This week Throwback Thursday heads back to the “New Generation” era of WWE to revisit a classic edition of WWF Superstars, as seen on the WWE Network and Peacock, that aired 28 years ago this month!
In the spring of 1995 the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was, like the rest of the pro wrestling industry, in a state of transition. Though Vince McMahon’s legal woes were largely behind him the stain of the seemingly never ending string of sex and drug scandals had seriously hurt the WWF and their carefully manicured brand.
World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the WWF’s closest competition, was finally putting the pieces in place to make a serious run at the WWF. Over the past 18 months former WWF Superstars Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, along with “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, among others, had defected to WCW, giving the promotion a much-needed shot in the arm. Added star power and evolving creative helped WCW siphon fans from the WWF. To combat WCW’s “legacy booking” the WWF embarked on their infamous “New Generation” initiative. With young lions like Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, and Diesel, the WWF put itself at polar opposites with WCW, which was relying heavily on ready-made stars from the 1980s.
In an effort to combat continued domestic struggles, and keep WCW at bay, the WWF was embarking on a new, monthly pay-per-view format. The new In Your House format would see the WWF produce a two-hour, reduced price pay-per-view ($14.99, half the typical price) event for the months that didn’t include one of the “Big Five” (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King of the Ring, SummerSlam, & Survivor Series). The inaugural event, which would include the giveaway of a new house, was set for Mother’s Day, May 14, 1995, one week after this edition of WWF Superstars aired.
The top story in the WWF at the time this edition of WWF Superstars aired was the drama between WWF Champion Diesel and top challenger “Sycho” Sid. Other top stories included Bret Hart’s ongoing war with Jerry Lawler (and company), Undertaker’s feud with Kama, and Razor Ramon’s continued issues with WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett (and the Roadie). Away from the square circle the top song in the country the week this edition of WWF Superstars aired was Montel Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” while Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) was the top-selling album. NBC’s ER was the top-rated show on television as French Kiss, starring Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton, Jean Reno, Francois Cluzet, and Susan Anbeh, was the top film in theaters.
With that out of the way let’s head on over to the WWE Network on Peacock, hit ‘play’, and find out how this edition of WWF Superstars holds up in 2023!
Edits are not an issue with this edition of WWF Superstars on the WWE Network and Peacock and context is solid, with every edition of WWF Superstars dating back to the series relaunch on April 18, 1992, as well as all past WWF pay-per-view events, available for you to enjoy right now on the WWE Network and Peacock.
WWF Superstars #160 (WATCH)
Date: May 6, 1995 (TAPED: April 25, 1995) – Location: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 4,500 – TV Ratings: N/A
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Dok Hendrix – Interviews: N/A
CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Diesel (November 26, 1994, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, from Bob Backlund; Diesel was subbing for an “injured” Bret Hart, who lost the WWF Championship to Backlund in a “submission” match on November 23, 1994 at Survivor Series ’94)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: VACANT (April 30, 1995, WWF Action Zone, taped April 26, 1995, after two disputed finishes during a title match between Bob Holly and then-Champion Jeff Jarrett; rematch for title was set for the May 7, 1995 edition of WWF Action Zone)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: “The King of Harts” Owen Hart & Yokozuna (April 2, 1995, WWF WrestleMania XI, from the Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart))
WWF Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze (April 3, 1995, WWF Monday Night RAW, from Bull Nakano)
Following the typical WWF signature of the era, and the standard WWF Superstars open of the era, we head inside the Veterans Memorial Auditorium where Vince McMahon welcomes us to the show. We head to the announce position where color commentator Dok Hendrix cuts McMahon off to rant about the “big news” he has on WWF Champion Diesel, Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, and a slew of other wrestlers, including McMahon himself, as the Headshrinkers make their way to the ring for the opening bout.
—WWF World Tag Team Championship (1:28)
The Headshrinkers (Fatu & Sione) vs. “The King of Harts” Owen Hart & Yokozuna w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji
Owen Hart jumpstarts this one by attacking Fatu from behind. In a flash, though, Fatu turns the tide and has Owen Hart reeling. Owen tags in Yokozuna as Fatu tags in Sione. Sione takes a beating from Yokozuna before evading a Yoko lariat and, sloppily, putting Yoko on his back. Sione drops an interfering Owen Hart before flooring Yoko with a boot to the face that sends Yoko through the ropes to the floor where we cut to our first Peacock ad-break of the hour.
We return from break in the midst of an Owen Hart/Yokozuna hope spot that Fatu & Sione quickly snuff out. Owen Hart & Yokozuna struggle to get anything going until Yokozuna, on the floor, trips Fatu. Fatu leans through the ropes to go after Yokozuna, allowing Owen Hart to splash Fatu across the second rope, turning the tide. Owen works Fatu’s neck until Fatu lands a great looking piledriver out of nowhere and the two make the slow hot tag to their partners. Sione and Fatu drop Yoko with a double clothesline.
With Yoko on the floor Sione deals with Owen in the ring before Fatu lands the top rope splash for a pin attempt but both Fatu and Owen are the illegal men. Jim Cornette distracts the referee as Mr. Fuji distracts Sione, allowing Yoko to reenter the ring and drop the big leg drop on the back of Fatu’s head. Yoko tosses Fatu into the ropes for a great hangman spot as Sione goes after Owen Hart. Yoko splashes Sione in the corner and, after a lariat, lands a Bonzai Drop from the bottom rope (the second rope was loosened for the hangman spot) for the pinfall at 8:18 to retain the World Tag Team titles.
WINNERS and STILL WWF World Tag Team Champions, “King of Harts” Owen Hart & Yokozuna w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji (Pin, 8:18)
After the match we head straight to the “In Your House Report” with Todd Pettengill. After putting over the Tag Team Champions Todd Pettengill talks about In Your House only costing $14.95 before giving us a rundown of the announced card. Pettengill lets us know that Bret Hart, who is already scheduled to wrestle Hakushi at the PPV, will be pulling “double-duty” at In Your House, tossing to footage from last Monday’s edition of RAW where Bret announced that after he’s done with Hakushi at the PPV Bret would accept Jerry “The King” Lawler’s challenge to face Lawler later that same night.
Pettengill says he’ll go over more of the card later in the show before transitioning to the In Your House sweepstakes in which the WWF, along with local cable company, plans to give away a brand new house. Pettengill again promises more news on the event later in the hour before tossing back to the arena for the next match-up.
Back in the arena Adam Bomb makes his way to the ring as McMahon hypes the “vacation home” giveaway at the inaugural In Your House before we cut to a Peacock ad-break. Originally, in this spot, there was a promo regarding the house giveaway, including rules and how fans could enter.
—Singles Match (14:47)
Adam Bomb vs. Rock Warner
Squash match here. Warner tries to get something going early but the match belongs solidly to Bomb. Warner tries to get something going late, but it’s to no avail. After having his fun with Warner, Adam Bomb hits a pair of lariats and a back suplex before putting Warner away with the flying lariat off the top rope for the 1-2-3 at 2:39.
WINNER is Adam Bomb (Pin, 2:39)
Adam Bomb celebrates his win (tossing foam footballs into the crowd) as Dok Hendrix talks about Razor Ramon wrestling two men at the same time (Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie) at In Your House while Bret Hart faces two men in separate matches (Hakushi & Jerry Lawler). The two chat about Sid attacking Razor from behind on last week’s edition of RAW before McMahon hypes the remainder of this week’s card, including the WWF TV debut of Hunter Hearst Helmsley and we cut to the next Peacock ad-break.
Coming out of the break we get promo for the Diesel/Henry Godwinn showdown on next week’s edition of WWF Superstars. Back at the announce position, meanwhile, Dok Hendrix tries to explain why Godwinn wants a match with Diesel next week before Bertha Faye’s music hits and she makes her way to the ring for the next contest.
As Bertha hits the ring we see a replay of Bertha Faye’s WWF debut on the April 3, 1995, edition of Monday Night RAW and her attack on Alundra Blayze, an attack that left Blayze with a broken nose, we’re told.
—Singles Match (20:35)
Bertha Faye w/Harvey Wippleman vs. Jessica Rivera
This marked Bertha Faye’s WWF Superstars debut. Bertha made her WWF in-ring debut on the April 24, 1995 live edition of Monday Night RAW, where she debuted her new ring, Dusty-esque attire and affiliation with Wippleman. The match, meanwhile, is a squash. If you’re a fan of unfunny fat jokes or puns, this match is for you!
This ladies match is far from what we see today but is effective at getting Bertha Faye over as a monster heel. Faye prances around the ring as she floors Rivera with a number of high impact moves. Rivera manages to get a few moments of offense in, including a lariat off the top rope, before Bertha Faye shuts Rivera down. After a press slam Bertha Faye lands a devastating Tiger Bomb for the pinfall at 3:00.
WINNER is Bertha Faye w/Harvey Wippleman (Pin, 3:00)
After the match, as Bertha Faye celebrates, we see a replay of the finish before McMahon and Hendrix hype what’s to come and we head to the next Peacock ad-break. Coming out of the break we see a replay of the two disputed finishes of the Bob Holly/Jeff Jarrett Intercontinental title match from last week’s edition of Action Zone.
In the first a second referee informs the original referee that Jeff Jarrett pinned Bob Holly with the help of the ropes while the second disputed finish, upon the restarting of the bout, saw Holly pin, and win the Intercontinental title, while Jarrett’s foot was on the bottom rope. As a result of the disputed finishes WWF President Jack Tunney vacated the title, ordering a rematch to take place on tomorrow’s edition of Action Zone to settle the issue.
—Singles Match (26:51)
Special Guest Referee: Susan Smith
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Sonny Rodgers
This marked Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s WWF Superstars debut. Helmsley made his WWF TV in-ring debut on the April 30, 1995 edition of Wrestling Challenge, defeating Buck Zumhoff. This one is another squash. Despite Rodgers’ best efforts this one is all Hunter Hearst Helmsley as Helmsley shows off his wrestling ability, high impact move set, and heel tenacity. In the end Helmsley hits a modified Diamond Cutter, which Hendrix calls “pedigree pandemonium”, for the pinfall at 2:20.
WINNER is Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Pin, 2:20)
Following the match Helmsley celebrates his victory before we cut to a vignette of Bob Backlund on Spring Break. We see Backlund quizzing college kids and talking smack about democrats (of course!) before we cut to the next Peacock ad-break.
Coming out of the break we head to another “In Your House Report” with Todd Pettengill. This time Pettengill focuses on Sid’s path of destruction since turning on Shawn Michaels the night after WrestleMania XI, showing us footage of Sid powerbombing HBK, Aldo Montoya, Razor Ramon, and Bam Bam Bigelow.
We then cut to a pre-taped promo from Ted DiBiase & Sid. DiBiase calls Sid the “crowning” jewel of the Corporation, talks about Sid “rolling through everything” in the WWF, and how Sid is coming for Diesel’s WWF Championship “in your house”. It now makes sense, Sid murmurs, why DiBiase is at his side. There’s a “theory behind the madness”, Sid says, and Diesel now has to meet “the master, the ruler of the world.” Just as suddenly we cut back to the arena for the next contest.
—Singles Match (34:37)
“Native American” Tatanka w/Ted DiBiase vs. Kevin Kruger
Kruger puts up a bit of a fight early on, even scoring a near-fall with a sunset flip, before Tatanka comes storming back. Tatanka takes his time in torturing Kruger as McMahon notes that the In Your House giveaway is exclusive to WWF TV because the WWF wants to make sure an actual WWF fan wins the house. Out of nowhere Tatanka lands his End of the Trail for the pinfall win at 2:44.
WINNER is “Native American” Tatanka w/Ted DiBiase (Pin, 2:44)
After the match Tatanka and DiBiase celebrate their victory before we get a graphic hyping the arrival of the Undertaker next and we head to the next Peacock ad-break. Coming out of the break Dok Hendrix tosses to a humorous vignette for the incoming Bodydonnas, Skip & Sunny, who point to, and mock, fans through the “ZONY” TV screen.
Back in the arena The Undertaker, with Paul Bearer, makes his way to the ring before we cut to the next Peacock ad-break. Another In Your House contest promo originally aired in this spot.
—Singles Match (39:57)
Dave Sigfrid vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
Undertaker was becoming more aggressive at this time in the aftermath of Kama stealing his urn at WrestleMania and melting it down into a giant necklace. Sigfrid attempts to jump Undertaker from behind but Undertaker turns in time to drop Sigfrid with a lariat. Undertaker whips Sigfrid into the corner and, as Sigfrid rebounds out, lifts Sigfrid up for the Tombstone piledriver and the pinfall win at :38-seconds.
WINNER is The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer (Pin, 0:38)
Following the match Paul Bearer brings a body bag into the ring and he and the Undertaker put Sigfrid into the bag, something fans hadn’t seen Undertaker do in some time, before we cut to out final Peacock ad-break of the hour.
After the break we return to the announce position where Dok Hendrix cuts McMahon off to toss to a Henry Godwinn promo. Godwinn says that he already knows what the outcome will be in next week’s non-title match with WWF Champion Diesel, and that Godwinn will be “livin’ high off somebody else’s hog”.
Back at the announce position Hendrix crows about proving he was right about Henry Godwinn going after Diesel for money and that Diesel is in trouble. McMahon hypes the Diesel/Godwinn showdown on the next week’s In Your House go-home edition of WWF Superstars before Hendrix jumps in to tell McMahon that “Hank” Godwinn ordered something for McMahon. Since McMahon has been “hogging” the camera all week, Hendrix says, Godwinn bought McMahon a giant slop bucket. Hendrix puts the bucket in McMahon’s lap and tells McMahon to “eat up” as the show fades to black!
This is a fun, rapid paced edition of WWF Superstars! The opening Tag Team title match steals the show, as one would expect, but the rest of the action does its job. The few promos we get are good and the storytelling throughout is solid. Though it’s more of a maintenance show than anything else, this is a fun hour of WWF action from an era many fans overlook. In other words, what are you waiting for?! Head on over to the WWE Network on Peacock right now to relive this edition of WWF Superstars or see it for the very first time. Who knows, you may actually like it, and that’s never a bad thing!
Already subscribed to the WWE Network on Peacock? Then you can relive this classic, pre-In Your House 1 edition of WWF Superstars right now or experience it for the very first time! As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!