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June sees us close out the first half of the year with potentially groundbreaking news from WCW with their pending journey into live head-to-head TV with WWF. They, in turn, produced possibly their worst PPV offering during this project. ECW again offer easily the month's most consistent TV output.
To mark 1995's mid-point, we embark on a bumper Power 25 edition to highlight the big hitters of the month combined with the most consistent performers of the year to date.
Each company puts forth ten entrants, with a combined list after a look at the runners & riders:
10 - Owen Hart - Whilst the youngest of Stu & Helen's siblings has certainly gone of the boil as of late, his contributions can't go un-noticed. Hopefully a better second half to '95.
9 - Roadie - Another slight ray of light to come out of WWF's latest PPV offering. The runt of the Armstrong litter has embraced his lackey gimmick with decent comedy.
8 - Bam Bam Bigelow - A post-Wrestlemania face-turn has undoubtedly slowed the Beast from the East considerably, but his mic- & in-ring work as a whole is still terrific.
7 - Razor Ramon - The Bad Guy continues to have probably the second-best character gimmick in the game. Another feud with Shawn Michaels could well save him.
6 - Jeff Jarrett - The IC Title has taken a backward step since the heights of WrestleMania X's ladder match, but JJ has taken great strides with his character and Roadie this year.
5 - Mabel - A reluctant, but worthy entry purely based on his coronation as WWF's King of the Ring. Incredibly limited ability, but his achievement does deserve at least a plaudit.
4 - Undertaker - Widely recognised as being one of the best big man in the business. The fact he can still command a crowd despite his awful opponents speaks volumes.
3 - Bret Hart - By no means placed for his debacle of a match at King of the Ring, but still the best in-ring technician in the world. Again, despite many, many obstacles.
2 - Diesel - It could be said Big Daddy Cool has lost some steam, but he remains the WWF champion, headlined the last two PPV's and is still over with the crowd. For how long...
1 - Shawn Michaels - One of very, very, very few highlights from King of the Ring. A brilliant match by comparison to the rest of the bracket with Kama. Sheer athleticism.
10 - Alex Wright - Terrific match with Brian Pillman at Bash at the Beach. Still young, a few tweaks to the gimmick - or lack thereof - and he could be a great commodity.
9 - Brian Pillman - Overcomes a slight setback with the stalled comeback of the Hollywood Blondes as per Stunning Steve's injury with a great solo match as mentioned above.
8 - Lord Steven Regal - Outstanding maturity for such a young age. A brilliant promo on his day and still a terrific in-ring technician. As good a youngster as there is right now.
7 - Bobby Heenan - Easily the most entertaining commentator in the business right now. Even by Brain's standards, a very good month for his red-hot wit & comedic timing.
6 - Sting - Could quite easily be the face of a company or even a business. This could also have been said at this point last year. Please, please, please - just let him. Please.
5 - Randy Savage - Macho has hardly set the world on fire since re-embarking on an in-ring career in WCW, but he still has value - if only he could split away from Hulk Hogan.
4 - Vader - The Rocky Mountain Monster can almost be taken for granted, but you see the term 'Super-heavyweight', he's the first name to come to mind. With very good reason.
3 - Ric Flair - His overdrawn feud with Hulk Hogan and sabbatical/"retirement" have certainly cooled Naitch, but even at 45, he can still put on a show to be proud of.
2 - Hulk Hogan - The biggest power player, certainly from an in-ring performer's stand-point, around at this time. Can he be persuaded to appear weekly on TV? Time will tell.
1 - Eric Bischoff - Easy-E has rose to power at an unparalleled rate and has now managed to secure a live, prime-time slot on TBS to go toe-to-toe with the WWF. Interesting...
10 - Gangstaz - Whether it's Terry Funk's return or the unveiling of a surprise Rick Steiner, ECW nail a debut/return better than anyone. New Jack & Mustafa were no different.
9 - Bill Alfonso - Biggest heat-magnet in the country after just one full month on TV. Perfectly tuned into his character, plays it outstandingly & makes you actually care.
8 - Shane Douglas - Arguably the man of 1994. This year, he has at times disappeared from the radar and lost his title, but a WWF run could be the making of the Franchise.
7 - Joey Styles - A long-overdue nod to undeniably the hardest working announcer on TV in 1995. Most likely the only man capable of single-handedly carrying a broadcast.
6 - Paul Heyman - The best booker in the business, bar none. In his Paul E Dangerously guise, can still talk crowds into an arena; and has an excellent eye for young talent.
5 - Sandman - Probably the worst wrestler on this list. Probably the weakest world champion in the country. But, he knows his role and plays to it well. Fair play to him.
4 - Taz - Gone are the days of the furry Tazmaniac. Peter Senercia or Taz is now a legitimate threat to all-comers in Philadelphia. As good a suplex as there is, these days.
3 - Chris Benoit - A try-out in WWF sees the former Pegasus Kid knock on the door of the big time. Still needs polish to the personality; but could be a big, big thing.
2 - Public Enemy - No doubt the most consistent tag-team in the country so far this year. Easily one of the most entertaining acts on TV, and still - somehow - feel so fresh.
1 - Cactus Jack - Best promo in the game right now. A genuine serving of something different with frankly raw emotion oozing from each interview. Brilliant performer.
Alex Wright, WCW
Brian Pillman, WCW
Joey Styles, ECW
The Gangstaz, ECW
The Roadie, WWF
Jan-Jun 1995, Power 25:
25 - Bill Alfonso, ECW
24 - Bobby Heenan, WCW
23 - Lord Steven Regal, WCW
22 - Owen Hart, WWF
21 - Shane Douglas, ECW.
20 - Razor Ramon, WWF
19 - Mabel, WWF
18 - Jeff Jarrett, WWF
17 - Paul E Dangerously, ECW
16 - Sting, WCW.
15 - Sandman, ECW
14 - Randy Savage, WCW
13 - The Undertaker, WWF
12 - Eric Bischoff, WCW
11 - Bam Bam Bigelow, WWF.
10 - Public Enemy, ECW
9 - Taz, ECW
8 - Vader, WCW
7 - Bret Hart, WWF
6 - Chris Benoit, ECW.
5 - Ric Flair, WCW
4 - Diesel, WWF
3 - Hulk Hogan, WCW
2 - Shawn Michaels, WWF
1 - Cactus Jack, ECW.
Even in June, 1995 already looks set to become one of the weakest years in the modern era, but as listed above, there are still many diamonds in this rough. There are some amazingly exciting young prospects, a pending war between the big two, ECW continues to go from strength to strength... Let's hope the good can be split from the bad & the ugly, and the next six months can regain the opportunities lost.
With so many names from so many different corners of the business, crammed into such a subjective list with such variance in roles; there is bound to be a lot of conjecture in this half-year review. As such, please share all comments, views and suggestions below and where you see this list being in six months' time.