What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – April 30, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill recap the Diesel-Bam Bam Bigelow match for the WWF title that occurred on Monday Night RAW, as well as how Bigelow turned face after the bout when he was beaten down by the Million Dollar Corporation.

Ross and Pettengill are doing commentary for today’s show and they are taped from Moline, Illinois.  The tapings took place on April 26 and had a papered attendance of 5,500.

Ross and Pettengill announce that the 1-2-3 Kid was supposed to face Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental title on today’s show but he is injured.  As a result, Bob Holly will face Jarrett instead.  Jarrett says that he will show Holly how great he is, while Holly promises to cross the finish line.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – April 3, 1995

Vince McMahon discusses the events of WrestleMania XI, aided by pictures of the event.  McMahon reveals that Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow, WWF Champion Diesel successfully defended his title, and Owen Hart won the tag team titles with his new partner Yokozuna.

McMahon and Jim Cornette are doing commentary and they are live from Poughkeepsie, New York.  Cornette compares the return of Yokozuna to the return of Michael Jordan.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 18, 1995

In response to the comments about whether an Undertaker-Razor Ramon match was ever considered for WrestleMania XI, it appears that the source used by James Dixon in Titan Sinking was a shoot interview with Scott Hall.  When I check Dixon’s notes, the interview comes from an “unknown source,” so yes, it looks like that story is quite dubious.

Men on a Mission’s post-match attack on the Smoking Gunns on The Action Zone is shown.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Augusta, Georgia.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – February 11, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps Shawn Michaels victory in the Royal Rumble and hypes today’s match between Michaels and Adam Bomb.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are in the booth and they are still taped from Corpus Christi, Texas.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – January 9, 1995

Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are live from Houston, Texas.  This is the second anniversary episode of Monday Night Raw.

William Shatner, who is here to hype his new show TekWar, says that he is not scared of appearing on Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court segment and that if Lawler messes with him “he will be out of here at warp speed.”  He even admits that he is simply here to do the hard sell for his show and is not going to wrestle.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 7, 1995

Vince McMahon announces that the Smoking Gunns are not going to be in the tag team tournament because Bart Gunn suffered a knee injury when his horse fell on him in a rodeo.  Yes, that is the best excuse that the company could come up with but it fits the cartoonish product at the time.  In reality there was no injury and Vince simply decided to push another team for the tournament and that team is the one that will take the Gunns place: the 1-2-3 Kid and Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly.

McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Newark, Delaware.  The show was taped on December 14, 1994.

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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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