What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – January 29, 1995

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are taped from South Padre Island, Texas.

Opening Contest:  Mantaur (w/Jim Cornette) (3-0) beats Aldo Montoya (2-0) after a spinebuster at 6:28:

Cornette is already the MVP of this show for giving a big eyed look when Mantaur does his animal-like roars, doing his best to try to salvage what he can from this horrible gimmick.  As expected, this is your typical big man versus little man match, with Mantaur dominating the action due to his girth and power.  Montoya mounts a rally after Mantaur misses an avalanche in the corner but he cannot avoid the clutches of Mantaur forever and is finished with a high impact spinebuster.  This was going nowhere for the first four minutes but these guys got it together near the end.  Rating:  *½

Ross and Pettengill recap the Royal Rumble results and encourages us to buy the encore presentation on Tuesday.

The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) beat Buck Quartermaine & Terry Scott after Jacob pins Scott after a spinebuster/leg drop combination at 3:30:

The Blu Brothers – the Appalachian gimmick of Ron and Don Harris who are in turn managed by Dutch Mantel – made their official debut at the Royal Rumble and did very little in the actual Rumble match.  They fare much better in their first televised squash on this show, using their significant size advantage to destroy the much smaller Quartermaine and Scott.  This did its job of making the Blus look imposing, but the WWF never found a way to capitalize on that while they had this gimmick.

Ross and Pettengill do some more recapping of the Royal Rumble.

The British Bulldog (4-1) pins Reno Riggins after the running powerslam at 3:34:

Ross and Pettengill allude to the fact that the Bulldog has unfinished business with Shawn Michaels due to the outcome of their Royal Rumble encounter so that will be a mini-feud to keep Michaels preoccupied until WrestleMania.  Riggins was a mainstay enhancement talent for the WWF by this period and he was actually nearing his first retirement, which would occur in early 1995.  The Bulldog notches yet another syndicated television win to some piped in cheers but he is legitimately over with the crowd.

A Kama vignette airs to let us know that he is coming.  The problem is that he has already arrived on WWF Superstars a day earlier!

Shawn Michaels defeats Gary Sabaugh after Sweet Chin Music at 2:33:

This is Michaels first televised singles match in 1995 as he has spent time on the shelf with a minor injury prior to winning the Royal Rumble and was killing time doing Monday Night RAW commentary with Vince McMahon.  Michaels takes the old Italian Stallion so seriously that he insists on wearing his hat during this squash, feigning outrage near the end of the match when Sabaugh knocks it off his head.  The superkick was becoming Michaels finisher of choice by this time period, which he really needed because there was no way he was beating bigger opponents like Diesel with the Tear Drop Suplex or a piledriver, and that helps him notch a clean win here.

Man Mountain Rock says he is winning to pay the price to win a WWF title.

Shawn Michaels taunts Adam Bomb backstage before Bomb makes his entrance for his next match.  They have to be separated by WWF officials.

Adam Bomb (2-0) defeats Butch Long after a Neutron Bomb at 2:06:

Bomb makes very quick work of Long here, not allowing him much offense aside from a brief flurry of punches.  A Bomb-Michaels match in the future holds significant promise, although it is surprising that Bomb is not getting a more significant push considering his impressive size.

Ross and Pettengill talk about the Royal Rumble some more.

Henry Godwinn (2-0) pins Jason Ahrndt after a Slop Drop at 2:07:

Godwinn is booked to face the Undertaker on WWF Superstars so this is a “tune up” match for him.  Normally one might think Godwinn would have no shot, but the Undertaker has had his urn confiscated by the Million Dollar Corporation so he is really vulnerable this time!

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to play Royal Rumble trivia and hear Bret Hart talk about the only way he can stop his brother Owen!

The Bushwhackers defeat Bull Payne & The Brooklyn Brawler after Luke pins Payne after a double stomachbreaker at 2:25:

The Bushwhackers were not regulars on WWF programming but they would be pulled out of mothballs from time to time when the company needed them.  They were still really over with the audience, relishing in that Hacksaw Jim Duggan-like charisma where people are attracted to unusual babyface acts.  The Bushwhackers move really slowly and have trouble getting in and out of the ring, but that does not stop them from taking all of the offense in this match and conveniently defeating Payne seconds before the show closes.

Tune in next week to see Diesel defend the WWF title against Owen Hart!

Last Word:  This show included some good storyline development as we are clued into potential matchups looming between Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog and Adam Bomb, respectively.  It also gave some hype to the Blu Brothers, who figure to be a big part of the tag division in 1995.

The WWF ran a few house shows on the East Coast in late January and here are the results of some of those shows (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):

Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore Arena – January 26, 1995 (2,500):  Henry Godwinn beat Bob Holly…Aldo Montoya defeated Kwang…King Kong Bundy beat the British Bulldog…WWF Champion Diesel defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett…Bret Hart beat Owen Hart via submission to the Sharpshooter…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns defeated Well Dunn…Razor Ramon beat Bob Backlund.

Niagara Falls, New York – January 29, 1995:  Shawn Michaels did a Heartbreak Hotel segment with Bob Backlund…Henry Godwinn pinned Bob Holly…Kwang beat Barry Hardy…WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns defeated Well Dunn…Shawn Michaels beat Aldo Montoya…King Kong Bundy pinned the British Bulldog after two druids interfered behind the referee’s back and one of them revealed themselves after the match as IRS…Mabel (substituting for the injured Undertaker) pinned IRS (w/two druids)…Bret Hart beat Owen Hart in a no holds barred match via submission to the Sharpshooter.  After the bell, Bret briefly reapplied the hold…Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via disqualification when the Roadie interfered when Ramon attempted the Razor’s Edge.

Backstage News*:  The WWF made an appearance at the National Association of Television Program Executives on January 24, bringing Vince McMahon, Diesel, the Undertaker, Jim Ross, and others.  Other companies such as WCW and the American Wrestling Federation (AWF) had booths as well.  In a bad sign for the WWF, not a lot of people in attendance knew who Diesel was.

*Any chances of the company using Brian Lee in any other capacity are nil since he was just released from his contract.  Lee played the fake Undertaker in the Undertaker vs. Undertaker feud during the previous summer.

*In additional talent relations news one wrestler that is still under contract is Yokozuna, who has been told to lose weight before he is brought back for a television program.  And the company might sever ties with television personality Stephanie Wiand in the near future as she keeps messing up pre-Rumble segments on WWF Mania and at the pay-per-view.

*News items were taken from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer from February 6, 1995.

Up Next:  Monday Night RAW for January 30!