The eighth WWE SummerSlam event happened as WWE was trying to right the ship after a couple of down years. It turned out that 1995 was one of the worst years at all, but thankfully for those of us that loved great matches we still had great workers like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Owen Hart to save the show in terms of having great matches once in a while.

It was a year of change in WWE as well because 1995 is when WWE started doing monthly pay-per-view events with In Your House shows.  Plus, the competition from WCW was getting stronger because they debuted Nitro less than a month after this.

The WWE Champion was Kevin Nash as Diesel, who was the new top guy after he won it in late 1994. His title reign lasted nearly one year and it was a year where business was down all over. The man challenging Diesel for the WWE Title at this how was Mable, who was a former tag wrestler that was thrust to the main event status because he’s big just like Diesel was. Mable won King of the Ring 1995 a few months earlier, so at least he was booked well leading into the match.

The only match on the show that I remember well is Michaels vs. Ramon in a Ladder Match, which is one of the best SummerSlam matches ever. I also recall the WWE Title match is awful and I really don’t want to watch it again, but I will do it for you dear reader because that’s what I do! Let’s get to it.

WWE SummerSlam 1995
August 27, 1995
Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The opening video was narrated by Todd Pettengill talking about the big matches coming up. The talent delivered promos talking about them.

The announce team of Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler are the announcers.

There was a promo from Dean Douglas to start the show. This is not a good way to excite people.

Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid

(Pre-match notes: Hakushi was the heel known as the “White Angel” and the “Modern Day Kamikaze” according to Vince and Kid was the face.)

Two smaller wrestlers that are athletic, so it should be a fast-paced match. The first few minutes featured some athletic moves with neither guy getting the advantage. Each man missed kicks to show that the other guy was ready for it. Hakushi went for a power move, Kid countered it and Hakushi hit a tilt-a-whirl slam. Hakushi hit a handspring elbow in the corner leading to some cheers because of how cool it looked. Hakushi worked over Kid with some kicks to the back and a splash off the ropes for two. Hakushi continued with a back body drop and a superkick. Hakushi did a handspring into a dive over the top onto Kid on the floor. Awesome move. Back in the ring, flying headbutt off the top from Hakushi earned a two count. Kid started a comeback after Hakushi missed an attack. Kid wit ha dropkick that sent Hakushi out of the ring followed by a springboard cross body block. Kid with a leg drop over the top rope for two. Kid up top and he hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Vince did his routine where he thought that was it, but it wasn’t. Kid went for a spin kick, Hakushi caught him and planted him with a power slam for the win at 9:27.

Winner by pinfall: Hakushi

Analysis: *** That was pretty good and a smart choice for an opener to put on an exciting match. There wasn’t a story for the match, but when you put on an exciting opener it’s going to get the crowd into it right away. Hakushi was one of those guys who was an innovative flyer at a time when not a lot of guys were doing it in American wrestling. Kid was very athletic too, but Hakushi made it look so easy.

King Mabel was interviewed by Dok Hendrix with Mabel saying there might be a surprise and ending it with “long live the king.”

Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his entrance for his SummerSlam debut. I wonder what happened with him? Now that’s sarcasm.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly

(Pre-match notes: Hunter was the undefeated heel and Holly was the face. Both guys got over years later to different degreed after tweaking their gimmicks.)

Holly with a slam early. Hunter got in a cheap punch to get the brief advantage. Hunter dropped Holly throat first onto the top rope. Hunter choked away while Lawler said Holly wasn’t much of an athlete for driving a race car. Hunter whipped Holly hard into the corner. As Hunter worked over Holly, the British Bulldog was shown arriving to the arena while Vince said he wasn’t supposed to be there and that it would be trouble for Diesel. The guys battled over an abdominal stretch with Hunter giving Holly a hip toss over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Holly nailed a DDT as both guys were down for a bit. Holly with a dropkick. Atomic drop by Holly followed by a clothesline. Back body drop by Holly and another dropkick. When Holly went for another back body drop, Hunter stopped it and hit a Pedigree to win at 7:10.

Winner by pinfall: Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Analysis: *1/4 Decent match to put over Hunter, who got a good midcard push in the next couple of years. This rich jerk gimmick he had was fine as a midcard. It wasn’t a main event gimmick, which is why it’s a good thing it changed about two years later.

A video aired about WWE superstars doing some competition in Pittsburgh against some firefighters.

Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) vs. The Blu Brothers (Jacob & Eli) w/Uncle Zebekiah

(Pre-match notes: The Gunns were the faces. They were fake brothers that portrayed brothers. The Blu Brothers were legit twins that had several gimmick changes over the years. Uncle Zebekiah was Zeb Colter or more commonly known as Dutch Mantel.)

The Blu boys were in control early until Billy hit a leg drop to the back of the head, which is a move that later became known as the Fameasser. One of the Blu boys draped Bart’s neck on the top rope while the ref was busy with Billy. Bart came back with a cross body block and Billy tagged back in with a clothesline for two. The ref tried to get Bart out of the ring, so the Blu Brother hit a double team slam on Billy. Hard whip into the corner on Billy knocked him down. Powerslam by Jacob (I don’t know what one it was, so let’s just say Jacob) earned a two count. Billy hit a running neckbreaker like move that sent Jacob face first into the mat. Bart got the hot tag with body slams for both guys, but one of the Blus nailed him with a boot to the face. Bart sent the Blus into eachother so the one Blu was knocked to the floor. Bart held one of the Blus and Billy went up top with the leg drop for the pinfall win at 6:09.

Winners by pinfall: Smoking Gunns

Analysis: * Boring tag match that followed the tag formula with the heels working on Billy and Bart’s boring offense brought back the heels. The Tag Team Champs at the time were Yokozuna and Owen Hart, who weren’t even in a match at this show while WWE chose to put this match on. Yoko and Owen vs. the Smoking Gunns would have been a much better match.

A video aired about Barry Horowitz, who was a WWE journeyman that lost every match for every year. One month earlier on Action Zone, Horowitz rolled up Skip of the Bodydonnas and beat him. It’s time for revenge.

Analysis: You know the roster was really thin when Barry Horowitz was getting a PPV match. I thought the whole “Horowitz Wins” thing was comical back then.

Sunny did a promo with Skip before the match talking about how much of a loser Horowitz. This was early 20s Sunny when she was as hot as ever.

Barry Horowitz vs. Skip (w/Sunny)

(Pre-match notes: Horowitz was the face and Skip was the heel.)

Horowitz was aggressive on offense with a lot of different moves including a clothesline that sent Skip out of the ring. Horowitz got a rollup for a two count. Horowitz was on the apron and he gave Skip a suplex out of the ring. Sunny went into the ring with a towel, so ref Earl Hebner told her to get out of the ring. Skip sent Horowitz in the ropes and Sunny tripped him. Skip was on offense as the crowd chanted “Barry” for Horowitz. Skip hit a gutwrench suplex as well as a fist drop off the middle rope that looked like it missed by a couple of inches, but Barry sold it anyway. Horowitz got a couple of nearfalls, so Skip stopped his momentum with a clothesline. There were more “Barry” chants with Lawler saying the people could identify with Horowitz because they were losers. After Horowitz got a two count, Skip hit a powerslam. They did a double dropkick spot to knock both of them down. Skip up top and Horowitz knocked him down to crotch him. Skip up top with a headbutt off the top for a two count as Skip picked him up. Horowitz backed out of a piledriver attempt and hit a dropkick. Horowitz up top, Sunny shook the ropes (ref didn’t see it) and Skip hit a superplex. Hakushi made his entrance. The story was he was mad that Skip cost Hakushi a match against Horowitz. Skip yelled at Hakushi. That led to Hakushi jumping into the ring, not hitting anybody and Horowitz did an inside cradle to Skip for the win at 11:21.

Winner by pinfall: Barry Horowitz

The crowd went wild for the Horowitz win while Sunny was freaking out at ringside. Vince did the “Horowitz Wins! Horowitz Wins! Horowitz Wins!” call for it.

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid midcard match. I liked how Horowitz kept going for pins the whole time to show that he could win it at any point (that was set up from their previous match), so the crowd was into it. Horowitz was always a consistent performer that could have good matches with anybody. It was nice that he was given a bit of a chance.

Dean Douglas did a promo about the word “vivify” to explain the travesty that was Horowitz getting the win. Douglas gave the ref a grade of F and Horowitz a S for Slacker.

Analysis: So cheesy. So bad.

Shawn Michaels, the Intercontinental Champion, was a face on the rise and he was interviewed by Todd Pettengill. Shawn said that for over a year it’s eaten at him that he lost to Razor Ramon in the first ladder match at WrestleMania 10 and that he wants to prove he’s the better man and the greatest IC Champion ever.

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

(Pre-match notes: Blayze was the face champion. Faye was the big heel that had the smaller man Wippleman as her love interest.)

Faye dominated early on with some running body attacks. Head whip by Faye knocked Blayze down. Slam by Faye followed by two leg drops. Faye with a slam. Faye went to the middle rope, she jumped off for a splash and Blayze moved. Blayze went on her shoulders into a rollup for a two count. Faye tripped up Blayze and hit a body slam. Blayze with three running clotheslines, but the ref was dealing with Wippleman on the apron. Blayze chased after Wippleman. Blayze got a takedown for a two count. Faye with a body attack. Blayze with a hurricanrana for two, which was impressive. Two dropkicks off the middle rope from Blayze. When Blayze went for it, Faye move. Faye hit a Powerbomb and pinned Blayze for the win at 4:14.

Winner by pinfall and new Women’s Champion: Bertha Faye

Analysis: * Bad match saved a bit by some of the cool moves by Blayze, who was a way better worker than Faye. This was considered a pretty big upset since Faye was booked like a joke character. Blayze got the title back about two months later. Shortly after that, she left the company and went to WCW using the Madusa name. That was followed by a famous moment when Madusa tossed the WWF Women’s Title into a trash can on WCW Nitro.

Post match, Faye and Wippleman were interviewed by Jim Ross, who was probably not thrilled about that assignment.

There was a promo from Undertaker and Paul Bearer about the Casket Match against Kama. Bearer referenced Coliseum Video, so it was probably just for the video release and not the actual broadcast. Undertaker spoke about Kama’s day of reckoning being at hand.

Kama was in the ring with Dibiase, who was a manager by this point. Kama’s got a gold chain that was supposedly the urn. Dibiase was holding at ringside.

The Undertaker got a thunderous ovation for his entrance with long time manager Paul Bearer at his side.

Casket Match: The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Kama (w/Ted Dibiase)

(Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face and Kama was the heel. They were very good friends behind the scenes for many years. Kama was also known as Papa Shango and The Godfather, which was the name he used when inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.)

There’s a casket at ringside. Undertaker threw Kama on it early on. Taker hit his Old School rope walk move leading to a punch. There was a camera inside the casket. Kama with a powerslam led to Undertaker sitting up. Fans chanted “rest in peace” as Undertaker nearly placed Kama in the casket for good. Kama worked over Taker with his boring offense including a clothesline that sent Undertaker on top of the casket. The offense from Kama continued with a suplex onto the casket, which was still closed. Both men stood on the casket while the refs held it. Kama teased a move on it, so Undertaker countered with a back body drop to get a good pop and more “rest in peace” chants. Powerslam by Kama and then he went for a cover because he forgot the rules of the match. Lawler: “Open the casket, you idiot.” Valid point from Lawler. Kama slapped on a chinlock with his feet on the ropes until Bearer knocked his feet off the ropes. Another boring chinlock from Kama. After a few minutes of that chinlock, Taker hit a belly to back suplex.

Kama with a kick to the back and a hard whip into the corner with Taker bumping hard. Taker came back with a leaping clothesline. The casket was opened as Undertaker hit a clothesline that sent both guys into the casket. The lid was closed on both guys. The casket was breaking apart. Kama tried to get out, but Taker punched him down. Vince said it was “unbelievable.” Not really. Back in the ring, Kama hit a swinging neckbreaker. Undertaker hit a Chokeslam as the crowd went wild. Undertaker hit a Tombstone Piledriver to a huge ovation. Taker rolled Kama into the casket and Taker shut the lid to win after 16:26 of action.

Winner: The Undertaker

Analysis: ** Decent match that went too long. They didn’t utilize the casket enough or go for the win that often. There weren’t many exciting moments. Some small things drew reactions, but I don’t think anybody believed Kama might win. It shouldn’t have taken that long for Undertaker to beat a guy of Kama’s status, who wasn’t seen as a top star. It felt like they went that long because the show was limited in star power and WWE wanted to give Undertaker a long match on the show.

The announcers set up the Bret Hart feud with Isaac Yankem, which followed Bret’s feud with Jerry Lawler. Hart beat Lawler at King of the Ring 1995 and made Lawler eat his own stinky foot, so that introduced Yankem to WWE. Yankem’s gimmick was that he was Lawler’s evil dentist.

Lawler did a promo introducing his personal dentist Isaac Yankem DDS. The theme song was a drill sound. They said he was from “Decatur, Illinois” because “decay” is something that occurs with teeth. It was so cheesy.

Analysis: That was the first gimmick of Glen Jacobs in WWE. A year later he was known as Fake Diesel and in 1997 he finally got something that worked when he debuted in October of that year as Kane.

Bret “Hitman” Hart was interviewed by Todd Pettengill. Hart did a promo to try to make some sense of this match even though he thought it was ridiculous.

Analysis: Read Bret’s book if you haven’t because he wasn’t too fond of the way he was booked through most of 1995. I think he had a good point because he was a former champion that really wasn’t portrayed in a great way.

Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Isaac Yankem DDS

(Pre-match notes: Bret was the face and Yankem was the heel.)

Yankem was dominant early with power moves including a body slam, but he missed an elbow drop. Bret made a comeback with an atomic drop, clothesline and another clothesline that sent Yankem over the top to the floor. Hart with a slingshot dive over the top onto Yankem on the floor. Back in the ring, Hart with a clothesline off the middle rope. Hart went for a Sharpshooter, Yankem blocked it and Bret hit a headbutt to the gut. Hart with a backslide cover for two. Yankem came back with a power move where he was supposed to drop Hart throat first across the top, but didn’t do it right so Bret just went into the ropes. Hard whip into the corner by Yankem leading to a stiff sternum bump by Hart. Yankem did some blatant choking against the ropes, so the ref pulled him by the hair to get Yankem off. Yankem with a clothesline sent Hart over the top to the floor. Yankem drove Hart back first into the ring post. With Hart on the apron, Yankem went to the top rope and hit a leg drop to the back for a two count. It didn’t connect that well, but still impressive to see a near seven-footer even try that. Yankem hit a clothesline to the back. Bret knocked Yankem out of the ring and Bret hit a suicide dive onto Yankem outside the ring followed by punches. Lawler was freaking out on commentary. Back in the ring, bulldog from Bret and then the Russian legsweep with each move getting a two count. Backbreaker from Hart followed by the elbow drop off the middle ropes. Hart applied the Sharpshooter near the ropes. Lawler left the announce table and pushed the ropes towards Yankem to help Yankem grab them. Hart with a back body drop on Yankem sent him out of the ring. Yankem sent Hart into the steel steps at ringside. Back in the ring, Yankem did a slow climb to the top, so Hart slammed him down. Hart tripped up Yankem and tied his legs with a cable at ringside. Hart stomped away on Yankem while the ref took the cables off Yankem’s feet. Hart brawled with Lawler at ringside and Yankem jumped off the top to the floor with a double axehandle to Bret’s back. Back in the ring, Bret hit a running forearm. Lawler tripped up Lawler, which the ref didn’t see, so Yankem hit a splash to the back. Yankem and Lawler tied the ropes around Bret’s head, so Bret’s head was between the top/middle ropes. The ref called for the bell and the disqualification finish at 16:07.

Winner by disqualification: Bret Hart

Analysis: ** It was a decent match with an awful finish designed to keep the story going. You could tell Yankem was green and he improved a lot over the years as Kane. There were some mistakes in there by Yankem, but they managed to get through it. Hart did his best to make the big man look like a badass, which was the point of the match. The problem is the Yankem gimmick was too silly and that’s why it didn’t last.

Post match, officials went down to the ring to save Bret as Lawler and Yankem pulled on Bret’s legs while he was between the ropes. The officials ended up saving Bret from the ropes. Lawler and Yankem left up the aisle looking proud of themselves. Hart got back to his feet while shoving help away and he limped to the back.

Analysis: Bret is one of the best wrestlers ever at selling and that’s another example of it.

Razor Ramon was interviewed by Dok Hendrix. Bret Hart walked in front of them with Gerald Brisco helping him. Razor said it’s not just Shawn’s precious gold on the line, it’s his body and Razor said that Shawn’s pain brings him pleasure.

Analysis: Solid promo from Ramon, who I liked more as a heel, but he spent more of his time in WWE as a face.

Razor Ramon entered first to a huge ovation.

Shawn Michaels, the Intercontinental Champion, got an even bigger ovation because he was on his way up the roster as a singles babyface. Vince: “This man is electric.” If you wonder why Michael Cole loves that “electric” word, that’s why.

Vince was joined by Dok Hendrix on commentary for this match and the rest of the show.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon

(Pre-match notes: Both guys were faces. The original plan for this match was Shawn Michaels vs. Sid, which was advertised a few weeks before. WWE changed it because they realized they needed a great match and doing a Ladder Match rematch was a smart idea.)

They went at a fast pace early with Shawn nearly hitting a superkick and Razor nearly going for the Razor’s Edge, but they were each able to avoid the big moves. Hard whip into the corner by Ramon sent Michaels over the top to the floor. Michaels went after him in the aisle and they battled on the apron with Ramon hitting a suplex that caused Shawn’s left leg to hit the railing. That looked nasty, but Shawn was fine. Back in the ring, each guy went for finishers and did a double clothesline to knock down both guys. Ramon used his power to take control and hit a fallaway slam off the middle rope. That allowed Razor to grab the ladder that was in the aisle as Sid was shown watching backstage. Ramon set up the ladder and Michaels knocked him down. Michaels picked up the ladder to set it up and did it so that he inadvertently hit Ramon with it. They did the full moon spot with Razor pulling down the tights when Shawn was climbing and then Razor pulled Michaels off the ladder leading to a hard bump to the floor. Ramon stomped on the knee and also slammed the left knee of Michaels against the ladder, which was on the mat. Razor hit Michaels in the back of the leg with the ladder in another one of those inadvertent ladder shots. Ramon slammed Michaels onto the ladder so that his left knee hit hard against the ladder. As Ramon worked on the leg, Michaels kicked him away and sent him into the ladder that was up against the turnbuckle, so Ramon came back by tossing Michaels knee first into the ladder. Ramon kept on attacking the left knee for another few minutes. Ramon teased setting up the ladder and ended up shoving it onto Shawn’s left leg. Ramon set up the ladder, went to climb and Michaels went to the middle rope and connected with a double axehandle to the back.

Michaels shoved Ramon into the ladder that was set up in the ring. Ramon climbed up the ladder again, but Michaels went up after him and hit a belly to back suplex to take him down. Michaels whipped Ramon into the ladder and hit a forearm smash. Michaels with a body slam. Michaels set up the ladder against the turnbuckle, climbed up and hit a moonsault press onto a standing Ramon. That was like jumping off the top rope. Michaels went up the ladder again, stood on the very top and went for a splash, but Ramon rolled out of the way. Great camera angle on that showing it from the in-ring perspective. Hendrix was rooting for both guys. The fans were screaming as they did a slow climb up the ladder and they had a slugfest near the top of the ladder. They did a spot where both guys did a tumble onto the top rope with Ramon landing out of the ring and Michaels getting crotched on the top rope. Back to their feet, Michaels missed with a running ladder attack.

Ramon brought a second ladder from under the ring. Michaels set up the original ladder. Vince was freaking out about how he had never seen this before. It was the first time they had done this in a match. Michaels went up the ladder, Ramon hit him in the back and Ramon hit a Razor’s Edge that took him down. Vince wondered if there was a “legal ladder” and if it matters. Each guy set up a ladder to climb with Razor starting his climb first. Razor got his hand on it, but Michaels hit a superkick to knock him down. Shawn made it to the top of the ladder and reached up for it, but he couldn’t reach it. Shawn went crashing to the mat. Razor teased a Razor’s Edge, but Shawn countered with a back body drop to send him over the top to the floor. Shawn set up the second ladder, did a slow climb and grabbed the title. Shawn couldn’t grab it, so he was pissed as he tossed the second ladder down. Shawn climbed up again and you can tell the ladder was lowered for him because Shawn reached it from the third step from the top. Michaels reached up and grabbed the title to a huge pop to retain the gold at 25:04.

Winner: Shawn Michaels

Analysis: ***** Amazing match. Five stars out of five. I’ve seen it many times and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time. The action in the match was spectacular right from the start. There’s a spot where Razor suplexes Shawn over to the top to the floor that HBK takes on the knees, which is crazy to do and it’s no shock that he had knee injuries when you see a bump like that. There were some cool counters by Razor where he avoids the baseball slide ladder shot to the ribs and the splash off the ladder, which were both prominent spots in the WM10 ladder match. They also mixed in psychology with Michaels hurting his knee and Razor worked it over very well. If you want to be picky about this match, Shawn failed to grab the title on his first try. That’s a very valid point, but I don’t see why one small gaffe should mean that this match wasn’t a near perfect wrestling match. I love this match.

Analysis Bonus: The ladder match between them at WM10 gets more praise, but I think this is the better match. I think one of the reasons why people like the WM10 match more is because it happened first, plus things at WrestleMania are usually glorified more. Others point out that Shawn failed to grab the belt on his first try in this one. That’s a very valid point, but I don’t see why one small gaffe should mean that this match was worse. This one went seven minutes longer, the time was used wisely, they told more of a story (working over Shawn’s knee for example), they built off history and the crowd was hot the entire time. A true classic.

Post match, Ramon handed Michaels the title, raised his hand and they hugged in the ring.

Analysis: They were very good friends as part of the Kliq and had many great matches together. This one and the WM10 ladder match were the two matches that stood out the most from their rivalry.

Dean Douglas did a promo mocking Razor Ramon. That led to Razor walking in saying he didn’t need a bookworm telling the Bad Guy to fight. Douglas said they don’t need any violence. Douglas tried a cheap shot, but Ramon was ready and decked him with a punch.

Analysis: That started a program between the two men. It wasn’t a great rivalry because Dean Douglas failed miserably in WWE.

King Mabel was carried down to the ring like a king and a and he’s dressed in his “King” outfit.

Diesel was interviewed by Todd Pettengill and Diesel said “I’m going to medieval” on Mabel twice. Not a good promo.

Diesel made his entrance as the announcers said this place was thundering. Not really. It wasn’t as loud of an ovation as Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels earlier in the night. Not even close to the pop Michaels got. Vince said the WWF has been doing quite well on Diesel power. Not really.

WWE Championship: Diesel vs. King Mabel (w/Sir Mo)

(Pre-match notes: Diesel was the face champion. Mabel was the heel challenger fresh off a King of the Ring 1995 win. Sir Mo was Mabel’s tag partner in Men on a Mission.)

Mabel started off with two shoulder blocks. Diesel came back with clotheslines. Mabel blocked a body slam attempt because he’s too fat. Diesel hit two clotheslines and a shoulder tackle to the back to the back that knocked Mabel out of the ring. Diesel did a dive over the top rope that saw him land on top of Mabel on the floor. I’ll give him credit for doing a move like that even though he doesn’t need to. They were on the floor with Mabel whipping Diesel back first into the ring post. Diesel came back with a boot to the face. Mabel whipped him into the turnbuckle and hit a side slam for two. Seated splash to the back by Mabel. Fans chanted “Diesel” as Mabel sat on his back. Mabel sent him into the corner again. Mabel with a body slam, he ran the ropes, knocked the ref out of the ring and missed an elbow drop because Diesel moved. Mo went in the ring to attack Diesel with Mabel because the ref was outside the ring. Lex Luger ran down to the ring. Diesel punched Luger and hit him with a clothesline because he thought Luger was against him. Mabel hit a clothesline that sent Diesel over the top to the floor. Mabel with a leg drop on Diesel’s face on the floor. Luger nailed Mo from behind with a double axe and Luger caused Mo to run to the back so they were gone, so that means Luger helped Diesel even after Diesel attacked him. Mabel hit a belly to belly suplex, ref Earl Hebner back in the ring with a slow count for two. Mabel to the middle rope, he jumped off and Diesel barely moved out of the way. Diesel went to the middle rope, hit a shoulder tackle/forearm that didn’t connect very well and covered for the win at 9:14 as Hebner did the slow count.

Winner by pinfall: Diesel

Analysis: -* Awful match that is one of the worst WWE PPV main event matches ever. The finish is one of the most anticlimactic PPV endings you’re ever going to see. It didn’t tell much of a story and had very few moments that any sane person would call exciting. I’m glad it was under ten minutes because if it went any longer it would have been worse. Luger left WWE shortly after this appearance.

I didn’t know it at the time, but Nash was furious with Mabel during the match. Nash was dealing with a sore back, so wanted Mabel to be careful. Nash was down on the mat and Mabel jumped on him. Nash claimed that Vince was going to fire him and Nash saved Mabel’s job that day, but Mable wasn’t around much longer although he did return to WWE again. Here’s the audio of that.

Diesel celebrated with the WWE Title as the show ended there.

The show had a run time of 2 hours and 43 minutes.

  

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– If not for Michaels vs. Ramon, this may be the worst PPV ever. That match saved it big time. It’s also why King of the Ring 1995, which I have not reviewed, is considered by many to be the worst WWE PPV ever because there wasn’t anything on the show that saved it from being completely unwatchable.

– This was the third SummerSlam out of the last four with a five star match. I don’t know if there’s going to be another one, but to have three of them in a four year stretch showed that at least WWE’s roster was talented enough to pull off some of the best matches ever.

– You could tell the roster was poor just by looking at some of the matches that took place. That’s why things improved a year later when Mankind was in a featured match, Steve Austin was there (although he was not on the PPV broadcast) and Rocky Maivia debuted later in 1996. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom (no pun intended) with shows like this one and King of the Ring 1995 in order to bounce back.

– That Hakushi/Kid match was pretty exciting for the time period. I had forgotten just how athletic Hakushi was, so it was cool to see some of those familiar moves again.

– The show bombed in terms of PPV buyrates with 205,000 buys. It was three times less than what they did in the SummerSlam high of 1989, so that shows how far business has fallen. It was the lowest number in WWE SummerSlam history. Things got even worse a year later even though it was a better show.

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (*****)

Worst Match: Diesel vs. Mabel (-*)

Most Memorable Moment: The entire ladder match was memorable, so I’ll just go with that.

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Shawn Michaels
  2. Razor Ramon
  3. Hakushi
  4. 1-2-3 Kid
  5. Bret Hart

 

Show rating (out of 10): 4

The ladder match between Shawn and Razor really saved the show. Without it I may give this show a 1.5 or a 2, but I’ll call it a 4 thanks to that ladder match and Hakushi vs. Kid was fun to watch too.

 

Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:

British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart @ SummerSlam 1992 (*****)

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart @ SummerSlam 1994 (*****)

Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect @ SummerSlam 1991 (****1/4)

Three Bret Hart matches. I think that shows he was Mr. SummerSlam especially in the first seven years.

 

Ranking SummerSlam Reviews (on 1-10 scale)

SummerSlam 1992 (British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart) – 7

SummerSlam 1989 (Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus) – 5.5

SummerSlam 1994 (Undertaker vs. Underfaker, Bret vs. Owen) – 5

SummerSlam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks) – 5

SummerSlam 1991 (Match Made In Heaven & Hell) – 4.5

SummerSlam 1995 (Diesel vs. Mabel, Michaels vs. Ramon) – 4

SummerSlam 1993 (Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna) – 4

SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude) – 3.5

Next up is SummerSlam 1996, which is when the roster started to improve quite a bit thanks to some good talent they brought in that would eventually lead to the company resurgence in the years that followed.

Check out the SummerSlam Reviews archive.