What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 19, 1995

Todd Pettengill narrates a video package hyping today’s feature match between the British Bulldog and Bob Backlund.

Jim Ross and Pettengill are doing commentary and they are at a new taping location in Fort Myers, Florida.  These tapings were held on January 25.

Opening Contest:  Bob Backlund (w/Owen Hart) (4-0) defeats The British Bulldog (w/Bret Hart) (6-1) via disqualification when Bret Hart interferes at 10:01 shown:

As predicted last week, this match is a continuation of the rivalry built between Bret Hart and both of the heels from Survivor Series where the Bulldog functioned as Bret’s second in a submission match against Backlund.  Backlund successfully lures the Bulldog into a mat-based match, thereby allowing him to concentrate his offense on the arm to build to the crossface chicken wing.  Unfortunately, the Bulldog forgets about all the work done on his arm when making the comeback, where he hits the running powerslam.  However, Owen gets Bret to chase him around the ring and causes Bret to trip over an equipment case that he has strategically placed near an outside corner and this distraction allows Backlund to trap the Bulldog in the chicken wing.  Based on how much Backlund worked the arm this should be the finish, but it takes over a minute for Bret to just wander in and attack Backlund, producing a disqualification win for the former WWF champion.  Questionable ending aside, this was a good technical match.  Both of the Bulldog’s losses this year have happened on The Action ZoneRating:  **½

A video package recaps the events of the past two weeks in the Bam Bam Bigelow-Lawrence Taylor feud.

Adam Bomb (3-1) pins Sonny Pruitt after the Neutron Bomb at 2:00:

Rick Medlocke of the American Southern rock bands Blackfoot and Lynard Skynard is the guest ring announcer – why not have a celebrity announce the previous match? – but is largely ignored by the commentary team since Ross has no idea who he is.  Ross hypes Bomb’s “championship potential” as he suplexes and Neutron Bombs his way into an easy victory on this week’s show.

Non-Title Match:  Jeff Jarrett (Intercontinental Champion w/The Roadie) (4-1) defeats LeRoy Howard via submission to the figure four leglock at 2:10:

Jarrett is booked to face WWF Champion Diesel on Monday Night RAW so this is his “tune up” match for that bout.  A Bill Clinton impersonator calls into the show during this match and complains about the “travesty” of how the main bout on this week’s show turned out between Bob Backlund and the British Bulldog and how he would like to face Newt Gingrich in a WWF ring.  Looking back these segments were corny but as a kid I thought the actual Clinton was calling in so that ruse appears to have worked in making me think that the world was really into the WWF at this time.  Howard has a great build for a jobber – Ross makes sure we are aware that he is a former All-American – but we soon see why he is an enhancement talent as he botches a spot to get crotched on the top rope and takes a nasty bump off of a superplex before the finish.

Lex Luger’s appearance at the HealthSouth Sports Council meeting with Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, Roger Clemens, Kyle Petty, Jr., and Kristi Yamaguchi is shown.  HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy is deemed by Ross to be a “great guy” which is funny considering that a decade after this Scrushy was convicted of money laundering, bribery, obstruction of justice, and racketeering and had to serve seven years in federal prison.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear about Man Mountain Rock’s amateur wrestling career and the premature retirement plans of a WWF superstar.  It will cost you $1.49 a minute, though.

Men on a Mission (w/Oscar) (2-0) defeat Barry Horowitz & David Sierra when Mo pins Sierra after a superkick at 2:40:

Ross hypes how Horowitz and Sierra have a good strategy to defeat Men on a Mission today but they fail to take advantage when Mo is in the ring and Mabel squashes Sierra to put over a team that Ross says deserves a WWF tag team title shot.

A funny WWF ad shows Diesel refusing money from a guy that looks like a mobster and showing up at a gathering of children to sign autographs.  One kid tries to give him some money but he refuses.  The narration lets us know that the WWF “still cares about its fans.”  The WWF should recycle some of these for Roman Reigns today.

Ray Rougeau interviews Shawn Michaels, who says that he is silencing his skeptics after winning the Royal Rumble.  In a dull interview he says he needs a bodyguard to protect him on the road to WrestleMania, especially because he is now with Pamela Anderson.  He emphasizes that he has chosen a bodyguard and it will be a big surprise when he says who it will be on RAW.

Ross and Pettengill recap Tatanka’s attack on Chief Jay Strongbow last week.

Bob Holly (0-1) pins Bob Cook after a flying elbow smash at 2:40:

Strongbow calls in during the match and says that he is feeling good after spending a few days recovering from Tatanka’s attack.  Although it was not announced to fans at the time, Holly was going back into the singles division so this bout was meant to restart his run as a competitor there.

Bob Backlund and Owen Hart say that they are going to destroy Bret Hart and the British Bulldog in a tag team match on next week’s show.

Henry Godwinn (4-1) beats Jim Tilquist after a Slop Drop at 2:20:

The company loved to end shows with Godwinn matches and this week was no exception.  Godwinn floors Tilquist with some shoulderblocks and then polishes him off with the Slop Drop.

Pettengill references the latest Star Magazine that says that Shawn Michaels and Pamela Anderson are growing close and that Michaels is more attractive than Brett Michaels of Poison.

A video package for WWF Champion Diesel is played.

Tune in next week to see Bret Hart and the British Bulldog face Bob Backlund and Owen Hart!

Here are some additional results from the February 19 edition of Wrestling Challenge:

*The Heavenly Bodies (2-2) defeated Bill Weaver & an unnamed jobber

The company ran several low-key house shows but there was a larger card put on in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Here were the results of that card courtesy of historyofwwe.com:

Auburn Hills, Michigan – The Palace – February 19, 1995 (5,000):  Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie were guests on the Heartbreak Hotel…The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly defeated the Heavenly Bodies when Holly pinned Del Ray with a sunset flip…Kama defeated the Brooklyn Brawler via submission to the STF…Hakushi pinned Duke Droese with a senton bomb…The New Headshrinkers wrestled the Blu Brothers to a double disqualification…Doink pinned Barry Horowitz after a powerslam…Shawn Michaels pinned Lex Luger after Sweet Chin Music (after only five minutes of in-ring action)…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart in a no holds barred match via submission to the Sharpshooter and failed to release the hold until WWF officials hit the ring and forced him to release it.  However, Bret then went back and briefly reapplied it when officials got him off of Owen the first time…WWF Champion Diesel pinned Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett with the Jackknife.  After the bout, Michaels gave Diesel Sweet Chin Music.

And here were some news and notes circulating in the company and the wrestling world:

*Eddie Gilbert, who wrestled as an enhancement talent for the company from 1982-1984 and was better known in Memphis, the Universal Wrestling Federation, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the beginnings of Eastern Championship Wrestling, passed away at the age of thirty-three after a heart attack in Puerto Rico.  He was working in Puerto Rico at the time of his death as a booker for Carlos Colon’s World Wrestling Council (WWC).

*Dave Meltzer notes in The Wrestling Observer that the company is mandating lots of clean finishes on the road.  He emphasizes that Shawn Michaels is getting wins over the British Bulldog and Lex Luger in short matches due to his new superkick finisher.

*The reason for Dick Murdoch being on some recent house shows to accompany Bob Backlund against Razor Ramon is reportedly due to Ramon’s complains that he needed Murdoch’s help to get a good match out of Backlund.

*Louie Spicolli, who has been seen in Smoky Mountain Wrestling (where he was feuding with Chris Candido) and Mexico’s AAA promotion, is expected to debut in the company next month.  It is unclear yet what his gimmick will be.

The Last Word:  On paper Backlund-Bulldog was a styles clash and their match was like something out of a 1970s house show but it worked until the cheap finish.  Next week’s tag match should be very good since Bret and Owen Hart are being added into the mix and this show did a good job getting fans excited to see that bout.  Bret Hart is also a busy man right now as he is jugging four different feuds:  Owen, Backlund, Hakushi, and Jerry Lawler.

Up Next (on Tuesday):  Monday Night Raw from February 20, 1995!