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.

Opening Contest:  Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pins Buck Zumhofe after a Diamond Cutter at 2:14:

If you ever have to answer a trivia question about Triple H’s WWF career, note that his debut occurred on The Action Zone against former AWA light heavyweight star “Rock N’ Roll” Buck Zumhofe.  Of course, Zumhofe, who the WWF bills as “Zumhoff”, is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexually abusing his daughter between 1999 and 2011.  Helmsley’s gimmick is really a carbon copy of his WCW persona Jean Paul Levesque with the twist that he is a snob from Greenwich, Connecticut instead of an aristocrat from France because Vince McMahon was allegedly looked down upon by his Greenwich neighbors and the gimmick was meant to fire back at them.  This squash features some interesting moves, with Helmsley using a spinning knee lift and then finishes Zumhofe with a Diamond Cutter.  According to Diamond Dallas Page, he requested that Helmsley not use the move since he was starting to get it over in WCW and shortly after this bout Helmsley began using the Pedigree, which seemed to better fit the character.

Ross and Pettengill hype In Your House.  Sid says that he is not afraid of Diesel, while Diesel says that he is a big man and will expose Sid as a façade.  They reveal that Owen Hart and Yokozuna will defend the WWF tag team titles against the Smoking Gunns at the show and note that Adam Bomb will square off against Mabel in a King of the Ring qualifying match.

The Smoking Gunns (9-1-1) defeat Tom Stone & Dave Siegfried after Billy Gunn pins Stone after a Sidewinder at 3:55:

Stone was a longtime enhancement worker for the WWF and AWA during the 1980s and 1990s while Sigfried also made several appearances as a “job guy” for the WWF during the 1990s.  The Gunns smother their opponents with lots of double team offense and Billy goes to the top rope to finish Stone off with the Sidewinder for the Gunns tenth win of 1995.

Bob Backlund is lecturing college students on spring break who are having a “deleterious effect” on themselves.  He approaches some college girls in bikinis, introduces himself, and then tries to cover them up with his coat because their bodies cannot be seen on television.  It is too bad that they were phasing Backlund out at this time because these vignettes were great.

Bob Holly is shown warming up backstage.

Intercontinental Championship Match:  Bob Holly (3-4) pins Jeff Jarrett (Champion w/The Roadie) (9-5) after a flying clothesline to win the title at 9:52 shown:

This marks the second time in 1995 that Holly has received a title shot because of an injury to another competitor, making one wonder whether he has some friends in low places to call upon to move him up the card.  In fact, running an angle at this time between Holly and the Kid would have been entertaining instead of just having the Kid injure himself repeatedly against Hakushi on the house show circuit.  In one of the more ridiculous spots of this match, referee Earl Hebner sees the Roadie trip Holly and yet does nothing in the early going.  Meanwhile, Ross has to get in his “All-American” line and throws out the fact that Jarrett was an “Academic All-American” to fill time since Jarrett uses lots of rest holds.  And once again, despite heralding Jarrett as an “expert of the figure-four” Jarrett opts to work the back instead of the legs.  After a couple of commercial breaks, we get controversy as Jarrett pins Holly after a Flair pin at 9:23 but referee Tim White runs out and gets the match restarted.  That allows Holly to hit a flying clothesline off the top rope after a Jarrett blind charge and Hebner counts three even though Jarrett gets his foot on the bottom rope.  The match was too plodding aside from Holly’s comebacks and could have been rated higher if the psychology continued after the first commercial break.  Rating:  *¾

After the bell, Tim White runs back into the ring to tell Hebner about Jarrett’s foot being on the bottom rope and Jarrett and the Roadie get in Hebner’s face over his call in the match.  Howard Finkel announces that other WWF officials are in the building and will render a decision later on, angering Jarrett who believes that he should still be the champion.

Ross and Pettengill after a commercial break say that WWF President Jack Tunney is in the building and can render a decision, hopefully before the end of the show, on what just took place in the Intercontinental title match.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear an exclusive report about Shawn Michaels, who has left the country, and hear more about the 1-2-3 Kid’s broken neck.

Doink (w/Dink) (6-1) pins Barry Horowitz after the Whoopie Cushion at 3:02:

Horowitz fares better than some of Doink’s recent opponents, managing to roll him up and working in a series of strikes after avoiding a clothesline.  However, Horowitz’s attempt at a backslide is blocked and Doink goes on to hit the Whoopie Cushion for the win.

Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (5-2-3) beats Sonny Rogers after the End of the Trail at 3:19:

Rogers dances around after a wristlock sequence as if he is Tatanka and tries to get the crowd clapping, but the crowd knows he is just a jobber so they barely acknowledge his efforts.  Ross and Pettengill put over a possible Bigelow-Tatanka feud, which happened a little over a year ago with the face/heel roles reversed, and Tatanka stares menacingly at the camera as he deliberately beats on Rogers and wins his first match in more than a month.

Ray Rougeau says that WWF President Jack Tunney has decided that neither Bob Holly or Jeff Jarrett are the Intercontinental Champion and that there will be a rematch on next week’s show, with the winner becoming the champion.  In other words, the title has been held up and the previous bout has been rendered a no contest.

Tune in next week to see Bret Hart face Mantaur and find out whether Bob Holly or Jeff Jarrett will win the held up Intercontinental championship!

The Last Word:  The curious booking of Jarrett’s Intercontinental title run continues with this show as he struggles to defeat Bob Holly, another struggling midcarder, in a feature match.  The company must have thought that this was a great way to attract viewers but since Jarrett just pulled a relatively similar angle with Aldo Montoya several weeks ago, although in that angle Montoya won a non-title match before getting an actual title shot, it further reinforced the idea that he was merely a paper champion.  That said, at least next week’s Action Zone should be a fun episode as Holly and Jarrett fight for the title and Bret Hart faces Mantaur and hey, the audience finally gets a consistent storyline for The Action Zone after the company teased a 1-2-3 Kid-King Kong Bundy match at the last set of tapings and never delivered.

Wrestling Challenge featured two exclusive bouts for its program that did not air on The Action Zone.  One of the matches included a future star in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW):

*The Heavenly Bodies (4-4) beat Jerry Lynn & Lenny Carlson

*Razor Ramon (9-2-1) defeated J.S. Tiask

There were not any major house show results as the company was cycling through television tapings following its tour of Germany, but here were some news and notes concerning the World Wrestling Federation to round out the month of April (taken from The Wrestling Observer of May 1 and May 8 and historyofwwe.com):

*Bob Backlund recently went to the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) promotion in Memphis and teamed with Tommy Rich.  Backlund and Rich lost a tag team match to Bill Dundee and Brian Christopher.  Jerry Lawler will be booked to face USWA Unified Champion Razor Ramon for the title on May 1.

*The WWF was happy about the attendance for the Monday Night RAW tapings in Omaha.  Tickets were cheap, with Dave Meltzer reporting that they were $8 for adults and $4 for children, and Omaha does not receive WWF syndicated programming.

*The 1-2-3 Kid’s neck injury, announced on this week’s Action Zone, is legitimate and serious, with the injury taking place at the Omaha RAW tapings.  Meltzer reports that the Kid suffered “a cracked seventh cervical vertebrae” and one of his doctors said that he should retire.  However, the Kid sought a second opinion and is expected to be back in two to three months.  Meltzer likened the injury to the one that Bruno Sammartino suffered in 1976 versus Stan Hansen, with Sammartino returning to action after a ten-week hiatus.

*The ratings for Monday Night RAW continue to reach historic highs, with the April 24 episode (headlined by Diesel versus Bam Bam Bigelow) scoring a 3.9 rating, meaning that nearly 2.3 million people watched the broadcast.  Meltzer reports that this was the highest audience for a wrestling broadcast since WCW’s airing of Ric Flair versus Hulk Hogan at The Clash of the Champions in August.

*Shane Douglas is not immediately headed for the WWF because his job as a history teacher would preclude him leaving until the fall.

*The WWF rejected Missy Hyatt’s overtures for an announcing role.

*The WWF has reached a settlement with Kevin Wacholz, who portrayed Nailz in 1992 and alleged that Vince McMahon sexually assaulted him.  Wacholz will not receive money from his lawsuit but the company will allow him to wrestle under the Nailz name in other promotions.

*Well Dunn is now, well, done with the company.

And since we are at the end of the month, here are some statistics for where wrestlers stand in terms of wins and losses, as well as appearances.

Top Twenty-Five Overall Records (Minimum of Five Matches):

1—Kama (11-0)

2—Man Mountain Rock (7-0)

3—Mantaur (12-1)

4—Duke Droese (10-1)

5—Lex Luger (14-1-1)

6—Diesel (4-0-1)

T7—King Kong Bundy (14-2)

T7—Bart Gunn (10-1-1)

T7—Billy Gunn (10-1-1)

T7—Doink (7-1)

11—Hakushi (13-2)

12—Henry Godwinn (11-2)

13—Shawn Michaels (5-1)

14—Bret Hart (6-1-1)

15—Razor Ramon (10-2-1)

T16—Eli Blu (7-1-2)

T16—Bob Backlund (8-2)

T16—Mo (8-2)

T16—Yokozuna (4-1)

20—The British Bulldog (15-4)

21—Mabel (11-3)

22—Jacob Blu (6-1-2)

23—Adam Bomb (8-2-1)

T24—The 1-2-3 Kid (10-4)

T24—Owen Hart (10-4)

Top Twenty Singles Records (Minimum of Five Matches):

1—Hakushi (13-0)

2—Kama (11-0)

3—Man Mountain Rock (7-0)

4—Lex Luger (8-0-1)

5—Mantaur (12-1)

6—Duke Droese (10-1)

7—Diesel (4-0-1)

8—Bob Backlund (8-1)

9—Doink (7-1)

10—King Kong Bundy (12-2)

11—Henry Godwinn (11-2)

12—Shawn Michaels (5-1)

13—Razor Ramon (10-2-1)

14—The 1-2-3 Kid (4-1)

15—Adam Bomb (8-2-1)

T16—Bret Hart (4-1-1)

T16—Owen Hart (6-2)

T16—Bam Bam Bigelow (6-2)

19—Tatanka (6-2-3)

T20—The British Bulldog (8-4)

T20—Aldo Montoya (8-4)

Notables That Did Not Qualify:  The Undertaker (3-0), Jean-Pierre LaFitte (4-0), Jeff Jarrett (9-5-1)

Top Tag Teams (Minimum of Four Matches)

1—The Allied Powers (6-0)

2—Owen Hart & Yokozuna (4-0)

3—Men on a Mission (8-1)

4—The Smoking Gunns (10-1-1)

5—The Blu Brothers (6-1-2)

6—The New Headshrinkers (4-1-3)

7—Bob Holly & The 1-2-3 Kid (5-3)

8—The Heavenly Bodies (5-4)

9—Well Dunn (1-4)

Notables That Did Not Qualify:  The Bushwackers (3-0)

Top Ten in Televised Match Appearances (Iron Worker Award):

1—The British Bulldog (21)

T2—King Kong Bundy (18)

T2—Bob Holly (18)

4—Lex Luger (17)

T5—Tatanka (16)

T5—Mabel (16)

T7—Mantaur (15)

T7—Henry Godwinn (15)

T7—The 1-2-3 Kid (15)

T7—Jeff Jarrett (15)

T7—Owen Hart (15)

T7—Hakushi (15)

Most Appearances by Show:  RAW-Bob Holly (6); Superstars-The British Bulldog, Henry Godwinn, Mantaur, and Aldo Montoya (6); The Action Zone-The British Bulldog, Mabel, and Tatanka (6); Wrestling Challenge (for matches not shown on The Action Zone)-Hakushi (4).

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for May 1, 1995!