–Jim Ross recaps how the Intercontinental title was held up as a result of last week’s controversial finish to the Jeff Jarrett-Bob Holly match.
–Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are doing the second week of tapings in Moline, Illinois.
–Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett (w/The Roadie) (9-5-1) defeats Bob Holly (4-4-1) after a roll up to win the title at 8:27 shown:
Since the title is held up no one is the champion so someone could theoretically win the title based on a count out or disqualification. The referee shenanigans continue from the previous week as Tim White counts a pinfall for Jarrett despite Holly’s foot being on the bottom rope four minutes into the bout so the match is restarted. Then, Earl Hebner gets White to toss out the Roadie after he uncovers a turnbuckle. Although that would appear to be a kiss of death for Jarrett, he kicks out of being sent into the exposed buckle and a few other Holly moves before taking advantage of Holly going shoulder-first into the ring post on a blind charge and rolling him up to regain the title. The crowd thought Holly might win after the Roadie was tossed and Jarrett winning was a letdown, but in retrospect there was no chance of Holly getting the Intercontinental title as long as Jarrett was still feuding with Razor Ramon. Rating: **
–Skip and Sunny say that they are headed to the WWF, insulting the crowd for being out of shape.
–Pettengill and Stephanie Wiand’s tour of the house being given away at In Your House, which originally aired on WWF Mania, is shown.
–Bam Bam Bigelow (6-2) pins the Brooklyn Brawler after a flying headbutt at 2:23:
This is Bigelow’s first match as a babyface and he is sporting a new theme and entrance attire that allows him to shoot fire out of his fists. The Brawler is such a good jobber that he actually sells Bigelow’s new pyro show as if he has been scarred for life. Bigelow absorbs some token offense from the Brawler before throwing him off the top rope and finishing him.
–Call 1-900-737-4WWF to get an update about the 1-2-3 Kid and find out about a controversy that could have changed the face of the In Your House card! It will cost you $1.49 to get the information.
–Rad Radford pins Gary Scott after a Northern Lights suplex at 2:46:
Radford is Louie Spicolli, who wrestled in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Mexico’s AAA promotion in 1994, and he is sporting a gimmick where he is supposed to be from the Seattle grunge rock scene. Radford yells at the crowd, thereby aligning him with the heel side of the roster, and Pettengill tries to educate Ross about the grunge scene, which Ross says he is not a fan of. Curiously, Radford is just wearing a regular wrestling singlet, so nothing identifies him as grunge except his ring attire of a backward baseball cap and flannel jacket. It is also not good that he did not get any vignettes prior to his debut, unlike what Chris Candido and Hunter-Hearst Helmsley are getting. The crowd is dead as Radford pounds way on Scott, hitting a variety of suplexes before using the Northern Lights Suplex to get a win in his debut.
–Ross and Pettengill hype the In Your House pay-per-view, which will take place next week. WWF Champion Diesel says that he is going to be all over Sid in their title match. More footage is also shown of the house that is being given away.
–Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) (11-0) defeats Buck Zumhofe after a flapjack at 2:28:
Kama is sporting a new look here, getting rid of the white shirt beneath his wrestling tights, which serves to better showcase his physique and it is also a much better fit for the gimmick. A black wreath is delivered to ringside and when Kama inspects it, Zumhofe does one of the most intelligent things I have ever seen a jobber do as he delivers an ax handle off the apron to Kama and wails away. Kama does not sell that, though, and tears up the wreath before destroying Zumhofe with his “mixed martial arts” skills and finishing with a sloppy flapjack. After the match, Kama shoves part of the wreath into Zumhofe’s mouth, which is much worse than the $100 bill that some jobbers to the Corporation have gotten in the past.
–Bret Hart (4-1-1) beats Mantaur (w/Jim Cornette) (13-1) with a schoolboy at 7:36 shown:
Ross rips apart Mantaur’s gimmick by saying that he is a champion amateur wrestler from Nebraska and only acts like a beast to intimidate his opponents. Dave Meltzer commented in The Wrestling Observer around this time that this was a legitimate claim, as Mantaur forced Nebraska to set a ceiling for how much you could weigh to be a heavyweight wrestler since he was so big that he would overpower his opponents. Ross’s claims are in stark contrast to what Vince McMahon has been saying on commentary for months about how Mantaur is “half man, half beast,” though. Ross even gets into talking about how Mantaur was a bully in school and stole kids lunch money, doing a better job giving Mantaur a backstory, as ridiculous as it is, than anything that has been ascribed to him since he debuted. Mantaur works through his slow, boring offense until Bret begins a comeback and then Cornette draws more heat than his protégé by tripping Bret when Bret runs the ropes. Cornette interferes again when Bret goes for the Sharpshooter, but heel miscommunication allows Bret to schoolboy the bigger Mantaur for the win. Bret looked bored wrestling this match and he sports a look of “I’m glad this is over” to conclude the show. Rating: *½
–Tune in next week to see the Allied Powers square off with Men on a Mission!
The Last Word: The rematch for the Intercontinental title was a solid, albeit overbooked, effort but the main event fell short of expectations. Mantaur’s inability to have a good match with Bret and the lack of heat he was able to generate from the crowd probably did him few favors in the front office. After all, if you cannot have on a good match with Bret Hart, who can you have a good match with?
There were three additional bouts that appeared on Wrestling Challenge, a show that did not feature Bret Hart vs. Mantaur or the Intercontinental title match:
*The Allied Powers (7-0) defeated Chad Miller & Todd Becker
*Duke Droese (10-1) beat The Black Phantom
*Men on a Mission (9-1) defeated Ron Hagen & Butler Stevens
Backstage News*: As expected, Razor Ramon lost the USWA Unified title to Jerry Lawler in Memphis on May 1. Ramon also lost to Lawler and Sid in a tag team match on the same card, partnering with Brian Lee in the losing effort. Sid has been a big draw in Memphis and will return on May 8 to team with Lawler in a babyface role against Lee and Ron Harris, who is wrestling for the WWF as Eli Blu.
*The WWF is looking into what city will play host to WrestleMania XII, with the Anaheim Pond or the new Boston Gardens looking like top contenders.
*When it comes to incoming talent, Dan Spivey will be working as a heel under the name “Waylon Mercy,” although the gimmick has yet to be determined. Steve Williams and Johnny Ace might be additional acquisitions for the company, but both have good deals in Japan. Of the two, the WWF is higher on Williams, especially Jim Ross.
*The company is happy about the recent ratings for RAW but wish that those viewers would purchase pay-per-views. The declining buyrates of pay-per-views is concerning because WrestleMania XI barely outdrew UFC 5: The Return of the Beast, which aired on April 7. To generate more exposure, the WWF is hoping to work with FOX to produce a series of one-hour shows after the NFL season concludes.
*News items are based on reports from the May 15 edition of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.
Up Next: Monday Night RAW from May 8!