Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WWF King Of The Ring 1995

For most old-school fans of professional wrestling or "sports-entertainment" as some would prefer to call it, the 1995 edition of the WWF King Of The Ring event ranks up there as one of the worst wrestling cards ever conceived. Held in the wrestling hotbed of Philidelphia, Pensylvania, which was home to an underground cult promotion that was making the waves, King Of The Ring 1995 was pretty much a showcase of everything that was wrong with the WWF at the time... and pretty much an example of a company ignoring all the warning signs thrown at them and staying the course when it would've been wiser (and smarter) to jettison the load and try something else...

Perhaps that was a poor choice of words...

Since I got the WWE Network back in February, I've been mostly fond of catching some of the older PPVs and shows. I've seen a bunch of Clashes, a bunch of good PPVs... and then this comes along. Well, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it? And since I'm sorta blowing through these KOTR events for the sake of this challenge, I might as well get it out of the way. And let me tell you something (brutha)... considering a lot of the other 1995 WWF stuff I've witnessed thus far, I am not looking forward to this one bit.

Anyway, the quarter-finals... let's just blow through these quickly.

Savio Vega defeated Yokozuna via count-out to advance. Yoko was so MASSIVE he could barely do anything. This was sad to watch actually.

The Roadie (Road Dogg) defeated Bob "Sparkplug" Holly. Not bad. I suppose it's safe to say they'd have better encounters in a couple years, but I honestly don't remember. If nothing else, this was relatively inoffensive stuff.

Shawn Michaels and Kama (the former Papa Shango and future Godfather) wrestle to a time-limit draw... So that means they're both out of the tournament? Seriously?

Mabel defeated the Undertaker to move on to the finals of the tournament, since he has a bye as a result of.... my head hurts. Is it wrong for me to ask who booked this crap?

I guess I should mention that this would be the last time (for a couple years, that is) where they would cram the quarter-finals into the card and that's probably a good thing because I'd rather have two good semi-final matches than a bunch of shit quarter-final ones.

And so, ladies and gentlement, in the only semi-final match, Savio Vega defeated Road Dogg to meet Mabel in the finals. Crowd looks dead and bored as this "exciting" action is going on in the squared circle. I assure you; they are not the only ones. How this company survived with putting on shit shows like this is a question best studied by other people.

Bret Hart defeated Jerry Lawler in a "Kiss-My-Foot" match. In a strangely absurd bit, poor King is not only forced to kiss Bret's foot, but also his own "messy" foot that he hadn't washed in fifty years or something. Strangely enough, I found this match to be somewhat watchable.

And in a move that pretty much everyone and their pet pygmy marmosets saw coming, Mabel defeated Savio Vega to become King Of The Ring... the crowd is so thrilled by this turn of events that they're chanting "EC-DUB! EC-DUB!" and Vince doesn't know how to handle that.

Here's what I don't get; what's the appeal of this Savio Vega character? I get that he's supposed to be one of Razor Ramon's buddies that showed up in the previous month's inargural WWF In Your House PPV event, but that's just it, though. He showed up a month ago. What reason do people have to suddenly care about this character enough to get on his bandwagon as he battles through the tournament with seemingly unimpressive victories.

You know who would've been perfect in this role instead of Vega? Sean Waltman, the 1-2-3 Kid. He's been around long enough, he's seen as an actual underdog, he has a bandwagon worth joining... and if nothing else, he'd make the matches more interesting at least... I'm guessing he was out of action due to injury around that time because that's probably the only reason why you'd go with Vega instead of Kid... I mean, no diss towards Vega, who'd serve as something of an early foil to Stone Cold, but I've been given very little reason to care about him at this point beyond "it's in the script."

Mabel as King Of The Ring was treated with about as much pomp and circumstance as anyone in the past decade winning King Of The RIng would be treated. His coronation saw greeted with fans throwing trash, his match with Diesel at Summerslam (for the WWF Title, of course) was pretty sad to watch... King Mabel was held in such little regard that when he brought back in 1998 to have a match with that year's KOTR winner, Ken Shamrock, this nugget of information was thrown out there as an afterthought more than anything. Now Mabel would get repackaged as Viscera and get some mild success in the WWF's hottest period, but that's jumping ahead here. But if we can do a little more of that, Mabel's stay in the WWF didn't last the year, as he'd eventually lose a casket match against Undertaker at the December In Your House... whatever the fuck it was called.

Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Sid and Tatanka when Diesel pinned Tatanka... because this is a thing that happened. Yeah, that's all I got. The show is over. That's all that matters to me.

Oh, good lord. This was horrible. Perhaps one of the worst WWF shows I've seen, if not one of the worst wrestling shows overall. I suppose this could be the WWF's version of the 1991 Great American Bash, but honestly, that was just one bad show. This is a bad show in a series of them; take that for what it's worth. Just... bad.

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