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

Waylon Mercy’s vignettes are spliced together to hype his Action Zone debut.

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are taped from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Opening Contest:  Waylon Mercy (2-0) defeats Scott Taylor with a sleeper hold at 1:44:

Mercy plays babyface on the way to the ring, shaking the fans hands and conversing with them.  He then shakes hands with the referee and Taylor before kicking Taylor after asking for a second handshake.  This squash does not have much in it, with Mercy kicking Taylor out of the ring several times before locking in the sleeper.

Ross and Pettengill provide the In Your House 2 Report.  Ted DiBiase says that Sid is not a coward and they will reveal all of their lumberjacks on RAW, while Diesel does some bad Sid impressions and quotes the Beatles to say that money cannot buy love or good lumberjacks.

The 1-2-3 Kid (6-1) pins The Black Phantom after a spinning heel kick at 2:18:

Ross announces that the Kid’s friends Razor Ramon and Savio Vega will face Men on a Mission at In Your House.  The Kid struggles against the Phantom, who he is facing for the second time this year, and the Phantom focuses some of his offense on the Kid’s recently injured neck.  However, the Kid’s kicks eventually help him triumph in yet another squash match on television.

Barry Didinski urges fans to buy a 1-2-3 Kid t-shirt by calling 1-800-TITAN-91.  It will cost you $16 (plus shipping & handling)!

Ross and Pettengill continue to run down the card for In Your House 2.  Shawn Michaels promises to dance to the tune of Jarrett’s new song and will walk out with his “baby”, which is the Intercontinental title.  Pettengill does a Casey Kasem impression before we get another showing of the “With My Baby Tonight” music video.

A quick recap is provided of the Henry Godwinn-Adam Bomb match on Superstars last week, which resulted in Godwinn slopping Bomb, and Ross and Pettengill speculate on whether Godwinn has joined the Million Dollar Corporation.

Savio Vega (8-1) beats Lloyd Lanui with a side roll at 2:36:

Pettengill calls attention to Lanui’s Samoan heritage by speculating about whether he is a member of the Headshrinkers.  Savio shrugs off some knife edge chops and does a small salsa dance before wrapping up Lanui with a side roll and pinning him.  Savio hit a nasty big boot and applied an octopus hold earlier in the match and both of those would have been much better finishes.

A replay of the recent Jerry Lawler-Isaac Yankem vignette from RAW is aired.  The WWF probably fielded some complaints from the American Dental Association about the Yankem character as Ross has to tell the audience that not all dentist are like Yankem and kids should not be afraid to go there.

Ross and Pettengill continue to break down the In Your House 2 card and announce that Bam Bam Bigelow will face Henry Godwinn at the show.

Dok Hendrix interviews Men on a Mission, with King Mabel joking about Razor Ramon’s bad ribs and how Men on a Mission will be in the face of Ramon and Savio at In Your House 2.

Barry Horowitz (0-12) pins Skip (w/Sunny) (5-0) with an inside cradle at 2:29:

Skip continually taunts Horowitz throughout the bout, telling the camera that Horowitz has not won a match in his life, and seems like he is on the road to another easy win.  However, after a dropkick Skip decides to do some push-ups, which allows Horowitz to cradle Skip and get the upset to the delight of the crowd.  And of course, Ross puts his own stamp on the moment by screaming “HOROWITZ WINS!  HOROWITZ WINS!”  This was one of the big highlights of 1995 but it also killed Skip’s singles push right out of the gate.

Bob Backlund repeats some of the reasons that he hates Man Mountain Rock.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out who is applying to become the next president of the World Wrestling Federation.  Also, find out what new superstars are headed to the WWF!

Man Mountain Rock (13-0) defeats Bill Mack via submission to the Whammy Bar at 1:37:

A search for Mack does not reveal much information about him but he is just another victim for Rock, who runs through his usual offense and wins via submission.

Ross narrates a video package of the WWF’s participation in the Summer Olympics.

Footage is shown of Henry Godwinn costing Bam Bam Bigelow his match against Sid on RAW this past Monday.

The Last Word:  As The Wrestling Observer noted last week, The Action Zone is becoming more of a recap show for the events on RAW and Superstars so its feature matches are disappearing and its squash matches are limited.  Still, Barry Horowitz defeating Skip was one of the lone highlights of a long, dreary summer for the company and is arguably the biggest moment in the history of this short-lived show.

There were no new matches shown on Wrestling Challenge but here were some of the results of some of the house shows that the company did during this week in wrestling history (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Indianapolis, Indiana – Market Square Arena – July 7, 1995 (3,600):  Fatu defeated Rad Radford…The 1-2-3 Kid defeated the Brooklyn Brawler…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze beat Bertha Faye…WWF World Champion Diesel defeated Sid in a steel cage match…WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Allied Powers…Shawn Michaels defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out…The Undertaker defeated Kama in a casket match.

White Plains, New York – Westchester County Civic Center – July 8, 1995 (1,800; Fundraiser Show):  Skip beat Bob Holly (This report makes me wonder if Skip did indeed wrestle the Undertaker in the main event of the Chicago show)…Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Aldo Montoya…Adam Bomb beat Hakushi…Savio Vega beat King Mabel via disqualification…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley beat Doink…Bam Bam Bigelow defeated King Kong Bundy.

And here was some news concerning the WWF in early July (courtesy of The Wrestling Observer from July 17):

*The reason for Jack Tunney “resignation” as WWF president is due to the fact that he and associate Billy “Red” Lyons are no longer affiliated with the WWF in promoting shows in Toronto.  The WWF has been releasing other executives throughout the week due to growing “legal bills and real estate costs.”  The company is not giving up on Canada as a market, though, and is opening a new Canadian office headed by Carl DeMarco, who used to be Bret Hart’s business agent.  The firing of Tunney marks the end of an era as he was instrumental in running the WWF’s operations around the Toronto area since 1984.

*There are rumors that Tunney’s replacement could be Shane Douglas in a heel commissioner role, although Meltzer hopes that they give it to Bob Backlund.

*Jim Cornette gauged the WWF’s interest in the Gangstas since they are wrapping up their work in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, but the WWF did not want to bring them in.

*The WWF will be discontinuing Wrestling Challenge in the fall because the show was facing cancellation in Los Angeles and New York.  The Action Zone will also soon undergo a format change, although the details of that are not yet clear.

*Henry Godwinn is replacing King Kong Bundy on next week’s RAW and at In Your House 2 because Bundy has walking pneumonia.  Bundy was originally slotted to be doing everything that Godwinn is programmed to do with Bam Bam Bigelow.  It seems like the company is phasing Bundy out but he drew some respectable houses recently with Bigelow in New Jersey.

*Mabel is likely going to replace Sid as Diesel’s big challenger after In Your House 2.

*The WWF is probably not happy with recent television ratings as the July 3 edition of Monday Night RAW pulled a 2.7 rating, snapping a four-month streak of ratings being over 3.0.

*The company appears to have soured on Hakushi as he has become an afterthought in Bret’s feud with Jerry Lawler and Hakushi is even doing jobs for Adam Bomb on house shows.

*SummerSlam tickets are selling fast with 8,000 already sold in Pittsburgh despite the fact that the only released match is the Undertaker facing Kama.

*Injuries are taking a toll on some of the roster as Tom Prichard is out with a knee injury and the Roadie is recovering from a recent auto accident.  It does seem like the Roadie is bound for a big babyface push after In Your House 2.

*Dustin Rhodes might be debuting with “a gunslinger type gimmick.”

*Vince Russo is going to release a newsletter under the WWF banner soon (Note:  This later became known as Vic Venom’s “The Bite” and was a short-lived project).

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