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What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – March 26, 1995

Todd Pettengill narrates a video package to hype today’s Shawn Michaels-Adam Bomb main event.  The package makes no mention of their encounter a month ago on Superstars.

Jim Ross and Pettengill are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in North Charleston, West Virginia.

Opening Contest:  Men on a Mission (w/Oscar) (4-1) beat Gary Sabaugh & Ken Raper after Mabel pins Raper following a Stacked Splash at 4:08:

Ross makes sure we know that Raper’s last name is pronounced like “Wraper” so as to avoid any negative connotations that it might imply.  Having watched a lot of 1990s USWA, though, that pronunciation is not correct and Ross fails to get it consistent and right throughout the bout.  Mabel showcases his power by devastating Sabaugh and Raper single handedly before the Stacked Splash finishes.

After the match, Mabel asks the Smoking Gunns to come to the ring so that he and Mo can publicly apologize to them for the attack that took place on The Action Zone two weeks ago (which Mabel actually messes up and says was last week, forcing Pettengill to cover for him).  The Gunns come out and shake hands with their former opponents, but Men on a Mission quickly attack them again.  Then, to solidify the heel turn, they attack Oscar, with Mabel squashing him and writing him out of the company after a two-year run.  As always, Ross’s commentary enhanced the beatdown.

Owen Hart (5-1) defeats Chris Tipton via submission to the Sharpshooter at 2:51:

Since Owen has a no holds barred match against his brother Bret on Monday Night RAW this week this match serves to showcase his offense, as well as to help remind fans that he gets a tag team title shot at WrestleMania.  Owen outmaneuvers and suplexes Tipton a few times and then finishes with a missile dropkick and the Sharpshooter.

Following the match, Owen cuts a promo with Ray Rougeau in the aisle about how he is going to get the best partner he can for WrestleMania and promises to win the WWF tag team titles at the show.

Shawn Michaels (w/Sid) (4-0) pins Adam Bomb (6-1) after Sweet Chin Music at 8:25 shown:

As noted before, these two met each other on an episode of Superstars last month, where Michaels won cleanly.  That would appear to negate a rematch, especially one with no build behind it, but we are having this match regardless.  Michaels sells a back injury after Bomb backdrops him to the arena floor early in the contest so Bomb focuses a lot of his attention on the injured body part, potentially utilizing some of the moves he learned for a submission match against Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden a week earlier.  Sid gives Michaels a pep talk midway through the bout, pushing him to “get him focused,” which is something you would see more out of a babyface than a heel, but it mostly amounts to nothing because Sid has to put Michaels foot on the rope to break up a pin after a sidewalk slam.  Sid and Bomb get into a confrontation and that distraction breaks Bomb’s concentration, with Michaels going under a clothesline and hitting Sweet Chin Music to get another win over a bigger competitor.  This was a clinic of Michaels bumping like crazy and it really enhanced the match, which was better than their Superstars encounter.  Rating:  **½

WrestleMania III setting an indoor attendance record of 93,173 is our WrestleMania Moment of the week.

Ross and Pettengill hype WrestleMania XII.

Reggie White of the Green Bay Packers says that he is not afraid of squaring off against King Kong Bundy if he tries to interfere in the Lawrence Taylor-Bam Bam Bigelow match at WrestleMania.  Chris Spielman of the Detroit Lions reiterates his willingness to support Taylor in the WrestleMania main event.

Salt N’ Pepa say that they are excited to be at WrestleMania.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear about Lawrence Taylor’s workout for WrestleMania and what superstars the WWF is interested in.  It will only cost you $1.49 per minute!

Man Mountain Rock (6-0) beats John Brewer via submission to the Whammy Bar at 1:29:

There is not much to this one as Rock throws Brewer around the ring to showcase his size and then locks in the Whammy Bar without much of a setup to win.

Ross and Pettengill recap Men on a Mission’s heel turn earlier in the show.

Attend the WWF Fan Festival before WrestleMania XI!

Razor Ramon (6-2) pins The Black Phantom after the Razor’s Edge at 3:50:

As an interesting sidenote, this match would be replayed on USWA television with Vince McMahon on commentary when Ramon went down to Memphis to face Bill Dundee for the Unified World title.  McMahon argued that Lawler was the Phantom in an attempt to show how Ramon was better than the USWA’s top stars.  This is your usual paint by the numbers squash for Ramon as he smothers the Phantom, runs through his best moves, and finishes with the Razor’s Edge.  Ross reminds us that Ramon is very unhappy with Bret Hart for having a possible chance to wrestle for the Intercontinental title if Bob Backlund defeats Jeff Jarrett on Sunday Night Slam.

Ross and Pettengill do a hard sell for Sunday Night Slam later in the evening.

A video package pays tribute to Big John Studd, who recently passed away from Hodgkin’s disease.

The action on Wrestling Challenge repeated The Action Zone’s matches as per usual, but there was one additional bout shown to the audience:

*Kama (7-0) defeated Bob Cook

Here was some of the action taking place on the house show circuit, as the company toured much of the Northeast (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Boston, MA – Boston Garden – March 20, 1995 (3,200):  Erik Watts & Chad Fortune defeated The Heavenly Bodies when Watts pinned Prichard…Henry Godwinn beat Barry Horowitz with a Slop Drop…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns defeated Tatanka & Kama when Billy got the pin with a small package…Bob Backlund defeated Adam Bomb in a submission match with the crossface chicken wing…Diesel & Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett by disqualification when Sid interfered.  During the match Ramon and Jarrett were removed due to injuries and Sid attacked Diesel when it became a singles match between Diesel and Michaels.  The Undertaker then saved Diesel from the post-match beatdown…Hakushi pinned Scott Taylor (who was substituting for the 1-2-3 Kid) with a running senton…Bret Hart & the British Bulldog defeated Owen Hart & Jerry Lawler when the Bulldog pinned Owen with a rollup after Bret tripped Owen.  After the match, Hakushi attacked Bret…The Undertaker defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via count out.

San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum – March 24, 1995 (3,000):  Aldo Montoya beat Kwang…Henry Godwinn defeated Duke Droese…Bam Bam Bigelow cut an in-ring promo on Lawrence Taylor…Hakushi beat Bob Holly…The British Bulldog defeated Jerry Lawler…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter in a no holds barred match…The Undertaker defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via count out…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns beat the Heavenly Bodies…Diesel & Razor Ramon beat Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett after Diesel pinned Jarrett with the Jackknife.  During the finish, Michaels walked out on the match and the Roadie ended up eating a Razor’s Edge.

Danville, CT – March 25, 1995:  Mantaur beat Barry Horowitz…Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Duane Gill…Alundra Blayze defeated Candi Devine…Kama beat Mike Bell…The Blu Brothers defeated the New Headshrinkers…Bob Backlund beat Doink…Lex Luger defeated Tatanka in a lumberjack match.

And here were some news and notes swirling around the company as we were two weeks from WrestleMania XI:

*The 1-2-3 Kid missed some shows because he was competing in a tournament for Japan’s Wrestle and Romance (WAR) promotion, run by Genichiro Tenryu.  The Kid made the semi-finals of the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament, defeating Negro Casas in the first round before losing to eventual tournament champion Gedo.  Gedo defeated Chris Jericho in the tournament final.

*The WWF will run its last Boston Garden show on May 13 and are going to try to bring in many of the legends of prior eras to be honored there such as Classie Freddie Blassie, Pedro Morales, and Killer Kowalski.

The Last Word:  The real highlight of the show was the Men on a Mission heel turn, which makes the tag division more balanced and creates a new rival for the Smoking Gunns.  The Shawn Michaels-Adam Bomb match was also good, protecting both guys yet putting over the ability of Sid to be a game changer at WrestleMania.  Next week’s Superstars and Action Zone episodes are just previews for WrestleMania XI so the review order for the next week and a half will go from Sunday Night Slam to Monday Night RAW and then to WrestleMania.

Up Next (on Friday):  Sunday Night Slam from March 26, 1995!