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WWF at Montreal, Quebec
by Scrooge McSuck
February 3, 1995
Fan-Cam footage from the Montreal Forum with a healthy 12,000 in attendance. I find the backstabbing over booking the arena more fascinating than anything we'll see on the show, as the relationship between the WWF and Jacques Rougeau fell apart, which is notable because of Rougeau's attempts at pushing the WWF's tours through Quebec, including his retirement show several months earlier that drew an amazing house considering how much of a decline there was in house show business. Anyway, Ray Rougeau is here to welcome the fans, because if you're going to crap on a relationship, make sure you drag other family members into it. Looks like we're missing Aldo Montoya vs. Kwang and Adam Bomb vs. Henry Godwinn.
The British Bulldog vs. Mr. Bob Backlund:
Backlund quickly outlived his usefulness once he was used to transition the WWF Championship to Diesel. He's barely a factor on TV, but they're clearly shoe-horning him into matches with Bret (and Bulldog) to coast through WrestleMania XI. Backlund offers a handshake but the Bulldog doesn't bite (pun intended). Backlund doesn't appreciate the snubbing. This handshake routine goes on for a legit 3-minutes, then a minute of hanging around outside the ring. Then we get them doing nothing, teasing a test-of-strength… and then we cut to the match over. THE HELL? I SAT THROUGH 6-MINUTES FOR NOTHING. Oh well, according to sources, Bulldog won. Based on this sample, the match looked like shit. I've checked ahead, and the remaining matches are intact, so maybe the guy fell asleep waiting for something to happen?
WWF Women's Championship Match: Bull Nakano (c) vs. Alundra Blayze:
There's no chance this is going to be as bad as that last match (or what was available from it, that is). Whoever oversees audio found the record with the Orient Express theme on it, so we're off to a good start. The referee doesn't bother to call for the bell. Bull with a shove and Blayze responds with a heel kick. Whip to the corner and Nakano follows in with an avalanche. Whip across the ring, Blayze comes back with a diving elbow, followed by a standing moonsault for two. Whip and Bull yanks Blayze to the canvas with a handful of hair. She continues to rag doll Blayze and slams her face-first into the canvas. Nakano with a short clothesline and piledriver for two. Snap mare into a chin-lock. Whip is reversed and Blayze with a spinning heel kick to the chest. Nakano blocks the second attempt and bends the knee over into a submission attempt. She drags Blayze from the ropes and ties her up in the Scorpion Cross Lock. She relinquishes that and goes to work with a modified Boston Crab. Bull with a deep slam and splash. Blayze bridges out of the cover and comes off the ropes for a pair of takedowns (BETA SLING BLADE) for two. Nakano blocks a Powerbomb attempt and counters with a back-body drop. Blayze flips to the apron on a whip to the corner and hangs Bull across the top rope. Bull counters a sunset flip with a seated splash for two. Nakano with a corner choke and takedown for two. Blayze bridges out of another cover, only for Bull to sit down across her midsection. Blayze misses a twisting body press but recovers to take Bull off the top with a head-scissors. Bull sidesteps a missile dropkick and finishes with a draping DDT at 8:55. These two are practically guaranteed to have a good match. ***
Pierre Oulette vs. Shawn Michaels:
If you're wondering, yes, that's Pierre, formerly of The Quebecers. I guess Montreal embraced him as a hometown hero since he lost to Jacques Rougeau in the latter's retirement match (HA!). Vince McMahon must've seen something in Pierre to keep him around for a solid 8-months between television gigs. Michaels avoids locking up, a theme of the night I'm not caring for. Lockup into the corner and Shawn with a cheap right hand. Crisscross and Pierre with a press slam. He hits Shawn in the corner with an avalanche, sends him to the opposite corner, and Shawn goes flying over the top rope with the traditional Harley Race bump. Shawn with a thumb to the eye (hopefully the good one). Pierre nails him coming off the top rope, follows with a running high knee, and sends Shawn back to the arena floor with a clothesline. Pierre drags him back into the ring and catches him off the ropes with a powerslam for two. Shawn sidesteps a charge, sending Pierre over the top rope, hanging him in the ropes a la Samu. Shawn follows and sends Pierre into the steps. Back inside, Shawn unloads with left jabs. He plants Pierre with a slam and comes off the middle rope with an elbow drop for two. I'm making the horrible mistake of split-screen watching this with "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." Pierre surprises Shawn with a twisting cross body, but Shawn quickly regains control, dropping a series of elbows across the chest. Pierre escapes a chin-lock but runs into a knee. Shawn with knees to the lower back, followed by choking. Pierre counters a dropkick by sending Shawn face-first into the ring post. Pierre with an inverted atomic drop, a standard atomic drop, and a clubbing forearm. Whip to the corner, flipping Shawn upside down, followed by a charging clothesline. Shawn back-drops Pierre over the top, but he lands on his feet, climbs the ropes, and comes off with a super-sunset flip for a near fall. Pierre with a side slam and flying leg drop for two. Shawn bails, but Pierre quickly follows. He carries Shawn back to ringside, slamming him on the arena floor. Pierre climbs the ropes from the outside and misses the rolling senton. OUCH. Shawn rolls him back into the ring and covers for three at 14:10, with his feet on the ropes as an insurance policy. Post-match, the referee questions Shawn over what happened, but Pierre beat himself, so whatever. Shawn continues to attack Pierre until RICK MARTEL makes the save. What, you were expecting Diesel? Pretty good match with a dull middle. ***1/4
No Holds Barred Match: Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Owen Hart:
I'm expecting the usual formula from this, so that's three solid matches in a row on a 1995 house show. Bret immediately lays into Owen with right hands and a headbutt. He connects with the Russian leg sweep and a leg drop. Bret with a double handful of hair to slam Owen into the canvas, followed by a headbutt across the midsection. Owen tries to bail, but Bret follows to continue the punishment. Bret tosses Owen to the outside and slams him on the exposed concrete. Back inside, Owen aggressively rakes the eyes to escape a back breaker. He pounds away on Bret in the corner and sends him hard across the ring into the turnbuckle. Owen feeds the boot and connects with the enzuigiri. You'd think people would wise up to what he intended to do there, but it's such a great spot, I don't mind it. Owen uses the hair to snap mare Bret out of the corner and chokes him with the singlet strap. He traps Bret in a tree of woe and stomps away. The top turnbuckle is casually removed, since this is No Holds Barred. Bret blocks being rammed and slams Owen face-first into the exposed steel. Bret with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline before finishing with the Sharpshooter at 5:16. Basically the same as their match from the Nassau Coliseum. No knock on the effort. ***
WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ The Druids):
Somehow, I feel like the streak of good matches is over. No Ted Dibiase at ringside. Bundy starts with three shoves. Diesel unloads with forearms, but Bundy cuts him off with an eye rake. Whip to the corner and Bundy with clubbering blows. Diesel fires off some knees. Bundy reverses a whip to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. Bundy with a snap mare and knee drop for two. It doesn't take long for the match to slow all the way down with a chin-lock. Diesel finally escapes with elbows and comes off the ropes with a pair of shoulder tackles. Bundy regains control, dropping Diesel with an elbow. Bundy hits the Avalanche, but Diesel only drops to a knee. Diesel gets a boot up on the second attempt and works him over in the corner. Whip and Diesel with a diving shoulder tackle. He teases a Jackknife, but the Druids run in for the Disqualification at 5:17. Post-match, Diesel cleans house and gives both geeks a Jackknife Powerbomb. Diesel tried, but Bundy's awful. ¾*
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
"Double J" Jeff Jarrett (c) (w/ The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon:
What a loaded show. I guess they owed the Montreal market for strong numbers in 1994, otherwise I expected something a little more balanced. Razor doesn't waste time going on the offense. Jarrett tries to use his quickness but gets laid out by a roundhouse right. Whip is reversed and the Roadie trips Razor. Jarrett follows up with a pair of dropkicks and a swinging neck breaker for a two-count. Roadie gets a cheap shot in with the referee distracted. Jarrett straddles the ropes attempting a seated splash, but Razor is laid out by a clothesline from the Roadie before he can capitalize on the error. Razor shrugs off a series of right hands, only to have Jarrett hop on his back with a sleeper. Razor escapes with a back suplex as they sell this 4-minutes of action like its 20-30. Razor with the slow crawl into a cover for two. He unloads with his signature right hands and catches Jarrett coming off the ropes with the fallaway slam. Roadie hops on the apron and gets decked. Razor with a clothesline, sending Jarrett over the top rope. He decides to take a walk, and Razor gets the cheap count-out victory at 5:30. That was brisk. Post-match, Razor hits the Roadie with a back suplex and the Razor's Edge. Solid action with a lame ending. **1/2
The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly vs. The Heavenly Bodies:
There should be no surprise that Jim Cornette isn't doing house shows, especially into Canada. To give you an idea of how thin the tag team division is, the champions are fighting teams like Well Dunn and Mike Bell and The Executioner this same week. Lockup into the corner and Holly takes Prichard over with an arm drag. Prichard with a side headlock, countered with a head-scissors. Crisscross and Holly with a deep arm drag, followed by a dropkick. The Kid and Del Ray tag in. Lockup to the ropes, Del Ray with a right hand, and the Kid fires back with a standing heel kick, knocking Del Ray out of the ring. Del Ray comes back in with a sunset flip, but the Kid blocks. Whip to the ropes and the Kid with a spinning heel kick, sending Del Ray out of the ring again. Back inside, the Kid remains in control. Whip to the ropes and Del Ray counters a leapfrog with a Powerbomb. Prichard with choking from the apron as the referee is distracted. The Bodies switch-off without a tag and Prichard slows things down with a modified surfboard. The Kid counters, but Del Ray attacks from behind to end the short-lived turnaround. Prichard with a back breaker, holding the Kid in place over the knee afterwards. Whip and the Bodies with a double clothesline. Del Ray hooks an abdominal stretch, and yes, he gets additional leverage from Prichard. The Kid escapes but is run over with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes and the Kid with a sunset flip for two. Del Ray up first, knocking the Kid down with a Super-Kick. Del Ray goes high risk and misses a moonsault. Holly with the hot tag, running wild with rights and a double noggin knocker. Prichard rakes the eyes to cut him off. The Bodies go for a double suplex on the Kid, but Holly spears Prichard, and the Kid cradles Del Ray for three at 12:05. I don't think either were legal, but whatever. Another solid match in a series of them. ***
Lex Luger vs. Tatanka:
Yay, we get to end this good night on an obvious stinker. Tatanka attacks Luger before the bell with chops. Is the Montreal crowd chanting U-S-A? At least they're behind the babyface, right? Someone recording or sitting near them mocks Luger's entrance having piped in cheers and then a dead crowd when it cuts straight into his music. Luger fires back with rights. Luger counters an inverted atomic drop, hits a clothesline, and continues with Punch-a-Mania. Tatanka begs him off, only to throw Luger out of the ring with a handful of tights. Back inside, Tatanka controls. More chops as I drift and check my Instagram and Twitter. Tatanka with a slam and jumping elbow drops for two. Flying chop to the top of the head for two. Luger with a surprise roll-up for two. Whip and Luger with a sunset flip for two. Tatanka pops up to hit a clothesline and unleashes with MORE F'N CHOPS. Tatanka sends Luger from corner-to-corner and grabs A BEARHUG. Please, kill me. Luger with short right hands to break the hold, followed by a back suplex. Luger no-sells the chops like he's in the ring with Ric Flair. I know, that's insulting to Flair, considering how awful a heel Tatanka is in the ring. Whip to the corner and Tatanka meets the boot, TWICE. Luger fires off some rights and hits Tatanka with a running bulldog. Luger with three clotheslines and… small package for three at 9:10. We couldn't get the Rebel Rack?! Maybe it's a good thing this feud didn't get a blow-off match at WrestleMania XI. A few decent moments wrapped around a lot of meh. *
Final Thoughts: Some decent wrestling here. Nothing outstanding, but for a house show away from their usual large market in the Northeast, everything delivered on my expectations. As we've seen elsewhere, there's plentiful matches of Bret vs. Owen, Razor vs. Double J, and even the Kid and Holly vs. Heavenly Bodies, but to have it all packed in one show is convenient, and the stuff that isn't so good is kept reasonably short (or in the case of Diesel vs. Bundy, has an interesting aura for being an oddity match).
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