December 24, 1994
From the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
We are shown a clip of the Lex Luger vs. IRS match from “Monday Night RAW” when the druid revealed himself as Tatanka. However, Luger lost by countout and was left lying at the end.
Lex Luger vs. Chris Avery
Avery offers a handshake then shoves Luger. However, Luger grabs Avery by the neck and shoves him down. Luger overpowers Avery then scares him by flexing. Avery cheap shots Luger in the corner then hammers away as the announcers talk about department store Santa’s. Avery ducks his head and Luger suplexes him then uses a powerslam before the Rebel Rack gets the win (1:50). Vince then hypes Luger being in the Royal Rumble match.
Thoughts: They gave Luger a win here and hyped him up as one of the favorites for the Rumble but far too many times in this Tatanka feud he has looked like a complete loser. Its amazing.
WWF Live Event News with Stephanie Wiand. She has replaced Minn on “Superstars.” She comes off as completely out of place and can barely even muster up enough energy to pretend she is excited about running down the Holiday Wish Tour card. And really, who can blame her. Even still, she is better than Minn. Another thing to note was during the promo by DiBiase & Tatanka to hype the match against Luger, the production values were nearly on par with an Independent show at the time. The cheap curtain in the background was just awful.
Tag Team Title Tournament First Round Match: Heavenly Bodies w/ Jim Cornette vs. The Bushwhackers
The Bushwhackers are attacked as soon as they enter the ring. Vince is yelling at the ref to take control of the match as Cornette smells one of the Bushwhackers hat then tosses it down because it smelled bad. The Bodies work the leg of Luke and run interference to keep control of the match. Luke inches to his partner and makes the tag but the ref was distracted so Butch has to go back on the apron. Vince calls out the poor officiating in this match then Prichard misses a few moves and Luke finally tags out. Butch runs wild and its the most exciting thing to happen in this match. The crowd gets into this a but as Butch tries to slam Prichard, Del Ray trips him up on the outside and Prichard falls on top for the win (3:38) 1/2*. After the match, The Bushwhackers chase Cornette backstage.
Thoughts: I’ve seen house show matches between these guys and a shorter match like this was for the best, even if it still sucked. Anyway, the Bodies are a better team and will advance to the second round.
Next week, the winner of Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart vs. The New Headshrinkers will face Tatanka & Bam Bam Bigelow in the second round.
Guest ring announcer is a teenager named Angel Santana.
Gary Scott vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Ted DiBiase
Vince talks about Bundy being in the Rumble match and one of the favorites to win. Bundy tosses Scott around as Vince talks about how hard it is to lift Bundy over the top rope and calls him a “walking condominium. Bundy then hits an avalanche and drops the knee for the win but did not get the five count he requested (1:32).
Thoughts: The story here was whether or not anyone would be able to lift Bundy over the top rope in the Royal Rumble match. And again, as reported a week or so prior in the newsletters, Bundy and Shawn Michaels were considered the favorites to win, with Bundy and Bret Hart as a possible title match at WrestleMania. I also recall in an interview where Waltman said that Bundy refused to put over Bret for some match and commented about how someone put Visine in Bundy’s drink that night as a retaliation. Regardless, thank god we did not get Bret vs. Bundy for the title.
Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettengill. New matches are Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title and Undertaker vs. IRS. And new entrants announced for the Royal Rumble match include: Mo, Mabel, British Bulldog, 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly, and Shawn Michaels. We now hear from Bret Hart, sporting a Calgary Hitmen hockey jersey and a beard that he says is for the TV show “Lonesome Dove.” Bret goes back to his King of the Ring match against Diesel and whether or not he would have kicked out of the Jackknife. Bret says he will deal with Owen Hart and is coming back on January 9th. Bret talks about how he will settle things the old fashion way with Diesel then wishes everyone a Merry Christmas except for Owen. The Bret interview was solid and much better than Diesel’s from last week where he attempted to be “cool” by telling some dumb jokes. The two singles matches announced were a given and after refusing to say whether or not he would be part of the match last week, Shawn will be in the Rumble match.
Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie vs. Scott Taylor
Jarrett runs outside and has The Roadie towel him off. Vince talks about Jarrett vs. Razor at the Royal Rumble as Jarrett trips up Taylor. Jarrett uses a suplex then an atomic drop before getting toweled off again. Taylor uppercuts Jarrett and fires away but heads up top and gets cut off. Jarrett then hits a superplex and after that puts on the figure four and gets the win (1:53).
Thoughts: They focused on The Roadie character here as Jarrett got the win in a fun squash match to keep him hot heading into the PPV.
We now get a sit-down interview with Vince and Diesel. They are sitting in front of a receptionist desk as Diesel has a video wall background in what I assume is at Titan Towers. Diesel wishes the fans a happy holidays and hopes Santa Claus can create blood flow to the brain of Bob Backlund. Vince asks Diesel about his match against Bret at King of the Ring and how Jim Neidhart’s interference prevented him from getting the cover. Diesel said no one has gotten up from the Jackknife but Bret never dies. Vince now asks Diesel what happens if Bret puts on the Sharpshooter. Diesel said it will be painful and he will suffer but does not see himself giving up. He then recalls Bret not giving up after being in the crossface chicken wing. Vince now asks how this match will differ than from King of the Ring. Diesel said there will be no interference and puts over Bret’s ability and tenacity but says he will put “pedal to the metal” and run over Bret. He then says the best man will win that night, the only way, and says when its all said and done, the black and gold will reign supreme. Diesel then stands up and raises his arm while we get piped-in Diesel chants. First off, the whole presentation of this interview was different than the normal empty arena or studio sit-down. And while Diesel came off better than he did last week the end with him standing up and the piped-in Diesel chants was incredibly forced and wiped away the authenticity of the interview itself, which seemed to be the point. You can even argue we didn’t need to see this side of Diesel, I know Bruce Prichard hated it as discussed on his WrestleMania XI podcast this week, but for me it beat the crappy jokes.
Hakushi w/ Shinja vs. Reno Riggins
Lots of camera cuts to shocked members of the crowd due to Hakushi’s tattoos and presentation. Hakushi takes Riggins down with a roundhouse kick. He then uses a scoop slam and a slingshot splash that gets two. Vince puts over Hakushi’s power and speed as Hakushi continues to hammer away. Hakushi floats over in the corner and does a back flip before drilling Riggins with a super kick. Hakushi takes Riggins outside and flies out with a pescado as Vince says that the Heartbreak Hotel has been preempted this week. Back to the match as Hakushi hits a flying shoulder tackle then after that heads up top and uses a flying headbutt for the win (2:32).
Thoughts: Another impressive performance by Hakushi, who got a standing ovation by some of the fans after the win. His look is awesome and he’s great in the ring and when you look at most of the acts the company is trotting out you can see why fans would cheer.
An ad hyping Pamela Anderson as host of the Royal Rumble. It featured several WWF Superstars. It was decent enough.
We get the debut vignette for Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine. A voiceover tells us that he is tougher than Tyson, more menacing than Steven Seagal, and faster than Van Damme as he is shown training Boxing/MMA style. Well, that was the idea. He was just throwing punches mostly. It was reported in the Newsletters than this was a WWF creation to piggyback off of UFC. However, Kama himself said in his shoot interview that he was dabbling in boxing and MMA training at the time and Kevin Nash even added in the “WWE 1995 Timeline” for Kayfabe Commentaries that Kama actually created the character due to his training and the fact he was a bouncer at a club in Vegas where a lot of UFC fighters hung out. So, it appears the character was more organic than WWF just ripping off something becoming popular.
Doink vs. Sonny Pruitt
Doink works the leg as Vince reminds us that Dink was Santa’s present to Doink last year. Lawler reads off gifts to some of the superstars in a lame segment as Pruitt fights back. Well, the joke about Kid needing a car seat as to no longer sit on Razor Ramon’s lap was funny. Doink regains control then puts Pruitt away with a flying sunset flip (1:49).
Thoughts: The match was just a backdrop for the announcers to make jokes about Christmas. The Doink character is strictly lower card after getting eliminated at Survivor Series.
We now see Doink grab a box and Dink hands out presents to some of the fans.
Another Live Event News segment about the Holiday Wish tour.
Shawn Michaels is now with the hosts. He is angry about the Heartbreak Hotel being preempted then says its all due to Diesel. Shawn then wants to talk about 1995 as we hear Diesel chants. Shawn only wants the greatest guests on his show and the first guest of 1995 will be The Undertaker. Shawn then tells Vince “bah humbug” before walking away.
Vince gives Lawler his gift. Lawler is elated and opens it up and sees its a Burger King crowd. Lawler then rips it up as Vince leads the crowd in a Burger King chant. Corny segment but Lawler sold it well.
We now see Diesel in the office leading the employees as they wish us a Merry Christmas. We even see the fired Charlie Minn there as I assume this was taped before his departure.
Final Thoughts: The Royal Rumble hype is the main focus. We are also seeing more characters debuting and the amount of time spent on Shawn and Diesel, which is easily the company’s most intriguing feud. And speaking of Shawn, while Diesel has been mired with questionable material to say the least, Shawn is getting to shine and comes off as a major star. Anyway, the Rumble is still a month away and the Tag Team Title Tournament will also continue exclusively on Superstars.