A Look Back At: The 1995 PWI 500 Rankings

95-Winter
The fifth installment of looking back at the PWI 500 starting the beginning in 1991 continues with the 1995 edition. This year, the grading period was from August 1st, 1994 to August 1st, 1995.
To view the complete list of where the wrestlers were ranked click HERE.
Here are the notable rankings for the year 1995.  
Kevin Nash(1)
The Top Ten:
1.) Diesel
2.) Shawn Michaels
3.) Sting
4.) Bret Hart
5.) Sabu
6.) Hulk Hogan
7.) Big Van Vader
8.) Randy Savage
9.) Razor Ramon
10.) Mitsuharu Misawa
Early on in the grading period, Diesel was one-half of the WWF World Tag Team Champions with Shawn Michaels, who is ranked number two. Diesel would win the WWF World Championship in eight-seconds by pinning Bob Backlund on November 26th in Madison Square Garden. Diesel would continually defeat Backlund on the house shows. Diesel wrestled a near thirty minute classic with Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble that ended in a draw. Diesel successfully defended the championship against former friend Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XI in what was the lone bright spot on the show. Diesel’s reign continued with a feud against Psycho Sid that lasted most of the summer. Diesel pinned Psycho Sid at the July In Your House that was competed under a lumberjack stipulation. Diesel was a dominating champion for the grading period.
Michaels run started in 1995 when he won the 1995 Royal Rumble after being the first entrant in the match and last eliminated the second entrant, Davey Boy Smith. Michaels came up short in his WrestleMania title match against Diesel, but still stole the show despite the loss. Michaels would feud with Psycho Sid after Sid turned on him after Mania. Michaels would defeat Sid in a cage match at a June MSG house show. The end of the grading period saw Michaels win his third WWF Intercontinental Championship when he pinned Jeff Jarrett at In Your House #2.
Despite not being in the main event scene during the grading period, Sting was still ranked as the best WCW wrestler in the publication. Early in the grading period Sting focused on a feud with Avalanche and Big Bubba teaming Randy Savage often times. Struggled in a feud against Big Bubba losing at UnCensored but got a victory at Slamboree. At the Great American Bash, Sting won the WCW United States Championship when he defeated Meng in the finals of a tournament. Meng was an undefeated heel monster since debuting for WCW. Sting won a rematch against Meng at the Bash at the Beach pay per view in July. It was evident that Sting was playing the third tier baby face behind Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
The Hitman was the WWF World Champion at the start of the grading period and successfully defended the championship against Owen Hart at SummerSlam inside a steel cage. Bret would lose the belt to Bob Backlund at Survivor Series. Hart was unable to regain the championship at Royal Rumble. Bret continued his feud with Bob Backlund winning an I Quit match at WrestleMania XI. Hart was also able to end his long-running feud with Jerry Lawler at the King of the Ring when he won a Kiss My Foot match. Hart would win memorable matches against Hakushi throughout the spring, as well. Hitman remains in the top five after consecutive back to back number one rankings in 1993 and 1994.
Sabu getting into the top five is a huge accomplishment for ECW as the company was still a company based mainly out of Philadelphia but gaining traction. Early in the grading period, Sabu got big victories over 2 Cold Scorpio and Cactus Jack in the fall. He won the ECW Tag Team Championships with Taz by defeating Public Enemy in February ’95. Sabu would leave ECW and head to Japan where h ewon the IWGP junior heavyweight championship from Koji Kanemoto on May 3rd. Sabu was a battered man who often would wrestle despite broken bones and was loved by fans for doing so. He would soon return to ECW as it will be addressed in the next edition of the series.
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Hulkamania slips a few spots but remains in the top ten of the PWI 500. Hogan started the grading period beating Ric Flair in a steel cage match to force Flair into retirement. Hogan won the main event at Starrcade against the Butcher, his former best friend. Hulk started a long feud with Vader in 1995 wrestling on pay per view many times. Hogan would win at Superbrawl by disqualification, defeated Ric Flair (who was still retired) despite wrestling Vader in a strap match at UnCensored. Hogan brought his friend Randy Savage into the feud to defeat Vader and Flair at Slamboree. Hogan ended his feud with Vader by winning a cage match at the July Bash at the Beach pay per view.
Vader was unsuccessful in his attempt to win the WCW World Championship from Hulk Hogan throughout 1995, but he never suffered a pin fall loss to the Hulkster. Vader ended 1994 by winning the WCW United States Championship from Jim Duggan at Starrcade, but vacated the belt to go after Hogan’s gold. After the failed attempts, Vader turned into a good guy by siding with Hogan against the Dungeon of Doom though Vader would leave WCW soon afterward and would never return to WCW.
Last year, the Macho Man was ranked number forty-four in the PWI 500. Savage returned to in-ring competition on a full-time basis and ranked up to the eighth spot. Randy teamed with Sting to win a feud against Big Bubba Rogers and Avalanche. Had a brief singles feud with Avalanche winning a match at Uncensored. Savage would go back to feuding against Ric Flair losing to Flair at Great American Bash but winning a rematch at Bash at the Beach in July with a lumberjack stipulation.
The Bad Guy regained the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Diesel at SummerSlam with Walter Payton in his corner. Ramon held the title until the Royal Rumble when he lost the belt to Jeff Jarrett. Ramon regained the belt briefly by winning the title at a house show, but lost it two days later back to Jarrett. Ramon was also a USWA heavyweight champion during the grading period for a brief time. Razor was likely a contender to win the 1995 King of the Ring but was out of the tournament due to injury.
Misawa is the first Japanese wrestler to reach the top ten in the PWI to this point. Misawa won the Triple Crown championship from Stan Hansen on May 26th. Was voted as the best scientific wrestler in Japan.
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11.) Jeff Jarrett
12.) Owen Hart
17.) Eddy Guerrero
18.) Rey Mysterio Jr.
20.) Ric Flair
Double J kicked off the grading period pinning Mabel at SummerSlam and continued to be lost in the shuffle in the mid card until early 1995 when he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon. Jarrett and Ramon traded the belt in May with Jarrett coming out as the champion. Jarrett lost the championship to Michaels at In Your House #2 before departing from the WWF.
Owen nearly won the WWF World Championship at SummerSlam inside a steel cage but settled for costing Bret the championship at Survivor Series and helping Bob Backlund win the gold. Owen would team with Yokozuna at WrestleMania XI to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships from the Smoking Gunns.
Eddy Guerrero went from 141 all the way to the seventeen spot this year. Guerrero was really starting make a name for himself competing in NJPW and ECW. While wrestling in ECW, Eddy was having memorable clashes with Dean Malenko over the ECW Television Championship that many still regard as the best matches the company had ever put on.
Rey Mysterio Jr. also moves up the ranks as he won the Triple A light heavyweight championship from Juventud Guerrera during the grading period.
The Nature Boy was retired thanks to losing a cage match to Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc. His retirement lasted until May when he and Vader lost a tag match to Hogan and Savage. Flair did pick up a huge victory the following month by pinning Randy Savage while Randy’s father was at ringside. PWI was quoted as saying, “Career finally appears to be winding down.” That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
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23.) Lex Luger
24.) Arn Anderson
26.) Tracy Smothers
28.) Shane Douglas
30.) Bam-Bam Bigelow
Luger was once seen as the likely WWF World Champion and second coming of Hulk Hogan, but failed to connect with fans and was thrown to the mid card ranks. Had an infamous feud with Tatanka that saw his former friend turn on him after a singles match at SummerSlam. The feud would continue on for many months with Luger winning a cage match prior to WrestleMania XI. Luger formed a tag team with Davey Boy Smith but failed to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships.
Despite losing a feud against Dustin Rhodes at the end of 1994, Anderson was able to win the WCW Television Championship from Johnny B. Badd in early 1995. Arn defeated Badd in a lumberjack match at the pre-show telecast prior to Superbrawl V. Anderson suffered a loss to Johnny at Uncensored in a boxer vs. wrestler match. Arn handed Alex Wright his first loss at Slamboree to retain the WCW Television Championship but would lose the belt the following month to The Renegade at the Great American Bash.
Smothers had a lengthy feud with Bryant Anderson which saw Smothers win numerous I Quit matches at the end of 1994. Formed a successful tag team with former rival the Dirty White Boy to win feuds against the Gangstas and the Headbangers.
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas threw down history when he won the NWA World Championship after winning a tournament on August 27th and renamed it the ECW World Championship. Douglas retained the title against the likes of the Tazmaniac, Ron Simmons and Mikey Whipwreck throughout the second half of 1994. Douglas would feud with Tully Blanchard during the first few months of 1995 retaining the championship. Douglas would lose the belt to the Sandman at the Hostile City Showdown on April 15th. Shane would leave ECW for the WWF, which wouldn’t end up as being a good career decision.
Bigelow had a memorable confrontation with Lawrence Taylor at the Royal Rumble, which would lead to a main event match at WrestleMania XI. Bigelow would lose and soon his heel stable members would turn on him. Bigelow became a good guy and aligned himself with Diesel to defeat Psycho Sid and Tatanka at the King of the Ring in June.
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31.) Cactus Jack
32.) Yokozuna
34.) Sid Vicious
36.) Lord Steven Regal
43.) Steve Austin
Cactus Jack didn’t have a great start to the grading period when he lost to Kevin Sullivan at WCW Fall Brawl 1994 causing him to leave WCW forever. However, the change of scenery ended up being a blessing in disguise as Cactus headed to ECW. While in ECW, Cactus won the ECW World Tag Team Championships with Mikey Whipwreck which they held from August to November ’94. Cactus had a lengthy feud with the Sandman which would eventually be over the ECW World Championship. Early in the feud, Cactus would get many wins, but when Sandman became champion, Jack was unable to defeat him. Cactus pinned Terry Funk twice in April of ’95, as well.
Yokozuna’s stock in the WWF was quickly plummeting as his run as a main event player was coming to an end as 1994 came to a close. Yokozuna lost a casket match against the Undertaker at Survivor Series and wouldn’t be seen again until WrestleMania XI. At the event, Yokozuna was revealed as the surprise partner for Owen Hart and the duo won the WWF World Tag Team Championships from the Smoking Gunns. They would retain the titles over the likes of the Allied Powers, Savio Vega & Razor Ramon, and Men on a Mission. They were still the champions as of press time.
While on competing in WCW or the WWF at the start of the grading period, Sid was the USWA Heavyweight Champion which he won in July of 1994 and held until February of 1995 when he lost it to Jerry Lawler. After the loss, Sid would return to the WWF where he quickly turned on Shawn Michaels and unsuccessfully challenged for the WWF World Championship on two occasions on pay per view.
Regal lost the WCW Television Championship at Fall Brawl in September of ’94 and would continue a trend of losing singles matches against the likes of the Guardian Angel, Jim Duggan and Sting. By early 1995, Regal would form a tag team with Bobby Eaton known as the Blue Bloods. They got a decent push but failed to win the WCW World Tag Team Championships from the Nasty Boys at the Great American Bash.
Austin was once seen as a top rising star in WCW, but by the end of 1994 he was losing to Jim Duggan in under three minutes and was out of a job by the spring of 1995. I have no idea how Austin could have possibly been ranked so high considering he was also injured for many months.
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48.) Hakushi
49.) Mabel
54.) Alex Wright
60.) The Sandman
62.) Dustin Rhodes
Hakushi’s run in the WWF started off very well as he had an undefeated streak for half the grading period with victories over the 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly, and enhancement talents. He would suffer his first loss to Bret Hart at the first In Your House in May. Hakushi would continually lose to the Hitman for the remaining three months of the grading period, though they were some of the best matches the WWF aired during the year.
With his partner Mo out due to injury, Mabel tried his hand at a singles push that saw him lose to Jeff Jarrett at SummerSlam. Mabel would trade wins with the likes of King Kong Bundy and IRS to close of 1994. 1995 saw an attitude change by Men on a Mission and Mabel was the unlikely winner of the King of the Ring meaning he would be the number one contender to the WWF World Championship. He defeated the Undertaker and Savio Vega on his way to winning the crown.
Das Wunderkind was another wrestler who had a lengthy undefeated streak as he spent several months in 1994 establishing himself over enhancement talents. Wright finished 1994 with an impressive victory over Jean Paul Levesque at Starrcade. Alex continued his success by winning feuds against Bobby Eaton and Paul Roma in early 1995. Wright suffered his first loss to Arn Anderson at WCW Slamboree in a WCW Television Championship match. Wright had a great match with Brian Pillman at the Great American Bash, which he won. During the grading period, Wright also worked a few matches with Ric Flair but was not successful in defeating the Nature Boy.
At the end of 1994, Sandman was on the losing end of a feud with Tommy Dreamer. As noted before, Sandman struggled in a feud with Cactus Jack that lasted over six months in 1995. Despite his struggles, Sandman was able to win the ECW World Championship from Shane Douglas in April. Sandman would successfully defend the championship against Cactus Jack in a barbed wire match over the summer.
‘The Natural” won his feud with Arn Anderson at the tail end of 1994 that included teaming with his father Dusty Rhodes and the Nasty Boys to win War Games in September. Dustin would lose a singles match against Vader in November before returning to his feud with the Stud Stable, mostly the Blacktop Bully. Dustin lost both matches he had on pay per view losing to the Blacktop Bully at Superbrawl V and in a King of the Road match at Uncensored. Following the latter pay per view, Dustin was fired for bleeding in the match. He’d go under an extreme makeover in the next installment of this series.
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65.) Kama
76.) Bob Holly
79.) Jean Pierre Lafitte
82.) Big Bubba Rogers
84.) Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Previously known as Papa Shango, Kama made his debut in January 1995. His first six months saw Kama not lose on television and was involved in a lengthy feud with the Undertaker over the urn. Despite not losing on television, Kama would often lose to the Undertaker on the house show market.
Spark Plug was not getting much momentum at the end of 1994 as he was regularly losing to various mid card heels. However, Holly teamed with the 1-2-3 Kid to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble. Their reign lasted all of twenty four hours when they lost the titles to the Smoking Gunns. In April, Holly won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Jeff Jarrett, but the title was held up and Jarrett regained the belt. Holly pinned Chris Benoit in what was Benoit’s tryout match.
Previously known as Quebecer Pierre, Jean Pierre Lafitte made his debut as an evil pirate would get victories over the likes of Virgil, Duke Droese and Doink the Clown during the grading period. His only memorable feud was with Bret Hart due to stealing Hart’s ring jacket and his sunglasses, though no match between the two had happened as of press time.
He was known as the Guardian Angel who wasn’t quite able to get into the WCW World Championship scene. Angel ended up turning on Sting by the winter and would team with Avalanche in a feud against Sting and Randy Savage. Bubba found some success in his feud against Sting, winning a singles match at Uncensored, but wasn’t able to continue the momentum into anything that was noteworthy.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his debut in April and was primarily working with undercard wrestlers such as Doink and Bob Holly. Hunter hadn’t suffered a loss as of press time. He had worked as Jean Paul Levesque in WCW for a portion of the grading period, but wasn’t heavily push aside from a loss to Alex Wright at Starrcade.

Unabomb
Unabomb

87.) Psicosis
92.) Meng
100.) Brian Lee
101.) Unabomb
113.) Jim Duggan
A breakout year for Psicosis as he won the Mexican welterweight championship from El Hijo del Santo. The victory is seen as the moment that made Psicosis a superstar in Mexico.
Meng hadn’t made his in-ring debut until March of 1995 where he defeated Jim Duggan at Uncensored. Meng received a good push and made it to the finals of the WCW United States Championship tournament, which he lost to Sting at the Great American Bash and a rematch at Bash at the Beach. The brief run showed that Meng still had something to offer in the ring after leaving the WWF a few years prior.
Lee lost the tag titles with Chris Candido to the Rock N’ Roll Express just a few days into the grading period. Lee played the fake Undertaker role at SummerSlam, where he lost to the real Undertaker but returned to SMW. After being fired by Tammy Fytch, Lee would feud with Chris Candido and they would trade victories although there was not a conclusive end to their issues.
Unabomb teamed with Al Snow to win the SMW Tag Team Championships from the Rock N’ Roll Express in April of 1995. They’d hold the belts until July when they lost the titles to Tracy Smothers and Dirty White Boy. Would debut in the WWF by the summer as Dr. Isaac Yankeem to help Jerry Lawler in his feud with Bret Hart.
Hacksaw didn’t waste any time in winning a championship in WCW when he pinned Steve Austin at Fall Brawl to win the WCW United States Championship. Duggan remained champion until he was destroyed by Big Van Vader at Starrcade. Duggan feuded with the Stud Stable mainly Bunkhouse Buck and Meng. Lost to Kamala at the Bash at the Beach pay per view in July.
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114.) Raven
120.) La Parka
122.) Crash the Terminator
126.) New Jack
237.) Kevin Sullivan
Raven made his debut in January and targeted Tommy Dreamer as his first rival. Throughout the eight months of the grading period, Raven dominated his feud with Dreamer, though Dreamer did get a pin fall victory over Raven on April 14th, which is seemingly forgotten about. Along with Stevie Richards, won the ECW World Tag Team Championships on June 30th by defeating the Public Enemy.
Parka was previously a heel but was turned into a baby face during his feud with Jerry Estrada, whom he lost the Mexican lightweight championship to.
Crash the Terminator was the PCW Heavyweight Champion and was feuding with Johnny Gunn. Apparently, Crash had a WWF tryout but did not sign with them.
New Jack first arrived in Smoky Mountain Wrestling where he and Mustafa made Jim Cornette and the Rock N’ Roll Express lives a living nightmare. By the fall of ’94, the Gangstas were the SMW Tag Team Champions. He was champion for about two months before losing them back to the Express in December. By the summer of ’95 Jack made his debut in ECW and was involved in a violent feud with Public Enemy.
Sullivan’s main focus was to eliminate Hulk Hogan but failed to do so throughout the year. Kevin was successful in defeating his brother Dave Sullivan in one of the least interesting feuds that WCW had to offer. Sullivan became the leader of the Dungeon of Doom, the infamous group that had many people from Hogan’s past to eliminate him from wrestling forever.
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245.) The Renegade
295.) Moadib
306.) Luna Vachon
423.) The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior ripoff, the Renegade, made his debut in March of 1995 aligning himself with Hogan and Savage. Won the WCW Television Championship at the Great American Bash by defeating Arn Anderson in June and was still champion as of press time. Successfully defended the championship against Paul Orndorff at Bash at the Beach in July.
Moadib, who would be better known as Ahmed Johnson by the end of 1995, was making a name for himself in the Texas independents as a rule breaker.
Luna Vachon was busy working in ECW mainly teaming with Tommy Dreamer to take on male tag teams and was doing pretty well in defending herself in the land of Extreme.
Apparently, the real Ultimate Warrior only had one match as he returned to in-ring action to defeat rival the Honkytonk Man.
What are your thoughts on the PWI 500 for 1995? Would you have ranked anyone higher or lower?

Leave your thoughts below!

For more wrestling reviews and columns, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS.

Thanks for reading.

Lex & Sting 1995 BFFs

Scott,

I'm powering through Nitros in 1995 and am still amazed by the oddball Lex and Sting angle. They are best friends but Lex goes with the Dungeon of Doom and is kind of a pseudo face/heel still? It's so bizarre. Has there ever been an angle like that where someone is a heel but has a best friend face and they kinda walk that line for months and months?

Also, the main event of Nitro before Starrade 1995 was a Ric Flair vs Macho Man match for the belt! What a throw-away. Was the NJPW Starrcade a success or a dud? Guessing a dud since it hasn't really happened since.

Also Hulk is unbearable as the loose cannon with a chair while Macho Man is champ, always needing the last word or anything on every show. Awful.

The Luger-Sting dynamic was totally unique and I still don't know why someone hasn't tried to steal it since.  And you knew they were best friends in real life, so it made the angle all the cooler to see it playing out on TV.  Unfortunately they had negative chemistry together in the the ring, so the blowoff would have sucked.  

Speaking of sucking, Starrcade was a sellout in the building, but a massive, MASSIVE flop on PPV, only eclipsed in shittiness by the WWF's putrid IYH5 show.  It did 75K buys when they were running about 200K per show typically. 

And don't even get me started on Hogan.  

WWF 1995 Question


Hi Scott,

     I've been reading Titan Sinking and I was wondering who you think
would've been a better choice to program with Diesel during his title
reign compared to who Vince went with? Looking at the roster at the
time it's hard to see who could've been the strong heel he needed. Any
ideas? Thanks.

Mark

Heel turned Razor Ramon!  Shawn Michaels if they hadn't panicked and turned him babyface in April!  They could have milked the Shawn feud for MONTHS.  

Another 1995 question

Hey Scott, you've mentioned before how much Diesel was tanking business and as soon as they put the belt on Bret, business picked up again and I want to know why that was. You've also mentioned before that once Bret won the title he was booked as a lameduck champion, but reading your 1995 Raw reviews, Bret was also being booked as a lameduck challenger too as the guy was still feuding and having problems with Jerry Lawler, a guy anybody can beat. Hell even Aldo Montoya pinned the King once. So yeah, my question is since the booking didn't improve, and since Bret's credibility seemed to be pretty low at this point, why did business pick up?

​Because people liked and cared about Bret Hart, and not about Diesel.  ​

The SmarK Rant for WCW Starrcade 1995

The SmarK Rant for WCW Starrcade 1995 Well, we’ve apparently run out of RAW shows to review again, so we might as well just say fuck it and go back to WCW for a while. I was going to repost this one from years ago, but have you READ IT? UGH. So here’s a fresh version. Although I was drifting back to WCW at this point, I wasn’t dropping the $30 on this show. That’s, like, 20 weeks worth of instant noodles and hot dogs. Live from Nashville, TN Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan & Dusty Rhodes Chris Benoit v. Jushin Liger So this WCW v. New Japan as a concept, which might have been one of the worst-promoted PPV concepts ever, as none of the Japanese guys got any screen time leading up to the show and they barely even announced the lineup out of the triangle main event. Also, why didn’t they bring in Muta for this? He was always good to pop the crowd and probably could have had a cool match with Johnny B. Badd or something. Tony notes that Liger and Benoit know each quite well, which is a massive understatement. Benoit takes him down a couple of times to start, but Liger sends him running with armdrags and follows with a baseball slide and somersault off the apron. Back in, Liger hits him with a koppo kick, but walks into a backbreaker that gets two. Liger reverses out of a powerbomb and dropkicks Benoit out again, but can’t get his dive this time. Benoit with a snap suplex and a backdrop suplex to take over, and he follows with a Liontamer. Dusty goes on an epic soliloquy about whether the current Horsemen are better than the 80s Horsemen and even Tony gives up trying to translate Dusty into English after that. Benoit with a german suplex for two, but Liger takes him down for a bow and arrow and Dusty is INTO IT. It’s an unclin’ situation, Tony! Liger with a rear chinlock but Benoit escapes with an electric chair and they fight over a tombstone. Liger gets that one and goes up, but Benoit brings him down with a superplex for two. Diving headbutt misses and Liger hits him with the rolling kick in the corner and follows with a Ligerbomb for two. Brainbuster gets two. Liger gets cocky and Benoit comes back with the rolling germans, but only two. Powerbomb and he goes up with the diving headbutt, but Kevin Sullivan comes out to cause trouble, leading to Liger getting a sloppy rana for the pin at 10:30. Japan 1, WCW 0. So this was quite the opener. ****1/4 Would have been higher with a better finish, but as it was, the suplex-crazy offense was tremendous stuff. Koji Kanemoto v. Alex Wright Koji is an awesome dick heel so this should be an easy transition for him. Koji goes to work on the knee, but Wright gets an enzuigiri and they trade wristlocks. Wright with a headscissor takedown and they fight to the floor, where Wright hits him with a dive. Back in, Wright goes to the chinlock, but Koji throws chops in the corner and then LEVELS him with a spinkick. Wrights gets hung in the corner and Koji dropkicks him there, putting Wright on the floor. Kanemoto follows with a dive, but Wright fights back on the floor like a MAN. Back in, Koji wraps him up in a tiger suplex for two and follows with a moonsault, but he doesn’t want the pin. Wright comes back with a german suplex for two and fights back with a leg lariat and goes up with a slingshot splash for two, but a missile dropkick goes badly for him and both guys are out. Wright with a crossbody for two, but Koji escapes the german suplex and kicks him down into a moonsault for two. Back up and this time Wright blocks the missile dropkick, then pops up and hits his own. They fight to the top and Wright gets a superplex for two, but Koji drops him with Snake Eyes and rolls him up for the pin at 11:44. Another great match! Wright was the plucky kid way out of his league who decided to man up and keep fighting, but just couldn’t finish. Koji was on another level as a worker at this point, doing all these vicious kicks perfectly. Japan 2, WCW 0. **** Lex Luger v. Masa Chono I don’t sense this will be very good. Luger overpowers Chono, but gets put down with forearms and a big boot. Chono chokes him out in the corner and goes to a chinlock, then puts Luger down with a Scorpion deathdrop and into the STF. Luger makes the ropes and they slug it out, but Chono puts him down with a Yazuka kick. Chono goes up and lands on Luger’s elbow, and the Torture Rack finishes at 6:40. Japan 2, WCW 1. *1/2 Total style clash here. Johnny B. Badd v. Masa Saito Saito is looking particularly old and grizzled at this point. So someone had the brilliant idea of giving Kimberly promo time before the match and talking is not her strong suit. To say the least. It’s like the world’s worst “yo mama” battle or something, which probably explains why she almost never talked again. Saito takes Badd down and goes to a chinlock, and then they slug it out with chops because Saito is 53 (!!) and obviously isn’t taking any bumps here. Saito with a side suplex for two and a clothesline gets two. Sonny Onoo gets some choking in and Saito gets a Russian legsweep for two, but Badd comes back with a double axehandle and a sunset flip for two. Saito no-sells the knockout punches and Badd stands around waiting for Onoo to hit his cue, and Saito throws Badd over the top for the DQ at 6:00. Why did they drag Saito out of mothballs for this embarrassment? DUD Japan 2, WCW 2. Eddie Guerrero v. Shinjiro Ohtani This would be the “pivotable” match in the tournament, according to Dusty. Ohtani takes him down with an armdrag and immediately acts like a dick, clawing at the face just because. Eddie hits him with a low dropkick, but Ohtani goes to the leg and controls on the mat again. Eddie fights out with a rana to put him on the floor and Ohtani gets some advice from Sonny Onoo. That advice? Fuck if I know, I don’t speak Japanese. Back in, Eddie with a slingshot senton and a Boston crab, but Ohtani makes the ropes. Eddie with a powerbomb for two. Brainbuster gets two. Eddie charges and Ohtani slickly ducks out of the way, then dumps Eddie and follows with a springboard dive to the floor. Back in, dropkick and Ohtani chokes him down on the mat and follows with a sleeper, but Eddie escapes with a backdrop suplex for two. Ohtani snaps off a german suplex for two and it’s pretty badass. Springboard leg lariat and Ohtani goes up, but Eddie follows him up with a rana for two. Eddie with Splash Mountain for two. Ohtani suddenly wraps him up with a heel hook, but Eddie makes the ropes. They fight to the floor and Eddie follows with some insane hangtime on a springboard dive. Ohtani manages to suplex him back in and follows with a springboard dropkick. That’s usually his setup, but Eddie escapes the suplex and they trade sunset flip reversals until Ohtani ends up on top for the pin at 13:30. They were letting it all hang out here. **** Japan 3, WCW 2. Randy Savage v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (spelled “Tensan” here) Tenzan, who today is 44 and totally broken down, is still kicking around New Japan as a kind-of top guy still. He had not yet met hetero life partner Satoshi Kojima yet, sadly. They fight for the lockup and Tenzan chops him down and pounds away for two. Tenzan chokes him down in the corner and it’s punch punch punch as Savage has little interest in doing anything but selling tonight. More punching and Savage bails to the floor, but Tenzan beats on him out there as well. Back in, Tenzan with the flying headbutt for two, but Savage comes back, drops him on the top, and finishes with the miracle elbow at 6:50. This was pretty embarrassing even by Savage’s low standards at this point. Japan 3, WCW 3. ¼* World Cup Final: Sting v. Kensuke Sasaki Just to troll the Sting truthers a bit more, Sasaki was voted into the WON Hall of Fame last year, and Sting still isn’t in. Sting, it should be noted, has his face painted like a Reese’s Pieces. Could this signify a secret alliance with ET? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT! Sasaki attacks and chokes him out, but Sting fights back with a dropkick and clotheslines him to the floor. Back in, Sasaki gets a powerslam and Northern Lights Bomb and grabs an armbar on Sting. Armdrag into a slam gets two. Sasaki gets his own Scorpion deathlock, but Sting makes the ropes and comes back with an enzuigiri before finishing with his own Scorpion at 6:51 to win the World Cup. That’s it, put him in the Hall of Fame right now! This was OK. ** Oddly, Sasaki dropped the US title to One Man Gang in a dark match at the end of the night while working as a babyface, in a match where Gang got the win and then the match was restarted and Sasaki got the win. But apparently they only used the Gang portion. Because WCW. Triangle match: Ric Flair v. Sting v. Lex Luger Winner gets Randy Savage for the title immediately after. We actually have an hour left in the show so there’s some time to burn here. This is slightly different than current three-way rules, as one guy has to be on the apron and tag in. Sting starts with Flair and gets the press slam and clothesline for two, but Flair immediately bails. Back in, he works on the hammerlock and slugs away on Sting, but Sting no-sells and starts beating on him again. Bulldog sends Flair out of the ring again and this time Sting follows and keeps up the beating. Back in, he misses a dropkick and Flair takes over. Dusty goes on a crazy old man rant about playing possum while Flair trolls Luger and tosses Sting for some abuse on the floor. Back in, kneedrop gets two. Suplex, but Sting pops up again and we get another press slam to set up a superplex for two. Neat moment as Luger comes in to save and the crowd goes “ooooooo” but the buddies smooth things over. Luger finally tags in against Flair, but quickly gets hit with a cheapshot and no-sells that. Poor Flair gets pressed again and we get a Flair Flop for two. Flair goes to the knee, however, and goes to work on that. Flair goes low (“He must have lost his balance…” notes Heenan) and gets the figure-four, but Luger uses the power of his pecs to reverse the move. Suplex gets two. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, and Luger no-sells his chops and decides to tag out to Sting. So we get the long-awaited Sting v. Luger showdown. They fight over a lockup and exchange shots in the corner, as Luger suddenly goes heel again and begs off. Lex pounds him in the corner and gets a clothesline, but Sting comes back with a bodypress for two. Man, this segment is just DYING. Pretty shocking lack of heat for something that was supposed to be the top program. Sting misses a pump splash and Luger drops an elbow for two. Sting slugs back and gets the Scorpion, but Luger goes low about as blatantly as possible. Sting gets a small package for two and a sunset flip for two, and makes the comeback with a bulldog and Stinger splash. A second one misses and Luger gets the Rack, but the ref is bumped and Flair sneaks in with a chop block to break it up. Both Sting and Luger land on the floor, and the ref revives and counts them out at 28:00. What a shit finish that was. Sting-Flair was entertaining, Luger-Flair was entertaining, and Sting-Luger was shit and killed the crowd. Man, what a terrible finish, though. **1/2 WCW World title: Randy Savage v. Ric Flair Savage beats on Flair to start as Paul Orndorff joins us at ringside in a neck brace for an angle that ended up going nowhere. Flair with an atomic drop on Savage, but he can’t get the figure-four, and Savage dumps him and follows with the double axehandle. Flair nails him on the way down, however, and takes over in the ring by working on the giant bandaged arm. You’d think people would take that low-hanging fruit more often in 1995. Savage fights back, but walks into a sleeper before slugging Flair down for two. Clothesline gets two. Savage goes up and gets caught coming down again, and Jimmy Hart’s megaphone gets involved, resulting in Savage nailing Flair with it and tapping a gusher. Big elbow, but the ref is still with Jimmy Hart, and the Horsemen run in behind the idiot ref’s back, leaving Arn to nail Savage with brass knuckles six inches from the ref’s head, and Flair wins the title again at 8:40. *1/2 This would kick off the era of women’s shoes as deadly weapons, but we’ll get to that later on Nitro. The Pulse Although the main event didn’t deliver, the World Cup gave us an astonishing 3 **** matches, so you can’t complain very loudly about that. I still think World War III was an overall better show from an entertainment standpoint, but this was a better wrestling show. Recommended.

Survivor Series 1995

Scott

Random question on the wild card match of Survivor Series in 1995…

What was the deal with that match? Was there a shortage of faces? Not the first or last time that foes had to co-exist but just seems a weird mix?

Were there plans after this match that didn't happen? As far as I know the heels in this match stayed heels and the same goes for the faces…

Thanks as always! 
​It was just a thing they were doing to try something different, based off similar deals in lucha libre.  Nothing more to it than that.  ​

Starrcade 1995



What was the mindset with the World Cup of Wrestling card at Starrcade 1995? Only two matches with storyline implications. Everything just feels so random. Just seems so odd, especially at the dawn of the Monday Night Wars.


Thanks

​Well the deal was negotiated with New Japan months before, even before Nitro launched, and it was basically a money thing as far as I know.  That's also why Sasaki ended up with the US title.  I will also be redoing Starrcade 95 now that I'm back from my conference before getting back into Nitro again.  ​

Repost: The SmarK Rant for WCW World War III 1995

The SK Retro Rant for WCW World War III 1995 (This was originally done around 2001.)  – For those of you who follow my little personal asides in these rants, you’ll know that this was actually the show that ended my WCW boycott in 1995. I had actually stopped watching WCW entirely once the Orange Goblin won the WCW World title and killed Ric Flair’s career dead in the process, and after almost 18 months of waiting, Hogan finally lost it and WCW, probably not coincidentally, put together a card that looked good enough on paper for me to part with my $29.95 and come back into the fold. – Live from Norfolk, VA – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan. – Okay, so the Hogan Retardation Factor kicks in right away, as Hogan, Savage and Sting come out with a garbage pail and Hogan’s “dark side” black costume (not to confused with his nWo black costume, which would come later), and burn the costume. Hogan was only fooling, you see, and was playing mindgames to lull Kevin Sullivan into a sense of security. (Now there’s a Vince Russo motif if we’ve ever heard one.)  Then we pump up the surrealness as Hogan declares that Savage’s crippling arm injury was just another plan on their part, and THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. Keep this in mind later, and also note that Savage has a HUGE bandage wrapped around his arm while giving this speech. Finally, Hogan finishes with a flurry by burning a copy of the Observer and calling it a “rag sheet”, noting that it said Giant would win the title tonight and Savage was injured, and that it’s the internet that really has the scoop on things. (In fact, Meltzer never wrote anything about the Giant winning in the issue he was burning, as Dave’s guess was either Sting or Savage.  Maybe Hogan got it from PWInsider and just assumed Meltzer wrote it? )  No, honestly, this interview really happened, just like that. You know, I almost miss the days of Hogan being on top, just for the yuks involved in listening to him distort the truth for his own means.  (Yeah, well, more of that was coming.)  – Opening match, TV title: Johnny B. Badd v. Diamond Dallas Page. DDP put Kimberly on the line here in exchange for the title match, as they were having domestic problems in the storyline. Badd and DDP do a shoving match and hairpulling bit to start, and roll out onto the floor. Back in, Badd crossbody is reversed by DDP for two. Badd gets a samoan drop for two, and he works a headlock. Page rolls him over for a few two-counts. They fight over a wristlock and DDP cheats to win. He works the arm, but Badd pulls the hair to break. DDP charges and misses, ending up on the floor. Badd fakes a highspot and then follows with a pescado. Page then tosses Kim at Badd to gain the advantage in an innovative spot. I’m surprised Savage didn’t do that one more. Back in, DDP gets a backdrop suplex out of the corner and stomps away. He gets a tombstone and showboats, but Kimberly no-sells and won’t give him a 10. Kimberly’s job was to stand around and hold up scores for DDP at this point, in case you don’t know. Badd catches his foot, but DDP clotheslines him for two. DDP keeps jawing with Kim, leading to him missing a blind charge. Badd then sidesteps a kick, which is a cute spot that looked better than it sounds. Badd makes a comeback, getting an inverted atomic drop and lariat. Kim gives Johnny a “10+”, which I’m sure isn’t Olympic standard. Ligerbomb gets two for Badd. Blind charge misses and DDP uses the ropes for two. He gets a sideslam for two, but Badd rolls him over for two. Flying headscissors and Badd goes up, but DDP lifts the knees to block the splash. DDP works on the ribs with a gutbuster for two, although the move actually looked like a blown rotation bomb. Tombstone is reversed, for two. KO punch puts DDP on the floor, and Badd follows with a somersault plancha, then tosses Page back in and finishes with a slingshot legdrop for the pin at 12:33, giving him the services of Kimberly, which he retained until his firing in 1996. DDP absolutely worked his ass off from 95-98 or so in an effort to get himself over, and the sequence of near-falls to end this thing were great. ***1/2 – Big Bubba Rogers v. Hacksaw Duggan. This is taped-fist match under knockout rules. Tony and Bobby spend the first part of the match relaying, in a completely serious tone of voice, a story about how Jim Duggan’s grandmother was a taped-fist champion in Ireland. I can’t parody stuff like that, kids. Duggan attacks outside to start, and into the ring where he threatens to use the 2×4, only to get cheapshotted. Duggan clotheslines him out, however, and they retreat to Ring #2 for some reason. Duggan jams his head in between two of the ringposts in an innovative spot, then comes off the apron and gets sent to the STEEL railing. Stallamania X7 results. Back in, Bubba does some choking. Slugfest leads to Bubba’s enzuigiri. Bubba adds some more tape to his fists, but Duggan punches him to the floor. Bubba, however, actually takes the advice Bobby Heenan has been giving all match and tapes Duggan to the top rope, allowing him a bunch of free shots. In one of the most retarded spots I’ve ever seen, Bubba charges at him, but Duggan HOLDS OUT HIS FIST and Bubba runs into it, and gets knocked down.  (“Yeah, well, I’m gonna hold out my fist like this, and if you run into it, then it’s your own fault!”)  It’s hard to truly comprehend this unless you keep in mind how slow Bubba runs and that Duggan wasn’t looking while holding out his fist. Bubba charges again and gets backdropped out, slamming his back into the apron in the process. Good one, Ray. Back in, Duggan hits the three-point stance clothesline, but VK Wallstreet sneaks in and gives Bubba a chain, which he uses to knock Duggan out for the win at 10:08. About what you’d expect from Duggan v. Bubba. ½* – Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki v. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto. I have no idea why they decided to toss this on here, but god bless ‘em for it. Sonny Onoo is managing the heels, just so we know that they’re evil. Heels attack to start, and they clobber Ozaki. Bull tosses Ozaki around the ring, and Hokuto teases allowing a tag. Bull does some biting and brutally drags Ozaki around the ring by the hair like a caveman. Ozaki comes back but Bull no-sells. Hokuto chokes her out, but gets DDT’d to allow a tag to Suzuki. Dropkick gets two as the faces apply stereo half-crabs. They work on Akira’s leg. Bull comes in and quickly powerbombs Suzuki. Moonsault misses and the faces take turns with double stomps off the top, which the crowd pops huge for. Double-suplex attempt on Bull is reversed, as Nakano suplexes both at once. Hokuto comes off the top but misses the splash. The faces try to double-superplex her, but Nakano pulls them down off the top. Nakano & Hokuto go for stereo powerbombs, but they get reversed to stereo ranas for a pair of two counts. Suzuki gets a flying bodypress on Hokuto for two. Hokuto hits a nasty half-nelson suplex for two, but Ozaki comes back and drops her square on her head with a german suplex. Good lord. Bull tags in and kills Ozaki in retaliation. Hokuto comes off the top with a missile dropkick on both girls at once and they bail. Hokuto follows them out with a somersault tope off the top rope, and back inside the heels hit a Doomsday Device that gets two. Bull goes up and finishes Ozaki with a guillotine legdrop at 9:18. Slow start with a REAL good finish. ***1/4 (I think that’s low, actually.  I remember it being more like ****.)  They never really got another shot on PPV again, however. – US title match: Kensuke Sasaki v. Chris Benoit. I’ve never been a big Sasaki fan, and his position in Japan at the time as Hawk’s partner didn’t help things. And check the mullet on Benoit here. Attaboy. Benoit starts with some Canadian Violence right away, but Sasaki gets his own chops. He tries the armbar, but Benoit takes him down and works a hammerlock. Sasaki backdrops out and grabs a wristlock. Two bodyslams get a two count. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, leading to a leapfrog sequence and Sasaki press slam. Benoit manages to get him out of the ring and follows with a suicide dive. Back in, snap suplex gets two. Sasaki gets a powerslam for two. Benoit tries to debut the rolling germans, but Sasaki clotheslines him after the second one. (He actually debuted them on that episode of Nitro I just reviewed where they had their first match, so that’s actually a nice touch to show how Sasaki was learning.)  Tombstone is reversed and Benoit hits the diving headbutt for two. More Canadian Violence and a top rope rana gets two. Sasaki stops a slugfest with something resembling a chokeslam and goes for an armbar. Benoit clotheslines him, but Sasaki no-sells, hits a Northern Lights Bomb, and gets the pin to retain at 10:02. Nothing special at all. *1/2 (That sounds way low, too.)  – Randy Savage v. Lex Luger. Now remember, at the beginning of the show Hogan said that Savage did not have an arm injury, and he’s at 100%. Heenan immediately takes umbrage to that claim by pointing out the gigantic bandage on Savage’s arm, and Tony actually tries to argue that Savage is okay. Savage attacks to start and chokes Luger down. Blind charge hits boot, but Savage clotheslines Luger anyway. Into a Boston Crab, but Lex makes the ropes. They brawl on the floor and back in for the ELBOWDROP OF DOOM, but the ref is distracted with Jimmy Hart. Savage tosses Luger and they brawl some more. Luger catches Savage with a torture rack for some bizarre reason, and back in for an armbar, to Savage’s heavily bandaged arm, which gets a very quick submission at 5:25. Yeah, that’s arm’s just fine. In fact, Savage DID have a torn tricep muscle, so ignore the funny looking orange person with the male pattern baldness. DUD – Sting v. Ric Flair. This is the blowoff from Halloween Havoc and the Horsemen reformation. Slugfest to start, and Flair bails to Ring #2 and struts. Sting follows and continues the beating. Press slam, but Flair goes to the eyes. He chops away and does some stylin’ and/or profilin’. Sting clotheslines him to end that. Hiptoss and dropkick and Flair bails to Ring #3, thus making it a running gag. Sting follows and no-sells some chops. Slugfest won by Sting, and Flair bails again. He takes a walk, and back in Sting keeps no-selling. Press-slam and Flair bails AGAIN, back to Ring #1. Sting charges and splashes the railing by mistake. Back in, Flair goes low in dramatic fashion to gain the advantage. Kneedrop leads to more stalling. He goes after the leg and tosses Sting, and they head over to Ring #3 just to pound the joke into the ground. Figure-four, but Sting powers out and reverses. Backslide gets two. Flair bails to Ring #1 and Sting presses and clotheslines him. Flair cheats and goes upstairs, but gets slammed off as usual. Flair Flip and back in for the Sting comeback. Superplex and Scorpion Deathlock finish at 14:29. This was good in comparison to lots of other matches at the time, but not in comparison to the other, more awesome, matches these two have had. In fact, it was more like a Cliff’s Notes version of Sting v. Flair with some comedy tossed in. Still, Sting v. Flair is never too shabby. *** (Again, that’s low.  It was **** all day.)  WCW World title match, World War III: Okay, take a deep breath, because here’s the 60 guys in the match: Arn Anderson, Alex Wright, Brian Knobbs, Ricky Santana, David Taylor, Scott Armstrong, Sting, Joey Maggs, Pez Whatley, Disco Inferno, Meng, Stevie Ray, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee Parker, James Earl Wright, Lex Luger, Eddy Guerrero, Cobra, The Giant, Paul Orndorff, Khris Kanyon, Bobby Walker, Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, Randy Savage, Marcus Bagwell, The Yeti, Kurosawa, Hugh Morrus, Zodiac Man, VK Wallstreet, DDP, Scott Norton, Brian Pillman, Craig Pittman, One Man Gang, Super Assassin #1, Mr. JL, Bunkhouse Buck, Kensuke Sasaki, Mike Winner, Hawk, Shark, Steve Armstrong, David Sullivan, Scotty Riggs, Johnny B. Badd, Black Bart, Steven Regal, Dick Slater, Maxx Muscle, Super Assassin #2, Fidel Sierra, Kevin Sullivan, Jerry Saggs, Jim Duggan, Booker T, Big Bubba, Ric Flair and The Orange Goblin. – Okay, so 20 men per ring, and after 10 guys are out in each the rings will merge into one. Until then, they split the screen into three small squares with each ring covered by one of them. The end result is that it’s absolutely impossible to tell what the hell is going on at any one point, a problem compounded by WCW’s usual shitty camera work, and I’m pretty much dependant on the announcers to follow who gets eliminated, and even then that’s a problem given the announce team. Believe me, this match brings new meaning to the term “Three ring circus”. I’m not even gonna bother doing play-by-play because I have no idea what’s going on, but the order of elimination of jobbers goes Yeti, Mike Winner, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee, James Earl, Cobra, Bagwell, Kanyon, Black Bart, Maxx Muscle, Fidel Sierra, Steve Armstrong, Dave Sullivan, Mr. JL, Knobbs, Santana, Alex Wright, Pez Whatley, Scotty Riggs, Bobby Eaton, Dick Slater, VK Wallstreet and Scott Norton and apparently 23 guys is good enough for WCW because they merge the rings into one. Unless I missed 7 guys getting eliminated, which is very much possible given the amateur quality of this match. – Okay, so we’re down to one regular battle royale with all the jobbers out, thus making me wonder what the point of having them all in there in the first place was. Well, that’s WCW for you. One Man Gang and Regal fight on the floor as Joey Maggs gets to go first. Bubba goes out by Duggan’s hand, but hangs on and takes Duggan with him. Disco gets tossed. Luger hangs out on the floor and takes cheapshots now and then. Dave Taylor gets tossed by Hogan. Hogan then puts both Booker and Saggs out, as well as Kevin Sullivan. Savage & Luger head off to another ring for a private fight as Regal gets tossed out. DDP & Badd eliminate each other as Giant goes on a rampage, tossing Pittman and Benoit. Meng gets rid of Kurosawa, but Giant gets rid of him. Giant tosses some people around as Hogan and Orndorff renew their battle. Morrus and Pillman get rid of Zodiac, but Sasaki dumps Morrus. Hawk then dumps Pillman, who hangs onto Sasaki as Hawk tries to keep him in. Hogan of course sneaks up and dumps everyone. What a guy that Hogan is, always thinking of others first. Sting splashes Eddy as Hogan reverses an Orndorff piledriver and, you guessed it, eliminates him. 9 guys left. Eddy goes up with a missile dropkick on Anderson, but the Horsemen come back and work him over. Eddy gets dumped, missed by the camera. Sting splashes the Horsemen in sequence as Giant chokeslams Savage. Sting slingshots AA into Flair, putting both Horsemen out. 6 guys left. Sting & Luger double-team Giant, but Hogan…wait for it…dumps all three guys out. Giant, the scoundrel, pulls Hogan out under the bottom rope while the camera totally misses Savage tossing Gang. However, the refs were looking at Savage taking Gang out, and they assume Hogan went over the top, thus giving Savage the World title at 29:42. I don’t rate battle royales. Hogan, sportsman of the year, throws a huge temper tantrum and won’t endorse Savage, and the arena just completely turns on him ala Royal Rumble 92. Hulk Hogan, hero to millions. The Bottom Line: Aside from the god-awful main event abortion of a battle royale (which they considered such a good idea that they ran it for THREE MORE YEARS), this is a pretty decent show that started a good run for WCW. Of course, all the good workers that caused it got buried during the nWo era, but that’s WCW for ya. Recommended show. (It’s a HELL of a show, probably the best of 1995 up and down the card.) 

WCW 1995

What do you think of the other things that happened later in 1995?  As stupid as the dungeon of doom stuff was with Hogan “entering it” and all, I always thought the stuff from the fall really took the prize.  For example:  ·        The Yeti ·        Not being able to verify the WW3 winner because the tape cut out? (this may be the dumbest thing they pulled) ·        The monster truck fight from the roof   I don’t think these things get their due in the history books as some of the other bad ideas (shockmaster, underfaker, Cheatum, etc) that are often talked about.  I have to admit though, sometimes it’s fun to rewatch the stuff that’s really bad from wrestling –  especially since they were trying to get all this stuff over for real. 

Well, all those things were stupid, but WCW was at least making money (or not losing horrendous amounts for once) so they get a bit of leeway, I think.  And come on, who doesn't love a good monster truck fight to the death?  

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1995 WWF as told by Kevin Nash, Disc Two

This disc runs at one hour and thirty-two minutes long

JUNE




Skip (Chris Candido) makes his debut, defeating Scott Taylor during an episode of “Superstars.” Sean asks Nash about him, who said he never spent much time with him but that he took one hell of a powerbomb. Nash said that Waltman put him over for his work. Sean reminds Nash that Waltman told the story on his “YouShoot” DVD of Sunny wearing a mohair sweater with Shawn coming out of her room with it all over his face as Nash says that was his story to tell. Sean then asks if Chris knew about Sunny and Shawn as Nash said he heard many stories about Sunny. Sean asks if Sunny ever came on to him and he said no. When Sean asked why, Nash said because he wasn’t a prick, implying that was the type of guy Sunny was into.

Nash introduces Antonio Rocca into the “WWE Hall of Fame.” He was chosen because he was the champ. sean asks about the early days of the HOF as Nash said that Andre was the only guy in it for a few years, joking that it was the “Wall of Fame” as all it contained was a plaque of Andre on the wall inside of Titan Towers. They talk about the HOF today as Nash said he wouldn’t want to go up and make a speech. Sean asks him how he and the ohter wrestlers feel about the legitimacy of the HOF, as Nash said that he cant believe how guys like Rick Rude are not in but Koko B. Ware is then says that he would decline the opportunity if he got the call until guys like Rude get nominated.

Mabel defeats Savio Vega to win the “King of the Ring” Tournament. Nash joked that Mabel won as Vince wanted to go back to guys with good bodies. Nash then compares the rapping from Men on a Mission to guys using blackface. Nash liked the group but couldn’t believe that the best rapper the WWE could find then was Oscar.

JULY




On July 8th, Vince McMahon announced that President Jack Tunney had stepped down and was replaced by Gorilla Monsoon. In reality, the WWE was shutting down their offices in Toronto in a cost-cutting move. Nash calls Tunney a “fucking crook” and said that his friend, Billy Red Lyons, would always have a new Cadillac whenever they went to Toronto. Nash said the payoffs were shit and that after the conversion rate, it seemed like you owed the company money. Nash did put over the atmosphere in the Maple Leaf Garden. On the subject of Gorilla, Nash said he was a great guy and would no-sell everything bad that happened to him while maintaining an upbeat attitude.

Nash tells a story of when he was told that he was dropping the belt to Shawn. Vince took him to the sound studio, with Jim Ross off on the side looking through the glass to see if Nash would go off. Anyway, Vince spends 35 minutes pitching an idea to Nash about fighting Mike Tyson in Central Park for charity, then at the end, casually dropped that the was going to drop the belt. Nash said that he couldn’t believe that Vince, who owned the company, made up a bullshit story to soften the blow about him losing the belt. Nash said he wasn’t pissed about the story, stating that Vince has to deal with a lot of bullshit anyway, but felt that he was close enough for Vince to be honest with him and just say that business was down and he wasn’t drawing with the belt.

Next, is when Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie quit the company after Jeff lost the Intercontinental Title to Shawn at the second “In Your House” PPV. Nash said that Jeff got along with everyone and that when the Kliq were split up on the road, Jeff would ride with them. Nash then talks about how as champ, he had to work house shows with Backlund and then King Kong Bundy. He then talks about his last run and how they put him in a ladder match, which was probably the last match anyone would ever want to see him wrestle. Nash then says that it is a business and if you are not a mark, they cannot fuck with you. From this, he brings up the “Fingerpoke of Doom” and how people bitched at him for beating Goldberg, saying he was more over than him, then sarcastically points out how how he put himself over just to hold the belt for twenty-four hours. Nash then asks for someone to try to find a time in which he gloated about ending Goldberg’s streak. Nash then brings up how the crowds were chanting “Goldberg sucks” and they had to pipe in the Goldberg stuff. He then talks about the show in Salisbury, MD and how he told them that this was a WWF town and that they would be cheering for him and Hall, which they did, and Hall went with the crowd.

On July 24th, the Dark Match before RAW, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels teamed up for the first time to face the Blu Brothers. Nash is asked if they friendly here and Nash said no, that they never were. Nash said they had a mutual respect then and that there was a running joke that Shawn said he was better than him. Nash himself admits that Shawn was the best he ever wrestled. Sean then asks Nash what Shawn would tell him about Bret. Nash tells a story of how he was having difficulty with Bret, after the whole powerbomb deal at the “In Your House,” and that he was with Shawn and told him that he was not going to drop the belt to Bret. Shawn, who was pissed, told him he had to drop the belt to him because he was going to get it next. Nash points out it was the only fight that the every had. This was prior to the Kliq meeting with Vince in Indianapolis.

AUGUST




“WrestleMania: The Arcade Game” is released. Nash is the champion but did not make the game. Sean brings up how Doink was in the game then also mentions how Matt Borne said on one of the Kayfabe Commentary releases that Nash should have never been broken into the business. Nash responds in a hilarious manner by how devastated he was hearing that come from someone like Borne then jokes about how Borne got the last laugh by making the arcade game. You have to see this for yourself as Nash was a fucking riot explaining all of this.

During a match in Ohio, Sid defeated Razor Ramon and dropped him on the railing, legitimately injuring Hall to the point that he was coughing up blood. Nash is asked if he ever hurt anyone in the ring and he said one time when referee Jack Doan told him he could bump and he threw him out of the ring. Doan went through the ropes like he was Superman and fell on the floor, injuring his wrist. He then said that he was surprised he didnt hurt Big Show and said when he powerbombed him, he was close to 600 lbs. Nash originally suggested that he hit him with a gimmicked pot of coffee then just pin him. Nash said that he was more hurt than him from the move and also claimed that Big Show told him that Hogan went to him afterwards, stating Nash dropped him on his head on purpose.

Next, is the ladder match between Hall and Michaels at SummerSlam. Nash said that since they were going up against not just WCW but also Disney, the office told him that they were not allowed to use the ladder as a weapon. He said they were up to 4am trying to put the match together. Nash also credits HHH for putting together half of the match. Sean tells Nash that Sid was originally supposed to face Michaels in the ladder match and asked if he new what happened. Nash said he didny but can imagine that when they approached him with that, Michaels probably told them they were crazy for wanting him to carry Sid in a ladder match and requested to face Hall. Nash also says that “Crazy Shawn” developed from this match as he injured himself greatly and went nuts with drugs.

Nash then talks about his SummerSlam match with Mabel. He said that going into the match, his back was hurt and he asked Mabel to take it easy on him but he ended up crashing down on his lower back with a sitdown splash. Nash said that Mabel hurt one of the Samoans prior to the match, which is a feat in itself, and that he ended up straining his abdomen. After the match, he asked him “what the fuck” and claimed that Vince gave him his papers on the spot but Nash told Vince not to fire him and that he just made a mistake. Mabel was constantly injuring people at the time and wasn’t around much longer.

They now talk about Tatanka and how he was suspended after a woman named him in an incident. Nash said it was the “Helter Skelter”incident as there was blood smeared all over the walls in the hallway. He then recalls sitting with Taker one time and a goth girl came by after one of the boys “H-Bombed” her and she was with the cops in the lobby the next morning. When asked about the Tatanka incident, Nash carefully says that he thinks it was Jimmy Del Ray who gimmicked the girl and that Tatanka was with him that night and knows for a fact that he did not do anything.

SEPTEMBER




The “B” house shows are eliminated. Nash said that he didn’t cut his pay but it prevented him from going to Erie, PA three times a year. He calls the building a piece of shit and that you couldn’t draw 3,000 people if you were giving money away.

Nash is now asked about the debut of WCW “Monday Nitro.” Nash points out how they were doing it from a mall and that it was such a WCW move. Nash said that he was watching the show with his boys and that the WWF production truck was playing the show. Nash also brings up how before the nWo, WCW was doing monster truck angles and stuff with King Curtis.

Dean Douglas makes his debut. Nash said that it didn’t matter what Douglas did, as he was DOA, due to the fact that he was an “indy guy.” Nash said that he never had heat with him and that he liked Douglas, Sean also brings up his YouShoot and how Shane said he liked Nash when he was alone. Nash liked Douglas for realizing that there was a world outside of wrestling and calls him smart. Nash then said when Waltman gave him the thumbs down after the match, it was the end.

On September 25th, RAW and Nitro are on live at the same time. Clearance Mason debuted and Nash said he wasn’t a real attorney. When asked about the race angle, Nash said that you have to commit 100% if you want to work and compares to how they approached the situation to being “half pregnant.”

Marty Jannetty returned on the same episode. Nash said that Marty and Shawn were definitely distant and compares it to a guy meeting his ex-wife at a party after several years. Nash also says it was an uncomfortable situation and that he never brought it up with Shawn.

OCTOBER




On October 4th, the WWF began a tour of Europe in England and on this date, the incident in which Man Mountain Rock brought his video camera and recorded what went on backstage and on the bus. Nash confirms that this happened and that you could actually hear him in the background on one clip but that he never rode with them.

On October 8th, the Harris Twins confronted Shawn Michaels. Nash said that Shawn legit needed a bodyguard as he wouldnt back down. Nash said that he likes the Harris Brothers and when he came back, they told him what happened. Nash said while he didnt want anyone beating on his friend, Shawn got over the incident so Nash was okay. When asked if he would retaliate if Shawn asked, Nash said yes. He also said that Shawn did deserve what happened to him at times. Sean asks Nash if this is what got them fired and Nash said that at the time, most of the roster was starving and they were letting guys go at the time. Nash brings up how Chief Jay Strongbow told himto never live above your means and to buy the place you live in, because they cannot take that away from you. He also said why buy a new car when you drive a new rental daily and that you do not need 7,000 square feet if you are only there three days in a row at most.

Bill Watts quit on October 13th. Nash calls him a bully and a “fucking dick.” He recalls one time in WCW, Watts told him to bend over and he hit him in the face, after being pissed about how he did in a match. Nash said he no-sold the punch and after three weeks later, Watts was telling him about making him a face a giving a push. He then tells a story of how he was having a dark match with Yokozuna, which was in of the old blue cage. Nash said the guys putting it up struggled and they do the match. Nash said he told Yoko he was going to charge him and to hit a Samoan drop. Nash then told him to drag him in the corner and try the sitdown splash but he was going to grab his leg then go out the cage. The match lasted twenty seconds. Backstage, Watts was pissed and that Nash referenced something Watts told him in WCW about being higher up on the food chain than he was. Nash was pretty damn funny telling the story about Watts.

Up next is when Shawn gets assaulted by several servicemen outside of Club 37 in New York. Nash said that when he read Meltzer’s column of the story and laughs at him calling Waltman a “legitimate tough guy.” Nash jokes that you shouldnt book Shawn without him. Nash says that he was told that Shawn was absolutely bombed and hitting on a girl that belonged to the Marine. He then said Shawn was half-passed out and heard he got assaulted while he was sitting in the car.

Goldust debuted on October 22nd, defeating Marty Jannetty. Nash is asked if the guys were freaked out by this and Hall said that during his feud with Goldust, it was getting tough explaining the show to his kid with the homosexuality involved in the storyline. Nash then jokes how they had to counter the red-hot Dungeon of Doom feud in WCW that was going on at the time by taking a risk.

Dean Douglas gets awarded the Intercontinental Title, then lost it to Razor Ramon. Nash said that Hall would always tell Vince that he was going to go to Japan and would ask Vince for a little more of the merchandise cut and thinks Vince gave him the belt to appease him.

Nash talks about the dirtsheets and how if you were caught having one, you would get crucified by the locker room. He then said that they had no idea about who guys like Ahmed Johnson were or any international stars. Nash then joked about an idea for an Ahmed vignette that featured Karen Black and would recreate a scene from “Mandingo.”

NOVEMBER 




1-2-3 Kid turns heel on Razor Ramon. Nash said at that point, they wanted to work with the guys they wanted to instead of some of the slugs. Nash said he believes Hall gave notice at this point and back then, you needed to give a 90 day written notice.

Nash talks about Mr. Perfect. Nash said he was the man and that he smartened up Hall and Shawn in the AWA.

Bret defeats Nash at Survivor Series to win the Title. Nash said he wanted to have a good match and could have one with Bret. Nash is asked about the announcer’s table spot. He said that he was speaking with Bret on the phone discussing the match and they were basically finishing each other’s sentences going over the match. They got the idea for the cable-tying spot after Owen ribbed Bret after tying him up with a telephone cord. Nash said he told the camera guys to make sure they caught him turning around and swearing. Nash said he got over from the Rumble and wanted to get back to being an ass-kicker. He then talks about after being portrayed as an ass-kicker at the Rumble, they cut his balls off. Nash then goes over all of the shitty gimmicks he had before becoming Diesel.

The following night on RAW, Diesel interrupted a match and cut an interview stating that he was no longer had to be the “corporate puppet” he was as the champion. He said that he watched the movie “Heat” and that DeNiro is the clear-cut heel and Pacino the face and despite being the heel, everyone in the theater wanted DeNiro to go over and from a psychology major point of view, saw that and knew how that was the fucked up part of our society. He then says that Vince will always see the American-flag waving guy as the face. When asked if he watched ECW, Nash said no and that the anti-corporate guy would get over. Sean brings up how it was a precursor to the Stone Cold character and Nash said that Steve is his friend and that he was able to do better with the character. Nash finishes by stating that he doesn’t need validation for being creative or for being successful in wrestling as he can wake up every morning and sip coffee while looking at the ocean and realize that he is doing pretty good.

On the Novembe 25th house show, Shane Douglas and Scott Hall got into a backstage argument due to the Kliq believing Douglas was faking a back injury for a built-in excuse to lose to Hall. Nash said that was not the correct story. He said that Shane was hurt in Europe and HHH had to work twice. So, Nash said that Yokozuna yelled at Dean on the bus, saying that he should have watched the match with HHH to see what Hall needs in the ring then told Douglas that there are no days off and to get out there. Yoko apparently threw in a lot of f-bombs. Nash said that Yoko was a “BSK” guy and adds that the undertaker was going out there with a mask after his face was nearly caved in and he still wrestled.

DECEMBER




At the In Your House PPV, Bret defeated Davey Boy Smith and bled throughout the match at a time when blading was banned in the company. Nash is asked if Bret was going into business for himself and Nash said that he did the same in a cage match with Owen. Nash said it couldnt have been hardway because after a few minutes of bleeding, it swells up and stops.

Nash talks about how Alundra Blayze showed up on Nitro and tossed the WWF Women’s Title in the trash can. Nash jokes that his wife was glad that Alundra was gone and when pressed about the issue, Nash denied that he was ever close with her.

On the December 18th edition of RAW, two factions of wrestlers were in the locker room. The “BSK,” who would wear the initials on their baseball hats. They consisted of the Undertaker, Yokozuna, Fatu, Duke Droese, and Owen Hart. Another group led by the Smoking Gunns, Davey Boy Smith, and Goldust all wore red handkerchiefs. Nash jokes about the red handkerchiefs being over and references the film “Cruising” and how it San Francisco it meant that they wanted to be pissed on.

The “Village Voice” reported that Vince McMahon offered his former assistant, Emily Fineberg, a six-figure sum to take part in a movie about his life that would have Sylvester Stallone play the part of himself.Nash jokes that he would have James Garner play Vince.

On December 30th, Bret Hart defeated Nash in a ladder match. Nash said he liked gimmick matches, as the smoke-and-mirrors helped him out. He then questions why have a cage match if you can’t juice and how it makes no sense. He then brings up his “Hell in a Cell” match with HHH and how it was set up to fuck him. He says that when you leave you can come back but they will book you first then fuck with you later. He then said after that, he told his wife to get the clippers and wanted to shave his head and come back on his terms.

Final Thoughts: Another great disc. Nash is one of the more engaging storytellers you will ever find on a shoot interview. Even though he went off topic a lot, he still entertained whenever he spoke. As far as painting a picture of the year(s) in question, I thought that Bruno Sammartino’s Timeline from 1963-1969 was better in that aspect but you cannot go wrong at all in picking this up. It is lenghty but the time will fly by. I give this one of my highest recommendations.

Also, please vote on which shoot you would like to see reviewed next week. The votes are all very close so click on the link below and see which recap you would like to read on Thursday:

http://poll.pollcode.com/8491198




Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1995 WWF as told by Kevin Nash, Disc One

Disc 2 will be posted tomorrow. 
The length of the first disc was an hour and forty-five minutes


JANUARY

 

Nash is
asked about Jim Ross being named the Executive Producer of RAW and to help out
with the storylines. Nash brings up that Ross broke into the business as a
referee and that Ross became a fan of his by having him on his radio show when
he was in WCW. Ross realized that Nash was funny, Nash saw him as an ally and
it helped him out. Sean asks Nash if Ross was a creative guy. Nash says that he
doesn’t know but he did know what worked and what did not. He then says that
when he became booker himself, no matter how good of an idea you have, if two
guys botch it completely and do not do their jobs, you lose money and get
labeled as a bad booker.

 

Sean brings
up Bob Backlund. Nash puts over his strength and recalls a story during a match
against him in Sacramento in which Backlund called for Nash to perform a sunset
flip. Nash said that he went along with it as Backlund was the heel. When the
match ended and they went backstage, The Undertaker jokingly told Nash that if
he ever saw him do that move ever again, he would put the boots to him in the
middle of the match. Taker said it looked ridiculous as he was way too tall for
the move. Nash is asked about guys calling the match. He says there are guys
like, Steve Regal, who he calls a great hand, but would want to grapple. Nash
said that watching him work that style is like watching paint dry and that he
needs a guy who can move around him. Nash says that Bret Hart could work both
of those styles.

 

Next, they
are asked about William Shatner hosting the January 9th edition
of RAW. Nash says that he and Scott Hall took a picture with him. Nash says
that Shatner caught on after a couple of scotches.

 

Mantaur
debuts on the January 16th edition of RAW. Nash says that he
was a fan of a Moose character in the Sheik’s territory and saw where the
gimmick was coming from. Nash then tells a story that took place during a dark
match when Mantaur took off his mask, Hall slapped him as hard as he could.

 

Kama debuted
on the January 28th edition of Superstars. Nash is asked if the
Kama character was a result of UFC starting out. Nash said that it was not and
a creation of Kama himself, who worked as a bouncer at a strip club in Vegas,
where a lot of UFC fighters hung out.

 

He is asked
about Matt & Jeff Hardy as enhancement talent. Nash said that they used to
call Jeff “Vanilla Ice” but that Scott Hall saw something in them and
would give them a little bit of offense, which would drive Vince McMahon crazy.

 

At the Royal
Rumble, Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Nash
recalls a story that Scott Hall told him about him breaking into the business,
no one wanted to help him out because he was a big, good looking guy and they
were afraid that he would take his spot. Hall wrestled in the AWA and had a
match against Larry Zbyszko. During the day, Larry blew off Hall but during
their match, Larry went ten minutes with him, because he saw something special
in him. Hall told Nash that he never would forget that and wanted to give that
chance to someone else. Nash calls Larry a class act.

 

Nash calls
his match at the Royal Rumble with Bret Hart as his first match of any
importance. He says that going into this match, they had been on the road for
22 straight days. He remembers walking past Lawrence Taylor at 4am at the “Doll
House,” and Taylor was surprised that they hung out that late when they had to
work the next day. Nash then says that back then, they always went into a PPV
hungover, because if you went in feeling miserable, you could maintain focus
easier than if you came in happy.

 

Back to his
Rumble match, Nash talks about how three years prior he was almost out of the
business. He then says that he did not go over on his first PPV, comparing it
to a manager holding him to a 30 pitch count. He said that when he first got
the belt, Vince told him that he wanted him to keep the belt for three years,
stressing the fact that it was Vince who came up with this. He also said that
Shawn Michaels was lobbying for the belt at the time too and with the trial
going on and people getting off of steroids, he was clean the whole time. He
said that one night backstage, Lex Luger told Nash that they were going to give
him a big push and shortly after that, he got the Intercontinental Title.

 

Still on the
Royal Rumble show, Sean asks Nash when he heard about the angle between Bam Bam
Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor. Nash said that back then, the company was much
smaller and said when he came back for his last run, he compared the backstage
atmosphere to an Eagles concert, with tons of buses and guys running around. He
said that back in 1995, there were a few production trucks and guys driving
Chevy Lumina’s. He also said there was no downside guarantee back then and said
he recently looked at his first WWF contract, which said he was guaranteed ten
shots for $150 per appearance. He puts over how Lawrence could keep up with the
craziness of the wrestlers and that was how it worked.

 

He is asked
about the Blu Brothers debuting at the Royal Rumble, which Uncle Zebekiah
(Dutch Mantell) as their manager. Nash recalls meeting Dutch during his first
ever road trip in the business. In the car were Nash, Mantell, Sid, and the
Iron Sheik. Sean asks Nash to talk about this as Nash said that Sheik lit up a
joint as soon as they drove and would always stop and get Heinekens. Nash does
a funny impression of the Sheik. He said that they would go to the gym and
Sheik would have the Persian clubs going wearing a stocking hat, benching 130
lbs. He then looked over at Sid, who was doing an intense workout then at
Dutch, who was in the lobby reading the “USA Today” and at that moment, Nash
realized that these are the people in professional wrestling. Nash then talks
about how when you are starting out and green, you would always feel good after
the show having a few beers listening to the boys swap stories. Sean asks him
about the stories and Nash said that if he had to break into the business like
guys did in Calgary, he would have went home.

 

They now
discuss the Rumble match and if Shawn blew the ending. Nash said they showed
the replay and thinks that he might of. Sean asks him about Pamela Anderson,
who was the guest ring announcer. Nash said that she was nice and they did a
photo shoot in Malibu. He said that Tommy Lee was with her and that her dad was
a nice guy.

 

Sean brings
up a radio interview in which Nash said that he did steroids once in 1986 but
when he signed with the WWF, he knew that they were clean there, unlike when he
was in WCW. Sean asks him about this and Nash said that he was brainwashed at
the time and that it was bad. He said that there would be guys collecting urine
specimens at the Philadelphia Spectrum then when they worked in Hershey the
next day, they would have to produce another sample.

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

Eddie
Gilbert’s death is brought up, as he died on February 18th due
to a heart attack. Nash then uses this to bring up how he looked at pictures
with himself and several other wrestlers from years ago and he is the only one
who is alive. He then talks how he looks back on what he did back then and
doesn’t want to be remembered as a drug abuser when he passes. He says that his
dad passed away at 36 and he did not use any drugs at all. Nash himself says he
doesn’t expect to see 70 years old. He then talks some more about the lifestyle
and how you would have to fly from Boston to Anaheim, the longest flight in the
continental United States, and you better make sure you are ready when the bell
rings and have your gimmicks in your system before the landing gear goes down.
Nash said that you would be lucky to even get a cup of coffee in the arenas,
joking that you couldn’t get coffee in Madison Square Garden if you had a winning
lottery ticket. He said catering then, you had ham sandwiches and if you go
today, it is unbelievable how much that you have.

 

On the
February 20th edition of RAW, Sid returns as the bodyguard of
Shawn Michaels. Nash said that they had to lobby for Vince to bring in Sid due
to his stabbing of Arn Anderson. Nash then claims that they had a meeting with
Vince in the locker room and sold Vince on the idea of bringing in Sid. Nash
recalls how Vince once told Sid that he was going to give him Hogan’s spot as
the top face but Sid declined and wanted to be a heel instead and how Vince
soured on Sid from that situation but told Nash and the others they had to care
for him.

 

Sean asks
Nash about his involvement in the NBA All-Star Weekend. Nash said it was fun
but that there were no more limos left in Vegas to take him around. He then
blames Lisa Wolfe for that, then calls her a bitch and says “fuck you” to her
if she is watching. He then goes on how people from other entities have no idea
how wrestling works. Nash said that she had power and was third in charge and
they all tried to get her gone as soon as possible. He then brings up how Vince
got pissed at him for showing up on “Regis & Kathy Lee” wearing a suit,
instead of his gear and belt. He said they got her to quit after an appearance
at the NFL 50th anniversary, when she got Nash a cheap suit
that was three sizes to big and he refused to go out dressed like that, so they
had to bring in tailors to fix it up. 

 

Nash talks
about Lex Luger. He says that they liked Lex the person but as a wrestler, he
was no good.  He tells a story how backstage at a show, Lex
accidentally knocked over a bunch of equipment. Sean brings up and interview in
which Shawn Michaels knocked Lex for having crappy punches and that he could
only clothesline. Nash calls Shawn passionate and that he was not afraid to
make you look back if you screwed up.

 

Nash is
asked about Chief Jay Strongbow. He said that he helped him out and thought he
did good as an agent. Sean brings up how most people usually have bad things to
say about Strongbow. He then asks Nash if Strongbow was good as an agent and
Nash said that in his matches, he did shit, but the fans never sat on their
hands in his matches and ate everything up. Nash brings up how he once told
Lawler that he was happy to learn from him and Lawler said “fuck you” to him
and that he has been wrestling for 25 years and still learning, so he could
learn on his own. Nash then jokes about the match with him, saying he was sorry
for the “potato.”

 

Next, is the
WrestleMania press conference. Sean asks if the press was snarky to them and
Nash said yes then jokes how they will gush over the Masters Tournament for six
hours, stating they should be sponsored by Ambien.

 

 

 

MARCH

 

On March 12th,
Brian “Crush” Adams was arrested for possession of steroids and unregistered
guns. Sean goes back to the press and Nash said that the WWF was lucky that he
was a mid-carder at the time so it wasn’t that prevalent in the press. Nash
said he was a great guy and had a sense of humor similar to Bob Newhart. He
then talks about how they would go to the gym and said that no matter how many
bad addicition you have, you at least had one by going to the gym.

 

Sean brings
up an in-ring interview with Shawn Michaels conducted by Vince and how Shawn
said that he was “going over” at WrestleMania. Nash said the Kliq was trying to
push the envelope because at that time, every wrestler was based off of an
occupation and how that doesn’t sell tickets. Nash brings up boxing and how
guys fighting against guys will always sell. He says that if Mayweather fights
Pacquiao, no matter how impressive of a card UFC could run against it, everyone
will buy the fight. Nash also brings up the angle in which Owen Hart knocked
out Shawn with a kick, saying that they went over it in the car the night
before and Nash said that he wanted to make it seem as real as possible and
suggested the announcers not say anything so the moment could sink in with the
fans. 

 

Nash talks
about fans, stating that they will always have smarks but that they need to
appeal to other fans. Nash has fun with smarks, joking that he is a darling to
them before making fun of how they will say how a certain PPV was the worst
ever and they will never buy another one, until next month. 

 

 

APRIL

 

At
WrestleMania XI, Diesel retained the belt against Shawn Michaels. He said that
for the first time in five years, his wife saw him wrestle. He said that Linda
McMahon wanted her there as Nash did not, because he didnt want his wife near
the “Pirate Ship.” He also said that he knew Shawn was going to try
to blow him up. Sean asks Nash what they talk about before the match. Nash said
that back then, they only had an hour of TV on RAW and rarely was it a match of
any significance. Also, they would work with each other for a month at house
shows and when they wrestled at a major show, they knew what to do. He also
adds that he watched him from ringside as his bodyguard for several months. He
then said that Shawn was lobbying for the top spot but Nash joked how he was
the biggest guy at the airport and Vince still thinks it is a big man’s sport.
After that, Nash brings up how Shawn took the worst bump off of a powerbomb in
the history of wrestling on purpose. Sean asks why and Nash said why not as
they were both “1099’s” and had to protect their brands. He also adds
that if you cannot fuck with the guys you ride with, then who can you fuck
with? He also denies that there was an incident between Tommy Lee and
Shawn. 

 

Nash is
asked to compare Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Nash said that Bret was born
into wrestling and bought into it as it was real, saying that he wrestled that
way and was genetically engineered to be a wrestler. He also brings up
 how Shawn was suplexing is friends in a pool as a kid and even John Cena
made his own title Belt at age eight. Nash said he was different as he saw it
as a way to make money when he could no longer do his first love,
basketball. 

 

Sean asks
Nash about the match between Bam Bam Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor. Nash said he
and Shawn should have been the main event at Mania, as it was the title match
and you didn’t know what type of match they were going to have. Nash credits
Bam Bam for the match being a success and calls him a great worker, despite the
fact that he was “anti Kliq.” 

 

Nash then
tells a story about how he and Hall found out that Shawn got $60,000 for his
payoff at Survivor Series while they only got $45,000 despite doing most of the
work in the match. Nash then calls J.J. Dillon all pissed off so, according to
Nash, J.J. puts him on hold and tells Vince “They’re fucking talking”
so Vince gets on as Nash does a funny impersonation of him and after their
conversation ended, Nash said that he immediately called his wife and told her
that a package containing $15,000 was arriving to the house and to put it in
the bank. 

 

He also
tells a story of the Kliq meeting with Pat Patterson and Vince McMahon, after
they flew in when the Kliq voiced a lot of complaints, and they hashed it out
and finished by drinking beers at Chili’s. He said that they told HHH to sit in
his room that night, as he was new and didn’t want him to get major heat. When
asked if the meeting took care of their grievances, Nash said they did. 

 

Nash tells a
story of when he knew he was done with the WWF. At the IYH show in Louisville,
Nash was supposed to beat Bret clean with the powerbomb, before the Undertaker interfered, but Bret refused. in
the locker room,  Bret kept saying that it didn’t make him look good so
the Undertaker, who Nash said was generally mild-mannered, got up and told Bret
“Motherfucker, it isn’t always about you.” After the match, Nash said
that he got in the shower then told Hall that he was calling Bischoff. 

 

Next, is the
angle from the April 3rd edition of RAW when Sid ran out and powerbombed Shawn
three times, leaving him out for six weeks. Sean asks Nash if it was legit and
he said no and that Shawn “lost his smile” again at that point. He
calls him a teacher saying he worked nine months with the Summer off, because
business was slow. 

 

Sean asks
Nash about the overseas tour and the flights. Nash said if you fell asleep on
the plane, you were fucked. He recalls a time when Savio Vega cut a little
piece of hair from both Shawn Michael and Scott Hall, who brought Savio into
the company. He asked if they flew first class. They said no and one time, he
flew sitting between Undertaker and Yokozuna. Nash said Yoko would have to take
up two seats. Nash then said they bused through most of Europe and would be
exhausted from that. One day in the locker room, Waltman brought in a full
bottle of Phenobarbitol and no one had a clue as to what they did but Nash saw
they had caffeine and came to the conclusion if they took 4-5 pills, they
should at least feel awake. When asked what they did, Nash said he had no idea
as there was so much stuff in his system. 

 

Hunter
Hearst Helmsley debuted at the end of the month. Nash said that HHH was always
different, he wore slacks and dressed nice while they were wearing fanny packs
and gimmick t-shirts. When HHH worked his first match, Nash said that they all
watched on the monitor and were impressed, then went up to him and asked who he
rode with before saying that he could ride with them. Nash said that you could
immediately tell that he was money. He puts him over for being really
intelligent and for knowing the business. Sean asks him how did he fit in,
seeing as he did not party at all. Nash said they were relieved that someone
clean could drive and that HHH saw it as an opportunity to align himself with
powerful people. 

 

 

MAY

 

The In Your
House PPV starts. Nash said they were branching out at the time, doing stuff on
MTV and Nickelodeon. He also puts over Shane McMahon for pushing it in a more
realistic direction instead of a cartoon. 

 

He is asked
about Sid. Nash thinks that he is a better worker than him but that their
styles are too similar and the match was boring. He says there was no
excitement at all. 

 

Nash hurt is
elbow in a double clothesline spot in a match against Kama. Nash said that he
got up in the middle of night and took a piss and put his arm up and in
tremendous pain. He put on the light and was black and blue all over and even
bleeding out. He then said that he decided to do some incline presses, like an
idiot the next day then went to see Dr. Andrews and was initially told he tore
his triceps and would be out for nine months but was back working in three
weeks. Nash said that he couldnt take time off as he was on top and wasnt going
to get paid at home. Nash recalls talking to Paul Orndorff in WCW, asking him
why he never took time off when he hurt his elbow and Orndorff said that he was
on top working with Hogan and that they were printing money so he didnt want to
miss out. 

 

On May 18th,
WWE had a meeting at Titan Towers with all of the wrestlers in an attempt to
show them how impressive their facilities were. Nash said it turned into a
grievance meeting and recalls how Bam Bam stood up and yelled at Shawn for
traveling on the same bus and cars as Nash, the person he was wrestling , and
how he wasnt protecting the business. Shawn stood up and started to yell and
swear then Nash said that Hall stood up and told Bam Bam that the same cars
following the wrestlers have been traveling around, seeing the same matches for
the past two weeks and that they probably get it by now and getting into same
buses aren’t going to stop them from buying tickets. 

 

Final
Thoughts:
Well, this
was excellent. Nash goes off topic a lot but is such an engaging story teller
that it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Half of the disc was spent on
January and February too. A few of these stories have been told before, from
his other shoot interviews, but if you have not seen a Nash shoot, pick this up
by all means. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Shawn in 1995 Question


Hi Scott.

Got one I was hoping you might be able to shed zsome light on.

If Shawn Michaels never got injured in 95, where does that lesve the IC Title? Obviously, we know the injury led to a chain ending with Goldust getting it at the Rumble…but say Shawn didn't get beat up. Does he carry the titlr all the way to WM, or what?

I hate to shatter your illusions, but Shawn was already gonna drop that belt to Dean Douglas and it was only the very well-timed attack by the marines (Cena?  Dibiase Jr? Miz?) that allowed him to conveniently forfeit it like a hero instead.  Not that I would insinuate Shawn Michaels fabricating an injury in order to avoid losing a title in the ring, but…OK, that's exactly what I'm insinuating.

November PPV Countdown: WCW World War III 1995

The SK Retro Rant for WCW World War III 1995 – For those of you who follow my little personal asides in these rants, you’ll know that this was actually the show that ended my WCW boycott in 1995. I had actually stopped watching WCW entirely once the Orange Goblin won the WCW World title and killed Ric Flair’s career dead in the process, and after almost 18 months of waiting, Hogan finally lost it and WCW, probably not coincidentally, put together a card that looked good enough on paper for me to part with my $29.95 and come back into the fold.  (I miss the days of $30 PPVs.  I’d buy a lot more of them today if they were still that pricepoint.)  – Live from Norfolk, VA – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan. – Okay, so the Hogan Retardation Factor kicks in right away, as Hogan, Savage and Sting come out with a garbage pail and Hogan’s “dark side” black costume (not to confused with his nWo black costume, which would come later), and burn the costume. Hogan was only fooling, you see, and was playing mindgames to lull Kevin Sullivan into a sense of security. (Rumor at the time was that this was a test run of sorts for the Hogan heel turn, but Meltzer talked about this very recently and noted that they literally didn’t know Hogan would agree to the eventual turn until about six weeks before Bash at the Beach.  In Hogan’s mind at this point, he was still 100% babyface.)  Then we pump up the surrealness as Hogan declares that Savage’s crippling arm injury was just another plan on their part, and THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. Keep this in mind later, and also note that Savage has a HUGE bandage wrapped around his arm while giving this speech. Finally, Hogan finishes with a flurry by burning a copy of the Observer and calling it a “rag sheet”, noting that it said Giant would win the title tonight and Savage was injured, and that it’s the internet that really has the scoop on things. (Yeah, the internet!  Take that, Dave Meltzer!)  No, honestly, this interview really happened, just like that. You know, I almost miss the days of Hogan being on top, just for the yuks involved in listening to him distort the truth for his own means. – Opening match, TV title: Johnny B. Badd v. Diamond Dallas Page. DDP put Kimberly on the line here in exchange for the title match, as they were having domestic problems in the storyline. (Which of course led to the Kevin Sullivan Rule in real life.)  Badd and DDP do a shoving match and hairpulling bit to start, and roll out onto the floor. Back in, Badd crossbody is reversed by DDP for two. Badd gets a samoan drop for two, and he works a headlock. Page rolls him over for a few two-counts. They fight over a wristlock and DDP cheats to win. He works the arm, but Badd pulls the hair to break. DDP charges and misses, ending up on the floor. Badd fakes a highspot and then follows with a pescado. Page then tosses Kim at Badd to gain the advantage in an innovative spot. I’m surprised Savage didn’t do that one more. Back in, DDP gets a backdrop suplex out of the corner and stomps away. He gets a tombstone and showboats, but Kimberly no-sells and won’t give him a 10. Kimberly’s job was to stand around and hold up scores for DDP at this point, in case you don’t know. (He should hire someone to hold up yoga poses for him now.)  Badd catches his foot, but DDP clotheslines him for two. DDP keeps jawing with Kim, leading to him missing a blind charge. Badd then sidesteps a kick, which is a cute spot that looked better than it sounds. Badd makes a comeback, getting an inverted atomic drop and lariat. Kim gives Johnny a “10+”, which I’m sure isn’t Olympic standard. (I think Cecil Peoples once tried to give someone that score while judging a UFC fight.)  Ligerbomb gets two for Badd. Blind charge misses and DDP uses the ropes for two. He gets a sideslam for two, but Badd rolls him over for two. Flying headscissors and Badd goes up, but DDP lifts the knees to block the splash. DDP works on the ribs with a gutbuster for two, although the move actually looked like a blown rotation bomb. Tombstone is reversed, for two. KO punch puts DDP on the floor, and Badd follows with a somersault plancha, then tosses Page back in and finishes with a slingshot legdrop for the pin at 12:33, giving him the services of Kimberly, which he retained until his firing in 1996. DDP absolutely worked his ass off from 95-98 or so in an effort to get himself over, and the sequence of near-falls to end this thing were great. ***1/2 – Big Bubba Rogers v. Hacksaw Duggan. This is taped-fist match under knockout rules. Tony and Bobby spend the first part of the match relaying, in a completely serious tone of voice, a story about how Jim Duggan’s grandmother was a taped-fist champion in Ireland. I can’t parody stuff like that, kids. (See also:  JBL’s hilarious asides on Smackdown about Wade Barrett’s father Larry, the famous bare knuckles boxing champion.)  Duggan attacks outside to start, and into the ring where he threatens to use the 2×4, only to get cheapshotted. Duggan clotheslines him out, however, and they retreat to Ring #2 for some reason. Duggan jams his head in between two of the ringposts in an innovative spot, then comes off the apron and gets sent to the STEEL railing. Stallamania X7 results. Back in, Bubba does some choking. Slugfest leads to Bubba’s enzuigiri. Bubba adds some more tape to his fists, but Duggan punches him to the floor. Bubba, however, actually takes the advice Bobby Heenan has been giving all match and tapes Duggan to the top rope, allowing him a bunch of free shots. In one of the most retarded spots I’ve ever seen, Bubba charges at him, but Duggan HOLDS OUT HIS FIST and Bubba runs into it, and gets knocked down. It’s hard to truly comprehend this unless you keep in mind how slow Bubba runs and that Duggan wasn’t looking while holding out his fist. Bubba charges again and gets backdropped out, slamming his back into the apron in the process. Good one, Ray. Back in, Duggan hits the three-point stance clothesline, but VK Wallstreet sneaks in and gives Bubba a chain, which he uses to knock Duggan out for the win at 10:08. About what you’d expect from Duggan v. Bubba. ½* – Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki v. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto. I have no idea why they decided to toss this on here, but god bless ‘em for it. Sonny Onoo is managing the heels, just so we know that they’re evil. Heels attack to start, and they clobber Ozaki. Bull tosses Ozaki around the ring, and Hokuto teases allowing a tag. Bull does some biting and brutally drags Ozaki around the ring by the hair like a caveman. Ozaki comes back but Bull no-sells. Hokuto chokes her out, but gets DDT’d to allow a tag to Suzuki. Dropkick gets two as the faces apply stereo half-crabs. They work on Akira’s leg. Bull comes in and quickly powerbombs Suzuki. Moonsault misses and the faces take turns with double stomps off the top, which the crowd pops huge for. Double-suplex attempt on Bull is reversed, as Nakano suplexes both at once. Hokuto comes off the top but misses the splash. The faces try to double-superplex her, but Nakano pulls them down off the top. Nakano & Hokuto go for stereo powerbombs, but they get reversed to stereo ranas for a pair of two counts. Suzuki gets a flying bodypress on Hokuto for two. Hokuto hits a nasty half-nelson suplex for two, but Ozaki comes back and drops her square on her head with a german suplex. Good lord. Bull tags in and kills Ozaki in retaliation. Hokuto comes off the top with a missile dropkick on both girls at once and they bail. Hokuto follows them out with a somersault tope off the top rope, and back inside the heels hit a Doomsday Device that gets two. Bull goes up and finishes Ozaki with a guillotine legdrop at 9:18. Slow start with a REAL good finish. ***1/4 They never really got another shot on PPV again, however. – US title match: Kensuke Sasaki v. Chris Benoit. I’ve never been a big Sasaki fan, and his position in Japan at the time as Hawk’s partner didn’t help things. And check the mullet on Benoit here. Attaboy. Benoit starts with some Canadian Violence right away, but Sasaki gets his own chops. He tries the armbar, but Benoit takes him down and works a hammerlock. Sasaki backdrops out and grabs a wristlock. Two bodyslams get a two count. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, leading to a leapfrog sequence and Sasaki press slam. Benoit manages to get him out of the ring and follows with a suicide dive.  (Cough) Back in, snap suplex gets two. Sasaki gets a powerslam for two. Benoit tries to debut the rolling germans, but Sasaki clotheslines him after the second one. Tombstone is reversed and Benoit hits the diving headbutt for two. More Canadian Violence and a top rope rana gets two. Sasaki stops a slugfest with something resembling a chokeslam and goes for an armbar. Benoit clotheslines him, but Sasaki no-sells, hits a Northern Lights Bomb, and gets the pin to retain at 10:02. Nothing special at all. *1/2 – Randy Savage v. Lex Luger. Now remember, at the beginning of the show Hogan said that Savage did not have an arm injury, and he’s at 100%. Heenan immediately takes umbrage to that claim by pointing out the gigantic bandage on Savage’s arm, and Tony actually tries to argue that Savage is okay. (This is why people hated Tony.)  Savage attacks to start and chokes Luger down. Blind charge hits boot, but Savage clotheslines Luger anyway. Into a Boston Crab, but Lex makes the ropes. They brawl on the floor and back in for the ELBOWDROP OF DOOM, but the ref is distracted with Jimmy Hart. Savage tosses Luger and they brawl some more. Luger catches Savage with a torture rack for some bizarre reason, and back in for an armbar, to Savage’s heavily bandaged arm, which gets a very quick submission at 5:25. Yeah, that’s arm’s just fine. In fact, Savage DID have a torn tricep muscle, so ignore the funny looking orange person with the male pattern baldness. (Ken Anderson?)  DUD – Sting v. Ric Flair. This is the blowoff from Halloween Havoc and the Horsemen reformation. Slugfest to start, and Flair bails to Ring #2 and struts. Sting follows and continues the beating. Press slam, but Flair goes to the eyes. He chops away and does some stylin’ and/or profilin’. Sting clotheslines him to end that. Hiptoss and dropkick and Flair bails to Ring #3, thus making it a running gag. Sting follows and no-sells some chops. Slugfest won by Sting, and Flair bails again. He takes a walk, and back in Sting keeps no-selling. Press-slam and Flair bails AGAIN, back to Ring #1. Sting charges and splashes the railing by mistake. Back in, Flair goes low in dramatic fashion to gain the advantage. Kneedrop leads to more stalling. He goes after the leg and tosses Sting, and they head over to Ring #3 just to pound the joke into the ground. Figure-four, but Sting powers out and reverses. Backslide gets two. Flair bails to Ring #1 and Sting presses and clotheslines him. Flair cheats and goes upstairs, but gets slammed off as usual. Flair Flip and back in for the Sting comeback. Superplex and Scorpion Deathlock finish at 14:29. This was good in comparison to lots of other matches at the time, but not in comparison to the other, more awesome, matches these two have had. In fact, it was more like a Cliff’s Notes version of Sting v. Flair with some comedy tossed in. Still, Sting v. Flair is never too shabby. *** – WCW World title match, World War III: Okay, take a deep breath, because here’s the 60 guys in the match: Arn Anderson, Alex Wright, Brian Knobbs, Ricky Santana, David Taylor, Scott Armstrong, Sting, Joey Maggs, Pez Whatley, Disco Inferno, Meng, Stevie Ray, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee Parker, James Earl Wright, Lex Luger, Eddy Guerrero, Cobra, The Giant, Paul Orndorff, Khris Kanyon, Bobby Walker, Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, Randy Savage, Marcus Bagwell, The Yeti, Kurosawa, Hugh Morrus, Zodiac Man, VK Wallstreet, DDP, Scott Norton, Brian Pillman, Craig Pittman, One Man Gang, Super Assassin #1, Mr. JL, Bunkhouse Buck, Kensuke Sasaki, Mike Winner, Hawk, Shark, Steve Armstrong, David Sullivan, Scotty Riggs, Johnny B. Badd, Black Bart, Steven Regal, Dick Slater, Maxx Muscle, Super Assassin #2, Fidel Sierra, Kevin Sullivan, Jerry Saggs, Jim Duggan, Booker T, Big Bubba, Ric Flair and The Orange Goblin.  (Only nine dead out of that crew, which is actually pretty decent for a PPV from this era.)  – Okay, so 20 men per ring, and after 10 guys are out in each the rings will merge into one. Until then, they split the screen into three small squares with each ring covered by one of them. The end result is that it’s absolutely impossible to tell what the hell is going on at any one point, a problem compounded by WCW’s usual shitty camera work, and I’m pretty much dependant on the announcers to follow who gets eliminated, and even then that’s a problem given the announce team. Believe me, this match brings new meaning to the term “Three ring circus”. I’m not even gonna bother doing play-by-play because I have no idea what’s going on, but the order of elimination of jobbers goes Yeti, Mike Winner, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee, James Earl, Cobra, Bagwell, Kanyon, Black Bart, Maxx Muscle, Fidel Sierra, Steve Armstrong, Dave Sullivan, Mr. JL, Knobbs, Santana, Alex Wright, Pez Whatley, Scotty Riggs, Bobby Eaton, Dick Slater, VK Wallstreet and Scott Norton and apparently 23 guys is good enough for WCW because they merge the rings into one. Unless I missed 7 guys getting eliminated, which is very much possible given the amateur quality of this match. – Okay, so we’re down to one regular battle royale with all the jobbers out, thus making me wonder what the point of having them all in there in the first place was. Well, that’s WCW for you. One Man Gang and Regal fight on the floor as Joey Maggs gets to go first. Bubba goes out by Duggan’s hand, but hangs on and takes Duggan with him. Disco gets tossed. Luger hangs out on the floor and takes cheapshots now and then. Dave Taylor gets tossed by Hogan. Hogan then puts both Booker and Saggs out, as well as Kevin Sullivan. Savage & Luger head off to another ring for a private fight as Regal gets tossed out. DDP & Badd eliminate each other as Giant goes on a rampage, tossing Pittman and Benoit. Meng gets rid of Kurosawa, but Giant gets rid of him. Giant tosses some people around as Hogan and Orndorff renew their battle. Morrus and Pillman get rid of Zodiac, but Sasaki dumps Morrus. Hawk then dumps Pillman, who hangs onto Sasaki as Hawk tries to keep him in. Hogan of course sneaks up and dumps everyone. What a guy that Hogan is, always thinking of others first. Sting splashes Eddy as Hogan reverses an Orndorff piledriver and, you guessed it, eliminates him. 9 guys left. Eddy goes up with a missile dropkick on Anderson, but the Horsemen come back and work him over. Eddy gets dumped, missed by the camera. Sting splashes the Horsemen in sequence as Giant chokeslams Savage. Sting slingshots AA into Flair, putting both Horsemen out. 6 guys left. Sting & Luger double-team Giant, but Hogan…wait for it…dumps all three guys out. Giant, the scoundrel, pulls Hogan out under the bottom rope while the camera totally misses Savage tossing Gang. However, the refs were looking at Savage taking Gang out, and they assume Hogan went over the top, thus giving Savage the World title at 29:42. I don’t rate battle royales. Hogan, sportsman of the year, throws a huge temper tantrum and won’t endorse Savage, and the arena just completely turns on him ala Royal Rumble 92. Hulk Hogan, hero to millions. The Bottom Line: Aside from the god-awful main event abortion of a battle royale (which they considered such a good idea that they ran it for THREE MORE YEARS), this is a pretty decent show that started a good run for WCW. Of course, all the good workers that caused it got buried during the nWo era, but that’s WCW for ya. Recommended show.

November Countdown: Survivor Series 1995

(It was pointed out to me that I never did Scott Sez versions of this show or 96, probably because I wasn’t sure if the gimmick was going to get over or not at the time.  So that’s as good a place to start as any.) The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1995 – This is one of those weird shows, in that Vince was completely self-destructing behind the scenes, but the product was great for some reason. Maybe distraction allows him to focus better or something, who knows.  (Jesus, not these days.)  – Live from Washington, DC  (A place that Linda McMahon will only ever visit for weekends.)  – Your hosts are Vincent K, Jim Ross, and making his surprise return…Mr. Perfect. By the way, I actually had a few people e-mail and ask me this, so let me clear up a Netcop Joke: Mr. Spiffy is my pet name for Mr. Perfect, because when he joined WCW in 1997 it was obvious he was never going to get over as “Curt Hennig”, so I suggested that they call him the next best thing — Mr. Spiffy. He could then say things like “Now that’s what I call…spiffy!” and have some fun parodying himself by doing skits where he’d be almost, but not quite, perfect at various sports, missing by a few inches each time. Anyway…  (I still maintain that idea is gold.  And Vince Russo kind of stole it later with Sean Stasiak.)  Opening match: Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz & Bob Holly v. Bodydonna Skip, Rad Radford, Dr. Tom Pritchard & The 1-2-3 Kid. This would be Kid’s debut as a heel, one week after guest-reffing a match between Ramon and Sid, and turning on him. Rad Radford (the late Louie Spicoli) is a “Bodydonna in training” at this point, although ironically it would be PRITCHARD who would shortly be repackaged as “Zip”, Skip’s partner. (Obviously Spicoli and Candido studied each other too much and ended up in the same place.)  Jannetty cleans house to start, and he looks thoroughly baked so tags out quickly. Rad gets the better of Hakushi, who then gets beat on in the heel corner. Crowd starts chanting for Barry Horowitz, which is pretty surreal. I still wonder why Vince didn’t just PUSH the guy if he was so over. It’s not rocket science, I mean it’s not like there’s some genetic code that says a guy has to be a jobber his entire career. (We call it “The Swagger Gene”)  Holly gets a quick pin on the Doctor with a flying bodypress, and Skip rolls *him* up right after to send him packing. Hakushi and the Kid do a great little sequence, and Radford pins Hakushi after Kid kicks him in the head. Horowitz and the Kid go next, with Barry taking a beating. Radford continues it, but keeps picking him up. And what happens when a heel keeps picking up a jobber, kids? That’s right — he gets pinned while showboating, and this is no exception. Sunny yells at him, pretty much disqualifying him from the Bodydonna Sweepstakes.  (And what a prestigious spot that would have been.  Almost as fulfilling as living with Tammy.)  Skip & Barry have their showdown, but Kid pins Barry after a snap legdrop, leaving Jannetty 2-on-1. He does a cool sequence with Skip, pinning him after a top rope powerbomb! (OWWWWW!  MY ANKLES!  OK, that’s pretty mean, speaking as someone who’s had fucked up ankles for many years, but what else do you come here for?) That was pretty unheard of at that time in the WWF. Kid comes in and mops up with Jannetty, pinning him after an assist from Sid at 18:36. Minus a bit for the bad ending, but otherwise this was the shiznit, if you will. ***3/4 Survivor: 1-2-3 Kid.  (Sid and the Kid was a boffo combination, actually, since Kid’s whole persona was the shithead little heel hiding behind the real muscle, and it’s kind of a shame that Sid’s departure and Kid’s “demons” meant they could never pay it off properly.)  Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe & Lioness Asuka v. Alundra Blayze, Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue & Chapparita Asari. I had to get the names from the PWI Almanac because they had fucking Dok Hendrix shilling the crappy Survivor Series Commemorative T-shirt during the ring introductions. At least it’s not that Barry guy. And this would be a total spotfest as the women are basically given 10 minutes to wow the crowd. So Asari goes and pulls out the first ever Sky Twister Press on PPV, which is called “Whatamaneuver” by Vince, then called properly by JR. (Man, they should totally put Vince and JR back on commentary again, because JR just does not give a FUCK any longer and I would be endlessly entertained by them.)  Blayze pins Asuka with the german suplex soon after. Hasegawa hits a chain of 5 double-underhook suplexes while we’re watching the replay of the Sky Twister Press. See, Vince had absolutely no idea how to deal with any match that exceeded the North American pace, which is why it took so long for him to grasp the whole cruiserweight concept. Aja Kong comes in and kick’s Hasegawa’s ass. Kong can best be described as the female Vader, I guess. (The one time I got to hang out with Herb Kunze he was trying to get me into some Japanese women’s stuff, and I just didn’t get it at all.)  The only woman I ever really followed in Japan was Akira Hokuto, so I’m pretty much at JR’s mercy for the backstory on these chicks. Aja nails a NASTY backdrop suplex, dropping Hasegawa right on her head, to get the pin. Asari comes in and tries a cross-body, bouncing right off Aja, then gets splashed and pinned. Inoue comes in and does a little more damage, but tries a sunset flip and gets sat on for the pin. That leaves Alundra 3-on-1. Blayze dominates Watanabe and pins her after a piledriver. Faye & Kong have a heel miscommunication moment and Bertha gets suplexed and pinned by Alundra. So it’s Kong v. Blayze. Alunda hits a missile dropkick and a standing moonsault, but Aja shoves her off the top rope and pins her after a spinning backhand at 10:00. Pretty damn good, given the circumstances. *** Survivor: Aja Kong. This was supposed to start Blayze’s next big program, but she went and dumped the Women’s title in a trash can on Nitro, the night after this if I’m not mistaken.  (Man, I bet she regrets that one to this day.  I know Bischoff did.  In fact I think someone said that on a WWE DVD.)  – And since we’re in Washington, we get a visit from the fake Clinton for some hijinks.  (Good thing we don’t have to put over sleazy politicians on these shows anymore.)  Bam Bam Bigelow v. Goldust. Goldust’s entrance takes FOREVER. At this point he was just weird, rather than sexually deviant. Goldust s..l..o..w..l..y wears down the Bammer, then pins him with a bulldog at 8:18. Oh my god, that sucked. 1/4* Honest to god, I had nothing interesting to write between the introductions and the pinfall, it was that boring. – The Undertaker, Henry Godwinn, Fatu & Savio Vega v. King Mabel, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Isaac Yankem & Jerry Lawler. The story here is that, during the crack-induced period when Vince hired Bill Watts to book, Mabel did a big fat legdrop on UT’s face and broke it, necessitating a goofy purple mask that looks like something Kyle Raynor would be wearing today. (Once again, I have to say, I now fucking love Kyle Raynor and consider him to be a formative part of my comic fandom during the 90s.  I don’t read New Guardians because it sucks, but Kyle totally redeemed himself with me many times over and he’s by far my favorite Green Lantern now and I think they should have done the movie with that character instead of Hal Jordan.  THERE, I SAID IT.)  Needless to say, Taker is PISSED, and is thus more over than ever. Most of the match (11 minutes to be exact) is meaningless filler, as the teams go through the motions of a match and the faces deliberately don’t tag UT in, saving him up for the big finish. Perfect, by the way, tells McMahon that Helmsley prefers to be called “Triple H”, although that name didn’t catch on until two years after this. Undertaker finally gets the hot tag, and obliterates the heel team. Lawler tries to run away, but none of the team will tag him, and the result is a tombstone, to a HUGE pop. Goodbye. (Boy, we came close to that one seeming pretty grim.)  Yankem comes in next, tombstone, goodbye. Of course, it would take THREE tombstones for UT to do the same thing when Wrestlemania XIV rolled around. HHH tries, gets chokeslammed from the ring apron into the ring, see ya. (And then next year, Undertaker kept challenging Hunter to a rematch because he wanted to prove himself so badly or something!  Oh, wait, that would be stupid, never mind.)  Mabel gets the brief advantage but UT sits up, and that’s all Mabel needs to see, deciding to take the smart route and run away to fight another day. Taker’s team gets the win at 14:23, with the entire team surviving. 1/2*  (Awesome booking, though.)  Wild Card match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, The British Bulldog & Sid v. Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon & Dean Douglas. If you’re thinking this team looks weird, you’re right. It was set up by Gorilla Monsoon to stir things up. (Now see, THIS would be something that the various authority figures could do to truly be controversial!  Never mind endless tag matches featuring guys who are already in feuds, just sign a random wacky tag match like this and watch the sparks fly.)  We get the one-and-only Shawn v. Shane match pretty early in, and it’s pretty good. Ahmed comes in and kicks ass, but tries to slam Yoko, which is immensely not smart. He gets beat on for a bit, then tags in Shawn, who pins Douglas on a rollup. Owen & Bulldog go next, then Shawn & Razor. JR wonders if they can have a match not involving a ladder. Razor gets the Edge, but Ahmed makes the save. Crowd is torn on who to cheer for. Sid comes in and stinks up the joint. He calls for Shawn’s help on a double-team superkick, but Ramon ducks and Sid takes it. Shawn gives a hilarious “Oh, well…” shrug, and Ramon pins Sid. (Shawn used to be COOL, before he became HHH’s merchandise-shilling parrot.)  Sid powerbombs Shawn for being a smart-ass, and I can’t say as I blame him. Razor gets two from it. Shawn then gets pummelled by Yokozuna, including that VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM. Ahmed gets the hot tag and pins Owen quickly with the tiger bomb. Ramon cleans house but takes a spinebuster from Ahmed. Ahmed poses on the second rope, and Ramon comes from behind and Edge’s him off. Sid & Kid wander to ringside and distract Ramon, and he walks into a Bulldog powerslam as a result and gets pinned. So Yoko is 3-on-1. He does well against Shawn, but misses the FAT-ASSED BUTTDROP OF DEATH and Ahmed gets the hot tag. Bodyslam! Davey Boy comes in to break up the pin, because he’s a bad person and all. So Shawn superkicks Yoko and then ties up the Bulldog, allowing Ahmed to get the pin unfettered at 27:23. And now of course the Bulldog wants to celebrate with his teammates. Match wasn’t terrible. **1/4 Survivors: Michaels, Johnson, Bulldog. – WWF World title match: Diesel v. Bret Hart. Hart v. Michaels was already pencilled in for WM12, so it’s not like the result here was a secret of national security or anything. Diesel and Bret both pull off turnbuckle pads to reinforce that it’s no-DQ. Diesel pounds Bret in the corner, so Bret bails. They fight outside for a bit as Bret uncharacteristically runs like a chicken. (Not so uncharacteristic later.)  Back in the ring for a slugfest, which Bret loses. He bails again, so Diesel rams him backfirst into the post. He grabs a chair and nails him for good measure. Back in the ring and he goes for the powerbomb early, but Bret blocks it and comes back. Lots of cheap stuff from Bret, then he starts working on the knees of the champ. Figure-four wears him down further, then Bret grabs a cable in an amazingly dickish move and hogties Diesel’s ankles around the post. He takes the chair and demolishes his knee with it, actually drawing boos. (See, if they wanted to get Nash over as a babyface, they should have just had him wrestling Bret Hart every night.)  Diesel finally looses himself and slams Bret off the top rope, then chokes him out with the cable. Side slam gets a two count. Nash is doing an amazing job of selling the injury at this point, the best I’ve ever seen him do. He manages Snake Eyes, but Bret reverses a second attempt and comes back. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Bret sends Diesel to the floor, but the pescado misses. Bret crawls onto the apron, and it’s HISTORY TIME! The biggest running gag in WWF’s history begins here, as Diesel shoves Bret off the apron, right through the Spanish announce table. Bret is acting like he’s on his deathbed. Diesel tosses him back in for the kill, but when he goes for the powerbomb Bret simply collapses. The ref wants to stop the match, but Diesel shoves him aside and tries it again…and Bret small packages him out of nowhere for the pin and the title at 24:50. Diesel clearly mouths a very naughty phrase at the camera which rhymes with “Another trucking skit”, then powerbombs Bret twice and takes out a bunch of refs, yelling “I’M BACK!” at the camera. He started pissing off the Undertaker soon after, and got jobbed out, leading to him joining WCW in 1996. Wonder whatever happened to him? This would be Nash’s second-best match ever, only eclipsed by the one he had with Michaels in 1996. ****1/4  (I can go higher on this one depending on the day and my mood, but that seems about right.)  The Bottom Line: Can’t lose here. Even if the offices of the WWF were going to hell, the workers were shining, especially the rising Shawn Michaels, the resurgent Bret Hart, and the newly motivated Diesel. Recommended show.  (One that I rewatched a lot.)