–A video package hypes today’s big feature match between Dean Douglas and the 1-2-3 Kid. Will the Kid get sent to the principal’s office?
–Since this is the new fall season, Superstars gets a new theme song for the first time in more than a year, with it being a knockoff of the Monday Night Football theme asking “Are you ready?” The funny thing with an intro like this is that half the talent in it had quit or was released by January 1996 so they had to redo the lyrics, all of which were tied to a specific superstar.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler compose our new Superstars commentary team and they are taped from Canton, Ohio. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings drew 1,600 fans.
–Opening Contest: Jean-Pierre LaFitte (17-0-1) defeats Man Mountain Rock (15-0) after Le Cannonball at 4:23:
Rock has not been seen since mid-July and this is his first feature match despite being in the company since February. Rock dominates much of the match as LaFitte struggles to run his normal offense against a much bigger competitor. However, Rock misses a splash off the second rope and that gives LaFitte the chance to hit a quick Cannonball to end Rock’s undefeated streak without much fanfare. This was Rock’s last televised appearance. He stayed with the company for another month and was part of its tour of Germany, but after that he was released for drug-related issues. Rating: **
–We no longer have Live Event News segments, but instead get the “Slam Jam” with Dok Hendrix. He hypes the next Madison Square Garden card. Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels tells the British Bulldog that he is going to beaten by one of the WWF’s best competitors.
–A video package hypes the Shawn Michaels-Sid match for the Intercontinental title that will take place on RAW. In a taped promo, Sid says that Michaels is a “hip shaking idiot” and that he has no chance to beat him on Monday night. Michaels rebuts by saying that he is going to close the final chapter on his dark past.
–Dean Douglas beats the 1-2-3 Kid (10-3) via disqualification when Razor Ramon interferes at 5:30 shown:
This was Douglas’ official debut as the “dean” character and it was the first time in four and a half years that he appeared on WWF programming. Douglas’ ring attire leaves something to be desired as he wears a light blue singlet with a big exclamation mark on the back. As Douglas has noted in shoot interviews he would have preferred a yellow and black look as those were his traditional wrestling colors and another newly debuted heel, Skip, also had light blue tights. Douglas pulls the Kid up after several pinning sequences following a swinging neckbreaker and clothesline. This brings out Razor Ramon, who Douglas slugs off the apron several times, and this causes Ramon to charge into the ring and a disqualification results. The bout was an okay display of what Douglas could do, even if it did not set the world on fire. According to interviews with Kliq members such as Shawn Michaels and Ramon (Scott Hall), this match showed them that Douglas could not “go” at an acceptable level and that began some of their heat with Douglas on the road during his brief WWF run. Rating: **
–After the match, the Kid argues with Ramon over getting involved in his match.
–Goldust cuts a new promo overlooking Hollywood, saying that the town put the gold into him.
–Non-Title Match: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) (13-0-1) beat A.C. Connor & Tony Williams when Owen pins Williams after a Yokozuna belly-to-belly suplex at 2:37:
Williams was a Memphis talent, doing quite a few jobs for the WWF throughout the 1990s. He was a mainstay in the USWA, wrestling the likes of Jerry Lawler, Yoshi Kwan, and the Headbangers. Williams gets to showcase some basic offense against Owen. However, when he tries a flying body press against Yokozuna that is one spot too many, and he eats a belly-to-belly suplex. Owen makes sure to get the pin so he can annoy the audience in future promos.
–Write to the WWF in Stamford, Connecticut to get ticket information for WrestleMania XII, which will take place in Anaheim, California.
–Barry Didinski hypes a Diesel t-shirt for $16 (plus shipping & handling)! If you buy the shirt you get a Lawrence Taylor poster for free!
–Non-Title Match: Shawn Michaels (Intercontinental Champion) (17-1-1) pins Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (8-3-3) after Sweet Chin Music at 7:00 shown:
This bout was filmed just before Tatanka’s six month suspension so it would be the last time he would be seen on television in 1995. The story here is that Tatanka is trying to soften Michaels up for Sid on RAW. When Tatanka seizes the offensive following a powerbomb, Sid walks out. This causes some elements of the crowd to chant for Diesel, but thankfully we do not need to see that match again after three pay-per-views. Sid eventually loses interest in what he sees, something some of the audience is probably thinking as well because Tatanka’s heel work was never exciting, and heads to the locker room after a commercial break. Tatanka continues to dominate but Michaels escapes an End of the Trail and after outmaneuvering Tatanka he blasts him with Sweet Chin Music for his eighteenth win of the year. Even a great worker like Michaels could not get much out of Tatanka in this period. Rating: **
–Hendrix talks more about Madison Square Garden. The British Bulldog and Jim Cornette discuss how they are going to beat Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental title.
–McMahon and Lawler discuss Shawn Michaels Intercontinental title defense against Sid on RAW.
–Tune in next week to see Henry Godwinn square off against King Kong Bundy! Also, Hakushi faces Skip!
The Last Word: With stiffer competition from WCW, the WWF was forced to step up their game. Unlike previous Superstars episodes, this one hyped RAW throughout the broadcast and only featured one squash match. However, although there was an attempt to make this show stronger, the WWF was very limited in what matches they could offer without ruining their pay-per-view plans. If you recall, the previous episode hyped an interview with Lex Luger. That segment was supposed to lead to a Luger-Mabel match on this broadcast where Luger would win by disqualification and get beaten down by Men on a Mission and the British Bulldog. The only problem was that they could not air it because Luger jumped ship to WCW. Aside from that, the broadcast was significant in beginning a new storyline between Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid, which would play out for most of the fall and was an attempt to “freshen up” the Kid’s character since it had become very stale by this time.
The WWF’s house shows continued with the “A” squad in Canada, while the “B” squad visited Florida. Here were the results of some of those shows (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada – Memorial Community College – September 8, 1995: Dean Douglas beat Aldo Montoya…Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated the 1-2-3 Kid…Henry Godwinn beat Hunter-Hearst Helmsley via count out…WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Smoking Gunns…Skip beat Barry Horowitz…Fatu wrestled Waylon Mercy to a double disqualification…Bret Hart defeated Isaac Yankem via submission to the Sharpshooter…The Undertaker beat Kama in a casket match…Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Sid.
Jacksonville, Florida – September 10, 1995: Hakushi defeated Rad Radford…Savio Vega beat Duke Droese…Goldust defeated Bob Holly…The Blu Brothers beat the Bushwhackers…Razor Ramon defeated Sir Mo…The British Bulldog beat Bam Bam Bigelow.
Backstage News*: The biggest news of the wrestling world was Lex Luger making a surprise appearance on the first edition of WCW’s Monday Nitro broadcast on September 4. Luger secretly agreed to a two-year guaranteed contract with WCW on August 31 and fulfilled his WWF obligations through September 3, giving an indication to Vince McMahon that he would keep working through October as they continued to hash out a new contract. Luger was not working on a written contract with the WWF so he was able to jump ship and ruin the company’s plans for a future feud between he and the British Bulldog. Although WCW had given Luger a lowball offer weeks ago, a fight between Vader and Paul Orndorff, a member of the WCW booking committee, necessitated a change of plans because the company wanted to book a Hulk Hogan-Vader title match for the first head-to-head meeting of Nitro and RAW on September 11. Now Luger is booked to face Hogan on that Nitro. WCW was more willing to reach out and give Luger a contract bigger than the $1,000 per match deal he was originally offered because if they choose to fire Vader with cause, as is expected, that would free up $750,000 to sign an additional top-level talent of Luger’s caliber.
*International versions of the new Action Zone broadcast, which was limited to thirty minutes in the U.S. due to the U.S. Open, saw Bret Hart beat Waylon Mercy with a small package and Diesel and Shawn Michaels defeat Men on a Mission when Diesel pinned Mo after a big boot.
*In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Eight Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Jesse Ventura’s verdict against the WWF for videotape royalties. Ventura could garner as much as $1.2 million when court costs are factored in. The ruling ends more than three years of litigation between the two sides.
*Some WWF talents such as King Kong Bundy and Man Mountain Rock are working for Killer Kowalski’s shows in Massachusetts. On those shows, Rock has beaten Bundy.
*The company made a reported $353,705 from SummerSlam, but this was not as high as the gate for WrestleMania XI, which drew $750,000.
*FOX will be airing a WrestleMania special at 11 p.m. and midnight in U.S. markets. The special will show the Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels matches. This was the broadcast that the WWF had hoped NBC would agree to air months ago but NBC reneged on doing so.
*The new Monday Night RAW opening, which will debut on the September 11 show, cost the company roughly $100,000. There were some disruptions as Stamford residents complained about the searchlights, helicopters, and noise and called police and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
*Backstage news is courtesy of the September 11, 18, and 25 editions of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.
Up Next: Monday Night RAW for September 11, 1995!