May 22, 1995
From the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, NY
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Tonight, Shawn Michaels returns to action against King Kong Bundy in a King of the Ring qualifying match.
The hosts run down the show which also features the Allied Powers in action and an appearance by Bret Hart.
Razor Ramon w/ Savio Vega vs. Mike Bell
Vince talks about Razor defeating Jacob Blu on “Superstars” to qualify for the King of the Ring as we then see Savio Vega’s debut at “In Your House” as that PPV will be released by Coliseum Home Video on August 9th. We also learn from Lawler that Jeff Jarrett regained the Intercontinental Title in Canada last night as Razor had won it back two days prior. Razor works the arm to start. He then slaps down Bell after eating a back elbow smash as Vince plugs Savio Vega vs. Eli Blu this coming Sunday on the “Action Zone.” Razor fights back in the corner and takes Bell down with a hip toss. Razor hits a corner clothesline then slaps Bell around before hitting the fallaway slam. Vince teases Lawler about Bret coming out to confront him tonight as Razor uses a chin lock on the mat. Razor dumps Bell outside then brings him back in for an uranage. Razor hits a super back suplex as Lawler makes fun of Bret for being an “ugly” baby and after sets up for Razor’s Edge but instead pushes Bell down and covers with his foot the win (4:17).
Thoughts: They pushed Razor as being in King of the Ring and talked a little about Savio. More importantly, however, was the news of Razor losing the Intercontinental Title that he won from Jarrett a few days prior. There was no mention of a rematch between the two though. And, Razor & Savio did not have much chemistry here or even looked like they wanted to be together. In his shoot interview with RF Video, Vega said that the plan was for them to win the Tag Team Titles but Razor apparently complained to management and was overhead complaining during the talent meeting by someone (I believe it was Yokozuna) about wanting to stay a singles act.
Bret Hart now comes down the aisle and confronts Lawler. He talks about not making excuses for how he lost to “worthless scum” by Lawler and had to think over whether or not he is a failure. Bret then says Lawler will never be better than him no matter how much he cheats and talks about letting people down. Bret then says he wants to face Lawler one more time and offers a rematch with any type of stipulation he wants. Bret then gets right next to Lawler behind the desk and orders him back into the ring. Bret then says that Lawler is lower than *bleep* and starts to go after Lawler as Vince yells at him to stop. Several agents are trying to pry Bret away as Bret is in Lawler’s face asking what kind of match he wants. Bret finally gets pried away and leaves. Good segment with Lawler being the cowardly heel as Bret is the fiery babyface demanding a rematch, even letting Lawler pick the stipulation. I liked Bret’s aggressiveness in this segment and it was definitely warranted given all that Lawler has done to his family and himself.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. John Crystal
This is Helmsley’s RAW debut. Lawler is upset at Vince for not helping him out. Helmsley and Crystal trade arm wringers to start. Helmsley grabs the ropes to break a hammerlock by Crystal as Vince tells us Helmsley believes he is better than other Americans. Helmsley roughs up Crystal in the corner then rubs his forearm into his face on the mat. Helmsley gets booed after bowing to the crowd then hits a snap suplex. Vince says that we will hear from Bob Backlund after this match as Helmsley hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then ducks a punch and hits a cutter for the win (3:10).
Thoughts: Some talk about Bret confronting Lawler and a plug for Backlund’s appearance later on in the show. Helmsley continues to look good in the ring but the frequent bowing and juvenile way of playing up being an aristocrat is not going to draw serious heat.
We now hear a campaign message from Bob Backlund. He is sitting in his office. We get his thoughts on education as he wants kids to not use computers, purchase a dictionary, and demands the kids go to school all year long without any Summer vacations. This was an amusing segment.
Backstage, we hear Ted DiBiase pump up King Kong Bundy for his match against Shawn Michaels.
A video package is shown of Stephanie Wiand presenting the keys to the house given to Matt Pomposelli. Wiand gives him a tour where we see The Bushwhackers inside surprising the kid.
Allied Powers vs. Tony DeVito & Bill Payne
We are shown a clip of British Bulldog lifting Mabel onto his shoulders over one week ago on the “Action Zone.” Bulldog works over DeVito to start as Vince talks about the Powers having incredible strength. Lawler says he does not want to give Bret a rematch because Bret has never beaten him. Luger is on and works the arm of Payne as Vince tries to pressure Lawler into granting Bret a rematch. The announcers now talk about Backlund’s campaign platform as Bulldog hits Payne with a running powerslam for the win (2:56). Vince then teases Lawler by saying Bret is running back out.
Thoughts: Even more focus on the Bret/Lawler feud with Vince really daring Lawler to accept Bret’s challenge. The announcers put over the strength of the Allied Powers, who seem to be biding time until they get a shot at the Tag Team Titles.
We see a replay from last week where Ted DiBiase challenged Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow to face Sid & Tatanka.
A hype video for next week’s Undertaker vs. Jeff Jarrett match that will be a King of the Ring qualifying match.
Kama w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz tries to work the arm but gets overpowered by Kama. Horowitz surprises Kama with a few punches but eats a thrust kick. Horowitz ducks an attack and sends Kama outside but gets dragged out by Kama and roughed up. Kama now beats on Horowitz in the corner as Lawler wants to come up with a humiliating stipulation for Bret should he choose to give him a rematch. Vince plugs house shows in Canada as Kama kicks down Horowitz before a single leg crab gets the win (2:21).
Thoughts: Here, we heard Lawler a lot more open into granting Bret a rematch provided he can think of a humiliating stipulation. Kama is still struggling to get any sort of heel heat.
Todd Pettengill tells us about the Hall of Fame ceremony that takes place the evening prior to King of the Ring. Antonino Rocca is shown as one of the nominees. Well, a graphic of him was shown since he passed away 18 years before this show aired.
Barry Didinsky is in the crowd shilling the new Shawn Michaels “all around” t-shirt. Its named that as there is printing all around the shirt. He then leaves after hearing The Corporation’s theme. I really cannot think of any reason the company thought Didinsky would be good in this role. The guy could not even convince someone to pay him $1 for a $100 bill.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: King Kong Bundy w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Shawn Michaels
Before the bell, as Shawn’s theme plays, Bundy tries a sneak attack but Shawn was ready and takes Bundy outside with a high knee. Shawn then dances around like crazy as we go to break. We return with Shawn tapping DiBiase on the back and scares him off. Bundy is still stunned then Shawn heads back in and flies out with a plancha onto Bundy. Shawn heads back in to pose as Vince puts him over like crazy. Shawn offers a handshake but Bundy swats it away. Bundy hammers away but Shawn uses his speed to elude him and fight back. Bundy shoves Shawn done to avoid mounted punches but Shawn slides out and puts his arm around DiBiase to once again freak him out. Shawn heads back in with a double axe handle but Bundy sends him up and over in the corner as Shawn splats outside. Bundy slams Shawn on the floor then rolls him back into the ring. Bundy methodically beats on Shawn before applying a bearhug. Shawn tries to escape with a sunset flip but Bundy counters with a sit-down splash for a nearfall. Bundy now applies a chin lock as we now see Diesel & Bigelow watching the match backstage on a tiny monitor. We head to break as Shawn is now in control. Shawn takes Bundy down with what appeared to be a crossbody that did not get enough distance or Bundy was out of position then Shawn hits the super kick and falls on top for the win (6:04 shown) *1/2.
Thoughts: Not much of a match given the limitations of Bundy but Shawn went full speed ahead when he was in control. Vince also gushed all over Shawn on commentary and with that plus all the hype Shawn was getting on TV in his return the result did not seem like a surprise.
We now see Diesel & Bigelow head down to the ring. Vince wants to know if they really are all friends. Vince talks up Shawn’s victory as an upset of sorts then the music stops as Diesel & Bigelow are in the ring. Diesel offers a handshake to Shawn but Shawn backs off. Shawn then points his thumb up and Diesel puts up his hand as Shawn does a leaping high-five then the two hug as Bigelow claps in the background. Bigelow then raises their hands as we see an attractive woman smiling in the front row. Shawn and Diesel have officially rekindled their friendship on screen while Bigelow gets to be the third wheel in the ring.
At the announcers desk as they run down next week’s show that also includes Sid and Hakushi in singles action. Vince then asks Lawler if he will accept Bret’s challenge. Lawler then acts like something is in his throat and is unable to speak.
We hear from Undertaker & Paul Bearer to hype up the match against Jeff Jarrett.
Final Thoughts: The big news here is that Shawn is back. They also teased a stipulation match between Lawler and Bret Hart with King of the Ring approaching so with Lawler being a “king” it would not be a shock to have the stipulation based on that theme. Next week we get another KotR qualifying match with Jarrett, the Intercontinental Champion, going up against The Undertaker as the march towards the PPV continues.