April 2, 1995
Live from the WWF Fan Festival, Jim Ross & Gorilla Monsoon are the hosts. The camera pans all over the festival as we see everything from booth, stages, and even a ring.
The hosts now talk about the Tag Team Title match and who Owen Hart will pick as his mystery partner against the Smoking Gunns. Gorilla says he has a sneaking suspicion that Owen will pick Mabel and that leads to a clip of Men on a Mission turning on the Smoking Gunns after an apology. Odd they would have Mabel be a possibility since he was already in a team but the company never gave a shit about Mo and really, why should they? He sucked. Ross wants to know what type of condition the Gunns are in since they’ve been attacked and do not know who Owen’s partner will be. Ross speculates that Jerry Lawler could be Owen’s partner.
We now turn focus to the second tag match between Lex Luger & British Bulldog and Jacob & Eli Blu. Ross says that Luger & Bulldog want to be called the “Allied Powers” then brings up how Bulldog became a Tag champion at WrestleMania 2. He hinted that Luger & Bulldog had aspirations to be champs. So, we learn that Luger & Bulldog now have a team name and seem to be in line for future title shots based on how Ross was talking.
Barry Didinsky now makes his WWF TV debut as he is talking with two people behind the “International Souvenirs” booth. His voice is grating. The souvernirs here can apparently only be purchased outside of the USA. He then gives us the number to buy WrestleMania XI merchandise.
A new interrogation ad airs, this time with Nicholas Turturro wanting Man Mountain Rock to prove that he is a “rock n’ roller” and WWF Superstar. Rock plays guitar then picks up Turturro and slams him as the screen goes black. This was quite lame and the worst of these bits. After that airs, Gorilla says that “Darryl Peterson” is not an impostor. Might as well have just let Peterson use his name with the gimmick given how much they use it on television. Call him “Man Mountain Rock” Darryl Peterson if you wanted that name.
The hosts lists off the celebrities that will be present at WrestleMania.
The video package on the Razor Ramon/Jeff Jarrett feud airs. After that, the hosts talk about the match for a bit.
Todd Pettengill is out on the floor. He points out Razor Ramon signing autographs then we see the “Fantasy play-by-play booth” where you can call a WWF match and commentate yourself then bring home the copy. Aldo Montoya is on color with a fan. Pettengill now runs into Stan Lane as they are in front of a locker setup. Lane plugs the Superstar Line and some game where you can wrestle a WWF Superstar over the phone. Lane then says the wrestlers will be on the hotline after their matches.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is happy to be part of WrestleMania where he will be interviewing wrestlers.
The video package on the Undertaker’s urn airs to hype Undertaker/Bundy for WrestleMania. Or at least try to hype this match.
Diesel is shown taking photos with a couple of kids. He even lets them pose with the World Heavyweight Title.
Pettengill is now at the dunk tank, which saw Howard Finkel replace Doink the Clown. Pettengill now tries to “Sink the Fink” but we see Harvey Whippleman come over and dunk Finkel as Brooklyn Brawler holds Finkel’s head underwater. I’m sure Vince pissed his pants laughing over this segment.
The video package on the Shawn Michaels/Diesel feud airs. Set to the music best remembered on “NFL Primetime.” Ross believes the longer the match goes that Shawn will have the advantage and thinks with Psycho Sid’s help there will be a new champion tonight.
Shawn is now shown signing autographs for fans.
Bob Backlund is shown in the ring as he will be interviewed when we come back from commercial.
Pettengill is now in the ring with Backlund. After being chastised for not addressing Backlund as “mister,” Backlund uses his expansive vocabulary to tell us what he will do to Bret Hart tonight and that he will make us all learn to read and write because he’s taking over the world. Just a rambling mess of a promo that did nothing to make you want to see this match and did a lot to hammer home how this gimmick was played out and a parody of itself.
The Bret Hart music video airs.
A Lawrence Taylor video package airs.
Gorilla is by himself as Ross went off to prepare for his interview with Lawrence Taylor’s All-Pro Team.
The clip of Steve McMichael brawling with Kama on the 3/20 edition of “Monday Night RAW” is shown then LT and Bigelow brawling during the workout in Times Square.
Ross is now in the ring with LT’s All-Pro Team. He asks Norton how WrestleMania compares to the Super Bowl as Norton was unaware just how big WrestleMania was then Ross interviews the rest of the team. Chris Spielman hopes Tatanka tries to pull something with him so he can take care of business then says this team will take care of The Corporation. Spielman did a decent job here. Ross talks to Reggie White and asks how he prepared for King Kong Bundy, saying he takes cheap shots. White said he has been double and triple teamed in the NFL and has his eye on Bundy. White puts over how he has been treated this weekend as well. Ross now talks to Steve McMichael, who says there is no worries as they can take care of The Corporation. McMichael is also not phased by Kama and said he even wished that Bigelow pushed him so he could be the one wrestling today. Banks & Norton barely said anything but the other three appeared comfortable on camera and came off well, with McMichael carrying himself like a wrestler.
Pettengill is now with Didinsky to talk about merchandise. Didinsky hawks some WrestleMania XI merchandise such as a t-shirt and football. Didinsky makes sure to tell us the WWF logo is on the back of the t-shirt to show us its authentic. We also get a hat/program/poster combo for $19. We even get a Lawrence Taylor shirt. Didinsky is just the absolute shits in this role with the delivery of the fans they plucked out of the crowd to be the guest ring announcers on “Superstars.” Plus, I do not see the reason for a designated merchandise guy since Pettengill was there and a great pitchman who was only on the main shows for voiceovers or give the PPV reports.
Salt n’ Pepa are in the studio talking about singing Lawrence Taylor to the ring.
Pettengill is with Bob Holly, dressed in his racing uniform, in front of his car. After saying hi, Pettengill tells us how to order WrestleMania on PPV.
The hosts talk up WrestleMania XI as being the best ever and run down the card and celebrities involved and the show closes with a WrestleMania XI hype video.
Final Thoughts: More fun than the syndicated WrestleMania XI hype shows as being at the Fan Festival is much livelier than the passe studio format with recycled clips. Plus, we learned that Luger & Bulldog have a name and got to see the debut of the legendary Barry Didinsky. Who can beat that? WrestleMania XI will be reviewed on Monday as I am going back to listen to lots of podcasts/shoot interviews over the weekend to take notes for the review.