was just another of Lawler’s cronies. Shawn would go on to win the IC Title at a show where they woke up and did the smart thing with him by giving him something to help him stay over.

I seriously can’t get over the idiocy of the booking here. Shawn and Taker, two of the greatest wrestlers of all time were treated like afterthoughts here. Savio bombed and did nothing of note ever again. Yes, this was his career highlight. This and Summerslam might be the worst shows in company history and the main constants there are Mabel and dumb booking. This was a bomb and one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen.

It felt like they were told that they had a PPV in two hours so they threw this together. I don’t know what Vince was thinking and I don’t want to. This was awful and I’m so glad it’s over. Get me something good like Uncensored 96 to watch.

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of In Your House at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GV3KXSE

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

9 comments

  1. Marky-Marc says:

    What’s the reason you were talking about with the Shawn Michaels match?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Considering I wrote this four years ago, my guess is so he wouldn’t have to job.

  2. Ted says:

    “Instead though, Vince has to decide what we like”

    Vince still thinks he can tell us what we like, Rather than letting us decide on our own.

    Rocko Reply:

    Exactly why WWE is still in business. Cause Vince never listens to fans. Never.

    I hate comments like this.

    Ted Reply:

    Even you have to admit he doesn’t always make the best choices in the world. Hence this show.

  3. kb sux says:

    You’re an idiot. First, learn what literally means. 2nd, you’re a crybaby. 3rd, Savio hoiding that flag while speaking Spanish is 100% appropriate. 4th, the Spanish interview was good, people need to learn it.

    You are a whiner and a fool.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi:

    Who is more foolish: the fool or the fool who follows him?

    Y tambien, yo se como hablar Espanol. Si quieres, me refiero a usted como un idiota en español o en inglés..

    kb sux Reply:

    Usted es la idiota. Si quieres que no te sigo, entonces no te siguere, y le digo a todos que no te siguen tambien.

    kb sux sucks Reply:

    Yeah, my name basically.