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WWF at The Boston Garden
by Scrooge McSuck
May 13, 1995
- Titled "A Night to Remember", it's the final WWF card held at the Boston Garden, with the FleetCenter (known today as the TD Garden) opening that Summer. The Boston Garden would be demolished a few years later. Though the lineup is the usual "loaded" card for the major markets, the big draw is presenting a bunch of legends as a special attraction. Hmm... sounds familiar (Raw Reunion, cough). Matches not featured on this recording: The Bushwhackers (w/ Tony Garea) def. The Heavenly Bodies, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley def. Phil Apollo. No, I'm not disappointed. Most of the appearances of the legends are cut unless they're part of a match, as well.
Man Mountain Rock (w/ Pete Doherty) vs. Kwang (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Witness, the very last match of Kwang in the WWF, as he would be repackaged the very next night at In Your House. Yes, Rock has THE DUKE OF DORCHESTER in his corner, and the guy gets a better reaction than either MMR or Kwang. For you Doherty diehards, his last match for the company was on July 19th, 1992 in Hyannis, MA, putting over "Latin Fury" (a.k.a. Konnan). Kwang attacks while Doherty rambles for the audience. Kwang with hard kicks to the chest and jaw. Maybe it's a receipt for Rock recording things he shouldn't. MMR makes his comeback but misses an elbow drop. Kwang spits the red mist. Rock blocks being rammed not the turnbuckle and unloads with rights. Whip across the ring and Rock misses a charge. Rock avoids a charge and takes Kwang down with the Fujiwara arm bar for the victory at 2:01. Well, that was quick. No rating, but it was all punches and kicks.
Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly vs. The Roadie:
Yes, the first time in the Flashbacks we are going to see The Roadie in action, 24-hours ahead of his "debut" at In Your House
. Everyone these days knows the Roadie is Brian Armstrong (the youngest of the Armstrong family), but the character is portrayed as having no in-ring experience. Roadie starts by hiding in the ropes. Lockup into the corner and Holly gives a clean break. Roadie isn't as honorable the next time. Whip to the ropes and Holly with a hip toss, followed by a slam and clotheslines, knocking Roadie out of the ring. Holly gives chase and gets nailed re-entering the ring with an axe-handle. Roadie sends Holly to the corner and dances. HA. Like that will ever get him over. Holly fights back with rights but gets caught with his head down and taken over with a suplex. Roadie with a whip and diving forearm for two. Holly with a surprise sunset flip for two. Roadie quickly lays him out with a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a jumping knee drop. Whip is reversed and Holly with a powerslam, but he's unable to make a timely cover. Holly with right hands and his signature dropkick for two. He unloads with mounted rights and hits a clothesline for two. He comes off the top, missing a body press, and Roadie covers for three at 9:08. Not the strongest win, but Roadie basically 1995's answer to the Genius (heel manager that also works underneath). Pedestrian stuff, but competently worked. **
Bret "Hitman" Hart & The British Bulldog vs. Hakushi (w/ Shinja) & Jerry "The King" Lawler:
BUT WHAT ABOUT LEX LUGER?! Now the poor guy can't get booked on the last card to take place at the Boston Garden. Lawler throws the first punch, but Bret ducks and knocks him out of the ring. Bret gives chase, but Hakushi creeps up from behind, allowing Lawler to cheap shot Hart. Where's Bulldog, eating a can of Alpo in the corner? Back inside, Bret is immediately trapped in the corner of Lawler and Hakushi. Lawler with the piledriver, but Bret kicks out at two. Hakushi sends Hart to the corner and hits the handspring elbow. He chokes Bret down and hits the Bronco Buster. One of these days, I'll research the original name, since I associate "Bronco Buster" with "rubbing genitals in opponent's face." Lawler cuts off the tag and continues to punish Bret. Weak "USA" chant when Lawler is the only "American" in the match (Bret was American born, but fans in 1995 didn't know that). Lawler with a running bulldog and fist drop from the second rope for two. The heels have taken the whole match, with Bret in there the entire time. Lawler grabs a front face-lock as we get the teased hot tag. Bret fights out of a nerve hold and takes Hakushi over with a sunset flip for two. Lawler with a slam. He goes to the top rope and gets nailed on the way down. Bret hits him with an inverted atomic drop and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Bulldog FINALLY tags in, going wild with clotheslines and press slams. Bulldog with the running powerslam but Hakushi saves. Hakushi accidentally hits Lawler with a flying shoulder tackle. Bret runs in, knocks Hakushi out of the ring with a clothesline, and forces Lawler to submit to the Sharpshooter at 11:35. Way below expectations. Lawler and Hakushi had zero chemistry and didn't do much that stood out. *1/2
WWF Intercontinental Championship; Ladder Match:
"Double J" Jeff Jarrett (c) (w/ The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon:
I forgot all about the series of Ladder Matches that Razor and Jarrett had in the Spring of '95. Jarrett attacks with a helpful distraction from the Roadie. The neon blue and yellow is not being kind to my monitor. Razor quickly turns the tide, laying into Jarrett with roundhouse rights. Jarrett picks the leg and pulls him to the floor, but Razor blocks being rammed into the apron. Roadie gets his cheap shot in and gets ejected from ringside. Roadie tries to pretend he's Jarrett's partner, but it doesn't work. Ramon avoids a dropkick and clotheslines Jarrett over the top rope. Razor makes a move for the ladder, positioned in the aisle. Jarrett baseball slides the ladder into Ramon's chest to prevent him from entering the ring. Jarrett continues to work over Ramon at ringside, dropping him across the guardrail. Jarrett fights Razor from the ladder and connects with a flying fist drop. He rams the ladder into the midsection, with varied results in how believable the hits were. Jarrett climbs again, but Ramon topples it, sending Jarrett crashing into the ropes. They both do the slow climb and slug it out until Ramon slams Jarrett down, falling off as well. Ramon whips Jarrett into the ladder, and the ladder impressively stands straight up on the impact. Razor whacks Jarrett with the ladder, knocking him out of the ring and onto the referee. Yep, a REF BUMP. In a Ladder Match. Razor climbs but Roadie dumps him over. Jarrett climbs and Roadie holds back Ramon and retrieves the belt to retain at 10:35. Razor rushes in to push the ladder over, but it's too late. This was paint-by-numbers ladder match action, like a watered-down version of what Razor worked with Shawn Michaels last year. (Note: The History of WWE incorrectly identifies the finish, so when I use them as a source, it's with a grain of salt) **1/4
The Headshrinkers (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) vs. Jacob & Eli Blu (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
Based on previous encounters, this should be harmless. Neither team is doing much creatively, so a mid-level hoss fight is always welcome. Zebekiah and Albano trade insults on the microphone. Sionne and (rolls dice) Eli start. Lockup goes nowhere. Sionne grabs a side headlock and a shoulder tackle doesn't do anything. Eli challenges him to do it again with the same result. Both men stand tall after a double clothesline, so Eli boots him and sends him to the corner. Sionne no-sells being rammed into the turnbuckle and knocks Eli out of the ring. Jacob runs in and gets taken over with a powerslam. Jacob attempts to attack both Headshrinkers and gets laid out with a double headbutt for it. Fatu in with another headbutt and mounted right hands. Whip to the corner and Jacob meets Fatu with a clothesline. Fatu dances to no-sell a headbutt and returns fire. Fatu? Dancing? Won't get over. Whip and the Headshrinkers with a double shoulder tackle. Eli with a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Jacob to clothesline Sionne out of the ring. Back inside, Jacob with a powerslam for two. Whip and the Blu's with a double big boot for two. Sionne fights out of a chin-lock but is again nailed from the apron while running the ropes. Sionne gets the boot up in the corner and falls on top of Jacob for two. Sionne escapes a second chin-lock and levels Jacob with a clothesline. Eli comes in and is taken over with a powerslam. Clothesline to Jacob, and Fatu with the hot tag, running wild with rights and Super-Kicks. Sloppy piledriver on Eli but Jacob saves. Sionne from the top with a diving headbutt as the referee is distracted. Fatu hits the splash from the top rope, but Eli sneaks in, turns him inside out with a clothesline, and steals the win at 12:13. Whether it was Samu and Fatu or Fatu and Sionne, the Headshrinkers really don't get enough credit for having good matches in the early 90's. This was by no means a great match, but the Headshrinkers consistently get decent work out of Ron and Don Harris unlike any other team, along with a strong body of work against other opponents. **1/2
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kama (w/ Ted Dibiase):
In the era of the monthly Pay-Per-Views, they really held off on doing the Taker vs. Kama blow-off until the end of August. Just surprises me a little (Kama stole the urn at WrestleMania XI and melted it down into a chain). Taker comes out to his original theme, not the remixed version debuted at SummerSlam '94. Taker doesn't succumb to the cat-and-mouse game and unloads with chops. He sends Kama from corner to corner and walks the ropes for his signature spot. I just noticed Kama has finally ditched the white t-shirt under his singlet. Kama counters a whip with a knee to the midsection and takes Taker over with a suplex. Taker sits up immediately and throws more chops to the throat but whiffs on the diving lariat. Kama controls with a lot of kicking and stomps, knocking Taker out of the ring. Kama follows, ramming Taker's back into the post. Back inside, Kama controls with strikes. I guess Taker can sell now because the power of the urn is no longer activated. The excitement stays in hibernation as Kama grabs a bearhug. Taker is seriously doing the "if the arm drops three times" routine. He escapes with a back suplex. Kama meets a boot charging into the corner and gets laid out with a running clothesline. Whip and a double clothesline knocks both men down. I applaud Taker trying to work an epic with his best friends, but this match needs to end. Both men to their feet and Taker hits the diving lariat on the second try. Kama slips out of a Tombstone attempt and counters with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taker "avoids" a big boo and plants Kama with a choke-slam. Tombstone finishes at 13:36. Surprised to see a clean finish this early in their feud. Match was mostly dull with a few decent spots. *1/2
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Tatanka (w/ Ted Dibiase):
Is it necessary that all Corporation members need Dibiase's music? One of the first matches for Bigelow since turning babyface, with a light schedule of live events for the first two weeks of May. Tatanka attacks Bigelow as he enters, but Bigelow quickly makes the comeback. He knocks Tatanka out of the ring with a dropkick and does a cartwheel, setting off pyro. I didn't think he was still doing cartwheels in 1995. It's announced after entrances and the bell rings that Bigelow will have Chief Jay Strongbow in his corner. YAY. He lays into Tatanka in the aisle despite A.) the bell already ringing and B.) the referee looking directly at them. Bigelow sends Tatanka to the corner and takes him over with a hip toss. He comes off the ropes with a pair of shoulder tackles, but a third time goes awry when Dibiase pulls the ropes down. Hopefully he isn't counted-out while standing on the apron. NIKOLAI VOLKOFF comes to ringside and chases Dibiase away from ringside. I guess "Nickel and Dime" Volkoff has turned babyface for the sake of this appearance. Back inside, Tatanka controls with his usual boring offense. Diving body press gets two. Bigelow fights out of a chin-lock. Tatanka goes for a sunset flip but Bigelow counters by sitting down on his chest. Whip and a double body press put both men down. Tatanka plants Bigelow with a DDT but takes too long climbing the ropes and gets slammed down. Bigelow goes to the top rope and pulls off a flying sunset flip for three at 10:11. I honestly don't remember the last time Tatanka had a good singles match. *
- We waste time bringing in the legends, Chief Jay Strongbow, Captain Lou Albano, Pat Patterson, Arnold Skaaland, Pat Patterson, George Steele, Angelo Savoldi, Killer Kowalski and Tony Garea. Vince McMahon gets a nice pop as he addresses the crowd. Always weird to see him acknowledged as the owner of the WWF in the pre-Attitude Era. Strongbow and Patterson mess around with each other for the hell of it. I didn't know Savoldi had that much of a history with the WWF, but I know he did with the territory. According to an unreliable source, he had minor ownership in the WWWF after he retired from the ring.
WWF Championship Match:
Diesel (c) vs. Sycho Sid (w/ Ted Dibiase):
Final match of the night, and a preview for the In Your House Pay-Per-View. WWF Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon comes out to do the introductions for the match and give a long-winded speech. Sid at least has his own music. I guess Dibiase took care of Volkoff backstage, since he's back at ringside for the third match in a row. Diesel rushes the ring and immediately lays into Sid with forearms. Whip to the corner and Diesel charges in with a diving clothesline. Diesel continues to punish Sid in the ropes and clotheslines him to the floor. Diesel follows him out and unloads with more forearms. Back inside, Diesel comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline for two. He plants Sid with a slam and drops an elbow for two. Sid bails again and drags Diesel to the outside, but that backfires. Dibiase hops on the apron, distracting Diesel long enough for Sid to attack from behind with a running high knee. Sid with boots to the midsection before dropping Diesel face-first across the apron. Back inside, Sid applies a Camel Clutch. Maybe it's a BOSTON CRAB in honor of the location (see the April-May '95 Flashback for an explanation). Sid lets go of the hold and hits a leg drop for two. Tatanka comes down and gets knocked off the apron. Diesel with a big boot... and that wins it at 7:30. I guess you have to save the Jackknife spot for Pay-Per-View. Decent at times, but Sid on offense for extended periods is bad for everyone involved unless you're Shawn Michaels. *3/4
Final Thoughts: Even though this was "A Night to Remember", it's a forgettable show with a lot of average matches that feels more like a tune-up for the following day's Pay-Per-View, with a lot of opponents crossing paths here. Even the legends (some true, some really not) aren't that big of a deal since all but a handful were already employed by the company and seen here and there on TV whenever road agents needed to be used to break up fights or hang around to make something feel important. Solid recommendation to avoid, even with this being a historic event for the Garden.
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