Hopefully I can find time to stick with these again.
October 16, 1995
From the Grand Center in Grand Rapids, MI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
The show starts off with a hype video for tonight’s Bret Hart vs. Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS steel cage match. We hear from both men, who are inside of the cage for this package, and also hear from Jerry Lawler as he hypes up his protege in Yankem. Lots of dentist puns here and not any good whatsoever.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Doink the Clown
Vince reminds Lawler that Gorilla Monsoon promised to put him inside of the shark cage that will hang above the steel cage should he try and interfere. Helmsley is spraying around the ring with a disgusted look on his face. Vince talks about Gorilla’s fines against King Mabel and Dean Douglas for their attacks in last week’s six-man tag match. The announcers talk about the aftermath from last week’s six-man tag match as Doink takes Helmsley over with a hip toss. Doink then punches Helmsley after grabbing him by the nose and after that catches him with a slam. Doink stays in control as Lawler talks about what happened to Shawn Michaels at a nightclub in Syracuse, NY but Vince cuts him off and says we will learn about this later. Helmsley fights back and drops Doink with an elbow smash then takes a bow as Lawler laughs over what happened to Shawn. Helmsley eats boot on a charge then is hit with a backbreaker. Doink then whiffs on an elbow drop and Helmsley comes back with a knee drop. Vince says that Helmsley will face Fatu at the PPV as Helmsley hits a suplex for a nearfall. Doink escapes from a sleeper then surprises Helmsley with a small package for two. Doink uses a backslide for two and hammers away but Helmsley ducks a crossbody then puts Doink away with the Pedigree (3:50) *1/2.
Thoughts: Basic match here as Helmsley wins en route to his PPV match against Fatu. However, the real news was learning that something happened to Shawn Michaels. This would also be the last appearance of Ray Apollo as Doink the Clown until his final appearance in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7.
We now see Barry Horowitz once again try to “Americanize” Hakushi this time by teaching him baseball. Horowitz asks him about the great home run hitter for the New York Yankees, doing whatever he can to get Hakushi to say “Babe Ruth,” but Hakushi talks about Hank Aaron, who at the time was the MLB leader in career home runs. This prompts Horowitz to get excited and hug Hakushi. A dumb segment.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: PG-13 vs. Smoking Gunns (c)
The WWE Network version of this match has PG-13 coming out to the Men on a Mission theme. No idea if that happened live. This is a title match as Vince tells us originally, the titles were not going to be on the line. We hear from PG-13 in an insert promo before the match as they vow to be WWF Champions. We now go split-screen to Gorilla as he tells us that King Mabel will face Yokozuna at the PPV since the two both got fined after the six-man for their actions. Lawler was upset it was not Bret Hart chosen to face Mabel. Wolfie D tries to hip toss Billy but that gets blocked. Billy overpowers Wolfie briefly but gets distracted by JC Ice and that allows Wolfie to attack from behind. Bart tags and JC jumps around then cartwheels and gets clotheslined. Bart takes care of PG-13 by themselves as Vince talks about Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid watching backstage as they face the Gunns on the PPV. PG-13 is able to mess around and take control of Billy, now the legal man, after running around outside of the ring. Lawler talks about assault charges being filed in Syracuse as we go to break. Action returns with PG-13 continuing to work over Billy. Vince notes that Lawler will be chatting tomorrow night on AOL. Billy fights off and sends Wolfie into JC then tags out as Bart runs wild while the crowd is silent. The Gunns stay in control then hit the Sidewinder for the win (5:04) *.
Thoughts: A glorified squash match here with PG-13 doing anything they can to entertain while bumping around for a seemingly bored Gunns team. Speaking of PG-13, the “Pro Wresting Torch Newsletter” reported that the team was brought in just for this taping without a promise of future dates so given that info, this outcome should not have been a surprise. However, you could also say with the lack of depth that a team like PG-13 would be welcomed but the WWF was cutting out the “B” house shows so more lower talent was not a necessity. Gorilla finally tells us who will face Yokozuna at In Your House and it makes sense since Mabel was the one who took out Undertaker. Also, more hints about what happened to Shawn in Syracuse, NY.
We now get a hype video for next week’s Alundra Blayze vs. Bertha Faye WWF Women’s Title match. Not exactly a feud that was setting the world on fire but since they are the entire division its what we are going to get.
From “earlier this week,” we get an interview with Jim Cornette & British Bulldog that is conducted by Dok Hendrix. Its from a “Superstars” taping. Bulldog is asked about pinning Diesel last week. Cornette answers and says he wants Diesel to realize what will happen at In Your House and goes over the history with Bulldog suckering Diesel into being his partner and all champions ducking Bulldog, causing Bulldog to turn his back on his former friends. Cornette vows that Bulldog will finally become champion and nothing will stop him from achieving this goal. Dok interjects himself and how Yokozuna was the reason Bulldog pinned Diesel last week. Bulldog angrily tosses off his jacket and tells Dok he lacks respect just like these fans before promising to win the title at In Your House. The interview was okay I suppose but hardly memorable and the build for this title match has been ice cold.
We get the Ahmed Johnson “honor” video package. Vince prefaced this by saying Ahmed had his values altogether “long before there was a Million Man March.” That’s what he said.
Dean Douglas vs. Joe Dorgan
For those unaware, Dorgan would later go on to become Johnny Swinger. We get a clip of Douglas attacking Shawn last week after the six-man tag match. Vince also said Dean will face Shawn this Sunday at the PPV. However, Lawler wonders if Shawn will be absent. Vince then talks about Shawn being the victim of an “unprovoked attack” in a parking lot outside of a nightclub by “ten thugs.” Lawler doesn’t believe this and that Shawn “ran his mouth” but a somber Vince says that was not the case and Shawn was repeatedly “battered” in the face and lost consciousness after being pulled from a parked car. Vince is trying to reach Shawn via telephone then we hear Shawn as Douglas beats on Dorgan. Shawn says everyone is after him both inside and outside of the ring but promises not to quit like everyone else does and will be at In Your House as Douglas puts Dorgan away with a fisherman’s suplex (2:09).
Thoughts: The match was just a backdrop for Shawn’s phone call as we heard him explain what happened. Now, the question is whether or not Shawn will be able to compete at the PPV. Shawn said he will be there but made sure not to specifically state he would be wrestling.
Dok Hendrix is in his Slam Jam studio to shill the “Two Dudes with Attitudes” t-shirt that costs $20 plus $3.95 shipping & handling. You also get the free classic VHS tape that has been shilled for weeks as a throw-in for the merchandise. Were these VHS tapes overflowing out of the warehouse of something? They’ve been attached to every single piece of merchandise being advertised on TV for weeks.
We see the shark cage in front of the announcers desk and it getting rigged to go up into the air incase Lawler tries to interfere.
The hosts run down the PPV card. And boy is it underwhelming on paper then in just a few days we get to see how it turned out in execution.
We hear from Paul Bearer as he talks about Mabel & Yokozuna crushing Undertaker’s face and not only might never look the same again but also never be the same again. However, Bearer believes Undertaker will return soon to get his revenge and that Mabel & Yokozuna will also never be the same again. Probably the best thing on this show to be honest.
Video for next week’s 20-man battle royal where the winner will receive an Intercontinental Title shot.
Steel Cage Match: Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
We start off with a lockup as Yankem tosses Bret into the corner and pummels away. Bret dodges a charge and hammers away before using a Manhattan drop. Bret clotheslines Yankem then headbutts his midsection. Bret slams Yankem and drops an elbow before climbing the cage. Yankem pulls Bret down then punches away as the announcers talk about Bret’s experience in cage matches. Yankem now climbs the cage after hammering away but Bret grabs his leg and punches him down before climbing himself. Bret is halfway over the cage but Yankem is able to pull him down. We still get both men climbing and getting pulled down with Lawler concerned about Yankem. And you can clearly see how bored the fans are behind him. Now, we are shown referee Tim White trying to unlock the door as we then see Lawler laugh and pull out the lock that does go to the referee’s key. Lawler jokes about being the “key” to victory as we go to break. Match returns with Bret hammering away as we see a “Special Bulletin” flash across the screen about how we can find out more about the Shawn Michaels attack by calling the Superstar Line. Bret slams Yankem off of the top rope then climbs up top for a flying clothesline. Bret applies the Sharpshooter for a minute then climbs the cage but Lawler leaves the booth and climbs the cage on the outside and punches Bret down. Gorilla comes down to ringside flanked by the Goof Squad (Tony Garea & Rene Goulet) and orders Lawler down. Lawler stays up but Bret climbs back up and punches away then Lawler is put into the Shark Cage as that is hoisted above the cage. Back to the match as Bret is kicking Yankem with the camera view being so we can see Lawler in the cage on the video wall. Yankem now chokes out Bret with his foot as Lawler screams out of fear. Yankem tries a piledriver but Bret counters with a back drop then climbs the cage. He gets over to the outside but Yankem grabs his hair and bring Bret back inside. He slams Bret off of the top rope and we now see Lawler put in another ear piece as Yankem climbs the cage. Bret gets up and slugs it out with Yankem and brings him back into the cage and knocks him off the top rope. Lawler is now shown with a nose bleed due to the altitude apparently as we go to break. In reality, Lawler picked a scab in his nose to cause the bleeding. We return with Bret firing away as the crowd looks completely disinterested as the piped-in noise is quite obvious. Bret hits Yankem with a side slam then climbs the cage and makes it over to the other side but Yankem once again gets up and brings Bret back in by the hair. Yankem now gets halfway up the cage but is pulled back in and we are now actively seeing people leave their seats. Lawler reaches into his pocket and pulls out the key to the lock and drops it to Yankem. We see Yankem unlock the cage door but Bret takes him over with a reverse rollup then decks him in the jaw. Bret takes the key and tosses it out of the cage and hits a bulldog as the ref locks the door. Bret hits a backbreaker then drops an elbow before climbing up the cage and this time he is able to successfully climb out and win the match (15:23 shown) *1/2. After the match we are shown an angry Lawler in the shark cage as Bret slaps hands with the fans. Vince talks about Lawler’s personal dentist losing to Bret too.
Thoughts: Subpar main event in front of a crowd that was tired and wanted to leave. And many of them did. You could see people leaving their seats throughout the match (although a few did them to leave from the seats further away to get closer). The match had zero heat, much like everything else on this show. At one point during the match they panned out and you could see a sea of empty seats.
After the break, Vince tells Lawler there are problems with the cables and cannot get him down right now. Vince then signs off and says we might see Lawler at In Your House. A corny joke to cap off a terrible show.
Final Thoughts: The show itself was terrible. Dead crowd, lame characters, and forgettable wrestling. But the much bigger news was what happened to Shawn Michaels. We will learn more as we go along but despite everything else, the build for In Your House has been poor with the show now just six days away.