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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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: Monday Night Raw – December 4, 1995

Vince McMahon narrates tonight’s promo video for the Razor Ramon-Dean Douglas Intercontinental title match and Sid-Marty Jannetty encounter.  Sid and Jannetty give dueling promos, with Jannetty promising to light Sid up.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentary team and they are taped from Richmond, Virginia.

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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: 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 – October 23, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps parts of In Your House 4, noting how WWF Champion Diesel and Bret Hart brawled at the end of the show and how Razor Ramon became a four-time Intercontinental champion.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings drew 2,000 fans.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – September 30, 1995

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s commentary team and they are taped from the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings drew 3,000 fans.

Barry Horowitz is showing trying to tutor Hakushi on American politics, a segment that McMahon laughs at.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – September 23, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps how Henry Godwinn has been on a “slopping spree” in recent weeks and chronicles his battles with the Million Dollar Corporation.

McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are in the booth and concluding the tapings in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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

Clips of the end of last week’s British Bulldog-Razor Ramon match are shown, along with the 1-2-3 Kid’s challenge to Razor Ramon for a match on tonight’s show.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Canton, Ohio.  This is our last RAW before In Your House 3.

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

Vince McMahon recaps the events of the Shawn Michaels-Razor Ramon ladder match at SummerSlam and how Sid looks to “tear down the Heartbreak Hotel” tonight while Ramon faces the newly turned British Bulldog.

To kick off the “new fall season” of Monday Night RAW the company abandons the intro that RAW used for the better part of two and half years and replaces it with an introduction of wrestlers battling on the top of Titan Towers in Connecticut.  The highlight is Shawn Michaels dancing atop a platform and then diving on top of Kama.  Later footage from this opening would be used for D-Generation X’s Titantron video in 1997.

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What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – September 3, 1995

Todd Pettengill and Jim Ross quickly recap some of the events at SummerSlam.

Pettengill and Ross are doing commentary and they are taped from Portland, Maine.  Pettengill tells fans that The Action Zone will have a new format next week due to the WWF’s “new fall season.”

Footage of Barry Horowitz upsetting Skip at SummerSlam is shown.

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

Since Monday Night RAW was pre-empted for the U.S. Open on USA Network, there were some matches that aired on the Saturday morning WWF Mania show.  Those contests were taped in Worcester, Massachusetts in mid-August.  Here were the results of those bouts:

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What the World Was Watching: SummerSlam 1995

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  McMahon announces that 18,062 fans are in attendance, setting a record for the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this was the reported attendance figure with 17,000 of those fans paying to attend the show.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – August 19, 1995

Footage of the end of RAW where Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels had an altercation after Ramon saved Michaels from a beatdown at the hands of Sid.

Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are doing commentary and they are kicking off a new set of tapings in Portland, Maine.  According to the historyofwwe.com the tapings drew a crowd of 4,683 fans.

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What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – August 6, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary that are in St. Louis, Missouri.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – July 17, 1995

Irwin R. Schyster and Shawn Michaels cut dueling promos against each other for tonight’s main event, with Michaels saying that he is going to do what lots of Americans want to do in slapping around the tax man.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Danville, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – July 8, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps Men on a Mission beating down the Smoking Gunns back in March because both teams are facing each other in today’s feature match.

McMahon and Dok Hendrix are doing commentary and they are taped from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – July 3, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps how Shawn Michaels and Jeff Jarrett had an altercation at the end of last week’s show after Jarrett defended the Intercontinental title against Savio Vega.

Sid and Bam Bam Bigelow cut promos against each other for tonight’s feature match.  Sid promises to give Bigelow a Ph.D. in pain, while Bigelow promises to set Sid on fire, with a fireball included as part of the promo.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler, who is guzzling what is supposed to be mouth wash, are doing commentary and they are still in Danville, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – July 2, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are kicking off a new set of tapings in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The tapings were held on June 28, 1995.

Ross and Pettengill recap the Bret Hart-Jerry Lawler “kiss my foot” match at The King of the Ring.  The audience gets another viewing of Lawler hyping his dentist, Isaac Yankem, D.D.S, who he says is coming to the WWF to get some revenge on Bret.

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