Classic Wrestling Review: This Tuesday in Texas

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

This Tuesday in Texas

December 3, 1991

Freeman Coliseum

San Antonio, Texas

The WWF decided to experiment with adding shorter and cheaper PPVs during the off months to counteract the increasing number of WCW PPVs. This Tuesday in Texas was a trial run for that idea. They would drop it after this, but the WWF would later resurrect the idea with the In Your House series in 1995. However, they do add a fifth PPV to the schedule in 1993 with King of the Ring.

This show is only an hour and a half long, but there were quite a few dark matches presented to the live crowd. These mostly consisted of tryouts for new talents, such as the future Papa Shango and the future Tatanka, but it also curiously included a match between Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Why didn’t that make it to the actual PPV? I would have loved to see that. I guess I’ll have to settle for their later match in WCW.

The show opens with the Undertaker interview from the end of Survivor Series. All that was missing was a voiceover to say, “Previously on WWF Pay Per View!” Then, they cut to the arena where Gorilla Monsoon welcomes everyone to the Lone Star State. Bobby Heenan is with him and Gorilla talks about the comments from the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Heenan replies that they were eyewitnesses to the death of Hulkamania and now they will witness the wake. Gorilla then talks about Savage vs. Roberts and the snake being banned. Heenan says that dealing with Roberts is dangerous and they could have a double wake tonight. Bobby starts to say more, but Gorilla interrupts him. You can see Heenan turn his head to grumble about it.

The first match of the night is an Intercontinental Title Match between Bret Hart and Skinner.

No, not that Skinner! That would have probably been a more interesting match.

Intercontinental Title Match: Bret Hart (c) vs. Skinner

Bret Hart was feuding with the Mountie at this time, so I’m not sure why this match is happening. He would continue the Mountie feud after this, so I guess they wanted to hold off on that match. Matches like this make the show feel like a televised house show. When I look at the dark matches that were on this card, I think that might be exactly what this was. I know there have been rumors of WWE airing some house shows on the network, so perhaps it’s not a new idea.

Skinner is already in the ring, which is not a good sign for him. Bret Hart then enters the arena to a good reaction and Heenan says that Bret could end up dressed and mounted on Skinner’s wall after tonight. That’s a horrifying idea. Heenan also says that Skinner earned this shot or he wouldn’t be in there. I guess that’s the most explanation we’re going to get for this match. Bret gives his sunglasses to a young woman before the match and she loses her mind. Heenan says that the bimbo needs to get some oxygen.

Bret quickly gets the advantage with arm drags and armbars. He also hits a couple of atomic drops that send Skinner packing to the outside. He continues the arm work and even holds onto the armbar when Skinner hits his own arm drag. Eventually, Skinner sends Bret shoulder-first into the post and to the floor. He locks Bret in an abdominal stretch before remembering he’s targeting the shoulder. He follows it up with a shoulderbreaker. Bret fights back by raising his boot on a corner charge, but he misses an elbow drop. Then, Skinner distracts the ref by going for his spit can before actually attacking Bret with an old gator claw. He even chokes him before he begins working Bret’s leg. Skinner can’t seem to make up his mind what body part he is going to work because he also attacks the throat and head. Skinner finally manages to hit the Gator Breaker (Reverse DDT), but he only gets a 2 count. He tries to follow it up with a jumping—something off the turnbuckles, but Bret kicks him in the face. Bret then hits a Russian leg sweep, suplex, backbreaker, and diving elbow, but none get more than a 2 count. Bret complains to the ref, so Skinner does an O’Connor Roll, but Bret shoves him out of the ring. They fight at the apron and Skinner tries to suplex Bret into the ring, but Bret lands on top of him for 2. Skinner then goes to the top rope, but Bret slams him and locks in the Sharpshooter for the win.

This was a slow match, especially when Skinner was in control. Skinner couldn’t make up his mind what body part he was going to work, so the psychology of the match was all over the place. I will give credit to Bret for letting Skinner get in so much offense and even hit his finisher, but it didn’t make for a good match. I had always heard that Steve Keirn was a good wrestler, but I’m guessing age has taken its toll on him.

Winner: Bret Hart (13:46)

Sean Mooney is backstage with Jake Roberts. Sean talks about Tunney banning reptiles from ringside. He also says that he saw Savage and Elizabeth earlier and Randy is wired to the max. Jack laughs and says, “So what!” He then says, “As cold as a razor blade. As tight as a turning key. Like the skin on a dying man.” He continues to say that the last time he saw Randy, he was flailing like a helpless child drowning because of the poison running through his veins. Jake then compares his eyes to black holes in the sky, but he says a snake’s eyes are cold, devilish, and deliberate because he does what he has to do. Then, he talks about the rush and the goosebumps he got from looking into Elizabeth’s eyes when she was scared for Randy. Finally, he speaks to Jack Tunney and says that Jack taught him how to lie, cheat, and steal. (Did he also teach it to Eddie Guerrero?) Jake blames Tunney for his actions because Jack pushed his buttons and pulled the trigger. He says that everything he does is Tunney’s fault before finishing with the line, “Snake in the corner? Trust me. Trust me!”

Next, Mean Gene is with Savage and Elizabeth. Randy apparently doesn’t understand sarcasm because he tells Jake that he’s not going to trust him. He says Jake taught him not to trust him. Savage then ditches his sunglasses and talks about Roberts getting a rush from his actions and Liz’s fear. He tells Jake not to trust him and says he won’t trust Jake before describing in detail how he’s going to win with the flying elbow drop and get his own rush. Randy says his rush will come from the love and adoration in Elizabeth’s eyes after he destroys Jake and then Robert’s music starts playing. Randy says Jake must be on his way to the ring, so he quickly leaves the scene. This was nowhere near as good as Jake’s promo, but Randy more than makes up for it later.

Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Jake the Snake Roberts

Roberts enters the arena, but Savage explodes through the curtain and attacks Jake from behind. He rams Jake into the steps and rips at his face before rolling Jake into the ring. He also rams him into the corner and rakes Jake’s face across the ropes before hitting a flying axehandle. Then, Savage finally removes his jacket and hat. It was quite amusing seeing him so intense while wearing a feathered hat.

Jake tries to leave, but Savage chases him and hits him with more axehandles. He then sends him back into the ring and Jake begs off into the corner. Referee Earl Hebner tries to calm Savage, but he shoves him aside. However, Jake uses the opening to attack and throw Randy to the floor. Savage crashes into the guardrail, so Jake continues the attack. Randy tries to ram Jake into the post, but Roberts reverses it and starts attacking Randy’s bandaged arm. They fight back into the ring and Jake hits an inverted atomic drop before dropping knees onto Randy’s arm and ripping the bandage. The wound starts bleeding again, so Jake continues the assault and rams Randy into the corner. Roberts grabs a hammerlock, but Randy elbows out of it. He can’t capitalize, so Jake goes for the short-arm clothesline, but Savage ducks it. The two men then reverse back and forth through an Irish whip and nearly hit Hebner, but he dives out of the way. Savage’s arm still hurts too much for him to keep attacking, so Jake hits the short-arm clothesline and signals for the DDT. Randy manages to shoulder him into the corner and Jake sells that his ribs are hurt, so Savage quickly hits a flying elbow drop for the win.

I liked the intensity of the brawl and the story they told, but this match was disappointingly short. Thankfully, this is not the end of the feud and what happens after this match makes up for the lack of length. However, I thought they should have had a less decisive finish to set up the continuing feud. They even could have let Jake win in some dastardly fashion.

Winner: Randy Savage (6:25)

Randy goes for a chair after the match, but the officials stop him. He grabs the ring bell instead, but Hebner grabs it out of his hand. Unfortunately, this opens the door for Jake to hit the DDT. Both men are slow to get to their feet, but Jake hits another DDT. Officials convince Jake to leave the ring, but he changes his mind and returns. Jake tells the camera that the snake was never at ringside, but it was underneath the ring. He retrieves the bag, which draws out Elizabeth. She yells at Jake to leave Randy alone, but Jake grabs Savage and hits a third DDT. Then, he starts to open the bag and puts on his snake-handler glove. He tells Liz that Randy makes him sick and orders her to beg him to stop. She doesn’t, so Jake grabs Elizabeth by the hair—and slaps her across the face! He gave her possibly the safest slap ever. He even stomped his foot, but it was still a shocking visual. More officials arrive, including Jack Tunney, who orders Jake to leave. Roberts tells him that the snake wasn’t really in the bag and crosses his heart, but he does agree to leave. Gorilla says that Jake should be suspended, but Heenan says Jake only bent the rules. He didn’t break them.

Mean Gene catches up with Jake backstage. Roberts tells Gene to congratulate him, but Gene calls him sick and asks how he could hit a woman. Jake replies that no man wants a woman that will lay down and grovel. He wants a woman that will stand up and be what he wants. He then says he did slap her, but he will slap himself and Gene too. Jake also says that giving Savage a DDT felt good, but slapping Liz was the greatest feeling of his life and he would pay to do it again. Then, he says that if Savage crosses his path, he’s begging Randy to bring her back and let him touch her once more because he will cultivate her into something he would want. Gene finally has enough and tells Jake to get lost. Jake’s promos on this show are amazing. This is some of his best work. He truly comes off like a maniac.

The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord (w/ Harvey Wippleman)

You know that Vince must love seeing these two men wrestle because they’ve been matched up throughout the year. They have some decent chemistry, so I don’t mind it, but it seems like these two are trying to out-roid each other and that’s not a good thing, especially with the scandal looming.

The Warlord is already in the ring. I’m surprised they never gave him music. Almost everyone has music at this point. The Fink introduces him and Wippleman, who poses on the turnbuckles. The Bulldog enters next and he looks bigger than ever. Davey is introduced and then we get a camera shot of the back of the Warlord’s head. He has shaved a patch of hair into the shape of a “W.” It’s a unique look, to say the least. The bell rings, but Wippleman is reluctant to leave until the ref makes him. Harvey opts to leap over the ropes. What a show-off.

The two men begin by shoving each other. The Warlord teases a test of strength and then kicks Davey, but Bulldog catches a second one. Then, they trade clotheslines and Bulldog sends Warlord out of the ring. Davey tries to follow up with a slingshot cross body, but the Warlord catches him and rams him into the post. They fight at the apron, but Bulldog reverses him into the post and hits a missile dropkick. Davey even ties the Warlord into the ropes and attacks, but Wippleman frees him and Bulldog crashes on a cross body attempt. Then, the Warlord hits a back drop and Wippleman attempts to light a cigar. He can’t, but he pretends to blow smoke into the camera anyway. Gorilla rightfully mocks him for it. The Warlord continues his attack with a bear hug, but Davey does a little headbanging and punches out of it. However, Warlord answers with a belly-to-belly suplex. Davey responds with a sunset flip, but Warlord sits on him until Davey flips him for a 2 count. Sadly, the Warlord slows the match way down with a long full nelson. He can’t lock the fingers, but Davey still never breaks it. Eventually, the Warlord simply lets him go and rams him into the corner. Then, Bulldog gets a boot up on a charge and hits a jumping clothesline. He then goes for the running powerslam, but Warlord grabs the ropes and falls on top of him for 2. The Warlord tries to capitalize, but Bulldog takes him over with a crucifix pin for the win.

This was another solid big-man match between these two, but it wasn’t as good as their Mania meeting. It didn’t help that the Warlord ground the match to a halt with that full nelson. Also, these two have hit a tipping point where they are too big and it’s starting to affect their conditioning.

Winner: The British Bulldog (12:45)

Sean Mooney is backstage and he says everyone is appalled by the actions of Jake Roberts, but Randy Savage enters the scene and tells him to shut up before saying Roberts degraded Elizabeth. Randy says it is the worst day of his life because Jake laid his hands on her. He claims it’s his own fault and then slaps himself in the face. He then tells Jake that he’s going to get him and there ain’t gonna be no stopping him. Then, he says he didn’t even get a piece of Jake and he collapses to the floor. He’s so upset that he can barely speak, but he manages to say he’s going to get Jake. He then legitimately punches himself in the face and says it’s not over and it hasn’t even started. Randy then blames himself again and repeats that he’s going to get Roberts before leaving the scene in anger. This more than made up for Savage’s earlier promo. This is some of the best acting I’ve seen in wrestling. I loved the intensity of this segment. Go watch this and Jake’s post-match promo.

Ted DiBiase & Repo Man (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil & El Matador

Demolition Smash (Barry Darsow) has been repackaged into quite a different character. Now, he’s the Repo Man. His character wears a Hamburglar-like mask and repossesses people’s property in the dark of the night. He debuted with some great vignettes of him taking people’s cars while muttering his catchphrase, “What’s mine is mine and if you don’t pay up, what’s yours is mine too!” It’s an over-the-top character, but he plays it with an infectious exuberance. I always thought they should have created a stable of DiBiase, Repo Man, and IRS. They could have used their collective connections to ruin people’s lives. They would have been mega-heels. Alas, this tag team match is the closest we got to that. The reason for this match is that Repo Man was the one who repossessed the Million Dollar Belt from Virgil. He then attacked him and El Matador made the save, so this match was booked.

DiBiase and Sherri enter the arena and Repo Man skulks behind them. He looks like a sneaky little punk. I have to give him credit because he went all-in on this character. They enter to DiBiase’s theme, so we don’t get to hear Repo’s awesome music. He was the first one to have shattering glass at the start of his theme. So, take that, Steve Austin! Virgil and El Matador then jog to the ring, so DiBiase and Repo bail outside. Virgil demands DiBiase and gets Repo Man instead, so El Matador starts for his team.

Repo tells Tito he owes him money before they lock-up and trade arm wringers. Santana then hits an arm drag and an armbar while Heenan jokes that Repo Man repossessed the Lone Ranger’s mask. El Matador ends up blocking a hip toss and throws Repo to the floor, but he sneaks around and goes for a clothesline. Tito ducks it, so Repo tags DiBiase and Virgil demands a tag. He gets it, but DiBiase quickly takes control with some knees and rams Virgil into the corner. However, Ted ducks and Virgil hits a sunset flip for 2. He then follows up with an atomic drop and DiBiase stumbles out of the ring. Tito and Virgil bounce DiBiase in and out of the ring until Ted hits a back elbow and tags Repo. The heels take control of Virgil through ref distractions, choking, and double teaming. DiBiase eventually tags in again and hits a gut-wrench suplex, but Virgil answers with a swinging neckbreaker when Ted ducks. Both men tag out and El Matador hits a flying forearm. He then goes for the El Paso Del Monte, but Ted trips him and pulls Tito to the floor. He rams him into the steps and sends him inside where Repo makes a cover, but Tito grabs the ropes. DiBiase and Repo use more ref distractions to hit a double slam, but both Tito and Repo go down to a double clothesline. Virgil returns to the match and hits a Russian leg sweep, but the match devolves into a brawl. The ref is distracted, so Sherri tries to use her shoe, but she accidentally hits DiBiase. However, Repo attacks Virgil from behind and Ted crawls over and covers for a 3 count.

This was a fun little tag match and the crowd heat was good. There was some solid action, but I’m not sure this felt like a PPV-worthy match. This was fine for a house show or Superstars.

Winners: DiBiase & Repo Man (11:28)

Mean Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan, who seems more motivated this week. I wonder why. Gene says that Jack Tunney was quick to sign a rematch between Hogan and the Undertaker after what happened the previous week. He also says that they are in Texas and it’s Tuesday before asking Hogan for his thoughts. Hogan calls Gene, “Bruddah,” before saying this will be the greatest day in the thing they call Hulkamania. He then says that he and all his Hulksters felt the Undertaker squeeze the life and breath out of him at Survivor Series. He also calls the Undertaker winning the shot heard around the world, but he says the real survivors were the Hulkamaniacs that kept their heads high and believed in the four demandments. Hulk claims that Jack Tunney watched his back and then tells Ric Flair to stay out of his face because it’s between him and the Undertaker. Then, he calls himself the designated hitman for all the Hulkamaniacs. (Does Bret Hart know that Hogan is stealing his nickname?) Hulk finishes by saying that when the largest arms crash down on the Undertaker, he’s going to bury him right here in Texas. He then says, “Hyah hyah hyah,” which I guess is supposed to be a reference to ZZ Top, but it was weird. Also, since when does Hogan openly admit to burying people? He’s shooting, brother!

WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker (c) (w/ Paul Bearer)

The Undertaker enters first because Hogan apparently has to come out second every time. Taker drags the WWF Title as he walks. I would usually be annoyed by that, but it fits his character. Paul Bearer makes a great face as he enters the ring, so Gorilla says, “What a kisser on Paul Bearer!” What? Did Gorilla just call Bearer a good kisser!? Hogan enters next and immediately tears his t-shirt in the aisle before sliding into the ring. Both Undertaker and Paul Bearer stomp him, but Hogan gives them the double noggin’ knocker and whips Taker into the corner.

Hulk then hits a running clothesline and 10 punches while they show a shot of Jack Tunney sitting at ringside. Meanwhile, Hogan hits an inverted atomic drop, but Taker sits up immediately. Hogan continues with another clothesline and attempts another atomic drop, but Taker clubs him, so Hogan hits a slam instead. Undertaker sits up again, so Hogan clotheslines him out of the ring, but Taker lands on his feet. Hogan pulls him to the apron and Taker tries to pull Hulk down, but Hogan punches him. Taker decides to pull him out of the ring instead and starts choking him while Paul distracts the ref. They enter the ring and do more of the same, which goes on for a while. Hogan finally rams Taker into the corner to stop it, but Taker lifts his boot on a charge and hits Old School—er—New School? Undertaker then goes back to choking until Hogan pulls him to the floor and tries to ram Taker into the post. It’s reversed and Taker sends Hogan back inside for a long claw hold on the face. Hogan eventually breaks it and they hit the ropes, but Taker trips and stumbles. Heenan tries to cover for him by saying the mat is wet with sweat from earlier matches. I miss commentators that knew how to cover for botches. Hogan tries to take advantage, but Taker gets his boot up on a charge again and hits a jumping clothesline. The Undertaker goes for another Old School, but Hogan arm drags him into the ring. Taker sits up, so Hogan looks shocked. However, Ric Flair arrives at ringside and Jack Tunney immediately stops him. Hogan bails outside and hits Flair with a chair, but Ric falls onto Tunney. Heenan calls the attack despicable, while Hogan returns and fights with Taker. Flair gets on the apron with a chair and Taker tries to whip Hogan into it, but Hulk reverses him and hits the big boot. Taker answers with a throat chop, but the ref is distracted by Flair. Paul Bearer uses the opening to try and hit Hogan with the urn, but Hogan moves and Paul hits Taker. Hogan then grabs the urn, opens it, and throws ashes into Taker’s eyes before rolling him up for the 3 count.

The match started hot, but it slowed way down with all the choking. This was once again not a great match, but they never lost the crowd. The crowd was hot for the entire thing. This match and the entire feud is setting up the major storyline for the Royal Rumble, so it accomplished what it needed to do. On a side note, that finish was possibly the most heelish thing Hogan has done. You can tell they are playing off the increasing boos for Hogan.

Winner: Hulk Hogan (New Champion) (13:09)

Heenan yells that this isn’t right, as Tunney recovers and asks the ref what happened. Bobby tries to get Tunney’s attention and tell him that Hogan cheated, but Jack doesn’t hear him. Heenan desperately tells Jack to restart the match. However, Hogan poses and leaves with the belt while Gorilla says that the greatest athlete in the world prevailed in San Antonio.

The Good:

– The storyline work on this show was incredible.

– The Savage and Roberts promos were very well done.

– Some of the action was decent.

The Bad:

– Most of the matches didn’t feel important.

– Even the decent matches were average, at best.

– The main event wasn’t that good.

Performer of the Night:

It’s a tie between Savage and Roberts because their acting and promos were great.

Final thoughts:

This show did a great job of furthering storylines and setting up what comes next, but it wasn’t a great show. It had the benefit of being a short and easy watch, but it isn’t a show that you go out of your way to see. Watch only the amazing promos and skip the rest.

Thank you for reading. You can follow the Facebook page by clicking here and the Twitter page by clicking here. I tend to post updates and goodies on the Facebook page, so I hope to see you there and hear your feedback.

My next review will be WCW Starrcade ‘91, featuring Battlebowl: The Lethal Lottery. Look for it next Saturday!

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I chronologically review NWA/WCW and WWF/WWE PPVs on the WWE Network. I put out a new review every Saturday. Like and Follow the Facebook page for this blog here: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicWrestlingReview. Also, follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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