Ahmed Johnson vs. Vader & Triple-H vs. Jake (and other KOTR Qualifying Matches!)

Austin 3:16- The Most Iconic Promo Ever Happened 25 Years Ago Today

Beating a bunch of midcarders and you change the business forever. Wrestling is weird.

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1996):
* You might have heard of this tournament before. So by this point, the tourney was kind of up in the air after Mabel’s failed Main Event push. It could have even poisoned the “King” title, in fact. Hopefully THIS year’s winner makes more of a go of it.

So the backstory here was that the crown was meant to go to the “Next Big Midcarder”, more or less- mid-tier heel Hunter Hearts-Helmsley was expected to win it. But instead, he was one of the few guys the WWF could punish for doing the infamous “Curtain Call” (the Kliq members all coming out for a group hug in the ring, “exposing the business” by confusing fans at an MSG house show). And so he had his big push taken away and they threw it on some other guy. Thus giving HHH a lifelong persecution complex and an obsessive need to look smarter and better than everyone else, covering his own ass at every opportunity. But who knows what effect THAT had on the business?

This review is comparatively massive, because I decided to put the trio of Quarterfinals in the same review instead of splitting them up. Easier to look at the tourney as a whole that way! Hopefully it’s not too long, haha.

HENRY O. GODWINN (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. JUSTIN “HAWK” BRADHSAW (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(WWF Superstars)
* Weirdness abounds as tag wrestler Godwinn is out there with absolutely ZERO chance, taking on rising midcard guy Bradshaw, then a super-green Stan Hansen wannabe in red trunks and a ponytail managed by Zebekiah. At this point, the future JBL was nowhere near as protected as he would be even as part of the Acolytes, but he was protected enough.

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The Legion of Doom vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (and other Dream Matches!)

WWE's Top 10 Most Controversial Storylines - Page 4

The LOD vs. the RnRs! And not in FirePro! But don’t get too excited, because it’s short!

It’s time for another Dream Matches column! I was really surprised by how much of a reaction my 1995 KOTR one got, so I’ll have a 1996 version next week. This one features the one-time-only tag team match between the Road Warriors and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express… except it’s given 4 minutes on a WWF D-Show and the Express are heels! Life is weird.

Also up is a DOUBLE-SHOT of Ahmed Johnson vs. Al Snow, as Ahmed takes on Shinobi in an infamous squash match, and then the next year faces the New Rockers’ “Leif Cassidy”. Then we get the Bruiser Brody Memorial Show weirdo match of Abdullah the Butcher & Jimmy Snuka against Stan Hansen & Tom Zenk of all people. And we end it with a WCW Lucha Libre show match starring Psychosis, Felino & El Mosco vs. Blitzkrieg, Venum & Super Calo!

THE LEGION OF DOOM vs. THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPRESS (w/ Jim Cornette, Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham):
(WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, Jan. 24th, 1998)
* Yes, this is apparently the one and only time the friggin’ Road Warriors & R’n’Rs EVER FOUGHT, despite the vast amount of years both teams had been around, often in the same company. This seems impossible given how today’s wrestling is, but back then, I guess they just never wanted to run it. On this very blog, someone suggested it and Scott pointed out the Roadies weren’t gonna lose and the Express was better off getting the rub for teams who could play ball with them: https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2020/05/19/road-warriors-vs-rnr/. All there ever was was a 4-way match I guess. So instead we get a four-minute bullshit match on a WWF D-show, and this is the only time these two legendary squads ever faced each other in a tag match… with Jim Cornette backing up the HEEL RnRs, who are advertised as the NWA Tag Team Champions. Life is weird.

The Express are in red tights with white tassels (coming down to the ROCKERS’ theme music of all things) while the LOD are sorta in their “LOD 2000” gear, with grey shoulderpads- an unusual look for the WWF. The Express are 40 and 42, yet both look nearly fifty- they did NOT age well.

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What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – December 9, 1995

Dave Brown and Corey Maclin are calling today’s action from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bob Armstrong comes out with Downtown Bruno, who is in a wheelchair and wearing a cervical collar.  Before Armstrong says anything important the show cuts to commercial.

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What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – November 18, 1995

Lance Russell and Corey Maclin are in the booth for today’s show, which is a special “on the road” broadcast because of repairs being made to the WMC-TV5 studio.  The matches on this show come from the November 13 card in Memphis.

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What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – November 11, 1995

Footage of Ahmed Johnson beating Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified World Championship in Memphis is shown.

Lance Russell and Dave Brown are in the booth, broadcasting from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

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What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – November 4, 1995

Lance Russell and Dave Brown call today’s action from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee

Brown interviews Richard Lee, a longtime Tennessee manager to worked for Nick and George Gulas in the 1980s and then started working for Jerry Jarrett in 1985. He was best known for managing the Moondogs, who he hypes as the most violent team in the territory. On today’s show he is returning after being gone for three years and brings with him Moondog Cujo, a man he claims is going to bring more violence to the USWA.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – December 23, 1995 (Last of the series)

A replay of Xanta Claus attacking Savio Vega at In Your House 5 is shown.

Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are doing commentary and they are kicking off some new tapings in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, only 1,500 fans attended because there was a blizzard during the show.  This was also the taping where Bradshaw made his debut in a dark match, losing to Savio Vega.  Also, this is the last Superstars of 1995 because next week’s episode is a “year in review” show.

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What the World Was Watching: In Your House 5

(My reviews are a little out of order as I accidentally posted the Monday Night RAW that happened the night after this show on Friday instead of posting this In Your House review.  So if you missed that review, you can read this one and then go back and check that one out.  I will finish this series of 1995 WWF columns on Friday).

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – December 18, 1995

Vince McMahon narrates a video package that shows highlights of In Your House 5.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Newark, Delaware.  This is the last RAW of 1995 since the WWF was pre-empted for Christmas.

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

Razor Ramon reads an adaptation of A Night Before Christmas to preview In Your House 5.

Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Salisbury, Maryland.  The Superstars theme song has been updated to reflect some of the changes in the company’s roster as Dean Douglas and Waylon Mercy have been removed from it.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – December 11, 1995

A video package recaps the Bret Hart-Bob Backlund feud, which limits the history between the two to Backlund’s actions over the past two weeks.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are the broadcast team and due to a quirk in the taping schedule due to the Thanksgiving holiday they are from Salisbury, Maryland, the site of the Superstars tapings for mid-December.  This is the last RAW before In Your House.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – December 2, 1995

Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are calling today’s action, which is taped from Salisbury, Maryland.

Marty Jannetty gives Razor Ramon a leather jacket backstage and asks for Ramon’s help against the 1-2-3 Kid.  Ramon agrees to the idea and agrees to watch Jannetty’s back as long as Jannetty watches his in the weeks ahead.  It seems like this angle ran behind their television storylines as McMahon already told fans on RAW that Ramon and Jannetty would be facing Sid and the Kid at In Your House.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – November 27, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps Shawn Michaels collapsing on last week’s show, taking the chance to remind fans that bad things can happen inside of the squared circle.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are still in Richmond, Virginia.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – November 25, 1995

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s commentary team and they are taped from Richmond, Virginia.  This episode was taped at the same location as RAW because the company had get Superstars ready to air a day early because of Thanksgiving.

Highlights of the 1-2-3 Kid’s ongoing issue with Marty Jannetty are shown, including Sid’s attack on Jannetty on RAW.

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What the World Was Watching: Survivor Series 1995

Howard Finkel announces Mr. Perfect, who is returning to the company after a year and a half hiatus.  Perfect comes to ringside to serve as a color commentator.

Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are doing commentary and they are live from Landover, Maryland.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – November 18, 1995

A great movie-style preview of Goldust opens the show with Todd Pettengill narrating.  Goldust says that he is ready for his close up and that has finally arrived on Superstars.  Pettengill also says that they will show us the shocking footage of the 1-2-3 Kid’s heel turn on RAW.

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are calling the action and they are concluding the tapings in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – November 13, 1995

A video package hypes tonight’s Razor Ramon-Sid matchup that has the 1-2-3 Kid as the referee.  Vince McMahon announces  interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has grown suspicious of the 1-2-3 Kid’s actions after a recent house show tour and has decided that tonight’s match will not be for the Intercontinental Championship.  More on this storyline development at the end of the recap.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling tonight’s action and are concluding the tapings in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada since Survivor Series is this Sunday.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – November 11, 1995

A video package shows the outcome of the Smoking Gunns-Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid match at In Your House 4 and how the Kid apologized to the Gunns later.  Razor and the Kid warn the Gunns that they are coming after them in today’s rematch.

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s broadcasters and this is the third of four taped episodes from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – November 6, 1995

Todd Pettengill recaps Ahmed Johnson slamming Yokozuna on last week’s show and hypes tonight’s big contests.

Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are tonight’s commentary team and they are still in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – November 4, 1995

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are calling today’s action, which is still unfolding in the confines of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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