What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – July 16, 1995

Jim Ross narrates a video package of Barry Horowitz’s triumph over Skip on last week’s episode.

Ross and Stan Lane are the commentary team and they are still in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Opening Contest:  Bam Bam Bigelow (11-3) pins Jason Arhndt after a flying headbutt at 2:04:

Bigelow barely breaks a sweat in this squash, swallowing up Arndt with a few agile moves like the enziguri and coming off the top rope for a win.  Ross and Lane spend the match hyping Bigelow’s encounter with Henry Godwinn at In Your House 2.

Ross and Lane discuss the importance of lumberjacks for the WWF title match at In Your House 2.  Diesel will reveal who his lumberjacks are this week on RAW.

Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) (19-0-1) beats Chuck Williams after a body shot at 2:27:

As noted before, Williams was the Rockin’ Robel of early Eastern Championship Wrestling fame.  Williams does some token work on the arm but Kama shrugs it off and methodically pounds away to remain undefeated.

After the match Kama yells more at the Creatures of the Night, who are camped out along the aisle.  He shreds another black wreath and shows them how he has melted the urn into a gold chain.

A recap of Sid unveiling his lumberjacks on RAW is shown.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear what superstars might be making their way to the WWF and who might want to become the President of the WWF!  It will cost you $1.49 per minute.

The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) (10-1-2) defeat Nick Barberi & Bill Weaver after Eli pins Weaver after a knee drop at 2:31:

Ross and Lane hype the WWF tag team division as best they can but their claims are hardly believable when the division only sports about five full-time teams.  The Blus use their size advantage to punish their opponents with some big power moves and they cruise to an easy win to build them up for a bout with the 1-2-3 Kid and Savio Vega on Superstars next week.

A replay of the Isaac Yankem vignette where he gets mad that a patient is a fan of Bret Hart is shown.

Since feature matches are now something of the past for The Action Zone we are treated to a replay of the Hunter-Hearst Helmsley-Duke Droese match that aired on Superstars the day before.  Lane notes that this Helmsley character will soon go to the top of the WWF.

Ross and Lane provide the In Your House 2 Report.

Another airing of the “With My Baby Tonight” music video takes place as the company maximizes its presence to justify what they spent producing it.

Barry Didinski tells the fans that Shawn Michaels might break Jeff Jarrett’s heart at In Your House and he uses that as a way to lead into his hyping of a Shawn Michaels t-shirt.  Call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get yours, and a pair of Heartbreak Kid sunglasses, for $21 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

Highlights of the Allied Powers-Tatanka & Henry Godwinn tag team match on RAW are shown.

WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna, along with Jim Cornette, say that they will humiliate the Allied Powers at In Your House 2.

Fatu is going to head back to the WWF to make a difference and he visits the projects in Sunnydale, California to prove it!  Also, there is no hope with dope!

Jean-Pierre LaFitte (11-0-1) beats Kenny Kendall with a flying leg drop at 2:20:

Barry Horowitz calls into the show during the match, saying that his hometown has rallied around him after winning against Skip and that fans are greeting him with flowers at the airport.  Even Jay Leno and David Letterman want to put him on their shows!  Horowitz also says that he would not mind facing Skip a second time.  LaFitte demolishes Kendall sans his usual Cannonball finisher as Ross says that he wants to see LaFitte face Bret Hart at a later date.

Ross and Lane hype the RAW main event for tomorrow night that pits Shawn Michaels against Irwin R. Schyster.

The Last Word:  The squashes were quick and effective on this week’s show but the lack of a feature match discourages anyone from tuning into The Action Zone regularly, especially when it plays significant parts of matches one may have already seen on RAW and Superstars.  The Jim Ross-Stan Lane commentary team was good, though, and the company should have made that pairing permanent on more broadcasts.

There was a bout on Wrestling Challenge that was somewhat notable and deserves a recap, which can be provided thanks to the WWE preserving this on their YouTube channel:

Phantasio pins Tony DeVito after a schoolboy at 1:37:

Phantasio was Harry Del Rios, who had the gimmick of the Spellbinder in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA).  He had a good look and sported a magic gimmick, carrying a magician’s wand to the ring and then spraying silly string at DeVito when he ran the ropes.  Phantasio runs through some very basic offense before giving DeVito an atomic drop and “pulling off” his underwear, cradling the stunned DeVito for a win.  After the bout, Phantasio then does the same to referee Earl Hebner, whose underwear is hilariously of the zebra colored variety.  This was Phantasio’s only appearance in the company, a debut that earned a Wrestlecrap induction, but the character fit the weird, cartoonish style that Vince McMahon was still clinging too during this time.

The company did a few fundraiser shows in between visits to Houston, Texas and Tampa, Florida for the house show circuit.  Here are the results of those shows (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):

Sayerville, New York – High School Gym – July 14, 1995 (Fundraiser):  Skip defeated Nick Barberri…Jean-Pierre LaFitte beat Aldo Montoya…Adam Bomb defeated Hakushi…Savio Vega beat King Mabel by disqualification…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley pinned Doink…Bam Bam Bigelow defeated King Kong Bundy.

Bronx, New York – Mount St. Michael Academy – July 15, 1995 (Fundraiser):  Skip defeated Nick Barberri…Jean-Pierre LaFitte beat Aldo Montoya…Adam Bomb beat Hakushi…Savio Vega defeated King Mabel via disqualification…Hunter-Hearst Helmsley defeated Doink…Bam Bam Bigelow beat King Kong Bundy…Bam Bam Bigelow & Adam Bomb (substituting for Razor Ramon & Savio Vega) defeated Men on a Mission.

Houston, Texas – The Summit – July 15, 1995 (4,000):  Tony Norris beat Rico Suave…Fatu pinned Rad Radford…The Roadie pinned the 1-2-3 Kid after a neckbreaker…Shawn Michaels defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via disqualification when the Roadie interfered after Jarrett was caught with Sweet Chin Music.  After the bell, Jarrett and the Roadie beat up Michaels until they were threatened with a $5,000 fine…WWF Champion Diesel defeated Sid…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze pinned Bertha Faye…WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna beat the Allied Powers when Owen pinned the Bulldog after Yokozuna leg dropped the Bulldog behind the referee’s back when the Bulldog had Owen covered…The Undertaker beat Kama in a casket match.

Tampa, Florida – The Sun Dome – July 16, 1995 (5,200; 3,500 paid):  The Roadie pinned the 1-2-3 Kid with a neckbreaker…WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze pinned Bertha Faye after a Frankensteiner…Shawn Michaels defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out.  After the match, Jarrett and the Roadie double teamed Michaels…WWF Champion Diesel pinned Sid in a steel cage match after a big boot…Fatu defeated Tatanka (substituting for Rad Radford) after a sunset flip.  During the match, Fatu was cut open after hitting the guardrail and then tasted his own blood to make his comeback…WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Allied Powers after Owen pinned the Bulldog after Yokozuna leg dropped the Bulldog behind the referee’s back…The Undertaker defeated Kama in a casket match following the Tombstone piledriver.

And here were some news items for the company (courtesy of The Wrestling Observer from July 24):

*The WWF’s process of cost cutting has continued with the firing of its head of marketing and public relations.  This has made lower midcard talent in the company concerned for their jobs.  The poor morale is translating into poor house show performances as wrestlers are doing the bare minimum.

*Jeff Jarrett is set to get another music video, with the company planning another taping in Denver in early August and they reportedly want to “introduce a line dance called the Double J strut.”

*Early reports indicate that King of the Ring will receive the worst buy rate in company history, with only about 150,000 fans buying the show.  As a comparison, the recent UFC 6 pay-per-view, headlined by Ken Shamrock versus Dan Severn, pulled in 240,000 buys.  However, the company did net a decent gate from the show, with Meltzer reporting it as the second largest wrestling gate of the year in North America, trailing WrestleMania XI.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for July 17, 1995!