Face the Heat
August 27, 1995
SummerSlam (1995) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It was the eighth annual SummerSlam event on August 27, 1995, at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The main event that was for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship competed between Diesel and King Mabel. Diesel retained the championship, pinning Mabel after performing a clothesline off the second rope. There were three matches on the undercard that had more build-up than other matches: The Undertaker defeated Kama in a Casket match; Bret Hart defeated Isaac Yankem by disqualification after Yankem and Jerry Lawler attacked Hart while Hart was in the "hangman" position. The third match on the undercard that had significant build-up was Shawn Michaels versus Razor Ramon in a feud for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The two faced off in a Ladder match, with Michaels retaining the title.
The pay-per-view received a 0.9 buyrate, equivalent to approximately 205,000 buys in 1995 (1.0 equated to roughly 230,000 homes in the domestic market that year). Although this was up on the buyrate for the In Your House 2 pay-per-view which took place the previous month, the buyrate was down on the 1994 SummerSlam event, which received a 1.3 buyrate.
The most prominent feud heading into the event was between WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel and King of the Ring, King Mabel (accompanied by his manager and tag team partner, Sir Mo). King Mabel earned his title by winning the King of the Ring tournament. During Diesel's Lumberjack match with Sycho Sid at In Your House 2, King Mabel (who was one of the lumberjacks) intervened, tossing Diesel into the ring steps. Despite Mabel's interference, Diesel kept the title, pinning Sid after a big boot. On the August 7 episode of Monday Night Raw, Diesel faced Sir Mo. Mabel appeared at ringside, distracting Diesel. Moments later, Shawn Michaels came ringside to support Diesel. After Diesel won the match, Mabel attacked him with a clothesline and a leg drop. Mabel then attacked Michaels. On the last Raw before SummerSlam, commentator Vince McMahon interviewed Diesel about his SummerSlam title defense. Halfway through the interview, Davey Boy Smith appeared and suggested he and Diesel team for a match against Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo). During the match, Smith turned on Diesel and sided with Men on a Mission, leading to a three-on-one assault of the champion.
The feud between The Undertaker and Kama (a member of Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar Corporation) began at WrestleMania XI. The Undertaker's manager was Paul Bearer, and Kama's manager was Ted DiBiase. Undertaker was portrayed as the face, and Kama as the heel. At WrestleMania XI, during Undertaker's match with King Kong Bundy, Kama ran out to the ring, attacked Bearer, and stole the urn (an object which, in storylines, gives The Undertaker supernatural power) for DiBiase. Immediately afterward, Kama declared (in an interview with Jim Ross) his intention to melt down the urn. The urn was revealed to have become a gold necklace, first worn by Kama prior to his match with Scott Taylor on the April 10 episode of Raw. On the April 23 episode of Action Zone, The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid, another member of The Million Dollar Corporation. On the May 7 episode of Wrestling Challenge, a black wreath was left at ringside for Kama. Kama attacked the wreath and, after defeating Buck Zumhofe, stuffed part of it into Zumhofe's mouth. Another black wreath was left at ringside for Kama on the June 12 Raw. After defeating jobber David Haskins, Kama again attacked the wreath, only to realise it was a mannequin. Both The Undertaker and Kama participated in the 1995 King of the Ring tournament. On the pay-per-view, a black wreath was ringside for the whole of Kama's quarterfinal match with Shawn Michaels, which ended in a draw. Toward the end of The Undertaker's quarterfinal contest with Mabel, Undertaker was thrown into the referee. While the referee was down, Kama interfered by kicking Undertaker in the face. Mabel followed up with a leg drop, pinning Undertaker to win the match. The Undertaker chased Kama backstage after the bout. The two continued to wrestle together in matches at house shows, with the two facing each other in preparation for their SummerSlam bout. Wreaths continued to be left ringside during Kama's matches, and Kama continued to attack them. On the August 21, 1995 Raw, (storyline) WWF president Gorilla Monsoon announced the match between Undertaker and Kama would be a casket match.
An undercard feud involved Shawn Michaels and the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Michaels had won the title by pinning Jeff Jarrett at In Your House 2. At that event, Michaels was also a "lumberjack" in the WWF Title match between Diesel and Sycho Sid. He performed a double axe handle off the top rope onto Sid on the outside of the ring, helping Diesel retain the title. A few months prior, Sid had powerbombed Michaels three times, after Shawn blamed Sid for costing him the WWF World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XI sidelining him for six weeks with injuries. On the July 24 Raw, Sid vowed revenge on Michaels. That night, commentator Jerry Lawler stated his own desire for a shot at Michaels' title. A match between Sid and Michaels was scheduled for SummerSlam. However, the match was suddenly scrapped soon after. Michaels would now defend the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match against Razor Ramon, despite a lack of any onscreen buildup. On the August 7 Raw, Michaels attempted to attack Lawler, but was restrained by officials. Michaels wrestled Lawler on the August 14 Raw. Sid attempted to interfere in the match with a clothesline, but Michaels ducked and hit Sid with a superkick. Sid and Lawler regained the upper hand, and Sid chokeslammed Michaels. Razor Ramon ran in and assisted Michaels in clearing the ring of his attackers. Michaels and Razor then had a staredown, which led to a brawl. Razor came out on top. Despite being removed from SummerSlam, Sid was granted a future title shot, against whoever would be champion on the September 11 episode of Raw.
Bret Hart had been feuding with Jerry Lawler for two years when they met at King of the Ring. Hart won the match and, per the stipulation, Lawler was forced to kiss Hart's feet, despite Hakushi's attempt to stop it. The following night on Raw, a vignette aired, showing Lawler visiting his dentist, Isaac Yankem, D.D.S., to have his teeth cleansed of foot smell. Yankem revealed to Lawler he used to be a professional wrestler. This began a storyline of Lawler attempting to avenge his loss to Hart. Over the following weeks, more vignettes from Yankem's office aired. They showed him treating his patients, while Lawler asked them which wrestlers they liked and disliked. On the July 24 Raw, Hart beat Hakushi. After the bout, Hart assaulted and piledrove Hakushi's manager, Shinja. Yankem and Hart did not have any direct interaction before their SummerSlam match.
The WWF Women's Championship feud started on the April 3 episode of Raw. Moments after winning the title from Bull Nakano, Alundra Blayze was attacked by an unknown woman (later introduced as Bertha Faye). The attack sidelined Blayze with a broken nose. Faye, managed by Harvey Whippleman, had her debut match on the April 24 Raw, squashing La Pantera Serena. Blayze made her Raw return on May 29, stating she was cleared to wrestle in an interview with Vince McMahon. Faye and Whippleman responded with their own interview on the June 3 Superstars of Wrestling. Their SummerSlam match was announced on the August 7 episode of Raw.
The first match to air was between Hakushi and The 1-2-3 Kid. Hakushi got the early advantage after hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Both wrestlers performed multiple high spots. Late on, The Kid avoided a Diving headbutt, and followed with a series of offensive moves. The Kid attempted to perform his finisher, spinning crescent kick, but Hakushi countered it into the Nenbutsu Bomb and pinned him.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley faced Bob Holly in the second match. This was Helmsley's pay-per-view wrestling debut. Toward the end of the bout, Holly gained the upper hand with a series of dropkicks. He attempted to toss Helmsley into the corner, but Helmsley reversed it, then hit his Pedigree finisher and made the pin .
A tag team match was next. The Smoking Gunns (Bart and Billy) faced The Blu Brothers (Jacob and Eli), with their manager Uncle Zebekiah at ringside. The Blu Brothers held the advantage for the majority of the match, making quick tags to work over Billy. Billy eventually made the hot tag to Bart, who gained the immediate advantage but was booted in the face by Jacob. Bart regained the advantage, pushing Jacob into Eli. The Gunns followed up with their Sidewinder finisher for the pin.
The Undertaker's feud with the Million Dollar Corporation ended, and he began to feud with King Mabel.
Bret Hart continued to feud with Jerry Lawler and Isaac Yankem until the October 16, 1995 episode of Monday Night Raw, where Hart defeated Yankem in a steel cage match.