This one has been on my mind for a while
Now obviously, Mabel winning the KOTR in 1995 ended up being a big flop and the show itself is remembered with scorn. That being said, I think the reason this is less to do with Mabel actually winning, but more to do with how he won.
Mabel won the tournament by beating Savio Vega in the final. Vega had only been in the company for less than a month and hadn't had any sufficient time to get over to where fans would be prepared to route for him in a main event match.
The original plan for the tournament was that the Savio role would have been played by Sean Waltman, but Waltman was too injured at the time to compete for that many matches.
When you think about that, the story not only makes sense but also sounds pretty cool.
Savio was in the tournament because Razor Ramon had to be taken out. The Kid was known at the time as Razor's buddy, so it would have made sense for him to take his friends place.
Kid was liked enough by the fans that they would have bought into him in the role as the under dog. Being in the tournament would have allowed for him to get a pinfall win over IRS, that had alluded him prior to the show, and he would have also gotten a win over Yokozuna, that would have raised his stock in the eyes of the fans. His semi final opponent could have then been Roadie or Bob Holly. He not only was feuding with Roadie at the time but he had also held the tag titles that year with Holly, thus adding intrigue to either one of those matches.
Kid was not only more of an established star but he was also a much better worker than Savio, which would have bumped up the match ratings on the show and also elevated the tournament itself and Kid's standing in the company.
I still maintain that you could book the show exactly the same, but have Kid in place of Savio, and the show wouldn't be anywhere near as hated. I've always enjoyed the Bret Vs Lawler match from the show and think it gets a bum rap as people just hate the show in general.
I'd be interested to see what the doomers think
All the best and I hope yourself and the family have a great holiday season
Wow, don't get many KOTR 95 defense pieces on here. Kudos for bravery, if nothing else.
Look, there was so much wrong with that show that inserting 123 Waltman in there wouldn't even scratch the surface. It was the wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong place, as Mabel was the perfect storm of suck. The fanbase DESPERATELY wanted Shawn Michaels to win that thing and anyone else was just rubbing salt in the wound. Even Razor would have been pretty awesome and different, but instead it was Vince panicking and doing what he always does — pushing the biggest slugs he can find when business is down. Not to mention running with a Savio v. Mabel final in PHILLY during the height of ECW's underground rise was madness. Fuck, even WCW was smart enough to turn Slamboree 94 into an ECW-themed show when it was apparent, a year before that mind you, that the market was turning that way.
The idea was doomed from the start.