Flashback: MSG December 1990

(This show was getting pimped in the Greats thread for the Perfect-Piper main event, so I figured that I since I actually reviewed this one on 24/7 it was worth a repost.)  The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG Show – December 28 1990 – I haven’t been doing these lately, but it leaves in three days and I’ve got a couple of hours to kill, so we’ll give it a go. – Taped from Madison Cube Garden. – Your hosts are Gorilla & Lord Alfred. Koko B Ware v. Black Bart. I seriously do not remember Bart being in the WWF, and in fact this would have been really close to the time where he was part of the Desperadoes in WCW, so it can’t have been a long stint. Koko works the arm to start, choosing to leave the headband on for some reason, but Bart quickly makes the ropes. Koko gets a pair of hiptosses into a dropkick, and Bart hits the floor. Back in, we get some stalling and they do the test of strength, which results in Bart bailing out again. Back in, Bart chokes him out in the corner and drops him on the top rope, for two. And we hit the chinlock to slow down the torrid pace. Whew, I was having trouble recapping it with all the near-falls. Someone should have told Bart that coming into a tryout looking lumpy and with bad hair is not the best way to earn a job. Bart gets a slam, but misses an elbow. Koko loses his grip on a slam attempt, but Bart misses a blind charge and Koko rolls him up for two and gets a suplex for two. Small package gets two, and finally the headband gets knocked off. Koko comes back with headbutts and a missile dropkick, and that sets up the brainbuster to finish at 10:08. Slow and dull. 1/2* The Warlord v. Jimmy Snuka. Speaking of slow and dull, that would be a very fitting tag team name for these two. This was the rather sad end of Snuka’s WWF run, when he was wearing boots and looking ridiculously roided to compensate for his shot body. Warlord attacks and chokes away to start, then unleashes the clubbing forearms on the back. Snuka comes back with chops, but gets caught and slammed. Snuka keeps coming with a headbutt and pounds away in the corner with the fakest looking shit I’ve ever seen, and thankfully Warlord escapes with an atomic drop. Warlord stomps him down and chokes away on the ropes, then boots Snuka out to the floor. Suplex back in burns up about two minutes as Warlord stalls before the move and then poses after it. That gets two. And now, the bearhug. You may go get nachos if you wish, I’ll wait. Snuka headbutts out of it and makes the comeback with chops, but Warlord hotshots him and chokes away…and draws the DQ at 8:32. Oh sweet merciful fuck. Who booked this crap? DUD Warlord can take solace knowing that Snuka looks like a pedophile with his greasy hair and moustache at that point. – And now, the Gobbledy Gooker. Yes, it actually lasted for more than a MONTH after Survivor Series. He dances with Howard Finkel and then thankfully leaves. The Rockers v. Power & Glory. The Rockers smartly jump the heels to start, but Marty gets double-teamed on the floor as a result. In the ring, Roma starts pounding him in the corner, but Marty gets a sunset flip and brings Shawn in for some double-teaming. Shawn slugs away in the corner and the Rockers clean house with a pair of double superkicks. Shawn stops to jaw with the ref and Herc clobbers him as a result, then slugs away to take over. Shawn tries a comeback but gets tripped up by Roma, then tries a backdrop suplex on Hercules and gets hit from behind by Roma. Herc gives him an elbow and it’s more shenanigans by Roma, but Marty gets the tag and they start working on Herc’s arm. They do a little cheating of their own behind the ref’s back and Marty gets a cross-armbreaker, then armdrags Roma on his way in. Roma gets fancy with leapfrogs to escape, but Marty punches him down and goes back to the arm. Nice teamwork from the Rockers sees Shawn dropping an elbow for two, and back to the arm. Roma tries to escape and gets armdragged down again, and Marty switches in for a double-team and more of the same. Finally Herc gets a cheapshot on Marty from the apron and Marty is YOUR face in peril. Herc slugs him down, but Marty catches Roma with a clothesline out of the corner, and it’s hot tag Shawn. Herc quickly cheapshots him as well and we get a fresh heat segment. Herc sends Shawn into the turnbuckles and follows with a bearhug. Shawn fights out of it, but Herc takes him down and Roma drops an elbow for two. Roma follows with his own bearhug, and there’s nothing more terrifying than a bearhug from Paul Roma, but Shawn fights out of that as well, and we get the false tag. Roma dropkicks Marty out of the ring and Hercules actually breaks the middle rope while setting up the PowerPlex, but Shawn clotheslines him off the top anyway. It’s just one of those days. Hot tag Marty and he avoids a charging Roma, who hits the broken corner to give Marty two. Small package, but Herc rolls them over, then Shawn rolls them over again for two. I always love that finish. Double-slam from the Rockers and Shawn kicks Herc out of the ring, and it’s a draw at 21:13. I guess that was supposed to be a 20:00 draw. You could tell they were going long by the lazy pace most of the way through, but it picked up well enough by the halfway point. ** Greg Valentine v. Saba Simba. Oh, fuck me. Are you KIDDING me? Haven’t I endured enough on this crappy show yet? Simba is of course semi-famous for wrestling a squash match on Superstars and having color commentator Roddy Piper exclaim “Hey, it’s Tony Atlas!”, leaving Vince McMahon to cover for him. This is one of the most racist and insulting gimmicks ever devised by the WWF, and that’s saying something. Simba overpowers Hammer to start and hits him with a chop, drawing a Flair Flop. I mean, seriously, how did Vince trot Atlas out there acting like a jungle savage and not get attacked by the NAACP? I’d have to personally credit no one watching the TV shows at that point, and with good reason. Hammer tosses Simba, but he no-sells it and comes in with more jungle savagery. Savage clothesline and they do a ridiculously obvious spot-planning session during what appears to be a lockup of some sort, and Hammer takes over with a cheapshot in the corner. Greg tries a slam, but Simba uses JUNGLE POWER to block, so Hammer takes him down and tries working on the leg instead. Oh my god, this is like watching backyard wrestling or something. How the hell did Atlas get into the Hall of Fame? Figure-four is blocked by Simba, but he puts his head down because he’s an ignorant jungle savage, and Hammer drops the elbow for two. Simba chops Hammer down and rams him into the turnbuckles, then headbutts Hammer for another Flair Flop. You know, it’d be refreshing to see Atlas do something other than chop, headbutt or slap his belly here. I think even Valentine is getting sick of it. The ref gets bumped and it’s a DQ at 8:30 after Jimmy Hart’s interference backfires. This was a total embarrassment. -** Valentine turns on Jimmy Hart after the match, turning face to end his WWF career through 1991. Unfortunately for Valentine, attacking Jimmy meant getting beat up by Earthquake at Wrestlemania VII. Earthquake & Dino Bravo v. Hulk Hogan & Tugboat. Did anyone seriously think they get Fred Ottman over by calling him “Tugboat”? I’d like to have been at one of those production meetings in the late 80s when they came up with this crap so I could laugh at them in person. Hulk locks up with Bravo to start and gets shoved into the corner, but wins a second go-around. Hulk and Tugboat pinball Dino in the corner and Tug goes to work on the arm. Hulk comes off the second rope, a dangerous proposition tonight, and rams Dino into the turnbuckles to set up a double boot. Blind charge hits boot and Bravo takes Tugboat down with an atomic drop, but Quake misses an elbow. Back to Hulk, who slams Bravo and Quake, and hits Quake with a corner clothesline. However, once again Tugboat screws up and gets double-teamed by the heels, and Quake splashes him for two. Quake hits the chinlock and Bravo chokes him out in the corner. The heels team up with a slam on Tugboat, and Quake drops the big elbow to set up the butt splash. Hulk breaks it up with a clothesline, and it’s hot tag to Hulk. Big boot for Bravo finishes at 9:19. Well, he sure wasn’t screwing around with that one. This was all paint-by-numbers stuff. *1/2 Hulk and Tugboat pose afterwards, but Earthquake lays him out with powder and the butt splash. Ha, I wonder why more heels didn’t think of that tactic? I mean, it’s Hogan’s own fault for turning his back on the dressing room. So the feud MUST CONTINUE! Hogan gets stretchered out and his career is in jeopardy, blah blah blah. Virgil v. Kerry Von Erich. Virgil is subbing for Ted Dibiase here because of a knee injury. Virgil attacks to start and takes it to the floor, but Kerry fights back from the apron and whips Virgil into the stairs. And we get the big stall as Virgil works the count until Tornado tosses him back in and slugs away in the corner. Blind charge misses and Kerry hits the post, allowing Virgil to start going after the arm. Kerry sells an armbar for a bit before clotheslining Virgil a couple of times and backdropping him out of the corner. Virgil offers a bribe, but money means nothing to Kerry! Drugs, sure, that means everything, but not money. Von Erich keeps coming with a boston crab, but Virgil makes the ropes. Iron Claw is blocked, but only temporarily. Virgil makes the ropes again, but the discus punch puts Virg out of his misery at 7:54. Total squash. The announcers put Virgil over as making a valiant effort, to build up to his face turn in January, but realistically he had no offense of note here. * – Jimmy Hart joins us, throwing out a challenge to Greg Valentine on behalf of the Honky Tonk Man. Dusty Rhodes & Hacksaw Duggan v. Sgt. Slaughter & General Adnan. This would be the follow-up to the Duggan v. Slaughter match from Nov 90 that I reviewed previously. The crowd is now half-empty with the departure of Hulk Hogan, so down go the lights. Dusty starts with Slaughter and they trade shots in the corner, so Sarge goes after Duggan’s board. Well you just don’t do that. Dusty and Duggan give Slaughter some punishment in the corner and Duggan gets a clothesline to set up the Slaughter Corner Bump. Duggan pounds away in the corner and Dusty throws the elbows, but Duggan goes after Adnan and gets sent into the post as a result. Duggan, who used to at least be counted on for a good gory bladejob now and then, can’t even do that anymore. Slaughter and Adnan beat on him in the corner and Adnan goes to a neck vice and rams him into the turnbuckles, but that’s spitting into the wind with Duggan. More lame offense and Slaughter gets a backbreaker for two. He misses a kneedrop, however, and it’s somewhat hot tag Dusty. Man, this crowd is just brutal now. They pinball Slaughter in their corner, but Dusty misses the charge and Sarge finishes with the camel clutch at 9:08. Why yes, Dusty WAS on the way out, why do you ask? 1/2* Intercontinental title: Curt Hennig v. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Finally something with potential for fun. Although Piper was working as a color commentator at this point, so I’m not sure why they stuck him out there with Hennig. They do the duelling gum spit to start and Piper chases him into the corner and escapes a go-behind with a shot to the mouth. Perfect tries chopping, but Piper fires back with mustard on it and Hennig bails. Piper yanks him back in and drags him around by the hair, then hairtosses him. No ringpost bump off that? Hennig goes for the nuts, but Piper LITERALLY cockblocks him and tosses him over the top. They brawl on the floor and Perfect wants out of them, but Piper tosses him back in and rips the tights in the process. Piper slugs him down and threatens to stomp on his Little Perfect, but chooses to bitchslap him instead and then slugs the angry Perfect down for two. Double clothesline and both guys are out, but Piper is up first, while Hennig yanks the top turnbuckle off. Piper goes headfirst into that corner and Hennig gets two off it, then punts Piper in the ribs. Standing dropkick puts Roddy on the floor, and Perfect follows with a chair to the jaw. See, why can’t they do that instead of unprotected shots to the head? That looks like it hurts just as much, and it’s totally safe. Back in, Hennig with the sleeper, and he uses the ropes for good measure. Piper escapes with a jawbreaker and makes the comeback, reversing a suplex for two. Perfect small package gets two. They trade kneelifts, with Piper doing the delayed sell before hitting his, and he gets two. Hennig clotheslines him and now we’re gonna see a Perfectplex! Or so he says. Yup, and that gets two. Piper gets a quick rollup for two, and they slug it out and fight on the floor. Back in, Hennig goes up , but that removed turnbuckle comes back to bite him as Piper drops him on the exposed steel, and that’s enough for a countout win for Piper at 12:40. God, another lame finish. Great, unique match, though, as they were out there having a blast and trying to out-sell each other. ***1/2 Piper feels the belt should be his, but his time would come later, of course. Quite the collection of shitty matches and even worse finishes tonight, although Perfect v. Piper is well worth tracking down on YouTube.