January 22, 1995
Todd Pettengill is our host.
The live portion of this show was in fact taped on location at the Sun Dome in Tampa, FL where the Royal Rumble PPV was being held.
Todd Pettengill is in the arena as they are setting up for the show.
Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly
This match took place at the 12/13 “Wrestling Challenge” tapings. Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary. Holly trips up Tatanka then takes him over with a hip toss. Holly lands a dropkick as Tatanka goes to the corner. Tatanka then catches Holly and hits a backbreaker and starts hammering away. Tatanka now hits a pair of slams then drops an elbow before whipping Holly into the corner a few times. Tatanka uses a gutwrench suplex then uses a bearhug. Holly escapes but runs into a knee smash as does pretty much every babyface after first breaking from a hold. Tatanka boots Holly in the ribs while holding his arm then tries a slam but Holly catches him with a small package for two. Tatanka hammers away then kicks Holly in the face as we head to break. The match returns with Tatanka still in control. Holly ducks a clothesline and folds up Tatanka with a back suplex as both men are down. Ross says we will go back to Pettengill at the Sun Dome after the match as Holly wins a slugfest. Holly drops Tatanka with a back elbow smash then hits a dropkick for two. Holly heads up top with a flying clothesline for a nearfall then Holly tries a crucifix but Tatanka turns that into the End of the Trail and gets the win (9:29) **1/2. Tatanka stomps on Holly after the match until Kid runs in for the save. Holly & Kid clear Tatanka from the ring as the crowd is into Kid here.
Thoughts: Solid match and Holly is also coming into his own as a worker here. He’s athletic and his offense looks smooth and crisp. Tatanka’s heel work still leaves a lot to be desired but this was his best effort as a heel. Anyway, Kid’s reaction making the save showed how over he was with the crowd but his team is now 0-2 in singles competition against their tournament finals opponents. The Liberty High School shows were death though and a more excited crowd would have enhanced the match.
We cut back to Pettengill as he is in front of the podium where the Rumble match drawings are held. We see Jack Tunney, JJ Dillon, Jack Lanza, and road agent extraordinaire Tony Garea among those discussing things in the background. Soon enough we will see Superstars draw their numbers.
Back from break, we see Pettengill interview both Bret Hart and Diesel while they are in their respective dressing rooms. Diesel jokes about reading the comics and how he wanted catering for his friends, which is of course a joke if you’ve listened to Diesel discuss in shoot interviews about the catering consisting of ham sandwiches at this time due to the poor financial state of the company. Bret then mocks Diesel’s carefree attitude and ensures Pettengill he is not “ribbing” anyone by saying its the best way to prepare for a fight. Diesel then pulls out a new copy of “WWF Magazine” and mocks Bret’s recent acting gig. Bret says the Jackknife is comparable to falling out of a twenty-story building but wonders if Diesel can get him in that move. Diesel is then asked about the Sharpshooter and puts it over as a devastating hold but first Bret has to put on the hold. Bret then talks about dreaming of long legs as Diesel cracks a joke about one of the “Baywatch” actresses and they are both smiling while holding back the anger built towards each other from this interview. Decent segment as both guys did their best to mask their nerves by joking and taking shots at each other.
Duke Droese defeats Iron Mike Sharpe from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”
We now see Bob Backlund selecting his number. Pettengill says that the superstars are prohibited from discussing their numbers. Backlund says that his number does not matter then says he does not like Pettengill’s tie as he remains on his mission to reclaim the title.
King Kong Bundy defeats Dave Thornberg from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”
Shawn Michaels is now picking his number. Shawn says he has had easy nights in the past, usually with 29 other number, then acts quite confident in his chances to win the Rumble match.
Lex Luger defeats Mike Bell from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”
We now see the Smoking Gunns pick their numbers. Pettengill asks them about their title match tomorrow night on RAW as Bart refuses to show Billy his number to play up the every man for himself theme.
Heavenly Bodies defeat Bob Knight & Cory Student from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”
The Undertaker interview from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.” is shown.
Back with Pettengill, who is now with British Bulldog. We hear Bulldog saying he is disappointed with the number he selected but still willing and able to win the match and become champion. A really whiny interview by Bulldog and something you’d expect to see before a heel turn. Who would want to cheer for someone that pouts like this?
Owen Hart defeats Mike Khoury from the 1/22 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”
Final Thoughts: The featured match was solid and the rumble drawing stuff was fine if not predictable. The Diesel/Bret interview would not only be played up on the Rumble pre-show but also the PPV itself. Action Zone is the clear number 3 show behind RAW and Superstars though and lets see how that holds up for the rest of the year.