What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 22, 1995

Todd Pettengill is live from Tampa, Florida from the location of the Royal Rumble.  Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth calling the taped matches which are still from Liberty, New York.  As long as it gets Todd out of the booth it is fine with me.

Read more…

What the World is Watching: Monday Night Raw – January 16, 1995

The intro video package has the old Star Trek theme playing since William Shatner will be in Bret Hart’s corner when he faces Jeff Jarrett in tonight’s main event.

Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are still in Houston, Texas.  This is the “go home” show for the Royal Rumble.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXIII

Taped from Cincinnati, OH

Airdate:  October 14, 1989 (taped 9/21)

Attendance:  14,000 (12,000 paid)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

What can DiBiase do to win the WWF title from Hogan? What’s new with Savage? Can Piper be any zanier? Read on!

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 15, 1995

Gorilla Monsoon and Ted DiBiase are in the booth.

After a bunch of rehashed Action Zone matches we get a video package about Hakushi.  At house shows around this time Hakushi’s manager Shinja was told to cut promos against the crowds so that they would not cheer for the Japanese talent.

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 15, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary today and they recap the WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament semi-finals, which were held on WWF Superstars.  They still appear to be in Liberty, New York in a high school gymnasium.  Although this was not a great financial period for the company I have to envy some of these people that got to attend these smaller shows.  I would have loved for the WWF to come to my small community during this time period.

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 14, 1995

Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are still in Newark, Delaware.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam ’89

Live from East Rutherford, NJ

Airdate: August 28, 1989

Attendance:  20,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Can the power of Zeus ruin the good show streak of 1989? Let’s find out!

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 8, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are from various locations since the Action Zone broadcast a collection of matches from different TV tapings.  I always fondly remember this syndicated show because it was my go-to viewing after church on Sundays or what I would run to see if going to see my aunt for a family gathering on a Sunday afternoon.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event XXII

Taped from Worcester, MA

Airdate:  July 29, 1989 (taped 7/18)

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

How will the road to Summerslam be paved this year? Let’s read on…

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – January 2, 1995

“Double J” Jeff Jarrett lets us know how great he is going to be in his signing debut on tonight’s RAW.

Gorilla Monsoon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are taped from Liberty, New York.  This episode was taped on December 12, 1994.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXI

Taped from Des Moines, IA

Airdate:  May 27, 1989 (taped 4/25)

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Can Hogan successfully defend the WWF title in a cage against the Big Boss Man? Let’s find out!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on SNME XX

Taped from Hershey, PA

Airdate:  March 11, 1989 (taped 2/16)

Attendance:  9,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

As if the dissolution of the MegaPowers isn’t enough, what else can cause separation between Hogan and Savage? Let’s find out!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Royal Rumble ’89

WWF Royal Rumble ‘89

Live from Houston, TX

Airdate: January 15, 1988

Attendance:  19,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Question to the masses: If a baseball game lasts until 3am on a work night, can we still blame Vince McMahon? Ponder on that while enjoying the show.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XIX

Taped from Tampa, FL

Airdate:  January 7, 1989 (taped 12/7)

Attendance:  9,176

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

To open the program, the Ultimate Warrior centers his promo on victory. In spite of the promo’s theme, I hope the US military didn’t use this as a motivational tool for the troops.

Read more…

Smackdown – May 2, 2002

Smackdown
Date: May 2, 2002
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’ve got a big match scheduled for tonight as WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan is defending against Chris Jericho. I’m sure we’ll get an explanation for why Smackdown can have a #1 contender when it’s been established that the shows trade possession of that status. Maybe Jericho can carry Hogan to passable tonight too but I wouldn’t bet on either. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Night Raw – April 29, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 29, 2002
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

The question at this point is how bad can things get. The wrestling has been horrible but the stories have been some of the worst of all time with uninspired main eventers who look like they’re about to collapse from old age. Maybe things can start to pick up soon because it can’t get much worse. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Smackdown – April 25, 2002

Smackdown
Date: April 25, 2002
Location: Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, Illinois
Attendance: 8,350
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re in a new era now as HHH is a full time Smackdown wrestler, which I’m sure will last for at least a few weeks. After all you can’t expect the biggest star in the company to be on the B show for very long. Other than that we’re going to get more of the Hulk Hogan nostalgia tour, which wasn’t the most interesting thing in the world earlier this week. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Night Raw – April 22, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 22, 2002
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Backlash and due to reasons of pure nostalgia, Hulk Hogan is the Undisputed WWF World Champion. That means he’s gearing up for a title defense against Undertaker at the next pay per view, which leaves Steve Austin to feud with Ric Flair because Austin feuds with authority figures. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Backlash 2002

Backlash 2002
Date: April 21, 2002
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 12,489
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the first pay per view after the Brand Split and it really is a tale of two shows at this point. Raw is absolutely horrendous at the moment with an unmotivated Undertaker vs. Steve Austin as the main feud (and the Raw main event here) for the next WWF World Title match. That would be your Smackdown main event here as HHH is defending against Hulk Hogan for reasons of pure nostalgia. Let’s get to it.

Read more…