The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event – 11.14.92
(OK, wrapping up my well-earned week long break from reviewing wrestling, minus Dynamite, as we also wrap up the “classic” era of Saturday Night’s Main Event and I debate whether redoing the terrible 2006 reboot is worth my time. Probably not.)
Well, this fits perfectly into the timeline with Superstars right now, and it’s short. This was the second of the FOX specials to be produced, and was such a bomb that it basically killed the SNME concept dead for a decade afterwards.
Taped from Indiana State, IN
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan
WWF tag team title: Money Inc. v. The Ultimate Maniacs
So this would be Warrior’s final TV appearance for a very long time, no? Warrior storms in and clears the ring to start, and they pinball Dibiase in the corner for two. Bobby works in a lame Ross Perot reference with the telestrator, just so you know it’s 1992, and Warrior suplexes Dibiase for two as the heat machine goes CRAZY. Warrior tries the shoulder tackle and misses, allowing IRS to take over with a sleeper. At this point, we cut to an inset promo of Ramon & Flair doing their Survivor Series promo as they just pack everything possible into this match. Warrior and Dibiase with the double clothesline, but it’s hot tag Savage and Vince is WAY overselling this mediocre match. Savage goes up and drops the elbow on IRS, but Dibiase saves and SURPRISE SURPRISE, the champs walk out at 6:10 for the laziest possible finish. * And we get an attack from Flair and Ramon for the quick PPV sell. That would be academic by the next week anyway.
At this point was supposed to be the Bret Hart video, but they just edit it out on the Network completely. Well that works too.
Intercontinental title: British Bulldog v. Shawn Michaels
So at this point Bulldog has been quit/fired/whatever. Shawn slugs away and tries a hiptoss, but Davey blocks him, so Shawn takes him down and works the arm on the mat instead. Bulldog powers out of the short arm scissors and comes back with a press slam and clothesline to the floor as Shawn bumps like crazy. Hey, you’ve got your shot on network TV, might as well make the best of it. Back in, Shawn tries some takedowns, but Bulldog counters from his back and grabs a wristlock. Shawn throws elbows in the corner to escape, but Bulldog powers through him until Shawn tosses him for another breather. These days he’d hit a dive AS RAW ROLLS ON, but here he undoes a turnbuckle and we take a break on that. Back with Vince admitting that we haven’t missed much, and indeed the edit seems to be pretty much instantaneous. Shawn goes to an abdominal stretch to work on the back, and Davey fights out of that and then misses an elbow to further hurt his back. Shawn goes to work with knees and goes back to the abdominal stretch as Vince makes the puzzling decision to hype the Bulldog-Mountie match at Survivor Series while knowing full well that both men were no longer with the company at that time! Bulldog powers out again and this time hits the elbow, and makes the comeback with a facebuster and Flair Flip into a clothesline. Catapult into the corner as Shawn isn’t even bothering to make Davey look good, instead just working the entire match himself. Shawn cuts off the comeback with a corner whip into the exposed turnbuckle and Davey’s back is FOOKED. He tries to put Shawn on top for a superplex, but Shawn falls on top and wins the title at 10:20, his first of many. This was beyond Shawn having his working boots on and into Shawn just doing a one man show while bouncing off Bulldog. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Flair and Ramon are pretty sure that the Ultimate Maniacs aren’t even going to make it to Survivor Series intact because of their machinations. And they were right.
WWF title: Bret Hart v. Papa Shango
Finally, we get our Papa Shango fix for the week after a woeful absence from Superstars lately. This is a big chance for him, so hopefully he remembers to work the knee and then go for the shoulderbreaker to finish. Shango attacks and slugs away in the corner, but Bret gets a monkey flip while Vince puts over Bret’s ability to mix it up with either fisticuffs or scientific wrestling. It’s entirely thanks to Vince that I use “fisticuffs” in my daily life as much as I do. Bret dumps Shango with a clothesline and follows with a dive and we take a break as RAW ROLLS ON. Back with Shango getting a cheapshot for the heat and trying a bearhug, but Bret bites the head to escape. Shango pounds away while Vince laments the lack of science being used by Bret here. Maybe he’s like Superman and he’s vulnerable to magic? Shango with the nerve pinch and Bret fights out of that, but walks into a clothesline and Shango goes back to the nerve pinch. Hey, at least he’s working the shoulder. You have to give him that one. Bret fights out and tries a sleeper, but Shango runs him into the turnbuckle to break and drops elbows. But then he makes the same mistake all heels do, stopping to cast a voodoo spell instead of capitalizing with the shoulderbreaker, and Bret makes the comeback with the legsweep for two. BAAAAAAACK body drop gets two. Middle rope clothesline gets two. Shango misses a blind charge and Bret puts him away with the Sharpshooter at 7:02 to retain. This was energetic and about as good as it was going to be. **
The Funeral Parlor with special guest Undertaker closes the show and he’s going to take Kamala’s soul. Wasn’t that Papa Shango’s gimmick?
Bret Hart does his closing interview and squabbles with Shawn Michaels. This was good but way, way too late to add any kind of meaningful heat to the match.
And finally, Bobby Heenan gets an important phone call during the closing segment with Vince, where he learns that Warrior and Savage won’t be at Survivor Series as a team after all.
A pretty entertaining, fast-paced show that features two people who were fired (quit? Whatever?) by the time the show aired, which makes it pretty fascinating.