Coming off the Royal Rumble, we have a big run-up to WrestleMania VII, which features many interesting and in some cases controversial things. My favorite thing about this era is that the WWF started taping very interesting matches for their Coliseum Videos. When I was a kid, I rented them and watched them all. I should point out that the WWF moved WrestleMania VII from the Coliseum to the Sports Arena, but everyone knows that. Does everyone know that the WWF planned for the gate to be $4,000,000? Instead it turned out to be around $1,000,000. For the WWF, that was a lot of money to lose. Let’s see what goes on!
– January 21st, 1991, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
Randy Savage (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. The Ultimate Warrior in a STEEL CAGE MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: I bet the heat for this will be off the charts. Great main event for MSG, but according to the WON it didn’t draw at all. I can’t fathom that. Wonder if this will be even slightly similar to their WrestleMania match.
Match Review: Macho is waiting in the aisle and tries to sneak attack Warrior, but Warrior was ready for it. He hits Savage with a chair, rams Savage into the cage, and into the rail. In they go, and the match legally begins! Warrior stops Savage from climbing out by pulling him to the canvas, and he gives Savage an inverted atomic drop as well. Warrior hits Savage with some clotheslines, and this is actually kind of boring. Savage finally gets in some offense by pushing Warrior into the cage, and follows that by raking the eyes. Savage gets up and clotheslines Warrior, and they wind up clotheslining each other not long after that. The referee comes in to count the fall, and it gets 2. I think Savage is hurt in some way given his level of activity so far. He hasn’t done anything. He hits Warrior with a knee from behind to knock him into the cage, and crawls over for a choke. This is awful, honestly. Savage continues to choke Warrior, and takes him to the corner for some punches and more choking. Savage then slams Warrior, and heads up top for the FLYING ELBOW. He covers, the referee runs in, and Warrior kicks out at 2. Warrior finally charges up to his feet, runs around the ring giving Savage one clothesline after another, and follows with a BIG SPLASH, but Macho gets his knees up. Savage tries to climb out of the cage, but Warrior gets to his feet and grabs him by the hair. That’s very business exposing given that Savage wasn’t far from the floor and could have jumped. Warrior now climbs up the cage, as does Savage, and Sherri knocks out the referee. She starts hitting Warrior from the inside of the cage, and she takes her shirt off to choke Warrior with. Now there’s a real worker. Warrior knocks her down to the floor, he also knocks Savage down, and Savage hits the floor at 10:33 for the victory!
After the match, Warrior is threatening to inflict some domestic violence. He tears her shirt off, revealing a bra, and rips her skirt off too, but she’s still climbing out. In her bra and panties. He then grabs Sherri by the throat, and Savage gets back into the cage to break it up. He heads up to the top of the cage, and down he comes with a double axehandle only for Warrior to hit him instead and beat him up. He throws Savage into the cage at full speed, and does the same to the poor referee. Haha. Eventually the Nasty Boys run out from the back and grab Warrior, but they get thrown to the canvas too. Way to make your new team look bad. They grab Warrior again, and finally they stop him. Oh shit, it looks like Sherri is back out at ringside. She has her shoe, and hits Warrior in the gut with the heel of it. WHAT A WOMAN. She doesn’t leave quite quickly enough, so Warrior grabs her again and shuts the cage door. Oh no. He picks her up for a press slam, and drops her like a sack of shit. Some people stopped cheering Warrior after that, I should note.
My Thoughts: This match was garbage, and only notable for what happened after. 1/2*, and I’m not joking even slightly about that. As for what happened after, this was supposed to be on the circuit as a regular house show main event and it was intended to draw. However, Savage got injured, and they put Sgt. Slaughter in this match instead. They would up repeating the finish, I guess because they thought it was really good, but in reality a lot of people had a problem with it. The WWF was supposed to be wholesome entertainment and here you have a woman being stripped down to her bra and panties before Warrior started beating her up. Too far for some people, including me.
– Taped to air February 2nd, 1991, on Superstars, from Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsvile, Alabama
Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: I suppose this serves as Kerry’s rematch for the gold. With Perfect getting in a feud with Boss Man, I doubt we’ll see anything too meaningful. That being said, I wouldn’t have chose this if that was the case, but I haven’t looked at the result for a few months.
Match Review: Tornado knocks Perfect over the top and to the outside, then hoists up the title belt like it’s his. He then gives it to the referee, and the match is moving quickly. He hits Perfect in the gut, and chokes him with the second rope. This is strange. Tornado misses a charge to the corner, so Perfect goes to the other side of the ring and exposes a turnbuckle. He goes to throw Tornado into it, but it’s blocked, and Tornado does it to Perfect instead. Perfect takes the big silly bump he usually does, and Heenan runs to the locker room for some reason. Tornado hits Perfect with the TORNADO PUNCH, and once Heenan hits the entrance curtain, THE BIG BOSS MAN GRABS HIM. Boss Man takes him back to the ring in handcuffs, and holds onto him. No interfering here. Perfect blocks a charge to the corner, heads to the outside, and dropkicks Boss Man into the steel steps. Oh no. Tornado and Perfect fight on the outside, and Tornado posts Perfect, causing a count-out victory for Tornado at 3:40.
My Thoughts: So, this helps explain why Boss Man and Perfect feuded with each other. There was also the other stuff before that, when Perfect would interfere with Boss Man’s matches against Heenan, but this was on television and as such people could see it. *1/4 for the match, and I’ve always liked the Perfect-Boss Man feud. I dig the direction.
– Taped to air February 9th, 1991, on Superstars, from Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsvile, Alabama
Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Tugboat
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m watching this because apparently there is a major continuity problem. Sounds like a terrible match, though. McMahon sounded like he was super excited to watch this, although I can’t fathom why. Maybe this explains some stuff.
Match Review: Tugboat slaps a headlock on Quake, and they do the big man collision spots. Quake smartens up and clotheslines Tugboat, then works him over in the corner. This is a parody of an actual match, or something. He clotheslines Tugboat again, but Tugboat comes back with a splash in the corner. He clotheslines Quake into the ropes to tie him up in them, and Hart gets on the apron. Tugboat hoists him into the air by his neck, so Quake gets the megaphone and clobbers Tugboat with it for the DQ at 3:23. Quake drops some elbows on Tugboat after the match, and finishes him off with the BUTT SPLASH.
My Thoughts: This was awful, even as short as it was. The continuity error, is why would Tugboat then turn into Typhoon and team up with Earthquake after this? It makes absolutely no sense to me. If Earthquake and Tugboat were going to have a WrestleMania match, it would make more sense. It’s good that Tugboat wasn’t on the card. DUD, bordering on negative.
Brother Love Show with Sgt. Slaughter
Just so people can see the tone that was taken in his comments after the war started. Distinct lack of Iraq mentions, but Adnan was still there talking nonsense people couldn’t understand.
– Taped to air February 10th, 1991, on Wrestling Challenge, from UTC Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Legion of Doom
Pre-Match Thoughts: After all that nonsense, they blow this feud off on the B-show. Everyone knows what happens here, right? Those entrances didn’t take long.
Match Review: Fuji distracts Animal, so Demolition teams up on Hawk, at least until he runs them both over with a flying shoulderblock. Hawk drops a fist on Crush, and follows that with a big charge during which Smash pulls down the top rope on him and sends him flying over the top. Sick bump. Fuji then cracks his cane over the back of Hawk, and on the inside, Crush gives Hawk a weak backbreaker. He follows that with a leg drop, and out he goes. Smash chokes Hawk for a bit, and tags right back out. Crush comes in with a double axehandle from the second rope, and the guys then hit each other with a double clothesline. Hawk makes the tag out to Animal, and he hits Smash with a back elbow. Demolition tries a double atomic drop, but Animal flips through and clotheslines them both. Hawk throws Crush over the top, and it’s time for the end. Fuji gets on the apron and pushes Hawk instead, but there’s no bell. LOD sets Fuji up, but Crush breaks it. Now LOD has hold of Crush, and Hawk clotheslines him. Animal clotheslines Smash, and I guess there was a disqualification at 4:14.
My Thoughts: This match was junk, and the finish didn’t make any sense because the referee never made clear what happened. Shitty way for an important feud to end. 3/4*.
– Taped to air February 16th, 1991, on Superstars, from Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia
PAUL BEARER DEBUTS!
This was quite smart, you know. Bearer does look a lot different doing this than it turned out he’d look as the years went on. He acted completely morose, and went light on the makeup. Very weird.
Tag Team Battle Royal
Pre-Match Thoughts: The participants are the Orient Express, the Rockers, Power and Glory, the Nasty Boys, Demolition, the Bushwhackers, and Legion of Doom. It’s simple, the winners here get a title match at WrestleMania VII. Maybe this battle royal will be good because it has stakes.
Match Review: Finkel scurries out of the ring, and here we go. When one man is eliminated, the whole team is eliminated. This follows the familiar pattern of any battle royal, and Smash gets eliminated by a Rockers double dropkick at 2:20. Crush leaves the ring, and gets in some shots on Marty Jannetty on the way. Kato backdrops Luke over the top, so the Bushwhackers are gone at 2:40. The Rockers wind up double teaming Brian Knobbs, but he ducks out of the way and Shawn accidentally dropkicks Marty over the top at 3:02. You know, that feels like foreshadowing even though it probably wasn’t. Paul Roma and Tanaka team up on Hawk, that’s messed up. Only one babyface team left now that I think about it. This match is so slow, no sense of urgency at all. Just filling time. Hawk backdrops Kato over the top at 4:49, and Animal throws Tanaka onto him for good measure. Roma tries to leave the ring for some reason, so Animal throws him back in with a press slam. Hercules slams Animal, and Roma heads up top for a rocket launched cross body, but Animal caught Roma and threw him out at 5:51! The Nasty Boys and LOD are all that’s left, and Hawk hits them with a double clothesline. He goes for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, but the eliminated Roma knocks Hawk off the top, crotching him and sending him out of the ring at 6:19. THE NASTY BOYS ARE GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!
My Thoughts: Standard battle royal, with a finish I wasn’t quite expecting. I think LOD looked bad in losing this match. The finish was supposed to save face, but they’d been there for months and hadn’t even had a title shot yet. Doesn’t seem like the right way to push them. *.
– Taped to air February 17th, 1991, on Wrestling Challenge, from the Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia
Roddy Piper and Virgil promo
After Virgil turned on Ted DiBiase, this is the kind of thing they’d air. More often than not it was with them in front of a green screen, but this time it was in the arena. Piper shines Virgil’s shoes to show how wrong it was what DiBiase was doing, and he does it in hilarious fashion. Then it gets weird, with Virgil slapping Piper, and Piper slapping Virgil. Piper as Virgil’s trainer was great casting, as they say.
– February 19th, 1991, from Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, Florida
Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
Pre-Match Thoughts: Surprised to see the WWF in South Florida again so soon, although Fort Myers was on the other side of the state. Anyway, this match was on a slew of Coliseum Videos, so obviously they’re trying to tell people something with this. Warrior’s reactions had certainly diminished, but people wanted to see this match still.
Match Review: Quake attacks, and we’re underway. Warrior charges up and tries to run Quake over, and on the third try, down goes Earthquake. Quake rolls to the outside, and Warrior goes after Jimmy Hart, allowing Quake to attack from behind. He throws Warrior back in the ring and kicks him repeatedly, then chokes him. I almost feel like giving up on this match, I haven’t watched a single good one this whole time. Quake squashes him with his ass, and puts a bear hug on the former champion. Eventually Quake puts him down, and drops an elbow on him. He follows that with the BUTT SPLASH, and Warrior kicks out of it. Oh dear. Warrior hits Quake with two clotheslines, then a third sends him into the ropes, and Warrior bodyslams him. Big splash, and that’s it at 5:36.
My Thoughts: That was such a formula Warrior match that I regret watching it. It was also a complete burial of Earthquake, so I guess they finally realized that people didn’t really want to see him in a prominent role. It’s for the best. 1/4*, only because this finished clean and they were moving Quake down the card.
– Taped to air February 24th, 1991, on Wrestling Challenge, from the Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia
Sgt. Slaughter burns Hulk Hogan poster
I guess they were making Wrestling Challenge more important. Instead of burning the flag, which Slaughter had refused to do at one point, they burned a poster of Hulk Hogan. Of course, at this point, they couldn’t dare burn the flag even if Slaughter had agreed. It would have killed the company. This got the intended effect anyway, and Slaughter got a LOT of heat during this segment. Maybe it was canned. Maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know.
It’s not exactly sad, but on March 2nd, they did the last Brother Love Show, and had Warrior attack him and destroy the set. Too bad for him, but I detested that character.
– March 12th, 1991, from Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi
The Hart Foundation (WWF Tag Team Champions) vs. Legion of Doom
Pre-Match Thoughts: This was a nice treat for the fans that showed up to the TV taping. Definitely a one-time match, taped for Coliseum Video, was never any other chance for people to see it. With the Hart Foundation breaking up, this was the time to have the match. Obviously, it was not a title match.
Match Review: Animal and Neidhart will start the match, and what power we have here. Just stealing the commentators lines. They trade blows, and there’s a double clothesline spot. Strange way to start the match. Animal misses an elbow drop, but gets up with a flying shoulderblock. Hawk tags in, and Bret Hart does as well. Bret hits Hawk with some elbows, but Hawk comes back with a press slam attempt, but Bret escapes. Hawk then backdrops Bret over the top rope, and follows him to the outside for some headbutts. He sends Bret back inside, and Bret drops him with a neckbreaker that gets 2. Neidhart switches in, and Bret kicks Hawk in the back as he runs the ropes. Neidhart tosses Hawk to the outside, and Bret kicks him somewhat low. He tosses Hawk back into the ring and acts like he did nothing wrong, and Neidhart clotheslines Hawk for 2. Bret tags back in, gives Hawk a backbreaker, and covers for 2. Neidhart gets back in there and puts a front face-lock on Hawk, then bodyslams him for 2. Bret tags back in, heads up to the second rope, and hits Hawk with an elbow for 2. This match has no heat for some reason. Bret puts the front face-lock on Hawk, but Hawk picks him up and drives him back to his corner. The distraction disallows Hawk’s tag, and Neidhart gets thrown shoulder-first into Hawk’s abdomen. Neidhart makes a legal tag in, and goes to the chinlock. Hawk gets out and smashes his face into the mat, but Neidhart maintains control for a bit longer. Bret draws Animal into the ring, and Animal then chases Bret around the ring. Now, as the referee gets Bret out of there, they give Hawk the HART ATTACK only for Animal to break the cover. Very sneaky. Bret gives Hawk an inverted atomic drop, and Animal gets drawn into the ring again. This time Neidhart whips Bret into the corner for a charge, and Hawk moves out of the way. He clotheslines Neidhart, and makes the tag out to Animal, who gives Neidhart an atomic drop. He follows that with a flying shoulder on Bret, and throws them into each other, knocking Neidhart out of the ring. Animal brings Hawk in for the finish, which features an Animal clothesline in the corner. They set Bret up for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, but Neidhart grabs Hawk and crotches him on the top rope. Bret’s victory roll on Animal gets 2, and he gives Animal a backbreaker. He then goes for the SLINGSHOT SHOULDERBLOCK, which Neidhart does land. The Foundation then tries a rocket launcher of sorts, but Animal catches Bret and powerslams him for the victory at 12:21!
My Thoughts: You know, this match was pretty good. It didn’t have any heat, and I really didn’t understand that. Still, a fun display. I wasn’t surprised to see LOD worked so hard, but this was probably their best match in the WWF, so I can see why people would get the impression that they didn’t have many good ones. It was funny to see the babyface champions wind up having to play heel in the match, that’s a strange dynamic that doesn’t entirely make sense. ***1/4, it’s sad what wound up happening to the tag team division not long after this.
– March 15th, 1991, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
Texas Tornado (w/Virgil) vs. Ted DiBiase
Pre-Match Thoughts: This plays on DiBiase screwing Tornado out of his Intercontinental Championship. Virgil is there to help him out, which makes perfect sense. They brought him out separately to get him an ovation. DiBiase leaves the ring to confront Virgil, and Tornado takes the chance to beat DiBiase up after sucker punching him.
Match Review: Tornado throws DiBiase into the steps as the bell rings, and brings him back into the ring. DiBiase comes back with chops, but gets thrown into the buckle a few times, and Tornado rolls him up for 2. DiBiase leaves the ring, so Virgil throws him back in and Tornado rolls him up for 2. Hot crowd we have here. DiBiase leaves the ring again and Tornado attacks him, and sends him into the post. Tornado lands the TORNADO PUNCH, and tosses DiBiase back in the ring again. Tornado misses a charge to the corner and flies to the outside, and Dibiase rams him into the steps. They roll back in, and DiBiase clotheslines Tornado. He gets focused on Virgil again, which isn’t the best idea. DiBiase hits Tornado with a back elbow, and follows that with a suplex. Back over to arguing with Virgil, and he throws Tornado to the outside. DiBiase tries to slam Tornado back into the ring, but Virgil grabs his feet, causing Tornado to fall on top for the victory at 4:50. Haha.
My Thoughts: Inventive finish to a short match, and it was one the people wanted to see. Good booking to make everyone happy, and the crowd responded to it well. Like I said, they were really heated for the match. *1/2. Kerry just couldn’t possibly work any longer than this, and he didn’t even do anything in the match.
Jim Duggan (w/Hulk Hogan) vs. Sgt. Slaughter (w/General Adnan) for the WWF Championship in a FLAG MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: This being Slaughter’s last title defense on television prior to the one where he loses it, I think watching this match is bordering on necessary. We have a really heated crowd for this match as well, just like the other one from this show. The crowd pops HUGE for Hulk Hogan walking out to be in Duggan’s corner. This is the kind of flag match where the winner’s flag is waved around.
Match Review: Hacksaw attacks and clobbers Sarge, knocking him to the outside where he steps on Sarge’s hand. Sarge eventually gets back in the ring, and shoves Hacksaw across it. Hacksaw returns the favor, with Sarge taking a comical bmp, and Hacksaw rams him into some turnbuckles. Hacksaw then backdrops Sarge, and puts his head down again only to get kicked in the face. Adnan then chokes Hacksaw for a bit, and Sarge puts an elbow on him. Sarge follows by applying a SLEEPER, but it doesn’t quite put Hacksaw to sleep. All this rhetoric about Sarge’s rules is cracking me up. Hacksaw breaks the hold by using momentum to send Sarge into the buckles, but he misses an elbow drop. Sarge plugs his ears so he can’t hear the crowd, then gives Hacksaw a backbreaker for 2. Sarge heads up top, and comes down with a big stomp that gets 2. Sarge then kicks Hogan while Hogan is playing to the crowd, and heads up top again. This time Hogan pushes him down to the canvas, that’s what he deserved. Adnan and Hogan get involved with each other, and Hogan puts hands on the GENERAL. Sarge attacks Hogan from behind and rams him into the announce table, then drills him in the head with a chair. Sarge chokes Hogan with a cord, and this is as strong as they’ve made Sarge look. Sarge gets back in the ring, and Hogan is nearly back to his feet. Sarge puts Hacksaw in the CAMEL CLUTCH TO MAKE HIM HUMBLE, but Hogan has the 2×4. He cracks Sarge across the back with it, and quickly leaves the ring so he isn’t spotted. Hacksaw gets over for the cover, and Adnan gets in the ring to break the count at 14:12, leading to a DQ.
Hogan gets in with the 2×4, but Adnan throws salt, or rather…SAND IN HIS EYES. WHAT GREAT COMMENTARY. Adnan and Sarge then beat Hogan and Duggan up with the Iraqi flag, and Sarge waves the flag around afterward. Adnan and Sarge left, but Adnan walked back down to the ring because he forgot the title. Hogan gets up and grabs him, throwing him into the ring. Poor guy. They do a great bit of getting heat with Adnan bowing to Hogan, begging and pleading. Duggan hits him with the 2×4, and Hogan winds up with the belt, and celebrates with it.
My Thoughts: This wasn’t a good match by any stretch, but it was fun. I can’t really explain how or why. I guess the heat, in addition to the cheese factor made the whole thing for me. I was entertained the whole way, and thought it was a really effective way of hyping up Hogan/Slaughter for the New York crowd. If they’re going to do a terrible program, they could at least do it right, like they did here. **, and I’m taking the entire thing into account.
– Taped to air March 17th, 1991, on STARS & STRIPES FOREVER, from the Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida
Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: So that makes three months they went to Florida to do TV. Very odd both for them to do it in the same place, but to be out of their home base for so long, or not hit up the rest of the country for their TV. Anyway, this is a hell of a matchup, but Shawn was still learning his singles craft. Let’s see what happens. Heenan was going to stay on commentary during this match instead of head down to the ring.
Match Review: These guys lock up, and Perfect elbows Michaels in the head. Michaels returns the favor, and they start arguing with each other. They tease a boxing match, and Michaels knocks Perfect down first, sending him to the outside. Michaels then decides to charge at Perfect with a MASSIVE DIVE TO THE OUTSIDE, and pretty much slams his head into the guardrail. That was SICK. He charges at Perfect again, but Perfect hotshots him into the rail, with the crowd making quite the sound. Marty Jannetty runs down to ringside, and I guess there’s a commercial.
Back from that commercial, Perfect’s beating Michaels up, and he dropkicks him for 2. Perfect then throws Michaels upside down into the corner, and clotheslines him as he stands on the apron. Perfect brings Michaels in and rams his head into the canvas, then knees Michaels to send him back out of the ring. Perfect teases a dive of his own, but the referee says no. Perfect brings Michaels back inside, and gives him the NECK SNAP for 2. Michaels blocks a backdrop with a big kick, but Perfect puts a sleeper on him. Michaels breaks it with a jawbreaker, but Perfect hits him with a big knee lift to knock him down again. Perfect then slaps Jannetty, and gets punched in the face, which brings Heenan down to the ring! Jannetty points at him, which allows Perfect to sneak up from behind and post Jannetty. Michaels misses a charge at Perfect, but he ducks out of the ring and WISHBONE SPLITS him into the post. That was so fluid and so good. Michaels then kicks Perfect around the ring, and gives him an inverted and regular atomic drop, then a big clothesline for 2. Michaels hits Perfect with a SUPERKICK for 2, and follows with a great looking neckbreaker. Michaels heads up top, and Heenan runs over to push him down, but Michaels moves. He grabs Heenan, so Perfect attacks Michaels from behind. NOW THE BIG BOSS MAN IS HERE. PERFECT-PLEX TO MICHAELS, but Boss Man breaks it up for the DQ at 10:24. Perfect runs away, but Jannetty is out there and hits him on his way to the back.
My Thoughts: This was as overbooked as it gets, and as a result it was a lot of fun. The bumping here was as absurd as you’d guess, with both guys doing somersault sells off of pretty much everything. It was fun, and the involvement of Heenan, Jannetty, and Boss Man was as well. Michaels was obviously trying to get a singles push of some sort and I think he must have impressed Vince in some meaningful way here, as he got more and more chances before the Rockers were broken up. ***. I thought Shawn’s big dive to the outside was the best part.
General Adnan vs. Hulk Hogan
Pre-Match Thoughts: Well, this is hardly a legitimate match. I don’t remember what was on the WrestleMania VII video regarding this match, so I don’t remember what happened in this match. I guess the Iraqi flag is completely back in the equation as Adnan has it. Hogan brought the American flag down to the ring, as you’d expect.
Match Review: Adnan goes to work with some BACK RAKES and EYE GOUGING, but Hogan kicks him and I guess that’s the end of that. Hogan knocks Adnan around with some punches and a clothesline, and of course, Sgt. Slaughter attacks Hogan from behind for the DQ at 1:04. Slaughter beats Hogan up with his title belt, and goes to work on Hogan’s ribs with the Iraqi flag. NOW I REMEMBER. Slaughter then puts Hogan in the CAMEL CLUTCH, covers Hogan with the Iraqi flag, and that’s the last angle to sell WrestleMania.
My Thoughts: Good way to get a storyline on the WrestleMania match. No rating for a complete non-match. This was very effective, but I don’t like the reintroduction of the Iraqi material just because the war finished.
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Tugboat
Pre-Match Thoughts: I just really wanted to watch an Undertaker match, even though he’s facing Tugboat. That doesn’t matter to me. The crowd’s reaction to Taker was one of complete, um…shock. Non-reaction? I don’t even know how to describe it.
Match Review: Taker attacks, and beats Tugboat up in methodical fashion. He splashes Tugboat in the corner, and there’s the chokes. Tugboat dodges another charge to the corner and goes for a bodyslam, but Taker falls on top for 2. Taker misses an elbow drop, and hits Tugboat with a clothesline shortly after. Taker goes back to the choke, and puts his head down for a backdrop, so Tugboat tries the bodyslam again to no effect. Taker drops an elbow on Tugboat, and follows with a leapfrog body guillotine. Taker drops a knee on Tugboat, and misses yet another elbow drop. Tugboat powerslams Taker, and splashes Taker in the corner. Taker dodges another charge to the corner, quickly heads up top, and comes down with a big elbow drop for the pinfall win at 3:28! Then, in a touch I haven’t seen, Taker sprinkles some ashes on Tugboat.
My Thoughts: This actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Perhaps it was the novelty of watching something different, perhaps it was how short the match was. The Undertaker was an intriguing character, there’s absolutely no denying that. Personally, it’s one of my favorites. *, I never quite said it was good, but I was expecting much worse.
So, that’s it, and what a nice time that was watching all that stuff. There was a hell of a lot going on, and WrestleMania was just around the corner. I’m looking forward to watching that so much, but I do have to watch WCW from March 1991 first. You know, I’m not entirely surprised that the WWF went down the tubes. At that Stars and Stripes Forever taping, it seemed like the lights in the arena were dimmed and that the building wasn’t full. That’s been the case more and more since WrestleMania VI. Wrestling just wasn’t as popular as it used to be, and there was this thing called a steroid trial coming up that nearly killed it off.
Best: Hart Foundation vs. LOD. It was a good tag match, plain and simple, with no overbooking or stupidity.
Worst: Earthquake vs. Tugboat. I hated myself for watching that.