WWF Madison Square Garden – July 1st, 1991

July 1, 1991

From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and Lord Alfred Hayes

Tonight, we have Undertaker vs. Ultimate Warrior in a bodybag match and The Hart Foundation reuniting to face the Nasty Boys for the Tag Team Titles

 

Shane Douglas vs. Dino Bravo

Bravo is back to his natural black hair and wearing his Canadian flag jacket. He is even more bloated than he was a few months prior at WrestleMania. Bravo overpowers Douglas to start. Douglas uses a hip toss then Bravo couldn’t get over on a side headlock take down in a bad spot. Douglas barely gets two with a crossbody then goes back to the headlock. Bravo backs Douglas into the corner then hits a few chops. He then blocks a monkey flip and hits an inverted atomic drop before taunting the crowd. Gutwrench suplex gets two then Bravo uses a reverse chinlock. Douglas manages to get a sunset flip but Bravo runs him over then hits a slam. Douglas rolls away from a pair of elbow drops then hammers away. He hits three dropkicks in a row but that only gets two then he starts punching away. Bravo then ends up reversing an Irish whip and catches Douglas with a side slam for the win (5:32) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Well, this match sucked. Bravo had been replacing Hercules as Paul Roma’s tag team partner the past few days on house shows but his return did not amount to anything. In fact, he wrestled Carlos Colon just five days later in Puerto Rico for the WWC Universal Title. Douglas did some house show matches but left the company at the end of the Summer. Bravo returned in the Spring of ’92 for the European Rampage tour as this was Douglas’ final televised WWF appearance until 1995. This match was also shown on the 7/15 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling.” Bravo’s reign of terror is just about over.

 

Paul Roma vs. The Dragon

With Hercules injured Roma gets another singles match. Roma attacks Dragon from behind before the bell. He hits a slam but misses a punch and gets dumped outside. Dragon then takes Roma down with an arm drag after a fast-paced Irish whip sequence and continues to work the arm. Dragon stays one step ahead of Roma and keeps working over the arm. Roma fights back but Dragon cuts him off. Roma blocks mounted punches in the corner with an inverted atomic drop and follows with a clothesline. Roma then hits a pair of slams and drops an elbow for two. Roma taunts the crowd then punches away before hitting a standing dropkick. The announcers yell at Roma for wasting too much time as he finally covers for a two count. Roma then picks up Dragon and hits three backbreakers then starts stomping the back. Dragon gets kicked outside then Roma heads out and rams him into the apron. Roma once again taunts the crowd before he brings Dragon back in with a delayed vertical suplex. Roma covers a few times but Dragon still manages to stay alive. The now slug it out and that ends with Dragon hitting an atomic drop. Dragon hits a few chops then a clothesline. He heads up top with a flying chop but tries a splash and lands on Roma’s knees. Dragon then manages to hit a back suplex as both men are down. Roma wins a slugfest then hits a running elbow smash in the corner but misses a second attempt then after that Dragon hits a flying body press for the win (11:05) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Maybe I’m overrating this but I thought the match was awesome. Roma really was in the zone at this point and Steamboat is just about always great in the ring. Roma even got some heel heat here on his own. Despite picking up the win, Dragon remains without any direction in the company. This match was also shown on the 8/5/91 edition of Prime Time.

 

The Berzerker w/ Mr. Fuji vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

Berzerker backs Snuka into the corner then runs him over. Berzerker avoids Snuka’s signature chop then regroups with Fuji. Snuka avoids a big boot then the two start chanting at each other. Snuka knocks Berzerker outside with a flying headbutt that popped the crowd then starts working over the leg. Snuka hits a headbutt from the middle rope and follows with a few chops but ends up eating boot on a charge. Snuka stumbles through the ropes after a knee smash to the gut as Heenan puts down Mr. Fuji. Snuka gets whacked by Fuji’s cane then Berzerker knocks him off of the apron. Berzerker brings Snuka back inside with a vertical suplex then ties him up in the ropes. Berzerker misses a boot and crotches himself on the top rope as Snuka runs wild. Snuka then charges but Berzerker catches him with a hotshot and gets the win (7:16) 1/2*

Thoughts: This was designed to give Berzerker a rub due to Snuka being a star several years prior but present day Snuka is far too washed up to have that effect. The crowds are not reacting to Berzerker and the gimmick was lost on the live crowds.

 

Barber Shop with guest Randy Savage. This is taking place inside of the ring and the Barber Shop set is not present. Savage gets a great reaction from the crowd here. Beefcake tells Savage he did not invite him here for a haircut but rather to answer some questions. Beefcake then tells Savage he will win the grand prize by answering all of the questions correct. Beefcake asks if Savage if he an Elizabeth are an item and Savage says yes. Savage also replies “yes” when asked about being in a relationship with Elizabeth and if he is in love with her. Beefcake now asks Savage since he has said yes to everything will he propose to her as Savage looks around the arena then jokes about not being put on the spot. Heenan is on commentary telling Savage not to answer but Savage says yes then poses to the crowd. Savage now wants to know what he won and it ends up being a free haircut. Savage then says he wants something more and lets us know he is going to ask Elizabeth to marry him at SummerSlam this coming Saturday. Savage is then handed a poster of himself holding Elizabeth on his shoulders and kisses her before celebrating. Savage is pretty much telling us what to expect this weekend on TV.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match: Hart Foundation vs. Nasty Boys (c) w/ Jimmy Hart

The Hart Foundation match was billed as a one-night deal. Neidhart beats on Knobbs then clears the ring. The Nasty Boys return and get hit with a double clothesline. Bret tags in and beats on Knobbs. Sags is in now as Bret works over his arm. Sags cheap shots Bret after a break against the ropes but Bret drops him in a spot where he was supposed to catch Sags with an inverted atomic drop. Sags did not get up high enough for that to happen. Bret beats on Sags outside of the ring then Sags returns as Neidhart is now the legal man. Sags takes control after attacking the throat as the Nasty Boys now cut off the ring. Knobbs distracts the ref so Sags can whack Neidhart with a motorcycle helmet then Sags tags into the match and works a chinlock. Knobbs is in and ducks his head for a back drop but gets kicked in the face. Sags tags in and cuts off Neidhart’s tag attempt and works another chinlock. Sags tries a move off of the top rope but eats a knee then Bret tags in and fires away. Bret works over Knobbs then the match breaks down. Knobbs gets hit with a Hart Attack but Sags makes the save as all four men are in the ring. Jimmy tosses in a helmet but it gets intercepted by Bret and Bret uses it but is caught by the referee and loses via DQ (13:46) **1/4.

Thoughts: Nowhere near as good as the match they had at WrestleMania VII. The her segment on Neidhart was dull but Bret running wild after the hot tag was really damn good. With Bret getting a singles push and The Nasty Boys feuding with the Legion of Doom the result was expected. This match was also shown on the 7/29 edition of Prime Time.

 

Sean Mooney is with Earthquake & Jimmy Hart. They are both not happy about Andre the Giant being in the corner of Jake Roberts tonight. Earthquake promise to take out Andre once again if he gets involved.

 

Mooney is now with Jake & Andre. They both run down Earthquake. Andre looks quite ill here.

 

We now see Mooney with Haku & Barbarian. They promise to take care of Mr. Fuji.

 

Mooney is now with The Undertaker & Paul Bearer to hype up tonight’s main event.

 

Gorilla tells us that Tanaka is not here tonight and that Mr. Fuji will be taking his place.

 

The Warlord vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

Valentine is sporting new tights that read “The Hammer” on the back. Warlord flexes after shoving Valentine into the corner. Valentine lands a few chops then bounces off of Warlord a few times before blocking a kick. Heenan returns and thinks he broke news about Tanaka being absent tonight but Gorilla shuts him down. Valentine finally drops Warlord after several clotheslines and strikes but fails in his attempt to apply a figure four. Warlord dumps Valentine then heads out and rams him into the post. Back inside, Warlord targets the back. Warlord cuts off a comeback with an eye rake then lands some clubbing forearms. Warlord now uses a bearhug as Valentine finally escapes after using a bell clap. Warlord rakes the eyes and hits a scoop slam but misses a fist drop from the middle rope. Valentine gets up and fires away as Warlord staggers into the corner. Valentine then tries an Irish whip into the corner but Warlord reverses and hits a powerslam on the rebound for the win (10:19) *.

Thoughts: Basic match here and the crowd was quiet. Not a whole lot else to say but Tanaka not being here was due to the fact his father (former wrestler Duke Keomuka) passed away the day prior. Another match that was shown on the 7/29 edition of Prime Time.

 

Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/ Andre the Giant

Heenan refers to Andre as a “damaged piece of merchandise.” Lord Alfred says Andre is expected to make a full recovery from knee surgery. Earthquake ducks out to yell at Andre but Jake steps in between before rolling back inside. Earthquake then tries to go the other way but Jake heads out again. Andre then grabs the mic and tells Earthquake he will be here for a long, long, time. Earthquake gets pissed then Jake tries to rally the crowd but they are not that responsive. Jake frustrates Earthquake with his speed as the crowd chants for the DDT. Jake then works a side headlock for a bit then hammers away. Jake goes back to the headlock then hits a knee lift as Earthquake now ducks out for a breather. Jake rolls Earthquake back inside and hits a short clothesline as the crowd is now really into the match. Jake tries for the DDT but Earthquake blocks that with an inverted atomic drop. Earthquake overpowers Jake as Andre is worried on the outside. Earthquake jaws at Andre then whips Jake into the corner a few times. Earthquake eats boot on a charge then Jake starts to fire away. Jake gets swept trying a knee lift then Earthquake drops an elbow and sets up for the sit-down splash. Earthquake elects to stop and yell at Andre, who is sitting in a chair and using crutches. Jake then gets up and stalks Earthquake and hits a DDT as both men are down. Jake then eventually crawls over towards Earthquake and makes the cover for the win (10:30) *. After the match, Earthquake grabs a chair and tries to go after Andre but Jake runs him off with Lucifer.

Thoughts: A basic match with a terrible finish. Having Earthquake stop to yell at Andre, who was confined to a chair, instead of hitting his finisher was all sorts of stupid even if they were feuding. The Jake/Earthquake feud went on for a few more weeks around the house show circuit until Jake re-injured his neck.

 

Kato & Mr. Fuji vs. Haku & The Barbarian

Before the match, Fuji points and yells at Heenan before throwing salt in his face. Heenan takes off his coat and leaves the booth as Fuji eggs him on to get inside. Heenan then leaves as Haku & Barbarian come down. Kato chops Barbarian in the corner as Heenan said he instructed Haku & Barbarian to focus on Fuji. Kato hits a pair of flying chops then a clothesline before Barbarian catches him with a backbreaker. Heenan refers to Fuji as an “egg roll” as Haku tags into the match. Kato takes Haku down after they traded strikes as Fuji is now in the ring. Haku scoops up Fuji for a slam then Heenan knocks Fuji’s foot off of the rope during the pin attempt. Heenan tells the ref that Fuji was trying to kick him as Haku hits Fuji with a delayed vertical suplex. Heenan now refers to Fuji as a “teriyaki” and “fortune cookie” as Fuji blocks a back drop attempt. Kato tags back in then Heenan tries to go after Fuji on the outside but ends up getting kicked in the face. Fuji & Kato work over Haku now as they keep him in their corner. Heenan then trips up Kato and ducks down as Haku drops an elbow for the win (7:32) *1/2. After the match, Haku & Barbarian hold Heenan back then Fuji throws salt at them.

Thoughts: Kato worked most of the match for his team and they kept it basic, making it a decent match. Although, we had another weak finish with Kato getting pinned after an elbow drop when Heenan tripped him up. Lots of casual racism here from Heenan.

 

Bodybag Match: The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer vs. Ultimate Warrior

The winner is declared when someone stuffs their opponent into the bodybag. Warrior pulls Undertaker outside then hammers away. Warrior continues to rough up Undertaker then takes the action back inside. Undertaker comes back with a clothesline and follows up with another one before choking out Warrior in the corner. Warrior scoops up Undertaker for a slam after ducking a clothesline but ends up eating boot on a charge. Undertaker chokes out Warrior in the corner but Warrior fights back then drills Undertaker with a piledriver. However, Undertaker sits right up and gets on his feet. Warrior hits another piledriver but Undertaker sits up again as Lord Alfred is beside himself. Warrior hits a third piledriver then shakes the ropes. Warrior tries a splash but Undertaker sticks his arm up and catches Warrior’s throat. Undertaker then hits Warrior with the Tombstone then puts Warrior in the bodybag and almost zips it up all the way but Warrior fights it off and starts hammering away. Warrior gets out then both men slug it out. Warrior hits a few clotheslines then takes the urn from Bearer and whacks Undertaker on the head. Warrior now sets up the bag then puts Undertaker inside and zips it up for the win (9:29) **1/2. The crowd is up on their feet for the win as Bearer sets up the urn before unzipping the bag. Undertaker gets up and grabs the bag as he angrily heads up the aisle.

Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting much at all going in but this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Undertaker sit up spot got over a lot and the crowd went nuts for the finish. And with Warrior winning after using the urn you’d assume the Undertaker would be out for revenge, which is weird considering the face/heel dynamic. This match was also featured on the “Undertaker’s Deadliest Matches” DVD.

 

Final Thoughts: The main event was a lot better than expected and Roma/Steamboat was awesome. However, the rest of the card was poor overall. While certainly not the worst MSG card it was not all that great, either. I’d seek out the two matches I’ve mentioned and skip on the rest. And by the way, on this day WCW fired Ric Flair. His contract would terminate officially on August 1st as that is something to keep an eye on going forward.