Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXI

Taped from Terre Haute, IN

Airdate:  November 14, 1992 (taped 10/27)

Attendance:  4,300

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Papa Shango become WWF champion? Will the Ultimate Maniacs achieve tag team gold? How will Michaels fare against Smith for the IC title? It’s a triple-crown show so let’s find out!

Sorry, Chester.

Match 1 for the WWF tag team titles: Money, Inc. (champions w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Ultimate Warrior & “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Highlights:

  • After a four-way brawl erupted at the onset, Warrior tossed DiBiase over the top rope to the floor.
  • Savage and Warrior then double-clotheslined the heels consecutively.
  • When they dumped the heels over opposite top ropes, Heenan performed a brain scan and mocked Ross Perot.
  • Savage then gave DiBiase an atomic drop resulting in a DiBiase flop for 2.
  • As he guillotined DiBiase with the top rope, Savage tagged in Warrior.
  • Speaking of Warrior, he countered a back drop with a vertical suplex for another 2.
  • Next, he attempted a flying shoulder block, but DiBiase face-planted him instead.
  • IRS tagged in and hooked a sleeper on Warrior.
  • In split-screen, from the gold locker room, Razor Ramon, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and Mr. Perfect savored the taste of Warrior’s misfortune.
  • While the heels cut a promo, Warrior sandwiched IRS in the corner to escape.
  • DiBiase tagged in and secured the Million Dollar Dream to Warrior.
  • When Savage saved Warrior’s bacon, a double clothesline put both Warrior and DiBiase down on the mat.
  • Hot tag Savage.
  • Upon slamming IRS, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the big elbow.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring while Warrior gave DiBiase the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • As Warrior clotheslined DiBiase over the top rope to the floor, Savage delivered an atomic drop to IRS.
  • The heels then grabbed the tag team belts and hit the showers.
  • By countout, Warrior and Savage won.
  • Money, Inc. retained.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Gone is the first of two wrestlers who exited the WWF on 11/8. Warrior admitted to trying to obtain growth hormone from England during a deposition in 1993. Due to the steroid distribution allegations swirling around, Warrior and the WWF parted ways. He would not return until 1996.

After the match, Warrior and Savage nail Money, Inc. from behind in the aisle. Suddenly, Flair, Ramon, and Perfect emerge to ambush them. Officials hit the scene to break up the carnage.

Missing is a music video featuring NEW WWF champion Bret Hart. I won’t leave you hanging though.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (champion) versus Shawn Michaels (w/o Sensational Sherri)

Highlights:

  • Sherri was unable to second Michaels due to an unfortunate incident with Marty Jannetty (aired 10/31, taped 10/12).
  • Upon hip-tossing Smith, Michaels hooked a short-arm scissors.
  • Smith then countered by lifting Michaels overhead and giving him an electric chair.
  • As he delivered a military-press slam, Smith clotheslined Michaels over the top rope to the floor.
  • Smith then reversed a cross corner whip, but Michaels floated over.
  • Not to be outdone, Smith shoulder-blocked him.
  • When he charged, Michaels evaded him sending him between the ropes to the floor.
  • He then removed the padding from the top turnbuckle while referee Earl Hebner counted. SNEAKY!
  • After a commercial break, Michaels hooked an abdominal stretch, but Smith hip-tossed out of it.
  • He then missed an elbow drop, so Michaels got a 2-count.
  • As Michaels reapplied the abdominal stretch, Smith escaped again with a hip toss.
  • He then successfully delivered an elbow drop despite Michaels’ efforts to the contrary.
  • When Michaels reversed an Irish whip, Smith face-planted him.
  • He then gave Michaels a cross corner whip resulting in a Michaels flip.
  • After a clothesline, Smith catapulted him face-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • He then clotheslined him again for 2.
  • As he gave Michaels a delayed vertical suplex, Smith got another 2.
  • Michaels then reversed a cross corner whip sending Smith back-first into the exposed turnbuckle. OUCH!
  • When Smith reversed an Irish whip, he punted Michaels in the corner.
  • With Michaels atop the top turnbuckle, Smith attempted a top rope superplex, but his back gave out mid-maneuver.
  • Consequently, Michaels landed on top of Smith.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: ***

Summary: Gone is the second of two wrestlers on 11/8 due to the growth hormone allegations. Smith would not return until ’94. Furthermore, Michaels’ victory marks his first reign as IC champion.

Back in the gold locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Flair, Ramon, and Perfect. Great promo, and I truly enjoy Hall’s character development.

Prior to the main event, Okerlund interviews Bret who mentions the infamous Hart Dungeon. Bret’s also determined to defeat Shango.

Match 3 for the WWF title: Bret “Hitman” Hart (champion) versus Papa Shango

Highlights:

  • Wait a minute! Bret beat Flair for the title? Yep (taped 10/12 for Coliseum Home Video).

  • Bret reversed a cross corner whip and monkey-flipped Shango.
  • As he gave Shango a cross body block, he got 2.
  • He then delivered an inverted atomic drop and clotheslined Shango over the top rope to the floor.
  • Next, Bret hit a plancha prior to the commercial break.
  • Shango then reversed a cross corner whip resulting in a sternum-first bump by Bret.
  • When Shango secured a bear hug, Bret bit him to escape. I believe it tasted like gumbo.
  • Shango then gave Bret a back elbow followed by a standing choke.
  • After Bret escaped a trapezius hold, Shango clotheslined him.
  • Bret then attempted a sunset flip and somehow avoided eating a knuckle sandwich. He’d already eaten gumbo, so he wasn’t hungry anymore.
  • As Shango charged, he ate boot, and Bret hooked a sleeper.
  • Shango then broke the hold by sending Bret face-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • When Shango hit a pair of elbow drops, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a third elbow drop.
  • Bret then delivered a side Russian leg sweep for 2.
  • After he backdropped Shango, he got another 2.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle, gave Shango a lariat, but couldn’t get 3.
  • As Shango reversed a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Bret then hooked the Sharpshooter, and Shango submitted.
  • Bret retained.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Bret carried Shango to an entertaining match that the Terre Haute faithful thoroughly enjoyed. Bret will defend the title at Survivor Series against Michaels.

FUNERAL PARLOR: Bearer mentions that Undertaker has been occupied with building a casket strong enough to hold Kamala. While he’s confident about Undertaker’s victory at the PPV, we revisit the aftermath of the Undertaker-Kamala match at Summerslam ’92. He then introduces Undertaker who emerges from a standing coffin to cut a promo on Kamala.

After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews a victorious Bret. Abruptly, Michaels interrupts and taunts Bret. A shoving match ensues to close the segment.

To finish the program, Heenan mentions that either Savage or Warrior will have a new partner at the PPV. Well, we know which one he means.

Conclusion:  Grab your tissues because this was the last SNME of the golden era. The show would not return to network TV until 2006. With that being said, this show was very entertaining, and the last two matches were worthwhile. I would definitely recommend this show to all HBK fans due to his first singles title victory.

Rating: 6.10

Stay tuned for WCW Clash XXI!

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