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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bad PPV Summer: King of the Ring 1995

Welcome to Bad PPV Summer. We have the painful task of watching some of the worse PPVs WWE and WCW ever put on between June and August. We decided to start with one of the worst ones of the last 20 years: The 1995 King of the Ring. The annual PPV tournament has seen legends ranging from Bret Hart to Brock Lesnar, but there were also a few flops. Both in the booking of the event, as well as the man that would reign as King. This event was named to Justin’s 30 worst WWE PPVs. So how would this one stand up? Sadly, we’ll find out.

This event takes place in Philadelphia, Pa. Surely, that won’t be a problem.

Stephanie Wiand presents us a Coliseum Video exclusive of IRS vs. Savio Vega in a qualifier. Savio has Razor Ramon in his corner. It’s like if Dean Ambrose was in the corner of Erick Rowan. The arena does not seem too excited for this match. 2 decades later, and IRS’ son would leave fans silent for a different reason. The fans seem to be chanting for Razor. Strange to hear Vince’s lines not being fed through anyone else. After Savio blocks a move off the top, there is a few scattered bits of approval. Savio wins with a spinning wheel kick. At least the match is over.

We are welcomed to the show by Vince McMahon and Dok “P.S.” Hendrix. Sadly, we find out Diesel is not defending. Dok says “face in the place.” We suspect that’s a reference to something scary.

First match is WWF Tag Team Champion Yokozuna (With Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) vs. Savio. Yoko advanced to this point by countout against Lex Luger when Luger was beaten up defending a man we swear is Tom Zenk. Todd Pettingil interviews Savio, who sounds like he had more coke than Scott did at the time. A recap of what we just saw with Savio’s win. After both men wave flags like to show who to cheer for, Savio gets dominated by Yoko. As apathetic as fans are nowadays, these fans seem on the verge of sleeping. We just noticed SV shaved into the back of Savio’s head. That makes him the dumbest looking so far. WWF Tag Team Champion Owen Hart is shown yelling on a red phone. No doubt Stu thinks he’s talking to an old friend. Yoko sadly is starting to be less athletic than he was even a few months before. As Savio fights back, Cornette starts worrying as if he found out his food order hasn’t even started. Savio gets a few USA chants. Well he is billed from New York here. As Savio fights back, Owen gets involved to send Razor in pursuit, meanwhile Savio wins by countout. Mercifully, the match is over.

Jerry Lawler is shown with a sock dirtier than his video collection talking about wanting to make Bret kiss the foot. Knowing some of the King’s alleged interests, that sounds about right.

The Roadie (With Intercontinental Champion and future GFW promoter Jeff Jarrett) vs. Bob Holly. Holly defeated Mantaur, a man that thinks he’s a bull. We hope we never have to see that ever again. Strange to think where the three men involved will end up in 3 years time. The Roadie briefly has control until Holly takes it back. A better match than the last one for sure just be the opening minutes. For those that missed this period of time, The Roadie has Road Dogg doing the Mizdow character of being interesting despite being a background character. Between his hair and the dancing he does when he has the advantage, The Roadie definitely had the weed stuff down. These men are pulling off decent moves. You can tell there’s ability under the ridiculous look. After Holly counters a superplex, he ends up eating a foot. Despite a botched pin, The Roadie wins. A better match than the last one, but not quite brilliant.

Todd interviews Shawn Michaels. We see Michaels advanced over King Kong Bundy. Despite the bondage vest and heart sunglasses, he at least cuts an ok promo. We see his opponent, Kama advanded by beating Duke “The Dumpster” Drose. Kama seems to be feuding with The Undertaker over the remains of the urn, which is brought up by addressing the two sleepy fans at ringside called “The Creatures of the Night” Someone should warn Laura Branigan about them. Michaels uses his quickness to offset Kama’s power early on. Dok talks up Michaels winning the Royal Rumble that year. The only true highlight of that Rumble. Michaels is able to skin the cat and send Kama outside. Kama’s gimmick is some sort of MMA badass. It will take 20 years before the gimmick is done justice. Kama fights back and sends Michaels outside. Kama sends Michaels into the ring post on the outside before bringing him back inside. We see Joe Frazier with his daughter, which causes Vince to remark about family entertainment. Best to skip 1998-2008 then. Michaels getting beaten down with the force of 10 men before Michaels uses the ropes to reverse a submission. The rally is short-lived before he is sent back outside. Michaels gets back in before the count of 10 We see Raymond Rougeau providing commentary. We know even though he’s speaking French, he’s an All-American Boy.  Michaels reverses into a crossbody block that knocks both men down. We see the timer running down the match. Probably a good thing, This match is too much like a RAW match. A RAW match on PPV isn’t even worth $10. Michaels 10-punches in the corner. Again, the timer indicating a draw shows-up. Michaels gets a sunset flip, but the pin is too late. The match is a draw. The ring announcer indicates this is a “double draw”. Good, the last thing we need is a single draw. Michaels does end he segment on a high note with sweet chin music to show Kama who’s his Papa.

Stridex sponsored a balloon that does nothing. Like most of our employees.

Taker vs. Mabel. Mabel defused Adam Bomb while Taker beat Jarrett. Before the match, we get Bob Backlund yelling about John Barry and cheesesteaks. As someone that felt the Crossface Chickenwing, we say we would vote for him if he actually ran. Raymond still has the tag belt on his table. He should’ve gotten a run. On to the match. Wiand returns to ask Mabel about becoming King. We certainly hope that he doesn’t win just for dressing like a giant Lawrence Taylor. Taker’s entrance is one of the few great entrances from this time. The Creatures take a little away from it. Taker trying to cut down this tree of a man. No, we mean that. He moves any slower, and he can sexually transmit termites. Mabel using an ugly takedown that Taker just sits up from. Taker is in have that period of having to face every big man on the roster, even those that make Big Show 2015 look like 2006 Angle. Mabel uses a Bayley to belly to sway things for him. Taker being manhandled in a way commentators swear they’ve never seen before. Taker counters a splash in the corner with a boot into an STO. Taker however is hit with a piledriver that does little. After they run into each other, both men are on the ground. Mabel gets up and misses with an elbow. Taker hits a Stinger Splash in the corner before we see a ref bump. Taker hits his flying clothesline before chokeslamming him. Mo tries to get involved before Kama assaults Taker. This leads to Mabel legdropping him. A pointless finish to a bad match. Taker pursues Kama to the back. He will not get true revenge against Mabel until the Survivor Series, when he will look really strong. Dok says he predicted Mabel would advance. He predicts a lot of things when drunk.

The 1995 Hall of Fame inductions from the night before. Inductees are Ernie Ladd, The Fabulous Moolah, Pedro Morales (Accepted by Savio for some reason), The Grand Wizard (Accepted by his widow), Antonio Rocca (Accepted by his widow), Ivan Putski, and George “The Animal” Steele, who was surprised by a video of Bill Murray on an elephant. All arguments invalid.

Savio vs. Roadie. Jarrett talks about training Roadie, which is stranger looking back than it was at the time. Savio whooping Roadie early on. Vince is treating Savio like he is Rocky. This better mean Mr. T returns to face Savio. Roadie battle back with a neckbreaker. Roadie proceeds to target the back before yelling “How about the Road Dogg?” We thought we put on a 1995 PPV. After a diving headbutt misses, Savio takes over in this match. While not a brutal match to watch, this match lacks something. Thankfully, it’s over after botched interference leads to Savio to roll-up Roadie to win. Carlos Cabrera interviews Savio while Dok pretends to speak Spanish. He better thank Lemmy that Alberto El Patron is not in the promotion yet.

Bret vs. Lawler is up next. Bret can’t wait to see this feud end. We share Bret’s thoughts. Bret talks about how Jerry will kiss his foot. We don’t share that. Lawler asks Wiand to kiss his foot. That’s later. A sign reads “Hulk Who? Bret Rules”. At the time, we do agree. 1995 Hogan is like 2015 Cena. Bret brawling with Lawler starts this match. Lawler uses the steps to gain momentum. As the fans begin chanting “Burger King”, we want to know why we don’t get Lawler vs. Cornette in a match only a few will get. Lawler uses the piledriver three times before Bret kicks out. This would be like when Roman Reigns kicked out of three F-5s, but not as shocking. Lawler takes off his boot to use as a weapon, this also gets a kickout. Bret’s looking really strong. Lawler’s attempt to make Bret kiss his foot early sees Bret battle back briefly before Lawler uses the boot to regain momentum. Hakushi attempts to assist Lawler, but accidentally hits Lawler. After a few moves of Doom, Bret locks in the Sharpshooter for the submission win. Bret is one of the most over men in the promotion. Now why isn’t HE the Champion? Oh yeah. Anyway, Bret makes Lawler kiss his foot after Hakushi again hits the wrong man. Bret gets several toes in. Which doesn’t sound very sanitary. Bret then makes Lawler kiss his own foot. Bret stands tall in the last great match on this show.

An ad for the Special Olympics. You want a joke? Not here.

Savio vs. Mabel in the final match. First we see Bret and Owen being crowned King. Comparing either of the two wrestlers here to those two is so wrong. We see the statue of Rocky. Unless this means Dolph Lundgren at WrestleMania XII, we want this match to end soon. Savio begins be chopping away at Mabel. He sends Mabel to the outside, where the brawl continues. So far noticing Vlad in the front row is the most exciting thing about this match. Mable battles back and bearhugs Savio. Savio fighting back while we await chanting for ECW to break out. Savio gets out of the hold, but cannot regain control. As Mabel starts ramming into Savio, we get an “EC-Dub” chant. We thank them. Mabel wins with a splash. Dok is happy that a fellow brother of his wins. Razor attacks Mabel before Mo provides the assist. If there is a 1995 Gooker, this is it.

The main event sees WWF Champion Diesel team with Bam Bam Bigelow team up to take on Sycho Sid and Tatanka. We see an interview with Diesel from earlier. He truly is the 1995 Reigns. A good talent tainted by the booking. Bam Bam comes out wearing an outfit that made a teenage Katy Perry decide that she would wear it gawdier. Though say what you will about the man, he at least headlined WrestleMania When Vince calls Diesel the leader of the New Generation, we see he’s as out of touch here as he is two decades later. Diesel and Tatanka start this off. After a quick brawl, Sid takes advantage of an opening to attack Diesel’s injured arm. Diesel says even at 50%, he’s still better than Sid. Of course. He still has twice the brain. Sid tags in and takes advantage of the injured arm. After Sid misses with a legdrop, Bam Bam tags in. Bam Bam has the match won early on, but Ted DiBiase distracts the referee. Sid chokeslams Bam Bam from the middle turnbuckle. Tatanka tags in, but only gets 2. Tatanka continues the assault before tagging in Sid. Sid brutalizes Bam Bam in and out of the ring. Bam Bam is able to fight back enough to tag in Diesel. He has to tag back in though after Diesel’s elbow proves to be too much. We hope he hasn’t torn anything. Sid is able to battle back and tag in Tatanka. Though he doesn’t get far before Bam Bam Hulk’s up, leading to a double clothesline. As both men return to a vertical base, the race is on to tag. Bam Bam is able to bring Diesel back in to almost finish off Tatanka with a Jackknife. He instead wants to face Sid. Sid instead walks away. After dropping an elbow, Diesel gets the pin in a match that was not that bad. Though it was not enough to save this show.

1995 goes without saying as one of the worst years in wrestling. This event did no favors. A King of the Ring tournament that fans had no interest in given several boring matches, a King that would be the worst one up to that point seals the deal. We will leave it at that. We will see you on Wednesday for our reviews, and next week for another edition of Bad PPV Suumer.

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