January 13, 1995
This is a fan-cam recording of the show, which was part of the “Holiday Wish Tour.” And it omits the Aldo Montoya vs. Steven Dunn match but more importantly it also does not contain the Diesel vs. Jeff Jarrett title match. I’ll get more into the title match in my final thoughts.
Henry Godwinn vs. Bob “Spark Plugg”Holly
Godwinn shoves Holly after a lockup then pushes him to the mat and ducks underneath the ropes to prevent Holly from attacking. Dumb spot as Godwinn went to duck underneath before Holly got up. Godwinn stalls some more and complains to the ref about a forearm smash but Holly takes him down and works the arm as we are off to such an electrifying start the crowd starts a “boring” chant. Holly dropkicks Godwinn after a hip toss that gets some cheers but we then see Godwinn bail and pace outside of the ring. Back inside, Holly once again works the arm. Godwinn decks Holly with a forearm smash and runs him over before dropping an elbow. Godwinn now chokes out Holly with his foot then runs Holly’s head into the turnbuckle. Godwinn amps up the action with a bearhug as the crowd has turned on this match. Godwinn drops another elbow for a two count then grabs a chin lock. The crowd remains restless as Godwinn keeps the hold on for a couple of minutes. Holly manages to finally escape but is dropped with a clothesline then gets tossed outside. Holly fights back from the ring apron then heads up top for a crossbody but Godwinn rolls through and gets the win….or so we thought as the bell rang but the ref signaled it was just a two count. Holly hammers away but Godwinn runs him over then hits a vertical suplex for two. Godwinn attacks Holly in the corner but eats boot on a charge then Holly comes back with a clothesline as both men are down. Holly gets up and fires away and hits a dropkick for a nearfall. Holly then heads back up top and gets a nearfall with a flying clothesline that some fans bought as the finish. Holly then misses an attack in the corner and Godwinn finishes him off with the Slop Drop (10:51) *1/4.
Thoughts: The first half of this match was terrible and to be honest, Godwinn did not seem to be moving around all that well but they did end up improving to prevent it from being a total disaster but the rough start and erroneous bell ring by the timekeeper disrupted the flow.
Heartbreak Hotel with Shawn Michaels is next. He does not have the set you see on TV but just a pair of chairs in the ring with a heart-shaped spotlight. Shawn promises to give us a special edition of the Heartbreak Hotel then proceeds to interview himself after listing off all his accolades. The gist of it was saying how he was going to win the Rumble match then become champion at WrestleMania. Shawn also called out Diesel and sat on his chair waiting before saying he will beat Diesel at WrestleMania XI for the belt. The dragged and was essentially a 60 second promo extended into a several minute segment.
No Holds Barred Match: Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart
These two brawl before the bell with Bret getting the upper hand. Bret then uses a Russian leg sweep and follows Owen outside to inflict more punishment. Bret slams Owen on the floor then the action heads back inside where Owen uses a low blow with his foot out of view from the referee. Owen hits an inverted atomic drop then chokes out Bret with his foot. Owen runs Bret’s face across the top rope and continues to rough him up before sending him through the ropes. Owen hits a clubbing forearm off of the ring apron and attacks Bret on the outside, screaming at him to give up. Owen then taunts the crowd and gets heat for that before rolling Bret back inside where he lands some mounted punches. Owen takes off a turnbuckle pad but Bret blocks the turnbukcle smash and hits one of his own then spikes Owen with a piledriver. Bret then turns over Owen for the Sharpshooter and gets the win (5:12) ***1/4. Bret keeps the hold on after the bell as several officials run in and eventually pry him off of his brother. The crowd cheers as Bret is announced as the winner then Bret once again puts on the Sharpshooter and the officials try to get him off but Bret finally releases the hold and paces around the ring while Owen is rolled outside to safety. Bret then celebrates on the middle rope as we get fireworks while his theme music plays. Bret slaps hands with the fans at ringside as he heads backstage.
Thoughts: Despite the match time, which some might feel as they are being ripped off since this was promoted as a co-main event match, it was all action at an intense, frantic pace. It felt like a real fight. If you gave this a few more minutes and had a production crew on hand to film this it would be a great hidden gem match for the company to use. The finish also plays off of the story being told on RAW of whether or not Bret has changed since returning. Bret has been showing an aggressive edge but given all that Owen has done to him it doesn’t come across as being an outright heel as they are toeing the line with Bret leading into his title match against Diesel on the Rumble PPV.
Cheesy & Queazy vs. Wink & Pink
There was a guest ring announcer for this match but we never got his name. On the Live Event News segments hyping the tour, this match was billed as being “for the kids.” What a treat. The bell rings after the ref gets bit in the ass then all four midgets run around the referee and that ends with Wink & Pink embarrassing their opponents. Pink and Queazy are in now and Queazy embarrasses the ref after delivering a cheap shot to Pink. We get more comedy spots involving the ref that are more dated than anything but seem to be getting a bit of a reaction from the crowd. The heels work over Wink for a bit but then have some miscommunication and almost come to blows. And now more comedy spots with the ref then Wink runs wild after tagging in and his punches look like shit then Pink tags in and rolls up Cheesy for the win (8:40)1/4* . Wink & Pink celebrate by jumping around the ring.
Thoughts: Just a bunch of dated comedy spots. And really, why did this even happen? These guys haven’t been seen since Survivor Series and the Lawler/Doink feud is over. However, the crowd did not completely turn on the match like they did with the opener so it was not a complete disaster. Personally, I thought it was terrible and Wink is one of the worst midget wrestlers I’ve ever seen when it comes to in-ring ability.
Timothy Well vs. Duke Droese
Well comes out to the instrumentals of “Right Now” by Van Halen and we still hear it played over Droese’s theme too. Well jaws at Droese and ends up getting shoved to the mat. Well yells at the crowd after Droese shoves him down for a second time but is then able to grab a side headlock. Well works the headlock for a bit as the crowd gets restless. Droese tosses Well then grabs a side headlock of his own and then after that hits a press slam. Well rolls outside for a breather then finally returns and gets clotheslined over the top rope. Dunn is out and distracts Droese and it finally works after a few times as Well connects with a kick in the corner. Dunn applies a chin lock then dumps Droese outside. He knees Droese off of the apron then slingshots him back into the ring. Well chokes out Droese with his foot for a bit. Droese surprises Well with a rollup for two but gets clotheslined then Well hits a flying back elbow smash but slaps hands with his partner rather than attempting a pin. Well then hits a DDT and continues to celebrate with Well but took too long as Droese ducks a clothesline and catches Well with a Trash Compactor for the win (11:33) *.
Thoughts: Way too long of a match for these guys. Why Droese needed a fluke to defeat one-half of a team slightly above guys like Reno Riggins & Barry Horowitz in the pecking order is beyond me, even if Droese has been really downplayed of late. Speaking of Droese, in his “Something to Wrestle” podcast about the 1995 Rumble, Bruce Prichard said that Droese was too nice of a guy for this business and would believe anything he was told. And the stuff with Well constantly celebrating with Dunn was far too contrived to work.
WWF Women’s Title Match: Bull Nakano (c) vs. Alundra Blayze
Nakano comes out to Kamala’s old theme music. Some kid dressed in a lacrosse uniform accompanies Blayze to the ring. Blayze takes Nakano down with a monkey flip but the second attempt gets blocked. Nakano tosses Blayze by the hair a few times then yells at the referee. Nakano switches it up to a mat slam then starts hammering away. Piledriver gets two as Blayze was able to get her foot on the ropes then Nakano stretches out Blayze on the mat as she now targets the leg. Nakano misses a charge in the corner but is able to block a sunset flip with a sit-down splash that got her a two count. Splash gets two but Blayze bridges out and hits a pair of clotheslines for a two count. Blayze now tries for a piledriver but Nakano counters with a back drop. Nakano then puts Blayze in the Angelito and after that tosses her outside. The crowd starts up a “USA” chant as Blayze heads back inside. Blayze gets two with a backslide then hits a missile dropkick but tries for another monkey flip and gets caught then flattened with a powerbomb as Nakano retains (8:22) **3/4.
Thoughts: Not their best but even still it was a good match. The finish looked sick. These two worked at a fast-pace and the champ used her power to remain champion. Then again, these two are basically the entire Women’s Division at this point but at least the chemistry is there, unlike with Sensational Sherri and Rockin’ Robin several years prior.
King Kong Bundy & Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Lex Luger & British Bulldog
Luger and Bulldog each get separate entrances. We get a brawl to start with Luger throwing some of the more pathetic punches I’ve seen on Bigelow. Bundy & Bigelow attack Luger and work him over in the corner. Bundy hits a knee drop for a two count then soon tags out as Bigelow stomps away. Luger runs into a clothesline after mounting a comeback as the heels stay in control of the match. Bulldog rallies the crowd behind Luger as the heels continue to work over Luger. Bundy does the fat man sprint to prevent Luger from tagging out then puts on a front face lock. Luger ends up making the tag but it was behind the ref’s back and Bulldog is ordered back on the apron. Bigelow is in now and puts Luger in a chin lock. Luger gets out and tries a slam but Bigelow falls on top. Luger now blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Luger is finally able to tag out as Bulldog runs wild. Bulldog powerslams Bigelow but Bundy breaks that up and cheap shots Bulldog in the process. Luger then tags back in and clotheslnes Bigelow over the top rope. Bundy knocks Luger over the top rope then all four men end up on the floor. Luger gets held up but the heels have some miscommunication and Bigelow ends up out on the mat and gets counted out as Luger & Bulldog have won the match (11:03) 3/4*. After the match, we see Bundy and Bigelow shove each other. Bigelow then challenges Bundy to get into the ring and the two have a staredown and engage in more shoving until DiBiase hands them both money. Bigelow & Bundy then makeup after receiving cash and leave.
Thoughts: The match was eight minutes of Luger getting beaten down all for a fluky miscommunication count-out finish. Besides Bulldog’s hot-tag the rest of the match was uninspired with the other three going through the motions. Its also evident how much the company views Bulldog as the bigger star of his team at this point. The tension between Bigelow and the rest of The Corporation continues as he almost came to blows with Bundy but at the end they all made up and took DiBiase’s money.
Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Tatanka was petrified as Undertaker had flames shoot out from the corners of the ring. We get a staredown as Undertaker dwarfs Tatanka then turns around and uses a clothesline to avoid a sneak attack. Undertaker lands an uppercut then we see Tatanka reverse an Irish whip and land a running chop in the corner but he falls down and rolls around in pain while clutching his ankle so Undertaker lands a few stomps and hits a leg drop for the win (1:49) 1/4*.
Thoughts: Tatanka legitimately hurt his ankle here but ended up wrestling the very next night. A tough match to rate given the circumstances but a longer match probably would not have been great given that Tatanka’s heel work has sucked.
Final Thoughts: There were two good matches here and the rest was nothing you ever need to see. The Holiday Wish Tour was not a success at the box office and once again this was another show highlighting the glaring lack of starpower in the company.
However, the bigger story here was the removal of Bob Backlund in the main event and being replaced by Jeff Jarrett. According to Wade Keller in the “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter,” the story given was that Shawn asked Backlund to step down and let Jarrett take his place so Jarrett could surprise Diesel in the manner that Diesel surprised Backlund back in November at MSG to win the title. A storyline having someone give up their rematch under those circumstances is idiotic but the real reason for the change was the awful Diesel vs. Backlund matches at the beginning of the tour. WWF management felt they were actually killing Diesel’s heat and went with Jarrett, who could bump for Diesel and not try to mat wrestle like Backlund wanted. They had to make a change somehow. Even Diesel talked about the struggle of wrestling Backlund and how he called the match, even telling a story of once having to do a sunset flip that Backlund called that resulted in Diesel going backstage afterwards and being (jokingly) told by Undertaker if he did that again, he’d “put the boots” to him in the middle of the match. And we would see Backlund significantly downplayed in the coming weeks.
So, the next fan-cam show I will recap is the 2/3/95 Montreal Forum show.