Christmas of ’92 was a washout, so let’s see how two years prior did. This was from the later days of Bobby and Gorilla, so possibly not much better.
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host from the studio. Even the intro clips were desperately in need of updating, including departed guys like Ax and Rick Rude still. Bobby’s getting ready (late) to decorate the tree. “Get up and sit down!” barks Gorilla, oxymoronically.
The Legion of Doom vs. Duane Gill and Tony Ulysses
Sean Mooney sarcastically comments on the state of the jobbers. Hawk looks like he’s on another planet, which is normal for him. The LOD were far better for ditching the shin guards and just sticking with the red shoulder pads. The New Orient Express are lined up as upcoming opponents for them in place of Demolition. Big powerslam from Animal on Gill. Shoulder block for Ulysses. Gill back in for a belly-to-belly from Animal and they finish with the Doomsday Device, making sense as he’s far lighter than Ulysses.
Back in the studio, Gorilla tells Bobby to leave the tree for the crew seeing as all it’s doing is falling down into his chair. After a break, Bobby has tied himself up with the lights.
Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes, focusing on Mr. Perfect regaining the IC title from the Texas Tornado thanks to help from the Million Dollar Man. Kerry swears revenge later in a promo, although it was clear they were moving him down already.
The Barbarian vs. Saba Simba
Tony is down to a headband instead of the ridiculous getup he wore in his debut. Barb chokes out Tony, who gets a really bad headbutt and clothesline in retaliation. Tony then keeps on using his oily head to slip out of headlocks, so back to the choke. Then the other standby of the blown muscle guy, the bearhug, which Tony goes to the trouble of screaming his head off in. Headbutt to break, but falls back on a slam attempt. Barb misses his elbow off the second rope. Simba then runs into a boot and Barb gets the three. Boy, that was grueling… to watch.
Royal Rumble Report with Mean Gene Okerlund, with new matches announced of Dusty and Dustin Rhodes against Ted Dibiase and Virgil, the Big Boss Man against the Barbarian, and the Rockers against the New Orient Express. Also, Ultimate Warrior defends against Sgt. Slaughter, with promos from both. Who would’ve thought Warrior would have the more sensible interview of the two? Plus the current participants in the Rumble, which at this point still included Andre the Giant and the Honky Tonk Man. They’d end up replaced by Tito Santana and Brian Knobbs.
Power and Glory vs. Kevin Green and Pat Armstrong
Push pretty firmly done with for the heels now. Herc starts with Green and misses a charge, but swats off two dropkicks with his clothesline. Roma comes in with a double backbreaker into a powerslam. Pat Armstrong, who looks like Paul Diamond, comes in strong, but is quickly set up for the Powerplex. Still one of the most impressive finishers ever.
Event Center with Sean Mooney, featuring promos from the Hart Foundation, Earthquake and Dino Bravo, Shane Douglas (sounding like the biggest nerd), and Mr. Perfect.
Big Boss Man vs. Pete Sanchez
Boss Man carries out the old ball and chain… That’s his mother, isn’t it?! Elbow and rope straddle early on. Big boot off an Irish whip before the Boss Man slam finishes.
Special interview with the Undertaker and Brother Love. Prichard was a bad fit as a manager, but they solved that a month later. ‘Taker was getting the act down as well, with more emotion than he’d tend to show. Apparently the plan was for him to be the guy to eliminate Andre single-handed, but obviously that didn’t come up.
Haku vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy is in his tights and boots mode at this point, pretty much done, and you’d think the same would be said for Haku despite his WCW resurgence years later. Pretty sure the young referee for this match is one of the guys who did interviews saying he was sexually harassed by the usual suspects when the press came to talk to anyone who would open up. Snuka walks into a knee, but no-sells some shots to the head. Haku’s tights look like they could be the background for a synthwave video. Snuka’s not really giving him much. Haku gets a chance reverse atomic drop and a really nice piledriver for two. Choke on the rope, as Haku keeps on feigning shots at the ref. Brave ref! Snuka gets a sunset flip off the ropes for two, prompting a comeback. He then dodges a charge and rolls up Haku for three. Kinda out of nowhere, as it was starting to get good with Haku on offense.
The Brother Love Show with Dusty and Dustin Rhodes. Is Dustin currently the longest active wrestler? Dusty has no time for Brother Love’s b------- and takes over when Brother Love tries to talk down to Dustin. Dusty gives Dustin the mic and he cuts his typically rubbish promo at the time, pally, while trying to sound like his dad. Dusty takes it back and wraps it up.
Playboy Buddy Rose vs. The British Bulldog
From MSG, joined in progress with Davey in a rear chinlock. Davey gets thrown out to the floor and shows off his eternal tic, fidgeting with his tights. Davey comes back in with a sunset flip, but Buddy sits on him. Buddy goes to the top, but Davey is up in time to slam him off. Buddy cuts off his comeback with a boot and goes to the chinlock again. Kneedrop for two, but he misses a charge and gets scooped up for the powerslam, giving Davey the win. The match was nothing to shout about, but Davey just looked awesome here, muscular and tanned.
Event Center, with more Royal Rumble promos from Power and Glory, Tugboat, Jimmy Snuka and Demolition. Snuka makes no sense as usual.
Reintroduction vignette for Jacques Rougeau, now the Mountie, harassing an American tourist with his horse.
The Hart Foundation vs. Black Bart and the Black Demon
Pink and black against black and black. This is from the rare period of Superstars where Honky was a heel commentator. I take it back about Power and Glory from earlier, as they pop up inset as potential challengers for the Harts. Totally coincidental, but Bart and the Demon both have a red motif going on. Anvil clothesline Bart over the top rope, but Bart gets Bret Hart with a poke to the eye. Demon comes in and bumps all over the place for Bret nicely. Hart Attack finishes promptly.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Kent Carlson
Carlson gets frisky with some shoulder blocks, so Jake cuts him off with some stiff knees, then rakes the face with his boot. Short clothesline sets up the DDT for the win.
Mr. Perfect vs. Rico Federico
Bobby and Curt stop by to shake hands with George Steinbrenner in the audience. Squint and Rico looks like Dean Malenko. He gets a really nice dropkick on Perfect to start, but almost runs into some boots, which he rebuts with a clothesline. Perfect gets it back with some chops and chokes. Standing dropkick and a stiff chop that George squirms upon hearing. Now you’re gonna see a Perfectplex, dedicated to Steinbrenner.
One more time in the studio, Gorilla ribs Bobby about having to pay people to be his friends. He then winds up Bobby further by talking about the matches for the longer show next week (which sounds better than this one). Bobby then presents Gorilla with a banana as a Xmas present (the coat is in the mail). Bobby then gets confused and smashes a Rolex to pieces that was meant for him.
Melting it down: A bit better, but not by much. A lesson in changing things up before they become stale, not during or after.