What the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 15, 1995

Gorilla Monsoon and Ted DiBiase are in the booth.

After a bunch of rehashed Action Zone matches we get a video package about Hakushi.  At house shows around this time Hakushi’s manager Shinja was told to cut promos against the crowds so that they would not cheer for the Japanese talent.

Opening Contest:  The British Bulldog (3-1) beats Mark Starr with the running powerslam at 2:39:

Starr was a staple of the Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) during the 1980s and picked up work as an enhancement talent in World Championship Wrestling in the mid-1990s.  In fact, he teamed with fellow WWF enhancement talent Chris Kanyon there as Men at Work, who wrestled frequently on WCW Saturday Night and WCW Pro.  Despite Starr’s years of experience before this match, though, Monsoon cannot resist the urge to call him a “youngster.”  This is a relatively boring squash, with the Bulldog using a few chinlocks before finishing Starr with the usual.

Stephanie Wiand hypes the Meadowlands and Madison Square Garden shows where Jeff Jarrett will be subbing for Bob Backlund against Diesel.

As we close out this week of WWF action here are a few notes about this time period that were significant

*On January 10 Jean Paul Levesque gave notice to WCW that he was leaving for the WWF.  It was reported at the time that Levesque gave up a possible tag team title run with Steven Regal and a looming feud with Harlem Heat to go to the WWF.

*The WWF was bringing in new talent for tryouts and dark matches at the RAW tapings in Houston.  The talent involved included Chris Candido, Kama, the Harris Brothers, and the Spellbinder.  The company was experimenting with Kama as a babyface at this time – one reason why his vignettes did not give him a clear face/heel alignment – and the Harris Brothers were later packaged into the Blu Brothers, a reference to the “blue” people of Appalachia who had an inherited neurological disease.  The Spellbinder got a gimmick as the magician Phantasio, but only got one televised match before his run was ditched.  I guess that is what you get for pulling off Earl Hebner’s underwear.  And there was speculation that Candido would be sporting a superhero gimmick due to his impressive weightlifting abilities despite his size.

Here were the results of the some of the major house shows that WWF was promoting on its syndicated shows.  The attendance was lackluster but was reported by The Wrestling Observer that the crowds of 4,500 at the Meadowlands and 7,500 at the Nassau Coliseum were higher than previous visits.

Nassau Coliseum (1/13):  Aldo Montoya defeated Steven Dunn…Henry Godwinn defeated Bob Holly…Wink & Pink beat Queezy & Cheezy in a midget match…Duke Droese beat Timothy Well…WWF Champion Diesel defeated Jeff Jarrett and Diesel gave the Roadie a Jackknife after the match…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano defeated Alundra Blayze…The Allied Powers defeated King Kong Bundy & Bam Bam Bigelow by count out after Bundy and Bigelow argued after a heel miscommunication spot…The Undertaker pinned Tatanka…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter and Bret refused to release the hold for several minutes after the bout.

Meadowlands (1/15):  Aldo Montoya defeated Steven Dunn…Henry Godwinn defeated Bob Holly…The Allied Powers wrestled King Kong Bundy & Bam Bam Bigelow to a double count out…Bret Hart beat Owen Hart…Wink & Pink beat Sleezy & Cheezy in a midget match…Duke Droese beat Timothy Well…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano defeated Alundra Blayze…WWF Champion Diesel defeated Jeff Jarrett…The Undertaker beat Tatanka

Madison Square Garden (1/16):  Jeff Jarrett was a guest on “The Heartbreak Hotel” (hosted by Shawn Michaels)…Aldo Montoya beat Steven Dunn…Duke Droese (with Dick Murdoch) defeated Timothy Well and Murdoch beat up Well Dunn after the match…Henry Godwinn pinned Bob Holly…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano defeated Alundra Blayze…The Undertaker pinned Tatanka and was then attacked by King Kong Bundy and Bam Bam Bigelow…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart in a no holds barred match…The Allied Powers defeated King Kong Bundy & Bam Bam Bigelow by disqualification…WWF Champion Diesel pinned Jeff Jarrett (w/Shawn Michaels) and Shawn Michaels hit Diesel with a superkick after the match.

The Last Word:  I do not have an extensive collection of Wrestling Challenge footage so we will recap the January 22 edition and then may enter a rotation of doing RAW, Superstars, and the Action Zone in that order, along with the usual pay-per-views, as we move through 1995.  If you know where I can track down some Wrestling Challenge episodes aside from YouTube or Daily Motion, I welcome the input.