There is a new opening for Superstars, with “Stars & Stripes Forever” playing and Hulk Hogan posing with the WWF Championship. On the one hand, it is good that the introduction has been updated. On the other, it is a much weaker opening than the Ultimate Warrior shooting lasers out of his eyes.
Vince McMahon, Randy Savage, and Roddy Piper are in the booth and they are kicking off a new taping in Pensacola, Florida. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this taping happened on March 11. Savage immediately makes an impression by claiming that his new goal is to be the WWF broadcasting champion. Piper is incensed at Sensational Sherri’s attack on him at WrestleMania.
Gene Okerlund recaps the major events of WrestleMania, repeating the WWF’s ridiculous claim that the show was the most viewed in the history of pay-per-view. There is also a replay of Sergeant Slaughter throwing a fireball in Hulk Hogan’s face in the locker room after the show went off the air.
Opening Contest: The Bushwhackers (4-0) defeat Bob Holly & Mike Samples when Butch pins Holly after the double stomachbreaker at 2:16:
Holly, a trainee of Bob Sweetan and Rip Tyler, started working in 1987 for the Alabama-based World Organization of Wrestling (WOW). After some time in Memphis, he worked in an enhancement talent role for WCW in 1990. This would be his first match on WWF television.
Samples was trained by Memphis greats Jerry Jarrett and Tojo Yamamoto, breaking into the business in 1990. After doing some enhancement matches for WCW, he worked under a mask as Leatherface in the USWA, losing most of his matches.
The Bushwhackers do an insert promo about having spring fever. Some token ring work sets up the double stomachbreaker, with Piper and Savage sparring over how they would prepare to wrestle the unconventional Bushwhackers.
The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) (8-0) defeats Major Yates with the carotid control technique at 1:23:
The Big Bossman pops up in the split screen, calling out the Mountie for breaking the rules when he is supposed to be enforcing them. After a two-handed chokeslam, the Mountie puts Yates in a carotid control technique and pins him. After the bell, the Mountie handcuffs Yates to the ropes and reads him his rights before shocking him several times with a cattle prod.
The British Bulldog (10-0) pins Doug Vines after the running powerslam at 2:34:
McMahon talks about how Brutus Beefcake is set to return to the WWF, although he will be in a barbershop rather than returning to the ring. In the split screen, the Bulldog is with Winston and says that his bite is worse than his bark. After the Bulldog wins, McMahon says that he is next in line to get an Intercontinental title shot against Mr. Perfect.
Paul Bearer hosts the first Funeral Parlor segment, which has a much cooler set and mystique than Brother Love. Bearer says that everyone in the locker room is scared to come on his show.
Power & Glory (w/Slick) (3-1) beat John Allen & Dale Wolfe when Paul Roma pins Allen after two elbow drops at 3:11:
Savage hilariously trips himself up getting hyped for the match, talking about how he gets excited for wrestlers “stripping down” to their ring gear. No mention is made of Power & Glory’s quick loss at WrestleMania and thankfully for them, this was taped before they suffered the injuries that made their WrestleMania bout short. Power & Glory do not use their finisher to end the match, making for an awkward ending as Roma just comes in and drops a few elbows.
The Dragon defeats the Brooklyn Brawler with a flying body press at 1:58:
The Dragon was Ricky Steamboat, a former Intercontinental champion who was returning to the WWF after a three-year absence. In his time away, Steamboat feuded with Ric Flair in WCW and won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in February 1989. He left WCW at the end of the year over a contract dispute and spent 1990 working in the Carolinas for South Atlantic Pro Wrestling and toured Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
This time, Steamboat is not billed under his name and wears a goofy green dragon costume to the ring. A cool part of his act, though, is blowing fire before matches. The problem with putting someone as notable as Steamboat under a new gimmick and erasing his past history is that Randy Savage, who had a big feud with Steamboat in 1987, has to act like he has never seen him before. And just like Tony Atlas, Piper cannot stay on script, referring to the Dragon as Ricky Steamboat. This is just an average debut as the Dragon lands some strikes, comes off the top rope with a chop, and finishes with a flying body press.
A vignette introduces a new act called Irwin R. Schyster. He provides tax advice on what counts as a charitable contribution. This was the gimmick given to Mike Rotunda, a former WWF tag team champion who was returning to the company after spending the last four years in WCW. Although it looked goofy on paper, Rotunda had a great look to play it because he looked good in suits. He also had above average promo skills, which this character also had to have.
A replay of Colonel Mustafa’s debut from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.
Tune in next week to see the Big Bossman, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, the Rockers, and Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect in action! Also, the Undertaker will be a guest on the funeral parlor!
The Last Word: This show laid out new programs for the post-WrestleMania loop. The Big Bossman got an on-screen win to end his feud with the Heenan Family at WrestleMania but moving on after failing to win the Intercontinental Championship makes him look like a fool. The WWF is introducing several new acts but all of them are one dimensional and cartoonish, making it tough to see any of them as bigger stars down the road. In terms of commentary, Randy Savage is a great addition to the booth and he and Piper had great chemistry. It is one of the few times that a three-man announce booth works.
Up Next: Wrestling Challenge for March 31!