What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – June 4, 1995

Jim Ross recaps the events on last week’s show that led to today’s Razor Ramon & Savio Vega-Blu Brothers main event.

Ross and Pettengill are handling commentary and are still in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Opening Contest:  Tekno Team 2000 (1-0) defeat Bob Cook & Howard Nalley when Troy pins Nalley after a top rope sunset flip at 4:19:

Nalley also wrestled on WWF television in an enhancement role under the name of “Butch Long” and was trained by Jimmy Del Ray, which is probably one of the reasons that he landed this gig.  Ross puts over the football backgrounds of both members of Tekno Team 2000, saying that then-Oklahoma football coach Howard Schnellenberger is optimistic about the careers of both men.  Using Schnellenberger to hype an Erik Watts team was nothing new as WCW did the same trick when Watts was getting a big push there in 1992.  Ross also puts over Cook’s “powerful right hand” to try to throw a bone to the mainstay NWA jobber.  The Teknos do some very basic wrestling and struggle a bit before Travis holds Nalley in place for Troy to do a sunset flip off the top rope for the win.  That is a different finisher than what they used on RAW but it is still far too complicated and underwhelming.

Jerry Lawler’s accepting Bret Hart’s challenge and dictating the match as a kiss my foot match at King of the Ring as well as Bret’s acceptance of those conditions, which originally aired on Superstars, is shown.

Jean-Pierre LaFitte (6-0) pins Brian Walsh after Le Cannonball in 54 seconds:

LaFitte wastes very little to defeat Walsh here as the squash is joined in progress and he hits a pump and handle slam and his finisher.  As Ross notes, LaFitte is not paid by the hour.

A replay of Bob Backlund’s recent campaign vignette where he gave his views on crime is shown.

Barry Didinski urges us to call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get a King of the Ring t-shirt for $18 (not including shipping and handling)! If you call and order now you can get the “Bob Backlund for president” button!  Ross and Pettengill immediately say they do not want that button, since they do not like heel Backlund, and Ross pokes fun at how the King of the Ring shirt has the information about when the pay-per-view airs, noting “Well, that’s new!”

Footage of Diesel in the hospital due to his recent elbow injury and Dr. James Andres putting over the American Sports Institute is played.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to get an update on Diesel’s condition!

Shawn Michaels (7-1) defeats Barry Horowitz after Sweet Chin Music at 2:55:

Ted DiBiase comes down the aisle to scout the match, allowing Horowitz to get in a few offensive moves against the former Intercontinental champion, and Michaels later slides out of the ring and takes $100 for DiBiase and puts it in his tights.  He later puts it into Horowitz’s mouth after he hits Sweet Chin Music, which is pretty disgusting.  The company also puts over Michaels flying elbow smash, with Ross saying that no one does it better, clearly a subtle jab at Randy Savage.

A Waylon Mercy vignette talks about how peaceful things are going to be when he gets to the WWF.

Men on a Mission (13-2) beat Aaron Ferguson & Luis Morales after Mabel pins Morales after a belly-to-belly suplex at 2:33:

This is Ferguson’s second attempt in two weeks to beat Men on a Mission as he lost to them on RAW when Gary Scott was his partner.  Mo gets more of a shine in this squash, with Ferguson selling his spinning heel kick like death and Morales acting like he is knocked onto dream street after a clothesline to the back of the head.  Mabel cleans up for the win, with Ross saying that he is the “Dennis Rodman of the WWF.”  Why that comparison is valid, especially because Mabel is not coloring his hair, we are never told.

Ross and Pettengill provide the King of the Ring Report.  Matches that are currently known for the pay-per-view are Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow against Sid & Tatanka and Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler in their “kiss my foot” match.  Three of the tournament matches are also set as Mabel faces the Undertaker, Kama faces Shawn Michaels, and Bob Holly faces the Roadie in the first round.  One of those matches seems very underwhelming when compared to the others.  Ross and Pettengill are a really good team for these reports because Pettengill provides the usual, enthusiastic hype and Ross provides some sports-like analysis for all of the matchups, lending it an aura of legitimacy.

Hakushi (w/Shinja) (16-1) pins Bill Payne after a standing moonsault at 3:10:

Hakushi shows off the severed Bret Hart head to the crowd, triggering a “We Want Bret” chant.  Ross and Pettengill discuss how the Bret-Hakushi feud is not over as Hakushi lost face in Japan for losing to Bret at In Your House and wants revenge.  Hakushi nearly takes Payne’s head off with a clothesline and moments later finishes with a quick dropkick/standing moonsault combination.

The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) (7-1-2) defeat Razor Ramon & Savio Vega when Jacob pins Ramon after a big boot at 9:50 shown:

Savio is sort of a cheap replacement for the 1-2-3 Kid, who is out with an injury, and this feud is gradually transitioning Ramon out of his feud with Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental title.  Savio also hurts the heat sequence of the match by constantly kicking out of the Blus offense at one instead of two, which does little to build drama, and he still suffers from showing very, very little besides punches and big kicks on offense.  This aside, the Blus do a good job wearing down Savio and cutting off his tag attempts, and when Ramon tries to do a Razor’s Edge, the illegal Blu twin kicks Ramon in the face and they switch places for the victory.  Since the Blus are the established tag team it makes sense that they would go over and Savio was not going to take the pin because he is a new face on the roster.  Rating:  **

The Last Word:  The tag match was perfectly acceptable wrestling at the end, although some of Savio’s deficiencies were really noticeable and weighed elements of the match down.  Ross and Pettengill are actually becoming a decent commentary team too, as Pettengill has toned down the jokes and the act that he was using at the beginning of the year.

On Wrestling Challenge there was also one additional match for Savio Vega:

*Savio Vega (1-0) defeated The Brooklyn Brawler

The WWF returned to the states for its touring schedule, focusing its attention on the Midwest with Wisconsin and Illinois.  Here is a sampling of those results (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – MECCA Arena – June 2, 1995 (1,750):  Techno Team 2000 defeated the Heavenly Bodies at 13:00…Man Mountain Rock pinned Tatanka at 13:00…Skip defeated Barry Horowitz at 12:00…Jean-Pierre LaFitte pinned Virgil at 7:00…Bam Bam Bigelow (substituting for WWF Champion Diesel) pinned Sid at 7:00…The Blu Brothers defeated the New Headshrinkers…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze pinned Bertha Faye at 5:30…Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon in a ladder match at 11:00…Bret Hart beat Hakushi with the Sharpshooter at 8:00.

Fort Wayne, Indiana – Allen County War Memorial – June 4, 1995 (2,000):  Techno Team 2000 defeated the Heavenly Bodies…Man Mountain Rock beat Tatanka…Skip defeated Barry Horowitz…Jean-Pierre LaFitte beat Virgil…Bam Bam Bigelow (substituting for WWF Champion Diesel) defeated Sid…The Blu Brothers beat the New Headshrinkers…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze defeated Bertha Faye…Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett beat Razor Ramon in a ladder match…Bret Hart defeated Hakushi.

And here were some news and notes about the company and the wrestling world for this week in WWF history (courtesy of the June 12 and 19 editions of The Wrestling Observer):

*NBC decided to cancel the planned one-hour television special that was going to show the two big matches from WrestleMania XI.  Reports say that Direction of Program Services of NBC was on vacation when the initial deal was made and did not approve of it, killing the deal when he returned.  The individual in question reportedly told Vince McMahon that professional wrestling “was an 80s fad” and that NBC wants to do more modern programming.

*The ratings for Monday Night RAW continue to climb as the Undertaker-Jeff Jarrett main event drew an all-time record 3.9 rating.  This was the same rating that Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow earned for the April 24 episode of RAW but there were more viewers despite the same number.  The company is hoping that these higher ratings will translate into increased pay-per-view buys and house show attendance in the future.  The company is happy that 11,000 tickets have already been sold for The King of the Ring.  However, the recent house shows in Indiana drew very poorly even with a lot of stars on the card.

*The British Bulldog will be off of television for a while because his aggravated assault trial begins in Calgary on June 12.

*The company made a $51,478 gate from In Your House in Syracuse from the 3,500 or so fans that paid full price to attend.

*The WWF is still in negotiations with Steve Williams, Dustin Rhodes, and Shane Douglas.  Meltzer notes that Douglas has been accepted to medical school so he may pursue that instead.  The idea of bringing in the three men would probably be to bolster the heel side of the roster.

*Jimmy Del Ray missed some house show dates last week due to some dental work but is now back on the road.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW from June 5, 1995!