What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 29, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are taped from South Padre Island, Texas and other locations.

Opening Contest:  Mantaur (w/Jim Cornette) (3-0) beats Aldo Montoya (2-0) after a spinebuster at 6:28:

Cornette is already the MVP of this show for giving a big eyed look when Mantaur does his animal-like roars, doing his best to try to salvage what he can from this horrible gimmick.  As expected, this is your typical big man versus little man match, with Mantaur dominating the action due to his girth and power.  Montoya mounts a rally after Mantaur misses an avalanche in the corner but he cannot avoid the clutches of Mantaur forever and is finished with a high impact spinebuster.  This was going nowhere for the first four minutes but these guys got it together near the end.  Rating:  *½

Ross and Pettengill recap the Royal Rumble results and encourages us to buy the encore presentation on Tuesday.

The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) beat Buck Quartermaine & Terry Scott after Jacob pins Scott after a spinebuster/leg drop combination at 3:30:

The Blu Brothers – the Appalachian gimmick of Ron and Don Harris who are in turn managed by Dutch Mantell – made their official debut at the Royal Rumble and did very little in the actual Rumble match.  They fare much better in their first televised squash on this show, using their significant size advantage to destroy the much smaller Quartermaine and Scott.  This did its job of making the Blus look imposing, but the WWF never found a way to capitalize on that while they had this gimmick.

Ross and Pettengill do some more recapping of the Royal Rumble.

The British Bulldog (4-1) pins Reno Riggins after the running powerslam at 3:34:

Ross and Pettengill allude to the fact that the Bulldog has unfinished business with Shawn Michaels due to the outcome of their Royal Rumble encounter so that will be a mini-feud to keep Michaels preoccupied until WrestleMania.  Riggins was a mainstay enhancement talent for the WWF by this period and he was actually nearing his first retirement, which would occur in early 1995.  The Bulldog notches yet another syndicated television win to some piped in cheers but he is legitimately over with the crowd.

A Kama vignette airs to let us know that he is coming.  The problem is that he has already arrived on WWF Superstars a day earlier!

Shawn Michaels defeats Gary Sabaugh after Sweet Chin Music at 2:33:

This is Michaels first televised singles match in 1995 as he has spent time on the shelf with a minor injury prior to winning the Royal Rumble and was killing time doing Monday Night RAW commentary with Vince McMahon.  Michaels takes the old Italian Stallion so seriously that he insists on wearing his hat during this squash, feigning outrage near the end of the match when Sabaugh knocks it off his head.  The superkick was becoming Michaels finisher of choice by this time period, which he really needed because there was no way he was beating bigger opponents like Diesel with the Tear Drop Suplex or a piledriver, and that helps him notch a clean win here.

Man Mountain Rock says he is winning to pay the price to win a WWF title.

Shawn Michaels taunts Adam Bomb backstage before Bomb makes his entrance for his next match.  They have to be separated by WWF officials.

Adam Bomb (2-0) defeats Butch Long after a Neutron Bomb at 2:06:

Bomb makes very quick work of Long here, not allowing him much offense aside from a brief flurry of punches.  A Bomb-Michaels match in the future holds significant promise, although it is surprising that Bomb is not getting a more significant push considering his impressive size.

Ross and Pettengill talk about the Royal Rumble some more.

Henry Godwinn (2-0) pins Jason Ahrndt after a Slop Drop at 2:07:

Godwinn is booked to face the Undertaker on WWF Superstars so this is a “tune up” match for him.  Normally one might think Godwinn would have no shot, but the Undertaker has had his urn confiscated by the Million Dollar Corporation so he is really vulnerable this time!  Godwinn needs to get rid of that rolling of his opponent before the cover because it looks silly.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to play Royal Rumble trivia and hear Bret Hart talk about the only way he can stop his brother Owen!

The Bushwhackers defeat Bull Payne & The Brooklyn Brawler after Luke pins Payne after a double stomachbreaker at 2:25:

The Bushwhackers were not regulars on WWF programming but they would be pulled out of mothballs from time to time when the company needed them.  They were still really over with the audience, relishing in that Hacksaw Jim Duggan-like charisma where people are attracted to unusual babyface acts.  The Bushwhackers move really slowly and have trouble getting in and out of the ring, but that does not stop them from taking all of the offense in this match and conveniently defeating Payne seconds before the show closes.

Tune in next week to see Diesel defend the WWF title against Owen Hart!

Last Word:  This show included some good storyline development as we are clued into potential matchups looming between Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog and Adam Bomb, respectively.  It also gave some hype to the Blu Brothers, who figure to be a big part of the tag division in 1995.  Our next review will jump to Monday Night RAW because Wrestling Challenge on January 29 simply repeated all of these matches.

Up Next (on Tuesday):  Monday Night RAW from January 30, 1995!