March 15, 1991
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and Lord Alfred Hayes
Tonight’s main event is Sgt. Slaughter vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who has Hulk Hogan in his corner.
Marty Jannetty vs. Pat Tanaka w/ Mr. Fuji
Tanaka is sporting black pants in this match. Fuji distracts Marty and that allows Tanaka to attack from behind. Marty decks Tanaka after a really fast-paced Irish whip sequence then Tanaka ducks out to regroup with Fuji. Back inside, Marty stops short of a leapfrog and once again decks Tanaka, who heads back outside but this time Marty wipes him out with a pescado. Fuji distracts the ref and Marty while Tanaka takes loosens the turnbuckle pad. Tanaka then gets in Marty’s face and shoves him a few times. He then slaps him around but Marty fights back and hits a jumping back elbow smash. Tanaka begs for mercy after getting drilled with a super kick but it was a trap to lure Marty into the corner. Marty reverses an Irish whip but misses a corner splash and bounces out to the floor. Tanaka now takes control but runs into a boot in the corner. Marty comes back with a facebuster from the top and gets two as Tanaka got his foot on the ropes. Marty fires away but Tanaka takes him down then gets his feet on the ropes for leverage on a rollup. The ref catches Tanaka and Marty almost gets the win with a school boy. Tanaka catches Marty with a body block of as Heenan calls it “instant sushi” as that gets two. Tanaka chops Marty over the top rope but Marty fights back. Marty ducks his head for a back drop then Tanaka takes him down with an axe handle. Tanaka then tries for a tombstone but Marty reverses and hits a reverse piledriver for the win (10:52) ***1/4.
Thoughts: One of the best MSG opening matches which really is not the loftiest standard out there. The announcers wanted to know why Shawn Michaels was not out supporting his partner seeing as Mr. Fuji was messing around with Marty. This match is also on the “WrestleFest ’91” Coliseum Home Video release and shown on the 4/2/91 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.”
Koko B. Ware vs. The Mountie w/ Jimmy Hart
The announcers talk about Mountie’s WrestleMania match against Tito Santana. We get a shoving match to start then Koko sends The Mountie over the top rope with an atomic drop. Mountie returns then Koko uses a backslide for two and grabs a headlock. Mountie catches Koko with a kick then uses some turnbuckle smashes as the announcers talk about Koko’s hard head. The Mountie stalks Koko before applying a claw then taunts the crowd. Koko fights back and uses some turnbuckle smashes of his own but Mountie cuts him off and hits a clothesline. Mountie comes off of the top but gets caught with a punch. Koko charges and Mountie catches him with a chokeslam before using the Carotid Control Technique for the win (4:33) *1/2. After the match, Mountie cuffs Koko then reads him his rights before shocking him with the cattle prod.
Thoughts: Fine while it lasted. The main goal was to get over The Mountie character and its clear they have plans for him after WrestleMania. And poor Koko has nothing going on here. This match was also shown on the 4/2/91 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.”
The Warlord vs. “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
British walks down his new dog Winston to the ring. We get a slugfest to start. Warlord rolls out after getting clotheslined then heads in and shoves Davey into the corner. Warlord shoves Davey again then challenges him to a test-of-strength and the two battle over that for a bit. Warlord breaks it up with a knee smash then lands a clubbing forearm. The two men try to run each other over as Davey wins that battle. Warlord takes another breather then heads back in and beats down Davey. Warlord counters a crucifix with a Samoan drop and follows with a few elbow drops but that only gets two. Warlord catches Davey with a bearhug then catches him with a hotshot. Davey falls outside and just beats the ten count then The Warlord tries a reverse Boston Crab and we get a slugfest that Warlord wins after a thumb to the eye. Warlord hits a backbreaker then a fist drop for two as the ref saw him grab the tights. Warlord yells at the ref before applying a chinlock. Davey escapes and sends Warlord into the corner with a standing dropkick. Davey uses ten turnbuckle smashes and heads up top with a forearm smash. Crossbody gets two then Warlord blocks a sunset flip but Davey counters for two. Davey eats boot on a charge in the corner then Warlord sets up for a running powerslam but Davey grabs the ropes. Warlord charges and Davey gets out of the way and rolls up Warlord for the win (10:34) **3/4. After the match, Warlord attacks Davey and applies the full nelson. Davey tries to break the hold then a few more officials run out to pry Warlord away.
Thoughts: The Warlord has had a lot of terrible singles matches but here he ended up having a solid match with Davey. Just by watching this match it was evident the two had chemistry together. Davey continues to shine since returning to the company.
Tugboat vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Undertaker attacks Tugboat from behind before the bell. He misses a charge in the corner but counters a back drop with a mat slam. Undertaker chokes out Tugboat on the mat as Bearer holds up the urn. Undertaker then hits a flying clothesline as the announcers keep mentioning how Bearer talks to the urn. Tugboat fights back then clotheslines Undertaker over the top rope but Undertaker lands on his feet. Tugboat pulls Undertaker onto the apron but Undertaker counters with a neckbreaker then puts Tugboat away with a flying elbow drop (3:23) 1/2*.
Thoughts: The match was lousy. And Undertaker uses the elbow drop as it would have been awfully tough to get up Tugboat for the tombstone. Speaking of Tugboat, there is really nothing else to do with the character anymore. He never got over as Hogan’s friend and the gimmick was terrible.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: Dino Bravo & Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hart Foundation (c)
Lord Alfred wants to know why the Hart Foundation took this match before facing the Nasty Boys at WrestleMania. Bret beats on Bravo to start. Bravo sandbags Bret on an inverted atomic drop then the Hart Foundation target the arm. Bravo attacks Neidhart in the corner but Neidhart comes back with a hip toss and a clothesline before going back to the arm. Earthquake tags but misses an elbow drop then the Hart Foundation work him over in the corner. Bravo tries to make the save but eats a double clothesline as the Hart Foundation clear the ring. Bret tries a diving attack on the apron but gets caught by Earthquake and driven into the post. Back inside, Earthquake beats on Bret. The challengers cut off the ring then Bret finally makes a tag but it was behind the referee’s back thus not counting. Earthquake nearly puts away Bret with an elbow drop as Neidhart makes the save. Neidhart then makes the save after a powerslam and Bravo tags in after that. Bravo puts Bret in a bearhug then has the decency to tag right out. Earthquake sets up for his splash but Neidhart knocks him down. Earthquake rolls outside as the Hart Foundation get the win after Neidhart slammed Bret on top of Bravo (10:24) *1/2. After the match, Earthquake hits Bret with a splash then Neidhart grabs a chair and clears the ring.
Thoughts: Bravo is getting markedly worse with each appearance as his physique keeps ballooning. The heat segment on Bret was far too dull and took the crowd out of the match. This match was shown on the 3/26/91 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.”
“Jumping” Jim Brunzell vs. The Barbarian
Brunzell is sporting his multi-colored trunks here. Heenan tells us that The Barbarian & Haku have trimmed down to face The Rockers at WrestleMania. After some uninspired back-and-forth action, Barbarian catches Brunzell with a slam. He misses an elbow drop then Brunzell tries to knock Barbarian down but gets clotheslined. Barbarian beats on Brunzell then works a surfboard for a very long time. Brunzell is knocked outside but is able to grab Barbarian’s leg and crotch him against the post. Brunzell heads back inside and continues to work over the leg. Barbarian fights back and hits a slam but misses an elbow drop from the middle rope. Brunzell hits a few uppercuts and barely gets two with a dropkick but runs into a big boot as The Barbarian picks up the win (7:13) DUD.
Thoughts: Brunzell was washed up and looked like he wanted to be anywhere else while The Barbarian had a poor night himself. The surfboard spot took up like half of the match and this felt like it lasted about twenty minutes. This match was also shown on the 4/2/91 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.”
Ted DiBiase and Texas Tornado come out for this match. Tornado then asks for the mic and says that “money bags” is all alone. He then asks the crowd if they like surprises as he brings out Virgil to be in his corner. DiBiase flips out as Virgil comes out to ringside
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs. Texas Tornado w/ Virgil
DiBiase goes out and yells at Virgil but turns around where Tornado beats him down. Tornado tosses DiBiase inside as Heenan claims Virgil was begging for his job back as Tornado hits ten turnbuckle smashes in the corner. They are now fighting outside where DiBiase hammers away. Tornado shoves DiBiase into the post then knocks him down with a discus punch. Back inside, DiBiase clotheslines Tornado then yells at Virgil. DiBiase then tosses Tornado outside after a suplex and starts to taunt the crowd. DiBiase then tries to bring Tornado back in with a slam but Virgil trips him up as Tornado falls on top for the win (4:50) **. DiBiase is livid as Heenan demands a replay while Gorilla tells us it is not possible.
Thoughts: I did love how they had Virgil constantly pissing off DiBiase after the split. It was nice to see him stand up for himself and walk out to the ring and confront DiBiase when he pleased. A fun, short match.
Kato w/ Mr. Fuji & Tanaka vs. Shawn Michaels w/ Marty Jannetty
Shawn ran out to get Marty after seeing Tanaka & Fuji accompanying Kato. Match starts with Kato taking Shawn over with a monkey flip as the announcers talk about the WrestleMania card. Shawn fights back and uses a monkey flip of his own then hits a pair of arm drags. Shawn works the arm until Kato rakes the eyes. Shawn regains control and goes back to the arm then the two have an awesome sequence ending with Kato hitting a facebuster. Kato catches Shawn with a punch to the gut and gets two but Shawn comes back with a crossbody for two. Kato hits Shawn with an atomic drop then hits a clothesline for two before working a nerve hold. Shawn is able to counter a back suplex with a victory roll but Kato kicks out and stomps away. Kato goes back to the nerve hold after a knee smash. Shawn escapes then counters a back drop with an elbow smash as both men are down. Kato beats on Shawn in the corner but misses a running attack as both men are down once again. Shawn gets up and hits an inverted atomic drop then runs wild. Shawn heads up top after a thrust kick then flies across the ring with an elbow drop but Kato is just able to kick out. That was one hell of an elbow drop by Shawn. We get a rollup reversal sequence then Fuji trips up Shawn. Fuji is up on the apron and Jannetty tries to yank him off but as the ref is distracted, Tanaka runs in with the cane and nails Shawn as Kato covers for the win (12:50) ***1/2. After the match, Gorilla says this is why the WWF is considering instant replay as Heenan says it will never work.
Thoughts: Really good match and you could see glimpses of a potential singles star in Shawn, who has been great when given singles matches over the past few months. Marty came out to support his partner here but at the end it was not enough. And it was another instance of mild miscommunication between The Rockers as Marty being on the apron inadvertently cost his partner the match. You can see how they’ve been given The Rockers singles matches and had the accidental elimination spot during the #1 contender battle royal and think they are going to be splitting up the team in the near future. This match is also shown on the 3/26 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.”
Flag Match: Sgt. Slaughter w/ Gen. Adnan vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan w/ Hulk Hogan
Hogan is sporting an American flag bandana and military fatigues with cutoff sleeves, prompting Heenan to say he is the maintenance man. Slaughter complains of hair pulling as Heenan talks to Adnan, who says that he is not afraid of Hogan. Slaughter beats on Duggan then distracts the ref so Adnan can choke him out. The ref yells at Hogan to back off as Slaughter stays in control. Slaughter locks on a sleeper then Duggan eventually escapes and shoots Slaughter into the corner. Duggan misses an elbow drop then Slaughter goes back to work. He hits a backbreaker and stomps Duggan a few times before heading up top for a knee drop. Slaughter takes a swing at Hogan then covers but only gets two. Slaughter kicks Hogan from behind as he was pumping up the crowd then goes back up top. Hogan gets up and shoves Slaughter off as Heenan now says we need instant replay in the WWF. Hogan backs off Adnan then grabs him but Slaughter comes out to attack from behind. Slaughter rams Hogan into the announcers table then hits him with a chair before choking him out with a cord. Slaughter puts Duggan in the Camel’s Clutch but while Adnan is on the apron with the ref, Hogan whacks Slaughter from behind with the 2×4. Both men are down then Adnan runs in and boots Duggan for the DQ (14:12) *3/4. Hogan runs in but Adnan throws what appears to be sand in his eyes then Slaughter beats on Duggan with his own 2×4. Adnan now whacks Duggan with the Iraqi flag as Slaughter & Duggan leave both men out on the mat. Adnan taunts Hogan with belt and tries to leave but Hogan tosses him back inside. The ref tries to intervene but Hogan tosses him out too then Duggan whacks Adnan from behind with the 2×4 and the belt pops out of his hands and into Hogan’s in a creative spot. Duggan then waves the American flag while Hogan has the belt. Slaughter comes back to try and get his belt but several officials stop him then get the belt. Hogan gets a flag from the crowd and wraps it around Duggan as the two celebrate.
Thoughts: The match was okay but the finish was dumb. Why would Adnan run in to get his man disqualified while both men were down? Post-match stuff was done to send the fans home happy as the company continues to pump out “patriotism.” This match is also included on the “2nd Annual Battle of the WWF Superstars” Coliseum Home Video Release.
Final Thoughts: There were some good matches on the undercard and besides Brunzell/Barbarian (a throwaway match) nothing else was terrible, making this a fairly solid show overall and somewhat of a preview of WrestleMania VII, which is just nine days away.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Thursday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/16/91
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/17/91
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 6/23/83
Sunday: WWF Road to WrestleMania VII Prime Time Wrestling Special 3/17/91
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/23/91
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/24/91
Wednesday: WWF WrestleMania VII