March 26, 1995
From the Stockton Memorial Auditorium in Stockton, CA. This was part of the “Monday Night RAW” tapings.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.
The show starts off with a video package of a steel cage inside of an empty arena narrated by Vince, pointing out the dangers of the cage where Lex Luger and Tatanka will finally end their feud. We hear promos from both men inside of the cage as they are not concerned about the dangers of the structure and just want to finish each other off. The actual promos and production of the this segment was really good the problem was the feud has been a disaster and killed off both guys and after seven months the demand for this blowoff is not there.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie vs. Bob Backlund
Jarrett tries to avoid Backlund but gets caught with a slam. Backlund then hits a butterfly suplex for a two count and after that hits an atomic drop that sends Jarrett into Roadie, knocking him off of the apron, for another two count. Jarrett ducks out for a breather but Backlund takes him inside. Jarrett is able to take down Backlund and works the arm as we see Roadie shining the belt on the outside. Ross puts over Backlund’s crossface chicken wing as Vince says the question is whether or not its a more dangerous move than the Sharpshooter. Backlund uses a Gotch lift but Roadie trips him up then we go to break. The match returns with Jarrett putting Backlund in an abdominal stretch. Jarrett grabs the ropes for leverage as Vince talks about the WWF Superstar Line. Backlund escapes but misses an elbow drop as Jarrett goes right back in control. Jarrett gets a nearfall with a sunset flip but gets decked with a forearm smash. Jarrett then misses a charge in the corner as Backlund stalks Jarrett before hitting a piledriver. Backlund is now on his knees and looking at his hands before stalking Jarrett but Razor Ramon runs in from behind and attacks Backlund for the DQ (7:10) *3/4. After the match, Jarrett begs for mercy in the corner but Backlund attacks Razor from behind and puts on the crossface chicken wing as the bell rings. Jarrett & Roadie also attack Razor until Bret Hart runs out for the save. 1-2-3 Kid also runs out to even out the sides and the faces stand tall at the end with Bret’s music playing.
Thoughts: With the story of Razor being pissed over someone fucking over his title shot, the ending was obvious. The match itself was fine for what it was and Jarrett worked better with Backlund than most of the roster as his chickenshit heel act afraid of Backlund’s holds was the story. The end was good and Bret & Kid got strong reactions as this all ties in to Bret/Backlund and Jarrett/Razor at WrestleMania.
We get a new LT video package as he talks about being the meanest guy in school with clips of Bigelow calling him scared. LT said he will settle this fight like a man.
Sionne vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Ted DiBiase
Ross says he will give us reports from LT’s workout on the Superstar Line. Sionne is by himself here which goes to show how much they thought of him at this point. The match is joined in progress with both men colliding then Bigelow falls on top when Sionne tried a slam and gets a two count. Bigelow lands a few stomps then lands a pair of forearm smashes across the chest of Sionne. Vince plugs the WrestleMania workout in Times Square then the announcers discuss The Corporation vs. All-Pro Team component as Sionne fights back. Sionne hits a powerslam for two that nearly ended really badly for Bigelow. Sionne then heads up top but misses a diving headbutt then Bigelow attacks Sionne from behind and hits an enziguiri before a crossbody from the top gets the win (2:54) 1/2*. After the match, Kama, Tatanka, and King Kong Bundy head out to the ring. Bigelow tells LT at WrestleMania he is going down.
Thoughts: A quick win to give Bigelow a win over a name opponent heading into his match against LT. However, the action was not good and the outcome never in doubt. They were really better off letting Bigelow and The Corporation cutting a promo here to be honest.
A video package hyping Bret vs. Owen Hart in a No Holds Barred match on RAW. Its billed as both men finally settling the score for a feud that kicked off at the 1994 Royal Rumble. And they probably still could have stretched out the No Holds Barred stipulation until WrestleMania since Owen cost Bret the title at Survivor Series and fucked him over again at the 1995 Rumble.
Vince welcomes Diesel to the ring. He asks Diesel about the pressures of WrestleMania. Diesel says this is his first WrestleMania and he will be defending the title but Vince asks if it will be his last. Vince brings up his size advantage but how Shawn has the most athleticism, possibly in the world, and his bodyguard in Psycho Sid. Diesel does not see Shawn taking the title and is flattered over Shawn getting another bodyguard. Shawn & Sid come out and interrupt with Shawn yelling about earning his title shot and how the New Generation will start at WrestleMania with him as Diesel isn’t walking out with the title. Sid then talks trash at Diesel and vows to break his “stinkin'” back. Shawn then calls Diesel a dime and dozen while himself is a once in a lifetime talent. Shawn says he will give the fans a once in a lifetime performance and that everyone knows, exceptionally Vince, that at WrestleMania he will go “over.” Diesel then questions what Shawn said and replies with “over my dead body” as Shawn & Sid were walking up the aisle. These interviews have done a great job at getting Shawn over but its not having the same effect on Diesel. The material for Diesel isn’t working and these produced pieces conducted by Vince that take him away from his character to show the person behind the character are also not helping him get over in the slightest. People wanted to cheer Diesel the bad ass and not having him do bad jokes for Vince on puff pieces or lead the Titan Towers office workers in Christmas Carols.
WrestleMania XI Report with Todd Pettengill.
Steel Cage Match: Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Lex Luger
Luger gets attacked while entering the cage. Tatanka methodically attacks Luger with overhead chops but Luger comes back with a clothesline. Luger hits a few more clotheslines as Tatanka now begs for mercy in the corner. Luger blocks a turnbuckle smash then hammers away in the corner. Luger rams Tatanka into the cage a few times and covers for two as Ross says this match is not for the weak of heart. Luger misses an elbow drop as both men are down on the mat rolling around in a manner you would expect from them if this match was around the ten minute mark, not the third. Tatanka tries to crawl out the door but Luger pulls him back in as we go to break. The match returns with Tatanka hitting a suplex. Tatanka rams Luger into the cage now tries to climb out of the cage but Luger climbs up and punches him down. Vince talks about Luger teaming with Bulldog at WrestleMania and how its one of the greatest teams ever formed as Luger boots Tatanka in the face a few times then brushes off some chops and backs down Tatanka. Luger fires away then runs wild then covers after a suplex with Ross trying to sell this like it would be the end of the match. That only got two then a powerslam gets another two count for Luger. Tatanka rakes Luger’s face and hits an inverted atomic drop before climbing up the cage. Luger slams him off then signals for his forearm smash and hits it from the middle rope and gets the win (10:49) *. The announcers talk about how Luger finally beat Tatanka.
Thoughts: After several months of feuding and a hype package to start the show we get a match inside of a cage wrestled with zero sense of urgency that ended with a flying forearm smash. Once again, terrible heel work from Tatanka as he performs like an opening match guy after 40 days straight on the road. The announcers did talk a bit about Luger & Bulldog at WrestleMania enough to even despite the fact he’s been booked like a complete loser in this feud you would think he’d win. This officially ended for my money one of the worst midcard feuds in WWF/WWE history.
Bret Hart is now shown cutting a promo on Backlund. He talks about five months of thinking about what happened at Survivor Series and for Backlund to bring the words “I Quit” to WrestleMania. He then switches focus to Owen and we see a cartoon Bret drew of Owen surrendering in their No Holds Barred match. The announcers now wonder if Owen’s mystery partner will appear on RAW or if Backlund will attack Bret.
Final Thoughts: This show was only 60 minutes long and the end of an era being the last of the (well re-branded anyway) Primetime Wrestling PPV special hype shows. However, the show was not good at all. With an overwhelming majority of WWF TV promoting Bigelow/LT, the rest of the card was taking a back seat and we saw just how cold those matches were on this special. The action on this show was not good at all and I cannot imagine anyone pumped to see the PPV based on what we saw.