What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – May 15, 1995

In a video package to hype tonight’s main event IRS and Bam Bam Bigelow cut promos against each other.  IRS hits a home run by threatening to get a lien of Bigelow’s tattoos.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are tasked with commentary and they are live from Binghamton, New York.  As expected, Lawler gloats about beating Bret Hart at In Your House and that he did that “all by himself.”

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – May 15, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – May 6, 1995

Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are on commentary duties and they are still in Des Moines, Iowa.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – May 6, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – April 30, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill recap the Diesel-Bam Bam Bigelow match for the WWF title that occurred on Monday Night RAW, as well as how Bigelow turned face after the bout when he was beaten down by the Million Dollar Corporation.

Ross and Pettengill are doing commentary for today’s show and they are taped from Moline, Illinois.  The tapings took place on April 26 and had a papered attendance of 5,500.

Ross and Pettengill announce that the 1-2-3 Kid was supposed to face Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental title on today’s show but he is injured.  As a result, Bob Holly will face Jarrett instead.  Jarrett says that he will show Holly how great he is, while Holly promises to cross the finish line.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – April 30, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 29, 1995

Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are in the booth and they are taped from Des Moines, Iowa.  These tapings occurred on April 25.  Thehistoryofwwe.com says that 4,500 people attended the tapings but that they were “papered,” meaning that the company gave away free tickets for people to show up to the arena.

McMahon and Hendrix discuss Diesel’s WWF title defense against Bam Bam Bigelow on RAW and how Bigelow was kicked out of the Million Dollar Corporation after the bout.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 29, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 22, 1995

Vince McMahon hypes today’s match for the Intercontinental title where Jeff Jarrett will defend the title against Aldo Montoya.

McMahon and Dok Hendrix are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Glen Falls, New York.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 22, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 15, 1995

Vince McMahon hypes today’s battle between the Smoking Gunns and the Shoguns (Hakushi and Kwang).

McMahon and Dok Hendrix – the name that the WWF has given to Michael Hayes – have the commentary duties and they are still in Glen Falls, New York.  This is Hayes’s debut as the company chose him to fill color commentary duties over others that they reportedly auditioned, which included Shane Douglas.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – April 15, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WrestleMania XI

A video package quickly highlights the various WrestleMania’s.  It is notable that celebrities are emphasized in this package instead of wrestlers, partly due to the fact that Hulk Hogan, competing in WCW, was in the main event of most of them.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Hartford, Connecticut.  The Hartford Civic Center is probably the worst WrestleMania venue in history since it lacks the history and size of its predecessors and successors.  Its selection is an illustration of the problems that the company was experiencing the mid-1990s.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WrestleMania XI

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 27, 1995

This was a “special edition” of Monday Night RAW as Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon broadcast the no holds barred match between Bret Hart and Owen Hart, which was taped on March 13 in Stockton, California, while Vince McMahon and Todd Pettengill hype WrestleMania XI from the company’s studios in Stamford, Connecticut.

A video package recaps the Bret Hart-Owen Hart feud, beginning with the 1994 Survivor Series where Owen got his mother and father to throw in a towel in Bret’s submission match with Bob Backlund, an act that cost Bret the WWF title.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 27, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Sunday Night Slam – March 26, 1995

Sunday Night Slam was a show that the company aired a couple of times in 1994 and one time in 1995.  It served as a lead-in for big pay-per-view events like SummerSlam and Survivor Series and tried to entice fans to buy the shows by showcasing the major feuds and angles in various matches.  It was not quite a Clash of the Champions concept that WCW was using but it did provide the company with additional exposure on USA Network outside of its usual timeslots for Monday Night RAW, WWF Mania, and The Action Zone.  Later on, the name of the show would be used to hype other pay-per-view events before the Free for All was created in January 1996, but it never again featured original matches.

Vince McMahon and Jim Ross are doing commentary for the event.  The matches were taped along with several episodes of Monday Night RAW on March 13 in Stockton, California.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Sunday Night Slam – March 26, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 13, 1995

Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Stockton, California

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 13, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 11, 1995

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling the action and they are now doing tapings in Augusta, Georgia.  These tapings were held on February 21.

Before the next bout, Jim Cornette tells the crowd that Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett has informed him that he has signed a contract to defend his title against Razor Ramon at WrestleMania.  However, Cornette says that Ramon will not make it there because he is facing Mantaur in the next bout.  Although many did not know it at the time (and as revealed in James Dixon’s book Titan Sinking:  The Decline of the WWF in 1995), the booking of Jarrett and Ramon was a big blow for Ramon, who had filmed some vignettes to turn heel and face the Undertaker.  Turning Ramon heel would have done wonders for his character and strengthened the heel side of the roster.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 11, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 6, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps how Bam Bam Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor traded verbal blows at the WrestleMania XI press conference.  McMahon promises us footage of the press conference.

McMahon and Jim Cornette are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Macon, Georgia.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – March 6, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 26, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are on commentary and they are still taped from Fort Myers, Florida.

A video package recaps the end of last week’s British Bulldog-Bob Backlund match that led to today’s tag team main event between the Bulldog and Bret Hart against Backlund and Owen Hart.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 26, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 19, 1995

Todd Pettengill narrates a video package hyping today’s feature match between the British Bulldog and Bob Backlund.

Jim Ross and Pettengill are doing commentary and they are at a new taping location in Fort Myers, Florida.  These tapings were held on January 25.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 19, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 12, 1995

Todd Pettengill narrates a video package that recaps the Lex Luger-Tatanka feud that has been going on since the summer of 1994.

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are still taped from South Padre Island, Texas.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 12, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – February 11, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps Shawn Michaels victory in the Royal Rumble and hypes today’s match between Michaels and Adam Bomb.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are in the booth and they are still taped from Corpus Christi, Texas.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – February 11, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 5, 1995

Jim Ross and Vince McMahon are covering the action, which is still coming from South Padre Island, Texas.  McMahon is replacing Todd Pettengill because Pettengill is on vacation.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – February 5, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – January 30, 1995

Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary this evening and they are still taped from Palmetto, Florida.  The green screen that they are broadcast against is jarring.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – January 30, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Royal Rumble 1995

A limousine pulls into the backstage area and Pamela Anderson walks out.  She goes to her locker room as WWF wrestlers, led by Dink of all people, hoot and holler.  What?  You expected respectful manners out of a group of wrestlers?

As a side note, when you have been watching tons of television tapings from Liberty, New York in a high school gym for weeks on end it really makes you appreciate the bigger venue that this show is in and it makes everything seem more important.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on the mic and they are live from Tampa, Florida.  What is hilarious about the opening is that Vince tries to introduce the Spanish announce team and Hugo Savinovich just stays seated with his back to the camera.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Royal Rumble 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 22, 1995

Todd Pettengill is live from Tampa, Florida from the location of the Royal Rumble.  Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth calling the taped matches which are still from Liberty, New York.  As long as it gets Todd out of the booth it is fine with me.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 22, 1995

What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 15, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary today and they recap the WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament semi-finals, which were held on WWF Superstars.  They still appear to be in Liberty, New York in a high school gymnasium.  Although this was not a great financial period for the company I have to envy some of these people that got to attend these smaller shows.  I would have loved for the WWF to come to my small community during this time period.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 15, 1995

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 7, 1995

Vince McMahon announces that the Smoking Gunns are not going to be in the tag team tournament because Bart Gunn suffered a knee injury when his horse fell on him in a rodeo.  Yes, that is the best excuse that the company could come up with but it fits the cartoonish product at the time.  In reality there was no injury and Vince simply decided to push another team for the tournament and that team is the one that will take the Gunns place: the 1-2-3 Kid and Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly.

McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Newark, Delaware.  The show was taped on December 14, 1994.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 7, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 1, 1995

Although I have reviewed some of the early Attitude Era action on the Blog, I am going to embark on a new project:  reviewing all of the major televised action for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1995.  Readers are likely aware that 1995 was a terrible financial year for the company, with James Dixon writing in Titan Sinking that Vince McMahon and Titan Sports lost $6 million.  The wrestling industry was in the doldrums in the mid-1990s, reeling from declining ratings; the end of the Hulkamania boom; and lingering suspicions from sponsors about steroid and drug use, which caused the federal government to put McMahon on trial in the summer of 1994.

On a personal note, 1995 was the year that I got into wrestling.  Being exposed to the business during one of its worst times did not phase me since I had nothing else to compare it to.  I knew nothing of workrate or star ratings and accepted Diesel as the WWF champion.  However, it was painfully obvious to me that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were clearly the best and I enjoyed their televised matches throughout the year.  Little did I know at the time that both men had a significant rivalry behind the scenes and when it exploded in Montreal two years later it would help the WWF regain its position as the supreme brand of professional wrestling in North America.

These reviews will chronicle major WWF programming in 1995.  We will go through Wrestling Challenge, Monday Night Raw, Superstars, and The Action Zone.  Pay-per-views will also be covered, as will the occasional Sunday Night Slam where warranted.  Win-loss records will be provided for talent throughout the year and matches will be recapped, with reflections on the purpose of those matches and how they fit into existing storylines.  I will also compile other statistics – house show attendance, drawing power for champions – that I will share periodically.  Furthermore, for each week of action I will try to provide a brief calendar of notable events so readers can see the context that all of this booking is fitting into.  The reviews will be posted to the Blog on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 1, 1995