Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler
Location: Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be the best time to focus on a Christmas wrestling show. Sadly I came across this pay per view from 1995, but at least this is a start. The main event here is Bret Hart defending the WWF Championship against the British Bulldog, as they are playing up the rematch of their classic from three years earlier. Let’s get started.
The opening video focuses on the World title match. McMahon just seems to love this in law fighting stuff more often than not.
Lawler claims he has a surprise for McMahon….. oh wait, scrap that its for everyone.
1-2-3 Kid/Psycho Sid v Razor Ramon/Marty Jannetty
Kid and Sid are part of the Million Dollar Corporation and managed by Ted Dibiase here. Ramon is Intercontinental Champion here, as I wonder why this was not Ramon v Kid for the belt. Goldust comes out and watches Ramon it seems & has a gold couch and usher with him. Oh it’s THAT Goldust character when he was still very creepy.
Sid is so slow. Hot tag seemed wrong way round – shouldn’t it have been Ramon? Goldust wants Todd Pettengill to deliver a gold envelope to Ramon. Ok, Jannetty is now taking the beating, which makes more sense, from Sid and Kid. The beating goes on a while, as Jannetty can take a beating like few others can to make his opponents look good. Finally, the hot tag to Ramon (makes WAY more sense) is made and the crowd wakes up a bit. A top rope bulldog to Sid… gets the pin?? That seemed a bit sudden.
Rating: C Match was ok but that ending was very quick. Crowd woke up on Ramon being in the match but overall it was just there for the most part. As I mentioned earlier, maybe this should have been Ramon v Kid for the title, as at least something would have been on the line here.
The announcer starts to announce the next match, but there seems to be a mix up. Instead, Jerry Lawler gets in the ring… and announces JEFF JARRETT on his return to the company (no reaction from the crowd amusingly). He spells out his name, struts and claims he is the greatest of all time, so his character has not changed one bit. Lawler reveals a gold CD to commemorate 500,000 sales of his CD “Ain’t I Great”, as the crowd is falling asleep at this point. Jarrett then announces himself into ’96 Royal Rumble and heads off to the announce desk for the next match. This took WAY too long, which could have gone to another match instead.
“Nature Boy” Buddy Landell v Ahmed Johnson
Landell is announced by Dean Douglas, and is a huge rib on Ric Flair, complete with robe and music. If Flair watched this (I doubt it), he would probably have laughed out of pity. Oh it was meant to be Douglas v Ahmed, but Douglas’ back is “only 65% at where it should be”. Punches, spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge by Johnson is good for the pin in 55 seconds. Douglas is punched outside for good measure, in his last appearance for the company.
Lawler interviews Johnson and runs him down, along with Jarrett. Johnson argues back, allowing Jarrett to whack his gold CD frame over his head. Jarrett beats him around ringside but Johnson shrugs it all off to chase Jarrett. Looks like a street scuffle than an actual fight, as they both headlock each other over a chair.
Ramon on the hotline! He receives the gold envelope finally, but is disgusted at the contents of the letter and walks away.
Hogpen Match: Henry Godwinn v Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Hillbilly Jim is special referee and the manager of Godwinn. Blue Blood era for the man with three H’s. Ring announcer gets slopped by Godwinns slop bucket before we even begin the match. Oh never mind, as HHH gets tied in the ropes and receives slop in his face!! That made even me feel sick.
Outside now and HHH goes head first into the steps courtesy of a Godwinn headlock. HHH is carried to the hogpen but manages to escape. Godwinn gets whipped into the hogpen itself. HHH almost backdropped into pen but gets on fence & elbow drops Godwinn. Lawler keeps saying Arkansas too much, I beginning to dislike the place. i haven’t even been there! Back in the ring and both men are down.
I actually zoned out for a few moments, that’s how boring this match is. It seems I haven’t missed anything, as they both still slugging it out near the pen. Godwinn finally gets backdropped into the pen slop to give HHH the match win. HHH gets tossed into the pen anyway after the match.
Rating: D- Pointless match that hopefully ends this ridiculous feud and HHH can mover onto anything else. Hard to believe he would be World Champion within four years of this mess. Match was terrible as it ran way to long and the crowd were bored as a result.
We recap Diesels change of attitude since losing the WWF Championship at Survivor Series to Bret Hart. This turned him into monster Diesel, which was LONG overdue, instead of the babyface Diesel that held the title and smiled for a year. For tonight, Diesel wants Owen Hart after Hart put his buddy, Shawn Michaels on the shelf with concussion.
Diesel v Owen Hart
Diesel easily gets pop of the night so far. All Diesel to start as he throws Owen around the ring with ease.Hart attempts a comeback by softening up the leg, including an enziguiri, which was the move that out HBK out with concussion.
Nash shrugs that off and Jacknifes Hart for…. a two as Diesel takes his foot off Hart’s chest. He shoves the referee for the DQ, which he does not seem to care about. Well that was puzzling.
Rating: D Short match that was pretty much a step above a squash. Why have Diesel dominate and then lose by a lame DQ? And above all, why have Hart used for this near squash? Was no other jobber available that night?
Santa Claus comes out to hand presents (with Savio Vega) to the audience. Dibiase is already in the ring and says everyone has a price, including Santa Claus. Santa and Savio comes in the ring… and Santa attacks Savio. Of of course he did. Savio comes back and pulls Santa’s wig and beard off. Was that meant to happen?
We recap King Mabel v Undertaker, after Mabel crushed Undertaker’s face with a leg drop several months back. Taker returned at Survivor Series and defeated Mabel’s team after he walked out on the match. Its a casket match tonight for revenge and Taker has that mask to protect his healing face.
Casket Match: Undertaker v King Mabel
Winner of this match stuffs his opponent in the casket and closes the lid. It nevers ceases to amaze me how strong the guys who carry Mabel down to the ring are. Sir Mo has the gold chain which used to be Bearers urn (is that story STILL going on??). Undertaker gets thrown around for the most part but just sits up. Until Mabel hits the leg drop that injured his face in the first lace. Twice. Sir Mo picks Taker up to put him in the casket. Mabel proves how stupid he is and takes too long to shut the lid.
Undertaker gets a hand up, back into the ring, clothesline him down, chokeslams him, knees Mabel into his back into the casket… and has to take out Mo first with a chokeslam. He gets rolled on top of Mabel and the lid is finally shut (after reclaiming the gold chain that was the urn) to end this pointless match.
Rating: D If anyone thought Mabel had a chance here, you’re deluded. This was another step above a squash, as Undertaker can now move onto the World Title picture again. 1995 was not kind to The Undertaker at all, but better days were around the corner. Mabel would be gone after the Rumble I believe.
Undertaker signals he wants the WWF Championship again. Point to me for getting that right before him.
Jim Ross interviews Bulldog and Cornette (his manager), with reference made to the Wembley Stadium classic in 1992. Cornette talks up the history between Hart and Bulldog and the fact Hart has never beaten him. Damn, that man can talk up a feud big time.
Pettengill interviews Bret Hart, who speaks his usual and says revenge will be his after his loss in 1992.
WWF World Title: Bret Hart (c) v British Bulldog
Bulldog is challenging and a part of Camp Cornette.Techincal start to the match, which Hart naturally wins. In a weird moment, Bulldog has Hart in the corner and the ref tries to get him off. Bulldog sort of shoves him off and then helps him straight back up. Not sure if that was an accident or something, but seemed odd.
Diana (Bulldogs wife and Harts sister) is shown watching from ringside, when McMahon announces that Undertaker will be facing the winner of this match at the Royal Rumble for the world title. Simple and effective. Why do we need twenty minute promos to announce this today? Bulldog in control now, as he whipped Hart into the turnbuckle chest first, which always looks as if it hurts badly. We are in the third chinlock of the match and we are about six minutes in so far.
Comeback by Hart with a close two off a bulldog (see what I did there?). Piledriver has Lawler swearing up and down Hart learnt that from him and a close two count. they both go up top but Hart is pressed onto the ropes and outside by Bulldog. Outside now and Hart is slammed into the steps and post. Oh man, Hart is GUSHING blood on the floor and I don’t believe that’s blading. Piledriver by Bulldog in the ring gets a close two, as the ring is now being covered in Harts blood. McMahon even says we don’t need to see closeups, which is probably his way of saying keep the cameras back.
Hart almost counters a submission into the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog has other ideas, such as shoulder blocking Bret outside the ring. A double clothesline back in the ring puts both men down for a breather, as the crowd are firmly behind Hart here. Over the top rope dive puts Bulldog down, but a second one is countered into the powerslam on the floor. Referee is being lenient with this so far, as Hart comes back with a clothesline off the railings. A near two count in the ring on Bulldog is another symptom of how back and forth this match is going.
Near falls are traded between the two, as Hart remains in control for the most part. A cradle rollup gets the three count for Hart, who still has a lot of blood on his face.
Rating: B The first part of this match dragged, but once the blood flowed (literally), the drama rose quickly. The crowd became more into the match and there was a certain doubt as to whether Hart could retain the belt. A well done match here, as Hart got his win back from 1992.
Hart poses to close out the ring portion of the show.
In the back, Bearer thanks President Monsoon for making Undertaker number one contender to the world title. Diesel comes in and is PISSED he is not getting the title shot, before trash talking with Taker a bit. They both stare each other down to end the show.
Overall: D- Main event aside, this show really did not need to happen. Every match on here could have been done on an episode of RAW and even a special match like the Casket Match had no real importance to it. This show came and went, much like 1995 WWF in general. Only positive I had from this show was the end of several rivalries, so new ones could begin going into the new year.
It says everything that I actually zoned out in the middle of a match, which does not happen too much. It happened in the hog pen match, which overstayed its already limited welcome by WAY too much. The only saving grace for this show was there was talent on display, but in pointless feuds and ridiculous matches. Bad end to the year for a terrible year in the company’s history.
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