Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are wrapping up the tapings in Fort Myers, Florida.
–Opening Contest: Hakushi (w/Shinja) (7-0) defeats Bob Holly (1-1) after a senton splash at 8:59:
This is Hakushi’s first feature bout of the year and he struggles with the taller, bigger Holly. Hakushi works a very methodical pace, which is unfortunate because Holly is more than capable of working a quick pace. Holly hits his flying body press finisher, but Shinja distracts the referee and Hakushi catches Holly with a powerbomb and finishes with a senton off the ropes. It would have made more sense to put Hakushi over strong here, especially because he appeared headed for a clash with Bret Hart. Rating: *½
–Aretha Franklin signing “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania IIIis highlighted as a “WrestleMania Moment.”
–Ross and Pettengill hype the WrestleMania XI card. They announce a new match to the card: the Undertaker against King Kong Bundy as the Undertaker seeks to get the urn back from the Million Dollar Corporation.
–Aldo Montoya (4-1) beats Charlie Hunter after a springboard flying bulldog at 2:48:
Montoya has not wrestled a singles match in nearly a month, last appearing against Ray Hudson on Wrestling Challenge in mid-February. He freaks out some older fans in the front row when he pescados onto Hunter on the arena floor, which is the real highlight of this squash. Hunter lays in some weak blows and Montoya shrugs them off on his way to a victory in less than three minutes.
–Shawn Michaels gloats about his looks, while a disinterested Pamela Anderson appears by his side and looks like she wishes she was anywhere else.
–The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) (4-0) defeat Jumbo Barretta & Ben Jordan after Eli pins Jordan after a spinebuster/leg drop combination at 3:43:
Jumbo is the MVP here, selling the early Blu Brothers beating like a stunned big guy in the SNES Double Dragon games and even eating a double back body drop. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon is not on commentary to really help capture this moment for posterity. The Blus then completely destroy the smaller Jordan, utilizing some impressive power moves and doing a good job getting themselves over.
–Pettengill interviews Fishbone, an American rock band, is that is pegged to sing “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania XI. Now, long-time fans may say “Wait a second. Fishbone did not sing at WrestleMania! And you would be correct. The story goes that Vince McMahon listened to the rendition of the song that the group intended to play and did not like it. As a result, he nixed their performance – a performance that he paid for – and had a Special Olympian sing the song instead.
–Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear Jerry Lawler’s audio evidence that Bret Hart has used racist language against Japanese people. Also, you can hear the Ross Report to hear about the new superstars that are on their way to the company!
–Man Mountain Rock (4-0) beats The Brooklyn Brawler via submission to the Whammy Bar at 1:25:
The Brawler tries attacking Rock before the bell but it does him little good as Rock goes back to his WCW roots and finishes the Brawler with a Fujiwara armbar. Research shows that this move was billed as the “Whammy Bar.”
–Pettengill hypes the Fan Festival that takes place before WrestleMania.
–Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (3-1-1) pins Ricky Santana after the End of the Trail at 2:24:
Santana manages to get several near-falls on Tatanka but a blind charge turns the tide and Tatanka cruises to a win shortly thereafter. This is basically a way for Tatanka to get some new momentum built up before his next clash with Lex Luger at a date that is yet to be determined.
–A new Nicholas Turturro vignette sees him interrogate Ted DiBiase over scalping WrestleManiatickets. When Turturro offers to buy the last four ringside seats with a credit card, DiBiase just lets out his classic laugh.
–Highlights of the WrestleMania XI press conference are shown. Bam Bam Bigelow announced there that no NFL player like Lawrence Taylor would be able to step into the ring and beat him. Taylor had a rebuttal that he beat better athletes like Bigelow in the NFL and that he would not be disrespected by an “Easter egg.” Taylor also kissed Bigelow on the cheek after a handshake and staredown for the journalists and photographers present.
–Non-Title Match: The Smoking Gunns (Champions) (2-0-1) beat Danny Ackerman & Billy Wade after Billy Gunn pins Ackerman after the Sidewinder at 2:19:
The female fans in the audience scream loudly as the Gunns run through a good chunk of their offense. Since Ross gets his wish and Men on a Mission get a title match next week, this is non-title but it really does not matter as Ackerman eats a Sidewinder and loses the bout for his team.
–Tune in next week to see the Smoking Gunns defend the WWF tag team titles against Men on a Mission!
There were no new bouts featured on Wrestling Challenge, but here was a house show result in the midst of promoting WrestleMania (courtesy of historyofwwe.com):
Phoenix, Arizona – America West Arena – March 2, 1995: Aldo Montoya defeated Kwang…Duke Droese defeated Mantuar…Henry Godwinn beat Doink…The Bushwhackers defeated the Heavenly Bodies…King Kong Bundy defeated Adam Bomb…Bam Bam Bigelow defeated the Undertaker via disqualification…Diesel & Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett…Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart with the Sharpshooter.
And here were some news and notes circulating for the company:
*There is debate over how much Lawrence Taylor is going to make from his appearance at WrestleMania. Rumors are putting the number as high as $500,000 but Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer argues that $150,000 sounds like a more legitimate figure.
*More matches are needed for WrestleMania and no one has any idea what they might be because only three have been announced. Meltzer says that other matches could be Razor Ramon trying to recapture the Intercontinental title from Jeff Jarrett, the Smoking Gunns defending the tag team titles against Men on a Mission, Lex Luger against Tatanka, a women’s title match between Bull Nakano and Alundra Blayze, and maybe a singles match between the British Bulldog and Owen Hart.
*The company angered a lot of wrestling fans by saying that the Harley Davidson Café would be open to the public for the WrestleMania press conference but they were not allowed to go inside or see many of the talent. (This makes the company’s decision to hype the press conference for the last ten minutes of the previous RAW funnier in retrospect).
*The WWF has announced that it will be adding four additional pay-per-views to its calendar in 1995. This came as a result of WCW adding two more additional pay-per-views to its calendar. The shows will be priced at $14.95, which is roughly $13 less than the other “Big Five” pay-per-views that the company was airing during this period.
*Company officials are disappointed with the drawing power of tag team main events between Diesel & Razor Ramon against Shawn Michaels & Jeff Jarrett on the West Coast. The shows that they headlined drew less than 3,000 fans in Denver and Phoenix.
*The British Bulldog is facing criminal charges related to a 1993 barroom brawl in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where the alleged victim, Kody Light, says that the Bulldog attacked him after Light danced with the Bulldog’s wife. Light required hospitalization and had sued the Bulldog for $1.3 million. The trial is set for June 12 but this does not appear to have affected the Bulldog’s push on WWF television over the last several months.
*Jim Ross is reportedly pushing Vince McMahon behind the scenes to add more legitimate athletes to the WWF roster, especially ex-football players. This probably played a role in Erik Watts and Chad Fortune recently receiving a tryout.
The Last Word: A pretty weak effort this week after last week’s great tag team match between Bret Hart and the British Bulldog against Bob Backlund and Owen Hart. Even if one could forgive the feature match, the Fishbone interview was terrible, with Pettengill trying to sound “hip” and really making himself look like a fool. I have to agree with some of the sentiment that talking heads were expressing at the time about how the WrestleMania card was very undefined with roughly three weeks before the big show. More matches will probably be added on RAW but it goes to show how the company is all-in on Bigelow-LT to draw the eyeballs for this year’s big event.
Up Next (on Tuesday): Monday Night RAW from March 6, 1995!