What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – June 25, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill narrate a video package for why Bret Hart and Henry Godwinn are facing each other in a rematch of their Superstars encounter, which occurred two weeks ago, on today’s show.  Godwinn says that he will give Bret the beating of his life.

Ross and Pettengill are in charge of commentary and they are taped from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Opening Contest:  Hakushi (w/Shinja) (18-1) pins Bob Cook after a springboard splash at 3:42:

Pettengill hypes Hakushi as a feature Hall of Famer based on his current win/loss record but to get into the Hall of Fame one needs opportunities and Hakushi is absent from tonight’s King of the Ring pay-per-view.  Hakushi could pin Cook after a flying headbutt but Shinja tells him not to – after all, that is Bam Bam Bigelow’s finisher – so Hakushi uses the springboard splash to win instead.

The old video of a young fan screaming “Breeeettt!” backstage as Bret Hart gets ready to go to the ring for a match is shown to illustrate how the WWF’s New Generation cares.

Waylon Mercy shares his ideas about picnics, just as he did on Superstars.

Aldo Montoya (9-5) beats Bill Payne after a springboard flying bulldog at 1:48:

It was already tough to take Montoya seriously with his attire but it has become even more difficult after Montoya had to kiss Jerry Lawler’s feet several weeks ago on Superstars.  Montoya jumps around, Payne cannot keep up, and Montoya wins in less than two minutes.

Bob Backlund reiterates the reasons why he hates Man Mountain Rock.

Barry Didinski, whose hair Todd Pettengill makes fun of, tries to sell King of the Ring t-shirts.  Get yours by calling 1-800-TITAN-91 and sending the company $18 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!  A Bob Backlund for president button is also included.

Mabel (w/Mo) (4-1) pins David Haskins after a belly-to-belly suplex at 1:11:

On the eve of the tournament the company finally decides to give Mabel a singles match, doing a hard sell for his first round bout with the Undertaker.  Haskins does a nice 360 sell for a Mabel clothesline and Mabel finishes Haskins with the belly-to-belly suplex as Ross puts over how Mabel had to be weighed by cargo scales in Singapore.

The WWF Blimp is flying over Philadelphia today and will be making an appearance at the Special Olympics over Connecticut in the near future.

The Undertaker and Paul Bearer cut an in-ring promo where they say that Mabel should not be a problem because the Undertaker has beaten lots of giants before.  The Undertaker says that it is time for his body count to continue.  The Undertaker also tells Kama that if they meet in the King of the Ring semi-finals that he will get revenge for what Kama did to the urn and even if Kama does not advance then he will still suffer at a later date.

Sid & Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (2-0) defeat Buck Quartermaine & Gus Kantarrakis when Sid pins both men after a set of powerbombs at 3:14:

Tatanka hits the End of the Trail on Kantarrakis less than forty seconds into the contest but refuses to pin him, tossing him into the corner and forcing Quartermaine to give things a go.  However, Quartermaine fares no better, taking some nice bumps from Sid’s power offense.  Sid eventually powerbombs both jobbers and pins them both.  This was the best match that Sid and Tatanka have had yet and did a lot to put them over before The King of the Ring.

After the match, Sid says that he and Tatanka will destroy Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow at The King of the Ring.

Ross and Pettengill recap the events that produced the tag team main event at The King of the Ring.

Jerry Lawler shows off his torture chamber.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to get expert commentary from Stan Lane and Owen Hart about the events that take place tonight at The King of the Ring.

Bret Hart (6-2-2) pins Henry Godwinn (13-3-1) after a small package at 9:37 shown:

In a nice touch, these two pick up where they last left off, tearing into each other after the opening bell and then each selecting a specific body part, with Bret going for the right leg and Godwinn going for Bret’s shoulder after a blind charge.  Godwinn dominates much of the encounter, which becomes a small submissionfest, before an ill-advised charge sends him flying over the top rope and triggers Bret’s famous “moves of doom.”  Godwinn tries to go back to the shoulder and use his size but Bret flips over Godwinn out of a backslide with the help of the turnbuckles and cradles him for the win.  These two matches did a lot to put over Godwinn’s abilities in the ring, something he had not been able to showcase in a lot of squash matches prior to this, and were an entertaining series of bouts for television viewers.  Rating:  ***¼

The Last Word:  The show did a good job to build to The King of the Ring, with lots of clues that Mabel-Undertaker was not going to be a throw away contest.  Based on television coverage the favorites for the tournament seemed to be either Shawn Michaels or the Undertaker, but Ross and Pettengill were putting over Mabel hard as well so you could probably rank him third of the eight competitors.  And of course, the feature match was entertaining, continuing a streak of fun bouts in that slot on The Action Zone.

Wrestling Challenge had two additional squash matches:

*Adam Bomb (14-3-2) defeated Reginald Walker

*John-Pierre LaFitte (9-0-1) beat John Senowski

The WWF continued its tour of Europe, visiting the British Isles a few days before The King of the Ring.  Here are some of the results for the rest of that tour (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Dublin, Ireland – The Point – June 20, 1995:  WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze defeated Bertha Faye…Men on a Mission beat the New Headshrinkers…Shawn Michaels defeated IRS…Adam Bomb beat King Kong Bundy…The Smoking Gunns defeated the Blu Brothers…Jean-Pierre LaFitte beat Duke Droese…The Undertaker defeated Kama…Bret Hart beat Hakushi.

London, England – Royal Albert Hall – June 22, 1995 (5,500; sell out):  Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Duke Droese…The Smoking Gunns beat the Blu Brothers via disqualification…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze pinned Bertha Faye…Adam Bomb beat King Kong Bundy…Men on a Mission beat the New Headshrinkers (This would be the last bout for the New Headshrinkers)…The Undertaker pinned Kama with the Tombstone…Shawn Michaels pinned IRS…Bret Hart defeated Hakushi with the Sharpshooter.

And on the eve of The King of the Ring here were some news items for the WWF and the wrestling world (courtesy of the July 3 edition of The Wrestling Observer):

*The Ultimate Warrior appears headed for a return to the ring for the Las Vegas-based National Wrestling Conference (NWC) promotion.  The Warrior has not wrestled since 1993 and independent companies have not been willing to pay his $10,000 booking fee.  The Warrior will be booked to face the Honky Tonk Man on July 22.

*There are murmurings that the WWF will lose some of its syndicated television outlets by September.  WCW is facing similar problems since it lost television in St. Louis.

*WWF and WCW stars were at a recent licensing fair at the Hilton in New York City on June 20 and 21.  Although the WWF had better promotional materials, WCW had Hulk Hogan, whose lines were bigger, but his interactions with fans were much more limited than what the WWF guys did.  The WWF sent Diesel, Razor Ramon, Doink, and the Bushwhackers to the event.

*Rumors are circulating that Dustin Rhodes has reached an agreement to come into the company.  As reported earlier, he will probably be joining as a heel since the company needs heel talent.  That would be a new role for Rhodes, though, as all of his WCW work was as a babyface.

*The WWF and USA Network are in new negotiations since USA Network’s deal with the company expires in December.  One of the sticking points of the negotiations is that the WWF wants to get five minutes of advertising time to sell on its own and pocket the money as they currently only get two minutes for each of the three shows on the network (RAW, Mania, and Action Zone).  The company also reportedly receives $12,000 a week for their shows to USA.  Rumor has it that the WWF is looking at possibly trying to use the E Network to get a better deal from USA but their leverage is low because USA Network is shown in double the number of homes as E.

*Monday Night RAW ratings remain high, with Sid & Tatanka vs. the Headshrinkers reportedly drawing a high 3 rating.  The rating reports vary about whether the show drew a 3.1 or a 3.9.

Up Next:  King of the Ring 1995!