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: 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: 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: 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: Monday Night RAW – November 20, 1995

A video package recaps how Bret Hart defeated Diesel at Survivor Series to become the new WWF Champion.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary and they are live from Richmond, Virginia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings were attended by 4,500 fans.

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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 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: 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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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 – October 21, 1995

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are calling the action and they are doing their final broadcast from Valparaiso, Indiana.  McMahon says that the Undertaker will not face Kama on today’s show because of the Undertaker’s recent facial injury.  Thehistoryofwwe.com says that the Undertaker won the match, originally taped for this show on September 26, as one would expect because Kama has not done anything of note since SummerSlam.

Henry Godwinn is shown feeding his hogs in Arkansas.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – October 14, 1995

Waylon Mercy says that he is going to put Diesel to sleep on today’s show.

Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are still in Valparaiso, Indiana.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – October 9, 1995

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentary team and they are taped from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Clips of Shawn Michaels appearing at the Survivor Series press conference in Washington, D.C. and crying about how kids see him as a role model are shown.

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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: Monday Night RAW – September 25, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps the ending of last night’s Triple Header main event at In Your House 3.  McMahon says that Jim Cornette and his attorney – the yet to be named Clarence Mason –  forced WWF President Gorilla Monsoon to strip Diesel and Shawn Michaels of the titles based on a technicality.  However, Monsoon has demanded that Owen Hart and Yokozuna defend the titles tonight and face Diesel and Michaels at a later date.  So that “guaranteed title change” the fans were supposed to get?  Well, forget about it now!

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

A video package recaps Hakushi’s recent problems with Skip and hypes their match on today’s show.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling the action and they are taped from Erie, Pennsylvania.  In a weird taping quirk, most of the September Superstars tapings took place in Erie except for the September 9 episode, which was taped in Canton, Ohio along with several Monday Night RAW episodes.

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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: 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: The Action Zone – August 27, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are taped from Worcester, Massachusetts, the site of the final Wrestling Challenge tapings, as well as from Portland, Maine.  It is SummerSlam Sunday!

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – August 26, 1995

Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are in the booth and they are taped from Portland, Maine.  SummerSlam is only a day away!

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – August 14, 1995

A video package hypes tonight’s Shawn Michaels-Jerry Lawler main event by playing up King Mabel’s attack on Michaels at the end of last week’s show.  Lawler tells Michaels that he is not superman and that he will finish what Mabel started on tonight’s broadcast.

Vince McMahon and Ted DiBiase are doing commentary and they are live from Worcester, Massachusetts.  The tapings drew a sold out crowd of 4,500 fans according to thehistoryofwwe.com.  This RAW also debuts a new entr

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