WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 22nd, 1995

 

January 22, 1995

From the Liberty High School in Liberty. NY

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Ted DiBiase

The show starts off with a recap of the Tag Team Tournament semifinals as we now have Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly for the titles at the Royal Rumble

 

1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly vs. Brooklyn Brawler & Barry Hardy

DiBiase laughs at Gorilla for thinking Kid & Holly could win the belts. Kid kips up after Brawler knocks him down. Brawler kicks Kid in the gut as the announcers talk about the Smoking Gunns and what they are thinking right now as the team that took their spot in the tournament are in the finals. Kid & Holly work over Brawler until the latter manages to tag out. DiBiase continues to talk up his team as Holly grounds Hardy. Kid tags in and hits a running leg drop and a suplex as Gorilla makes fun of Bigelow & Tatanka’s lack of intelligence. Kid & Hardy stay in control then use a missile dropkick/Northern Lights suplex combo that did not work out quite well to put Hardy away (3:27).

Thoughts: All hype for the Tag Team Tournament Finals with Kid & Holly heavily portrayed as the Cinderella story of the tournament against the favorites of Bigelow & Tatanka.

 

WWF Live Event News with Tamara Murphy. She hypes up the Royal Rumble and tells us to order the event on PPV. Owen Hart tells us that he will win the Rumble then says he will face the winner of the World Title match at WrestleMania then predicts that will be Diesel. Murphy once again talks up how the winner of the Rumble match will get a title shot at WrestleMania.

 

King Kong Bundy w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Dave Thornberg

Bundy clotheslines Thornberg before the bell then chokes him out with his foot. Gorilla talks up Bundy as being one of the Rumble favorites but brings up that Mabel weighs more. We now hear from Mabel & Oscar in an insert promo as Mabel says he will get doing a lot of “rapping” as he will rap Bundy upside his head if he gets in his way then says no one will stand in his way of a title shot at WrestleMania. Bundy then squashes Thornberg with an Avalanche for the win (1:46).

Thoughts: More teasing for a Bundy/Mabel confrontation at the Rumble. Bundy is still pushed as a favorite to win the match.

 

Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettengill airs.

 

The Man Mountain Rock vignette we saw on “Superstars” airs.

 

Duke “The Dumpster” Droese vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Sharpe is still here doing jobs in 1995. Well, this was taped over a month ago but he would return for two more appearances in May. Sharpe flexes to taunt Droese but ends up getting slammed. Gorilla tells us the ring is being reinforced for the Rumble match as Droese hits a suplex then uses a hip toss before applying a chin lock. The announcers talk about Backlund breaking DiBiase’s record for longest time spent in a Rumble match. Droese avoids a charge in the corner and uses a rollup for two. DiBiase says that Bundy will win the Rumble match as Droese hits a corkscrew elbow drop for the win (2:05).

Thoughts: This was mostly spent putting over Backlund’s previous Rumble experience to make him one of the favorites to win due to his endurance.

 

We get a vignette hyping Kama’s debut.

 

Owen Hart vs. Mike Khoury

DiBiase says that Kama looks impressive and hints he might be talking to him for a spot in The Corporation. DiBiase says that Owen’s chances to win the Rumble are slim to none because Bundy is winning. Owen slaps Khoury across the face then takes him down with a snapmare. The announcers talk about Bret Hart’s personality change of late as Khoury takes Owen down with a hip toss. Owen avoids a dropkick then hammers away before taunting the crowd. Owen hits a backbreaker as the crowd chants for Bret. Or at least that is what is piped in as the crowd is sitting on their hands. Owen stays in control until Khoury floats over in the corner and hammers away. Owen blocks a second float over and hits a running powerslam then follows with a missile dropkick before using the Sharpshooter for the win (3:18).

Thoughts: Owen looked good here but the focus was mostly on Bret and DiBiase touting his man, Bundy, as the winner of the Rumble match.

 

Jim Ross welcomes Undertaker & Paul Bearer to the ring. He asks them if they’re concerned about the amount of druids IRS will have with him at the Rumble and if they’re afraid of the unknown. Bearer said Undertaker walks among the unknown all the time then promises IRS that he will rest in peace after the Rumble. Undertaker now tells IRS that he now has his attention then mentions several other Superstars have suffered the consequences for doing so before saying at the Rumble will not only be the end of the Holiday Wish Tour but also the beginning of IRS’s “Dead Wish Tour.” Undertaker then tells IRS to rest in peace. These interviews are all the same at this point really, no matter Undertaker’s opponent, but its a testament of the character and his job portraying it that remains over despite feuds with bad opponents, like IRS. Undertaker vs. IRS has also been the least hyped match for the PPV and that is for good reason as the less mentioned about this feud, the better.

 

Heavenly Bodies w/ Jim Cornette vs. Bob Knight & Cory Student

Prichard taunts the crowd after grounding Student. The Bodies then hit Student with a double hook kick but Del Ray misses an elbow drop and Knight tags into the match. DiBiase claims that he will be at ringside during the Rumble match and has President Jack Tunney in the bag, prompting Gorilla to crack a joke about how he must also have Billy Red Lyons in the bag because they’re inseparable. The Bodies stay in control as we hear from Capt. Lou Albano with The New Headshrinkers & Afa talking about the Rumble match as the Bodies use a sit-out powerbomb/moonsault combo for the win (2:29).

Thoughts: They teased stuff between The Bodies and New Headshrinkers here but most of it was DiBiase saying he will be at ringside during the Rumble match, no matter what anyone says.

 

We get a commercial for TekWar with William Shatner walking down the aisle with Bret Hart from RAW as he mentions the show.

 

Lex Luger vs. Mike Bell

Gorilla thinks a darkhorse will win the Rumble like Aldo Montoya, Mantaur, or one of the “Blues Brothers.” Luger flexes his pecs after whipping Bell into the corner as DiBiase says Bundy will draw a tremendous number. Luger continues to overpower Bell as DiBiase says that Bret Hart is spending too much time concentrating on his brother and not enough about Diesel. Bell attacks Luger but gets caught with a powerslam then Luger uses the Rebel Rack for the win (2:22). DiBisae says that move will not help Lex “Loser” at the Rumble. Luger flexes to a fireworks display after the match.

Thoughts: To show you just how far down the pecking order Luger is at this point, they used his squash match win as the backdrop to discuss everything else going on in the promotion. They did let him pose and he had fireworks but nothing at all about him was mentioned as a favorite to win the Rumble.

 

Another Live Event News segment. This time we hear from Bundy as he talks about winning the Rumble match.

 

The announcers close out the show by hyping up the PPV. DiBiase promises a big day for his Corporation.

 

Final Thoughts: The only exclusive segment here was an interview for the coldest feud heading into the Rumble. Besides that it was your typical, dated episode of Challenge.