WWF Road to WrestleMania VII Special

March 17, 1991

From the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, FL. This was taped on 3/11 during the “Superstars of Wrestling” tapings.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan

We start off with the Hulk Hogan montage from his USO Tour appearance.

 

Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels

Perfect mocks Shawn’s attire as Vince mentions that “Prime Time Wrestling” will be moving to Tuesday nights. The reason for that was the USA Network airing the World League of American Football (which would later become NFL Europe) on Monday night’s. Perfect toys with Shawn, who fights back. Perfect rolls into the corner after getting hit with an uppercut then wants to box. Shawn agrees and ends up dropping Perfect with a left. Perfect bails as the ref is on top of Shawn, who is lunging at Perfect. Shawn then flies out with a plancha and even wipes out the cameraman in the process before firing away. Shawn charges but Perfect drops him across the guardrail. Marty Jannetty runs out to help Shawn as Heenan jokes Marty better be down here to take his partner backstage. We head to break then return with Perfect beating on Shawn. Perfect clotheslines Shawn down on the apron then bounces his head off of the mat a few times. Perfect sends Shawn through the ropes with a knee smash then jaws at Marty. Shawn rolls himself inside where Perfect takes him down and hits a neck snap. Perfect ducks his head for a back drop but Shawn kicks him as both men are down. Perfect is up first and applies a sleeper. He brings Shawn to the mat but Shawn gets back up and hits a jawbreaker. Perfect take Shawn back down with a knee lift then slaps Marty only to get slapped himself. Heenan leaves the booth and heads ringside to yell at the ref. Marty backs Heenan off but Perfect sneaks out and knees Jannetty into the post. Perfect heads back inside then we get a reversal sequence ending with Shawn crotching Perfect against the post. Shawn then kicks out Perfect’s leg and runs wild. He almost gets the win with a clothesline. Super kick gets two. Shawn then hits a corkscrew neckbreaker and heads up top but Heenan causes a distraction, allowing Perfect to attack from behind. Perfect sets up for the Perfect Plex but the Big Bossman runs out and whacks Perfect with hits night stick for the DQ (10:26) ***1/2. Perfect bails then Bossman heads back into the ring and raises Shawn’s hand. Bossman then celebrates but turns around and sees Andre the Giant. Bossman is weary as Andre smiles and extends his hand but both men shake with Andre raising Bossman’s hand.

Thoughts: The match itself was a blast. Both guys were in the zone and Perfect was at his peak as a worker in the WWF at the time. Shawn really has been having himself some great performances lately to the point where he is clearly overshadowing Marty, who is quite talented himself. The finish did protect Shawn in defeat and hyped up the Perfect/Bossman WrestleMania match. Andre coming out was a shock. He was originally going to be part of the Royal Rumble match but was never spoke of again. With Andre out here it seems he’s here to stay or at least we will get an explanation of his return.

 

We now get the contract signing for the Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage WrestleMania match as both men put their careers on the line. Savage tells Warrior he will lose at WrestleMania and there is nothing he can do about it before signing the contract. Okerlund reminds Savage of the rules as Savage tells President Jack Tunney he stands for everything in the WWF and that Warrior will not stop the madness. Savage now yells at Warrior to sign the contract. Warrior tells Savage after WrestleMania all Savage will have left are memories then signs the contract before flipping over the table. The Undertaker’s theme hits as he comes out with Paul Bearer. They enter the ring and stare down Warrior, who beats his chest then shakes the ropes before leaving. Its crystal clear there will be an Undertaker/Warrior program after WrestleMania. Even watching TV there is no way you’d think Savage was winning this match.

 

Another reminder that Prime Time Wrestling will move to Tuesday nights as it will take place from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. It was there for the night and billed as the WrestleMania after party.

 

“British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. Jim Corbett

Davey comes out with his dog Winston as Vince rags on Heenan for hanging with the imposter Queen of England. Davey overpowers Corbett and reverses a full nelson. He then hits a delayed vertical suplex before a running powerslam gets the win (1:32).

Thoughts: Gorilla reminds us about the end of the Queen of England storyline as Davey is positioned strong heading into WrestleMania.

 

A highlight package of the Jake Roberts/Rick Martel feud is shown.

 

Blindfold Match: Koko B. Ware vs. “The Model” Rick Martel

Heenan says that Jake deserves to be in the dark. Martel gets in Koko’s face and shoves him but Koko fights back as the referee’s try to get them to put on the hoods. Martel bails as Heenan says Koko should have the advantage because he’s been in the dark his entire life. Both men put on the masks but Martel takes his off and attacks Koko while Heenan laughs hysterically in thinking Koko thinks Martel is wearing a hood. Martel finally has the hood put on him as Koko is withering around on the mat. Both men now struggle to make their way around the ring as Vince says the crowd will help Jake where to go at WrestleMania. Martel finally reaches Koko then submits him with the Boston Crab (4:32) DUD. Martel attacks Koko after the match.

Thoughts: If this was to sell you on the blindfold premise, it failed here. The fucking around before the blindfolds went on was creative but once both men had the hoods on the crowd went silent because it sucked.

 

Roddy Piper, coming out on a crutch, heads to the interview platform. He brings out Ted DiBiase then reminds him how he no longer as a bodyguard. We then see clips of DiBiase making Virgil do various tasks as Piper says he no longer has anyone to help him out. Piper then removes his shirt to show how he’s the type of guy to give someone the shirt off his back. DiBiase tosses it aside and remains pissed while Piper says he has no friends. DiBiase finally speaks and says Piper runs his mouth before he speaks and has led Virgil into WrestleMania with the false hope of winning. DiBiase then says Virgil is nothing more than a “gutter rat” as Piper wants to know if he would say something like that to their face. DiBiase then says Virgil is only able to respond to orders then Virgil himself comes out. Piper then tells Virgil about DiBiase having something to say to his face. DiBiase remains pissed as Piper tells Virgil everything that DiBiase said. Virgil grabs the mic and screams about how he will kick DiBiase’s butt at WrestleMania then leaves with Piper. By presenting Virgil as silent and unafraid of DiBiase it made you think he had a chance in this match despite not being a wrestler in storyline and a guy whose ass has been kicked by many of the guys DiBiase has pissed off over the years.

 

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Scott Allen

Vince does not believe Valentine would be able to put Earthquake in the figure four. Valentine works the arm of Allen then switches to the neck. He then hits a gutbuster and hammers away before getting the win with a figure four (2:59).

Thoughts: I like Valentine as a worker a lot but this babyface run was a lost cause. Despite offers from other places for the past few years Vince made sure to hang on to Valentine and the way he’s been used since the Garvin feud there wasn’t much point in having him around.

 

We hear from Sgt. Slaughter & Gen. Adnan as they warn the “Pukeamaniacs” about Adnan’s mission to find out what Hulk Hogan is made of to hype up tonight’s match. Hogan then tells us about beating Adnan then becoming champion at WrestleMania.

 

Gen. Adnan vs. Hulk Hogan

Adnan attacks Hogan from behind and rakes his back. He ducks his head for a back drop and gets kicked in the face then Hogan drops him with a lariat. Adnan begs for Mercy but Sgt Slaughter comes in from behind and hits Hogan with the belt for the DQ (1:04). Slaughter then whips Hogan with a riding crop as Adnan grabs the Iraqi flag. Slaughter beats on Hogan with the flag now before putting on the Camel’s Clutch. Adnan taunts Hogan with the World Heavyweight Title belt then beats off some of the referees. A few road agents come out and Slaughter is eventually pulled off of Hogan. Slaughter stomps away as Hogan is out on the mat. Slaughter then lays the flag over Hogan and salutes Adnan before leaving.

Thoughts: Predictable but the beatdown was effective. Slaughter needed to do something to Hogan here to make people think he has a chance at winning.

 

Gene Okerlund is with Slaughter & Adnan. Slaughter wants Hogan to hear Hogan surrender at WrestleMania. Back to the announcers as Heenan predicts that Slaughter will be victorious at WrestleMania.

 

The #1 Contender Tag Team Title Battle Royal from the 2/16 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” is shown.

 

Brian Knobbs w/ Jimmy Hart & Jerry Sags vs. Bret Hart w/ Jim Neidhart

Knobbs cheap shots Bret in the corner as Heenan claims to be anti-Hogan, not anti-American. Bret reverses an Irish whip then follows with a pair of atomic drops before knocking Knobbs outside. Bret slingshots Knobbs back inside but gets hit low. Bret comes back with a crossbody then Neidhart rolls Knobbs back inside. Bret works the arm until Knobbs rakes the eyes. Knobbs hammers away then has Bret catch a big boot attempt. Neidhart yanks Sags off if the apron and chases Jimmy Hart backstage. Sags distracts Bret so Knobbs can attack from behind. Neidhart comes back with the megaphone as Knobbs stays in control. Bret eats boot on a charge as Knobbs covers for two. Knobbs ducks his head for a back drop and Bret counters with a leg sweep of sorts as both men are down. Bret is up first and fires away. Sags attacks Neidhart from behind on the outside then trips up Bret, allowing Knobbs to hit a piledriver. Bret is able to kick out then Sags tries to hold up Bret up Neidhart breaks that up as Bret catches Knobbs with a clothesline for the win (9:30) **1/4.

Thoughts: Not the best finish but a solid TV match. Bret is quite over with the crowds and recognized/portrayed as a bigger star than his partner and soon will see him on his own.

 

Okerlund welcomes Hogan to the interview platform. Hogan said he should have known Slaughter would have attacked from behind as we clips of what happened earlier. Hogan then said there is no way on earth Slaughter will win at WrestleMania and says the war is not over. Hogan talks about pledging allegiance to god, the USA, and pledge to Slaughter that they will have the mother of all wars. Hogan then dedicates his match to the US Armed Forces. Hogan kept calling this a “war” and if he cut a promo like this in today’s climate it would garner a ton of negative publicity.

 

The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer vs. Tugboat

Tugboat gets attacked while entering the ring. Undertaker hits a corner splash then chokes out Tugboat in the corner. He misses a second splash attempt but Tugboat fails to slam him. Undertaker catches Tugboat with a clothesline then chokes him out on the mat. Tugboat fails another slam attempt as Undertaker stays in control. Tugboat rolls away from an elbow drop then hits a powerslam. Tugboat hits a corner splash but misses a second attempt then Undertaker puts Tugboat away with a top rope elbow drop (3:28) *. After the match, Undertaker sprinkles dirt on top of Tugboat.

Thoughts: Undertaker pretty much squashed Tugboat here. This was the best use of Tugboat at this point. Speaking of Tugboat, there were rumors around this time that he was going to leave and sign with WCW to portray the “Big Steele Man” character he did while working for Dusty Rhodes in Florida. And with how he’s been booked you could definitely see him leaving as a possibility but that was not the case.

 

We get a video package hyping the Slaughter/Hogan match at WrestleMania. We had sad music and a lot of patriotism to play off of the war. The style and music was similar to the video they did of Hogan last year for his feud against Earthquake as part of the “Come Back, Hulk” storyline. Anyway, if you found this Slaughter/Hogan storyline distasteful then this probably set you over the edge. It ended with a freeze frame of Slaughter having Hogan in the Camel’s Clutch.

 

Final Thoughts: This was a lot more action-packed than these Prime Time PPV specials have been in the past. Then again, the company was not as desperate then as they are now with regards to TV ratings and live attendance numbers. The Perfect/Shawn match was awesome and they did some angles for WrestleMania and beyond, making it a really fun hype show for the PPV.

 

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/23/91

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/24/91

Wednesday: WWF WrestleMania VII

Thursday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 3/26/91

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/30/91

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 6/30/83

Sunday: SWS/WWF Wrestle Fest 3/30/91