This WWF article is going to completely encapsulate the month of November, including a few matches that took place after Survivor Series. The build was strong, and there are some great angles here. One of them in particular is extremely memorable and perhaps is an angle that defines the era. There were also some great Coliseum Video matches taped as that format hit somewhat of a golden era in terms of showcasing excellent wrestling action. I’ve seen them all before, but I don’t remember any of them. To the action!
– Taped to air November 2nd, 1991, on Superstars, from the Civic Center in Wheeling, West Virginia
Bret Hart and the Mountie
Bret had refused to defend his title against this guy, so it was supposed to be a non-title match. For some reason Jimmy Hart was carrying a box. As soon as the bell rang, the Mountie asked Bret to tell the hillbillies in the crowd why he wasn’t defending his title. Bret’s reasoning was that he’d never defend his title against a jailbird. As such, Jimmy Hart pours a bucket of water on Bret, and the Mountie uses THE SHOCK STICK. YES. Decent enough angle, but the sound effect for the electrocuting was awful.
– Taped to air November 3rd, 1991, on Wrestling Challenge, from the Civic Center in Huntington, West Virginia
The Natural Disasters (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Rockers
Pre-Match Thoughts: The Rockers were out of action for most of the summer because Shawn Michaels had an injury. Sounds like the summer of 1990. The Rockers breakup stuff was going to start, and I’ll be reviewing as much of it as I can find. The Rockers thing did feel like it was coming to an end in any case. They weren’t as over with the fans as they had previously been.
Match Review: Typhoon will start with Michaels, and he corners him for a bit. After a whip, he catches Michaels in a bear hug. Michaels breaks it by doing to the eyes, and Jannetty tags in for a wishbone. Earthquake tags in too, and Jannetty leaves the ring. Quake misses a charge to the corner when he gets back in, and so does Jannetty. Quake powerslams him, and signals for the BUTT SPLASH. Michaels trips him, so Typhoon tags in. He slams Jannetty, then drops a big elbow on him. He misses another, so Marty makes the tag. Michaels comes in with fists of fury, and gives the Disaster a noggin-knocker. Marty tries a cross body from the top, which works when Michaels pushes him on top for 2. Marty then dropkicks Typhoon, which accidentally gets Michaels squashed in the corner. Marty then chases Jimmy Hart to the back, and Quake drops a big elbow on Michaels. BUTT SPLASH, then Typhoon tags in for a BIG SPLASH that gets the victory after about 4:30.
My Thoughts: This was well done, and Marty leaving leads to some strong justification for Michaels dropping him. Smartly booked. Not a great match by any means, but it was just fine. **, it was also the right length for a Disasters match. Short enough to not be terrible.
– Taped to air November 10th, 1991, on Wrestling Challenge, from the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Texas Tornado
Pre-Match Thoughts: When it’s your time to job in the wrestling business, it’s simply your time to job. Still, lots of guys left promotions rather than do things like this. I guess Von Erich had nowhere else to go or didn’t care at all. Taker was awfully committed to the gimmick with some of the tattoos he was adding. A grim reaper is fitting.
Match Review: Taker attacks from behind, and we’re underway. Taker chokes away, but comes back with punches that knock Taker over the top. Of course, he lands on his feet and gets back in the ring, as Tornado chases Bearer around the ring. Taker attacks him in the aisle, throws him back in the ring, and hits him with a flying clothesline. TOMBSTONE, and that’s it at 3:42.
My Thoughts: Goodbye to the Texas Tornado being even slightly relevant. Hello to THE GRAVEST CHALLENGE. HULK HOGAN, HE’S COMING FOR YOU. *. The casket with Hogan stickers at ringside was a good touch.
The Barber Shop with Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, Sensational Sherri, Harvey Wippleman, Jimmy Hart, and the Warlord
This is pretty cool, you know. I guess Hart is there representing the Warlord. Flair and DiBiase do all the mic work.
– November 11th, 1991, from War Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The British Bulldog
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is an interesting matchup, and it was taped for Coliseum Video. I have no illusions that this will be any good, it’s just something to check out and fill this space. Bulldog looks…roided. I can see why they had to fire him.
Match Review: Taker clobbers away at Bulldog, and of course goes to a choke. Taker then misses a charge to the corner, so Bulldog knocks him around for a bit. He clotheslines Taker over the top, and rams him into the steps. Taker drops Bulldog throat-first on the top rope so he can get back in the ring, and chokes him with the ropes when he does. Bulldog gets thrown to the outside, and now it’s time for him to go into the steps. Into the ring again, and Taker misses an elbow drop. Bulldog goes for a bodyslam, but Taker falls on top for 2. Taker follows with a flying shoulderblock, and puts a hold on Bulldog that looks like a smother. Bulldog hits Taker with some headbutts and goes for another bodyslam, but Taker falls on top again for 2. Bulldog does pick Taker up for a delayed vertical suplex, but Taker sits right back up. Bulldog now goes for the RUNNING POWERSLAM, but Bearer gets on the apron. Taker sits up, grabs the urn, and clocks Bulldog with it. Over for the cover, and Taker wins the match after about 7 minutes or so.
Taker then tries to put Bulldog in the bodybag, but Bulldog stops it.
My Thoughts: Match was nothing special, it’s simply the novelty of the situation that appealed to me. At least Bulldog did put Taker on the canvas twice, which is more than most could say they got to do in a match against him. Still, it’s a slow working style that Taker had, although quite fitting with the character. 1/2*.
– November 13th, 1991, from the Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut
Ric Flair (REAL WORLD’S CHAMPION, w/Mr. Perfect) vs. Bret Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: Perfect hadn’t even been introduced on television as Flair’s executive consultant. I believe this match came about as a result of one requesting to work with the other. This is one of the few Coliseum Video matches from this era that I don’t remember anything about. Good chance to see these guys go to work, as there’s no doubt this match will be fairly long. Flair still had the big gold belt in his possession.
Match Review: After some trash talking, the match starts with Bret slapping a headlock on Flair and taking him down. After a long series of reversals and counters, Bret slaps Flair and they trade slaps for a bit. Crowd liked that. Bret takes Flair down with a drop toe-hold and teases the Sharpshooter, but Flair makes the ropes. They fight over a wristlock, with Bret being taken down and having to kip up. That happens a few times, and Bret knocks Flair down with a headbutt. Flair comes back with a knee, and some massive chops. Bret comes back with a hard backdrop, and some clotheslines to send Flair into begging. Bret goes up in the corner for some punches, but Flair gives him an inverted atomic drop. He drops a knee, and covers Bret with his feet on the ropes for 2. Flair keeps doing it for a LONG time, which gets a lot of heat from the crowd. After they trade punches, Flair locks a sleeper on Bret, who breaks it by ramming Flair into the buckles. Bret takes Flair down with his own inverted atomic drop, and Flair comes back with a shin-breaker. Flair goes for the FIGURE-FOUR, and it is LOCKED ON. Bret reverses it, so Flair rolls into the ropes and onto the apron. He tries to suplex Bret to the outside, but of course Bret suplexes Flair back into the ring. Bret finally stops selling Flair’s chops, and comes back with big punches that make him look super tough. Bret throws Flair upside down into the corner, and there he flips out to the floor and aisle. Bret rams Flair into the rail, and back in they go. Bret hits Flair with some punches, and follows with a backbreaker. Time for the SHARPSHOOTER, but Flair gets turned right into the ropes, getting help from Mr. Perfect to cause a break. Bret gives Flair a second backbreaker, and goes for the SHARPSHOOTER again! This time Perfect distracts Bret, and Flair throws Bret to the outside. Flair tries to suplex Bret back in, but Bret reverses to a cradle that gets 2. Flair then takes Bret down with a headlock, and Bret bridges out to a backslide for 2. Bret forearms Flair over the top, and follows him. Flair tries a piledriver that gets reversed, and when both guys go towards the ring, Perfect pulls Bret off the apron on his way back in, leading to Bret being counted out at 19:18!
My Thoughts: I think this was really good, although not as good as I would have expected a match between these two to be. The match felt like it was building towards something longer, but it still had good action the whole way. Flair’s formula was applied to this match, minus the press slams, which I assume Bret couldn’t do and never would try to. I think the second half of the match was far better. Basically, when it comes to these two, I have no idea why they hated their matches with each other. The ones I’ve seen were all good at the worst, and one of them is bordering on great. ***1/2.
– Taped to air November 23rd, 1991, on Superstars, from Allen County War Memorial Arena in Fort Wayne, Indiana
JAKE ROBERTS HAS A COBRA
They needed to get Randy Savage reinstated. Needed to find a way, needed to find an angle. Needed to have something hot to bring him back on. So, Jake Roberts cut a long promo on him, which drew Savage down to the ring. Jake went hard on the attack, tied Savage up in the ropes, and brought out THE COBRA. The cobra then latched onto Savage’s arm! The crowd lost it at this, I’m sure people got nightmares. The angle was that the snake had no venom. Roberts was actually trying to get the snake free from Savage’s arm, but it wouldn’t. I believe Roberts once said that the snake died. Elizabeth runs out to the ring screaming, and so does Roddy Piper, who pushes Savage onto the stretcher only for him to fall off. There’s kids crying in the crowd and shit. Super controversial angle, personally one of my favorites, but I’ve read before that this angle was actually terrible for the WWF’s business. Who would let their kids watch a show where people get chomped on by king cobras?
– Taped to air November 24th, 1991, on Survivor Series Showdown, from War Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York
Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Big Boss Man
Pre-Match Thoughts: As you guys may know, these two were going to face off as part of a Survivor Series match. I may have seen these two wrestle each other before, but I don’t remember it. I’ll still check it out given that’s the case. Originally, Jake Roberts was supposed to be part of Earthquake’s team, as Sid Justice was going to be part of Boss Man’s.
Match Review: Quake attacks to start, stomping away for quite some time. Quake puts a bear hug on Boss Man, then puts him on the canvas and drops a big elbow. The second elbow drop misses, so Boss Man goes on the attack and drills Quake with a back elbow. A big boot puts Quake on the canvas, then Boss Man confronts Hart and chases him around the ring for a bit. When Boss Man gets back in, he pokes Quake in the eye, but Quake takes over with clubbing shots. He splashes Boss Man in the corner, but Boss Man knocks him into the ropes and ties him up. IRS comes down to the ring, which takes us into a commercial. The match isn’t cut at all, and right when Quake comes out of the ropes, he knocks Boss Man into them and over the top. IRS gets in some kicks, and Quake stomps on the hand. Boss Man gets thrown to the outside, where he punches IRS. Back in he goes, and Boss Man knocks Quake into the corner for some punches. Quake comes back with a wristlock, a good hold given that he’s stomped on Boss Man’s hand. Quake then backdrops Boss Man over the top, and he makes it back in just in time. This is super boring. Boss Man comes back with some elbows, and tries to squash Quake in the corner a few times. Quake gets in a shot and goes back to the wristlock, but Boss Man kicks him in the head for 2. IRS distracts Boss Man again, grabs him, and pulls him to the outside. RING THE BELL! Instead, Boss Man gets back in the ring, and clotheslines Earthquake. Jake Roberts and Typhoon run out from the back, so Boss Man gets his nightstick. Out comes Legion of Doom! They scare everyone from ringside, and Boss Man wins via count-out after about 11 minutes.
My Thoughts: Like I said, this match was super boring. They also pushed a match that wasn’t even going to happen by having Jake Roberts show up. I guess they needed to make sure people saw him on this show. I don’t care more about Survivor Series than I did before I saw this match, so I guess it was a failure. DUD.
Ted DiBiase (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil for the Million Dollar Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: As the fourth match between these two that I’ll be watching, I need to see something more. Otherwise, it’ll feel like a complete waste of time. Like Virgil’s push turned out to be!
Match Review: DiBiase starts things by taking Virgil down with an arm drag, then hip tosses him. DiBiase puts a hammerlock on Virgil and trips him, trying to humiliate him. Virgil comes back with his own hip tosses, and rolls DiBiase up for 2. A small package by Virgil gets 2, and DiBiase rolls to the outside. when he gets back in, Virgil takes him down with a headlock for 2. The headlock stays on for a while, until DiBiase fires off some chops. Virgil misses a charge to the corner, and DiBiase throws him to the floor. Sherri kicks away at poor Virgil, and we go to a commercial. The match wasn’t clipped, so DiBiase throws Virgil back in the ring after the commercial’s over. DiBiase takes Virgil over with a suplex, and that gets 2. To a chinlock now, which Virgil fights out of only for DiBiase to knee him in the gut. A fist drop gets 2, then it’s back to the chinlock. DiBiase slams Virgil, then heads to the second rope for an elbow drop that misses. Virgil comes back with some punches, and takes DiBiase down with some clotheslines. A Russian leg sweep gets 2 for Virgil, and out to ringside comes…THE REPO MAN. YES!!! He grabs the belt and tries to steal it, then hits Virgil in the face with it instead. DiBiase covers, and wins his title back at 9:46!
After the match, DiBiase gets on the microphone with the intention of shoving money into Virgil’s mouth. HERE COMES EL MATADOR! At least somebody showed up to make the save for poor Virgil. He beats DiBiase up, and gives him an atomic drop to send him over the top.
My Thoughts: This match wasn’t special, but it was exactly what was needed out of a title change. They introduced a new character pretty well, in fact. El Matador was also established as being important, more than Santana had gotten in the previous year or so of time. **, at least the Virgil experiment and weak DiBiase matches that came with it are over. I’m thankful for that.
– November 30th, 1991, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
Ric Flair (REAL WORLD’S CHAMPION) vs. Hulk Hogan
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m ashamed to admit this but I have never seen a WWF match between these two guys, during this run of Flair’s. Ever! As such, MSG was the place to check out one of these matches, and even during the holiday season, this show was not sold out. I’m not even sure what that says. Sounds absolutely impossible to me. Perhaps unusually, Vince McMahon is on commentary for this card! This took place after Survivor Series, and after Hogan lost the WWF Championship.
Match Review: Hogan hits the ring and chases Flair out of it, getting big cheers while doing so. Hogan chases Flair around the ring, but Flair gets in first and goes to work. After big chops, Hogan goes to the eyes and rakes the back. Hogan lands chops, then hits Flair with a clothesline in the corner. Hogan punches away, and even threatens the referee! Flair tries a hip toss, but Hogan clotheslines him and hits him with a second to send him over the top! Into the rail next, and more chops from Hogan to Flair after that. Hogan suplexes Flair on the floor, and throws him through the barrier! Flair gets in the ring and comes back with a back suplex, but Hogan gets up with a clothesline. Hogan throws Flair upside down into the corner, but he can’t do his flip spot, so Flair goes to the eyes. His punches have no impact, so Hogan puts the boots to him and this time Flair makes it over the top for Hogan to clothesline him off the apron. Hogan meets Flair in the aisle and drags him back to the ring, where they trade eye pokes. Flair runs into a brick wall, pokes the eyes again, and Hogan slams Flair down from the top. Hogan clotheslines Flair once more, boots him in the face, and DROPS THE LEG, but Flair sticks his foot on the ropes! Never saw anyone get to do that after Hogan’s leg drop the entire time I’ve been doing this. Mr. Perfect is at ringside now, as Flair drags Hogan to the post and wrenches his knee around it. Perfect does the same, and Flair continues to work the leg over. Flair drops a knee on that leg, and locks on the FIGURE-FOUR! Flair cheats by grabbing Perfect, and Hogan reverses the hold! Perfect then puts something in Flair’s hand, looks like BRASS KNUCKLES. FLAIR POPS HOGAN, and covers for the 3 count at 9:25! He puts the brass knuckles in the ass of his trunks, and it hasn’t been noticed yet. Eventually someone notices, takes the brass knuckles out of his trunks, and the DECISION IS REVERSED. Flair tries to put the figure-four back on Hogan, but Hogan beats him up and throws him over the top to end the whole thing.
My Thoughts: This was really nice, yet not long enough and the finish was much too screwy. I can see exactly why they had a hard time getting this match to draw money. Still, the chemistry was right, and the match was all action. They could and should have main evented a PPV with this, and it’s an injustice of sorts that it didn’t. I can’t fathom why not. Other than Flair blowing the flip to the apron, everything looked good. He knew how to make a match work, and with Hogan, they had the right formula. ***1/4.
The Mountie vs. Bret Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: Somewhat hyped for this one, although not really. Haven’t seen one of the longer matches between these two either. Bret seems quite prepared. He has a demand, and it’s that the Mountie gets rid of the shock stick. Instead, Boss Man runs out and grabs it, helping Bret attack him and leg drop him.
Match Review: The match starts with Bret on top as a result of that, giving Mountie an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Bret rams Mountie into the buckle ten times, and follows with an elbow to knock him down. Bret follows that with a bodyslam, some elbows, and a noogie of sorts. Bret goes for a backbreaker, but takes a thumb to the eye. Mountie bites him too, but Bret returns the favor. After a headbutt knocks Mountie down, Bret drops a leg on him. Bret then misses a charge to the corner, flying into the ring post as a result. Mountie hits him with a flying back elbow, and that gets 2. Bret takes the big bump in the corner, and takes a knee to the gut as well. Mountie puts a chinlock on the champion, and puts him upside down in the corner so he can stomp away. Mountie puts Bret on the floor next, grabs a chair, and hits Bret with it. Why is that legal? Mountie throws Bret’s back into the apron, sends him back inside, and drops him with a PILEDRIVER. Mountie then locks Bret up in a restraint position and rams him into the buckle, like he did when he first showed up in the WWF. A cover gets 2, then Bret ducks out of the way of a cross body from the second rope. Bret makes it to his feet, and here comes the big comeback. Russian leg sweep, then Bret goes to work with kicks and a backbreaker. Second rope, down with the elbow for 3 at 12:58.
My Thoughts: That doesn’t seem like the right finish at all, I thought they’d just have the Mountie give up. Confused the shit out of me, honestly. The match was acceptable, both guys didn’t work all that hard though. **1/4 and Bret’s push keeps going further. The Mountie getting the Intercontinental Championship was a major surprise at the time to everyone, and that was just a little bit after this.
So, that’s it for November, and I did go a bit past Survivor Series deliberately as I saw no reason not to. This was an interesting month, with lots of big events and fun matches taped. Mr. Perfect being introduced as Ric Flair’s executive consultant was perfect booking, so was the way the Gravest Challenge was built towards. They consistently hyped the Undertaker up, and while some of their claims weren’t true, he did feel like a wrestler who was really strong and on the way upward. I do have a few notes. The WWF turning Slick’s character into an evangelist was somewhat correct, as that is what he quit the WWF to be able to do. Big Bully Busick quit too. Next up, I have about three weeks of matches to watch, between Halloween Havoc and Clash 17. Maybe it’s more than three weeks, I haven’t counted.
Best: Cobra biting Randy Savage. It truly stood out, and whether that’s bad or good is a matter of opinion.
Worst: I particularly detest the sound effect for the Mountie’s shock stick.