January 30, 1995
From the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto, FL
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels
We start off with a video package hyping up tonight’s apology from Bam Bam Bigelow to Lawrence Taylor and his family.
Also tonight, 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly get a rematch against Smoking Gunns for the Tag Team Titles. Plus, an “Over The Top Rope Match” between Mabel and King Kong Bundy.
Over The Top Rope Match: Mabel w/ Oscar vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Ted DiBiase
Before the match, DiBiase talks about the match rules while Vince hypes the Shawn and Roddy Piper interview for tomorrow night’s encore airing of the Royal Rumble. Mabel backs Bundy against the ropes but Bundy fires away. They now try to eliminate each other as Vince talks about Shawn being lucky to win the Rumble. They remain on the ropes as I’m just hoping someone runs out and dumps them both outside. We get a whole lot more of the same then Bundy hits an avalanche before yelling at the crowd. Bundy tries to dump Mabel again but Mabel fights back then drops Bundy with an enziguiri. Bundy rolls away from an elbow drop as both men are on the mat while Shawn said neither guy could have lasted 45 minutes in the Rumble. We now see IRS & Tatanka run in to help Bundy and they finally get Mabel over the top rope (3:18) DUD. Lex Luger and Mo then run out to clear the ring but The Corporation leave victorious.
Thoughts: The match stunk but its a concept that was going to be crappy no matter the opponents. This was seemingly designed for a cheap way to get Bundy his heat back after the Rumble while as we see later on in the show a way to build to a match.
We go to Bigelow, who is apparently at home. He’s also wearing a suit. Vince points out embarrassing it was to lose to the 1-2-3 Kid as Bigelow says every dog has his day and gave Kid credit for winning. Vince then says Bigelow took 14 stitches to his upper lip and was left alone and embarrassed in the ring befroe saying the crowd was making fun of him. Bigelow said the whole audience was having the time of their life at his expense. Vince wants to know why he took exception to Taylor, who was doing nothing different than any other fan in the crowd. Vince brings up Bigelow saying that Taylor disrespected him and Bigelow said LT put him below his level with his smile and laugh. Bigelow then says you do not laugh while offering to shake a man’s hand. Bigelow said last week he was going to make an apology but it doesn’t feel right and in fact he should have shoved him harder. Vince brings up the 30 day suspension but Bigelow does not care what happens during this time then calls out LT, wanting him to put his pride on the line as he challenges anytime, anyplace. Good work here by both Bigelow and Vince in treating this whole situation as a shoot. So far this is working as an angle and brings a sense of realism missing to the company with the influx of all these new gimmicks popping up. And, the reports in the NY gossip columns were that LT received $100,000 for this appearance.
Back from break as Vince says the challenge issued by Bigelow has had WWF officials scrambling.
Hakushi w/ Shinja vs. Ricky Santana
Santana was used as enhancement talent by the company in the early 80’s under the name “Aldo Marino.” Vince talks about LT and how he does not put people down, saying its “not his style.” Hakushi drops Santana with a chop but Santana comes back with a crossbody that only gets a one count. Hakushi drops Santana and lands a few more chops before hitting a spin kick. He then boots Santana in the face as Shawn puts over Steve Young for winning Super Bowl MVP. Santana fights back but misses a corner splash as Hakushi hammers away. They trade chops as Hakushi wins that battle. Hakushi then hits a dropkick as Vince puts over Bob Holly’s dropkick. Hakushi then hits a Saito suplex and heads up top with a flying shoulder tackle then uses a back handspring into a splash for the win (4:02). Vince then says he hopes to hear a response from LT’s management.
Thoughts: Good action here as they are teasing a response from someone in LT’s camp. The mentions of Bret being prejudicial towards Hakushi and all Japanese people we heard from Jerry Lawler on Superstars were not brought up here.
Another plug for the Encore Plus airing of the Royal Rumble as Vince runs down the show.
Aldo Montoya vs. David Sierra
Sierra hammers away to start. Montoya then back drops Sierra and sends him outside with a dropkick. Montoya flies out with a pescado then works the arm as the action heads back into the ring. Montoya fights off Sierra and hammers away until Sierra rakes the eyes. Sierra heads up top after a slam but took too long and Montoya tosses him off. Montoya drops Sierra with a chop then a flying clothesline and stays in control until a flying bulldog gets the win (1:57). After the match, Vince plugs Diesel vs. Owen Hart this coming Sunday on “Action Zone.”
Thoughts: Montoya fills time here with a win and I guess gets a win back after putting over Mantaur on the Action Zone. We also got a plug for Diesel/Owen on the Action Zone as well.
We see a video of Ken Norton Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers after the Super Bowl. The reported asks him we here is going now and Norton, wearing a WWF hat, responds by saying he is going to WrestleMania. I do not know how much Norton received for this appearance but it was noted In the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” that fellow 49er Gary Plummer was on a local radio show claiming he was offered $30,000 to do what Norton did here but also did not specify as to why he turned down the offer.
King’s Court with guest Bob Backlund. Lawler is excited about Backlund saying he is not letting go of the crossface chicken wing until his opponent screams that he quits. Backlund looks around before saying unless his opponent screams “I quit, Mr. Bob Backlund” then he will not release the hold. Backlund then said no one is exempt from this policy as Lawler reminds the crowd of what Backlund just said before slipping in that he would not get put in the hold. Backlund gets upset and tells Lawler that no one is exempt then Lawler challenges Backlund to put on the hold. Backlund then calls out Lawler for being ignorant then Backlund puts on the hold as Lawler says he quits into the mic while Shawn adds that Backlund is “mental.” Backlund leaves then Lawler clarifies that he said he was quitting the interview but Backlund takes his jacket off and returns to the ring. Lawler then tries to tell Backlund that Bret Hart is coming out and sneaks out. Backlund is now going back to crazy submission man after veering too far into the wacky old man comedy character but again, this act is not as good the second time around.
Tag Team Title Match: 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly vs. Smoking Gunns
Vince reminds us that Kid & Holly have had one week to prepare for this match. Kid and Billy start off the match as Vince hopes we hear from LT’s party. Kid works over Billy as he is laser focused to start. Billy takes a breather then takes down Billy as we now end in a stalemate. Bart tags in but Kid takes him down then tags Holly as they get a nearfall with a double dropkick. Kid tags back in but ducks his head and Bart takes him down with a mat slam. Billy is in and gets two with a back elbow smash then go to break. The match returns as Kid tags out with Holly running while on Bart. Billy run in to break up a pin attempt as the former champs neutralize Bart in the corner. Bart fights back as the Gunns are now in control of the match. Billy wins a slugfest in the corner then Bart tags in and gets two with a scoop slam. Bart applies a chin lock as Vince talks up the Kid & Holly underdog story and how they want to regain the titles. Holly escapes and collides with Bart then tags out as Kid runs wild. Kid heads up top and tries a somersault senton but misses and lands badly on his neck. Billy looks at Kid convulsing on the mat then the match is called off (8:46) **1/2. We go to break with EMT’s in the ring.
Thoughts: The action was good and the ending was a work as Kid did not miss time and as reported by Wade Keller of the “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter,” Kid walked to the hotel under his own power and seen in the lobby after the show. You’d think this would end up with Kid & Holly asking for another rematch due to the injury and maybe turning but this was the final match between the two teams.
We are back as Kid is still out then gets helped out as Shawn puts over Kid for being tough.
Kama vs. Jumbo Beretta
Beretta was a fat dude with a shiny singlet, almost similar in color scheme to the pre pink and black era Hart Foundation. Shawn wants to know if Kama is good at watching people’s backs. Kama takes Beretta in the corner with a spin kick then hammers away. Vince notes that Kama is a “supreme fighting machine” then plugs next week’s Lex Luger & Men on a Mission vs. IRS & King Kong Bundy & Tatanka main event. Kama slams Beretta as Vince says next week will also feature Razor Ramon in action as well as an interview with Diesel. Shawn brings up Diesel’s match against Owen Hart on “Action Zone” as Vince tells us that Kid is “100% okay.” Kama knees Beretta in the corner as Vince says they’ve been unable to reach anyone in LT’s camp as Kama cranks Beretta’s neck. Shawn says that LT wouldn’t consider a match against Bigelow as Kama now uses a belly-to-belly suplex then the STF for the win (3:41).
Thoughts: Crowd was dead for this and not just because the unimpressive “fighting” ability of Kama but because they did very little to let you know whether or not Kama was a heel or face. Even the correspondence reports in the newsletters were confused during this week’s tapings with Kama with half thinking he was heel and the other face. I mean the vignettes were ambiguous and you could construe them as for a character in the mold of Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, who were still somewhat popular at the time.
Final Thoughts: The big draw here was the Bigelow apology and that was the best thing on the show. We had the Tag Title rematch which was fine but with an ending that never really had any sort of closure as well as the waste of time between Mabel and Bundy. Backlund is also being set up for some sort of submission match based off of the King’s Court and they set up a lukewarm main event for next week as well as possible comments from LT’s camp as WrestleMania season is underway.