As the calendar turned to 1995, I think it’s been fairly well-established that the World Wrestling Federation was at, or pretty close to, its nadir.
Thus Vince McMahon did the two things he’s famous for (in times of crisis):
1. Turn to big guys
2. Turn to celebrities
Newly minted WWF Champion “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel’s match with Bret Hart is good, though not as good as the one they’d have at Survivor Series. It’s a bit of questionable matchmaking as it didn’t really do Diesel any favors in terms of being THE top babyface. At least Bret worked in a way that was cognizant of the dynamic, unlike Nash’s buddy Shawn Michaels, who did a complete “look at me routine” at Mania.
But the big “draw” for this show was an appearance from Pam Anderson. You haven’t lived unless you’ve seen the likes of Mabel, Tatanka and DINK all rather horny and greeting Pam at the start of the PPV. Anderson was already inked to appear at WM XI – where she would accompany the Rumble winner to the ring. I dare anyone to find a single time Pam looked “happy to be there” in her brief WWF “run.”
Michaels wins the Rumble, which was infamously trimmed down to ONE minute intervals. There was next to no star power in this thing, so doing the normal two minute intervals might have actually made it worse. I like the finish, but that’s it. One of the worst Rumbles.
The Lawrence Taylor-Bam Bam Bigelow angle went down here. Though the program did not draw as well as hoped, the feud wasn’t bad. I LOVED the cold open on RAW the next night with Vince apologizing for the actions of SCOTT “Bam Bam” Bigelow!