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.

Opening Contest for the WWF Championship:  Diesel (Champion) (0-0-1) defeats Owen Hart (3-0) after a Jackknife at 4:19 shown:

This is Diesel’s first match on “free” television in 1995.  My copy of the show begins after the early stages of this match have begun, with Owen focusing his attack on Diesel’s leg.  Owen tries to go to the top rope once too often against the bigger Diesel, though, getting crotched when he attempts another missile dropkick, and Diesel unceremoniously pins him shortly thereafter with a Jackknife.  Owen was following Bret’s template to try to beat Diesel here, but he is a little less accomplished so it makes sense that Diesel was able to finish him without too much difficulty.  Rating:  **

After the match, Shawn Michaels comes out and Diesel urges him to come into the ring.  However, Michaels thinks better of it and heads back to the locker room.

Ross and McMahon discuss whether Lawrence Taylor provoked Bam Bam Bigelow at The Royal Rumble.

Duke “the Dumpster” Droese (5-0) beats Barry Horowitz after a Trash Compactor at 2:44:

Droese keeps racking up these victories over jobbers on the WWF’s B-level shows but they do not seem to be getting him anywhere since he is not locked in a feud with anyone.  This marks the first appearance of Horowitz in 1995 and he gets in more offense than a typical enhancement talent against Droese, illustrating that even during this time there was a hierarchy among the job class.  McMahon calls this win “impressive” but Horowitz has not won a match in forever.

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Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (1-0) pins Matt Hardy after the End of the Trail at 3:19:

Ross and McMahon tease that there is tension within the Million Dollar Corporation and between Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow because of their failure to win the WWF Tag Team titles at the Royal Rumble.  Hardy gets in a great deal of offense against Tatanka, but misses a springboard moonsault off the ropes, and Tatanka responds with a chop off the top rope, illustrating one of the failures of his character as his offense did not significantly change after his heel turn.  Tatanka wins this one, thereby keeping him in the public eye for a match against Lex Luger on next week’s show and for the scheduled six man tag team match on Monday Night RAW when he will team with IRS and King Kong Bundy against Luger and Men on a Mission.

Bob Backlund lets us know that when he applies the chicken wing to someone that they will not be released from the hold until they quit and say his name.  He says that he will prove this on next week’s show.

Doink (w/Dink) (1-0) defeats Greg Davis after the Whoopie Cushion at 3:35:

McMahon gets a kick out of Doink and Dink’s antics, which center around biting and kicking Davis in his rear end and Dink running in to log roll Davis’s stomach.  Only under the rules of pro wrestling would such interference in view of the referee be deemed legal.  And the Whoopie Cushion had its ridiculous sound effect because we are having fun!

Ken Norton, Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers tells us that he is going to WrestleMania!

Kama (2-0) beats Charlie Hunter via submission to an STF at 2:33:

Ross puts over Kama’s athletic nature but you can tell he has to stop himself from talking about whether Kama might be an All-American or whether he played football in his younger days.  The commentary is also funny when McMahon keeps saying “What is this?” when Kama tries a move and Ross immediately answers with what is happening.  The referee does not mind that Kama pulls the hair in getting the STF applied and without that intervention, Hunter is toast.  After the match, Kama says that he wants better competition.

Ray Rougeau interviews WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns during a taped segment from the “In High Gear” Tour.  They say that they love the fans and will give all of the teams a title shot that want one.

Hakushi (w/Shinja) (4-0) pins Shawn Dakota after a Senton Bomb at 2:37:

Hakushi is much more methodical in this squash, possibly in an attempt to get fans to quit cheering him as much in some of the recent towns that the company has visited.  As a result, it is not as entertaining as it could be, but Hakushi vanquishes Dakota after a quick splash, flying shoulder block, and Senton Bomb.

Tune in next week to see Lex Luger face his archrival Tatanka!

Since I do not have more copies of episodes of Wrestling Challenge here were some additional results from that show:

*Bob Backlund (2-0) defeated Raven Clark

*The New Headshrinkers (0-1) defeated Lee Tobin & Sonny Pruitt

The WWF was doing a tour of Canada during this week in its history, drawing a big crowd in Montreal with the help of Ray Rougeau.  Other scheduled shows in Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island were snowed out.  (Results courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):

Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The Forum – February 3, 1995 (12,113):  Ray Rougeau opened the show with an in-ring segment where Rick Martel appeared and said that when he returned to the WWF it would be in Montreal…Aldo Montoya beat Kwang…The British Bulldog pinned Bob Backlund after a rollup…WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano beat Alunda Blayze at 8:58 by setting Blayze up with a slingshot suplex and then using an elevated DDT…Shawn Michaels defeated Pierre Oulette at 14:09 with a dive into the ring and using the Flair pin after Oulette missed a cannonball dive from the second rope to the arena floor.  After the match Michaels attacked Oulette until Rick Martel made the save and clotheslined Michaels to the floor.  Later in the show, Michaels returned to the ring to call out Martel and then called him a coward when he did not appear…Bret Hart beat Owen Hart in a no holds barred match via submission to the Sharpshooter at 5:19.  After the match, Bret kept the hold applied for two minutes until it was announced that he had been fined.  Bret then re-applied the hold before letting go…Adam Bomb defeated Henry Godwinn…WWF Champion Diesel beat King Kong Bundy via disqualification at 5:14 when two druids interfered when Diesel went for the Jackknife.  After the bell, Diesel Jackknifed both druids…Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via count out at 5:37 when Jarrett left the ringside area.  After the bell, Ramon tossed the Roadie into the ring and gave him a Razor’s Edge…Bob Holly & the 1-2-3 Kid beat the Heavenly Bodies at 12:05 when the Kid pinned Jimmy Del Ray after a fisherman’s suplex after Holly prevented a double suplex by spearing Dr. Tom Prichard…Lex Luger pinned Tatanka at 9:12 after reversing a backdrop attempt into an inside cradle.

Backstage News*:  The WWF was very happy with the way that the Montreal show went, even more pleased with the fact that it drew a sizable crowd.  The show was handled by Ray Rougeau because Jacques Rougeau, who had previously handled a lot of the WWF’s business in the area, stopped working with them when the company refused to run a big stadium show.

*Several superstars are expected to return to the company by the end of the month as Sid is likely to return to the company for the first time since 1992 as Shawn Michaels bodyguard, and Yokozuna and Nikolai Volkoff may also return to the ring.  WCW is also putting out a rumor that Jesse Ventura might return to do commentary, potentially replacing Shawn Michaels on RAW.

*News taken from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 13.

The Last Word:  There were some entertaining matches on this episode, especially the squash between Tatanka and Matt Hardy because Tatanka allowed Hardy to get in more than the standard jobber token offense.  The commentary was also an upgrade with McMahon replacing Pettengill, although he and Ross were an awkward team because both fashioned themselves as play-by-play guys and were doing their best not to talk over each other.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW from February 6!