July 30, 1995
From the Kiel Center in St. Louis, MO. This was the final “Wrestling Challenge” taping. I’ll get more into that at the end of the review.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week are Hakushi, King Kong Bundy, Adam Bomb, and the Smoking Gunns
Smoking Gunns vs. Victor Lewis & Scott Turner
The announcers tell us that Diesel retained the title over Sid at In Your House and how Shawn Michaels defeated Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title. Billy works over Lewis, who appears to be about 5’3, to start. The announcers now talk about the Gunns and Jacob & Eli Blu feud as Turner and Bart tag into the match. Turner is taller and much skinnier. Bart uses a monkey flip in the corner as The Gunns stay in control as Ross notes the Gunns have deceiving size. This match keeps going until the Gunns hit a lifting clothesline on Turner for the win (3:29).
Thoughts: A long, boring match that let the announcers talk up the Gunns/Jacob & Eli Blu feud and go over the key results from In Your House.
WWF Live Event News with Stan Lane. More hype for the 8/12 MSG feud. However, here we learn that Shawn & Diesel will no face Men on a Mission instead of Sid & Jeff Jarrett since the latter walked out on the company.
The ad for SummerSlam airs that ends with Diesel pulling up in a desert town and getting an attractive woman to get in with him as they go to SummerSlam.
Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. David Haskins
The announcers talk up the Tatanka/Bigelow strap match at MSG with the story being Tatanka is a master at that type of match. Tatanka beats on Haskins to start. Haskins comes back with a crossbody for two then a rollup for two but after that is turned inside-out with a clothesline. Tatanka dumps Haskins outside and heads out to chop him down as the announcers shill the Superstar Line. Tatanka takes the action back inside of the ring and beats on Haskins in the corner. Tatanka stays in control and hits a few slams then drops an elbow as the announcers talk about Sid blaming Shawn Michaels for his loss. Tatanka then hits a flying chopand soon after that the End of the Trail gets the win (4:08).
Thoughts: A long match as the announcers talked up the Tatanka/Bigelow strap match at MSG among other things. However, there was a lot of reports and rumors about Tatanka’s standing in the company. On the WCW Hotline, Mean Gene Okerlund said that Tatanka (along with Harvey Whippleman, Stephanie Wiand, Lou Albano, and even Owen Hart) were part of the “cutback list.” The Torch reported that at this time, Tatanka was in the doghouse for an undisclosed reason. And next time we get to Owen here I’ll bring up what the Torch said about his standing in the company and why there was heat.
We get a new vignette of Fatu. He is at his old high school talking about his buddies wanting to cause trouble but he said no to drugs and stayed in school before telling us to say no to drugs and violence while doing the right thing. We then see “Making a Difference” appear on the screen. All the stay off drugs stuff seems so tacked on and without much conviction. Its like Fatu wanted nothing to do with this gimmick, like he said in his shoot interview. Even he seemed to know this was a losing gimmick.
Aldo Montoya vs. Tony Williams
Williams is a longtime Memphis wrestler and even teamed with Brian Christopher as “The New Kids” in the early 90’s. However, at this point in Memphis, he was mainly enhancement talent. Gorilla says that Montoya can do anything he puts his mind to then the announcers have some dialogue to talk about the show sponsor, Stridex. Montoya takes control early then hits a missile dropkick from the apron. Back inside, Montoya works an armbar on the mat as the Stridex graphic remains on the screen. The announcers tell us we will hear what happened to Jeff Jarrett & Roadie at In Your House. Williams catches Montoya with a dropkick then he rams him into the corner. Williams gets two with a suplex but Montoya comes back with a flying forearm then runs wild until he puts Williams away with a flying bulldog (3:36).
Thoughts: Some decent action here but the crowds do not care about Montoya as he is a step above someone like Williams.
We now get the video of Jarrett losing to Shawn at In Your House before cutting to Barry Didinsky in the aisle as he shills the “Ain’t I Great” t-shirt and free “With My Baby Tonight” cassette tape.
The graphic hyping Goldust’s debut airs.
Adam Bomb vs. Tony DeVito
Bomb tries to pump up the St. Louis crowd as the announcers bring up how Henry Godwinn slopped Bomb a few weeks ago. Bomb works the arm of DeVito to start. DeVito lands a few punches but is taken over with a hip toss. Bomb follows with a slam and a standing dropkick before applying an armbar on the mat. Ross says we will hear from The Dean shortly as Bomb drops DeVito with a running clothesline. DeVito rakes the eyes and chokes out Bomb on the top rope as Gorilla says they’ve sold 11,000 tickets for SummerSlam in less than 24 hours. Bomb fights back and catches DeVito with a powerslam before the flying clothesline gets the win (3:16).
Thoughts: The announcers reminded us about the Bomb/Godwinn feud since plans changed due to King Kong Bundy missing the post King of the Ring tapings with Pneumonia thus the company needing a replacement to face Bigelow at In Your House. Bomb seemed to get stop and start pushes and that would all end soon enough.
The Dean Douglas segment from RAW airs.
We see some of the Bret Hart vs. Hakushi match from RAW.
King Kong Bundy w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Buck Quartermaine
Bundy backs Quartermaine into the corner then uses an Irish whip and tries to follow with an avalanche but Quartermaine nearly falls out of the ring so Bundy stops short. Bundy tosses Quartermaine outside once again as DiBiase rolls Quartermaine back into the ring. Bundy finally hits the Avalanche for the win and did not get the five count he asked for despite asking (1:24).
Thoughts: Bundy gets the win, which would actually wind up being his final televised win in the company. And he would be gone in a few months anyway. His return was a flop, remember at one point he was considered a favorite to win the ’95 Rumble, as he was too slow and had a dated act. Bundy’s name was actually on the “cut list” that Wade Keller had in his “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter” but would survive for a few months anyway. I’ll talk more about that list in tomorrow’s RAW recap.
WWF Live Event News with Stan Lane. We learn here that Sid will face Razor Ramon at the 8/12 MSG show.
We get the same exact Lawler & Yankem segment we saw on “Superstars” with Gorilla & Ross reacting the same as Vince & Dok did at Yankem pulling teeth.
Next week in action are Waylon Mercy, 1-2-3 Kid, and Bam Bam Bigelow.
Final Thoughts: Not much here other than learning of the changes on the MSG card since Jarrett has left the company. But, the real news is this being the final taping of “Wrestling Challenge.” And for the reason here is what Dave Meltzer wrote in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” about the situation:
“Besides the employee cutbacks, come August, there will be major changes made in the way they do television. They’ve already moved from doing tapings every three weeks to every four weeks, doing four Raws and four Superstars at every taping. The Wrestling Challenge show is being dropped in the fall. WWF was facing cancellation of the show in both the New York and Los Angeles markets and had weak times in most of the other markets so felt the costs of doing the third day of taping weren’t worth whatever exposure they were getting. The show had been almost a throwaway for the past several months with the only newsworthy items from most Challenge tapings being Action Zone main event matches, which have for the most part discontinued the past few weeks. Action Zone, which consisted of the Challenge matches plus an added main event, will stay on USA but with a format change. In markets where Titan has a second syndication clearance, they will do a highlight show, which may be called Challenge or Spotlight or something else but with the Spotlight format so all the major angles will be on either Superstars or Raw. The tapings will always come the Monday and Tuesday after a PPV show, that way they never will publicly tip their hand as to PPV finishes the way WCW constantly does.”
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Monday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/31/95
Tuesday: WWF Superstars 8/5/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/6/95
Wednesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/7/95
Thursday: WWF Superstars 8/12/95
Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 8/12/95
Saturday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/13/95
Sunday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/14/95