What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 26, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are on commentary and they are still taped from Fort Myers, Florida.

A video package recaps the end of last week’s British Bulldog-Bob Backlund match that led to today’s tag team main event between the Bulldog and Bret Hart against Backlund and Owen Hart.

Opening Contest:  Mantaur (w/Jim Cornette) (7-0) pins Geza Kalman after a powerslam at 3:16:

Kalman was a Dean Malenko trainee that also had some bouts in the early days of the UFC, losing an alternate bout at UFC 7 and winning one at UFC 10.  This is not a shoot fight, though, and Mantaur beats on Kalman for what seems like forever before finishing him off with a powerslam.  Mantaur has had three finishers thus far – a splash, a spinebuster, and now a powerslam.  The spinebuster works best since the powerslam just comes off like a simple transition move.

Pettengill discusses Lawrence Taylor’s attorney, Anthony Giampapa, advising his client to sue the World Wrestling Federation over Bam Bam Bigelow trying to goad him into a bout at WrestleMania.  Ross and Pettengill discuss how The New York Daily News has a full page spread about Taylor potentially stepping into a WWF ring.  They urge people to tune into Monday Night RAW to see Taylor respond to Bigelow’s constant challenges.

Duke “the Dumpster” Droese (6-0) defeats Reno Riggins with the Trash Compactor at 2:36:

Riggins gets more offense against Droese than most of his prior opponents but it does him little good as Droese gets through him like the other six jobbers that he has faced in 1995.  Pettengill spends the match making OJ Simpson trial jokes since Droese wears gloves as part of his ring attire.

King Kong Bundy (8-0) pins Lee Tobin after an Avalanche at 2:35:

Ross reminds us that Bundy is “methodical” and he slowly beats his way through Tobin, who bumps well for him.  Bundy notches an easy win and has the best singles record in the company at this point in the year.

Footage of Bret Hart contributing to the elimination of Jerry Lawler in a battle royal on the most recent episode of Superstars is shown.

We get a recap of Shawn Michaels introducing Sid as his new bodyguard on RAW.

Kama (3-0) beats Bill Payne via submission to the STF at 2:46:

Bill Alfonso, nearing the end of his WWF contract, is the referee for this bout, where Kama takes down Payne with his shoot-style offense to a few light boos.  Ross hypes Kama’s submission-style offense but the only submission Kama attempts is his finisher, which Payne taps out to immediately after it is applied.

Ross and Pettengill revisit Survivor Series where Bret Hart lost the WWF title to Bob Backlund in a submission match.  Owen Hart and the British Bulldog were the official “seconds” in that match.

Bret Hart & The British Bulldog defeat Bob Backlund & Owen Hart after the British Bulldog pins Owen Hart following a running powerslam at 13:02:

As the previous video package revealed, this is considered as a blow off for the events of Survivor Series.  That match happened more than three months before this bout but it just goes to slow that the company did not burn through storylines as quickly as they do today.  Bret plays the face in peril role as Backlund and Owen utilize some fantastic attacks on the leg and drive the crowd into a frenzy with constant cheating and false tag spot when Bret does manage to make it to his corner.  The heels even pull a nice spot out of a figure-four where Bret successfully turns it and then Backlund runs back into the ring and pulls Bret back the other way, thereby keeping him locked in the hold.  Eventually heel miscommunication paves the way for a babyface win and the best part is that the Bulldog has to win almost single handedly since Bret is too injured to help when all hell breaks loose after the hot tag, although Bret does trap Backlund in a Sharpshooter on the floor in the closing moments and refuses to release the hold until a sea of WWF officials come out.  Rating:  ****

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear updates on what Lawrence Taylor may talk about on RAW and call on Tuesday to hear about the events at the WrestleMania press conference!

Tune in next week to see Hakushi face off with Bob Holly!

Here are some additional results from Wrestling Challenge for February 26:

*The British Bulldog (6-2) defeated Timothy Well

*Hakushi (6-0) defeated Chris Nelson

The company spent much of this week doing television tapings for each March.  However, there were a few notable house shows and these were the results (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Indianapolis, Indiana – Market Square Arena – February 23, 1995:  Aldo Montoya pinned Kwang with a backslide…The Blu Brothers defeated The New Headshrinkers…Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via disqualification when the Roadie interfered…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter in a no holds barred match…Kama defeated Bob Holly…Hakushi pinned the 1-2-3 Kid with a running senton…Shawn Michaels pinned Lex Luger after Sweet Chin Music…WWF Champion Diesel pinned Bam Bam Bigelow after Bigelow missed a moonsault.

Chicago, Illinois – United Center – February 24, 1995 (7,000; 4,000 paid):  Aldo Montoya pinned Kwang at 6:21…The Blu Brothers defeated The New Headshrinkers when Jacob Blu pinned Seone at 14:33…Bam Bam Bigelow trash talked Lawrence Taylor for several minutes…The British Bulldog pinned Tatanka at 8:47…Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via disqualification at 11:49…WWF Champion Diesel pinned Bam Bam Bigelow after a Jackknife at 11:46…Kama defeated Bob Holly at 4:16…Shawn Michaels pinned Lex Luger with the Flair pin after Sweet Chin Music at 10:15…Hakushi pinned the 1-2-3 Kid at 16:04…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter at 9:06 in a no holds barred match.

And here were some news and notes circulating around the wrestling world concerning the WWF:

*The WWF gave a tag team tryout to Erik Watts of former WCW fame and Chad Fortune during a Superstars taping in Augusta, Georgia.  Both were football players at the University of Louisville and Fortune was a practice squad member for several NFL teams in the early 1990s.

*Michael P.S. Hayes made a surprising appearance at the Superstars taping in Augusta as well, winning a squash match.  Dave Meltzer reported that it was the loudest pop that anyone got for the rest of the taping.  However, Hayes is probably going to be slotted into an announcer-type position rather than an in-ring role due to some chronic back injuries that have affected him recent years.

*Chris Candido’s first match was poorly received by the fans in North Charleston, South Carolina.  Candido was billed as “Chris Spirit” and Tammy Sytch was billed as “Tammy Spirit” (so think of this as a precursor to the Spirit Squad gimmick of the 2000s).  Candido wore a cape, while Fytch wore a cheerleader outfit, and tried to get the fans to cheer but they booed him since they were used to seeing both work as heels in Smoky Mountain Wrestling.  In case you were wondering this is what they looked like in this match:

*Rumors are circulating that Shane Douglas was given a color commentator tryout and that he might be utilized later for a big babyface run in the company if they opt not to give him a color job.

The Last Word:  The main event tag team match greatly enhanced a boring show and is a forgotten match from one of the WWF’s worst years.  It was a fitting blow off for the events of the 1994 Survivor Series and I might be overrating it, but I thought it told a great story and had some unique spots that you usually don’t see in a typical tag team match.  I am glad they left it for the end of the show because if they had made it the first match the rest of the show would’ve been very disappointing.  Can you imagine a Kama squash being placed after that effort?

Up Next (on Friday):  Monday Night RAW from February 27, 1995!