WWF Madison Square Garden – March 19th, 1995

 

March 19, 1995

This is a fan-cam show, meaning there is no commentary. This show was part of the heavily hyped on TV “In High Gear” tour.

Unfortunately, the Henry Godwinn vs. Barry Horowitz was not included. Even those who illegally tape shows have to go to the bathroom at some point I suppose.

 

Chad Fortune & Erik Watts vs. Heavenly Bodies

Watts & Fortune were here as they actually teamed for an AWA reboot attempt back in November. And, according to Watts in his shoot interview with Highspots, this was Watts’ tryout with the WWF and brought Fortune in as a team. Fortune was part of the WCW’s training school but not given opportunities and was passed over at a TV taping where he was supposed to get a chance to do something due to Ric Flair kicking out all the students from the taping. So, the way the training school contract’s were written allowed Fortune to just leave and try out here with the option of getting fired by WCW. And when this happened, those contracts were apparently changed for good. Watts pumps up the crowd here then works the arm of Prichard. Forutne tags and hits a splash then we get some fast-paced double-team action by Watts & Fortune. We now see Del Ray attack Watts in the corner but Watts fights back and works an arm bar on the mat. Prichard knees Fortune in the back from the apron as the Bodies now take control of the match. They work over Fortune, mostly grounding him with chin locks, then would immediately cut off any comeback attempt. Fortune reverses a suplex from Prichard as both men are down but Del Ray tags in and quickly prevents a tag. Del Ray then heads up top for a moonsault and was supposed to hit it but ended up being way off. Both men then clothesline each other and end up on the mat then we see Watts finally tag in as he runs wild. Del Ray gets dropkicked out of the ring and Watts hits a flying crossbody for the win (7:37) **1/4. After the match, The Bodies are pissed then pose in the ring as if they won the match, drawing some boos.

Thoughts: Solid opener here as Fortune & Watts showed good fire even if they were far from polished as wrestlers, particularly Fortune. And Watts also said in his shoot interview that they were offered contracts as soon as the match ended. Watts also said some other dubious stuff in that interview I will get into later in this timeline.  Anyway, The Bodies losing to a team that has never been on TV before the day before their Tag Team Title match on RAW is certainly a choice. The Bodies are really sliding down the card now and that will be clearer in the coming weeks.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match: Tatanka & Kama vs. Smoking Gunns (c)

IRS was originally scheduled to team with Tatanka but injured and replaced. Kama and Billy start things off. Kama takes Billy down with an arm drag then hits him low before taking him down with an axe kick. Tatanka tags in and hammers away before using a scoop slam. Tatanka now stomps away before taunting the crowd then tries for the End of the Trail but Billy escapes and uses a sunset flip for two. Billy tags out and The Gunns now target the arm of Tatanka. The Gunns hit a double suplex follwed but Billy using a knee drop that gets two. The Gunns then use a side slam/leg drop combo for two. Kama knees Bart in the back from the apron to break up an Irish whip sequence as Tatanka now stomps away. Kama tags and hits an overhead suplex then takes a shot at Billy. Tatanka & Kama double-team Bart in the corner to the joy of a fan near this camera. We have a couple of staunchly anti-Gunns fans here but the crowd has not been feeling this match in general. Tatanka continues to kick away then clotheslines Bart for a two count. Bart fires away but ducks his head and gets kicked in the face. Kama tags back in the match and drops Bart with a punch to the gut. Kama then grabs a chin lock before beating Bart down to the mat. Kama signals the match is over after hitting a side slam and goes to the middle rope for a splash but Bart got his knees up as both men are down. We then see both guys tag out as Billy runs wild on Tatanka. The Gunns then hit a double leg sweep on Kama and Bart clotheslines him over the top rope and after that we see Tatanka duck his head and Billy puts him a small package for the win (10:59) *1/2.

Thoughts: The Gunns always put in effort and were a solid team but their opponents were crap was Tatanka is a lousy heel and Kama a lousy worker so the Gunns were limited in what they could do here.

 

“I Quit” Match: Adam Bomb vs. Bob Backlund 

Backlund actually did get a lot of heat while he came to the ring, as reported in the “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter.” Bomb refuses a handshake as Backlund is not too happy. Backlund keeps dancing around after avoiding Bomb then we finally get a lockup two minutes into the match. They trade waist locks until Bomb takes down Backlund. Bomb then taunts Backlund and we see Backlund frantically roll out to the apron after Bomb raised his fist. Backlund wants Bomb to back down then grabs another waist lock but Bomb shakes him off. Backlund once again wants Bomb to calm down then yells at the ref but gets mocked by Bomb in the process. The fans boo as they are apparently done with this match already and we see Backlund take Bomb down but misses a leg drop. Backlund clutches his knee and Bomb kicks that a few times. Bomb kicks Backlund’s leg out a few times then tries a guillotine but when Backlund grabs the ropes he yanks him out to the middle of the ring and works the knee. Backludn then ends up escaping and pushing Bomb into the corner then looks at his hands and stalks Bomb for the crossface chicken wing. Bomb was ready and counters but Backlund blocks a reverse rollup then tries a slam but Bomb falls on top. Bomb works the knee again but this time Backlund floats over on a slam and puts on the crossface chicken wing and gets the win rather quickly (7:37) DUD. Backlund lets go after the bell and rolls outside while limping up the aisle then we see Bomb get up and leave.

Thoughts: This paper seemed like a terrible idea on paper when announced and boy it sure did suck. The whole thing felt disjointed and there was never even the slightest sense of urgency here and the sudden finish rendered the stipulation useless. They apparently had a longer match the night prior in Kingston, Ontario which sounded so bad Vince should have been charged with International terrorism but I opted not to get that fancam show as the card looked atrocious. And Bomb, despite his size and athleticism, is rapidly falling down the card.

 

Bam Bam Bigelow now enters the ring, as does a cameraman and Todd McDonald from “Sports Extra” on Fox 5 in NYC.  Bigelow talks about after WrestleMania and when asked said his two favorite letters of the alphabet are “B and B.” Bigelow then says Lawrence Taylor has a nerve thinking he can beat him in his arena. The says that LT is getting a million for the match but Bigelow says that is not rnough because his hospital bill will be $2 million then claims to be more popular than LT and says this is his world and that LT should go back to the football field. Bigelow also claims to be more popular than LT and reaffirms that LT is not a wrestler and was not even a good football player (that drew a lot of boos) and that everything was blown out of proportion as if he was on the football field, we would never hear about LT as Bigelow also says that he would be in the Hall of Fame. Bigelow then says he is from Asbury Park, NJ and this is his world and vows to humiliate and give LT the beating of his life at WrestleMania. Then asks the crowd who will win and we get loud “LT” chants that infuriate Bigelow. Once again, Bigelow says that when the match is over, Bigelow will be the favorite. The beginning of this interview with McDonald asking questions was rough but it became okay even if it was repetitive by the end. And expect this to be shown in some form on WWF TV.

 

Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie & Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon & Diesel

(49:09) Strong reaction here for Razor and even stronger for Diesel. Shawn & Jarrett argue over who is going to start off the match against Diesel. The ref starts counting and the crowd joins in until Jarrett steps into the ring. Diesel knees Jarrett then pummels him in the corner. Diesel follows with a clothesline then Shawn runs in and the match breaks down with the face team using stereo back drops to clear the ring. Good lord did Shawn take an insane bump. The Roadie creates a distraction on the apron to allow Shawn & Jarrett to attack from behind but Razor quickly fights off both men. Razor tosses Jarrett with an overhead slam into Shawn and Diesel lifts up Shawn until Jarrett makes the save. Jarrett hammers away on Diesel but gets caught on a floatver and Diesel then uses the snake eyes. Razor tags and sets up for the Razor’s Edge but Shawn flies off the top to break that up as Roadie distracted the ref. Shawn tags and beats on Razor as the heel team is now in control of the match as they cut the ring in half. Shawn taunts Diesel then tosses Razor over the top rope as Diesel threatens to get inside. The Roadie runs off the apron and lays out Razor with the ref distracted then we see Shawn & Jarrett beat on Razor outside of the ring as the heel fans off camera are digging this.  Shawn counts along with the ref but Razor is just able to beat the ten count. Jarrett yells at the ref for counting slow then tosses him aside before heading up top. Jarrett comes off with a flying body press but Razor rolls through for a two count. Jarrett immediately clotheslines Razor then hammers away but Razor starts to fight back until Jarrett hits a corkscrew neckbreaker. Jarrett chokes out Razor but misses a jumping attack as both men are down. Shawn then distracts the ref to allow Roadie to once again lay out Razor as Jarrett makes the tag to Shawn, who runs up top and hits a flying elbow drop for two. Shawn grounds Razor with a front facelock in his corner and even drives his knee into Razor a few times as the match slows down after a frantic pace. Razor picks up Shawn and inches closer towards Diesel then just finally tosses Shawn as both men are down. Both men get up and collide after an Irish whip sequence then they eventually tag out as Diesel runs wild on Jarrett. Diesel elbows Roadie off of the apron and clotheslines Shawn over the top rope before hitting Jarrett with the big boot. Diesel signals for the Jackknife but Shawn distracts him then Roadie runs in and rolls Jarrett out to safety. Jarrett, Roadie, and Shawn then head up the aisle but Razor meets them and fires away as Shawn takes some more crazy bumps. Razor rolls Jarrett inside then officially tags in to signal for the Razor’s Edge. He sets Jarrett up and Shawn runs in but Diesel takes him out but while that happens, Roadie runs in with a chop block and Razor grabs his knee and limps as he falls outside and ends up getting counted out as the crowd boos (14:26). However, Diesel talks to the ref and we hear from ring announcer Howard Finkel that Diesel wants the match to continue and since Razor is unable to continue it will be 2 vs. 1. Shawn & Jarrett rush Diesel and beat him in the corner. Jarrett stays in and gets a nearfall as the crowd is behind Diesel. Jarrett heads up top for a crossbody that gets two then tags out as Shawn uses mounted punches in the corner until he gets shoved away. Diesel catches Shawn with an elbow smash but Shawn rakes the eyes. Shawn holds up Diesel for Jarrett, who is on top, but Diesel breaks free and tosses Jarrett at Shawn. Diesel then hits Jarrett with the jackknife but Roadie takes him out to safety and Jarrett gets counted out. Shawn, Jarrett, and Roadie head up the aisle but we then learn the match will now be Shawn vs. Diesel since Jarrett is unable to continue. And, if Shawn does not enter the ring in ten seconds then Diesel will get the win. Shawn runs and slides in to beat the ten count but Diesel beats him down. Diesel then hits a big boot but Psycho Sid runs in to attack Diesel for the DQ and helps Shawn beat down Diesel until Undertaker comes out for the save (17:13) ***3/4. Diesel and Undertaker shake hands after the match.

Thoughts: The actual tag match portion of this was awesome. Easy **** match by itself even if it did end in a DQ but having it go down to just Diesel vs. Shawn for about 25 seconds until Sid made the save was a little much and took away from the hot match. All four guys worked hard though (with Roadie also doing a fantastic job speeding around) and the crowd was into this more than anything else on the show and for good reason. Definitely something to seek out though.

 

Bam Bam Bigelow  vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer

Undertaker heads towards Bigelow then bails. The crowd boos Bigelow, who yells at Undertaker from the floor before finally heading back into the ring. Bigelow paces around then goes out on the apron and jaws at the fans. He then heads back in and again and bounces off of Undertaker. Bigelow gets knocked through the ropes then Undertaker heads out and hammers away. Bigelow is able to stomp Undertaker when they head back inside but ducks his head and gets hit with a throat thrust. Undertaker stays in control and hits the ropewalk attack then lands some kicks before choking out Bigelow against the ropes. Bigelow then catches Undertaker with a Samoan Drop and taunts the fans as Undertaker sat up. Bigelow drops Undertaker with an enziguiri then hammers away. Undertaker catches Bigelow with a big boot then a few clotheslines before Bigelow fights back. Bigelow hits a clothesline for a two count then grabs a chin lock on the mat. The crowd gets behind Undertaker then Bigelow clotheslines Undertaker over the top rope. Bigelow heads out and sends Undertaker into the steps then attacks him with a chair. Bigelow rolls back inside after sending Undertaker into the steps then starts stomping Undertaker when he returns. Bigelow hammers away nut Undertaker fights back and now chokes out Bigelow against the ropes. Bigelow escapes and hits a pair of falling headbutts then heads up top and misses a moonsault. Undertaker hits a clothesline then follows with a chokeslam. Bigelow then gets clotheslined over the top rope and heads up the aisle and gets counted out (10:53) 3/4*.

Thoughts: Both guys completely went through the motions here and awful finish aside, why even book this match with Bigelow facing LT at WrestleMania? He looked like a chump here and just have him beat someone in several minutes. You weren’t going to have Undertaker get pinned as he was strongly protected. No reason someone on the level of Duke Droese or even throw Adam Bomb against Bigelow as a fast, agile big guy like LT and make Backlund do his act with someone else.

 

Hakushi w/ Shinja vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Kid takes Hakushi over with a hip toss to end an incredibly fast Irish whip sequence. Hakushi then drops Kid with a thrust kick after another Irish whip sequence. Kid knocks Hakushi outside with a kick and flies out with a slingshot senton. Hakushi heads back in and sends Kid into the corner with a thrust kick then hits a running attack in the corner before taunting the crowd. Hakushi uses an arm breaker as the crowd gets behind Kid. Hakushi stays to work on the arm as this match has slowed down considerably after an electric start. Hakushi catches Kid with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then a dropkick before he heads up top for the flying shoulder tackle, that gets two. Kid ducks a clothesline and catches Hakushi with a sitout powerbomb for two and lands a few kicks. Kid then uses a back drop and gets two with a spin kick. Flying leg drop gets two. Kid then goes back up top and misses a somersault senton then Hakushi climbs up for the diving headbutt and the win (7:21) **1/2.

Thoughts: There were some really good spots here but the middle was a bit of a mess. The spots were good though but Kid was actually sent home after this show. He was concussed one week prior at a house show in Anaheim, CA and might have gotten hurt here too but one week later was in Japan as part of the WAR promotion’s Junior Heavyweight Title tournament. In that tournament, Kid defeated Negro Casas in the opening round before losing to eventual winner Gedo in the semis. Hakushi getting the win here though makes sense since he was getting a push with a feud against Bret Hart while Kid worked well with Hakushi during last year’s Japanese tour and Kid’s underdog character can afford him to lose.

 

Owen Hart & Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. British Bulldog & Bret Hart

The crowd went nuts for Bret’s entrance and also had loud “Burger King” chants for Lawler. Bulldog starts off with Owen and pushes him around then catches him with a monkey flip. Bulldog then works the arm for a bit. Owen reverses and jabs Bulldog after a floatover but gets caught and sling-shotted into teh corner. Bret tags in and fires away then clotheslines Owen over the top rope. Lawler tags in then Bret beats the crap out of him before tagging out. The heels cheat to take advantage then we see Owen land an enziguiri for two. Owen follows a snap suplex with a leg drop and gets two. Lawler tags in and hits a flying fist drop before tagging out as the crowd continues with Burger King chants. Owen hits a backbreaker for a two count then Bret runs in and tries to attack but that just allows Bulldog to get double-teamed in the corner. Owen puts Bulldog in a chin lock then catches him with a spinning heel kick for two. Owen goes back to the chin lock and Bulldog eventually escapes then takes Owen down with a crucifix for a two count. Owen drives Bulldog into the corner and tags out as Lawler works a front face lock. Bulldog makes the tag but the ref did not see it and orders Bret on the apron. Owen then comes in and tries a double team but accidentally hits Lawler and now Bulldog tags out. Bret runs wild (to shockingly little reaction) and knocks Owen outside before hitting his trademark moves against Lawler. Bret now puts on the Sharpshooter but Owen runs in to make the save. Bulldog tags in and beats on Lawler but Lawler bails and heads up the aisle. Bret sprints up the aisle and tosses Lawler back into the ring. Bulldog hits a press slam and Lawler rolls back out as Bret once again tosses him back into the ring but Lawler crawls over to Owen and tags out. However, the ref did not see this and Bulldog then hits Lawler with a running powerslam for the win (11:30) **3/4. Bret & Bulldog celebrate after the match.

Thoughts: Good match but the crowd seemed burned out and tired by the end. The finish was good and made sense with the story of the match but the crowd not really reacting to Bret’s hot tag was a surprise regardless of crowd fatigue. A face win to send the crowd home happy.

 

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a pretty good house show offering. Bomb/Backlund was a pile of shit and Undertaker/Bigelow was incredibly underwhelming but the rest mostly good with a hidden gem tag match. With Mania in less than two weeks, the next house show recap will be the post Mania European tour with the show in Dortmund, Germany.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: WWF Monday Night RAW 3/20/95

Friday: WWF Superstars 3/25/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/26/95

Saturday: WWF Action Zone 3/26/95

Sunday: WWF Sunday Night Slam 3/27/95

Monday: WWF Superstars 4/1/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/2/95

Tuesday: WWF Action Zone 4/2/95

Wednesday: WWF WrestleMania XI