January 17, 2009
Matt Peddycord

WWF SummerSlam
August 27, 1995
Pittsburgh, PA
Civic Arena

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Diesel (11/26/1994)
Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels (7/23/1995)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (4/2/1995)
Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze (4/3/1995)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Just so you know, Dean Douglas will be critiquing all the matches tonight.

The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi

These two had been working house shows together all year for the most part, so let’s see how they do. Bodydonna Skip cost Hakushi a match earlier in the day on the Action Zone against Barry Horowitz which kind of cheapens the importance of this match. Hakushi’s without Shinja these days after the piledriver he sustained from Bret in the Bret/Hakushi rematch a month earlier. Hammerlocks and armdrags to start lead to a stalemate. Kid misses a spinning heel kick and takes a throat thrust to give Hakushi the edge. Kid escapes out of a powerbomb with a lucha armdrag, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl slam. Hakushi stomps him around and whips him into the corner for a Handspring Elbow. With the 1-2-3 Kid laid out on the bottom turnbuckle, Hakushi gives him a bronco buster in a fairly ironic moment. He unloads with kicks and delivers a pump splash to the Kid for 1-2-NO! Kid elbows out of a nerve hold, but takes a backdrop and reverse thrust kick puts Kid on the floor to set up a SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP! First ever on US PPV! Back in, Hakushi delivers a flying shoulder tackle for 1-2-NO! Hakushi misses the Praying Flying Headbutt. HERE COMES THE 1-2-3 KID! Hakushi eats a dropkick that puts him on the floor as Kid hits a springboard dive on the floor! Back in again, Kid delivers a slingshot legdrop for two. Flying splash by the Kid gets 1-2-NO! Hakushi catches Kid when he tries a second spinning heel kick into a powerbomb for 1-2-3. (9:28) Great opener by two guys who could really bring it back then. ***½

Dok Hendrix is standing by King Mabel. You know how the saying goes – “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you!” Yes, because it’s the OTHER guy’s fault when he can trick you twice over the same thing. The wisdom of Mabel is truly unparalleled. Look out, Big Daddy Fool.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly

The Game-uh makes his WWE PPV debut. Looks like that Starrcade match with Alex Wright turned some heads up in Connecticut. Helmsley refuses to lock up with the race car driving Bob Holly to start, so he surprises the snob with a slam! HHH begs off and pops Holly in the face over the ref’s back. They trade blows until H catches Holly out of the corner with a hotshot. HHH just destroys Holly in the corner and whips him hard into the opposite side. Hunter does his bow and gives Holly a backbreaker. Cover gets two. Suplex sets up the Knee Drop out of the corner for another two-count. Not much has changed. While HHH has a chinlock on, we see Davey Boy Smith arriving in the locker room. H cheats using the ropes during an ab stretch. Holly reverses the hold and takes a hiptoss over the top rope to the floor. Back in, Helmsley telegraphs a backdrop and receives a DDT! Holly comes back and nails H with the best dropkick in the business! Hunter charges into an atomic drop and a clothesline. Baaaaaack body drop. Holly connects with another dropkick. He whips Helmsley into the corner for a second backdrop, but H blocks that and delivers the PEDIGREE! Cover, 1-2-3. (7:12) Pretty solid outing. Interesting to see just how far Triple H has come since then. **¼

Jacob & Eli Blu (w/Uncle Zebekiah) vs. The Smokin’ Gunns

It just goes to show how weak the tag division was back then. All they did from here was give Godwinn and Skip a character and there’s two new teams to compete with. I can never tell these twins apart. If they didn’t have identical tattoos, it might help a little. Billy Gunn gets owned by the Blu brothers to start. He comes back with a Rocker Dropper type move and tags Bart. He quickly gets his neck snapped on the top rope by the twin on the apron. Before you know it, Bart answers back with a crossbody block and tags in Billy. He ducks a double clothesline, but then runs into an H BOMB! The finisher – not an actual hydrogen bomb. Boy that would suck! They delay the cover and only get two. They dismantle Billy Gunn with kicks and slams as they play the tag team game of drawing your opponent into the ring so you can get double the advantage. A powerslam gets a nearfall. Billy Gunn catches one of the twins with a face slam and makes the HOT TAG TO BART! He goes slam crazy on the twins until he turns around and eats a boot. We got some twin miscommunication that puts one of them on the floor so the Gunns can deliver the SIDEWINDER for the win. (6:11) Since I had no Steiners on WCW or WWE at the time, this was the coolest tag team finisher of the day. Fun match that served its purpose to put the Gunns over as they continue their trek to regaining the belts. **

Barry Horowitz vs. Skip (w/Sunny)

The egomaniac Skip lost to the perennial loser Barry Horowitz. With Horowitz’s confidence boosted, Skip then said he could beat Horowitz in ten minutes and Horowitz lasted ten minutes with Skip without being beaten. Now we see another WWE PPV debut for Bodydonna Skip and Sunny. She gets on the mic and tells Horrible-witz that he’ll regret this night for as long as he lives. Hot start for Horowitz as he storms the ring and backdrops Skip all over the place. He even gives Skip the slide into the uppercut spot that the Big Bossman used to do. Skip begs off and takes a clothesline out to the floor. Horowitz flips Skip back in, but gets suckered into the corner. Horowitz avoids a hard whip into the corner and leaps over Skip in order to roll him up off the ropes for 1-2-NO! Horowitz falls out to the apron and gives Skip a suplex to the floor! Sunny can’t take it anymore and throws a towel in for her man. Hebner ~ “This is not boxing! GET OUTTA HERE!” Once Skip’s back in and Horowitz tries to come off the ropes, Sunny trips him up real good. Skip nails Horowitz from behind and delivers a suplex to set up a flying legdrop. Instead of covering him, Skip poses over his body. Skip gets all heel on him by choking him in the ropes. Gutwrench suplex leads into a flying fist drop. Still not covering. Skip misses an elbow drop out of the corner to mount a comeback for Horowitz. He lands a couple shoulderblocks off the ropes for several nearfalls. Sunset flip gets two as Skip explodes to his feet for a clothesline. The crowd starts chanting “Barry”. Horowitz nails Skip with a Thesz Press for two, but then turns around into a powerslam. Three sliding legdrops gets a nearfall for Skip. They exchange shots on each other and both whiff on a dropkick at the same time. Skip’s the first one to his feet. He heads up top, but Barry’s right there with a dropkick to crotch him. Skip elbows Horowitz down and hits a Flying Headbutt for 1-2-NO! Horowitz backdrops out of a piledriver and nails Skip with a dropkick. He staggers to the top and gets crotched thanks to Sunny’s shaking the ropes. SCORPION WOMAN! Skip delivers a Superplex and looks over as Hakushi makes his way down the aisle. The man then proceeds to springboard over Skip and roll out of the ring. That takes his mind off Horowitz long enough for him to grab Skip for an inside cradle for the 1-2-3! (11:22) HOROWITZ WINS! HOROWITZ WINS! Perfect blend of offense in this match to make both guys look good while still giving Horowitz that underdog feel. ***¼

WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze vs. Bertha Faye (w/Harvey Wippleman)

So Harvey Wippleman’s got himself a girlfriend and her name is Bertha Faye. She’s actually a pretty talented woman wrestler, but she’s just comedy fodder here in the WWF. Blayze chops the bigger Bertha Faye down to start. Bertha’s weight and size overrules Blayze’s speed. Bertha legdrops Blayze a bunch and then misses a splash from the middle rope. Victory roll from Blayze gets two. She nails Bertha with a serious of running clotheslines. She goes for the pin, but Harvey Wippleman’s on the apron talking to the ref. Blayze gives chase after Wippleman and pulls him out of his suit jacket. Back in, Blayze realizes she can’t get Bertha over with a GERMAN SUPLEX that beats everybody, so she tries a crucifix instead for two. Bertha delivers an Avalanche, but then takes a Hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Missile dropkick connects, but Blayze misses a second one. BIG BERTHA BOMB (sitout powerbomb) gets the win and the title. (4:39) She’s like a white Awesome Kong without a real mean streak. The WWF women’s division was basically dead at this point (if it was ever truly alive in 1995) and giving Bertha Faye the belt didn’t help in my view. *

The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) – Casket Match

It seems no matter what you do to the Undertaker, a casket match is ALWAYS in order. Anyways, Kama attacked the Creatures of the Night (creepy UT fans who somehow always score front row seats! They must know a guy.) and now this long feud calls for the inevitable casket match. Taker punches away on Kama and gives him a choke-lift. UT turns away and gets nailed from behind only to come back and throw Kama out onto the casket. More freaked out by the casket than in pain, Kama jumps back into the ring. Taker catches Kama with a clothesline and a Stinger Splash. OLD SKOOL! Kama gets thrown into the casket this time, but he pops right back up and into the ring. Kama snaps Taker’s neck on the top rope to get a second to regroup. Flying clothesline by Kama, but UT sits up. He tries another Stinger Splash, but Kama catches him in mid-air for a slam. Kama’s attempt to stomp UT into the casket fails as Taker flips him over into the casket using his legs. Ted DiBiase causes the distraction to keep Taker from shutting the lid. Taker gets nailed by Kama and we’re back in bidness. Kama beats on Taker in the corner for a while. You know for a Supreme Fighting Machine, he sure doesn’t use those skills very often. By not very often, I mean never. Kama misses a corner charge, but clotheslines Taker on the apron to land him on the casket. DiBiase gets in some licks on Taker to rile up Paul Bearer. He starts hitting referees and everything! Kama goes after UT, but gets his head slammed on the steps. Kama catches Taker with a back elbow so he can drive UT spine-first into the ringpost. Just to take this up a notch, Kama gives Taker a suplex onto the casket! He wants to turn this thing up to eleven now as he attempts a PILEDRIVER on the casket, but Taker backdrops him into the ring! Taker fires back on Kama, but runs into a powerslam. He tries a pin, but you can’t win that way in a casket match! UT sits up, so Kama grabs a heelish chinlock by using the ropes for leverage and everything. Taker fights out with a back suplex. Kama tries to maintain control, but UT hits a Jumping Clothesline anyway. They both end up tumbling into the casket. The lid shuts and once the lid reopens, Kama tries to crawl out so we can get the visual of UT pulling Kama back into the casket. Back in, Kama tries once again to put Taker away with a swinging neckbreaker. Unless you’re Bobby Eaton, that won’t work. A CHOKESLAM just might do the trick for Taker though. TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! Well that’ll stop Kama. He rolls Kama into the casket and shuts the lid for the academic win. (16:26) A wee bit long, but at least Kama could do a few wrestling moves to make this a little exciting than most casket matches in the pre-Attitude era. *¾

Bret Hart vs. Isaac Yankem

This is kind of a continuation of the Bret/Lawler feud as now Jerry Lawler gets his evil dentist involved in his problems. In case you’re unaware, Isaac Yankem is a thinner version of Kane with blond hair. Bret can’t do anything with Yankem to start. Yankem keeps overpowering him, so he has to stick and run. Bret avoids a corner charge and delivers an atomic drop and a bunch of clotheslines puts Yankem on the floor. A pescado by Bret leads to some brawling. Back in, Bret hits a clothesline off the middle rope and tries for the SHARPSHOOTER. He can’t get it so he headbutts Yankem in his Charlie Browns. Bret follows up with a couple rollups that gain him nearfalls. He charges into a guerilla press and gets dropped on the top rope. Yankem follows up by whipping Bret HARD for the chest-first bump in the corner. Some choking ensues, but not quite on a Nailz level. Hangman’s neckbreaker flips Bret over for a small package that gets 1-2-NO! Yankem’s back on the attack by ripping at Bret’s mouth. You see, he’s a dentist – an EVIL dentist! They go to the floor where Yankem rams Bret’s back into the ringpost. Back in, Yankem drapes Bret across the top rope and gives him a flying legdrop! LUCHA KANE! That gets two and Yankem cannot believe it. Bret manages to move away from another corner charge, but he can’t capitalize and gets nailed from behind. Yankem gets thrown off a pin out to the floor so that Bret can hit him with a suicide dive! Bret smashes Yankem’s face onto the steps before tossing back into the ring. Running bulldog connects for two. Russian legsweep gets another two. Backbreaker sets up the Flying Vertical Elbow Drop. You knew it was coming. Bret applies the SHARPSHOOTER as Jerry Lawler takes off his headset to go over and push the bottom rope so that Yankem can easily get a break. Back to the floor they go, as Yankem tosses Bret into the steps! Back in, Bret pops up and slams Yankem off the top rope. He goes crazy with a ten-count corner punch and then as he trips up Yankem in the corner, he ties his ankles up with a TV cable to leave Yankem wide open for as many stomps as he wants to give him. Lawler gets up on the apron to bring Bret to the floor. Lawler tries to climb back over the announce table, but Bret grabs hold of him and starts beating the crap out of him. Meanwhile, Yankem is up on the top rope and dives down on Bret with a double-sledge! Back in, Bret ducks a clothesline and whacks Yankem with a flying forearm. Lawler’s back over at ringside and trips up Bret as he comes off the ropes. They start grabbing at each other through the ropes as Yankem comes over and gives Bret a Bossman straddle. With Bret’s head and neck still in between the ropes, Lawler twists the ropes so Bret gets his head stick in between the top and middle ropes. That puts him in a pretty dangerous spot as Yankem starts punching away and Lawler twists Bret’s feet, which makes it hard on his neck. That’s as far as the ref will let this go, so he calls for the bell and gives the match to Bret by DQ. (16:08) Much better than it had any right to be thanks to the effort of really all three guys. ***

WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Ladder Match

This was supposed to be Shawn/Sid, but was changed so the WWF could have the biggest rematch of the year. As many times as I’ve watched the WrestleMania 10 ladder match, I’ve probably seen this one only once or twice before recapping this show. Dok Hendrix replaces Lawler for the rest of the night since he’s busy hanging out with his dentist. Although I cringe sometimes when he tries to be funny and I don’t think he has any chemistry with someone like Vince, I do think I like Hendrix on color commentary a little bit more than Lawler since he likes to talk more about strategies than merely cheer for the bad guy. They tease their finishers to start and the crowd eats it up. Shawn takes the nastier and much quicker Harley Race corner bump to the floor. Razor goes for the ladder and gets pounced on from behind by Michaels. Back to the ring, Shawn tries to suplex Razor into the ring from the apron and takes a CRAZY suplex to the floor instead. He even whacks his ankle on the guardrail on the way down! Back in, they trade finisher attempts once more and end up taking each other down with a clothesline. Once they’re to their feet, they whip each other from corner to corner until Shawn gets caught up on the top turnbuckle so that Razor can bring him down with a Super Fallaway Slam! Now Ramon brings the ladder to ringside as the Psycho Sid watches the match on a monitor in the back since he gets the winner of this match on the 9/11 Raw. Razor sidesteps the baseball slide into the ladder in a nice bit of continuity and blasts Shawn with a right hand. In the ring, Razor makes the first climb for the belt and gets the ladder turned over on him thanks to Shawn. Shawn spins the ladder around into Razor, shrugs his shoulders, and sets the ladder up. Just like at WM10, Razor pulls down HBK’s tights. Instead of dropping the belt like in the previous match, Shawn pulls his pants up and keeps climbing. With Razor back on his feet, he turns the ladder over while Shawn’s leg gets stuck in between the rungs to wrench his knee. Razor decides to capitalize by closing the ladder on Shawn’s knee and stomping at it. He continues to punish Shawn by dropping his knee on the ladder and taking Shawn to school the Ric Flair way. With the ladder closed, Razor sets the ladder on the middle turnbuckle. He wants to whip Shawn into it, but his knee gives out. Shawn kicks off a figure-four attempt, so Razor grabs Shawn and gives him a shinbreaker on the ladder! Razor keeps on with the leg and even posts it pretty good. When he seems to run out of things to do to Shawn’s knee, he ends up taking the ladder and tossing it down on his knee just for fun. Shawn stops a ladder climb with a flying double ax handle. He stops another climb with a back suplex off the ladder! Shawn leans the ladder in the corner and after a triple whip reversal, Razor goes flying over the ladder and onto the apron! Shawn whips Razor into the ladder again and then nails him with a flying forearm. From there, Shawn sets the ladder up and gives Ramon a MOONSAULT PRESS OFF THE LADDER! They botch it a little, but it’s forgivable. Now Shawn tries a flying splash, but this time it misses unlike at WM10. Once they both make it to their feet, they both climb the ladder and start slugging each other at the top until the ladder teeters over. Shawn gets crotched and Razor falls off the apron and to the floor. Shawn charges at Razor with the ladder in hand to knock him off the apron, but Ramon hits the mat and Shawn falls out to the floor. Razor pulls out another ladder from under the ring and now we’ve got two ladders. Shawn climbs his ladder, but Razor stops him and delivers the RAZORS EDGE to Shawn off the ladder! Now we’ve got two ladders set up in the ring and each man is climbing their own ladder. Shawn kicks Razor off his ladder and looks to grab the belt, but he’s too far away. He dives after the belt and retrieves nothing as he crashes on the canvas. Shawn backdrops Razor out to the floor so he’ll have another chance at grabbing the belt. He reaches the belt again and tries to pull it down with all his weight, but he can’t bring it down. One more try. Yes, Shawn finally brings the belt down off the hook to retain the IC championship. (25:06) For what it’s worth, Shawn Michaels is still the only man to ever retain the Intercontinental belt for a second time at any SummerSlam show. Afterwards, Razor takes the belt away from Shawn and hands it back to him as they embrace to show the world that everything is okay between them. Except for the messed up finish, this was the perfect sequel to their original ladder match. They learned from their past mistakes and turned it into a psychological masterpiece. ****¾

In the back, Dean Douglas teaches us what the word “bad” means – the failure to reach an acceptable standard. He uses that against the Bad Guy Razor Ramon and causes him to get punched in the mouth by the Bad Guy himself.

Elsewhere, Diesel tells the world he’s about to get MEDIEVAL! On Mabel’s buttocks, perhaps?

WWF World Champion Diesel vs. King Mabel (w/Sir Mo)

During the broadcast, Lawler kept talking about a royal plan and we’re about to find out what exactly that means. Shoulderblocks abound by Mabel to start. He announces to the world that he’s about to become the first black world champion. Doubt it, tubs. He chokes Diesel in the corner, but a whip reversal ends up getting Mabel splashed in the corner not once but twice. Slam attempt by Diesel fails. Diesel takes Mabel to the floor with a bunch of clotheslines and a jumping shoulderblock. We witness LUCHA DIESEL as he jumps out onto Mabel. Diesel gets whipped into the ringpost, but brings a boot to stop Mabel. Back in, Diesel buries the knees into Mabel in the corner. Next thing we know, a turnbuckle across the ring is exposed and Diesel gets whipped into that for a Bossman slam. Big Bossman is all over this PPV. Mabel sits down on Diesel’s back and grabs a really weak chinlock. When Diesel gets to his feet, Mabel backs him into the exposed corner and gives the champ a slam. With Sir Mo on the apron, Mabel charges into the ref and knocks him out to ringside. Mabel misses a legdrop on Diesel and now that the ref has been wiped out, it becomes a two-on-one fight in the ring until Lex Luger makes the save. Diesel clotheslines him out to the floor, which looked like it was supposed to be inadvertent. I mean, why would he clothesline the guy who’s trying to help him? Didn’t trust him? We don’t really know since Lex Luger jumps ship back over to WCW in a week’s time. Mabel takes Diesel to the floor for a legdrop. Once Mo puts Diesel back in the ring, Lex Luger comes over and beats him all the way back to the dressing room. Meanwhile, Mabel delivers the Belly-to-Belly Suplex for 1…2…NO! SPLASH from the middle rope from Mabel misses. That sets up a flying forearm off the middle rope from Diesel to Mabel for 1…2…3! (9:16) And good riddance. Any real main event influence for Mabel would not be a factor after this show as he has been stuck in the mid card ever since this match and hopefully for the rest of his career. Diesel celebrates as the show goes off the air and we still don’t know what the royal plan even means. *½

Final Thoughts: This show gets a bad rap for having King Mabel in the main event, but the rest of the card is certainly enjoyable with plenty of surprisingly good matches and the easy MOTY winner of 1995. While it’s a dark period creatively for the WWF, it didn’t seem to keep the wrestlers from working hard and giving you a great show. Thumbs up for SummerSlam 1995.

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