What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 19, 1991

Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper, and the Honky Tonk Man are in the booth, wrapping up a long taping in Tampa, Florida.  This show aired the day of The Royal Rumble and would be Honky Tonk Man’s last appearance on WWF television until 1997.

Jake Roberts’ squash from Prime Time Wrestling starts the show.

Gene Okerlund’s Update segment showcases promos for the Dusty & Dustin Rhodes-Ted DiBiase & Virgil tag team match.  DiBiase says he will take pleasure beating up both members of the family, while the Rhodes’ once again put over their family bond.  The Rhodes’ have been repeating the same, stale promo for weeks.

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (1-0) pins Randy Hunter with the Earthquake Splash at 1:42:

As Earthquake makes his entrance, Piper says that he took Virgil to dinner after last week’s show, providing foreshadowing for The Royal Rumble tonight.  In the split screen, Dino Bravo says he is willing to toss Earthquake to win the Rumble.  The crowd works up a chant for Hulk Hogan, but it does not save Hunter from a hospital visit after taking a few Earthquake Splashes.

Non-Title Match:  The Hart Foundation (WWF Tag Team Champions) (1-0) defeat Black Bart & W.T. Jones when Bret Hart pins Jones after the Hart Attack at 1:54:

Jones was also known as Jawbreaker Jones and Conan the Dark Rider on the independent circuit.  He started doing television squashes in 1989, working for the WWF and AWA.

The Foundation remind fans in the split screen that they are willing to fight it out in the Royal Rumble but they are still leaving Miami tonight as tag team champions.  They do nothing special en route to finishing Jones with the Hart Attack.

Sean Mooney’s Event Center provides hype for The Royal Rumble.  In Rumble promos, the Warlord says he does not need a strategy to win, Greg Valentine warns the Honky Tonk Man that he will toss him out, Shane Douglas claims to be primed for a Rumble upset, Hawk talks about putting aside his friendship with Animal and both are prepared for the Rumble, and Power & Glory disagree about which of them is going to triumph.

Mr. Perfect’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

More promos with Mooney!  The Big Bossman argues that his job of maintaining law and order is more important than the Barbarian protecting Bobby Heenan.  The Orient Express & Mr. Fuji talk about their desire to make the Rockers suffer.  The Rockers rebut that they will rock through the Express at The Royal Rumble.

The Bushwhackers squash from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

Brother Love hosts Sergeant Slaughter and General Adnan.  Slaughter is wearing the boots that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gave him.  He shows an Iraqi flag with Hussein’s face on it and repeats his pledge to win the WWF Championship and take it back to Baghdad.  In some markets, this promo was interrupted so that Sean Mooney could read an official statement from WWF President Jack Tunney that Slaughter’s views do not represent Arab Americans, the WWF’s attempt to pacify some of the critics of the Slaughter character.

Okerlund does The Royal Rumble Report.  WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior says he has prepared himself for battle and will defeat Sergeant Slaughter.  In Rumble promos Rick Martel promises to throw out Jake Roberts and win, Hacksaw Jim Duggan reminds people that he has won a Rumble before and repeats his vow to attack anything that moves, Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri put over his chances, and Hulk Hogan tells his fans that he will throw out his friends because he wants to become the number one contender to the WWF Championship.  The Barbarian and Bobby Heenan close by reminding the Big Bossman that he must go through the Barbarian to get to Heenan.

Tune in next week to see Rick Martel, the British Bulldog, the Mountie, and the Legion of Doom in action!

The Last Word:  Hulk Hogan’s promo in The Royal Rumble Report provided a clue that he was the likely winner as he noted that winning would get him back in the WWF title picture.  Sergeant Slaughter has gotten more attention in the build for his match against the Ultimate Warrior, reflecting a lot of the struggles of the Warrior’s ten-month title reign.  However, many fans saw Slaughter as a tomato can for the Warrior to crush as he prepared to face Hogan against at WrestleMania or even had an on-air match with Randy Savage.  Overall, this show was adequate for Royal Rumble hype but it lacked many new matches.

Up Next:  Royal Rumble ’91