Grab yourself a bag of Butterfinger BB’s, set your VCR to record TekWar and tune in to the latest Wrestling Time Machine Column, as we flip the switches and travel back to January of 1995!
We’re travelling way back here folks, so keep your hand and feet in the Wrestling Time Machine at all times. WCW was trying to establish a position as a prominent wrestling company banking on the recognizable names of Hulk Hogan, Hulk Hogan’s Pal Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and Vader. The WWF was paving the way for a NEW Generation, led in full force by “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, and ECW was dominating the underground world of Professional Wrestling.
In WCW the main focus was the Monster Maniacs (Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage) battling the Faces of Fear, consisting of Kevin Sullivan, and The Butcher. Hulk Hogan was the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and Vader had just been named the #1 Contender for the title. Though the Monster Maniacs would be gearing up for a Tag Team match against The Faces of Fear, the shadow of the threat of the colossal Vader loomed over Hogan. It’s a little strange that the upcoming special WCW Clash of Champions XXX did not not have a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match, but Kevin Sullivan and Hulk Hogan were fighting over the soul of Kevin’s brother,
Evad Dave. WCW Saturday Night would feature an awkward segment in which Kevin and the Butcher would attack Dave and clumsily attempt to destroy his prized Hogan memorabilia. The dancing and booty-shakin’ wunderkind Alex Wright in between dancing and being swamped by women who couldn’t control themselves, fought Bobby Eaton at Clash of The Champions.
The Mid-card of WCW would feature Arn Anderson with the help of Colonel Robert Parker defending the WCW Television Championship against Johnny B. Badd. Anderson would be successful in his defense of the title at Clash of the Champions XXX. Though Anderson did succeed in defending the title, he would face Randy Savage the following week to close out January of 1995. Savage would win the match, but would do so outside of the 15 Minute Time Limit needed to capture the title.
The WCW Tag Team Champions, Marcus Alexander Bagwell and The Patriot would lose the titles to Harlem Heat managed by Sister Sherri on the January
14th edition of WCW Saturday Night. The former champions would be granted the opportunity to regain the titles at The Clash of Champions, but Stars & Stripes would come up short. I am a little disappointed that WCW Creative missed the opportunity to name the team of The Patriot and Marcus Alexander Bagwell, “The United Studs of America”. Without actually knowing how Bagwell forms The American Males with Scotty Riggs yet, it probably would make that transition much smoother, if Bagwell was already coming from one sex-appeal themed tag team to another.
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes would begin feuding with The Blacktop Bully, but not before facing off with another future WWE superstar, Jean Paul Levesque. The Blacktop Bully was another of Colonel Robert Parker’s unique stable of southern oddities. Sting would feud with future Shark, Avalanche and that would culminate in a match at Clash of the Champions XXX with The Guardian Angel as a special guest referee. Sting would win the match, but not before The Guardian Angel would turn heel, and with the assistance of the one man Natural Disaster, beat down the master of The Scorpion Deathlock. Following the match, The Guardian Angel would drop his moniker and return to being dubbed “Big” Bubba Rogers.
Over on the WWF side of things, The WWF Champion, Diesel, was shifting into high gear to defend The WWF Championship against Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The month’s WWF Raw programs would feature guest commentary by “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels.
The WWF was paving the Road to WrestleMania, starting with the first leg in the journey, The WWF Royal Rumble. The 1995 Royal Rumble would feature an additional stipulated prize, not only would the winner of the Royal Rumble be granted a WWF Championship match on the grandest stage of them all, but the challenger would be accompanied to the ring by one Pamela Anderson, and boy was she excited!
Bret Hart’s challenge of the REAL Diesel would mean he would also have to overcome the antagonistic hurdles of Jerry “The King” Lawler, but Hart would have the help of the TekWar veteran, William Shatner. Diesel and Hart’s match at the 1995 Royal Rumble would end in a No-Contest, with interference from Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Bob Backlund and many more.
Michaels would win the 1995 Royal Rumble entering the Rumble as the #1 Entrant, eliminating and outlasting 29 other men, including the devastating MANTAUR!
Meanwhile Razor Ramon, the reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion was facing his own challenges in “Double J” Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie. When he wasn’t bringing down the house at local honkytonks, Jarrett was a thorn in the side of Ramon. The WWF Intercontinental Championship match at the Royal Rumble would end initially with Ramon retaining, but after a quick promo from Jarrett, Ramon would return to the ring and fall victim to the distractions provided by The Roadie, and lose the WWF Intercontinental Championship to the country crooner.
January of 1995 would see the crowning of new WWF Tag Team Champions in the team of the 1-2-3 Kid, and “Spark Plug” Bob Holly, their reign would be short lived, as the following Monday after the Royal Rumble, The Smoking Gunns would challenge and capture the gold from the youngster and the race car driver. The following week on Monday Night Raw, The 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly would challenge again for the WWF Tag Team Championships in a match that would end when it was ruled by the referee (some eagle-eyed viewers will recognize the referee as future whistle aficionado Bill Alfonso) that The 1-2-3 Kid was unable to compete. Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation team of Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow would face the stinging loss of defeat to the 1-2-3 Kid and Holly, and Bam Bam Bigelow would not take too kindly to the loss, as he would attack NFL great Lawrence Taylor, setting up a match between the two at WrestleMania XI.
January of 1995 would continue to be a losing month for The Million Dollar Corporation, as The Undertaker would defeat Irwin R. Schyster, and while Schyster would gain a measure of revenge against The Dead Man in stealing his Urn, The Million Dollar Corporation would turn to it’s other heavyweight behemoth, King Kong Bundy to square up next against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XI.
At last we find ourselves in the realm of the EXTREME,
Eastern Extreme Championship Wrestling. The realm of the extreme was under the thumb of the reigning, defending ECW Champion, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas. Douglas and his new cohorts, “The Crippler” Chris Benoit, and “The Iceman” Dean Malenko, The Triple Threat had made it clear that not only were they the dominant force in ECW, but that they would succeed in being the most dominant force in Professional Wrestling more so than The Four Horseman. Douglas would issue an open challenge in Florida that would be answered by none other than Ron Simmons. This is prior to Simmons debuting in the WWF as some sort of
teal, gladiator man. Simmons would valiantly battle “The Franchise” until the referee would rule Simmons as being unable to compete. Shane Douglas was not
out of the woods, yet though. His continuous verbal jabs at the expense of The Four Horseman and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair that so easily peppered his promos would earn the ire of former Four Horseman, Tully Blanchard.
ECW Tag Team Champions, The Public Enemy had gone too far in their extreme antics and gained the attention of one Paul E. Dangerously, who would unleash The Tazmaniac and Sabu against the ECW Tag Team Champions. The efforts of the teamwork of silent Arabian assassin and the future Human Suplex Machine would be in vain, as The Public Enemy would hold tight to the ECW straps on two separate occasions throughout the month of January.
Mikey Whipwreck, ECW’s favorite underdog would face challenges of his own. A childhood friend, turned bitter enemy, “The Giant” Paul Lauria would team with “The Sexiest Man Alive” Jason to try to knock Whipwreck down a peg. Speaking of underdogs, Stevie Richards would introduce the world to his abusive father figure/best friend in the whole world, Raven. Raven would assist Richards in obtaining a victory over Hack Myers with a loaded boot, and spend the month of January brooding and speaking cryptically about Tommy Dreamer.
Cactus Jack and The Sandman with Woman at his heels would square off in a Falls Count Anywhere match, wherein The Sandman would attempt to blind Cactus Jack using a lit cigarette, but Jack’s friend and protege Mikey Whipwreck would make the save. Cactus Jack and The Sandman were far from done.
With that, we conclude our journey through the past of professional wrestling for the month of January 1995. We know you have a choice in whom you travel through time with, and we thank you for flying Nerdfect Strangers.