Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handle commentary for today’s telecast, kicking off a new round of television tapings in Savannah, Georgia. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this taping took place on January 29.
Opening Contest: Jake Roberts (4-0) pins Alan Martin after the DDT at 2:03:
In the split screen, Roberts tells Martel that it is his time to be the boogeyman. Roberts has few problems finishing Martin, popping the crowd with the DDT.
Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment recaps Greg Valentine’s babyface turn. Earthquake warns Valentine that no one crosses Jimmy Hart. Valentine says the music died when Hart smashed a guitar over his head at Madison Square Garden in late December. He vows to drop the hammer on Earthquake and Hart at WrestleMania.
Gene Okerlund interviews Virgil and Roddy Piper. Piper pumps up Virgil by re-enacting Ted DiBiase’s orders and telling him that he is a man. Virgil looks in the camera and tells DiBiase that at WrestleMania “man” is going to be spelled “V-I-R-G-I-L.” Virgil was awkward giving promos, so having Piper do most of the work and having Virgil do small bits was a good call.
The full nelson challenge is next between the British Bulldog and the Warlord. The Bulldog flexes as the Warlord stalls, not feeling confident enough to lock in the full nelson. The Warlord beats the Bulldog down as Howard Finkel hilariously does a voiceover of the house show circuit. When original commentary is restored, the Warlord puts the weakened Bulldog in the full nelson. He releases it to gloat and resume beating him down, but the Bulldog rallies and clotheslines the Warlord over the top rope. Slick foolishly tries to attack the Bulldog too and eats a running powerslam.
The Viking beats David Isley via count out at 2:08:
The Viking was John Nord, an Eddie Sharkey trainee that started working in Mid-South in 1984 as the Barbarian. Prior to coming the WWF he had two stints in the AWA, where he tagged with Bruiser Brody and was part of the triple main event of WrestleRock ’86; World Class; and the Pacific Northwest.
Isley was a product of Mid-Atlantic, working under a mask as Thunderfoot. He was largely used by the promotion as an enhancement talent. He started working in that role under his real name for the WWF in 1988.
The Viking screams “Hus” a lot as he annihilates Isley, showing off his athleticism as a big man by throwing a dropkick. The newcomer wins via count out, making for an odd finish but that is an easy way for someone to stand out by doing something different. The crowd did not quite know what to make of this, but it did enough to leave an impression.
Okerlund does the WrestleMania Report. Hulk Hogan says he is prepared to do whatever it takes to beat Sergeant Slaughter. WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation promise that they will make the Nasty Boys miserable. Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri tell the Ultimate Warrior to get his fans prepared for his eventual defeat. The Warrior rebuts that his visions have turned into reflections and if Savage is in the wrong one, his career is over.
Another vignette shows Ricky Steamboat blowing fire. Heenan jokes that Steamboat “has clearly been to [Tito] Santana’s house for dinner.”
Non-Title Match: Sergeant Slaughter (WWF Champion w/General Adnan) (2-1) beats William Ford via submission to the Camel Clutch at 1:51:
Slaughter hits Ford with his military helmet and the referee allows it. Slams and elbows weaken Ford’s back and set up the Camel Clutch. The purpose of the match is to put over Slaughter’s viciousness as he keeps the attack going on Ford all the way to the dressing room.
Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart warn Greg Valentine that he will soften Valentine up for the Earthquake at WrestleMania.
Tune in next week to see Greg Valentine face Dino Bravo! Also, Tito Santana, Rick Martel, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan will be in action!
The Last Word: The full nelson challenge was just a new version of the arm wrestling match routine that the British Bulldog and the Warlord were having on the house show circuit, but it was still an effective way to keep their feud going. The Viking is a corny gimmick, part of a litany of “The (x)” characters that Vince McMahon believes will turn the company’s ratings around, but John Nord looked impressive and imposing in his squash.
Here was a sampling of the WWF’s house show action from mid-February, with results courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
Dallas, Texas – Reunion Arena – February 11, 1991: Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Power & Glory…Koko B. Ware beat Dale Wolfe…Jimmy Snuka pinned Greg Valentine…The Undertaker beat Tugboat…The Legion of Doom defeated Smash & the Barbarian (substituting for Crush)…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned Ted DiBiase…The Texas Tornado (w/Fritz Von Erich) pinned Boris Zhukov (substituting for General Adnan, who was substituting originally for WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter) (w/General Adnan). After the match, Fritz put the Claw on Adnan.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The Pittsburgh Civic Arena – February 15, 1991 (10,000): Tito Santana pinned Dino Bravo with a roll up…The Barbarian beat Koko B. Ware…The Mountie defeated Jim Powers via submission to a nerve hold…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Power & Glory when Bret Hart pinned Paul Roma…The Nasty Boys beat the Rockers when Brian Knobbs pinned Shawn Michaels…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned General Adnan (substituting for WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter)…The Texas Tornado (w/Virgil) beat Ted DiBiase…Hulk Hogan pinned Earthquake in a stretcher match after hitting Earthquake and Jimmy Hart with Hart’s megaphone.
London, Ontario, Canada – The London Gardens – February 16, 1991 (5,000; sellout): The Barbarian pinned Koko B. Ware after a hot shot…Butch beat Crush via count out at 9:48 after shoving Crush into he ring post…Jimmy Snuka (w/Virgil) pinned Ted DiBiase after Virgil tripped DiBiase when DiBiase tries to slam Snuka into the ring at 4:34. After the match, Virgil attacked DiBiase and drove him from the ring…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned General Adnan after the three-point stance clothesline at 1:03…Jake Roberts pinned Rick Martel after the DDT at 12:32…The Undertaker pinned Tugboat with a flying elbow drop at 4:04…Virgil beat the Brooklyn Brawler with a powerslam at 7:02…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation wrestled Power & Glory to a double count out at 14:17…WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter beat the Ultimate Warrior via disqualification at 14:52 after the Warrior purposefully clotheslined the referee. After the match, the Warrior kept beating Slaughter up, attacked referees who came into the ring, and gave Sensational Sherri a gorilla press slam.
Long Island, New York – The Nassau Coliseum – February 16, 1991 (Matinee; 14,000): Greg Valentine beat Dino Bravo…The Nasty Boys defeated the Rockers when Jerry Sags pinned Marty Jannetty…The Big Bossman pinned Bobby Heenan in a ball & chain match in 39 seconds. After the bout, the Warlord attacked the Bossman and Heenan escaped further punishment…The Mountie beat Jim Powers (substituting for Sam Houston) via submission to a nerve hold…The Legion of Doom & the British Bulldog defeated the Orient Express & the Warlord when Animal pinned Kato…The Texas Tornado beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out…Hulk Hogan beat Earthquake in a stretcher match.
Backstage News*: To cover up for the failure to sell out the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the WWF is bragging that WrestleMania VII is the fastest sellout in history. The relocation to a smaller arena already meant that almost all tickets were already sold, though. The WWF stands to take a big financial hit from the move because they were budgeting for a $4 million gate at the Coliseum and will have to settle for $1 million at the Sports Arena, with marketing costs eating into a lot of that. The company is not reducing the price of the show even though the buyrate for WrestleMania VI fell under projections. Vince McMahon thinks with a traditional babyface vs. heel matchup that the card will draw better.
*The WWF is pleased with the houses for the Hulk Hogan-Earthquake stretcher matches.
*Sergeant Slaughter is telling people that he is wearing a bulletproof vest everywhere he goes and hates it. He wants to turn babyface sometime after WrestleMania.
*In talent relations news, the WWF signed Mike Rotunda, who will come into the company after he wraps up a tour with New Japan. The WWF is still giving tryouts to Chris Chavis but has not pulled the trigger on signing him.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 25.
Up Next: Prime Time Wrestling for February 18!