Throwback Thursday: WWF SummerSlam ’95 on WWE Network

August 27, 2015 by Brock Allen

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Throwback Thursday: WWF SummerSlam ’95: Face the Heat on the WWE Network (WATCH)

As August draws to a close Throwback Thursday is taking one final trip through the SummerSlam vault. Twenty years ago today, Aug. 27, 1995, the 8th annual SummerSlam took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To honor the occasion TBT revisits SummerSlam ’95 on the WWE Network.

SummerSlam 1995 on the WWE Network

SummerSlam ’95 feaured three main events: Bret Hart against Isaac Yankem, D.D.S., Razor versus HBK in a WrestleMania X rematch for HBK’s Intercontinental Championship, and King Mable versus Diesel for “Big Daddy Cool’s” WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Outside of the HBK/Razor “Ladder Match” SummerSlam ’95 had zero buzz and was one of the least anticipated WWF PPVs ever as evidenced by the worst PPV buyrate to date for a SummerSlam. For once context is not an issue. All previous RAWs and PPVs are available on the Network. It should also be noted that the Network version is in fact the Coliseum Home Video release not the Live broadcast.

This event is notable for being the first WWF PPV to be covered online officially by the WWF and for being the last major WWF televised event prior to the launch of WCW Monday NITRO.

 
WWF SummerSlam ’95: Face the Heat

Aug. 27, 1995 – Pittsburgh Civic Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Attendance: 18,062 PPV Buys: <215,000

Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler, & Dok Hendrix

Interviews: Dok Hendrix, Jim Ross, & Todd Pettengill

 

CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME:

WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Diesel

WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels

WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Yokozuna

WWF Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze

 

Singles Match (WATCH)
1-2-3 Kid vs. “The White Angel” Hakushi

This match is one of only two matches that SummerSlam ’95 is remembered for. At the time Kid was one of the hottest young WWF stars while Hakushi, after a short run with Bret Hart, was struggling to find a spot. On this night both men tore the house down in one of the best SummerSlam openers to date. In the end Hakushi blocks Kid’s spinning heel kick and turns into a powerbomb for the 1-2-3 at 9:29.

WINNER is Hakushi (Pin, 9:29)

 
Next we get a promo from King Mable about the “Royal Plan” and the big surprise that awaits Diesel.

 
Singles Match (WATCH)
Bob “Spark Plug” Holly vs. Hunter Hearst-Helmsley

WWE - Triple H vs Bob Holly at SummerSlam 1995

This match feels oddly out of place. Helmsley was still undefeated while Holly was on his second racing themed gimmick (Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, anyone?). Helmsley blocks a back body drop into a pedigree to score the pinfall at 7:12. It’s odd to watch this match and think that 20 years later Hunter would be the number 3 in WWE.

WINNER is Hunter Hearst-Helmsley (Pin, 7:12)

 
Next we see a video highlighting the Stridex “War on the Water” charity event in Pittsburgh.

 
Tag Team Match (WATCH)
The Smokin’ Gunns (Billy & Bart) vs. The Blu Brothers (Jacob & Eli) w/Uncle Zebakiah

These two teams had worked house shows together for much of June and July and the familiarity shows. Billy takes the brunt of the punishment until Bart gets the hot tag and takes out the Blu’s. After the Blu’s collide, Eli gets wiped out with the Gunn’s sidewinder finish for the pin at 6:12.

WINNERS are The Smokin’ Gunns (Billy & Bart) (Pin, 6:12)

 
Next we get a video package detailing the events surrounding the Horowitz/Skip match.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH)
“Body Donna” Skip w/Sunny vs. Barry Horowitz

WWE - Skip vs Barry Horowitz at SummerSlam 1995

The story here was long-time jobber Barry Horowitz finally winning a match. Trouble was it came at the expense of Skip. And yes, that is a dance rendition of “Hava Nagila” as Horowitz theme music. The finish comes after Hakushi, who himself lost to Horowitz thanks to Skip, distracts Skip long enough for Horowitz to wrap Skip up in a small package to get the pinfall victory at 11:21.

WINNER is Barry Horowitz (Pin, 11:21)

 
After a Dean Douglas lecture on the meaning of the word “Vivify” we get a confident promo from HBK regarding his upcoming match.

 
WWF Women’s Championship (WATCH)
Bertha Faye w/Harvey Wippleman vs. Alundra Blayze(c)

After Blayze won the Women’s title back from Bull Nakano on the April 3rd RAW Bertha Faye, making her TV debut, attacked Blayze and “broke” her nose, setting up this match. Despite the gimmick, the late Rhonda “Bertha Faye” Sing was an accomplished, respected ladies wrestler all over the world. The finish here comes after Blayze misses a missile dropkick and Faye delivers a sit-out powerbomb for the 1-2-3 at 4:39 to become the NEW WWF Women’s Champion.

WINNER and NEW WWF Women’s Champion, Bertha Faye w/Harvey Wippleman (Pin, 4:39)

 
Next is a video package on Taker/Kama and a Coliseum Home Video exclusive promo by Taker.

 
“Casket Match” (WATCH)
Kama w/Ted DiBiase vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer

WWE - The Undertaker vs. Kama SummerSlam 1995

Kama stole Taker’s urn at WrestleMania XI and melted it down into a necklace. That’s all there is to this one. Shoddy story aside this is one of the better “Casket Matches” in Taker’s career. It’s physical, tells a great story, is well paced, and has plenty of innovative spots. In the end Taker hits the tombstone piledriver and stuffs Kama in the casket at 16:27 to end the “Million Dollar Corporation” saga. As good a “Casket Match” as can be found on the Network and a must-see match for any Taker fan.

WINNER is The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer (16:27)

 
Next we get a video package on the Hart/Yankem match and a promo from Bret Hart.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH)
Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. w/Jerry Lawler

After Bret won the “Kiss My Foot Match” at the 1995 King of the Ring over Lawler, “The King” enlisted the help of his “personal dentist” Isaac Yankem, D.D.S., a.k.a. Glenn “Kane” Jacobs to “extract” revenge. Like the hokey angle this match is just not very good; not even Bret Hart can save “Yankem”. In the end Yankem and Lawler double-team Hart and hang him by the neck in the ropes until the referee calls for the bell at 16:18, after which the beat down continues.

WINNER is Bret “The Hitman” Hart (DQ, 16:18)

 
After Bret is helped from the ring we get a promo from Razor Ramon about the upcoming “Ladder Match”.

 
WWF Intercontinental Championship – “Ladder Match” (WATCH)
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels(c)
Guest Commentator: Dok Hendrix

WWE - Shawn Michaels & Razor Ramon Ladder Match at SummerSlam 1995

Originally this match was to be HBK/Sid but weeks before the PPV to help bolster a lackluster card, or so the story goes, the match was changed. While their first match at WrestleMania X involved a great story the return match had nothing. HBK and Razor had only one face-to-face meeting on RAW and aside from promos and highlights of WrestleMania X there was zero build-up. The finish had to be redone three times before HBK could get the belt down at 25:50 to retain the Intercontinental title. A great match years ahead of its time is diminished by the lack of any story going in, rendering the match pointless to a degree. Add to that a series of HBK tantrums and you get a match whose potential, unfortunately, was never quite reached.

WINNER and STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels (25:50)

 
Dean Douglas and Razor get into it backstage before Diesel talks about the main event.

 
WWF World Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
King Mable w/Sir Mo vs. Diesel(c)
Guest Commentator: Dok Hendrix

WWE - Diesel (Kevin Nash) as WWF Champion

King Mable earned this title match after winning the 1995 KOTR Tournament. The angle got personal at the In Your House 2 event in July when King Mable tried to cost Diesel the WWF title. After two years of sub-par main events the WWF was in desperate need of a quality show-closer for SummerSlam. This was not it. Lex Luger makes his last WWF TV appearance here when he takes out Sir Mo and brings a dead “Igloo” crowd to life. The end comes when Diesel hits a flying forearm for the pinfall at 9:16 to retain the WWF Championship. As the pyro goes off and Diesel celebrates the PPV goes black.

WINNER and STILL WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Diesel (Pin, 9:16)

 
Final Thoughts:

SummerSlam ’95 was certainly an historic event for the WWF. With only one big match on the card (HBK/Razor) and a WWF title match virtually no one cared about, SummerSlam ’95 is largely viewed as the worst one ever. While the rest of the wrestling business in 1995 was expanding the WWF was never more stagnant. ECW was building a young, diehard fan base while WCW was still reshaping its. The WWF, with a product geared towards small children, had nearly lost contact with its fan base entirely. The taint of past scandals and the federal trial still loomed over the WWF and Vince McMahon opted for safety over innovation. While many complain about the “TV-PG Era”, “WWF ’95” was a living nightmare for wrestling fans of the day. With garbage men, clowns, Native Americans, personal trainers, pirates, roadies, demented dentists, and country music wannabes “WWF ’95” was a joke so bad it had forgot its own punchline.

A bad PPV in August was the least of Vince McMahon’s worries, however, as Eric Bischoff and WCW were about to launch an all-out assault for the very future of the wrestling industry with the debut of WCW Monday NITRO on TNT on Sept. 4th, at which time the WWF would “face the heat” like never before.

That wraps up this week’s edition of TBT. As always, thanks for reading. If you are a WWE Network subscriber check out the event, see it for yourself, and let me know what you think.

Until next week, see ya at ringside.

 




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12 Comments left on this article...

  1. isrs4life says:

    In Your House:PPVs began back in mid 1995 which became awesome through the years
    till 1999

  2. MikeS_87 says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for this show and I honestly think this ppv would be remembered more fondly if it ended with the ladder match. Everything up to the main event was good to great in my opinion (by wwf standards in 1995). Diesel v Mabel was awful and nobody wanted to see it back then let alone now! It’s still the second best ppv of 95 in my opinion (behind survivor series). In your house 3 from a month later is another show that has a bad rep but is better than its given credit for.

  3. LP1 says:

    I don’t know if I would call this the worst SummerSlam ever, but it’s right up there. 1994 wasn’t much better. Other than Bret vs Owen, ’94 didn’t really have anything special. 1997 also wasn’t that spectacular in my opinion, save for the main event. But to each their own. Everyone likes something different.

    • MikeS_87 says:

      Summerslam 90 is the worst summerslam ever in my opinion. Too many short, pointless filler matches. Harts v Demolition was the best match of the show but even that had the convoluted ending with the switching of the demos members so it’s far from perfect.

  4. Nicolas Hébert says:

    You’re right!!! Worst Summerslam of all time by far! I watched only once on the Summerslam Anthology Box Set!

  5. attitude.era.4life says:

    Live broadcast edition differs how from the Coliseum home video version?

    I own the event on both the Anthology DVD and Silvervision Tagged Classics version, with run times for the event: 2h48m and 2h45m, respectively.

    The extra nearly 3 minutes on the Anthology version is a segment called Summerslam Plus, with among others Gorilla Monsoon..is that from the Live Broadcast edition?

    As for the event it self, it’s one of the worst for sure.. but, I still think that KOTR 95 was much worse.. but, only focusing on SS events, it sure is on the top 3 garbage events for me.

    • Brock Allen says:

      I point it out only because many viewers of the Network like to know, for whatever reasons, if the PPV is the actual Live broadcast or a home video release so I included the information. The point wasn’t whether there is a difference or not but simply that the PPV present on the Network is the CHV edition not the Live broadcast. As far as I know the only difference between the two is the insertion of the Undertaker promo before the “Casket Match” with Kama. Unless I saw the SS Plus segment in question I can not safely say whether it was an added segment or part of the original Live broadcast. I do not recall it off the top of my head.

      • LP1 says:

        The SummerSlam Plus segment was definitely shown live on the PPV version. They did that with several PPV events during 1995-1996, including Royal Rumble 96, In Your House: February 1996 and In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies. Those segments were edited off the Coliseum Video versions. For whatever reason(laziness?) whoever was in charge of uploading the PPV’s to the Network decided to just use the edited Coliseum Video versions.

      • attitude.era.4life says:

        okay.. thanks for clearing that up.

        I’m a sucker for details, that’s why I ask.. 🙂

        There’s heavy differences from the Anthology and Tagged Classic versions with several events..when I tried the Network, even there, I found lack of some minor details compared to Silvervision catalogue…but also few additions (the Y2J vs. JBL post-match segment in full from RR 2008 was a welcomed addition).

        Like these breakdowns of events..much better analyzes than the WWE panels. 😉

        • LP1 says:

          The 80’s were even worse than the 90’s when it came to how badly the PPV’s were edited for Coliseum Video. WrestleMania 2 is the perfect example. The live PPV version of WrestleMania 2 was about 3 hours and 6 minutes. The Coliseum Video version was about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The Coliseum version is completely void of all entrances, intros, post match stuff, backstage interviews, etc. The reason for that is because the standard runtime for VHS tapes back then were only 2 hours(using T-120 tapes). Which is why the near 4-hour WrestleMania IV was released on two different VHS tapes. Later on, the T-180 tapes became more popular and the WWF was able to fit 3 hour shows on one tape. Of course it was still a mess for the 4-hour Mania events which had to still be heavily edited up through 1991.

          There were even cases where, in order to fit the show on one tape, the WWF would completely cut out matches from the PPV. Royal Rumble 1989 and 1991 are the best examples of this. 89 was missing the Haku vs Harley Race match and 91 was missing the Koko B. Ware vs Mountie match.

          From what I understand the SilverVision releases were basically identical copies of the Coliseum Video releases. Then in 1994, I believe it was 94, SilverVision decided to include the complete 30 minute countdown shows on their releases, which the US Coliseum releases didn’t have. See? Even 20 years ago the UK was getting better treatment. lol

          • attitude.era.4life says:

            you right bout that, with the 30 minutes countdown shows on the Tagged Classics. Dont understand why it’s not on the Network, when it is supposed to be Uncut and Unedited. Well.. some of the countdown segments were even a bit entertaining. -lol-

            The butchered events like WM 6 on the Silvervision version was a mess..like I say, I’m a sucker for details..WM 6 was my first experience with WWF and the event was aired on Eurosport in full lenght.. when I first got the event on DVD it was tagged with 5..boy, oh boy, it’s a slaughter.. just like you mentioned with WM 2.

            Glad they made the Anthology collection.

            I’m of course glad as an European that I got to collect the complete (if ever possible) collection via the Silvervision catalogue, but never really understood that way of treating fans from different parts of the world different. Other than, of course, politics and money as a motive.

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