What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – September 16, 1995

A video package recaps Hakushi’s recent problems with Skip and hypes their match on today’s show.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling the action and they are taped from Erie, Pennsylvania.  In a weird taping quirk, most of the September Superstars tapings took place in Erie except for the September 9 episode, which was taped in Canton, Ohio along with several Monday Night RAW episodes.

Opening Contest:  Hakushi (23-3) beats Skip (w/Rad Radford & Sunny) (8-4) after a flying shoulder block off the top rope at 6:05 shown:

To get out of today’s match, Skip argues that his arm was hurt working out and Rad Radford is introduced as a “bodydonna in training” and takes Skip’s place.  Skip shows moments into the bout that he is not injured at all, beating up Hakushi with his injured arm behind the referee’s back.  Once the focus of this match is placed on the in-ring action we get a nice encounter, with each man trading a bevy of near-falls before the finish.  Hakushi hits Radford with a springboard splash from the apron and the referee catches Skip hitting Hakushi to break up the fall.  He orders Skip into the ring and when Skip refuses, Barry Horowitz runs out and rolls Skip into the squared circle, allowing Hakushi to get a quick decision in his favor.  The booking of this was straight out of Memphis but was very entertaining, largely as a result of Skip and Sunny’s behavior at ringside.  Rating:  ***

Dok Hendrix covers the Madison Square Garden card in the Slam Jam.  The Undertaker says that he will get revenge on King Mabel for what happened at King of the Ring.  Mabel rebuts by calling the Undertaker a fake and says that he will live longer than the Undertaker because he is a king.

Footage of Shawn Michaels defeating Sid on RAW is shown.

A video package hypes today’s match between Henry Godwinn and King Kong Bundy.

Henry Godwinn (21-5-2) defeats King Kong Bundy (w/Ted DiBiase) (14-3) with a body slam at 3:13 shown:

Godwinn successfully slops DiBiase a second time before the match, a wise strategy because it forces DiBiase to go to the locker room and eliminates a distraction at ringside.  As expected, this is slow and plodding until Bundy misses the Avalanche and Godwinn hits an awkward looking body slam for the pin.  If this was the clipped version of the match I would have hated to have to sit through the whole thing.  Despite his relatively impressive record, this is Godwinn’s first victory in a feature match in 1995.  Rating:  DUD

After the match, Tatanka, Kama, and DiBiase come out and attack Henry Godwinn until Bam Bam Bigelow makes the save.

Hunter Hearst-Helmsley is scheduled to face Scott Taylor in our next match, which would be the second time that they have wrestled this year, but Helmsley refuses to compete because Henry Godwinn’s slop has not been adequately cleaned up around the ringside area.

Barry Didinski encourages fans to buy a Shawn Michaels hat for $25 (plus shipping & handling)!

Footage of the British Bulldog’s match with Razor Ramon on RAW is shown, along with the 1-2-3 Kid’s confrontation with Ramon after the bout.

Savio Vega (11-1) beats Rick Stockhauser after a spinning heel kick at 1:39:

As Savio pounds away on Stockhauser, Waylon Mercy, who is booked to face Savio at In Your House 3, cuts a promo in the side screen and says he will put Savio to sleep at the pay-per-view.  Savio rolls easily today, doing some Puerto Rican dancing to appease the crowd and please McMahon on commentary.

Hendrix does more Slam Jam stuff concerning the Madison Square Garden card.  Alundra Blayze warns Bertha Faye that she has defeated better opponents and will regain the WWF Women’s title.  Bertha Faye responds that she will be champion for a long time to come and her manager and love interest Harvey Wippleman says Blayze is ugly.

WWF superstars are filmed describing where they were when Barry Horowitz beat Skip.  Skip and Sunny are asked and freak out.

Tune in next week to see Sid face Savio Vega!  Also, Isaac Yankem battles Bob Holly!  In addition, Bam Bam Bigelow & Henry Godwinn will face Kama & Tatanka!  They do the same “show footage of these matches” that they did for RAW.

The Last Word:  As an effect of the Monday Night Wars, Monday Night RAW became a larger focus of WWF programming and shows like Superstars began to be sidelined.  This show proves it as there were lengthy recaps of events on RAW and very few original matches on the broadcast.  Still, viewers that could see Superstars in their areas were treated to more feature-level matches even as the number of matches waned.

The WWF’s string of house shows in Canada and Florida continued, with the company’s “A” group going through Canada and the “B” group doing the Florida tour.  Here is a sampling of those shows (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):

Lakeland, Florida – September 13, 1995 (450):  Hakushi defeated Rad Radford…Savio Vega beat Duke Droese…WWF Women’s Champion Bertha Faye beat Alundra Blayze…The British Bulldog defeated Bam Bam Bigelow…Goldust beat Bob Holly…The Blu Brothers defeated the Bushwhackers…Razor Ramon defeated Sir Mo

Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The Forum – September 15, 1995 (5,825):  Barry Horowitz beat Skip…Isaac Yankem defeated Aldo Montoya…Fatu wrestled Waylon Mercy to a double disqualification…The Smoking Gunns beat King Kong Bundy (substituting for Owen Hart) & Yokozuna…Dean Douglas defeated the 1-2-3 Kid…The Undertaker beat Kama in a casket match…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry Godwinn…WWF Champion Diesel wrestled Jean-Pierre LaFitte to a double count out…Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels beat Sid.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Maple Leaf Gardens – September 17, 1995 (5,500):  Barry Horowitz defeated Skip…Isaac Yankem beat Aldo Montoya…The Smoking Gunns defeated King Kong Bundy (substituting for Owe Hart) & Yokozuna…Fatu beat Jean-Pierre LaFitte…Dean Douglas defeated the 1-2-3 Kid…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pinned Henry Godwinn after a Flair pin…The Undertaker beat Kama in a casket match…Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels pinned Sid after two Sweet Chin Musics…WWF Champion Diesel beat Waylon Mercy.

Here were some news items for the company for mid-September (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com and the September 18 and 25 issues of The Wrestling Observer):

*The WWF’s house shows in Florida drew very poorly for the week as a card in Orlando, Florida drew 600 fans and another in Palmetto, Florida drew 900.  In fact, it may be the worst set of shows in company history because two additional shows were cancelled due to poor ticket sales.  The main events were supposed to be Razor Ramon versus Mabel but Mabel was sidelined by a sciatic nerve problem so Mo took his place.  The poor attendance could endanger the company’s plans of putting the sixth In Your House pay-per-view in Jacksonville.  In Montreal, the company drew a decent crowd compared to the United States but the gate was only $85,000 due to a poor exchange rate and the company wanted to draw double the number of fans the card ended up doing.

*The big news from the Montreal house show was that Jean-Pierre LaFitte, deemed to be a top draw for the company there, refused to job to Diesel via a Jackknife and threatened to walkout.  Vince McMahon’s intervention via a phone call produced a double disqualification finish, but Shawn Michaels and Diesel were not happy, arguing that LaFitte should lose his job over the incident.  In fact, Michaels and LaFitte got into a heated verbal argument backstage after the match, something that has been predicted for a while because each man believes they are better in the ring than the other.  Despite LaFitte being treated like a babyface when the company goes into Montreal, Diesel got more cheers during their bout.  Later in the tour, LaFitte did jobs for Diesel as he insisted that he simply did not want to lose in his hometown.

*If one combines the ratings that were pulled by Monday Night RAW and Monday Nitro, more people were watching wrestling at one time on network television since Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair wrestled for the WCW World title at Clash of the Champions on August 24, 1994.

*Rumors are that Lex Luger was going to turn heel in early 1996 if he had stayed in the WWF.  The WWF is claiming that Luger was under contract while he jumped to WCW, arguing that his contract ends on January 6.  Luger is denying this, saying he gave the WWF notice he was not going to rollover his contract and that the company took white out to his original contract to make him appear less than trustworthy.

*Some of the matchups that the WWF is pushing for In Your House 4, scheduled to be held in Winnipeg on October 22 include Diesel against the British Bulldog for the WWF title, Shawn Michaels against Dean Douglas for the Intercontinental title, and the Undertaker against Waylon Mercy.  Advanced ticket sales for the show are less than impressive and local media outlets are doing poor coverage of the event.

*The Action Zone’s new format drew very poorly in the U.S., netting a 1.3 rating.  This was down from the usual average of the show which was a 1.9.  (Note:  This should not be shocking since the show went from having some original matches to none).

*Texas wrestler Tony Norris, who competed in the Global Wrestling Federation as Moadib, has reportedly been signed to a two-year contract.  Norris impressed the company when wrestling a dark match against Rico Suave in Houston on July 15.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW from September 18, 1995!