What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – April 9, 1995

Jim Ross and Stan Lane are tasked with the commentary duties for today’s show and they are taped from Lowell, Massachusetts.  The tapings for this month’s set of episodes took place on April 5, 1995.

Opening Contest:  Eli Blu (w/Uncle Zebekiah) defeated Fatu (w/Afa & Captain Lou Albano) via disqualification when Sione intereferes at 1:30 shown:

My copy of this show picks up halfway through this bout, with the Blus illegally switching off to wear down Fatu.  Fatu pulls off the old Headshrinkers “getting my head caught between the ropes” spot and this causes Sione to rush the ring and beat up the Blus, who retreat to the locker room.

Barry Didinsky urges the audience to call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get WrestleMania XI merchandise.

The celebrities really enjoyed their time at WrestleMania XI and tell us about it!

Doink (w/Dink) (4-1) beats Duane Gill via submission to a Stump Puller at 2:26:

Doink puts together a lazy squash here, just utilizing some striking moves against Gill before going back to his old finisher – which Lane aptly notes on commentary – to win.

Footage of Alundra Blayze winning the WWF Women’s Championship on RAW is shown, along with a post-match attack that occurred against her from a “mystery woman.”  Ross says that the name of the woman that hurt Blayze is named Bertha Faye, who has been romantically linked to Harvey Wippleman, thereby serving as a kiss of death for any new wrestler in the company.

Stephanie Wiand says that the Fan Festival was a success and that the proceeds from some of the carnival games went to the Special Olympics.

King Kong Bundy (w/Ted DiBiase) (11-2) defeats Leroy Howard after the Avalanche at 1:43:

Ross tells us that Bob Holly won his first race under the WWF umbrella in the All Pro Series.  Bundy blocks a Howard slam attempt and after beating him in the corner he finishes him with the Avalanche.  Ross insists that Bundy is rebounding from his loss to the Undertaker at WrestleMania, but Bundy has no new storyline direction yet.

We get a replay of Sid’s attack on Shawn Michaels on RAW.

Call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get your WrestleMania XI merchandise!

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear Jim Ross’s conversation with Shawn Michaels from his home in Texas.  Ross promises that you will hear a very emotional dialogue.  Also, you can hear about Ted DiBiase’s plans for his Million Dollar Corporation for $1.49 per minute!

Henry Godwinn (8-2) pins Steve King after a flapjack at 1:30:

Godwinn takes the Doink route with this match, working in a slow series of strikes before smashing King into the canvas with a flapjack and winning.  The Slop Drop works as a better finisher, but King sold the flapjack like it killed him so kudos to him.

Order the Encore Plus presentation of WrestleMania XI!

Razor Ramon (8-2) wrestles Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (5-2-1) to a double count out at 6:24 shown:

Although McMahon told us on Superstars that Ramon is still suffering knee issues from his WrestleMania bout with Jeff Jarrett, he is showing no signs of ill wear here, although Tatanka does dominate much of the contest, focusing his offense on Ramon’s lower back.  In a ridiculous assertion, Lane says that Ramon got his flying bulldog from Lawrence Taylor, despite the fact that Ramon has been doing the move for most of his WWF tenure.  Ramon makes a quick comeback after the commercial break, but King Kong Bundy attacks Ramon on the floor, only to get knocked down by the 1-2-3 Kid.  This brings Tatanka out to the floor to aid his Corporate ally and that produces a double count out finish, thereby breaking Ramon’s six match winning streak.  Rating:  **

Tune in next week to see the Allied Powers face the Heavenly Bodies!

Wrestling Challenge for this week featured a few additional bouts:

*Hakushi (11-0) defeated Tony Roy

*The Smoking Gunns (6-1-1) beat Tony DeVito & Mike Bell

There were no major significant house show results because the company spent the week after WrestleMania doing television tapings.  However, here were some rumors and backstage news items:

*Razor Ramon is working a few dates in Memphis as part of the WWF’s talent agreement with the United States Wrestling Association (USWA).  Ramon defeated Bill Dundee for the Unified title the night after WrestleMania at the USWA’s weekly show in Memphis and will probably work one more date there to drop the title back to either Dundee, Brian Christopher, or Jerry Lawler.  The USWA hopes the use of some WWF talent can bolster the shows but Ramon’s victory brought in only 1,100 fans at the Memphis Coliseum.  Kevin Nash said in his 1995 Timeline interview that the reason Scott Hall was working these dates is because Hall’s wife was getting angry at their family’s money situation.

*Paul Levesque and Chris Candido made appearances at the WWF Fan Festival before WrestleMania.  Levesque is waiting for his WCW release to go through, which should be in the very near future.  There are also rumors that the company could be reaching out to Steve Williams in an attempt to bolster the heel side of the roster, which is really deficient now that Shawn Michaels has turned babyface.

*The reported gate of WrestleMania XI is $750,000, which Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer says is double what any other house shows made since the last WrestleMania event.  However, the pay-per-view buy rate was smaller than the previous year, which is very disappointing because of the mainstream publicity that the event received due to Lawrence Taylor’s participation (although it should be noted that some of the publicity was negative leading into the event as people thought Taylor was “lowering himself” by appearing on a WWF show).  Still, the company probably made as much money in pay-per-view buys since the last WrestleMania because the cost of the show increased from $29.95 to $34.95.  The disappointing buy rate means that any plans to use Taylor at another future event, which was hinted at in the post-WrestleMania press conference, will likely be scrapped.

* Meltzer reports that there is some bitterness in the WWF locker room over members of Lawrence Taylor’s All-Pro Team getting bigger checks than other wrestlers on the show.

*Jim Herd, the former Executive Vice President of WCW most known for contributing to Ric Flair’s departure from the company in 1991, was reportedly offered a local promoter position by the company but turned it down.

The Last Word:  There were some signals from this show that the company was de-emphasizing The Action Zone and becoming much more reliant on RAW to sell the promotion’s storylines.  Almost a third of the broadcast was dedicated to replaying events from RAW rather than showing new matches to fans, even if those matches were squashes to put over talent.  In terms of in-ring action, this week was sub-par, although the wild brawl at the end of the main event was fun and next week promises to be better with a Heavenly Bodies match.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for April 10, 1995!