March 11, 1995
From the William Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
The show starts off with Jim Cornette in the ring. Cornette says he has just spoke with his close, personal friend Jeff Jarrett and that he is giving Razor Ramon a rematch for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. Cornette then says Razor might not make it to Mania because Mantaur is undefeated and a 400 lbs monster. Not a bad segment to set up a purpose for this match, which was Jarrett trying to get Cornette to have Mantaur soften up Razor for his match at WrestleMania.
Mantaur w/ Jim Cornette vs. Razor Ramon
Mantaur roars then the two finally lock up with Razor getting shoved into the corner. Mantaur shoves Razor a few times but gets slapped incredibly hard across the face. Razor works the arm for a bit but gets caught in a front falling slam for a nearfall as we go to break. The match returns with Mantaur driving Razor into the corner then hitting an avalanche. Mantaur now whips Razor into the corner a bunch of times but eats boot on a charge. Razor then comes back with a flying bulldog for a two count then slams Mantaur for another nearfall. We now see The Roadie out with the Intercontinental Title shining it up to taunt Razor. Mantaur rakes the eyes but misses a swing and Razor then hits a super back suplex. The crowd goes nuts as Razor signals for the Razor’s Edge. Razor is now distracted by Roadie but avoids a charging Mantaur, who flies out and hits Roadie then ends up getting counted out (7:57) *. After the match, Cornette yells at The Roadie then Razor picks up the Intercontinental Title belt. Jarrett now comes out and demands the belt. Razor puts the belt on the mat as Jarrett and Roadie both try to come in from different angles. Razor decks Jarrett but Roadie ran in to get the belt.
Thoughts: The crowd dug Razor but Mantaur was just an awful pro wrestler. His offense is repeating the same spots over and over as he is just clueless in the ring. The finish also made Mantaur come off as a goof, I mean he looked like one but he was actually booked as a clumsy oaf here, and this was beginning of the end of whatever push he had going on at the moment. This did at least build heat for Razor to get revenge on Jarrett at WrestleMania plus The Roadie is great whenever he is involved in anything so that was fun but the actual match was much less so due to Mantaur’s extreme limitations.
WWF Live Event News with Stephanie Wiand. This plugs the 3/19 Madison Square Garden show as part of the “In High Gear” tour. We hear from Paul Bearer & The Undertaker hype the match against Bam Bam Bigelow. They both also promise to regain the urn after the match. We also learn that Ted DiBiase will soon be revealing a new member of his Corporation and we could find out who that is later on in the show. Okay, so we could have some news on the show.
We now get a vignette of Pierre, who is sporting an eye patch and sitting on a throne with a swamp background. He tells us that most of us know him as a Quebecer but today he has a different story to tell. Pierre tells about 1815 New Orleans bayous where is great, great grandfather was a legendary pirate who gave his ships, men, cannons, and gold to defend America but did not get anything in return except banishment. Pierre now screams as we get all sorts of camera views as he tells us as the last living relative of Jean Lafitte, his name is now “Jean Pierre Lafitte” and will soon begin his revenge with the WWF then will take over the universe. Truthfully, I thought this dragged terribly and the production values were shit. You could barely make out what Pierre was saying at the end. At least they went out of their way to explain the character transformation but when it was over I did not care much about this gimmick and that certainly is not the goal of an introductory vignette. But, a much better story is Pierre himself stating he wanted the gimmick as he legitimately had loss vision in his right eye when he was 12 years of age and wanted to show that in a positive light. I mean, I don’t know how they did that other than wearing a patch but he felt proud of it so all good.
Christy Hiers is the special guest ring announcer.
Doink the Clown w/ Dink vs. Charlie Hunter
Vince puts over the “Dunk the Doink Tank” at the WWF Fan Festival. Also, Bob Holly will have one of his cars. Doink clotheslines Hunter after Dink was running around causing a distraction then works the arm. Vince says that Holly is racing next weekend and today is facing Bam Bam Bigelow. Hunter fights back but Doink comes back with a corkscrew neckbreaker then applies a chin lock. Lawler talks about Bret Hart being an artist and how that is his forte and wants to challenge him to an art contest as Doink puts Hunter away with the Whoopie Cushion (3:04).
Thoughts: Doink is now being pushed as someone sitting in a dunk tank at a fan festival while the rest of the segment was spent hyping up other matches.
We get a video package narrated by Stan Lane of Undertaker and King Kong Bundy staring each other down at the Royal Rumble while IRS stole the urn as the question now is how can Undertaker go on moving forward without the urn. Some hype for what will surely be a classic between Undertaker and Bundy at WrestleMania.
Ken Raper is in the ring and looks into the camera to tell Bob Backlund that he has never quit anything in his life and will not do so today. This was a different production value and I liked it as the goal is to put over the “I Quit” match stipulation at WrestleMania.
Now a new ad with Nicholas Turturro, this time with Bob Backlund. We hear Backlund saying the belt stolen from him was a crime while ranting about the New Generation but the camera shows Backlund speaking to an empty chair as Turturro is in the hallway listening to Backlund rant to himself. A harmless segment to play up the Backlund is a lunatic gimmick.
Bob Backlund vs. Ken Raper
Vince talks about Raper not quitting as Backlund takes Raper down with ease. Vince then taunts Lawler about facing Bret this Monday night as Backlund stays in control of the match. Raper fights back and uses a slam then gets two with a backslide but Backlund drops him with a forearm smash then uses the crossface chicken wing for the win (2:23). Backlund then keeps the hold on then finally releases and starts growling before looking at his hands. An “Opie” chant breaks out as Backlund covers his ears before leaving.
Thoughts: Again, more hype for the “I Quit” match stipulation.
We are shown Ted DiBiase’s introductory vignettes from August 1987 as he tells us everyone has a price. I liked showing older segments to build a character, which was a rarity for this company.
Before the match, DiBiase brings out his whole corporation and puts them over DiBiase tells us that IRS is not here tonight because its tax season. Nikolai Volkoff is even here too. DiBiase now introduces his newest acquistion, saying he spares no expenses, then proceeds to call out Kama. As we heard on “Wrestling Challenge,” DiBiase was constantly talking about wanting to buy him on commentary. Although, the character has not caught on and The Corporation isn’t exactly the hottest stable despite being part of the WrestleMania main event.
Bam Bam Bigelow w/ The Corporation vs. Bob Holly
We get some back and forth to start the match. Holly drags Bigelow outside then wipes him out with a pescado. Back inside, Holly hits a flying clothesline then works the arm after an arm drag. Bigelow slams Holly but misses an elbow drop as Holly goes back to the arm. Holly fires away in the corner then tries a rana but ends up getting powerbombed for a two count. Bigelow now chokes out Holly with his foot then applies a chin lock as the crowd chants “LT.” We return from commercial with Holly escaping but ends up getting caught with a knee smash. The announcers talk about The Corporation and LT’s All-Pro team as Bigelow hits a pair of falling headbutts. Holly fights back but Bigelow lunges at him with a tackle in a clumsly spot. Bigelow now puts Holly in a bodybreaker then dumps him to the mat while on one knee. Bigelow yells at the crowd before tossing Holly outside then breaks up a sunset flip with a sit-down splash. Lawler said he heard that LT has been training with Diesel and says its not fair. Holly jumps on Bigelow’s back with a sleeper then takes him down and runs wild. He hits a pair of dropkicks then a Saito suplex for a two count. Holly tries another suplex but Bigelow turns that into a bulldog in midair and gets the win (9:13) **1/2. Vince then calls this a one of a kind matchup that we will only see one time.
Thoughts: Fun match with Holly’s fast-paced offense against the much larger Bigelow. I liked the finish too as winning without using a finisher makes Bigelow look like even more of a force heading into the WrestleMania main event.
Back from break we see The Corporation in the aisle looking at the finish on the video wall as DiBiase says that the race car driver crashed and burned and that LT better bring all the helmets and pads he needs.
A video package on LT airs now on all he went up against all odds his entire life but always found a way to get the job done. I went back and skimmed through the Bigelow shoot interview with RF Video and he said that Lex Luger was the one who put the LT match together by talking to him while on the golf course.
Another Live Event News segment airs hyping the 3/19 MSG show. We see Wiand interview Diesel about putting his problems aside to team with Razor against Jarrett & Shawn Michaels. Diesel says they have to and respects Razor as an athlete and a person and no one can beat them together.
An ad for the WWF Fan Festival airs.
We see the announcers as Lawler now as a Bret stretch doll. Lawler uses the doll to mock Bret. Vince also puts over the Smoking Gunns vs. Men on a Mission match on Action Zone.
Next week we will see King Kong Bundy vs. Lex Luger in our featured match.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a fun show and a lot more spontaneous than the standard formula. Not everything was perfect but they built up the announced WrestleMania matches and next week we get what sounds like a barnburner as a featured match as the build towards WrestleMania XI continues.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Later Today: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/12/95
Saturday: WWF Action Zone 3/12/95
Sunday: WWF Monday Night RAW 3/13/95
Monday: WWF Superstars 3/18/95, WWF Challenge 3/19/95
Tuesday: WWF Action Zone 3/19/95
Wednesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 3/19/95
Thursday: WWF Monday Night RAW 3/20/95
Friday: WWF Superstars 3/25/95. WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/26/95