January 15, 1995
From the Liberty High School in Liberty, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Ted DiBiase
Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie vs. Walter Snow
Gorilla teases DiBiase about not having any members of The Corporation on the show as DiBiase says there is a good reason for that, because its a corporate decision as DiBiase is angry over Gorilla prying information. Jarrett hammers away as the announcers talk about the Jarrett/Bret Hart match coming up on RAW. Jarrett stays in control and even towels himself off. Jarrett connects with a dropkick then hits a superplex as the announcers talk about William Shatner being in Bret’s corner then Jarrett uses the figure-four and gets the win (1:42). After the match, Roadie rolls Snow out of the ring so Jarrett can celebrate.
Thoughts: They made it a point to have Jarrett on all the syndicated shows this weekend to sell the matches against Diesel, Bret, and of course IC Title match against Razor Ramon at the Rumble.
We get the same Live Event News segment we saw on Superstars with Stephanie Wiand about Jarrett replacing Bob Backlund as Diesel’s opponent on this weekend’s house shows.
The Man Mountain Rock debut vignette airs.
Mabel w/ Oscar vs. Mark Bellagio
The announcers talk about Jarrett vs. Diesel as Mabel clotheslines Bellagio over the top rope. DiBiase then yells about how Mabel will not be able to do that to King Kong Bundy. Mabel works the arm then hits an enziguiri but whiffs on a splash. Bellagio lands some crappy kicks and a corner splash but gets clotheslined then Mabel hits a crossbody from the middle rope for the win (2:27).
Thoughts: They hint at Mabel possibly eliminating Bundy from the Rumble here and despite being back as a team, Men on a Mission is mainly just Mabel as a singles act now.
We get the Pam Anderson answering machine Royal Rumble ad airs.
Mantaur vs. Buck Quartermaine
This is Mantaur’s Challenge debut. He has his giant boars head and yes, we don’t even hear his name announced. Mantaur avalanches Quartermaine before tossing him halfway across the ring. Gorilla puts over the size of Mantaur’s thighs as we hear Mantaur make animal noises. Mantaur beats down Quartermaine and hits a belly-to-belly suplex as DiBiase gloats over the Republicans being in charge of congress so he can pay even less taxes. Quartermaine avoids Mantaur but ends up getting caught in a front falling slam. Mantaur stays in control then hits a running clothesline before a splash gets the win (2:12). Gorilla says that Mantaur will be a force at the Rumble.
Thoughts: The Mantaur gimmick is death but the crowd at least reacted to hit a little unlike own his “Superstars” debut.
Diesel’s interview from this week’s edition of “Superstars” is shown.
Bob Backlund vs. Nick Tarentino
We hear from Owen Hart in an insert promo saying he will eliminate Backlund no problem if needed as Backlund takes down Tarentino and quickly puts him away with the crossface chicken wing (0:43). Backlund maintains the hold after the bell as a few referees try to pry him off as the fans chant for Diesel. We see Chris Kanyon and Mike Moraldo run out to help Backlund but Backlund slaps the hold on Maraldo as the Diesel chants continue. Backlund finally breaks the hold and leaves.
Thoughts: Backlund snapped again to show how he can still be a threat but it has much less effect nowadays than it did at the start of his heel run. Again, with him being pulled off the title matches on the last run of the Holiday Wish Tour and being replaced by Jarrett, its clear his stock is sinking.
A Kama vignette airs.
The Royal Rumble Report airs.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. Tim Dyer
Neidhart attacks Dyer before the bell and roughs him up for a bit. Gorilla tells us to order the Royal Rumble on PPV then the announcers talk about Bret’s change of attitude and even hype Bret vs. Owen in the No Holds Barred matches as part of the Holiday Wish tour. Neidhart yells at Dyer and hits a slam before the Camel’s Clutch gets the win (2:07).
Thoughts: This was Neidhart’s last match of this run as he was fired weeks before this match aired. He would return under a mask the following year, however, and hopefully I’ll get to that point at a quicker pace than I’m putting out these reviews. Well, not quick enough to see that but to get through this timeline.
The Hakushi hype video airs. After it ends, both announcers talked about how impressed they’ve been with him.
British Bulldog vs. Mark Starr
The announcers put over Bulldog as a Rumble match favorite. Bulldog works the arm as the announcers now talk about the Bulldog & Lex Luger team with Gorilla teasing DiBiase how his team lost. Bulldog hits a delayed vertical suplex then applies a chin lock. We now hear from Luger in an insert promo saying that despite being friends and partners with Bulldog that its still every man for himself at the Rumble. Starr lands a few shots in the corner but ends up getting put away with a powerslam (2:39).
Thoughts: Bulldog was once again talked up as a possible Rumble match winner here. They had Luger talk about the Rumble and at this point, Bulldog is presented as the bigger star of the two and getting better reactions from the crowd.
Another Live Event News segment airs.
Next week in action are 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly. King Kong Bundy, Owen Hart, Lex Luger, and the Heavenly Bodies. Plus, an interview with Paul Bearer & The Undertaker.
We get a music video recap to end the show.
Final Thoughts: At this point, Challenge is nothing but mediocre action and subpar commentary. We at least get an exclusive interview next week but this show stopped being informative a long time ago.