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Elsewhere, Undertaker returned wearing a terrifying face mask to protect his face after Mabel broke his orbital bone, The 123 Kid (finally) turned heel on Razor Ramon – selling out to the Million Dollar Team, and WWF counter punched WCW’s links with Japan with a four on four women’s tag team match which featured six Japanese performers… “Over to you, Jim Ross, to call the action”.
Joining Ross and McMahon on commentary was Mr Perfect, making his return.
Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horrowitz and Bob Holly vs Bodydonna Skip (w/ Sunny), Rad Radford, Dr Tom Pritchard and The 123 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase)
In the couple of years we’ve done these Survivor Series show the first match has often been one of the better ones – largely because it pits guys against each other with little focus or storyline link, creating the most coherent of all of the tag matches. Not to say this was the best, but this match did quite well given the star power involved.
The match, from a crowd standpoint, was dominated by the freshly turned 123 Kid; who was drawing a great reaction so soon after his switch. Elsewhere, Barry Horowitz was garnering a lot of positivity coming out of his Summerslam showing against Skip. Later in the match, Jannetty pins Skip with a powerbomb, then after Sid comes out and rocks Jannetty off of the ropes, The 123 Kid pins Jannetty as the sole survivor for his team. Nice action.
Alundrya Blayze, Kyoko Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa and Chaparita Asari vs Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe and Lioness Asuka (w/ Harvey Whippleman)
With only two of the performers in this match having any history with the company, and with zero build to this match, it's hardly to be overly critical when this match was largely in place just to fill time. As a viewer, if you haven't been introduced to anyone long enough to even really gauge what team their on then there's trouble afoot.
They tried, the action was OK, no better. The pins were quick, but they did at least put things together in about the most coherent way possible. The "scoreline" got to three heels on the one babyface – Blayze. She picked off Wanatabe, then pinned Faye with a very brave German suplex. Her and Aja Kong go at it for a few minutes, before Kong runs her over, slaps her and picks up the clean win. Babyface champion looks vulnerable, sets up a singles match. Job done.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs Goldust
This is the first of a handful of segments with a Bill Clinton impersonator, his security go nuts taking the president down when they think he's been shot – it turns out it's just Bam Bam's pyro. That was the best these segments got too, later on he'd have an awkward exchange with Bob Backlund and an even more awkward exchange with "Clinton" pouring pop corn down Sunny's cleavage.
The match itself? It says something for the fall of Bam Bam Bigelow that he's now a midcard enhancement talent, six months removed from main eventing Wrestlemania. The kicker is Bam Bam really doesn't seem that motivated at this stage, and Goldust just isn't at the races. It probably is too early to be judging the Goldust character, but it did not get off to a good start. Goldust nails a running bulldog for the win.
The Royal Team (Jerry Lawler, Isaac Yankem, King Mabel and Hunter Hearst Helmsley) vs The Dark Side (Savio Vega, Fatu, Henry ‘O’ Godwinn and The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer)
If every Survivor Series opens with a generic babyfaces vs generic heels match, it also includes on match that awkwardly themes two groups for no particular reason other to get them on the show. The Royal Team involving Lawler and Mabel (sure), Yankem (Lawler's dentist... ok) and Hunter Hearst Helmsley (posh = royal) I can live with. The Dark Side with Fatu, Savio Vega and Henry 'O'Godwinn... right.
That being said we do have Undertaker looking shit scary wearing a phantom of the opera mask to cover his face. Surprised this never stuck because it created an awesome visual. The match was fine, they took a book out of the Diesel run at last year's show buy having no eliminations for ages then following it up with Undertaker absolutely running amok. He eliminates Lawler, Tombstones Yankem, hits a huge chokeslam on Helmsley then Mabel legs it (quickly too) and gets counted out. The Dark Side win 4-0.
Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Dean Douglas and Razor Ramon (w/ Mr Fuji) vs Sid, Bulldog, Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson (w/Jim Cornette and Ted DiBiase).
So basically, Bill Watts created this idea for this wildcard match featuring faces and heels teaming against other faces and heels. Then Bill Watts left and nobody bothered a) to change it or b) to find out exactly what Watts had in mind. So we got this mis-mash of talent. The highlight was Cornette representing both sides (he had talent in both) and also pretending he didn't know he was doing so during pre match interviews.
The match got a lot of time, and built slowly with dissention teased on both sides. It wasn't great but equally it wasn't the worst dynamic to watch, as it created some interesting pairings with Shawn and Razor as babyfaces facing off. Razor gets eliminated after being distracted by the Kid, and Michaels' team win after Ahmed Johnson pins Yokozuna, leaving Johnson, Michaels and The British Bulldog (who will be main eventing In Your House 5) as the last men standing. All very logical, and at this stage they're doing a fine job with Johnson.
Diesel vs Bret Hart for the WWF Championship (No Disqualification, no count out, no time limit)
They've done enough at this stage where if you still like both guys you're going to have picked sides (by the end the crowd was almost all Bret). The match starts with both guys turning to remove the turnbuckle pads – it was more symbolic than anything that would play a big part in the match, but it set the tone well. They worked a slow, considered match, with Bret working a long portion on Diesel's leg, before he tied his ankle to the ringpost on the end of an electrical cable.
Diesel eventually manages to break free, before knocking Bret off of the apron and flying through the Spanish announcers table. Diesel drags Bret back into the ring, Bret cannot hold his own weight and collapses in position of the Jacknife. Diesel sets it again, Bret is playing possum and does a small package for a three count and we have a new champion. Diesel sits up and yells "MOTHER FUCKER" before hitting two jacknifes on Bret. It had taken him losing the title, but Diesel was about to find his 1994 mojo again.
Score Rating: 6.5/10
Go Back And Watch: Bret vs Diesel is a fine match, but there's an argument it's the worst of their triology. The 4 on 4 matches are nothing you need to go out of your way to see, but they're all fine for what they are, I'd skip the women's match and the Goldust one. Decent action, nothing great. By WWF 1995 standards a very good show.
- Survivor Series 1994 Review
- The Rise Of Diesel