What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – April 9, 1995

Jim Ross and Stan Lane are tasked with the commentary duties for today’s show and they are taped from Lowell, Massachusetts.  The tapings for this month’s set of episodes took place on April 5, 1995 and drew a sellout crowd of 2,500.

Opening Contest:  Eli Blu (w/Uncle Zebekiah) defeated Fatu (w/Afa & Captain Lou Albano) via disqualification when Sione interferes at 1:30 shown:

My copy of this show picks up halfway through this bout, with the Blus illegally switching off to wear down Fatu.  Fatu pulls off the old Headshrinkers “getting my head caught between the ropes” spot and this causes Sione to rush the ring and beat up the Blus, who retreat to the locker room.

Barry Didinsky urges the audience to call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get WrestleMania XI merchandise.

Doink (w/Dink) (4-1) beats Duane Gill via submission to a Stump Puller at 2:26:

Doink puts together a lazy squash here, just utilizing some striking moves against Gill before going back to his old finisher – which Lane aptly notes on commentary – to win.

Footage of Alundra Blayze winning the WWF Women’s Championship on RAW is shown, along with a post-match attack that occurred against her from a “mystery woman.”  Ross says that the name of the woman that hurt Blayze is named Bertha Faye, who has been romantically linked to Harvey Wippleman, thereby serving as a kiss of death for any new wrestler in the company.

King Kong Bundy (w/Ted DiBiase) (11-2) defeats Leroy Howard after the Avalanche at 1:43:

Ross tells us that Bob Holly won his first race under the WWF umbrella in the All Pro Series.  Bundy blocks a Howard slam attempt and after beating him in the corner he finishes him with the Avalanche.  Ross insists that Bundy is rebounding from his loss to the Undertaker at WrestleMania, but Bundy has no new storyline direction yet.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear Jim Ross’s conversation with Shawn Michaels from his home in Texas.  Ross promises that you will hear a very emotional dialogue.  Also, you can hear about Ted DiBiase’s plans for his Million Dollar Corporation for $1.49 per minute!

Henry Godwinn (8-2) pins Steve King after a flapjack at 1:30:

Godwinn takes the Doink route with this match, working in a slow series of strikes before smashing King into the canvas with a flapjack and winning.  The Slop Drop works as a better finisher, but King sold the flapjack like it killed him so kudos to him.

Razor Ramon (8-2) wrestles Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (5-2-1) to a double count out at 6:24 shown:

Although McMahon told us on Superstars that Ramon is still suffering knee issues from his WrestleMania bout with Jeff Jarrett, he is showing no signs of ill wear here, although Tatanka does dominate much of the contest, focusing his offense on Ramon’s lower back.  In a ridiculous assertion, Lane says that Ramon got his flying bulldog from Lawrence Taylor, despite the fact that Ramon has been doing the move for most of his WWF tenure.  Ramon makes a quick comeback after the commercial break, but King Kong Bundy attacks Ramon on the floor, only to get knocked down by the 1-2-3 Kid.  This brings Tatanka out to the floor to aid his Corporate ally, producing a double count out finish and breaking Ramon’s six match winning streak.  Rating:  **

Tune in next week to see the Allied Powers face the Heavenly Bodies!

The Last Word:  There were some signals from this show that the company was de-emphasizing The Action Zone and becoming much more reliant on RAW to sell the promotion’s storylines.  Almost a third of the broadcast was dedicated to replaying events from RAW rather than showing new matches to fans, even if those matches were squashes to put over talent.  In terms of in-ring action, this week was sub-par, although the wild brawl at the end of the main event was fun and next week promises to be better with a Heavenly Bodies match.

Wrestling Challenge for this week featured a few additional bouts:

*Hakushi (11-0) defeated Tony Roy

*The Smoking Gunns (6-1-1) beat Tony DeVito & Mike Bell

Backstage News*:  Razor Ramon is working some dates in Memphis as part of the WWF’s talent agreement with USWA.  Ramon defeated Bill Dundee for the Unified title the night after WrestleMania XI at the USWA’s weekly show in Memphis and will probably work one more date to drop the title to Dundee, Brian Christopher, or Jerry Lawler.  The USWA has been hoping that the use of WWF talent can bolster some its nightly crowds at the Memphis Coliseum, but Ramon’s clash with Dundee only brought in 1,100 fans (according to Kevin Nash’s 1995 Timeline interview with Kayfabe Commentaries Scott Hall was working these dates because his wife was growing angry over their family’s money situation).

*The WWF is waiting to use Paul Levesque, whose WCW release has yet to go through, and has reached out to Steve Williams to bolster the heel side of the roster.  However, Williams is making a good living in Japan and the WWF may not be able to match what he is receiving there.

*WrestleMania XI drew a good gate of $750,000, which was higher than any other house show since the last WrestleMania, but the pay-per-view buyrate was disappointing compared to past years and also disappointing due to its heavy use of celebrities, notably Lawrence Taylor in the main event.  Despite this, the show probably pulled in a solid stream of revenue because its price increased from $29.95 to $34.95, although the poor buyrate probably scuttles plans to use Taylor again.  And that may also be necessitated for locker room morale since WWF wrestlers were angry that the NFL players used in the main event got bigger paychecks than they did.

*The source for the backstage news summary came from the April 17 edition of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for April 10!