(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
November 19, 1995
News & Notes: The WWF’s business continued declining in 1995. They reduced the number of house shows, which caused panic in the roster. The Kliq threatened to go on strike if Vince didn’t meet with them. They expressed their concerns over creative issues and the direction of the company. They also pitched ideas. The meeting caused more friction for the group, but they didn’t care. The Kliq claimed the company didn’t fire anyone because of the meeting. However, Bam Bam, Dean Douglas, and Jean-Pierre left within two months. What a coincidence.
The Kliq meeting didn’t derail Vince’s decision on Diesel. The experiment was still at an end. They announced Diesel would defend his title against Bret Hart at Survivor Series. Their previous encounters ended with no decision. Gorilla Monsoon announced it would be a No DQ/No Count-Out Match to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. There would be a winner. He also announced the victor would face The British Bulldog at December’s In Your House 5.
The WWF also announced a new concept for Survivor Series. They called it a Wild Card Match. Friends and foes had to team with and against each other. They drew random names. Razor Ramon teams with his rival Dean Douglas, as well as Owen Hart & Yokozuna. They face the returning Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid, Bulldog, and a newcomer named Ahmed Johnson. He is a powerhouse of a wrestler with an inspirational backstory. He grew up on the violent streets and was raised by a single mother. Ahmed showed great intensity in both his promos and ring style. Those promos were almost incomprehensible, but he delivered them with gusto. It helped get him over with the crowd. They also made him look strong by having Ahmed slam Yokozuna on TV. It worked.
The show opens with The Fink introducing the special guest commentator, Mr. Perfect. He returned to the WWF, but not as a wrestler. Perfect collected a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy because of his recurring back issues. That meant he couldn’t wrestle, but he could commentate. He would work on Superstars for the most part.
Then, they air a video package hyping the main event. Epic music plays while the narrator praises the accolades of both men. Bret is the only man to hold all the major titles twice. Diesel won all three belts in his first year. Diesel says they will find out who is the best. Bret tells Diesel the truck stops here. Geez, who wrote that line? It sounds like a dad joke. Both men want the title, but Diesel says it’s dear to him. The epic tone of the video is then ruined by Todd Pettengill. He tells everyone Milton Bradley Karate Fighters presents Survivor Series. The logo appears in front of a picture of the Capitol Building because they are near Washington DC.
Vince welcomes everyone to suburban Washington DC, and Survivor Series. He’s with Mr. Perfect and Jim Ross. Mr. Perfect calls the show a perfect Survivor Series because he’s in full cliché mode tonight. Then, Jim Ross says Mr. Bob Backlund is still campaigning in the arena.
(The Bodydonnas) Skip, Dr. Tom Prichard, Rad Radford, & The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Sunny & Ted DiBiase) vs. (The Underdogs) Marty Jannetty, Barry Horowitz, Bob Holly, & Hakushi
Notes: The 1-2-3 Kid turned heel. At first, he apologized for his actions against the Smoking Gunns. It was insincere. He showed his true colors as a ref in a Razor/Sid match. The Kid helped Sid win and revealed he joined the Million Dollar Corporation. This confirmed rumors about the Kid talking with DiBiase backstage. The story is DiBiase bought the Kid a spot on this Survivor Series team. He replaced Jean-Pierre Lafitte, who left the company. Razor Ramon storms the ring when the Kid arrives, but the officials stop him.
The Kid joins The Bodydonnas. They added two honorary members for the night. Sunny introduces Tom Prichard as The Heavenly Bodydonna. He would later become a full member after changing both his look and name. The other member is Rad Radford (Louie Spicolli). He’s a dirty grungy man, but the Donnas are trying to whip him into shape. They call him a Bodydonna in training. They’re facing a rag-tag group of jobbers. On a side note, Bob Holly is a replacement. He took the place of Avatar, which is one of Al Snow’s early gimmicks. It is a ninja character, but his debut flopped. Vince replaced him on this team.
The Match: Jannetty cleans house, but Hakushi falls victim to Radford and the Kid. Rad gives him a spinebuster and the Kid lands a frog splash. Bob Holly tags, but the heels gang up on him in their corner. Prichard gives Bob a gut-wrench powerbomb, but he misses a moonsault. Then, Holly eliminates him with a flying cross body. (Elimination: Tom Prichard) Holly celebrates, so Skip rolls him up for a pin. (Elimination: Bob Holly) Hakushi then uses sweeps and kicks on Skip. He also tries a Vader Bomb, but Skip raises his knees. The Kid returns and trades kicks with Hakushi until Hakushi answers with a handspring elbow. He follows that with a flying tackle and a springboard splash, but the latter misses. The Kid responds with a kick to the head and Radford rolls up Hakushi. (Elimination: Hakushi) Rad then takes control of Horowitz. He pulls him up on pin attempts because Skip wants Barry to suffer. Rad also does push-ups, but it allows Barry to cradle him for a pin. (Elimination: Rad Radford) However, the Kid nails another head kick and gives Horowitz a sliding leg drop for an elimination. (Elimination: Barry Horowitz) Razor watches in disgust backstage. Then, Skip and Marty fight back and forth until Jannetty nails a top-rope powerbomb. (Elimination: Skip) The Kid responds with a flying leg drop and dropkicks, but he misses a flying senton. Sid then arrives to help. DiBiase senses trouble when the Kid almost loses to a Rocker Dropper. Ted distracts the ref while Sid gives Marty a hotshot. The Kid covers for the win. (Final Elimination: Marty Jannetty)
Thoughts: This was a hot opener. The action was good, and the crowd was into it. Plus, there were some good stories weaved into the bout. I like it when a Survivor Series match has multiple feuds involved. They also kept a great pace. It never dragged. It did a great job building the Kid’s heel persona.
Survivor: The 1-2-3 Kid (18:45)
After the match, Vince says the Kid wasn’t even supposed there. I see Vince has watched the movie Clerks. The Kid celebrates with Sid and DiBiase. Sid lifts him onto his shoulder. Then, they show Razor Ramon throwing a fit backstage. He smashes a TV against the wall and throws a table.
Meanwhile, Pettengill is with the rest of Razor’s Wild Card team. Cornette says Razor is real tough against a TV. He tells Ramon to decide where his priorities lie. They didn’t want him to begin with and if he can’t get along, they’ll get it on. (Oh, my!) Owen then tells Razor to get serious because he has a commitment. Next, Dean Douglas says they are a united team, minus Razor Ramon. He tells Ramon to get away from the monitor and get his head on straight. The entire promo is almost drowned out by Bertha Faye’s theme music playing, but it was still a good segment.
Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Lioness Asuka, & Tomoko Watanabe (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Alundra Blayze, Chaparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue, & Sakie Hasegawa
Notes: WCW had a relationship with NJPW, so the WWF decided to forge their own Japanese connections. Vince partnered with AJW (AJPW’s women’s division) and brought in some Joshi wrestlers to fill his female roster. The main focus was on Aja Kong. She was a powerful woman with a cool look. Alundra Blayze regained her Women’s Title from Bertha on RAW and the WWF picked Aja as her next feud. However, that feud doesn’t happen. I’ll explain why after the match.
The Match: Lioness gives Asari a giant swing that would make Cesaro proud. Then, Alundra suplexes Asuka and Asari nails a Sky Twister Press. This opens the door for Blayze to eliminate Lioness with a German suplex. (Elimination: Lioness Asuka) Tomoko enters the match, but she misses a moonsault. Alundra answers with a flying cross body to the floor. Next, Sakie tags in and nails rolling butterfly suplexes on Tomoko. Sakie then trades strikes and dangerous suplexes with Aja Kong. Kong drops Sakie on her head for a pin. (Elimination: Sakie Hasegawa) Aja then gets a couple of quick eliminations with a diving splash and a reversed sunset flip. (Eliminations: Asari & Inoue) Alundra is alone, so all three women attack her. She fights them off and suplexes Tomoko. Then, Blayze attempts a powerbomb. She has trouble, so she turns it into a piledriver for an elimination. (Elimination: Tomoko Watanabe) Bertha pounces on Alundra and gives her a corner splash. Aja tries some double-teaming, but she hits Faye. Blayze capitalizes with a German suplex for a pin. (Elimination: Bertha Faye) Aja attacks without hesitation. She suplexes Alundra and starts butt-bumping her in the corner. That’s the best way to describe it. Blayze answers with a hurricanrana and dropkicks. She also lands a standing moonsault. However, Aja blocks a superplex and gives Alundra an avalanche attack. She then drills Blayze with a back fist for the win. (Final Elimination: Alundra Blayze)
Thoughts: There were a couple of shaky moments, but this was a fun match. They made Aja Kong look like a monster. There were plenty of moves you didn’t see in the WWF at the time. It helped that both Vince and Ross put over the action. But, Perfect spent most of the match insulting the women’s appearances. This could have built a good women’s roster, but it didn’t last. In December, Alundra Blayze appeared on WCW Nitro. Her WWF contract expired, but she was still the champion. Blayze brought the belt with her and dumped it into a trash can on live TV. Eric Bischoff convinced her to do it. Vince wouldn’t attempt a women’s division again until 1998.
Survivor: Aja Kong (10:01)
Next, Pettengill is with president Bill Clinton. It’s the same impersonator they used in the past. You knew Vince would get political when they’re in Washington DC. Bill says he’s excited to be there. Bam Bam Bigelow’s music plays, so Todd asks if he’s a fan. Bill confuses Bigelow with Bam Bam from The Flintstones. Then, Bam Bam’s pyro explodes. The Secret Service members spring into action because they think Bill is being attacked. Vince has a good laugh about it. Vince is a Republican, so he has to take shots at Democrat politicians. It won’t be the last time.
During the entrances, they show another inset promo from Goldust. He says, “Beware the beast-man for he is the devil’s pawn. Planet of the Apes, 1968.” The line is a reference to Bigelow’s nickname, The Beast from the East. After the movie quote, Goldust invites Bam Bam to the greatest show on earth. He promises tragedies and nightmares for Bigelow and tells him to remember the name Goldust. Vince calls him bizarre and androgynous.
Goldust vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Notes: There isn’t much of a build for this match. Bigelow interrupted a Goldust interview and challenged him. Vince didn’t pull the trigger on changes to the Goldust character yet, but he would within a month. He hints at them during the introductions. Vince implies Goldust winked at Mr. Perfect. Also, I want to point out Goldust needs to wear a cup! I saw more of him in this outfit than I wanted to. My eyes are burning.
The Match: Goldust throws punches, but Bam Bam makes him regroup. He pulls Bigelow to the floor, and they brawl. Goldust then hits the post on a missed clothesline. They return to the ring until Goldust clotheslines Bigelow to the floor again. Then, Goldust fends off some headbutts and nails a knee-lift. But, the match spills outside one more time. Goldust rams Bam Bam into the steps. Inside the ring, Bigelow scores a back suplex. He then tries a falling headbutt, but he misses. Goldust capitalizes with chinlocks and head vices. Bigelow powers him into an electric chair drop. The match then becomes a slugfest until Goldust hits a jumping clothesline. Bam Bam answers with his own clotheslines. However, he misses a corner splash. Goldust uses the opening to land a bulldog for the win.
Thoughts: This was a little better than Goldust’s debut, but it was still slow. Goldust is still figuring out his style. They went to the floor often. It felt like they didn’t have many ideas. It wasn’t a terrible match. It was bland. The character work for Goldust was the only good part.
Winner: Goldust (8:18)
Todd is back with Bill Clinton and a special guest. It’s Bob Backlund. Bob ignores a handshake while Clinton suggests Backlund enter the presidential race. Backlund demands Bill call him Mr. Backlund. He asks Clinton why he’s there. He also asks if Bill considers himself one of the eight thousand irrelevant government employees. Bill doesn’t know what to say. He had nothing better to do that night. He changes the subject and tries convincing Bob to run for president. They’re making fun of the fact there was a government shutdown at the time.
Then, they recap the Undertaker/Mabel feud. They show Taker losing at King of the Ring. We see Mabel and Yokozuna attacking the Undertaker. Todd speaks about Taker’s facial injury and says tonight is Taker’s return. Meanwhile, Lawler is in the ring with a mic. He introduces the Royals. It is himself, his royal dentist Isaac Yankem, the blueblood Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and King Mabel. Some poor indie wrestlers carry Mabel to the ring.
(The Darkside) The Undertaker, Savio Vega, Fatu, & Henry O. Godwinn (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. (The Royals) King Mabel, Jerry the King Lawler, Isaac Yankem, & Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Sir Mo)
Notes: Mabel broke the Undertaker’s orbital bone and Taker took time off to heal. They announced he would return at this show, so Paul Bearer appeared on TV to hype the comeback. He told Mabel to be ashamed of what he did. Also, there are other storylines in this match. Hunter Hearst Helmsley had issues with both Fatu and Henry Godwinn. Hunter slopped Godwinn on TV. He tried again, but Henry slopped himself to show he wasn’t bothered.
The Darkside members, except Taker, enter to Savio’s theme. It’s fitting Taker filled his team with BSK members. He got his friends a PPV payday. Then, Taker enters the arena. He raises the lights and takes off his entrance gear to reveal—a new mask. It looks like something from The Phantom of the Opera. The mask protects his face while it continues healing. The sight terrifies everyone on the Royals team.
The Match: Fatu and Triple H fight back and forth until Hunter attempts a Pedigree. Undertaker scares Hunter, so he retreats. Godwinn then enters, but no one wants to face him. Yankem tags and Godwinn throws him around the ring. Isaac answers with a back suplex. Triple H then returns to attack a vulnerable Godwinn. But, Godwinn press slams him. Then, Lawler and Vega face off and do some dancing. Fatu attacks Jerry, but Yankem kicks Fatu. Isaac slams him and nails a leg drop. He also whips Mabel toward Fatu, but he moves. Savio returns only to get caught in a sidewalk slam and an overhead toss. The heels triple-team Vega and Lawler gives him a piledriver. Savio fights until Jerry gives him another one. However, Savio stumbles into Taker for a tag. No one will tag Lawler, so Taker eliminates him with a Tombstone. (Elimination: Jerry Lawler) Yankem is next. Taker nails a jumping clothesline and another Tombstone. (Elimination: Isaac Yankem) Triple H retreats, but Godwinn makes him return. Taker grabs him and chokeslams Hunter from the apron into the ring! (Elimination: Triple H) Mabel pounces on Taker and gives him a belly-to-belly. He follows that with a leg drop, but Taker rises. It frightens Mabel, so he bails out of the ring and leaves. The ref counts him out. (Final Elimination: Mabel)
Thoughts: This was a fun match. It did a great job of making the Undertaker look strong. The fans were hot for his return. Plus, that mask looks cool. The match had some great spots too. Undertaker’s chokeslam on Triple H was impressive. The bout was a good length and did everything it needed to do. There was also some good storyline work for other feuds. We haven’t seen the last of Hunter vs. Godwinn.
Survivors: The Darkside (14:21)
Vince talks about the main event. He asks Ross for a prediction, and Jim chooses Diesel. Then, Vince introduces words from both Bret and Diesel. Bret says he knows the winner will face Bulldog, but he’s taking one match at a time. He says he’d be lying if he wasn’t worried about Diesel. Bret compares himself to Wayne Gretzky. But, he wonders if he’s still the best there is was and ever will be. Bret then repeats his line about the truck stopping here and tells Diesel he will be excellently executed.
Next, Diesel lays down some facts. He tells Bulldog he wouldn’t still be in the picture without Bret’s interference. Bret stuck his nose in Diesel’s business, so he has to go through him to get another shot at Davey. Diesel also mentions people think the match favors Bret the longer it goes. He agrees with that idea, but he isn’t paid by the hour. He promises high-impact power moves. Then, Diesel claims the WWF has run efficiently on Diesel Power. I’m surprised his nose didn’t grow when he said that. Diesel finishes by saying it’s ironic Bret won’t survive Survivor Series.
After those promos, they go to another interview. Pettengill is with the heel half of the other Wild Card team. Ted DiBiase, Sid, Bulldog, and Cornette are there. Todd says he talked to Cornette earlier with the other team. Jim denies that happened. He says he hasn’t seen Todd all day. He also claims to be as honest as the day is long. DiBiase isn’t convinced and threatens Cornette if he double-crosses their team. Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson choose that moment to interrupt. Shawn calls them ladies and tells them to stop fighting. He also calls Ahmed his back door. I’m unsure what he means, but it sounds dirty. Then, Shawn calls it a wild night and a wild team. Shawn was a little annoying, but Cornette was great in this segment.
Wild Card Match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, The British Bulldog, & Sycho Sid (w/ Jim Cornette & Ted DiBiase) vs. Razor Ramon, Dean Douglas, Owen Hart, & Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji)
Notes: During the introductions, Vince asks how much Yokozuna weighs. He channeled Art Donovan for a moment! He also questions how Razor will function with his teammates, especially Dean Douglas. Cornette sticks with Bulldog for the match, despite appearing with the other team. Sid tells all the fans to shut up. Then, Ahmed Johnson arrives to a good reaction. Mr. Perfect makes fun of his nose, but he sounds like he regrets the statement. Shawn gets an even better reaction, which annoys Perfect.
The Match: Owen and Shawn trade athletic reversals while Michaels fends off Cornette. But, Owen catches Shawn in a powerslam. Douglas then attacks Shawn’s head and whips him around the ring. Dean misses a Vader Bomb, so Shawn nails a moonsault. Next, Ahmed enters and uses some ax kicks. He also attempts slamming Yoko, but he fails. Everyone attacks. Ahmed fights them and press slams Michaels onto Douglas. Dean bails when Shawn attempts Sweet Chin Music. Razor orders Douglas to return, so both men shove each other. This knocks Dean into a roll-up. (Elimination: Dean Douglas) Next, Owen and Bulldog fight. Bulldog monkey flips Owen. Owen responds with a wheel kick. However, they stop and decide Shawn and Razor should wrestle each other. The two men fight back and forth and Razor gives Shawn a Razors Edge. Ahmed breaks up the pin. Sid then enters the match. Razor rallies against him and Yoko, but Sid takes control. He slows the pace for a while. Sid nails a chokeslam and tags Michaels. He holds Razor for Sweet Chin Music, but Shawn hits Sid. Shawn doesn’t care. He shrugs his shoulders while Razor pins Sid, despite Bulldog trying to stop it. (Elimination: Sid)
Sid takes offense and powerbombs Shawn. He then leaves while Razor covers. Shawn kicks out, but he is in trouble. Owen & Yoko whip him around the ring and wear down Michaels. But, Owen misses a flying headbutt and Shawn tags Ahmed. He cleans house and catches Owen with a Pearl River Plunge (Tiger Bomb) for an elimination. (Elimination: Owen Hart) Razor answers with a bulldog, but Ahmed nails a spinebuster. He then makes the mistake of posing, so Razor hits the Razors Edge. Bulldog stops the pin and takes over the match while Sid & The Kid arrive. The Kid trips Razor, which allows Bulldog to use the running powerslam. (Elimination: Razor Ramon) Yoko is left against Shawn, Bulldog, & Ahmed. He tries a Banzai Drop, but Shawn moves. Michaels then tags Ahmed, who slams Yoko to a huge pop. But, Bulldog breaks up the pin for some reason. Shawn & Ahmed have enough and send Davey out of the ring. Shawn then turns and gives Yoko Sweet Chin Music. Ahmed follows with a jumping splash for the win. (Final Elimination: Yokozuna) Bulldog and Cornette celebrate the win, despite what happened.
Thoughts: This was a fun match with some good storyline work. They did a good job making Ahmed look strong. The crowd popped for him slamming Yoko. The match only dragged when either Sid or Yoko was in control. It wasn’t enough to ruin it. I found this enjoyable. I kind of like the Wild Card idea. They should have used it again.
Survivors: Shawn, Ahmed, & Bulldog (27:24)
Todd is back in the Presidential Box. Sunny is sitting on Bill’s lap and feeding him popcorn. He says he likes nothing more than watching a perfect match. He stares at Sunny’s chest while he says that. Bill spills popcorn on her while asking if she wants a cabinet position. Sunny says she would make a great undersecretary. Bill invites her to the White House to go over some positions. Vince decides that’s enough innuendo and ends the segment. This was amusing, but it’s odd for the time period. You can tell they’re starting to add a little edge.
Next, they recap the Bret/Diesel feud. Bret talks about his previous matches against Diesel. They were knock down drag out bouts. Diesel says he gave Bret the Jackknife both times, so the question is can he beat him. Diesel also says he’s not paid by the hour. He’s going to use his power and leverage to beat him up. Bret says his title reign was interrupted and Diesel carries his belt. Diesel says it will be a war, but he’s bigger and stronger than he was in January. Bret says they will find out who is the best. Vince then asks Perfect and Ross for their thoughts. Perfect picks Bret. Ross still thinks Diesel will win.
No DQ Match for the WWF Title: Bret Hart vs. Diesel (c)
Notes: Bret’s music interrupts Vince. He sounds annoyed at his production crew. Bret gets a great reaction from both the crowd and Vince. He does a good job putting over both men, but Vince sounds more enthusiastic about Bret. You can tell he lost faith in Diesel’s reign. Hebner shows Bret the belt, so Bret turns to the camera and wags his eyebrows. You can tell by their demeanor who is winning this match. Then, both Diesel and Bret remove turnbuckle pads to get in each other’s head.
The Match: Bret goes after Diesel’s legs, but Diesel answers with forearms and elbows. They brawl to the floor where Diesel drops Bret on the rail. He also whips Bret into the steps and the post. Then, Diesel uses a chair and attempts a Jackknife. Bret responds with biting. He takes control and attacks Diesel’s legs before putting Diesel in a Figure Four. He reaches the ropes, but Bret is slow to release the hold. He then tries for a Sharpshooter, but Diesel shoves Bret into the exposed buckle. Bret recovers and rams Diesel’s leg into the post. He then uses some cable to tie Diesel’s legs. Diesel can’t escape, so Bret attacks his legs with a chair. The attack continues until Diesel crotches him on the ropes. Diesel frees himself and chokes Bret with the cable. He follows with a side slam and whips Bret chest-first into the exposed buckle. Diesel is limping, but he attacks Bret on the ropes and uses Snake Eyes. Diesel tries again on the exposed corner, but Bret reverses it. Hart then goes into his finishing routine until he misses a slingshot crossbody. He recovers and climbs on the apron. But, Diesel shoves Bret onto the Spanish announce table. It breaks. Was that the first time it happened? I know it won’t be the last! Diesel collects Bret, who collapses in a heap. He rolls Bret into the ring and looks for a Jackknife. However, Diesel shows concern. He hesitates because Bret collapses. The hesitation is enough for Bret to cradle Diesel for the win.
Thoughts: I loved the story they told with this match. It had a slow pace, but it fit the tone. The action was solid and the ending was perfect. Plus, there were spots you didn’t see in the WWF at the time. I know smashing the Spanish announce table becomes a cliché, but it was new in 1995. This was a great main event.
Winner: Bret Hart (New Champion) (24:54)
After the match, Diesel shoves the ref in anger. He then gives Bret two Jackknives. Officials try to stop Diesel, but he punches them. He then grabs the belt and drops it onto Bret’s chest. Diesel raises his fist and says, “I’m back!” Diesel leaves while refs check on Bret. He slaps hands with a few fans. One looks surprised by how hard Diesel hit his hand.
The main event was great.
The Wild Card Match was fun and a unique idea.
The opener was solid.
The Clinton impersonator stuff.
Performer of the Night:
I’m giving it to Bret Hart. This was his night and he had a great match with Diesel.
This was an outstanding show. It’s overlooked because it happened in 1995, but it was easily the best show of the year. There was only one bad match and even it wasn’t terrible. I know many people give Diesel crap for his title reign, but he did well on this event. Now that I’ve finished covering his run on top, I think I’ve softened my view on Diesel. His push wasn’t great, but I don’t think it was as bad as people say. There was a lack of good opponents. Plus, Diesel works better as a heel.
Thank you for reading. My next review is WCW’s World War 3 ’95. Look for it next Sunday!
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