June 3, 1991
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and Jim Neidhart
Tonight, Hulk Hogan will defend the WWF World Heavyweight Title against Sgt. Slaughter in a “Desert Storm Match.”
Smash vs. The Dragon
Smash looking flabby here while The Dragon has ditched his arm bands. The announcers debate as to where “Parts Unknown” is located and suggest somewhere in Iowa or parts of Newark, NJ. Seems about right to me. Smash hammers away to start then works the arm. The Dragon escapes and works the arm for a bit then skins-the-cat and ends up backdropping Smash outside. Dragon takes Smash down with an arm drag back in the ring and works the arm. Dragon gets a slam after a reversal sequence before going back to the armbar. Smash breaks things up with an inverted atomic drop then drops The Dragon throat-first across the top rope. Smash catches Dragon with a chokeslam then a back suplex for a two count then applies a chinlock. Dragon tries to escape but gets tossed outside where Smash heads out and rams him into the post. Dragon gets slammed on the floor then Smash slingshots him back into the ring. Smash gets a two count with a backbreaker then cranks the neck. Dragon escapes and hits a few chops but gets caught with a back elbow smash. Dragon is knocked down a few times then Smash catches him with a sleeper that Gorilla says is improperly applied. Dragon keeps his arm up after the third raise by the referee then gets back to his feet. Dragon escapes and fights back with chops. Smash ducks his head and is kicked in the face as Dragon knocks him outside with a standing dropkick. Dragon flies out with a plancha from the middle rope then tosses Smash inside but ends up getting brought back in with a vertical suplex. Smash rams Dragon into the corner but misses a charge then Dragon heads up top and uses a flying body press for the win (10:14) *1/2.
Thoughts: The Dragon made this watchable. Smash is just pathetic now and should ditch the Demolition gear and find a new gimmick since the team appears to be finished. Stay tuned about that.
The Warlord vs. Koko B. Ware
Warlord overpowers Koko as Heenan’s colleagues accuse him of stealing money from his clients. Warlord poses but Koko hammers away then crawls around to avoid and frustrate the Warlord in a fun sequence. Koko returns to land some punches as Gorilla says he heard Warlord can bench press 600 lbs. Warlord tosses Koko into the corner as the announcers now talk about the WBF Championship. Koko runs into a boot then Warlord chokes him out. Warlord catches Koko in a bearhug as Heenan notes Warlord picked him up like a “bucket of chicken.” Gorilla now jokes that Slick is off somewhere with a man dressed in drag as Warlord maintains the bearhug. Gorilla claims that Koko weighs 253 lbs despite the fact he was listed as 228 before the match. Koko fights back but gets dumped outside as this match has slowed down an awful lot. Warlord taunts the crowd but barely even gets a reaction then blocks a sunset flip attempt. Warlord hits a slam but misses an elbow drop as both men are down. Koko gets a nearfall with a small package then avoids a charge and hits a missile dropkick for another nearfall. Koko then ducks a clothesline but gets caught with a hotshot as Warlord picks up the win (10:33) 1/2*.
Thoughts: The match was terribly slow and meandering. Warlord is a generic big man while Koko is borderline TV enhancement talent. At least the commentary was amusing.
Col. Mustafa w/ Gen. Adnan vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Mustafa lands a few shots but Duggan comes back with a pair of clotheslines. Mustafa bails as Duggan leads the crowd with a “USA” chant. Mustafa returns but Duggan fires away and he once again heads out to regroup with Adnan. Once again Mustafa returns but cheap shots Duggan in the corner in a terrible looking spot. Mustafa lands some feeble strikes then uses a chinlock. Duggan escapes but runs into a headbutt as Mustafa now taunts the crowd. Duggan blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Mustafa lands some more shots but misses a clothesline and gets slammed. Duggan sets up for the Three Point Stance but Adnan trips him up. Duggan now chases Adnan around the ring. Adnan grabs the 2×4 and runs backstage where Duggan follows. We see Adnan beg for mercy but Slaughter uses the 2×4 to attack Duggan from behind as Mustafa wins by countout (5:47) DUD.
Thoughts: My expectations were so low for this match that my rating actually surpassed them. The Mustafa/Adnan pairing is one of the least over pairings ever when you consider their standing on the card. Everyone managed to follow the simple formula but Mustafa was too deteriorated to do anything that looked even remotely decent. The end was seemingly designed to take Duggan out as possible help for Hogan in tonight’s main event.
Howard Finkel says that due to Heenan’s broadcast contract, he cannot leave and head to ringside to manage the Barbarian. So, Heenan named Mr. Fuji as his replacement.
The Barbarian w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Gorilla puts over Bret’s attire as the company wants to get over his new look. Bret escapes after getting backed into the corner then Barbarian uses a side headlock. Bret rolls outside after Barbarian runs him over and returns after a breather. Bret bounces off of Barbarian a few times and ends up getting caught with a slam. Bret avoids an elbow drop then punches away as the Barbarian bails. Bret works the arm as Barbarian returns but runs into a boot as Gorilla accuses Heenan of dumping his client. Barbarian kicks Bret outside as Gorilla hopes for an update on Duggan. Barbarian heads out and lands a few punches before ramming Bret into the post. Bret rolls inside where Barbarian whips him into the corner. Bret manages to duck a few attacks but is caught in a bearhug. Bret tries to escape and gets tossed then Barbarian chops him in the corner. Barbarian goes back to the bearhug as the crowd starts to get behind Bret, who escapes by biting the forehead. Barbarian hits a side slam then takes his time before heading to the middle rope where he misses an elbow drop. Bret gets up and fires away as he now runs wild. Bret picks up a nearfall with a clothesline then hits mounted punches in the corner. Heenan wants Fuji do to something as Bret picks up a couple more nearfalls. Barbarian sends Bret outside on a kickout then tries to suplex him from the apron but Bret floats over. Fuji trips up Bret from behind, allowing Barbarian to attack from behind. Barbarian then grabs Bret so Fuji can hit him with the cane but Bret moves away and Barbarian gets hit as Bret uses a rollup for the win (12:03) *3/4. After the match, Heenan runs into the ring and yells at Fuji.
Thoughts: Really just a standard house show match but it was a fun angle for this show. The Heenan/Fuji beef I believe was exclusive to MSG.
WBF Competitor Mike Quinn is shown in the crowd.
Bob Bradley vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
We are really scraping the bottle of the barrel now. Heenan is ranting about Fuji, calling him “egg roll,” as part of a early 90’s WWF casually racist tirade. The match starts with both men ending up in the corner after a lockup. Bradley bails to avoid a chop after a criss-cross sequence but ends up getting sling-shotted back into the ring. Snuka takes Bradley over with a hip toss then Bradley takes an exaggerated Dino Bravo-style bump off of a chop. Bradley tries a few turnbuckle smashes that have zero effect then tries a few kicks. Bradley gets chopped down again then Snuka hits a backbreaker before heading up top and hitting the Superfly Splash for the win (4:02) DUD.
Thoughts: This was hot garbage. Bradley’s bumping for Snuka was ridiculous here and despite being an old-time favorite with the crowd there was little reaction for Snuka, who was juiced to the gills.
Earthquake vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake puts Lucifer underneath the ring. We get a brawl to start then Jake hits a knee lift as a shocked Earthquake takes a breather in the corner. Jake gets the crowd behind him then taunts and eludes Earthquake, occasionally landing some jabs. Earthquake finally catches Jake and chokes him out but Jake escapes. Jake takes Earthquake down with a knee to the gut then tries a DDT but Earthquake hooked the ropes. Jake gets knocked outside then Earthquake tries to take Lucifer but Jake runs and hits a knee lift. Earthquake traps Jake near the post but misses a charge and bounces off. Back inside, Jake hits another knee lift then hits a short-arm clothesline. The crowd gets loud but Earthquake is able to avoid another DDT attempt. Heenan is still pissed off at Fuji costing his man the match as Earthquake stalks Jake. Earthquake whips Jake into the corner a couple of times as Jake rolls outside. Earthquake climbs up top and acts like he will fly outside but the ref orders him down. Jake heads back in and tries to fight back but Earthquake knocks him down. Earthquake toys with Jake, who fights back. Jake sends Earthquake down with a double axe handle to the back. Earthquake hooks the ropes to avoid another DDT then trips up Jake. Earthquake hurts his ribs elbowing Jake’s legs as both men are down. Earthquake rams Jake into the corner then tosses Jake down. Jake clutches his knee as Earthquake stomps around but Jake rolls outside. The ref checks on Jake but Earthquake grabs Lucifer and puts it in the middle of the ring. Earthquake taunts the crowd then stomps around as the ref returns but Jake manages to trip up Earthquake then he takes Lucifer out of the bag as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (10:56) **. Earthquake runs away but manages to pick up the win.
Thoughts: Decent match with a weak finish. Its clear they are going to run this match again though and with the amount of time its been receiving on TV they should. I thought both men showed solid chemistry together and await the rematch.
Sean Mooney is backstage with Mr. Fuji. He asks Fuji about Heenan as Fuji calls himself the best manager and challenges Heenan to a tag team match between any of his two men.
Mooney is then shown with Big Bossman and asks him about his match tonight with The Mountie. Bossman says he was raised to respect law enforcement but Mountie is trash and on the most wanted list as he promises to bring Mountie to justice tonight.
We now have Mooney with Slaughter & Adnan. He asks about the Desert Storm Match as Slaughter gloats about attacking Duggan then says he will not give up if its the last breath in his body. Slaughter then asks Hogan what’s he gonna do when he has to unconditionally surrender. Mooney says the winner of the match will have to make his opponent surrender.
Mooney is now with Hulk Hogan, who is wearing camouflage and a mask. Hogan says until the troops come home from overseas the war is still on and will burn Slaughter’s eyes out with the white sand from Venice Beach.
The Mountie vs. Big Bossman
Bossman beats the crap out of Mountie to start. He puts Mountie over his shoulder and walks around before hitting a running powerslam for two as Bossman covers with just one hand. Mountie bails but Bossman runs out and lands a haymaker. Bossman rolls Mountie inside for more punishment then heads up top but misses an attack and clotheslines himself on the ropes. Mountie drops Bossman with a throat thrust then knocks him outside. Bossman crawls back inside and gets hit with a jumping back elbow smash. They slug it out with Bossman winning that battle. Bossman hits a splash then neglects to cover and instead lands more punches. Mountie rolls outside then Bossman shoves the referee away so he can go after Mountie but ends up getting hit with the cattle prod then Mountie covers for the win (5:50) **. After the match, Mountie chases the referee away and shocks Bossman some more. Bossman shakes then a few referees run out to stop Mountie, who demands the mic. Mountie then tells us he is the only law and order.
Thoughts: Much better than their match at the prior MSG show. This was mostly all action and Mountie needed to pick up a win and did so by cheating to keep this feud alive.
Paul Roma & Hercules are in the ring. The Fink tells us a coin toss will determine who faces Animal tonight. Roma wins and will face Animal.
Paul Roma w/ Hercules vs. Animal
Hercules shoves Animal and that allows Roma to attack from behind. Animal catches Roma with an inverted atomic drop then takes him down with a clothesline. Hercules is up on the apron as Animal uses mounted punches. Roma shoves Animal outside then distracts the ref so his partner can hit a clothesline. Back inside, Roma taunts the crowd after hitting a dropkick then follows with a backbreaker but hangs on and hits two more. Animal starts firing away then hits a back suplex as both men are down. Roma is up first and hits a piledriver but that only gets two as Animal pops right up. Animal brushes off some punches then hits a clothesline. Roma is whipped into the referee by accident but Animal still stays in control. Hercules breaks up a pin despite as the ref is still out. He then holds up Animal for Roma but is accidentally hit with a missile dropkick then Animal catches Roma with a powerslam for a win (5:00) *1/2. Roma has some words with Hercules afterwards then bails.
Thoughts: The first half of this match was fun and Roma looked great. However, things fell apart a bit near the end. They teased some problems with Roma and Hercules though and Roma stated in his shoot interview with RF Video he was told there was plans for him as a singles wrestler but he refused because of not wanting his partner and friend Hercules to end up having nothing to do and getting released. Noble for sure but not the best career decision.
The Fink tells us about the next MSG show, which takes place on 7/1. Matches include: Warlord vs. Greg Valentine, The Orient Express (Tanaka missed the show due to his father’s death and was replaced by Fuji) vs. Haku & Barbarian, Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jake Roberts w/ Andre the Giant, Nasty Boys vs. Hart Foundation for the Tag Team Titles (billed as reuniting for this show), Barber Shop with guest Randy Savage, and the main event of The Undertaker vs. Ultimate Warrior in a “Bodybag Match.”
Desert Storm Match for the WWF World Heavyweight Title: Sgt. Slaughter w/ Gen Adnan vs. Hulk Hogan (c)
Hogan tosses sand in Slaughter’s face to avoid getting hit with his title belt. Hogan then hits Slaughter with the belt and with Slaughter’s own helmet. Hogan now whips Slaughter with the riding crop before tossing him outside. Hogan heads out and rams Slaughter’s head into the steps then chokes him out with the microphone cord. Hogan stays in control as the action heads back into the ring. Hogan now chokes out Slaughter with a banner from the crowd then rams Slaughter’s head off of the monitor as Slaughter’s forehead is busted open. Hogan stays in control as he is beating the crap out of Slaughter. Hogan slingshots Slaughter into the post then fights him off until he ducks his head and gets kicked in the face. Slaughter rips off Hogan’s mask then hits him with the belt. Slaughter knocks Hogan outside then heads out and slams his head off of the guardrail. Slaughter targets the back then takes the action back inside where he whips Hogan with a belt. Slaughter now chokes out Hogan in the corner then has Adnan slip him a chair. The crowd is behind Hogan then Slaughter lifts the chair over his head but falls down because he is too tired. Man, that spot didn’t fit this match. Hogan whacks Slaughter with the chair but ends up getting caught with a leg sweep. Slaughter finally lands a chair shot then applies the Camel’s Clutch. Hogan runs Slaughter into the corner as both men are down. Slaughter is up first and targets the back then heads up top but takes way too long and ends up falling off and lands on his head. However, Slaughter heads back up top but Hogan gets up and slams him off. Both men are down again then we get a double clothesline spot. Slaughter gets up first but Hogan tosses a fireball in his face then tears off his shirt. Hogan then uses Slaughter’s boot to beat him down and applies the Camel’s Clutch. Heenan says that Slaughter will not give up as Adnan leaves ringside and comes back with a towel he throws into the ring as Hogan wins (15:34) ***1/2. After the match, Hogan tosses powder into Adnan’s face and clears the ring. Hogan then celebrates with a young kid wearing fatigues.
Thoughts: This style of match was what they probably should have done at WrestleMania VII but the company wanted to keep the feud going through the Summer. Having Adnan throw in the towel protects Slaughter in defeat and creates a divide between the two that can be exploited later. This is a match work seeking out.
Final Thoughts: The main event is worth tracking down but skip the rest of the show. They featured some midcard feuds and an MSG angle that were fine but there was an awful lot of bad wrestling on the card and the WWE Network version spared us from Tugboat vs. Brooklyn Brawler. House shows would continue to struggle throughout the year.