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Random Network Reviews: King of the Ring 1995

June 26, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: King of the Ring 1995  

King of the Ring 1995
June 25th, 1995 | CoreStates Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Attendance: 16,590

This Pay-Per-View is actually pretty notorious, but not in a good way. It is widely considered to be one of the worst PPVs the WWF has ever produced. While a lot of people miss the King of the Ring as a three hour event, they sometimes aren’t the best of shows. This was hosted in Philadelphia, a hotbed of pro wrestling, especially considering ECW’s rising popularity. I would also like to point out that with the depleted roster the WWF had at the time, they somehow thought that having British Bulldog and Owen Hart fighting to a time limit draw in the Qualifying Round was smart, losing two of the best they had at the time, but leaving us with the awful field we would get.

Anyway, the show opens with shots from the WWF blimp that was over promoted during this era. Stephanie Wiand of WWF Mania fame appears to bring us the “Coliseum Home Video” exclusive between Savio Vega and IRS. Seriously? What kind of gift is this?

King of the Ring Qualifying Match
IRS w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon

Apparently this aired before the actual Pay-Per-View. Razor Ramon had already qualified but was injured, so this was to find his replacement. See what I mean about the roster at this time? Also, I cannot believe that IRS, the dullest wrestler I’ve ever seen, was still employed here. They trade basic stuff while Vince McMahon brings up the 15 minute time limit. That’s far too long for these guys. Dok Hendrix claims that the South Bronx must be going crazy for Savio. As someone born there, I can tell you that I never rooted for Savio. After IRS teases a walkout, for no reason since it’s a King of the Ring match, Savio wins with the spinning heel kick.

Winner: Savio Vega in 8:01
I feel like this was shorter than eight minutes, so I guess that’s a good thing. Still, it was entirely unremarkable. *

Now we go to the actual Pay-Per-View broadcast, hosted by the commentary team of Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon vs. Yokozuna w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji

So much for getting the show off to a hot start. Savio Vega just qualified less than fifteen minutes ago and cuts an incoherent promo backstage. To qualify, Yokozuna beat Lex Luger. Want to know why? Because Luger was pretty much his bitch. Yokozuna does two or three moves and is already blown up. Hendrix informs us that he is now the heaviest WWF Superstar of all time. Owen Hart, Yokozuna’s partner, is wasting time on the WWF hotline. The show could have really used his presence. In classic Yokozuna form, he locks on the TRAPEZIUS HOLD! It’s his go to rest hold and it’s possibly the worst move in history. Savio fires off some clotheslines before a heel kick takes him down. He even wallops Jim Cornette off the apron. The fight moves outside, where Yokozuna is run into a ring post. Savio gets in before the count of ten to advance.

Winner: Savio Vega in 8:14
At this point, with Yokozuna at his biggest, he got blown up incredibly fast. Savio Vega was not the guy to carry this. Also, they’re going for the ultimate underdog story as Vince mentions Rocky, but nobody cares about Savio. ½*

Backstage, Jerry Lawler shows off his gross feet that he hasn’t washed in forever leading to the “Kiss my Foot” match. I hate everything Lawler does.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Bob Holly vs. The Roadie w/ Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett is the Intercontinental Champion here, which begs the question…why isn’t it him in this Tournament that is starved for talent and names? I’ll forgive Razor but Jarrett, Owen and Bulldog should have been in this for sure. Roadie beat Doink and Holly beat Mantaur to qualify. Yup, Mantaur. WWF sure was a strange place in 1995. They open with a fast sequence of near falls, already putting the efforts of the opener to shame. The fact that, in a company where having a good look and body matters, Road Dogg seemed to never hit the gym but managed to have a long career is stunning. If this happened four years later, both guys would be more over and they would probably be weapons involved. Holly takes some big corner bumps. Roadie continues to dance in between moves, looking like it will lead to Holly winning because of it. Holly begins to rally as I spot Vlad the Superfan in the front row. He knocks Roadie off the top but leaps into Roadie’s boot, in a spot I hate. Roadie covers, Holly kicks out, but the three is counted.

Winner: Roadie in 7:40
Strange and terrible ending. However, both guys actually tried rather hard. Too many rest holds from Roadie though unfortunately.

Todd Pettengill interviews Shawn Michaels backstage. It’s typical Michaels stuff, but Vince McMahon finds it hilarious. He always had a thing for HBK.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Kama w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Shawn Michaels

So far in 1995, Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble, headlined WrestleMania and was now red hot due to his recent babyface turn. He is the clear favorite and the guy who should win this entire thing. Kama beat Duke the Dumpster and Michaels beat King Kong Bundy to qualify. We get some early stalling and Shawn outsmarts Kama at every single turn. Shawn skins the cat before knocking Kama outside. Kama is pissed and clotheslines him out. Dibiase gets in stomps, reminding me that I miss little heel things like that. Since Kama has no offensive skills, he kills time by showboating in between punches and kicks. Shawn gets two on a counter but is sent outside so Dibiase can stomp on him. Dibiase here, two years into retirement is still a better worker than Kama. Nothing continues to happen until Michaels hits a moonsault. Now Shawn goes through his stuff, including the nip up as there are only two minutes left. Shawn gets two with a double axe handle as we reach the one minute remaining mark. Both guys get near falls in the final minute on rollups but time expires.

Time Limit Draw in 15:00
Seriously? In what world should Kama have been protected? Shawn Michaels was the obvious favorite and best guy in the entire thing, red hot into a new babyface turn but had to go to a draw. Not the worst match, but an awful booking decision.

The Lex Express! Oh wait. No, it’s a video package of Bob Backlund campaigning. After the video, Vince McMahon asks for the other commentary teams’ opinions of it but they respond in French and Spanish. Vince finds this hilarious for some reason.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Mabel w/ Mo vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer

Okay, so Shawn Michaels is out of the Tournament, meaning the only guy the crowd likes left is the Undertaker. We get the shot of the odd gothic fans that were obvious plants so Vince can say Undertaker had “creatures of the night”. It was so stupid. Undertaker gets the early offense as he’s been the most popular guy so far, slightly ahead of Shawn Michaels. Maybe he was the favorite. Thanks to a distraction from Mo, Mabel hits an impressive belly to belly suplex. Now that Mabel is in control, the crowd sits on their hands because he sucks. Vince McMahon, in his infinite wisdom, says “that’s a smart move on the part of Mabel’s part.” This is ridiculously slow as Mabel plods through his offense. Undertaker makes the comeback to wake the crowd up, but we get a referee bump. Chokeslam hits but with the official down, out comes Kama. His interference, combined with a Mabel splash, eliminates the Undertaker.

Winner: Mabel in 10:44
You know, this might not have been awful if it was shorter. But ten minutes from these two at this point in their careers felt like thirty. Also, the decision to put Mabel over is baffling. No wonder business sucked in 1995. ½*

A video package airs to highlight the Hall of Fame ceremony the night before airs. It seemed like pretty cool stuff. They mention the Fabulous Moolah by her real name, killing kayfabe for me.

King of the Ring Semi-Final Match
The Roadie w/ Jeff Jarrett vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon

Yup, you’re reading right. This is actually a Semi-Final match. Philadelphia is known for red hot crowds but they are pretty much dead by this point. In a pre-match promo, the Roadie is called Road Dogg for what I assume was the first time. They trade some basic stuff before it turns sloppy. Roadie hits an ugly knee and a neckbreaker that looks like it could have really snapped Savio’s neck. As if he knew he messed up, Roadie busts out a second rope headbutt for two. The crowd boos nearly everything, so Vince obviously says “the crowd is very much behind Savio Vega here.” In the end, Roadie nearly runs into Jeff Jarrett on the apron but puts on the brakes. Savio sneaks up and rolls him up to advance to the worst King of the Ring finals ever.

Winner: Savio Vega in 6:36
Another nothing match. Roadie botched some stuff but besides that it was passable. The silent crowd did not help this at all.

Savio Vega gets interviewed by Carlos Cabrera at ringside. Dok Hendrix gets up to translate and is just racist. He claims that Savio said he was going to lose to Mabel and stop stealing hubcaps. Wow. Cut to the back where Bret Hart cuts a solid promo on the upcoming match. It’s nothing amazing but it gets the point across and is believable.

Kiss My Foot Match
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler

Ugly ass Stephanie Wiand interviews Jerry Lawler during his entrance, where he puts over his foot. I hate nearly everything Lawler has ever done in his WWE career. Bret Hart gets the new pop of the night. Knowing that this is meant to be a heated feud, Bret just beats the hell out of Lawler early, even outside of the ring. Commentary mentions that Lawler cost Bret a match against Henry Godwin on Superstars. Seriously? 1995 booking is atrocious. Lawler gets on the offensive and hits three straight piledrivers. Bret kicks out with aggression though. King resorts to hitting Bret with his boot but that’s not enough. Bret finally starts the comeback but Hakushi is out. His interference fails as he hits Lawler by mistake. Five moves of doom time for Bret, who wins with the Sharpshooter.

Winner: Bret Hart in 9:20
A let down for a Bret Hart match, but excellent by Jerry Lawler WWF standards. He got too much of the offense for this to be really good. **

Bret Hart holds the Sharpshooter but breaks at the count of four, so he doesn’t get disqualified like he did at SummerSlam. Bret makes Jerry kiss his foot after Hakushi fails at interference again. Then Bret makes Lawler kiss his own gross foot. At least the crowd was hot for Bret.

King of the Ring Finals
Mabel w/ Mo vs. Savio Vega w/ Razor Ramon

My goodness. I’ve heard Savio Vega’s theme seven times so far. Before the match, we get clips of Bret Hart and Owen Hart winning King of the Ring the previous two years, which just really illustrates how poor this is. They open with a quicker pace than expected, but the old Mabel that I know returns by slowing this down hard. He goes to a bearhug that crowd hates, while Dok Hendrix calls this exciting. He has to be trolling the viewers at home right? I actually catch one of the ECW regulars in the front row saying “terrible match”. The fans begin an “ECW” chant because this is awful. Vega shows resiliency by kicking out of a belly to belly before losing to a splash.

Winner: Mabel in 8:32
Awful. The two finalists sucked, the match sucked, the outcome sucked and the eventual Mabel push sucked. Why subject us to four Savio Vega matches if he wasn’t going to win? They couldn’t at least have saved the Undertaker jobbing to Mabel for the finals? At least there would have been one guy the crowd cared about. DUD

Razor Ramon comes in and is taken out by Mabel before 1-2-3 Kid arrives and gets beaten down too. Mabel 2, Kliq 0. Mabel’s coronation involves Mo reading from a scroll. It’s not good.

Backstage, Jerry Lawler is brushing his teeth and basically eating toothpaste. Cutting away, the Million Dollar Corporation is interviewed. They’re up there with the worst stables in history. However, Sid’s promo is incredible. He whispers and yells and it’s perfect.

WWF Champion Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Tatanka and Sycho Sid w/ Ted Dibiase
This absolutely screams Raw main event and not something people should pay to see. I can at least give these guys credit for trying to bring some psychology to it as Sid and Tatanka go after Diesel’s injured elbow. Tatanka does his stupid war dance as he hits Diesel. They surprisingly work tag formula with Diesel as the face in peril but it’s all dull. Bigelow gets the hot tag and fires off an impressive dropkick. He hits the flying headbutt but Ted Dibiase distracts the official. Sid comes back because of that with a second rope Chokeslam on Bigelow. Hendrix is awful on commentary. Now they work heat on Bigelow, which is fine in theory but dreadfully boring. Heel Tatanka is one of the worst things in WWF history. Tatanka sits in rest holds for minutes at a time. Diesel gets the hot tag and abuses Tatanka. He covers after a powerslam but lifts Tatanka up. Why Diesel? Just end this. He wants Sid, who walks off and gets called yellow. There goes your powerful challenger to the WWF Title. Diesel finishes off Tatanka with the Jackknife.

Winners: Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow in 17:34
Like the rest of this show, this sucked. It was overly long and just flat out boring. Nothing of note happened, the crowd was relatively dead and it was just bad. ½*

1
The final score: review Extremely Horrendous
The 411
In the running for the worst WWF Pay-Per-View in history. I’ve yet to review one worse, though I can recall a worse WCW one. Nothing on this show is redeemable. The nonsensical booking, the boring matches and the painfully boring main event all were horrible. Everyone in attendance deserved a refund and to have the show wiped from their memory.
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