What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – June 11, 1995

Jim Ross narrates a video package that puts over Adam Bomb and Jean-Pierre LaFitte, announcing that both men will face each other on today’s show.

Ross and Stan Lane are doing commentary and they are kicking off a new set of tapings in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  The tapings were done on June 7 and according to historyofwwe.com they drew 2,000 fans.

Opening Contest:  Bam Bam Bigelow (8-2) pins Reginald Walker after a flying headbutt at 2:34:

Walker is Reggie B. Fine of USWA fame who once held the promotion’s Unified World title and tag team titles with Brickhouse Brown.  Bigelow is sporting a new color scheme for his tights, ditching the blue, red, and yellow flame look for his old yellow and red flame look.  Walker gets in a long heat segment on Bigelow in relation to the match’s timing and his size relative to Bigelow makes his offense, regardless of how basic, believable.  However, Bigelow rallies after a Walker blind charge and wins because of his head.

WWF Champion Diesel’s best Lyndon B. Johnson impersonation of showing off the scars of his latest surgery is shown from WWF Superstars.

The Waylon Mercy rock and water vignette from Superstars is played.

Non-Title Match:  Jeff Jarrett (Intercontinental Champion) (11-6-1) defeats Kenny Kendall via submission to the figure-four leg lock at 2:25:

The Roadie is not with Jarrett his week as Ross informs us that Jarrett has given his manager some time off to prepare for the King of the Ring Tournament.  However, Lane questions whether giving the Roadie time off is all that altruistic of Jarrett, noting that it is possible that Jarrett could be jealous.  Jarrett wrestles at a quick pace and drops a few token elbows onto Kendall’s leg before winning to end a two-match losing streak.

Barry Didinski keeps trying to sell us some “mat caps”, which he notes can be played on top of a garbage can becaue Duke Droese is playing pogs with the Mat Capper.  Call $25 to get sixty-six pogs, a five-inch mat, a gold slammer, and a t-shirt (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

The WWF blimp is shown flying above the Jersey shoreline.

Stephanie Wiand recaps the inductees that have been announced for the WWF Hall of Fame.

Shawn Michaels cuts an in-ring promo and puts over his match with Kama in the first round of the Kong of the Ring Tournament.  He warns Sid that he is also coming for him and says that he is a giant killer.

Footage is shown of Rad Radford and Shawn Michaels getting into a small altercation in the aisle during the commercial break.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear about some of the new stars that are negotiating with the WWF!

Rad Radford (4-0) pins Jerry Flynn after a Northern Lights suplex at 3:10:

Radford does a lot of aerial moves in this bout, doing a flying Thesz press off the apron onto Flynn and then doing a suicide dive.  Logic would dictate that Radford should be feuding with Man Mountain Rock over which style of music is better, although it seems like Bob Backlund is getting that matchup for himself.  Radford is technically proficient, but as noted earlier his character lacks development and the fans are not connecting with it.

After the match, Radford accuses Michaels of developing a big head and challenges him to a match on next week’s show.

Jerry Lawler showcases his “training habits” for the “kiss my foot” match at The King of the Ring.  He is shown walking bare foot in his horse’s stable.  Bret rebuts by repeating his argument that Lawler embarrassed him at In Your House.  Lawler is carrying this entire feud because Bret’s promos have been very one dimensional.

Bob Backlund’s comments against rock n’ roll music that aired on Superstars are replayed.

Man Mountain Rock (9-0) defeats The Brooklyn Brawler via submission to the Whammy Bar at 2:39:

Rock is one of the many undefeated competitors near the midway point of 1995 although he has yet to defeat anyone of note on television.  In fact, this is the second time that he has faced the Brawler on The Action Zone this year.  The proposed feud with Backlund has promise, though, and Backlund comes out to watch the match as it unfolds.  Rock gets very little reaction as he beats on the Brawler’s arm and finishes via submission.

Adam Bomb is shown preparing for today’s feature match in the locker room.

Ross and Lane provide the King of the Ring Report.  Both men also go over the old Lex Luger-Yokozuna feud to hype their bout for the final King of the Ring Tournament spot tomorrow night on RAW.  We are also informed that Yokozuna now weighs 640 pounds, no doubt satisfying the curiosity of Art Donovan.

Adam Bomb (13-3-1) wrestles Jean-Pierre LaFitte (8-0) to a double count out at 7:11 shown:

This is a very interesting match because both men need a win.  LaFitte needs it to keep moving up the midcard, while Bomb needs to regain some momentum after failing to qualify for the King of the Ring Tournament.  Both men put in a lot of work, with LaFitte doing his best to get over by taking a bump off the top rope to the arena floor early on and then hitting Bomb with a flying clothesline on the floor later.  In a weird spot, Bomb hits his Neutron Bomb finisher from the apron less than two minutes in but LaFitte just shrugs it off, making one wonder why Bomb is even trying to get that over as a finisher if it fails to do anything in feature matches.  Sadly, the outcome of this fun match is inconclusive as both men take turns whipping each other into the ring steps and cannot beat the referee’s count to get back into the ring.  Rating:  ***

After the bell, LaFitte attacks Bomb as Bomb argues with the referee and tosses him out of the ring.  However, when LaFitte leaves the ring and tries to charge Bomb, who has pursued his opponent, Bomb backdrops him on the concrete, which draws a nice pop.

Shawn Michaels, who is getting ready to leave the building, tells Ross that he is happy to accept Rad Radford’s challenge, insulting Radford’s name by saying that he is glad his parents did not name him “Mike Michaels.”

The Last Word:  The Bomb-LaFitte match was a fun feature match and it should have done more for both guys, especially Bomb who has been underutilized for much of the year.  LaFitte is also doing what he can to get over, with his high-flying offense standing out from many of the heels that are built like him but wrestling more of a mat-based style.  Rad Radford’s chances of beating Shawn Michaels do not look good next week, though, but reactions to him and the half-hearted nature of his push makes him expendable.

There was one additional match on Wrestling Challenge:

*Skip (2-0) pinned Doug Smith

After spending the early part of the week doing television tapings, the company held its much anticipated house show swing through the New York area on the weekend.  Here are the results of those shows (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Long Island, New York – Nassau Coliseum – June 9, 1995 (6,500):  Jean-Pierre LaFitte pinned Aldo Montoya after Le Cannonball at 8:47…The Smoking Gunns fought the Blu Brothers to a double count out at 8:28.  After the match, the Gunns cleared the ring with a pair of double dropkicks…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pinned Doink…Shawn Michaels won a twenty-man battle royal, last eliminating King Kong Bundy at 12:47.  Other participants in the match included Duke Droese, Men on a Mission, Aldo Montoya, Hunter-Hearst Helmsley, Jean-Pierre LaFitte, Man Mountain Rock, Adam Bomb, the Smoking Gunns, the Blu Brothers, Tatanka, Henry Godwinn, Bob Backlund, Doink, and Yokozuna.  The order of elimination was:  Yokozuna by several men after several running axehandles from Michaels (1:46); Billy Gunn and a Blu twin by Mo (2:05); the other Blu twin by Bart via a backdrop (2:08); Bart by Mabel (2:10); Bomb by Tatanka and Bundy (2:22); Mabel by Michaels after a running axehandle (2:45); Montoya by Mo (3:06); LaFitte by Rock (5:05); Doink by Tatanka (6:10); Helmsley by Michaels (6:36); Backlund by Mo (6:44); Rock by Bundy (7:09); Mo by Michaels (7:40); Droese by Tatanka (6:44); Hart by Michaels via a clothesline (11:09); Tatanka eliminated himself trying to clothesline Michaels, with Michaels hanging onto the ropes (12:40); Bundy by Michaels via a dropkick from behind when Bundy thought he won the match…Skip pinned Duke Droese at 9:35 by reversing the Trash Compactor into a rollup…Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon in a ladder match at 12:45 after shoving Ramon off the top of the ladder (Ramon suffered a rib injury in this bout that would knock him out of the King of the Ring Tournament)…Adam Bomb & Man Mountain Rock defeated Tatanka & King Kong Bundy at 12:54 when Bomb pinned Bundy following a Neutron Bomb…Bam Bam Bigelow (substituting for WWF Champion Diesel) pinned Sid with a rollup at 9:05 as Sid was distracted by Shawn Michaels on the ring apron.  After the match, Bigelow and Michaels posed together in the ring.

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – June 10, 1995 (8,340):  There was an in-ring promo by Savio Vega directed against Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie.  The promo was done in Spanish.  And there was also a promo from Ted DiBiase where he challenged Diesel and Shawn Michaels to face Sid and Tatanka at Madison Square Garden on August 12…Skip pinned Aldo Montoya after a super hurricanrana…Men on a Mission defeated the Smoking Gunns when Mabel pinned Bart with a belly-to-belly suplex…Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Doink after Le Cannonball…Adam Bomb beat Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out.  Savio Vega prevented Jarrett from walking out of the match and getting counted out earlier…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pinned Duke Droese after the Pedigree in about seven minutes…Shawn Michaels (substituting for WWF Champion Diesel) defeated Sid in a steel cage match by escaping.  After Michaels escaped he was attacked by Tatanka and Tatanka and Sid double teamed Michaels in the cage after Ted DiBiase locked the door.  Sid powerbombed Michaels before Aldo Montoya, Savio Vega, and Billy Gunn ran out to try to get the door unlocked and Bam Bam Bigelow scaled the cage and helped clear the ring…Man Mountain Rock pinned Bob Backlund after about eight minutes with a rollup as Backlund argued with ringside fans.  After the match, Backlund put Rock in the crossface chicken wing…Savio Vega pinned Owen Hart with a rollup after throwing Hart into the corner.  After the match Savio fought off an intervening Yokozuna (This was supposed to be Savio & Razor Ramon against Owen & Yokozuna for the tag team titles but this was thwarted by Ramon’s injury the previous night against Jarrett.  Prior to the match, Owen and Yokozuna flipped a coin to see who would face Savio)…Tatanka pinned Bam Bam Bigelow after the referee was knocked down and Ted DiBiase shoved Bigelow off the top rope when Bigelow went for the moonsault.

East Rutherford, New Jersey – The Meadowlands – June 11, 1995 (6,000):  Jean-Pierre LaFitte pinned Duke Droese with Le Cannonball…Adam Bomb pinned Henry Godwinn with a small package…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze defeated Bertha Faye with a German suplex…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley beat Aldo Montoya with the Pedigree…WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna beat the Smoking Gunns in a best-of-three falls match.  Yokozuna scored the first pin with a leg drop, the Gunns won the second fall with a backbreaker/knee drop combination to Owen, and Yokozuna won the third fall with a suplex…Skip pinned Doink with a small package…Savio Vega beat Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out even though Jarrett re-entered the ring first…Shawn Michaels (substituting for WWF Champion Diesel) & Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Tatanka & Kama after Bigelow hit a flying headbutt…The Undertaker defeated Sid via disqualification when Kama and Tatanka interfered.

There were tons of news items in the wrestling world and concerning the company’s future, as reported by the June 12 and 19 editions of The Wrestling Observer:

*After a meeting between Eric Bischoff and Ted Turner on June 5, WCW will be adding a new television show on Monday night to challenge Monday Night RAW, although they will not go head-to-head on the West Coast because TNT does not have a separate West Coast feed like USA Network.  Rumors are that the new shot could be called “Head-to-Head” and is expected to begin airing episodes on August 7.  Meltzer expressed some fears of what competition of this sort could do to each company’s pay-per-view numbers if they overexpose top talents since that is a big source of revenue for both sides.

*Razor Ramon suffered bruised ribs against Jeff Jarrett at the Nassau Coliseum in a ladder match.  This could keep him out of the King of the Ring Tournament.  (Note:  This is probably why it was not a good idea to have Ramon and Jarrett wrestle in a high-risk type of match on house shows over the past several weeks).

*Chris Benoit received a tryout match from the WWF on the June 5 Monday Night RAW tapings.  Benoit wrestled Bob Holly, with Holly going over.  The WWF reportedly invited Benoit to the show but Benoit may not sign because of his working relationship with New Japan.  The dark match took place when viewers at home saw the Owen Hart-British Bulldog King of the Ring qualifier.  Holly reportedly blew the finish on a couple occasions so the match was messy.  Meltzer reports that Benoit is obligated to New Japan through August and that ECW, who Benoit is also wrestling for, was not aware he was even attending a WWF tryout.  Benoit also wrestled a dark match against Owen Hart at the June 7 Action Zone/Wrestling Challenge tapings and it was a ****+ affair.

*Tekno Team 2000 had to retape a squash match for RAW because they blew so many spots in the first one.

*The British Bulldog’s aggravated assault trial in Calgary was moved to January 29, 1996 at the request of the prosecution.  On face, the case appears ridiculous as prosecutors are going to argue that the Bulldog used a piledriver on Kody Light.  The postponement could mess with some of the company’s booking of the Bulldog and the Allied Powers and it already has caused some problems with there being a delay in the Allied Powers-Owen Hart & Yokozuna feud and Bulldog not being booked for The King of the Ring pay-per-view.

*The real reason for the Roadie missing some of the recent television tapings is because he has a staph infection in his knee.  Also, Tatanka has a knee injury that he is nursing and Owen Hart suffered a concussion on June 11.  This creates problems for The King of the Ring, although the Roadie and Tatanka are still expected to work the pay-per-view.  Owen is not currently booked for that show.

*The 1-2-3 Kid is expected to return from what could have been a career-ending neck injury sometime next month.

*While it was universally expected that Shawn Michaels might win The King of the Ring there are new rumors circulating that Mabel or the Roadie could win the tournament.  Meltzer dismisses this idea by saying that the company needs to book so they can make money and not fool people.

*Waylon Mercy wrestled a dark match against Troy (Erik Watts) at the Action Zone/Wrestling Challenge tapings and it was panned as terrible.

*Bret Hart seems to be trying to help Hakushi get over more by campaigning for the company to bring in Ichimasa Wakamatsu, a Japanese manger that worked in his father’s Stampede Wrestling promotion and for New Japan in the 1980s, as Hakushi’s new manager.

*The Bob Backlund-Man Mountain Rock match at Madison Square Garden was said to be terrible, with Meltzer describing it “as one of the worst matches in the history of Western Civilization” since they “wrestled” for nearly ten minutes without locking up.

*In a budget cutting measure Ted DiBiase will be the only manager to travel to house shows beginning in July.  Other managers will only be used if the card is within driving distance of their main place of residence.

*Fatu is preparing for a singles push and the New Headshrinkers may finally be done as a team.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW from June 12, 1995!