Summerslam Count-Up – Summerslam 1995 (2013 Redo): Save Us Shawn. Again.
Date: August 27, 1995
Location: Pittsburgh Civic Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Vince McMahon
…..no. No please don’t make me do THIS show! I’ll pay you to not make me do this waste of a show. If there’s a bottom of the barrel for Summerslam and perhaps the WWF in general, this is it. The main event tonight is King Mabel vs. WWF Champion Diesel in a match that is the preferred method of torture in 19 countries. There is however one bright spot: Shawn vs. Razor II, again in a ladder match. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is like a trailer for the main event matches on tonight’s show, such as the main event, the ladder match, Bret vs. Lawler’s royal dentist and the FINAL blowoff to Undertaker vs. DiBiase’s Corporation.
Dean Douglas (Shane Douglas as a high school teacher) will be grading tonight’s matches. That’s a brilliant idea. Someone else should watch a lot of matches and grade them in detail.
Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid
The Kid is still a face here and is starting to look someone older. Hakushi is a Japanese guy who is covered in individual characters, even on his face. Feeling out process to start as they fight over a top wristlock. The Kid backflips out of a wristlock and armdrags Hakushi across the ring to take him down. Things speed up with the Kid hip tossing him down but being kicked off by Hakushi into a stalemate. They run the ropes again but both hold a rope and try superkicks but neither can connect.
Hakushi goes to the throat as Vince calls the show SummerSlime. A tilt-a-whirl slam puts the Kid down and Hakushi poses on the ropes for a few long moments. Hakushi hits a Vader Bomb for two and Vince thinks the match should be stopped. The Kid is sent to the floor and Hakushi hits a gorgeous moonsault from the mat to the floor followed by a top rope shoulder block for two back inside. A swan dive misses though and Kid sends him to the floor for a dive of his own. Back in and a slingshot legdrop gets two and a frog splash gets the same. The Kid tries a spin kick but gets caught in a quick powerbomb for the pin.
Rating: C+. Solid opener here with both guys looking good throughout. Hakushi really was something special and the fans would turn him face through pure love of his high flying abilities alone. The Kid would be turning heel soon after this in a move that most people didn’t care about for the most part.
Doc Hendrix (Michael Hayes) is WAY too excited about what Mabel’s master plan is for Diesel. Mabel says we have to wait and does a decent evil laugh.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Bob Holly
This is the future boss’ PPV debut. Helmsley is the stuck up blue blood here so he walks around with his nose in the air. Holly takes him down with some armdrags but gets in a cheap shot to Bob’s head. Holly comes back with some kicks in the corner but runs into a knee to the face to put him down. Helmsley chokes away in the corner before hitting a HARD whip across the corner. A backbreaker gets two and a Flair knee drop gets the same.
We go split screen to see the British Bulldog arriving but he has nothing to say. Helmsley hooks an abdominal stretch but has to hiptoss Holly over the top after he counters. Holly comes back with some dropkicks and some jobber level offense including a backdrop. He tries a second one though and gets caught in a Pedigree for the pin.
Rating: D. Well he had to get better after something like this. HHH didn’t look like anything of note but the Pedigree was a good finisher. It was actually his second finisher as he started with a Diamond Cutter but changed it quickly into his run. Holly would also completely change his character in coming years until it finally clicked with the hardcore character.
We get a video of a charity tug of war between wrestlers and Pittsburgh firefighters. It’s for charity so no jokes here.
Blue Brothers vs. Smoking Gunns
The Brothers are Jacob and Eli but are more famous as the bald Harris Brothers (also known as DOA, Creative Control, the Bruise Brothers and about ten other names over the years). Their manager is Uncle Zebekiah, who is currently (as of July 2013) Zeb Colter in WWE. Jacob elbows Billy down to start before it’s off to Eli for a slam and some elbow drops. Billy gets a quick two count on Jacob before it’s off to Bart for some arm work. Jacob whips Bart into the corner before bringing Eli back in to get caught by a cross body for two.
The Gunns get a near fall off some double teaming but Billy walks into an H Bomb (double powerbomb) to stop the momentum dead. Eli puts Billy in the Tree of Woe but tags in Jacob instead of doing anything about it. Jacob draws in Bart to allow for more double teaming and Eli gets two off a powerslam. Billy comes back with a face plant to Jacob and makes the tag off to Bart. Everything breaks down and the Blus are sent into each other, allowing the Gunns to hit the Sidewinder (side slam/guillotine legdrop) on Eli for the pin.
Rating: D. This wasn’t so much bad as it was completely uninteresting. That’s the problem with so many parts of 1995 WWF: the people just weren’t interesting at all and there was no reason to care about a lot of the matches. All you had here was a midcard tag match that ran about six minutes. It wasn’t any good and there was no story to it, so why was I supposed to care?
We recap the rise of Barry Horowitz. He literally didn’t win a match in years but won a miracle against Skip (Chris Candido) on Action Zone. They went to a ten minute draw a few weeks later and tonight is the final chance for redemption.
Barry Horowitz vs. Skip
Skip has a 22 year old Sunny with him here, putting all the attention on her. Barry has the awesome rock version of Hava Nagila as his theme music. Horowitz starts fast and drops a knee on the fitness guru for two. A knee to the chest puts Skip down and Barry takes down the suspenders. Skip is clotheslined to the floor but Barry pulls him right back in. An O’Connor roll gets two for Barry and he suplexes Skip to the floor. Sunny tries to bring in a towel but gets ejected instead.
She doesn’t leave though and trips Barry up to finally shift momentum. A suplex and a middle rope legdrop get two on Horowitz and the beating continues. Horowitz finally gets up and hits a few shoulder blocks for two but his offense is rather limited. Skip comes back with a clothesline but the fans are chanting for Barry. A powerslam puts Barry down again and some quick legdrops get two for Skip. Off to a chinlock but Barry is quickly up, only to have both guys try dropkicks at once.
Skip is up first and gets a close two off a swan dive. The fans are starting to get behind Horowitz here, but it’s hard to care about a jobber in this big a match. A piledriver is countered and Barry starts his real comeback with a dropkick. He goes up but gets crotched again, allowing Skip to hit a superplex for no cover. Cue Hakushi who Skip cost a win earlier this week to dive over Skip, allowing Barry to roll him up for the pin.
Rating: D+. The match wasn’t terribly boring or anything but at the end of the day this was a ten minute match with Barry Horowitz facing Skip at Summerslam. That’s not the easiest thing to get into and is more of an historical anomaly than anything significant at all. Nothing to see here at all other than Sunny.
Dean Douglas calls the last match a travesty.
Shawn says he has nothing but the IC Title so there’s nothing Razor can do to take the title from him.
Women’s Title: Bertha Faye vs. Alundra Blayze
Blayze is defending and Faye is this rather frumpy fat chick designed to be disturbing. She also has Harvey Whippelman with him as her worshiping admirer. Alundra fires off some quickly kicks to start and the 280lb or so Faye runs her over in response. A bad looking hair pull sends Blayze down and some legdrops get two. Bertha misses a middle rope splash and a victory roll gets two for the champion. Three clotheslines get no count for Alundra as Harvey has the referee. Some middle rope dropkicks stagger Bertha but she avoids a third before hitting a Batista Bomb for the title.
Rating: F. See, Faye was fat and that’s the extent of her character. The title would literally be trashed on Nitro in a few months in the right ending for it. Nothing else to say here.
Remember how I said this show sucked? It’s somehow going to get worse.
We recap Undertaker vs. Kama. Kama stole the Urn at Wrestlemania and melted it down into a big chain which ticked off Taker’s Creatures of the Night (goth fans). They brought a black wreath but Kama destroyed both the wreath and the Creature himself. Tonight it’s a casket match.
Taker says Kama went too far.
Undertaker vs. Kama
Kama is more famous as Godfather and is the Supreme Fighting Machine here, which is kind of an MMA gimmick. Taker pounds away in the corner to start before choking Kama down, only to be kicked in the back when he looks at the casket. Taker knocks Kama over the top and onto the casket to freak him out before hitting a quick splash in the corner. Old School connects and Kama is thrown into the casket but pops right back out. A top rope clothesline puts Taker down for a second but he sits right back up.
Kama hits a quick belly to belly suplex but Taker is right back up again. He throws Kama into the casket again but DiBiase makes a quick save. Kama pounds on Taker in the corner and clotheslines him onto the top of the casket where DiBiase can get in some shots. The managers almost get into it but we’re lucky enough to get more of Taker and Kama’s slow brawling. Kama posts him and rams Taker face first into the casket. A suplex onto the casket works over the back a bit but Kame, the genius that he is, can’t open the casket with Undertaker on top of it.
They both stand on the casket and Undertaker backdrops Kama into the ring to block a piledriver. The fans get WAY into this all of a sudden but Kama takes him down with a powerslam. The genius covers Taker but he sits up a few seconds later. Off to a chinlock because this match hasn’t gone on long enough already. Bearer shoves Kama’s feet off the ropes to break up the hold so it’s off to a headlock.
Taker finally fights up but gets whipped into the corner to stop him cold again. The jumping clothesline puts Kama down and a regular clothesline puts him inside the casket, but Undertaker falls in with him and the lid closes. Kama fights out again and hits a neckbreaker in the ring to put the Dead Man down again. Not that it matters as Taker stands up, hits the chokeslam and tombstone and throws Kama into the casket for the win.
Rating: D. WAY too long for the level of “action” in this match. Also did anyone think Kama had a chance against Undertaker in a major match? There was nothing here and the match running seventeen minutes didn’t help it at all. Undertaker would move onto a feud with King Mabel which was at least different than the year of Undertaker vs. DiBiase.
We recap Isaac Yankem vs. Bret Hart. I’ll let Todd Petingill explain it to you in his voiceovers:
“Lawler did what he does best: got somebody else to fight his battles for him. He went out and got someone else to fight for him. He got a dentist. Yankem was a demented tooth fairy.”
Tell me that “He got a dentist” line doesn’t sound straight out of bad horror movie trailer.
Isaac Yankem vs. Bret Hart
You might know Yankem better as Fake Diesel, who you might know better as Kane. Isaac’s music is made up of dentist drills which is rather creepy. Bret wants to know if he has to fight an evil chiropractor next. The fans lose their minds for Bret, which makes you wonder why he’s fighting A FREAKING DENTIST. Isaac grabs him by the throat and sends Bret into the corner to take over early. This is his debut so Bret isn’t sure what to do with him.
Bret’s right hands in the corners don’t get him anywhere but he avoids a charge and takes Yankem to the floor with some clotheslines. A plancha takes Isaac down and a middle rope clothesline looks to set up the Sharpshooter but Isaac blocks. Instead a backslide gets two for Hart, only to have Isaac throw him into the ropes and tie up Bret’s arm. The hard whip into the corner puts Bret down and the ropes look pretty loose. Yankem stomps Bret down in the corner and puts him on his back for a choke but Hart counters into a small package.
Lawler rants about having to kiss Bret’s feet after a previous match and is thrilled when Isaac clotheslines him to the floor. Bret is rammed back first into the post and the selling is the mastery you would expect it to be. Back in and Yankem hits a top rope Fameasser for two and a pair of clotheslines for two. Bret knocks him to the floor and sends him into the steps before getting two off the bulldog back inside. The backbreaker sets up the middle rope elbow but Lawler breaks up the Sharpshooter.
Bret is sent into the steps again as Lawler is playing cheerleader. Yankem loads up the top rope clothesline but Bret slams him down and pounds away in the corner. Bret trips Yankem up and ties the legs around the post to stomp away before going after Jerry. Isaac escapes and dives off the top onto Bret before tying his head up in the ropes. That’s finally enough for the referee and he throws the match out.
Rating: C. This took time to get going but you could see the potential in Yankem. The problem is he was a gimmick wrestler in the vein of T.L. Hopper and Repo Man: you can only go so far with one idea. That’s why Kane was the idea that worked: it was a character that could evolve and had more than one idea to him, thereby making him interesting and someone with staying power. That’s why WWF in 1995 was so terrible: they were all about the dull one note characters and the interest never was there.
Razor Ramon says he’s ready to become a four time Intercontinental Champion and there’s nothing Shawn can do to stop it. Shawn’s pain brings him pleasure and he better be ready to dance.
Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon
This is the second ladder match and Shawn is defending. Michaels is over like free beer in a frat house at this point so Razor is the heel by default. The original plan was Shawn vs. Sid but I guess Vince decided to give the show one awesome match to go with the rest of the drek. Also Doc Hendrix is on commentary now. Vince says you would have to be Andre the Giant with a jetpack on your back to reach the belt. SOMEBODY MAKE THAT MOVIE NOW!!!
They slug it out to start and things speed WAY up until Razor avoids a superkick. A quick Razor’s Edge is escaped and we have a stalemate. Razor hits his driving shoulders and whips Shawn over the corner and out to the floor. Doesn’t that put him closer to the ladders? Shawn jumps Ramon as he goes for the ladder because SHAWN gets to bring in the ladder. Razor suplexes Shawn to the floor with Shawn hitting his knee on the barricade. You can hear Vince see Wrestlemania flash before his eyes.
Back in and both finishers miss again and they clothesline each other down. Razor kicks him into the corner and hits a middle rope fall away slam. We get the first ladder brought in as Sid watches in the back. Shawn heads to the floor as the ladder is thrown in but Razor drops him with a great right hand. Shawn shoves the ladder over to stop Razor’s climb and going up himself, only to have his tights pulled down and his leg caught in the falling ladder. Razor slams the leg in between the ladder in a smart move.
The knee is slammed into the ladder as Razor is starting to go heel mid match. He slams Shawn down onto the ladder a few times as the fans aren’t sure what to think of this. The ladder is placed on the middle rope but Shawn can’t be whipped across the ring. He can however send Razor (who has bad ribs, mentioned for the first time here) into the ladder. Razor comes right back and drops the knee on the ladder before cannonballing down onto the leg. Shawn uses the good leg to shove him to the floor, only to have Razor wrap the leg around the post.
Razor makes his climb but Shawn comes off the top with an ax handle to break it up. Both guys go up the same side of the ladder but it’s Shawn taking Ramon down with a belly to back suplex. Shawn moves the ladder into the corner and sends Razor hard into it before doing the same again in another corner. Michaels’ knee is suddenly fine as he stomps on Razor but climbs the ladder for a moonsault press. A splash off the top of the ladder misses though and both guys are done.
Ramon moves the ladder back to the middle of the ring and both guys climb very slowly. They slug it out on top of the ladder but both fall to the side, crotching themselves on the top rope. Shawn picks up the ladder and charges but falls to the floor with Razor falling out as well. Razor pulls out a second ladder and is fast enough to catch Shawn going up in a Razor’s Edge to put both guys down again.
Both guys climb a ladder but neither are directly under the belt. Shawn kicks Razor’s ladder down and jumps at the belt but crashes down to the mat instead. Ramon is backdropped to the floor on another Razor’s Edge attempt, leaving Shawn to climb up…..and fall when he tries to get the belt. Shawn is TICKED about the botch (how often do you hear about him making one of those?) and sprints up the ladder to retain.
Rating: A. This is a different kind of match than they had in 1994 but it’s still excellent stuff. The first match was all about the high spots but this was based in drama and who could survive the match. I wasn’t wild on Shawn forgetting his knee injury and the botches at the end, but that’s nitpicking an excellent match. This worked very well and was great stuff for nearly half an hour.
Razor hands Shawn the belt post match and reaffirms his face status.
Dean Douglas says the previous match wasn’t all that great and Ramon lays him out.
WWF World Title: King Mabel vs. Diesel
Diesel is defending and Mabel has Sir Mo with him. The idea here is Mabel has some kind of a Royal Plan to take the title off Diesel. Diesel fires off right hands to start but gets taken down by a big clothesline. The champion comes back with running clotheslines in the corner but can’t pick the fat man up. More clotheslines stagger Mabel and a running shot sends him out to the floor.
In the ONLY interesting spot of the match, Diesel dives over the top to take Mabel out. Mabel no sells it and sends Diesel into the post but has to stop for a Twinkie break. He finally charges into a boot and Diesel pounds away back inside. Mabel reverses a whip and hits the worst Boss Man Slam you’ll ever see. It looked like Diesel was hitting a DDT on the arm. The buckle pad was ripped off somewhere in there.
Mabel sits on Diesel’s back for another breather before hitting a slam. Mo gets on the apron as Mabel misses an elbow drop….and the referee is bumped off camera. Mo comes in for a double team and Luger runs in for the save but gets nailed by Diesel who thinks Luger is on Mabel’s side. Diesel is knocked to the floor and Mabel drops a leg before throwing the champion back in. Luger beats up Mo in the aisle as Mabel gets two off a belly to belly. A middle rope splash misses and a middle rope shoulder from Diesel is enough to retain the title.
Rating: F. Just….yeah. I’d love to know what Vince was on when he came up with this idea but it’s one powerful drug. Mabel was one of the worst heels of all time as he couldn’t move and was waddling around in shiny purple and gold. This was a terrible match as Diesel couldn’t do anything with the fattness. This might be the worst main event of all time. Luger would be in WCW in eight days on the debut of a show called Nitro.
Overall Rating: D. This show has one good thing going for it: Shawn vs. Razor is 34 minutes long counting intros and post match stuff. The rest of the show, only decent opener aside, is drek. This was a very bad time for the company as the Kliq was dominating everything (notice that they’re in the opening matches and the main events) as Bret was fighting a dentist. Things would pick up a bit by next year but the company was on its deathbed by then. This show is definitely bad but it’s not the worst show of all time.
Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Bob Holly vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Smoking Guns vs. Blu Brothers
Skip vs. Barry Horowitz
Alundra Blayze vs. Bertha Faye
Undertaker vs. Kama
Bret Hart vs. Isaas Yankem
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels
King Mabel vs. Diesel
The original had higher individual ratings but the overall rating was lower. I really was bad at this.
Here’s the original review if you’re interested:
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