WWF Wrestling Challenge – July 16th, 1995
By Brian Bayless on 27th April 2021
July 16, 1995
From the Marts Center in Wilkes Barre, PA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon
The show starts with a video package of Barry Horowitz beating Skip for his first-ever win on WWF TV. We will also hear from Skip & Sunny later on in the show. Also in action are Bam Bam Bigelow, Jean Pierre Lafitte, Jacob & Eli Blu, Kama, and the debut of Phantasio!
Jacob & Eli Blu w/ Uncle Zebekiah vs. Bill Weaver & Nick Barberri
The announcers talk about Jacob & Eli being lumberjacks at In Your House. Jacob & Eli toss around Barberri to start. The announcers put over Jacob & Eli’s winning percentage as Barberri continues to get destroyed. The announcers now talk about Jacob & Eli wanting revenge on the Allied Powers for what happened at WrestleMania XI. Weaver tags in and also gets destroyed until he is put away with a knee drop following a double pancake (2:34).
Thoughts: They put over Jacob & Eli for their record and how they want revenge on the Powers. Also, the lumberjack match was talked about heavily throughout the match.
WWF Live Event News with Stephanie Wiand. Same from “Superstars” where we hear from Bigelow & Tatanka hyping up their Indian Strap match at the 8/12 MSG show.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Jason Ahrndt
The announcers talk about how we will see Fatu in his rough neighborhood of San Francisco later on in the show. (11:18). Bigelow runs over Ahrndt as the announcers talk about Bigelow wanting revenge on the Million Dollar Corporation. They then talk about Henry Godwinn not officially being announced as a member of The Corporation. Ahrndt lands a few shots but Bigelow runs him over with a clothesline. Bigelow then uses an enziguiri and a double chop as he stays in control of the match. Ross says he believes Bigelow will be a lumberjack on RAW and Diesel’s lumberjacks will be announced on RAW as Bigelow hits a diving headbutt for the win (2:06). Bigelow celebrates with a cartwheel as Gorilla unconvincingly tells us that Bigelow will “set Nashville on fire” at the PPV.
Thoughts: More talk about Bigelow’s feud with The Corporation’s lesser members and associates while putting over the chaotic atmosphere of the lumberjack match stipulation and how will Diesel be able to overcome DiBiase’s hand-picked lumberjacks.
Jeff Jarrett’s “With My Baby Tonight” video airs.
Barry Didinsky shills Shawn Michaels & Razor Ramon t-shirts with assistance of a young female fan. Didinsky continues to sell these shirts like someone who struggles to read off of cue cards.
Jean Pierre Lafitte vs. Kenny Kendall
Ross wonders if Kendall can pull a “Barry Horowitz” and end an undefeated streak. The announcers talk about undefeated records in the WWF and some of the smaller, local house shows in the NY area. Lafitte beats down Kendall as we get more house show talk. Lafitte ties Kendall in the ropes and hits a pair of crossbody blocks and hits a side slam before using a flying leg drop for the win (2:20).
Thoughts: Just a backdrop for the announcers to talk about the upcoming house shows in the NY area.
A replay of last week’s match between Barry Horowitz and Skip.
We get recorded comments from Skip & Sunny. They are flipping out as Skip demands a rematch right this minute. Back to the announcers as Gorilla says no matter what, that loss will stay on the record books as Ross says they are trying to get Horowitz on the phone.
The clip of Jerry Lawler at Dr. Isaac Yankem’s office from RAW airs.
Phantasio vs. Tony DeVito
Phantasio is Del Rios, who at the time was the Spellbinder in Memphis. We see Phantasio turn a candle into a walking stick while coming down the aisle as the camera cuts to a young girl, who was not impressed whatsoever. Phantasio then pulls string from his mouth and gives it to a fan after we see smoke come out from his hat as this magic for toddlers act is already inducing groans from the crowd. Ross plugs the Superstar Line as Phantasio shoves DeVito to the mat. Phantasio startles DeVito by shooting silly string from his hand then uses a hip toss and an arm drag. DeVito bails as the crowd is turning on Phantasio. Ross notes that Phantasio is an “illusionist” as DeVito comes back and works the arm. DeVito hammers away for a bit until Phantasio comes back with a flying shoulder tackle. Phantasio hits a pair of slams then an atomic drop then uses “magic” to yank DeVito’s underwear out from his singlet and rolls him up for the win (2:09). After the match, he does the same to there referee and reveals zebra-striped boxers.
Thoughts: The debut and final appearance of Phantasio. This was so fucking terrible and even corny to children. I have a three year old son and he probably would think its shit. I’d show him but not going to subject him to this type of abuse. The wrestling was also terrible. According to Bruce Prichard on his “Something to Wrestle With” podcast, Phantasio was brought in by Lawler, who put over Phantasio for his abilities as a magician. So, the company went with it and it was a bomb. Prichard even told a story of how Phantasio had a bottle of liquid smoke or fire and it dropped, nearly setting the entire Gorilla position on fire. This was apparently his tryout and not tough to see why he was never brought back. It does appear per cagematch he did some dark matches a few months prior at the tapings in Lowell, MA and another the Challenge taping after In Your House 2 but that was all.
The reveal of Sid & Ted DiBiase’s lumberjacks from RAW airs.
Clips of Allied Powers beating Tatanka & Henry Godwinn from RAW airs.
The first vignette of Fatu back home in San Francisco airs.
Kama w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Jeff Williams
Kama takes down Williams as Horowitz has called into the show. Ross asked if Horowitz’s life has changed since the win as a polite Horowitz talks about his neighbors talking to him once again and his life has been great. Gorilla asks Horowitz about Skip wanting a rematch as Kama continues to beat on Williams. Horowitz questions why should he give Skip a rematch if he already beat him but still confident he will beat him again. Kama stays in control as Horowitz leaves. Williams sneaks in a rollup for a one count as Kama argued with the ref then Kama beats Williams back down and puts him away after some punches (2:32). After the match, Kama sees the black wreath in the aisle then yells at the Creatures of the Night before leaving.
Thoughts: The main focus here was on Horowitz as he did not officially grant Skip a rematch. They also continued the Kama/Undertaker feud after the match with Kama flipping out on the Creatures of the Night.
WWF Live Event News with Wiand. Same as “Superstars” as we hear from Bret Hart and Lafitte to hype their match at the 8/12 MSG show. This will be the final appearance of Wiand in the WWF. Next week we will see who replaces her in the Live Event News segments. In the book “Titan Sinking,” they noted that Wiand took this job as she was young and started out in the acting world but in over her head and ultimately it did not work out. At the time she was hired, Vince wanted to bring in people from outside the wrestling world to fill on-air roles. I mean that is still happening today too. Wiand also said she is naturally reserved and pushed to be a spazzy personality and was not surprised she got released.
The video of the WWF involvement in the Special Olympics airs.
Next week in action are the Allied Powers, The Roadie, and Waylon Mercy. Plus, Diesel will be on the show.
Final Thoughts: Horowitz/Skip seems to be an exclusive Challenge/Action Zone feud at the moment, which is some sort of a hook to watch what are essentially recap shows. We also saw the debut and final appearance of the Phantasio character, and the final appearance of Stephanie Wiand and soon enough, Challenge will be over as currently structured.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Wednesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/17/95
Thursday: WWF Superstars 7/22/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/23/95
Friday: WWF In Your House 2
Saturday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/24/95
Sunday: WWF Superstars 7/29/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/30/95
Monday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/1/95
Tuesday: WWF Superstars 8/5/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/6/95