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  • Connor Ewens

Every WWE New Generation Era PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 1/4

After a highly lucrative and popular phase of wrestling, the entire pro-wrestling scene drifted into a lull in the mid-90s. The business was naturally heading into a decline but it was accelerated by many factors. The steroid scandal put Vince McMahon and his company under worldwide scrutiny. The departure of Hogan and other big name talents left the WWF main event scene dry and needing a fresh talent injection. Most territories that survived the mass purchases made by Vinnie Mac and Teddy Turn plummeted into financial ruin. The WWF desperately held on to their old identity with ridiculous childish gimmicks that no one cared about, impacting the quality of matches, shows and stories. Yeah, it is clear to see why this is widely regarded as the worst time to be a wrestling fan. However, the New Generation Era wasn't all bad.

We saw new monthly PPV's introduced under the In Your House banner which provided a wealth of variety and opportunity to the whole roster. Hulk Hogan's vice grip over the main event scene was finally released allowing the rise of future Hall of Famers. Some of WWE's best matches in company history happen in this time period. Seriously. Sure we all remember the awful things but remember Owen Hart vs Bret Hart? Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels? The Calgary Stampede 8-Man? There is plenty love about the New Generation Era, but far more to hate. So we've already established we are beginning at Summerslam 1993, the first PPV event without the Hulkster looming over the company. When does the NG era culminate? It's a long debated fact when the Attitude Era began. The 'Pillman's got a gun' angle, the birth of DX, the Austin 3:16 promo are all viable options. I think the most fitting choice for the end of this era is the 1997 Survivor Series, the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Bret Hart's final WWE appearance for 13 years is an appropriate final stop for the era, considering he was arguably the top guy throughout. Like Hogan epitomises the Golden Era, Bret was a VIP of this one.

With all that said, which show will stand up against the narrative that the New Generation Era sucks? Which show will shit it's pants at the thought? Let's find out as we rank and review the PPV shows from the New Generation Era. No honourable mentions to discuss, we're going straight into the worst show of the period.

41) King of the Ring, June 25th 1995. 25%

To any of you wrestling historians out there, this does not come at a surprise. If you've watched or read any "top 10 worst PPVs ever" lists, this one always appears. 1995 was a very dark year for the Fed. Dwindling fan attendance, dwindling TV ratings and apparently dwindling creativity. The decline of wrestling popularity and a thinned out roster are reasonable excuses for bad shows. But this? Something as bad as this? You're the biggest wrestling entity and somehow think this is a show worth paying any money for? We're in Philadelphia too, aka smark territory, aka the home place of ECW. Many signs in support of ECW were confiscated and you can hear chants for ECW throughout the broadcast. There is a funny moment where Vince on commentary draws attention to it thinking they're cheering on Savio Vega. Talking about Vega, he wasn't even meant to be in the tournament at all but Razor Ramon got legit injured. A qualifier match was booked moments before the show aired to fill the spot. This was the only KOTR event without a title match to appear on it, hence why at the time this was the least bought PPV event in company history with 150,000, the fourth ever event to not reach 200K. This show really failed in almost every way.

Before we begin the swim through the sewage, I need to talk about the terribly hokey stage design. Vince and his company trapped in a bygone era with the cartoonish, lame set design like a King's palace. However, there are two "entrance guards" stood by a silly block door and they seem rather familiar. Why is that Brother Nero and Dasmascus? Yes, brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy get their first taste of a WWE PPV here as silly looking guards. Future Hall of Fame tag team right there. Okay, fine let's talk about wrestling. What can I say? It's almost all bad. Savio Vega defeats the aging IRS to qualify to the next round, where he immediately faces Yokozuna who is too fat and slow to prevent a count out. The moronic fans were chanting USA in a match between a Puerto Rican and a Samoan, who is cosplaying as Japanese. I can't tell if they're being disrespectful, stupid, or maybe both. The Roadie overcomes Bob Holly next which isn't too bad, boring but decently worked until they botched the finish. Holly clearly kicked out, but they counted 3 anyways. The show peaked with a Shawn Michaels match unsurprisingly, who wrestled to a 15 minute time limit draw against Kama. Michaels did his best but Kama was average at best as a wrestler, he wasn't interesting to watch until eventually becoming the Godfather. 15 minutes of Kama is too much, but also this meant that we were not going to see HBK anymore in the tournament! Why? The only great worker this tournament had and now he is out. I guess he didn't want to work Mabel, which is fair. The final QF match was an awful 10 minute match between Mabel and Undertaker. Not only did Mabel win, but he cleanly pinned him, no dusty finish though there was some outside interference. This was Taker's first televised loss in over 3 years.

The show goes on, Savio Vega defeated The Roadie in a bland match at a slow pace. That means our final later is Vega vs Mabel, the winner getting a world title match against Diesel at Summerslam! What a fucking joke! A brief break from the tourney, we have a 'Kiss my Foot' match between Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler. Poor Bret, after they decided to run the company on Diesel power, they gave Hart absolute shit creative to work with and his storyline with Jerry was one of them. These two a veterans so it was a solidly worked match, but for a Bret Hart match it was bad. At least he won and didn't have to suck on the King's tootsies. The KOTR final, Vega vs Mabel, is the worst match on the show. I know, shock. This was so bad. Mabel had 3 moves. Punch, splash and bearhug. Vega is a solid worker but I don't think even 10 Bret Hart's could get anything worth while out of Mabel. Mabel should not be in the world title picture but he is because he is large. That's the truth. "Oh, I cannot endorse steroid use? Fine I'll just fill my main event scene with tall people and fat people" said Vince, probably. Smh.

So why is there not a world title main event? Well Diesel and Sid were feuding, as were Bam Bam and Tatanka. Then Sid & Tatanka joined forces under Ted DiBiase's leadership and challenged them to a tag match. What a star-studded main event match eh? This goes over 15 minutes, a painful amount of time. Diesel received some crowd noise but not a lot considering he is the world champion. Nothing about this match was fun. Tatanka and Sid especially dull, then Diesel is supposed to have a serious elbow injury that commentary keep mentioning but he isn't selling it. They could have at least had Diesel's actual ally HBK be his partner, the match might have been somewhat enjoyable if so. I still think Wrestlemania IX is a worse show, but if you hate this more then I totally get it.

Savio Vega defeats IRS, KOTR Qualifer. *

Savio Vega defeats Yokozuna by count out, KOTR QF. *

The Roadie defeats Bob Holly, KOTR QF. *3/4

Kama vs Shawn Michaels goes to a time limit draw, KOTR QF. **1/2 (MOTN)

Mabel defeats The Undertaker, KOTR QF. 1/4*

Savio Vega defeats The Roadie, KOTR SF. *1/2

Bret Hart defeats Jerry Lawler, Kiss My Foot match. **

Mabel defeats Savio Vega, KOTR Finals. nil

Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow defeat Tatanka & Sycho Sid. *1/4

40) In Your House 4: Great White North, October 22nd 1995. 28.3%

In 1995, WCW decided to expand their PPV schedule to 9 throughout the year. In response, Vince introduced the In Your House format, a PPV programme that would run monthly in-between their major PPV events and be at a cheaper price compared to the big 5. This would be the last at the original cheaper price, the rest being $5 more expensive. After an over 5 year hiatus, WWE has their first Canadian PPV since Wrestlemania VI. This show was supposed to feature a Shawn Michaels title defence, but at the strart of the show it is revealed HBK will forfeit the title to Dean Douglas who will face Razor Ramon instead, due to Shawn having a concussion. The reason won't shock you. The exact story is unclear, but it seems cocky Shawn got himself into a fight at a bar 9 days prior and got his ass kicked. There are stories saying it was one guy, stories saying it was a dozen guys, that they were marines, the real story is unconfirmed. What is certain though is that HBK got his ass beat enough to warrant a concussion.

The show began with Rikishi vs Triple H, sort of. Fatu in his 'Make a Difference' gimmick fought Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a snobby upper-class gentleman who walked with grace and carried a perfume atomiser. Both men were far from their best both as wrestlers and as characters, Fatu's entire personality was educating the youth on what not to do. The match was pretty average, with the rapid rising star Hunter going over. The show continued with the Smoking Gunns defending their tag titles against Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid. A mostly enjoyable match with a good story as the Kid cost them the match wanting to be the one who gets the win. This is the best the show would get, drastically dropping in quality from here. The debut match of WWE's most controversial character saw Goldust face the recently returning Marty Jannetty. It was a pretty decisive win for the bizarre one, but it was far longer than it needed to be. Dustin dropped all of his exciting ring work in WCW in favour of wrestling at a more methodical pace, he was still fine tuning how the character was going to work.

A boring Goldust match was far from the worst thing on the show. That dishonour goes to Mabel vs Yokozuna. Oh lord was this bad. 2 pillows of meat with about as much mobility as a pre-plane crash John Locke, bouncing off each other for 5 minutes before going to a double count out. Vince McMahon's fetish for big men produced some of the worst matches in history. Trying to re-light the crowd after that trash, we see the IC title on the line. Michaels comes out and forfeits his title to Douglas, who now defends it against Ramon. It's common knowledge that the Kliq did not like Dean Douglas. The ECW alumni got heat by pulling out of house show matches due to a back injury, the Kliq protest that everyone was working hurt and he shouldn't have been treated specially. It was apparent Ramon didn't want to wrestle this match, putting in a half-arsed effort and gave Douglas barely anything to work with. Douglas loses his title here even though his foot was under the rope and the referee could have seen it. The second shortest ever IC title reign at 11 minutes.

The main event was a 20 minute snooze fest with the title on the line, Diesel defending against British Bulldog. These two had no chemistry and wrestled such a dull match. Like most Diesel matches that go too long, his opponent works over a leg to try bring him down but eventually he overcomes. Well, he kind of overcomes. Bret Hart is ringside due to face the winner at Survivor Series, Bulldog slaps Bret, so Bret attacks him causing a DQ. Not only a bad match, but an unfulfilling screwy finish to make the PPV purchase not worth our dubloons.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeats Fatu. **

Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (c) defeat 1-2-3 Kid & Razor Ramon, Tag Team Championships. **3/4 (MOTN)

Goldust defeats Marty Jannetty. *1/4

Mabel vs Yokozuna ends in a double count out. nil

Razor Ramon defeats Dean Douglas, IC Championship. *1/2

British Bulldog defeats Diesel (c) by DQ, WWF Championship. *

39) In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings, December 17th 1995. 29.2%

Well at least this show was an improvement on the last IYH, but not by very much. Bret Hart ended Diesel's year long reign as world champion but all is not happy in the Hart family at Christmas time. Bret and Bulldog were still at odds and the feud involved other members of the family. Almost 3 and a half years since their classic at Summerslam '92. we would see a rematch between these two this time over the winged eagle belt. The other major story saw Diesel transition into more of a tweener role as he seeks retribution against Owen Hart for side-lining his buddy HBK. The final PPV of the year was fitting with reputation that the stinky year of 1995 had made for itself, except for one match.

For the first hour and a half of this show, nothing is good and I'm not exaggerating. The second best match on the show is the opener, a below average tag match that saw Razor Ramon team with Marty Jannetty to defeat Sycho Sid and 1-2-3 Kid. Why is it spelled 'Sycho' and not Psycho? It really pisses me off. The third best match on the show was under 5 minutes long and ended in a DQ. Diesel thrashed around Owen Hart in the middle of the card, but he took it too far and got DQ'd for harassing the referee. It was more of an angle than a match, putting over Diesel's re-found aggressive nature. Owen looked great whatever he could get in and his selling was top notch as usual.

The rest of the undercard is terrible. Upcoming powerhouse Ahmed Johnson ran through legend Buddy Landell in about 40 seconds, a dominant squash more fitting of a TV slot than a PPV one. Hunter Helmsley wrestled Henry Godwinn in the infamous Arkansas Hogpen match. Hillbilly Jim was the referee, like this match needed one. You win by throwing your opponent into the Hog Pen, full of mud and whatever else. This was a cringe-inducing attempt at being comical. Haha, how funny that the redneck farmer is getting the snobby rich kid all dirty and icky. The crowd enjoyed it, but I did not. The worst match overall comes from everyone's favourite King Mabel, taking on the Undertaker in a casket match. Whilst not as bad as their King of the Ring match, this is still awful, Mabel throwing the same 2 or 3 moves whilst Taker tries to formulate some form of match around him. It's not the worst thing on the show though. That for me would be the Santa Claus segment between Ted DiBiase, Savio Vega and, well, Santa. DiBiase cuts a promo on Santa, Savio supports him and says he believes in his magic. This leads to Santa attacking Vega, Savio fights back before Santa leaves with Ted. "I can't believe that's the real Santa Claus" says Vince. Is he alright in the head? He does know Santa is not real right? This was a brutal segment that perfectly demonstrates how out of touch Vince and the WWF were during this time.

At least the show ends on a huge high. It couldn't possibly match their 5 star classic in London, but Bulldog vs Hart here was an awesome match probably forgotten due to the show it's on. It felt like a real fight, the bleeding from Hart added to that. It was a great drama-filled match sold well by commentary too, Lawler' excitement contrasting with McMahon's shock and horror. Hart once again proves he is the best of his generation, whilst Bulldog redeems himself for the terrible match at the prior IYH.

Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty defeat Sycho Sid & 1-2-3 Kid. *3/4

Ahmed Johnson defeats Buddy Landell. 1/4*

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeats Henry O. Godwinn, Hog Pen match. 3/4*

Owen Hart defeats Diesel by DQ. *1/2

The Undertaker defeats Mabel, Casket match. 1/2*

Bret Hart defeats British Bulldog, WWF Championship. **** (MOTN)

38) Survivor Series, November 9th 1997. 30%

Quite a historic show this one, for obvious reasons. It was the first show where used the scratched in WWF logo, which gives more reason for this being the end of the New Gen era and the start of the Attitude era. Since his debut in 1990, this was the first Survivor Series to not feature the Undertaker. But of course the most significant moment in wrestling history, the Screwjob, which is incorrectly named. It was a double-cross. World champion Bret Hart had signed for WCW and Vince did not trust Eric Bischoff to keep the news quiet so he needed the title to be taken from Bret. It could have happened earlier, but you know, Vince isn't a genius all of the time. Struggling to come up with a finish that satisfies all parties involved, since Bret and Shawn hated each other, Vince dared creative Jim Cornette to come up with a finish. Cornette created the hypothetical double cross but it was never spoken as if it was going to happen. Next thing you know, Vince and a select group of people were in on a devious plan to force the title off Hart onto Michaels. There is far too much to cover, I recommend watching dark side of the ring but also listening to podcasts from Jim Cornette, Jim Ross and others who were in and around to get a full perspective of the incident. I will cover the aftermath and reaction later on. I can just about understand Vince's worries, but the whole situation was completely preventable because he pushed Bret to take the WCW contract and he could have taken the title off of him before the event. He did not have to fuck over his most reliable performer, who wanted to stay, on his way out of the door. As well as being a controversial show, it's also a lousy one.

We begin with one of the worst elimination matches in Survivor Series history, Team Headbangers vs Team Godwinns. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were the only thing that had any promise, they were also the sole survivors, but they were far from their peak of success and popularity at this point. Whenever anyone else was in the ring, it was misery. I could have forgiven this if they rushed through the spots, but it was 15 fucking minutes long. If there was a backstage competition for worst elimination tag match of the night, then match 2 saw the opener and raised the stakes. The Truth Commission vs Disciples of Apocalypse, I cannot fully stress how bad this was. All 8 men have silly names that would make Retribution look good. None of these guys were good wrestlers, The Jackal (Cyrus in ECW and Don Callis nowadays) was the only person on the Truth Commission with some talent but less as a wrestler, more as a talker. 10 minutes of flailing limbs, botching and the occasional slam. There was a bulldog at once point. How thrilling. The Interrogator is sole survivor, if you care. Probably the second worst elimination tag match in the events history. The worst I will cover soon.

We have Canada vs America next. America is represented by 4 Americans, makes sense. Canada is represented by a Brit, two Americans and one Canadian. Less sense. The Patriot was originally in this one but an injury put him on the shelf and he would never return to the WWF ring. Steve Blackman subs in for him. This match was far better than what we have seen so far. You have skilled veterans such as Bulldog, Neidhart and Furnas in there as well as some younger talent like Blackman and Mero. Vader though, he was the absolute man here. He was a dominant force and was the backbone of the entire thing. Bulldog is the sole survivor for his team and he doesn't soak in the glory, he immediately heads backstage, probably to support his brother-in-law who smelled a conspiracy on the horizon. A month after his amazing debut, we see Kane's first PPV match where he faces Mankind. This was an extended squash to put over Kane strong, it did the job of making him look like a killer thanks to Foley taking some ugly looking bumps. It was plodding but not bad.

Our final elimination match of the night is the Nation of Domination vs the Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock and Ahmed Johnson. This is the final appearance of Rocky Maivia, who would soon re-christen himself as The Rock, heard of him? This match is pretty bad until the final 5 minutes. The LOD were past their prime, Ahmed sucked in the ring and half of the NoD were average workers at best. When we were down to Rocky, Shamrock and D'Lo, the match got good. Especially when we were down to Rock and Shamrock. Killer Ken fought the odds and looked like a badass winning the match on his own. The penultimate was Owen Hart vs Steve Austin over the IC championship. Austin won back his belt in under 5 minutes. Whilst disappointing, it makes sense why it happened this way. Austin only suffered his serious neck injury 3 months ago and it was clear he couldn't do much in the ring. He probably shouldn't have been in there at all. Owen was also injured, recently suffering a concussion so both men needed to be in and out as fast as possible. A questionable decision to put your belt on your heavily injured star, but Austin was by far the biggest rising star and Vince wanted to keep him on TV as much as possible.

Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart. How do I even rate this? Well the match itself is actually pretty good. Just over 10 minutes and it feels like a proper fight between two people who hate each other, which is exactly what it was. In the closing moments, HBK transitions into a sharpshooter on his nemesis, Earl Hebner calls for the bell while Vince shouts at the timekeeper to ring it. Commentary is shocked, the fans are shocked, HBK pretends to be shocked. Most importantly, Bret is PISSED. He spits on Vince McMahon, paints WCW in the air with his finger. While this happens, everyone is clearing out as the fans are livid, Hebner has done an absolute runner because he told Bret to his face he wasn't going to screw him. So, how did it go down? Well, Bret went backstage and punched Vince McMahon also threatening HBK who apparently cried and said he knew nothing about it (though he definitely did because he was being prepared by Gerald Brisco for any physicality). Hart left the company and wasn't seen again in WWE until his Hall of Fame induction in 2006, even then he wasn't on good terms with the company. Hart was mic'ed up and had cameras due to an agreement with upcoming DVD release of 'Hitman: Wrestling with Shadows' so some of the incident was recorded. Backstage in WWE was a mess with many of the staff furious with what happened. Neidhart wrestled one more match on a Raw taping before leaving the company for good, joining WCW. Bulldog also walked out, joining WCW and not returning for 2 years. Even Mick Foley walked out, though he was convinced by Cornette after a day to return to work and be able to make a living. It was the most exposing incident in wrestling. If the 'Curtain Call' killed kayfabe, the double-cross pissed on the grave. The birth of the on-screen Mr McMahon character is a positive to come from this, but is there any joy to be found from another chapter of injustice against the Hart Family? I don't think so.

The Godwinns (Henry & Phineas), Road Dogg & Billy Gunn defeat Headbangers (Mosh & Trasher) & The New Blackjacks (Windham & Bradshaw). 1/2*

Truth Commission (Jackyl, Interrogator, Sniper & Recon) defeat Disciples of Apocalypse (Chainz, 8-Ball, Crush & Skull). nil

Team Canada (British Bulldog, Doug Furnas, Jim Neidhart & Phil LaFon) defeat Team USA (Vader, Goldust, Marc Mero & Steve Blackman). **1/4

Kane defeats Mankind. **

Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal), Ahmed Johnson & Ken Shamrock defeat Nation of Domination (Faarooq, Rocky Maivia, Kama Mustafa & D'Lo Brown) *3/4

Steve Austin defeats Owen Hart (c), IC Championship. *

Shawn Michaels defeats Bret Hart (c), WWF Championship. *** (MOTN)

37) Royal Rumble, January 19th 1997. 34.2%

The 10th annual Rumble event and the first of the calendar year, 1997 was the beginning of a corner turn for the WWF becoming a successful company once again. This event saw the largest Rumble crowd at around 60K, the first time in 5 years they had pulled that size crowd for any show. You can credit that to WWE giving out cheap tickets and some even for free, with about 40K of the audience being paid attendance. Quite an impressive crowd, but not an impressive show.

HHH defend his IC title against Goldust in a feud centered around Goldie's valet, Marlena, whom Hunter tried to seduce. Like a lot of the Goldust matches during this time, it was slow and boring with a lot of filler. Half of the match was working the knee and it never paid off. HHH got a cheap win thanks to a returning Mr Hughes as his manager, appearing for the first time on WWF television for 3 and a half years. He would last a week before being hospitalised for a serious illness. Whilst obviously a horrible ordeal, it may have been a blessing for HHH who would find himself a new manager a month later. A certain 9th wonder of the world. Next, Faarooq vs Ahmed Johnson. This is a match 6 months in the making, Faarooq debuted attacking Ahmed, but Johnson took time off for a kidney issue. He returned in December and was ready for the match. I was not ready however, because this was raccoon food, trash. No chemistry, Ahmed looked awful and Simmons only has good matches depending on his opponents skill level.

Vader and Undertaker fought in a match that was somehow really mundane, it doesn't help that there was no story build for the match to even feel necessary. Monster Vader got a cheap win thanks to Paul Bearer interference, since he turned heel on his spooky client at Summerslam prior. We got ourselves a AAA showcase with a Lucha Libre 6-man tag featuring legends such as Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera. You would expect this to be a lightning fast, exciting bit of work that would wow the unfamiliar crowd. You would be wrong. This was a boring match, nothing they did looked that good and none of it wowed the audience. They tried to take a page from WCW's book of bringing in some overseas talent and it was a flop. Before we talk about the Rumble, I'll quickly cover the main event, Sid defending the world title against HBK. It was fine, Shawn was working with the flu and Sid was working with 'bad at wrestling'-itis so this had a very low glass ceiling. HBK wins big in his hometown, but Sid would be champion again soon. Sid would be the first of only two people to lose the WWE championship at the Rumble and Wrestlemania of the same year. The other man? Brock Lesnar in 2022.

So, a Rumble show is only as good as it's rumble they say. How was this one? Rather good surprisingly. It started with Johnson and Crush which feels like a doomed start, but it's not long until Steve Austin enters at number 5. He carries this match all the way. He clears house and he holds the ring for the near future, sitting on the turnbuckle checking his "watch" in a great moment. We see some more AAA faces in Pierroth, Cybernetico, Latin Lover and the legendary Mil Mascaras. Mascaras, who wanted to be booked strong and didn't approve of being eliminated by anyone, chose to eliminate himself by jumping over the top to attack Pierroth. Well done, you're character is kept strong but you look stupid. The match progressed with faces like Owen Hart, British Bulldog and old rival Savio Vega but eventually he clears the ring and is waiting again. Then, we hear Bret Hart's music. Austin's facial expressions are great here. These are two of maybe only 3 or 4 likely candidates for winner right here and they're bitter rivals. The match had great energy as other big players enter the ring. The final five is Hart, Diesel, Taker, Vader & Austin. Whilst Terry Funk and Mankind are brawling on the floor, Austin is eliminated by Bret. The referees are distracted so he slips back in the ring unnoticed. He dumps Taker and Vader out simultaneous. Hart had just dumped out Diesel, so Austin runs over and eliminates him and wins the rumble in controversial fashion. It was a solid rumble with a very good finish, it was creative. Austin looked smart but also lucky, giving the three men eliminated by him justification to want another chance to earn the title shot. Bret Hart was meant to win, but Vince Russo like the incompetent goon that he is appeared WWE's morning show LiveWire and predicted Bret would win the thing. Vince was massively pissed off by this, and I would be too. Why would someone who works on the creative team choose the man who's going to actually win as his choice? To make himself look smart to his "fans" that's why. Smart viewers knew he was a backstage figure, he wrote for the magazine. You can tell the audience weren't all paid, because the overall crowd noise was pretty weak for the show, but I guess the show was mostly bad so why would they be excited.

Hunter Hearts Helmsley (c) defeats Goldust, IC Championship. *3/4

Ahmed Johnson defeats Faarooq by DQ. 1/2*

Vader defeats The Undertaker. *1/2

Canek, Hector Garza & Perro Aguayo defeat Heavy Metal, Fuerza Guerrera & Jerry Estrada. *

Steve Austin wins last eliminating Bret Hart, Royal Rumble. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Shawn Michaels defeats Sycho Sid (c), WWF Championship. **1/4

36) Survivor Series, November 23rd 1994. 35%

Quite comfortably the worst show from 1994, this edition of Survivor Series at least bucked a bad trend. Usually the PPV buys drop drastically from Summerslam to here, but for some reason the drop was far from catastrophic. Only 17% less buys from Summerslam, and at 250K it was 41% higher than the previous event. That's the power of Chuck Norris for you, a guest for the show. This would be the final PPV commentary from Gorilla Monsoon, who made a rare one off appearance in the booth most likely due to Randy Savage's frustrations and intentions to leave the company.

The best match of the show comes from the beginning, your usual elimination tag match putting the Teamsters against the Bad Guys. The Bad Guys, ironically the face team, is led by Razor whilst the Teamsters are led by HBK, who worked this match with a broken hand. The match was well worked with plenty of talent in here, but the match was more about the story developing between Michaels and Diesel. Diesel was a beast but HBK wanted to try and steal his glory which eventually cost them the match. The match ended pretty annoyingly with 5 men being counted out at once. Not good booking there. Razor Ramon becomes the first sole survivor to not score a single elimination. On this 5 match card we only have 2 more elimination tags. The Million Dollar Team vs Guts & Glory was very basic and largely boring but had some good moments from Bam Bam Bigelow. The same can't be said for the Royal Family vs Clowns 'R' Us. This match is a tie for the worst ever Survivor Series match of all time. The entire match is just abhorrent comedy. Lawler has 3 little people with stupid names, as does Doink. This match perfectly sums up everything wrong about the New Gen era. Crappy wrestling, bad stories, aged and outdated bullshit that no one wants to see.

The world title didn't main event when Bret Hart fought and LOST to Bob Backlund. This was a well worked submission match, but it went over 30 minutes long and had a LOT of filler. The last 10 minutes on their own would have been great. Backlund's shock win makes him the second oldest WWE champion of all time, only beaten by Vince McMahon himself. Hart was somewhat hesitant to drop the title to Backlund, he didn't want to disrespect a legend but he didn't see it as a good business move. So what did main event? A tiresome casket match between Undertaker & Yokozuna. This feud began a year ago, they even had a casket match at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. After taking time off the heal injuries, Taker is back for a casket rematch. This was better than their first casket match, but that doesn't mean it's good. It was slow, going for 15 minutes which is far too long for any Yoko match. At least Taker won clean. Yokozuna wouldn't wrestle again until Wrestlemania XI, taking time off due to health concerns about is ever-rising weight. A show that started promising and fell into dark depths almost immediately.

The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, Sione, British Bulldog & Fatu) defeat The Teamsters (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart & Jeff Jarrett). *** (MOTN)

Royal Family (Jerry Lawler, Cheesy, Queasy & Sleazy) defeat Clowns 'R' Us (Doink, Dink, Pink & Wink). nil

Bob Backlund defeats Bret Hart (c), submission match, WWF Championship. **

Million Dollar Team (Bam Bam Bigelow, Jimmy Del Ray, King Kong Bundy, Tatanka & Tom Pritchard) defeat Guts & Glory (Adam Bomb, Bart & Billy Gunn, Mabel & Lex Luger). **1/4

Undertaker defeats Yokozuna, Casket match. *1/2

35) Wrestlemania XI, April 2nd 1995. 35.7%

The major issues of WWE's weak roster, weak sales and weak creative direction is made fully apparent with this show. The biggest show in wrestling only drew a crowd of 16K, the 3rd smallest Wrestlemania crowd ever behind WM7 and WM36, the Covid one. The card is filled with talent who are either past their prime such as Bundy and Backlund, or by unestablished names like the Blu Brothers. The main drawing power came from NFL footballer Lawrence Taylor who featured in the main event. Many credit Lawrence's involvement saving the show from completely bombing. To prevent any stars getting too inebriated the night before, Vince scheduled an emergency meeting in the early morning of Wrestlemania, which he did not even attend. Smart I guess.

The card is very weak top the bottom with only one good match. That match was Diesel defending the world title against former buddy Shawn Michaels. HBK worked his hardest to make his friend look as good as possible, though Nash argues that a weird bump from a powerbomb was an intentional botch by HBK to make him look inferior. Diesel was supposed to be the big face, but the fans liked Shawn more and even turned on Diesel mid match after he kicks out strongly from the Sweet Chin Music. That was a spot Vince demanded, even though the Kliq pair correctly predicted it would upset and turn the fans. This was still very good even if the fans didn't agree. There's a funny moment where an angry HBK throws a cameraman at ringside who is in the way of the match going on. I would hate having to wrestle with the ridiculous number of bodies around the ring like that. In contrast, the very worst contest of the show is one of Undertaker's worst Mania matches. He wrestled King Kong Bundy for 6 minutes, ending with a clothesline and after the 3 count Bundy just gets up and walks out with no selling. Taker's first batch of Mania matches were pretty poor.

The rest of the show is just really mediocre. The opening tag match was pretty bad, Luger & Bulldog defeating the Blu Bros because they had nothing else to do. Jeff Jarrett vs Razor Ramon was the second best match, a solid match with a DQ finish to continue the feud. Owen Hart's secret partner was revealed to be a returning Yokozuna and they won the tag titles from the Gunns in an okay match. It was supposed to be Jim Neidhart, who was recently fired due to no-showing house shows. Chris Benoit was also discussed as a possible partner choice but ultimately they went with the returning Samoan. Even Bret Hart's match sucked. A boring I Quit match against the aging Backlund, featuring Roddy Piper as the worlds most annoying referee, obnoxiously asking if someone quits every couple of seconds. Bret himself has called it his worst PPV match ever and he might be right.

The main event, Taylor vs Bam Bam. We have plenty of celebrities and NFL stars in attendance. Pat Patterson is the referee which is smart because he is a producer, so he can help call the match and assist Taylor in anyway. It's hard to rate this because it isn't a very good match, but I must give Taylor credit for working his ass off. For a non-wrestler to wrestle his first ever match and it be the main event of Wrestlemania? That is a lot of pressure. Credit goes to Bigelow too for working this match. It was fine, well worked but rough around the edges. Taylor got a huge win for a big pop though it wasn't sustained. Many wrestlers complained about an outsider defeating a pro wrestler. I bet Bigelow was happy though, receiving $250K for putting Lawrence over. The 11th Wrestlemania is definitely one of the weaker flagship events, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Allied Powers (Lex Luger & British Bulldog) defeat Blu Brothers (Jacob & Eli). *1/4

Razor Ramon defeats Jeff Jarrett (c) by DQ, IC Championship. **1/2

Undertaker defeats King Kong Bundy. nil

Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeat Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (c), Tag Team Championships. **1/4

Bret Hart defeats Bob Backlund, "I Quit" match. *

Diesel (c) defeats Shawn Michaels, WWF Championship. ***1/2 (MOTN)

Lawrence Taylor defeats Bam Bam Bigelow. **

34) Ground Zero: In Your House, September 7th 1997. 35.7%

Ground Zero was the first In Your House event to go 3 hours and with the IYH series name being the subtitle rather than the main title. More hours of wrestling equals higher price which equals more profit, theoretically. This was also the final PPV where they used the suburban housing set for these shows, opting for more unique set designs for each of their events. We are in the era of Sgt. Slaughter as commissioner who is spending most of his time dealing with antics from the newly formed D-Generation X, as well as preventing an injured Steve Austin from competing. This led to him suspending Austin for his own good, making the fans crave to see Austin even more than before. Like a lot of these shows on the list, this is a largely bad show with a very good main event.

The opener was a very intense feud between Goldust and Brian Pillman, over Goldust's valet and wife Marlena and their daughter Dakota who Brian claims is his own. Unfortunately, the match did not meet the same intensity due to Goldust's slow style and Pillman's limitations since his career-threatening accident. If Goldust won Pillman had to leave the WWF, but he didn't, Pillman stole Marlena's loaded purse and whacked Goldie with it to win. He won the services of Marlena for 30 days, he ran away with her. The match was mostly Pillman running away and basic wrestling, it was far better than their previous PPV match. This would be the last PPV appearance for Pillman, his 4th last televised match before his heart-breaking death. Another decent match came in the "minis" division, WWF's initial answer to WCW's cruiserweight division. El Torito (not the same as the modern era one) vs Max Mini, a pair of 'mini estrellas' from Mexico. Torito stood just below 5ft, but Max was even shorter below 4ft. This was well worked and fun but ran a little too long I think. The minis were unique and as long as they were good wrestlers it was a nice bit of variety on the show.

Scott Putski, son of Ivan, faced Brain Chrisopher, son of Lawler, in a match stopped early due to injury. Hard to rate this but we got nearly 5 minutes and it wasn't too exciting with an unfortunate bad finish which isn't anyone's fault. This was Putski's first and only WWF PPV appearance and his last match with the company. After 8 matches he was let go and he ended up as enhancement in WCW. The worst thing on the show was a mess of a triple threat between Savio Vega, Faarooq and Crush, the leaders of their factions. This had zero pacing and zero coordination. Just 3 lads running around each other having a sloppy fight. It was real bad. The leaders fought for a botchy, disjointed 10 minutes until Vega mercifully ended the match. The last bad match was a 4-team elimination match for the vacant Tag titles. Austin and Dude Love were the champs advertised for the event, but a week prior the titles were stripped due to Austin's injury and suspension. The headbangers replaced them and eventually won the match. If they ran through the match in about 10 minutes I think this could have been okay, but this was another humdrum affair. LOD got eliminated first by DQ for using a bucket, trying to protect them from a pinfall but made them look stupid for getting disqualified. The Headbangers put away the Godwinns and then eventually Hart & Bulldog, thanks to an assist from Austin who stunned Owen. When only one of 4 teams could be considered as great wrestlers, it's hard for anything great to come from it. The Bangers win their first and only tag titles which is good for them.

Another Bret Hart WWF title match not in the main event, he successfully defeats The Patriot. This was peak Hart vs America. The match overall is good, but for a near 20 minute match there was a lot of dead air because Patriot was a bit bland. It wasn't enough for me to downgrade the match too much, but what will is all of the outside interference going unpunished by the referee. Hart didn't need to be so weakly booked as a heel champion, but I guess that is what happens when you're leaving the company. The main event was the first ever singles match between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker. This comes from the controversial finish at Summerslam, a chair shot aimed at Bret hit Taker instead and HBK had to count the fall. HBK had the opportunity to apologise and make amends, but he doubled down with new ally Hunter to lay the chairs into the Deadman. Taker is an angry man with a lust for blood. Meanwhile, he and his former manager are still at odds as Paul Bearer reveals his younger brother Kane is still alive and he is coming. This is a chaotic main event but very fun. Undertaker dominated a lot and kicked serious ass whilst Michael's bumped like he does best. After a ref bump, HBK would get a lot of help beating down Taker leading the match eventually being thrown out by another referee. The finish may have disappointed at the time, but it makes sense to set up their amazing rematch which I'll talk about more next. This was entertaining late-90s chaos at it's finest, but not good enough to save this show from sucking in quality overall.

Brian Pillman defeats Goldust, Indecent Proposal. **

Brian Christopher defeats Scott Putski by referee stoppage. 3/4*

Savio Vega defeats Faarooq & Crush. nil

Max Mini defeats El Torito. **1/4

Headbangers (Mosh & Trasher) defeat Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk), The Godwinns (Henry & Phineas) & Owen Hart & British Bulldog, vacant Tag Championships. *

Bret Hart (c) defeats The Patriot, WWF Championship. **3/4

Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker ends in a No Contest. ***3/4 (MOTN)

33) Badd Blood: In Your House, October 5th 1997. 36.4%

Whilst this is another bad show from the era, this one has much more forgivable circumstances. Originally planned for this show was a Dude Love vs Brian Pillman match, if Dude won (which he was booked to) Pillman would have faced Goldust in a No DQ match immediately after. On the day of this show, Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room, presumed to be due to an overdose but later revealed to be heart failure due to a heart defect. The tragic news rocked the wrestling world and meant this show had lost two scheduled matches. A lot of this card is a continuation of feuds from the previous show. The gang warfare continues, we have the finals for the vacant IC championship and of course the rematch between HBK and Taker inside a never before seen structure. Hell in a Cell.

I'll talk about the replacement matches first, they're both not good but again they had little time to prepare. Max Mini and Nova teamed up to defeat Mosaic and Tarantula. This was a messy match of botches and sloppy moves. Vince on commentary looked pretty annoyed watching it. The other was an 8-man tag between Los Boricuas and the Disciples of Apocalypse. Easily the worst thing on the show, mainly rest holds and timewasting, this was pure lifeless boredom. This is far from the end of bad this show has for us. The LOD took a rare pinfall loss to the Nation of Domination, granted it was a 3-2 handicap match. Nothing very thrilling to watch here either, but it is nice to see the evolution of The Rock as a heel character. The Godwinns defeated the Headbangers for the tag titles, ending their short reign. This was as basic of a tag match as you could get, another unimpressive bit of action. Faarooq vs Owen Hart was a heel vs heel final for the IC championship, which is difficult to book. The match wasn't very exciting until the finish when Austin appeared once again but this time helping Owen win the match. Everyone involved was confused, but of course Austin is doing this so that he can be the one to take it back from him. Good booking.

When I saw that there was a Flag match, I was in dread, even with Bret Hart, Bulldog and Vader involved. However, thanks to the immense talent here this is actually pretty solid. I'm confused about the stipulation though, because they changed the stipulation which is a good thing because the whole 'capture the flag' thing is stupid. That meant the flags were a pointless part of a match they were supposed to be the focus of. Another piece of bad booking for WWF champ Bret. The ring work is good but it goes long and feels like a drag at times. A disappointing show thus far, but at least it ended on a high. Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker, first ever Hell in a Cell with a title shot on the line. This was one of the best matches of the era and one of the best Hell in a Cell matches of all time. Still to this day it holds up. The fans were in awe because it was a new match and they had zero clue what might ensue. They went to absolute war for nearly 30 minutes, fighting inside and outside of the cage, even on top of the cage. If this match wasn't amazing enough, we had an amazing debut at the finish. Undertaker prepares to end it, until the lights go out and then red. We hear the chilling organ music as Paul Bearer walks out with a monster, Kane. He rips the door of it's fucking hinge, shoots fire out of the ring post's, hits Taker with a Tombstone and leaves. HBK gets the flukey pinfall and sets up a date in Canada with his greatest enemy. A goated match that always deserves a rewatch.

Nation of Domination (Kama Mustafa, D'Lo Brown & Rocky Maivia) defeats Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk). *1/2

Max Mini & Nova defeats Tarantula & Mosaic. *

Godwinns (Henry & Phineas) defeat Headbangers (Mosh &Thrasher) (c), Tag Championships. *

Owen Hart defeats Faarooq, vacant IC Championship. *1/4

Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball, Chainz, Crush & Skull) defeat Los Boricuas (Savio Vega, Jesus Castillo Jr, Jose Estrada Jr & Miguel Perez Jr). 1/2*

Bret Hart & British Bulldog defeat The Patriot & Vader, Flag match. **1/2

Shawn Michaels defeats The Undertaker, Hell in a Cell. ***** (MOTN)

32) Royal Rumble, January 21st 1996. 37%

This card doesn't have one standout match among the filth, this is top to bottom mediocre. A paper thin roster meant another Rumble with few likely faces, some returning old faces and obscure new faces. An important concept was introduced here though that we still see in WWE occasionally today. We saw the first ever PPV 'Free-For-All' in WWE history, what they now call the Pre-show or Kick-off show. They've often ran dark matches before their major events but this time they televised for free Duke Droese defeating Hunter Hearst Helmsley by DQ. Almost wish they didn't.

The show peaked with it's intro, Sunny in the bath drinking wine introducing us saying “Tonight contains material of a graphic nature. Viewer indiscretion—I mean discretion is advised." I should have listened to her, but I think she meant to say sleep-inducing instead of graphic. Jeff Jarrett tries his best to get something good out of Ahmed Johnson, a snooze-fest ending in a lame DQ. Smoking Gunns vs Bodydonnas was well worked but boring, at least Sunny was there. Goldust vs Razor Ramon was great for character development but not all that in terms of action. Ramon famously hated this angle, he didn't like Goldust's antics to him when his son watches the product. Even the Bret Hart vs Undertaker main event was disappointing. The first ever non-Rumble main event for the Royal Rumble was awkward, clunky and boring. Bret says he injured his knee during this match which may give some reasoning, but there is no excuse for the DQ finish. I understand why it was done, but there is are many better ways to protect Undertaker, keep the title on Hart and set up Taker vs Diesel at Wrestlemania. Diesel has an interview post-show, does he explain his actions? He says Hart is champion because he allows it, that his mum used to lock him in a dark basement as punishment and he doesn't fear Undertaker. So no, no explanation other than he is a meanie.

The best thing on the show is the Rumble, it is far from the best rumble I have ever seen but it had some fun moments. I'll run through some names to underline how weak the roster was. The big names in this one are Vader, HBK, HHH, British Bulldog, Dory Funk, Diesel, Owen Hart and Yokozuna. We have legends making appearances in Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund and Jake Roberts, who was in the depths of his personal problems in this time period. The Ringmaster enters his first rumble match, soon to be renamed Steve Austin. That's a third of the match with any name value. The rest of the field is filled with your Isaac Yankem's, your Aldo Montoya's and your Barry Horowitz's. Squat Team #1 and Squat Team #2 anyone? Incredibly weak roster. They even brought in Takao Omori from AJPW, Doug Gilbert from the USWA and Hakushi from Michinoku-Pro. McMahon tried to bring Ultimate Warrior back but the animosity was still at large between them. He also offered extreme free agent Sabu a spot in the Rumble, but Paul Heyman convinced him against it saying it would damage his and ECW's image. They say "even a bad rumble is a fun match" which is what happened here. Nothing remarkable but Rumble's are such a fun concept. The only noteworthy things are Vader's run of dominance and Shawn Michael's "boyhood dream" of wanting to be world champion. Ringmaster was supposed to be in the final four but a botch saw him eliminated by Fatu, you can see him interacting with Michaels almost as if to say "fuck, sorry!" The final four ends up HBK, Diesel, Bulldog aaaand Kama? HBK eliminates Bulldog, Diesel clears Kama but turns into a Sweet Chin Music and is eliminated. Shawn Michaels becomes the second to win 2 rumbles and to win them back to back. With the utensils at their disposal, the rumble was well booked but lacked star power and excitement to be rated too highly.

Ahmed Johnson defeats Jeff Jarrett by DQ. *

Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (c) defeat Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip), Tag Championships. **

Goldust defeats Razor Ramon (c), IC Championship. **1/4

Shawn Michaels wins last eliminating Diesel, Royal Rumble. **1/2 (MOTN)

Undertaker defeats Bret Hart (c) by DQ, WWF Championship. *1/2

31) In Your House 10: Mind Games, September 22nd 1996. 37.5%

After betraying the Undertaker at Summerslam, Paul Bearer began managing the deranged Mankind who earned himself a world title match after his win in the Boiler Room Brawl. Taker would have to wait for revenge though, he is embroiled with an old rival of his, Goldust. The other major development is the rumoured return of Bret Hart, who has been taking time off since Wrestlemania. Brian Pillman promised to interview him at this PPV and Owen Hart said that thwy have reconciled too. Bret came out and called them both liars saying he hasn't agreed to anything or decided when to return. Elsewhere, Jim Ross has confirmed that both Razor Ramon and Diesel will return soon, even though they have left the WWF and signed for WCW. This of course led to the awful idea of Fake Razor and Fake Diesel.

The HBK vs Mankind main event was '1000 miles by The Proclaimers' far ahead of the rest this card. It's probably Foley's best non-hardcore match of all time. Both men are prolific bumpers so we saw some brutal spots. Mankind was wheeled out in a casket by druids and Bearer which was a cool entrance. The violent nature of the match is just done perfectly. Mankind stabbing himself in the leg with a pencil to regain feeling, the suplex reversal into a table bump which was still very rare in the WWF at this time, Mankind shoot tearing out his own hair when he can't keep Michaels down for the 3. This hit all of the right notes, except for one. Bearer distracts the referee whilst Mankind uses a chair but HBK throws his Superkick knocking him out. Before he can capitalise, Vader runs out to attack for the DQ finish. I understand why it was done but I would have preferred a screwy win for Michaels than the DQ. After, they try to put HBK in the casket but when they open it Undertaker is in! He chases Mankind and Bearer away.

Speaking of Big Spooks, Undertaker defeated Goldust in a 'Final Curtain' match, which is a pinfalls only match because we need a clear winner. It had some good storytelling, but Goldust was far too dominant, making this match rather tiring to watch. Earlier in the night, we had Brian Pillman's interview which ended up being with Owen Hart and Steve Austin, the 3 stars took their time to absolutely rinse Bret Hart. We hear the iconic line "If you put the letter S in front of Hitman, you have my exact opinion on Bret Hart." Amazing line. All 3 guys had a great promo here. Following that was Owen's tag match, he teamed with bro-in-law British Bulldog to successfully win the tag titles from the Smoking Gunns. It was alright, nothing remarkable. Glad to see Hart and Bulldog with the gold because they are actually interesting characters unlike the rest of the tag division. During this match, heel JR drops this line on Vince; "You got the benefit of the doubt when you were indicted." Sheesh Jim, straight up murdering the boss on live TV.

As expected, the rest sucks pretty hard. Savio Vega vs Justin Bradshaw was a boring strap match with the exact same finish from the Vega/Austin match 4 months prior. It did have an exciting feature of ECW talents Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Paul Heyman himself to set up the ECW invasion storyline. This was Bradshaw's PPV debut. maybe JBL hates ECW so much for crashing this moment. Michael's trainer and former manager Jose Lothario (who is almost 63) takes on manager Jim Cornette in a match about as high quality as you expect. This was short at least, but it was real bad. I'll go easy on it because Cornette tried to make it entertaining. We see a few punches and chops and eventually a pin win for Jose. The third stinker of the night goes to the debut of two-time Olympian, well-decorated weightlifter and strongman Mark Henry. He signed with WWE after the 1996 Olympics, barely given anytime to train before this match. He was terrible in the ring, which I can't fully blame him for because Vince tried to capitalise too quickly on his new Olympic hire. Lawler tried his best and he made Henry look as good as possible, but it's a sour debut match that led to an unfortunate beginning to Henry's strange career in WWE.

Savio Vega defeats Justin Bradshaw, Caribbean Strap Match. *1/2

Jose Lothario defeats Jim Cornette, 1/4*

British Bulldog & Owen Hart defeat Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (c), Tag Championship. **1/4

Mark Henry defeats Jerry Lawler. 1/2*

Undertaker defeats Goldust, Final Curtain. **

Shawn Michaels (c) defeats Mankind by DQ, WWF Championship. ****3/4 (MOTN)

30) Survivor Series, November 24th 1993. 38%

Returning to 1993 for the first of only two times in this era, the wrestling business isn't at a complete low just yet but it is free falling. This was the first annual WWE PPV to drop below 200K buys, racking up a disappointing 180K. Vince tried to create a new Hogan by bringing Lex Luger, but got cold feet on having him take the title from Yokozuna at Summerslam. They pedalled the usual Americans vs Foreigners shtick that was dated even for 1993 in the main event. There is supposed to be a match between the Hart Family and Jerry Lawler with his Knights but Lawler was pulled from the card due to serious allegations made by a 13 year old girl. The remarks were debunked and she confessed to making them all up and he returned later on. This would mark the final full-time appearance of Bobby Heenan who would soon leave the WWF to join WCW. He was far from the last to do so.

The show starts in good fashion with Team Razor vs Team IRS. Ramon is the IC champion and is mad at IRS for stealing his gold chains. He is also feuding with Shawn Michaels and Diesel over the IC title, but HBK is now facing the Hart Family. Mr Perfect was scheduled on team Razor but Randy Savage takes his place, Perfect is apparently taking time to heal. This was good, slow to start but it got into a good rhythm in time. Diesel was out first which was a shock, both IRS and Razor would be eliminated too eventually leaving Marty Jannetty, 1-2-3 Kid, Rick Martel and Adam Bomb. Martel and Bomb were both eliminated as the young pair survive, it feels random but at the time these two were getting a mini push together so I get why this happened. I had no problem with it. I can't say the same about the rest of the elimination matches.

Hart Family vs Shawn Michaels and his Knights. We have the Black Knight (Jeff Gaylord), the Blue Knight (Greg Valentine) and the Red Knight (Barry Horowitz). Terry Funk was offered the role of red knight as well as a position on the creative team but he declined, said his horse was sick and couldn't make it. Classic Funker. This was long and boring, Bruce and Keith Hart never made it big as wrestlers for a reason and that is because they were far from the quality as Owen and Bret. It was a simple structured match to protect Bruce and Keith, it was even rehearsed the day before. All the Knights were eliminated, Owen was the only one eliminated for his team after bumping into Bret accidentally starting a big argument, continuing the path to Owen's eventual heel turn on his brother. Michaels just fucks off and gets counted out, which is fair I guess. The main event eliminator saw Team All-Americans overcome the Foreign Fanatics in a boring, predictable match with Luger standing tall as the sole survivor. Ludvig Borga made his second and last PPV appearance here, initially pushed hard by management but after injury he never returned.

Neither of those matches even compare to this next match which ties for worst match in Survivor Series history. Team Bam Bam vs the Four Doinks. The four clowns would be the Bushwhackers as well as Men on a Mission, all dressed approriately like Doink. If you're asking why Doink is not there and isn't even managing, I do not have any answers for you. Even the crowd chant for Doink. This match makes me feel physically ill. It is another bad comedy match, some of the worst comedy I've seen WWE do. Samu pops a water balloon and gets rolled up, haha. Fatu slips on a banana peel and gets pinned, hahaha. They all throw bananas at Luna which distracts Bam Bam, HAHAHAHA. All of it is terrible, actually fuck off with this shit. I'm not even going into the bad wrestling or the fact pinfalls and eliminations happened without tags or proper refereeing. Utter trash.

The best match of the night comes from wrestlers who weren't even signed by the company. The Heavenly Bodies challenged the Rock 'N' Roll Express for the Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag titles, in a working agreement between Vince and Cornette. The Express, essentially indie tag champions, appeared on both WCW and WWF PPV in the same year, which is crazy. This was solid wrasslin' with a great tag formula as you'd expect from 2 of Cornette's favourite teams.

Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty & Randy Savage defeat IRS, Adam Bomb, Diesel & Rick Martel. ***

Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Keith Hart & Bruce Hart defeat Shawn Michaels, Black Knight, Blue Knight and Red Knight. *1/2

Heavenly Bodies defeat Rock 'N' Roll Express (c), SMW Tag Championships. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) & Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo) defeat Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, Samu & Fatu. nil

Team All-American (Lex Luger, Undertaker, Rick & Scott Steiner) defeat Foreign Fanatics (Yokozuna, Crush, Ludvig Borga & Quebecer Jacques). *3/4

29) In Your House 3: Triple Header, September 24th 1995. 38.3%

Whether it is Spider-Man 3, The Hangover 3 or the Godfather 3, the third installment of a series more often than not struggles to match the quality of its predecessors. That is also the case here for the third ever In Your House special. This is the first WWF PPV of the Monday Night Wars, Raw and Nitro now going head to head in a battle for the ratings. 'The Triple Header' moniker is retroactively added for our stacked main event, with all 3 active championships on the line in tag team action. With so much emphasis on a high profile main event, the rest of the cars suffered with little hype, build or stakes.

The opener featured Waylon Mercy, formerly Dan Spivey with his soft-speaking sinister character that would inspire the Bray Wyatt character years later. Whilst the gimmick was intriguing and ahead of it's time, it didn't catch on and Spivey was past his prime as a performer, making his match with Vega little to care about. It wasn't the worst thing though, that would be a lumbering big man match between Sycho Sid and Henry O. Godwinn. A feud with little fanfare as Henry wasn't a face many rallied behind, plus botchy and slow work from two unpolished in ring competitors.

The rest of the show at least was decent but not great. The British Bulldog vs Bigelow was a solid power match, the Brit adjusting well to his new heel role. Dean Douglas vs Razor Ramon had a sensible bout until the finish where 1-2-3 Kid dicked over Ramon into a screwy finish. This was the most I'd seen Razor try when wrestling Douglas. Match of the night unsurprisingly goes to Bret Hart, who wrestled former Quebecer turned pirate Jean-Pierre LaFitte, better known to us now as PCO in TNA. Hart puts his working boots on and allows LaFitte to showcase his abilities. Hart was given poor direction throughout the reign of Diesel but he made the best with what he got and this was a great demonstration of that.

Throughout the PPV, there has been an ongoing story related to the main event, scheduled to be WWF champ Diesel with IC champ Michaels, taking on the Tag champs Owen Hart & Yokozuna. If Diesel or HBK are pinned, they lose their titles to whoever pinned them. However, Owen Hart is not in the building. Commissioner Monsoon is telling their manager Cornette that if he doesn't turn up and there is no replacement then Yoko will go it alone. Just before the match, Cornette has brought in Davey Boy as the replacement and the decision is sanctioned. So the match happens and its okay, Michaels & Bulldog work well, Diesel is dominate and Yoko is there. Eventually, in the closing moments after we see some finishers, Owen Hart arrives. He goes for Diesel, but he is punched, powerbombed and pinned for new champions. What is that booking? Owen was no longer sanctioned or the legal man so his pinfall shouldn't have counted, plus he attacked Diesel which should have caused a DQ, double plus Owen was the freshest out of all the guys yet he is put down with one move. Triple plus, the next night the Commissioner too agrees that the pinfall shouldn't have happened so he reverses the decision! So it was all pointless! Maybe not if it set up another title match between the two teams, but Hart & Yoko dropped the titles to the Gunns soon after so the entire arc was a waste of time. The wrestling was fine but the booking was not.

Savio Vega defeats Waylon Mercy. *

Sycho Sid defeats Henry Godwinn. 1/2*

British Bulldog defeats Bam Bam Bigelow. **1/4

Dean Douglas defeats Razor Ramon. **1/2

Bret Hart defeats Jean-Pierre LaFitte. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Shawn Michaels (IC) & Diesel (WWF) defeat Yokozuna & British Bulldog (Tag), WWF, IC & Tag Championships. **

That's it for today, next time I will cover another 13 shows and leave the top 15 for the final entry. Thank you kindly for reading through, I'll see you in the next one.


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