–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.
–Opening Contest: The 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted DiBiase & Sid) (12-7) beats Rich Myers after a spinning heel kick at 3:08:
Jannetty cuts a promo during the match about how it going to get revenge on the Kid and Sid is not going to stop him. Sid plays the role of lumberjack in this bout, tossing Myers back into the ring when the Kid knocks him for a loop. For some reason, the Kid uses two spinning heel kicks to win this match, which makes that move look less effective than it needs to be.
–McMahon explains that Michaels has not been the same since In Your House 4 and the beating that he suffered during the wild card match at Survivor Series exacerbated his physical problems. The audience is told that Michaels is out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
–Rad Radford is shown doing jumping jacks backstage with Skip in preparation for their match today against the Smoking Gunns.
–Fatu (6-3) pins Reginald Walker after a top rope splash at 2:12:
McMahon insists that Fatu is making a difference in the WWF but there has been little evidence to support that assertion since Fatu adopted this gimmick months ago. Nevertheless, Fatu tells fans that they need to stay in school and not do drugs as he blows through Walker with ease on today’s broadcast.
–Dok Hendrix reminds fans that they need to go to Madison Square Garden tonight. Make sure to bring a can of food to show that WWF cares about the hungry! The card is headlined by Bret Hart defending the WWF title against the Undertaker. The British Bulldog, who is wrestling Diesel at the show, cuts a promo with Jim Cornette, with Cornette saying that Diesel’s life will continue to crumble at the hands of his charge.
–The British Bulldog (w/Jim Cornette) (14-5-1) defeats Tony Williams after a running powerslam at 3:12 shown:
Lawler chides the chances of Williams beating the Bulldog and Lawler would know as this broadcast has been littered with USWA talent. Williams does manage to knock the Bulldog off his feet with a few dropkicks but makes the ill-advised choice of trying a flying body press, and the Bulldog plants him with his finisher for a fifth straight singles win.
–A replay of Diesel’s promo on RAW is shown.
–Hunter-Hearst Helmsley is shown visiting a hog pen and he is aghast that real hog farms exist. He complains about the smell.
–Henry Godwinn (25-6-3) defeats Jason Arhndt after a Slop Drop at 1:51:
Godwinn tells Helmsley in a pre-recorded promo that he will show him what Arkansas farm life is all about at In Your House. Just like their January 29 encounter, he wastes no time beating Arndt as McMahon and Ross do the hard sell for the Madison Square Garden show.
–Bob Backlund is shown campaigning in the crowd. Godwinn comes by to argue with him, threatening to slop the presidential candidate before Backlund hides behind some fans.
–Call 1-900-737-4WWF to get an update on Shawn Michaels medical condition!
–Goldust (4-0) defeats Ken Rafer with the Curtain Call at 2:13:
Goldust is showered with “faggot” chants by the crowd, the first time that there has been a loud reaction like that to his character up to this point. Rafer usually goes by “Raper” but the company obviously thought that was a poor choice of a name and substituted the “p” in his name for an “f.” Goldust puts on his best match yet, aggressively beating on Rafer before debuting his Curtain Call finisher for a televised audience.
–Barry Didinski puts over a gaudy Bret Hart t-shirt that is filled with lots of ugly text. Get yours for $20 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!
–WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The Smoking Gunns (Champions) (26-3-1) beat Skip & Rad Radford (w/Sunny) (0-1) after Billy pins Radford after a Sidewinder at 7:18 shown:
Lawler tells McMahon that he would love to face Bret Hart for the WWF title and because he wants to train to face him at a later date he will have to take some time off of commentating Superstars. Having Skip and Radford challenge for the titles is not a bad idea in theory, but they have only teamed once on television, losing to Barry Horowitz and Hakushi on Superstars on September 30. Sunny is the most over participant in the match, getting a big pop when she trips Bart as he runs the ropes. Poor Skip has been so devalued on television that the crowd barely reacts to a somersault plancha he performs near the end of the match. Both teams have good chemistry, with the heels putting Bart in peril with some good double teams and cheating, and the Gunns win after heel miscommunication sends Skip flying into Sunny, who hops on the apron and tries to get involved to the detriment of her team. Rating: ***
–Dok Hendrix does one final sell for the Madison Square Garden show. The Undertaker says that it is time for Bret Hart to face the reaper, while Bret says that he is not going to lose the WWF title in “his house,” which he interprets as Madison Square Garden instead of Canada since this is 1995.
–Mr. Perfect comes to the ring and Lawler announces that Perfect will be his replacement for future Superstars episodes.
–Tune in next week to see Sid & the 1-2-3 Kid clash with Barry Horowitz & Hakushi!
The Last Word: The main event was good in giving the Gunns another solid title defense, although it does not fix the problem of the tag team division having less than a handful of teams available to challenge for their titles as we close the year. Next week’s main event looks like a slaughter, though, as Horowitz and Hakushi are nowhere near Sid’s level and he will probably annihilate both of them to start a tag team title build for he and the Kid.
The WWF visited the Northeast once again on the house show circuit, including Madison Square Garden. Here were the results of those cards (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The CoreStates Spectrum – November 24, 1995 (4,300): Ted DiBiase paid several fans $100 each so they would do as he ordered…Barry Horowitz, Hakushi & Fatu beat Skip, Isaac Yankem & Kama when Fatu pinned Kama after a roll up…Ahmed Johnson pinned Rad Radford after a Pearl River Plunge. After the bout, Ahmed fought off Skip…The 1-2-3 Kid beat Aldo Montoya with a tornado DDT…Goldust defeated Bob Holly with the Curtail Call…Sid beat Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon via count out after Ramon was attacked by the 1-2-3 Kid on the arena floor…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley beat Henry Godwinn in a slop bucket match after the Flair pin…Savio Vega defeated Dean Douglas…The British Bulldog beat Diesel by disqualification after Diesel performed Snake Eyes on an unprotected turnbuckle in view of the referee…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns beat Owen Hart & Yokozuna when Billy pinned Owen with a roll up…The Undertaker defeated WWF Champion Bret Hart via disqualification when Diesel interfered when the Undertaker had Bret positioned for the Tombstone. After the match, Diesel and the Undertaker fought off Helmsley, the Bulldog, and Owen before Diesel gave Bret a Jackknife.
New York, New York – Madison Square Garden – November 25, 1995 (7,400): Bob Backlund got into the ring to do a promo but never gave it because the crowd refused to be quiet…Barry Horowitz, Hakushi & Fatu defeated Skip, Isaac Yankem & Kama when Horowitz pinned Kama with a sunset flip after a Fatu superkick before the referee’s back at 8:52…Goldust pinned Bob Holly after a bulldog at 6:24. Goldust cut a promo saying that the fans would never forget him after the match…Ahmed Johnson defeated Rad Radford with the Pearl River Plunge…The 1-2-3 Kid pinned Marty Jannetty with a kick to the back after Ted DiBiase distracted Jannetty at 5:00. Prior to the match, DiBiase paid fans $100 to bark like a dog and kiss his feet. After the match, Jannetty attacked the Kid and confronted DiBiase before Sid ran out and gave him a powerbomb…Sid defeated Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon via count out at 5:03 after the 1-2-3 Kid ran out and tossed Ramon into the ring post. After the match, Ramon tried to fight off Sid, the Kid, and DiBiase but was eventually overwhelmed and powerbombed by Sid…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pinned Henry Godwinn in a slop match at 12:53 with a roll over and grabbing the top rope for leverage. Although he was supposed to be slopped per the pre-match stipulations, Godwinn attacked Helmsley and slopped the Greenwich native after he tripped running away…Savio Vega pinned Isaac Yankem (substituting for Dean Douglas) with a spinning heel kick at 6:11. Prior to the match, Douglas said that the New York State Athletic Commission would not let him compete due to a slipped disc and he introduced Yankem as his replacement…The British Bulldog beat Diesel via disqualification at 4:51 when Diesel used Snake Eyes on an exposed turnbuckle. After the match, Diesel came back to the ring and gave the Bulldog two Jackknifes…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns beat Owen Hart & Yokozuna when Billy pinned Owen with a roll up after heel miscommunication at 9:03…The Undertaker defeated WWF Champion Bret Hart via disqualification at 22:17 when Diesel attacked the Undertaker after he had Bret up for a Tombstone. After the match, Diesel and the Undertaker squared off before Owen, Yokozuna, and Helmsley came out to attack them. The babyfaces then cleared the ring before Bret knocked Diesel to the floor with a clothesline and dove onto him outside the ring. Other wrestlers then came out of the locker room to hold Diesel back as Bret celebrated with the belt in the ring.
Backstage News*: Jim Cornette told his talent in Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) that the company was shutting down during a card in Cookeville, Tennessee on November 26. The killer for the promotion came when its Thanksgiving shows, which have traditionally helped keep the company afloat in the past, drew $13,000 less than last year. Smoky Mountain has an estimated $29,000 in debt and music executive Rick Rubin, the company’s financial backer, decided to no longer send money to the company in August. Although other backers were sought out, Cornette is thought to be creatively burnt out and does not see the wrestling economy improving, especially for a regional promotion, in the year ahead. The loss of SMW harms one of the pipelines for WWF talent as some of their recent superstars such as Adam Bomb and Isaac Yankem came from there.
*Before settling on the Shawn Michaels post-concussion angle where he would collapse on his own volition against Owen Hart, which is reportedly being used to give Michaels more time to heal from the injuries he suffered in Syracuse, the company thought of using Jeff Jarrett as the assailant that would trigger Michaels’ condition. Jarrett has reached a deal to return, although no one knows when he will appear on television. However, the company decided against this because it would detract from the realistic angle they were going for.
*Public Enemy worked the dark match against the Smoking Gunns at Survivor Series. According to reports, the match was not competitive and it is not a signal that the Enemy are coming to the WWF.
*Dean Douglas appears to be heading out of the company due to the fact that his wife is not happy about him being on the road and his ongoing health problems. This explains why he was eliminated first in the wild card match. He is expected to wrap up his WWF appearances at In Your House against Ahmed Johnson, replacing the company’s original plan to have Ahmed wrestle King Kong Bundy.
*The WWF is planning to raise the price of In Your House 5 to $19.95, which is more than the $14.95 price point that the company has used for its B-level pay-per-view events throughout 1995. Titan Towers believes that the same number of fans will buy the show so the company will make more money this way.
*The company had planned to have Goldust face Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental title at In Your House, but those plans are shelved for the time being because the booking team does not think that Goldust is over enough. However, the character got a good reaction at Madison Square Garden. Also, the Smoking Gunns were supposed to defend the tag team titles against Sid and the 1-2-3 Kid, but now Sid and the Kid will be booked to face Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty.
*Bruce Prichard’s role in the booking might be increasing, as noted by the return of the Brother Love character to WWF television and the layout of the recent Madison Square Garden show.
*Brian Christopher, Jerry Lawler’s son, is under a WWF contract but no plans exist as of yet to bring him in. Part of the reason the WWF has not called Christopher up might be because they worry doing so could hurt some of the remaining draws that the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) possesses.
*Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating whether witnesses were tampered with during Vince McMahon’s steroid trial last summer. McMahon’s lead defense attorney Laura Brevetti is allegedly being looked into for offering a trial witness $250,000 to $400,000. Brevetti’s husband, television producer Marty Bergman, is also being investigated on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly writing smear stories about the prosecution to bolster McMahon’s case.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for November 17 and December 4.
Up Next: Monday Night RAW for November 27, 1995!