–Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are our commentary team and they are wrapping up the tapings in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
–Waylon Mercy’s vignettes are spliced together to hype his Action Zone debut.
–Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are taped from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
–Vince McMahon recaps the “kiss my foot” match that took place at The King of the Ring. It is a great exercise in McMahon overselling something as he narrates all the events with a sense of urgency as if the match is unfolding again.
–McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are live from Danville, Pennsylvania. Lawler is not present because he is still recovering from the ill-effects of the King of the Ring. According to historyofwwe.com the show drew a sellout crowd of 2,700.
–Vince McMahon says that on today’s show Jerry Lawler will make a “royal decision” about whether to accept Bret Hart’s challenge.
–McMahon and Dok Hendrix are handling commentary and they are doing the last of this cycle of tapings in Danbury, Connecticut.
–Todd Pettengill recaps the end of last week’s main event between Razor Ramon and Tatanka, which resulted in a double count out and saw a brawl between both participants, the 1-2-3 Kid, and King Kong Bundy.
–Todd Pettengill and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary, with both of them still in Lowell, Massachusetts. They allow Pettengill to do the lead play-by-play duties for the show, which is really puzzling.
–McMahon promises to show footage of Sid’s attack on Shawn Michaels despite the fact that such footage has already aired on Superstars and The Action Zone. He also hypes tonight’s six-man tag match between Bret Hart, Bob Holly, and the 1-2-3 Kid and Hakushi, Owen Hart, and Yokozuna. Owen cuts a brief promo about how the heel team will squash the babyfaces, with Yokozuna getting in his usual “BANZAI!”
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are in the booth via the green screen and they are taped from Poughkeepsie, New York.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Glen Falls, New York, the home of Hacksaw Jim Duggan!
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.