What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – March 19, 1995

Doink and Bam Bam Bigelow cut promos on each other for today’s feature match.  Doink says he is going to win and let Lawrence Taylor know all of Bigelow’s secrets.  Bigelow rebuts that he thought he got rid of Doink for good at WrestleMania X but will finish things today.

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are still taped from North Charleston, West Virginia.

Opening Contest:  The British Bulldog (7-3) pins Chic Donovan after the running powerslam at 3:31:

Donovan was a veteran wrestler, competing in Southern territories against the likes of Jerry Lawler and Tommy Rich in the 1970s and 1980s, and then wrestling for the AWA.  He stands out from many jobbers due to his bigger frame and the wearing of tassels on his arms, thereby identifying him with the late 1980s/early 1990s in wrestling historiography.  Donovan showcases his Memphis roots by stalling and berating the fans for much of the match, but the Bulldog absorbs a few punches to the stomach and hits the powerslam – which comes across nicely because Donovan kicks his legs throughout the move as if he is trying to escape – to win.

Clips of Men on a Mission doing a post-match beatdown on the Smoking Gunns after losing a WWF tag team title match on last week’s show are played.  Men on a Mission’s manager Oscar is shown apologizing to the crowd for his team’s behavior.

Roddy Piper blowing a fire extinguisher in Morton Downey, Jr.’s face at WrestleMania V is our “WrestleMania Moment” segment for this week.

Mantaur (w/Jim Cornette) (9-1) beats Bob Hayes after a belly-to-belly suplex at 2:35:

Ross makes fun of the jobber’s name, joking about how it is “Bullet” Bob Hayes, who was a gold medalist in the 1970 Olympics.  However, this Bob Hayes is white that Hayes was a black sprinter and football player.  Mantaur beats the tar out of Hayes, picking him up several times before a three count, before finishing him with a belly-to-belly suplex, which looks a lot better than other finishers that he has tried thus far in his brief WWF career.

Footage of Bam Bam Bigelow making fun of Lawrence Taylor’s training regimen for WrestleMania XI at a press conference in Los Angeles is shown.  Bigelow says that WWF Diesel is training Taylor but it is not going to matter.  Taylor responded by saying he is not a wrestler and that he picked Diesel as a trainer because Diesel is from the Bronx (despite Diesel actually growing up in Detroit) and knows how to brawl.

Attend the WWF Fan Festival before WrestleMania XI!

The New Headshrinkers (w/Afa & Captain Lou Albano) (2-1-2) defeat Barry Horowitz & The Brooklyn Brawler after Fatu pins Horowitz after a top rope splash at 3:58:

Considering our last segment, it was probably better that Taylor got Diesel to train him for WrestleMania instead of the Brooklyn Brawler, who is teaming with fellow long-time enhancement talent Horowitz today.  Although the Headshrinkers are no longer heels – and these squashes do not convey the same brutality as a result – Afa is maintaining his gimmick of eating food at ringside, munching on a hot dog as his guys dismantle Horowitz and the Brawler in short order.

Bob Backlund attacking Horowitz at the end of the recent Monday Night RAW and signing up for an Intercontinental title match against Jeff Jarrett is shown.

Footage of Shawn Michaels beating Adam Bomb on WWF Superstars a month ago is recapped as Ross and Pettengill announce that both men will have a rematch on next week’s show.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear about two young superstars with great collegiate backgrounds that will make their WWF in-ring debut today!  To save you $1.49 a minute, the two people Ross was talking about were Erik Watts and Chad Fortune, who would become Techno Team 2000.

Shawn Michaels (w/Sid) (3-0) beats Chuck Hunter after Sweet Chin Music at 1:34:

Hunter tries to get a jump on Michaels, but he quickly fights back, launching himself all over the ring and being cheered as a result.  After the bell, Sid tosses Hunter out of the ring and works to get Michaels hyped up, helping to build Michaels’ “aggressive streak.”

Ray Rougeau interviews Michaels in the aisle, with Michaels saying that Sid is not around to help him win matches, just to help watch his back.

Ross and Pettengill provide the WrestleMania XI Report.  Reggie White, who was interviewed by Ross at his home, says that he is excited to team with Lawrence Taylor instead of having to compete against him.

Lawrence Taylor reiterates that he is not scared of Bam Bam Bigelow in a quick video package.

Bam Bam Bigelow (w/The Million Dollar Team) (4-0) beats Doink (w/Dink) (4-0) after a powerslam at 7:55:

Dink quickly gets involved in the match and allows Doink to sunset flip the big man for a near fall so Kama chases the him to the locker room.  That is the lone highlight of the match until the big finish as Bigelow works chinlocks and Doink works in some small, ineffective technical holds.  The last few moments are good, with Doink suddenly acting like he is the Ultimate Warrior with two clotheslines and a body press, but a high-risk maneuver fails, allowing Bigelow to hit a powerslam out of nowhere for the win.  Rating:  **

After the match, Bigelow gets into a three-point stance and tackles Doink.

Tune in next week to see Adam Bomb square off against Shawn Michaels!

On Wrestling Challenge there was an additional bout that was not included on this show:

*The Heavenly Bodies (3-2) defeated Todd Morton & Larry Santo

The house show circuit saw the WWF return to Madison Square Garden and do a tour of Canada.  Here were some of those cards and results (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – The Maple Leaf Gardens – March 18, 1995:  Henry Godwinn pinned Barry Horowitz with the Slop Drop…Hakushi pinned Aldo Montoya with a running senton bomb…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano pinned Alundra Blayze after a powerbomb and using the Flair pin…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter in a no holds barred match…King Kong Bundy defeated the British Bulldog with the Avalanche…The Blu Brothers defeated the New Headshrinkers after Fatu was pinned following a clothesline…The Undertaker defeated Kama via disqualification when King Kong Bundy interfered…Diesel & Razor Ramon beat Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett when Diesel pinned Jarrett after the Jackknife.

New York, New York – Madison Square Garden – March 19, 1995 (15,000; 10,000 paid):  Bam Bam Bigelow was interviewed by Todd McDonald for Sports Extra on Fox Channel 5 for his WrestleMania match with Lawrence Taylor…Erik Watts & Chad Fortune defeated the Heavenly Bodies when Watts pinned Tom Prichard…Henry Godwinn pinned Barry Horowitz…The Smoking Gunns defeated Tatanka & Kama when Bart pinned Tatanka after Kama was knocked to the floor…Bob Backlund defeated Adam Bomb in a submission match after using the crossface chicken wing…Diesel & Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett via disqualification when Sid interfered.  During the match, the Roadie clipped Ramon and forced Diesel to wrestle alone, but shortly after that Michaels and Jarrett were counted out and Diesel and Michaels faced off in a singles match.  When Sid attacked Diesel, the Undertaker made the save…The Undertaker defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via count out when Bigelow headed to the locker room…Hakushi pinned the 1-2-3 Kid with a flying headbutt.  The Kid suffered another concussion (his second in ten days)…Bret Hart & The British Bulldog defeated Owen Hart & Jerry Lawler when the Bulldog pinned Lawler after the running powerslam.

And here were some news and notes concerning the company during this week in wrestling history:

*WWF Superstar Crush (Brian Adams) was arrested on March 13 after hundreds of steroids, marijuana, a stun gun, and an unregistered semi-automatic handgun was found in his home.  Crush had been the third place finisher in the Royal Rumble but had not wrestled on WWF television since the event.  He would eventually plead no-contest to drug and weapons charges and would receive five years of probation.  Because of the arrest his contract was terminated.

*It is unclear who the WWF might use for Owen Hart’s mystery partner at WrestleMania.  Some sources suggest that it could be Chris Benoit, a former competitor for WCW and a standout talent in Japan who has also worked recently for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).  Others say it could be Yokozuna, who has not been seen since losing a casket match to the Undertaker at Survivor Series.

*The company was happy with sales for the Madison Square Garden show, which was the biggest gate (over $200,000) that the company collected since last year’s SummerSlam.  This was welcome news after sales and draws on the West Coast were lackluster.

*Dave Meltzer says that Direct TV is giving customers the option of buying the first ten WrestleManias and WrestleMania XI for $49.95.  The WWF is humorously billing the package as a chance to see “Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan in their primes.”

*In conjunction with the Madison Square Garden card, some WWF talent such as Diesel, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Razor Ramon appeared for the “March Magic” fundraiser for the Magic Johnson and Robin Hood foundations.  They helped to raise $50,000 for anti-AIDS efforts.

*Dustin Rhodes has recently been fired from WCW for blading during the Uncensored pay-per-view in his match with the Blacktop Bully.  It is unclear whether the WWF has any interest in Rhodes at the present time.

*Chris Candido will be going through a gimmick change before he appears on television.  After his initial “Team Spirit” gimmick failed on house shows, he and Tammy Sytch will sport a heel gimmick where they will be condescending fitness fanatics.

*The Wrestling Observer reports that former WWF talent the Ultimate Warrior recently agreed to pay off student loan debts to Life Chiropractic College in Atlanta after he had refused to do so for the last decade.  Including interest, the Warrior paid the college $128,268.

The Last Word:  While having Bigelow struggle with Doink in the main event might be puzzling, the announcers did enough to justify it by saying that Bigelow was overlooking him due to his big WrestleMania match with Lawrence Taylor.  The rest of the show was fine, with all of the squashes adequately putting over talent that will be important for future matches or WrestleMania.

Up Next (on Tuesday):  Monday Night RAW for March 20, 1995!