December 16, 2008
Matt Peddycord

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Diesel (11/26/1994)
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Jarrett (4/26/1995)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (4/2/1995)
Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze (4/3/1995)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Dok Hendrix.

Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. Savio Vega (w/Razor Ramon) – First Round King of the Ring Match

Yoko beat Luger by countout to get here while Savio Vega just pinned IRS in the pre-game show to get into the tournament. Razor Ramon actually qualified for the tournament instead of Savio Vega, but he was injured and needed a replacement, so he picked his Puerto Rican pal to take his place. Vega goes for his SPINNING HEEL KICK early, but misses. That allows Yoko to try for the BANZAI DROP, but Savio gets out of the way before anything can happen. It’s nerve hold time. Vega fights out and avoids the Legdrop. He fires back on Yokozuna and connects with the SPINNING HEEL KICK! Meanwhile, Yoko’s current tag team championship partner Owen Hart runs down and attacks Razor’s injured ribs. Not cool bro, not cool. Vega comes out for the save and sidesteps a splash up against the ringpost from Yokozuna. He slides back in the ring and picks up the win by countout. (8:23) So now Savio Vega is on his way. *

The Roadie (w/Jeff Jarrett) vs. Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly – First Round King of the Ring Match

Roadie pinned Doink while Holly beat Mantaur to earn some PPV time. Holly goes INSANE on Roadie to begin with to get a quick pinfall with a half dozen rollups and small packages. Holly armdrags Roadie a bunch and tries a headscissors takedown, but Roadie blocks and drops Holly down for a powerbomb. With Holly down, Roadie drops an elbow and dances around. Chinlock is applied. Holly fights out and backdrops out of a piledriver. Holly executes a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a dropkick (BEST IN THE BIZ~!). Powerslam gets two. Roadie buries a knee and goes for a superplex. Holly shoves him off and takes a dive face-first into Roadie’s boot! With Holly looking knocked out, Roadie crawls over and gets the upset pin. (7:32) Odd finish because that’s typically a babyface move, but even more odd that it actually got the three-count. Pretty good match up until the head scratcher of a finish. **½

Shawn Michaels vs. Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) – First Round King of the Ring Match

HBK superkicks King Kong Bundy while Kama uses his supreme fighting machine skills to get past Duke “The Dumpster” Droese to advance in the tournament. So far, you’ve seen nothing but midcarders and now you have Shawn Michaels who was part of the semi main-event against Diesel for the World title. He seems like the logical choice to win the coveted King of the Ring, right? Let’s continue on. By the way, the creepy gothic *slash* dead-looking Undertaker fans got front row tickets! And they brought Kama a black wreath. Awww, how nice of them. If you’ll recall, Kama stole the urn and melted it down to make a necklace out of it. Pretty wild stuff. Shawn uses the stick-and-run strategy to start. Kama shrugs off a headlock and tosses Shawn, allowing him to skin-the-cat and backdrop Kama to the floor. Kama gets in a kick because only a Supreme Fighting Machine knows how to execute kicks to the ribcage and clotheslines HBK to the floor. He drives Shawn into the ringpost and we’re back in the ring. Smokin’ Joe Frazier is in the audience! Lots of standard back work continues on in the ring as Kama controls. Shawn finally makes his comeback with the flying forearm and the kip-up. He corners Kama for the ten-count corner punch with a minute left in the time limit. Kama tries to screw with him as he rolls through a crossbody out of the corner for two. Shawn catches Kama with a small package and a sunset flip just as the time limit expires. (15:00 draw) Kama attacks after the bell and receives SWEET CHIN MUSIC for it. Not terrible, but a little boring as Kama didn’t have the moveset to go fifteen minutes with anybody. And just like that, the logical choice to win the 1995 KOTR is now gone. **

Bob Backlund for President! Today he visited Philadelphia. “Have you ever scrutinized this city completely?!” Fantastic.

Mabel (w/Mo) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) – First Round King of the Ring Match

We saw Mabel beat Adam Bomb at In Your House back in May to get a spot on the show. As for the Undertaker, he pinned Jeff Jarrett with the Tombstone. UT controls to start with clotheslines and Old Skool. Mabel delivers a terrible looking Bossman Slam to take over. He gives Taker a Belly-to-Belly Suplex and sits down for a rear chinlock. Lots more Mabel offense. The peak of all that being a 500 pound man giving UT a piledriver. Double-KO spot sets up the Undertaker comeback. The ref gets squashed in the corner right before UT hits a Chokeslam. Taker covers as Kama runs in to kick him off Mabel without the ref still KO’ed on the mat. Only a supreme fighting machine could kick someone. Mabel waddles off the ropes for the Legdrop and that gets the 1-2-3. (10:48) Thanks to the Shawn/Kama 15-minute draw, Mabel is heading to the finals to face the winner of the Vega/Roadie match. As abysmal as you would imagine. ¼*

We take a look at the 1995 WWF Hall of Fame ceremony back when it wasn’t a televised event the night before WrestleMania. The inductees include Pedro Morales, the Grand Wizard, Antonino Rocca, the Fabulous Moolah, George “The Animal” Steele, Ernie Ladd and Ivan Putski. No Angelo Poffo, huh.

Savio Vega (w/Razor Ramon) vs. The Roadie (w/Jeff Jarrett) – King of the Ring Semifinals

Sounds like the Road Dogg nickname is born in the pre-match interview. Roadie takes a clothesline to the floor and smashes his face on the apron to kill some time crying about that. Back in, he buries a knee on Vega and hits a horrible swinging neckbreaker for two. Roadie hits one flying headbutt, but misses a second one. That kickstarts Vega’s comeback. Jarrett tries to slow him down by grabbing an ankle from the floor. Roadie puts on the brakes as he’s nearly whipped into Jarrett, so Vega knees him into Jarrett instead for the schoolboy rollup to advance into the finals. (6:38) Fairly exposing affair for “Road Dogg”. In a much more entertaining segment, Dok Hendrix gives us a complete English-to-Spanish translation of Savio Vega’s post-match interview. ½*

Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler – “Kiss My Foot” Match

The two year long feud will finally come to an end with this match. Bret’s in total control until Lawler shoves him off into the steel steps. In the ring, Lawler delivers not one, not two, but THREE PILEDRIVERS! Instead of covering, Jerry works the crowd into a frenzy. Bret mounts a comeback, but Lawler cuts him off with an eyerake and throws Bret to the floor. Meanwhile, Lawler yanks off his boot and nails Bret in the face with it. Part of Lawler’s training for this match was taking off his shoes and working out in stables with plenty of horse manure. He tries to stick his nasty foot in Bret’s face, but Bret sees it coming and grabs Lawler’s foot to lead to a headbutt to the groin. Like a genius, Bret sells the pain of the headbutt because of the three piledrivers he took earlier. Lawler hits Bret again in the face with his boot to take over. Lawler tries to crotch Bret on the ringpost, but gets pulled face-first into the ringpost instead. That’s the cue for Hakushi and Shinja to run down. Heel miscommunication ensues. Back in the ring, Bret delivers the Russian Legsweep, the backbreaker and the flying vertical elbow drop to lead into the SHARPSHOOTER. Lawler gives it up. (9:21) Still at ringside, Hakushi tries to keep Bret from making Lawler kiss his foot. Lawler grabs Bret from behind as Hakushi delivers a Springboard Shoulderblock, but Bret moves and Lawler gets wiped out. Bret gets rid of Hakushi and jams his toes in Lawler’s mouth. Not only that but he makes Lawler kiss his own disgusting, manure ridden foot. Sadly, a humiliation match is the highlight of the show. *½

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

This underdog thing for Savio Vega just isn’t working. But then again, you couldn’t have Mabel going over someone with tons of longevity like Shawn Michaels, so who in this ridiculous tournament do you have Mabel beating to win? Sadly, Savio Vega is the only choice even though he’s not a babyface I find endearing enough to want to get behind. He’s not Pedro Morales and this isn’t New York City. Savio pounds away on Mabel but like in the previous match, a trip into the steel steps turns the tide. A bearhug is followed up by a chinlock! If there’s any indication that this show isn’t going well, the Philly crowd begins to chant “ECW” with ECW Hat Guy leading the way. Vince tries his best oversell of everything to drown it out, but one man can’t drown out 15,000 people. Meanwhile, Vega escapes the chinlock, avoids an avalanche, and rolls up Mabel for two. SPINNING HEEL KICK! That gets two. Mabel catches Savio off a crossbody and drops down on top for two. With Vega done, Mabel comes off the ropes for the splash to win the KOTR. (8:35) Easily the worst King of the Ring tournament of the first three that were televised. MOM attack Razor afterwards until the 1-2-3 Kid returns to the WWF and gets beat up too. CRAP

It’s King of the Ring coronation time! Mo slowly handles the honors while Mabel gets garbage thrown at him.

Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Psycho Sid & Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase)

The show should have ended with Mabel on the throne (gross), instead it continues with a guaranteed sluggish main event. You’ve got to love Bigelow’s outfit – he can shoot flames out of his wrists! As for Diesel, his elbow was shattered after a powerbomb from Sid at In Your House. They clean house on the heels to start. Diesel does okay against Tatanka until Sid kicks his bad elbow from the apron. While Tatanka draws Bigelow in, Sid cranks the arm across the ropes. After Tatanka pounds on the elbow Native American style, Sid tags in and works the arm some more. He misses a legdrop and that causes a hot tag to Bigelow. He gets rid of Tatanka and DDT’s Sid for a Flying Headbutt. Off-camera, DiBiase’s with the ref as Bigelow makes the cover. Bigelow grabs at DiBiase and gets whacked from behind for a Flying Chokeslam! Remember when the Giant used to do that in late 1998? Yeah, that chokeslam. Pretty sweet. Bigelow sells it like death and becomes *your* face in peril. Once Bigelow gets booted out to ringside, he trips up Sid and tries the slingshot splash and gets pulled down by Tatanka. Sid boots Bigelow some more on the floor before heading back in the ring. We get what looks like it was supposed to be a false tag spot off a front headlock, but ref Earl Hebner allows the tag anyway. Diesel slams Sid and hits a running elbow drop, but he used his bad elbow and tags Bigelow. He escapes a chinlock from Tatanka and then runs into a double-KO spot. They run the ropes ending with Tatanka dropping down and Bigelow nailing him with a senton bomb. Hot tag to Diesel. He looks to finish off Tatanka with a JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB, but lifts him up at two wanting Sid to get in the ring. Sid chickens out and decides to leave. Looks like Diesel finally gets the win with a running elbow drop. (17:36) Just another bore of a match. Thankfully, this ends the PPV. ¾*

Final Thoughts: Definitely the stupidest move the WWF could have made when business was already down as it was with Mabel winning the King of the Ring. The wrestling world was angry and there was nothing Vince could do once the damage was done. But I mean, what did they expect? Overall, just a terrible PPV and one of the worst of all-time. Thumbs way down for King of the Ring 1995.

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