What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 5, 1995

Jim Ross and Vince McMahon are covering the action, which is still coming from South Padre Island, Texas.  McMahon is replacing Todd Pettengill because Pettengill is on vacation.

Opening Contest for the WWF Championship:  Diesel (Champion) (0-0-1) defeats Owen Hart (3-0) after a Jackknife at 4:19 shown:

This is Diesel’s first match on “free” television in 1995.  My copy of the show begins after the early stages of this match have begun, with Owen focusing his attack on Diesel’s leg.  Owen tries to go to the top rope once too often against the bigger Diesel, though, getting crotched when he attempts another missile dropkick, and Diesel unceremoniously pins him shortly thereafter with a Jackknife.  Owen was following Bret’s template to try to beat Diesel here, but he is a little less accomplished so it makes sense that Diesel was able to finish him without too much difficulty.  Rating:  **

After the match, Shawn Michaels comes out and Diesel urges him to come into the ring.  However, Michaels thinks better of it and heads back to the locker room.

Ross and McMahon discuss whether Lawrence Taylor provoked Bam Bam Bigelow at The Royal Rumble.

Duke “the Dumpster” Droese (5-0) beats Barry Horowitz after a Trash Compactor at 2:44:

Droese keeps racking up these victories over jobbers on the WWF’s B-level shows but they do not seem to be getting him anywhere since he is not locked in a feud with anyone.  This marks the first appearance of Horowitz in 1995 and he gets in more offense than a typical enhancement talent against Droese, illustrating that even during this time there was a hierarchy among the job class.  McMahon calls this win “impressive” but Horowitz has not won a match in forever (a fact that will be important to remember as the year goes on).

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Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (1-0) pins Matt Hardy after the End of the Trail at 3:19:

Ross and McMahon tease that there is tension within the Million Dollar Corporation and between Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow because of their failure to win the WWF Tag Team titles at The Royal Rumble.  Hardy gets in a great deal of offense against Tatanka, but misses a springboard moonsault off the ropes, and Tatanka responds with a chop off the top rope, illustrating one of the failures of his character as his offense did not significantly change after his heel turn.  Tatanka wins this one, thereby keeping him in the public eye for a match against Lex Luger on next week’s show and for the scheduled six man tag team match on Monday Night RAW when he will team with IRS and King Kong Bundy against Luger and Men on a Mission.

Bob Backlund lets us know that when he applies the chicken wing to someone that they will not be released from the hold until they quit and say his name.  He says that he will prove this on next week’s show.

Doink (w/Dink) (1-0) defeats Greg Davis after the Whoopie Cushion at 3:35:

McMahon gets a kick out of Doink and Dink’s antics, which center around biting and kicking Davis in his rear end and Dink running in to log roll Davis’s stomach.  Only under the rules of pro wrestling would such interference in view of the referee be deemed legal.  And the Whoopie Cushion had its ridiculous sound effect because we are having fun!

Ken Norton, Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers tells us that he is going to WrestleMania!

Kama (2-0) beats Charlie Hunter via submission to an STF at 2:33:

Ross puts over Kama’s athletic nature but you can tell he has to stop himself from talking about whether Kama might be an All-American or whether he played football in his younger days.  The commentary is also funny when McMahon keeps saying “What is this?” when Kama tries a move and Ross immediately answers with what is happening.  The referee does not mind that Kama pulls the hair in getting the STF applied and without that intervention, Hunter is toast.  After the match, Kama says that he wants better competition.

Ray Rougeau interviews WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns during a taped segment from the “In High Gear” Tour.  They say that they love the fans and will give all of the teams a title shot that want one.

Hakushi (w/Shinja) (4-0) pins Shawn Dakota after a Senton Bomb at 2:37:

Hakushi is much more methodical in this squash, possibly in an attempt to get fans to quit cheering him as much in some of the recent towns that the company has visited.  As a result, it is not as entertaining as it could be, but Hakushi vanquishes Dakota after a quick splash, flying shoulder block, and Senton Bomb.

Tune in next week to see Lex Luger face his archrival Tatanka!

Since I do not have more copies of episodes of Wrestling Challenge here were some additional results from that show:

*Bob Backlund (2-0) defeated Raven Clark

*The New Headshrinkers (0-1) defeated Lee Tobin & Sonny Pruitt

And here were some news and notes concerning the company:

*The company is happy with the fact that it was able to draw a big crowd in Montreal, with more than 12,000 fans.  Ray Rougeau was handling local promotion after his brother Jacques had a falling out with the WWF when it refused to do a big stadium show in the area.  Here were the results of this show (courtesy of the History of WWE website):  Aldo Montoya pinned Kwang…The British Bulldog pinned Bob Backlund with a rollup…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano pinned Alundra Blayze after a slingshot DDT…Shawn Michaels pinned local star Pierre Oulette after a Flair pin (Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer said that Oulette was a replacement for the Undertaker, who was suffering from a knee injury, and may have factored into the drawing power of the show).  After the match, Rick Martel made a save after Michaels did a beatdown…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter in a no holds barred match and kept the hold applied for several minutes after the bell…Adam Bomb pinned Henry Godwinn…WWF Champion Diesel defended his title against King Kong Bundy after winning via disqualification when two druids interfered.  Diesel Jackknifed them after the bell…Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out…The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly beat The Heavenly Bodies when the Kid pinned Jimmy Del Ray with a fisherman’s suplex (this repeated the ending of their match on The Monday Night RAW episode from January 16)…Lex Luger pinned Tatanka with an inside cradle.

*Several WWE shows in the Northeast were snowed out over the weekend.  Matches in Boston (February 4) and Providence (February 5) were called off due to severe weather.  Things calmed down enough for the company to run a show in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 6, though.

*The WWF has reached a deal with Sid Vicious to make a return, presumably as Shawn Michaels bodyguard.  Sid has not been with the company since early 1992 and has not been in a major promotion since his stabbing altercation with Arn Anderson when he was in WCW in late 1993.  He has been wrestling in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) in Memphis where he briefly held the Unified World title.

*Rumors are floating around, largely from WCW’s hotline, that Jesse Ventura might be returning to the company in an announcing role, possibly replacing Shawn Michaels, who will be returning to more of an in-ring role and no longer doing the broadcasts with Vince McMahon.

*Yokozuna is expected to make a return to the company by the end of February along with Nikolai Volkoff.

*Dave Meltzer reported that the WWF has gotten some bad press in Worcester, Massachusetts when they refused to let Bret Hart visit a terminally ill child at his home because the fan could not attend the house show.  After the bad press the company said that they would allow Bret to make a phone call to the fan.

*The Undertaker and Henry Godwinn appear to have really done a number of each other on WWF Superstars since both of them are now injured.  The Undertaker has a knee injury and Godwinn has a back injury.

The Last Word:  There were some entertaining matches on this episode, especially the squash between Tatanka and Matt Hardy because Tatanka allowed Hardy to get in more than the standard jobber token offense.  The commentary was also an upgrade with McMahon replacing Pettengill, although he and Ross were an awkward team because both fashioned themselves as play-by-play guys and were doing their best not to talk over each other.

Up Next (on Friday):  Monday Night RAW from February 6, 1995!