What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – December 9, 1995

A video package hypes today’s Savio Vega-Bob Backlund main event.  Savio says that he is going to put spice on Backlund’s chicken wing, whatever that means.

Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Bob Backlund are doing commentary and they are taped from Salisbury, Maryland.

Opening Contest:  Diesel (9-3-1) pins Rad Radford (10-4) after a Jackknife at 1:30:

Diesel makes his first in-ring appearance since Survivor Series, sporting his old black sunglasses and living up to his word of only slapping hands with fans that have black gloves.  The match is booked as one would expect, as Radford does not manage to get in a single move and Diesel pins him with one foot.  The win ends a four-match losing streak for Diesel.

McMahon tries to interview Diesel after the match, but Diesel blows him off.

Bob Backlund is shown talking to Dean Douglas backstage.

Footage of the British Bulldog pinning Bret Hart at SummerSlam ’92 is shown as McMahon emphasizes that the Bulldog has Bret’s number.

The British Bulldog (w/Jim Cornette) (16-5-1) beats Al Phillips after a running powerslam at 2:41:

Phillips has a good look but he only served as an enhancement talent in the WWF and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during much of the 1990s.  The Bulldog has a much easier time dispatching Phillips than he did Bob Holly on RAW, although that does not stop the Bulldog from using a long chinlock – or using the same finish as the Holly match – in this squash.

Dok Hendrix brings back the Slam Jam to hype the Nassau Coliseum card for January 5, which is billed as “Tag Team Warfare.”  In one match, Sid & the 1-2-3 Kid face Razor Ramon & Diesel.  Another tag match features Bret Hart & the Undertaker against Owen Hart & Yokozuna.  Bret cuts a generic promo about how being WWF champion is hard and Owen and Yoko are going down.

A video package recaps the Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty-Sid & 1-2-3 Kid feud.

Hunter-Hearst Helmsley is on an Arkansas hog farm once again and he says that the living conditions of the pigs are disgusting.  Henry Godwinn counters that pigs are his family and Helmsley will be face down in the mud at In Your House.

Barry Didinski tells fans that time is running out to buy a Bret Hart, Diesel, Undertaker, or Shawn Michaels denim jacket for $59.75 (plus shipping & handling)!

Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji & Owen Hart) (1-1-1) pins John Crystal after the Banzai Drop in 57 seconds:

Yokozuna checkmates Crystal in two moves, finishing him with a nasty looking Banzai Drop and refusing to get off the hapless jobber until Cornette and Owen intervene.

A recap of Brother Love giving King Mabel a custom made casket for In Your House on RAW is shown.  The Undertaker delivers a taped promo where he promises Mabel that his day of retribution if coming.

Bob Backlund comes to the ring and introduces Dean Douglas, noting that he is not afraid to discipline American youth.  Backlund gives Douglas a paddle, which he says is a “board of education.”  Backlund and Douglas would have made a good tag team during this era, but the company never went in that direction with them.

Dean Douglas (7-2) beats Tony Williams after the Final Exam at 1:14:

Ahmed Johnson speaks in the split screen during the bout, saying that Douglas has made a mistake calling him out.  In a nice piece of continuity, Perfect gets upset that Douglas is using his Perfectplex as a finisher.  Predictably, Douglas smacks Williams with his new paddle after winning the match.  Going more cartoonish with this character was not a good idea, but the company has already given up on Douglas.

Footage of Bob Backlund’s recent chicken wing spree is shown.

Savio cuts a Spanglish promo, noting that Backlund had no business putting Jim Ross in the crossface chicken wing last week because Ross was not a wrestler.

Bob Backlund (9-1) wrestles Savio Vega (14-3-1) to a double count out at 5:31 shown:

Predictably, Backlund stalls a ton and there is no sustained action in the match until both men end up on the floor where Backlund puts Savio in the crossface chicken wing and both get counted out.  This was hardly the best way to put over Backlund before he faces Bret Hart in a non-title match on the next RAW, and it was also the worst televised match for the company in 1995.  Rating:  DUD

Hendrix continues to discuss the Nassau Coliseum card.  The Smoking Gunns defend the WWF tag team titles against Jerry Lawler & Isaac Yankem!  Razor Ramon says that he and Diesel will carve up Sid and the 1-2-3 Kid at the show.  The New Haven Coliseum on January 6 will feature Ahmed Johnson against the British Bulldog.

A replay of Dr. Jeffrey Unger talking about Shawn Michaels medical condition on RAW is shown.

Tune in next week to see Ahmed Johnson face Isaac Yankem!  Also, Aldo Montoya wrestles Goldust!  And Hunter-Hearst Helmsley and Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty will be in action!

The Last Word:  This was a completely forgettable show as Superstars has not been relevant since Bill Watts exited the company.  A string of lousy shows after Survivor Series can also be chalked up to the lack of excitement surrounding In Your House as there is only one title match on the card, and none of the matchups beyond the WWF title contest have much suspense or intrigue.

The WWF did a sweep through the Northeast and into Illinois in early December.  Here are the results of some of those shows (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Civic Arena – December 8, 1995 (5,300):  Fatu, Barry Horowitz & Hakushi defeated Kama, Isaac Yankem & Skip at 6:19 when Fatu pinned Kama…Goldust beat Bob Holly with the Curtain Call at 10:12…The 1-2-3 Kid beat Marty Jannetty at 11:50.  After the match, Sid powerbombed Jannetty…Savio Vega beat Bob Backlund with a rollup…Ahmed Johnson defeated Rad Radford with the Pearl River Plunge at 8:07.  During the match, Skip & Sunny appeared at ringside to cheer Radford on…Sid beat Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon via count out at 5:10 after the Kid tossed Ramon into the steps…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry Godwinn in a slop bucket match at 8:56 by blocking a sunset flip attempt.  Although Godwinn was supposed to be slopped via the stipulations, Helmsley ended up getting slopped instead…The British Bulldog beat Diesel via disqualification at 5:17 when Diesel did Snake Eyes on an exposed turnbuckle…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns beat Owen Hart & Yokozuna at 10:19 when Billy pinned Owen after a rollup…WWF Champion Bret Hart wrestled the Undertaker to a double count out a 24:46 after Yokozuna, Owen Hart, and the British Bulldog interfered.

Chicago, Illinois – The United Center – December 9, 1995 (3,200):  Ahmed Johnson beat Rad Radford…Kama, Skip & Isaac Yankem defeated Barry Horowitz, Hakushi & Doink…Goldust beat Bob Holly…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley beat Henry Godwinn in a slop bucket match…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns defeated Owen Hart & Yokozuna…Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon defeated Sid…The British Bulldog beat Diesel via disqualification…WWF Champion Bret Hart wrestled the Undertaker to a double count out.

And here were some news items about the WWF in early December (courtesy of the December 18 edition of The Wrestling Observer):

*It appears very likely that Steve Austin will be leaving Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and going to the WWF.  He will likely be managed by Ted DiBiase, who the company appears to be ready to push again as a top heel manager, and be given the Million Dollar Belt.  Meltzer says that Austin is likely to be the next Ted DiBiase rather than the next Ric Flair so that should be a good pairing.

*Jim Cornette appears poised to join the WWF booking team heading into 1996.

*The Undertaker is getting cheered more than Bret Hart during their house show matches.  While they have not drawn significant gates, the company probably considered them a small success because of poor weather on the East Coast and in Chicago.

*Charles Wright, who has wrestled throughout 1995 as Kama, is wrapping up his scheduled dates with the company and will not be back in 1996.  (Note:  This would be in error as Kama would still make an appearance at Royal Rumble)

*Many of the talent remain unhappy with poor payoffs, with some looking at getting bookings in Japan.  There is a rumor that the Smoking Gunns are looking to leave the company, a departure that would do significant harm to the WWF’s tag team division.  Currently, wrestlers that are not getting booked but under contract are receiving $300 a week.

*Little Beaver, a midget wrestler who was most famous for getting squashed by King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania III, passed away on December 4 at the age of sixty-one.  Beaver died of emphysema.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for December 11, 1995!