What the World Was Watching: Royal Rumble 1995

A limousine pulls into the backstage area and Pamela Anderson walks out.  She goes to her locker room as WWF wrestlers, led by Dink of all people, hoot and holler.  What?  You expected respectful manners out of a group of wrestlers?

As a side note, when you have been watching tons of television tapings from Liberty, New York in a high school gym for weeks on end it really makes you appreciate the bigger venue that this show is in and it makes everything seem more important.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on the mic and they are live from Tampa, Florida.  What is hilarious about the opening is that Vince tries to introduce the Spanish announce team and Hugo Savinovich just stays seated with his back to the camera.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout

Live from Troy, NY

Airdate: November 15, 1989

Attendance:  4,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Gordon Solie

New York Knockout? Are we referring to these bunch of termagants? Seriously, Flair and Funk battle in an “I Quit” match to settle their feud. Also, the Midnight Express square off against the Dynamic Dudes. In a rematch, Pillman seeks to dethrone Luger for the US title. If that’s not enough, the Steiners face the Skyscrapers. What are you waiting for? Read on!

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What the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 1, 1995

Although I have reviewed some of the early Attitude Era action on the Blog, I am going to embark on a new project:  reviewing all of the major televised action for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1995.  Readers are likely aware that 1995 was a terrible financial year for the company, with James Dixon writing in Titan Sinking that Vince McMahon and Titan Sports lost $6 million.  The wrestling industry was in the doldrums in the mid-1990s, reeling from declining ratings; the end of the Hulkamania boom; and lingering suspicions from sponsors about steroid and drug use, which caused the federal government to put McMahon on trial in the summer of 1994.

On a personal note, 1995 was the year that I got into wrestling.  Being exposed to the business during one of its worst times did not phase me since I had nothing else to compare it to.  I knew nothing of workrate or star ratings and accepted Diesel as the WWF champion.  However, it was painfully obvious to me that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were clearly the best and I enjoyed their televised matches throughout the year.  Little did I know at the time that both men had a significant rivalry behind the scenes and when it exploded in Montreal two years later it would help the WWF regain its position as the supreme brand of professional wrestling in North America.

These reviews will chronicle major WWF programming in 1995.  We will go through Wrestling Challenge, Monday Night Raw, Superstars, and The Action Zone.  Pay-per-views will also be covered, as will the occasional Sunday Night Slam where warranted.  Win-loss records will be provided for talent throughout the year and matches will be recapped, with reflections on the purpose of those matches and how they fit into existing storylines.  I will also compile other statistics – house show attendance, drawing power for champions – that I will share periodically.  Furthermore, for each week of action I will try to provide a brief calendar of notable events so readers can see the context that all of this booking is fitting into.  The reviews will be posted to the Blog on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash Of the Champions V: St. Valentine’s Massacre

Live from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: February 15, 1989

Attendance:  5,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Magnum T.A.

Are you ready to hype Chi-Town Rumble? Well, Ross and Magnum are as they detail what tonight’s show contains and add the spice of NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and #1 contender Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat being here. This episode has to be awesome, right?

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Thunder – March 14, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 14, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

The long nightmare is almost over as we only have two shows left, including this one. This is the final show before Greed and things aren’t exactly looking up. Monday’s show was full of old guys having bad matches and not enough build to anything other than Sunday’s main event. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – March 12, 2001

Monday Nitro #281
Date: March 12, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

It’s Greed week and that means we’ll likely hear more about Dusty Rhodes and his rather unfunny stipulation for Sunday’s tag match. Other than that it’s time for the final push towards the pay per view, which hopefully means more of the pretty good Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page feud. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – March 7, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 7, 2001
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schaivone, Mike Tenay

The roll that WCW was on just a few weeks ago seems forever ago as they’re right back to the mostly uninteresting shows that aren’t getting anyone anywhere. Well save for the Steiner Brothers and the other old acts that is. They’re getting closer to Greed and the card isn’t looking great so far and I doubt that changes tonight. Let’s get to it.

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