Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan calling the action, continuing a taping cycle from Corpus Christi, Texas that took place on December 2.
Opening Non-Title Contest: Bret Hart (Intercontinental Champion) defeats Barry Horowitz via submission to the Sharpshooter at 4:04:
Bret had a breakout year in 1991, entering the singles ranks after the Hart Foundation dropped the tag team titles to the Nasty Boys at WrestleMania VII. Bret beat Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship in a great match at SummerSlam, won a feud with the Warlord, and was locked into another feud with the Mountie as 1992 began.
Horowitz returned the WWF as an enhancement talent the previous year, coming off a run in the Global Wrestling Federation where he was light heavyweight champion. He had previously worked as a preliminary wrestler for the WWF between 1987-1990.
The bout is a clash of pink as Horowitz’s also wears Bret’s trademark color on the back of his trunks. In the split screen, the New Foundation wishes Bret good luck at The Royal Rumble against the Mountie. Horowitz is able to land a few blows but falls victim to a long moves of doom sequence until a body slam and leg drop set up the Sharpshooter.
Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report recaps the Rockers recent problems and repeats that the Legion of Doom will defend the tag team titles against the Natural Disasters at The Royal Rumble. The Legion promise to destroy the Disasters in two weeks.
The Warlord (w/Harvey Wippleman) beats Larry Sampson via submission the full nelson at 2:13:
Although he racked up a lot of squash wins in 1991, the Warlord lost most of his matches against bigger opponents. He lost an early year feud to the British Bulldog and then entered into a house show program with the Texas Tornado, with most of those matches ending in double count out and double disqualifications. The Warlord did get a few cracks at the WWF Championship against Hulk Hogan in the summer by came up short in those efforts too. And the pattern repeated when the Warlord substituted for Mr. Perfect after SummerSlam and lost to Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart. 1991 also saw a change in who was managing the Warlord as Slick was replaced by Harvey Wippleman in November.
Sampson was best known to fans of Vancouver All-Star Wrestling, where he worked as Sweet Daddy Sampson. He worked a handful of WWF squash matches the previous year, losing to Repo Man, Power & Glory, and the Natural Disasters.
The Barbarian does an insert promo that notes their past history together but that they will inevitably collide in the Royal Rumble. The Warlord destroys Sampson with power moves but the crowd barely reacts.
The Big Bossman pins Jesse Hernandez after the Bossman Slam at 2:32:
The Bossman wrestled a lot of televised matches in 1991, second only to the British Bulldog. His year had a hot start as he won a feud with the Heenan Family after defeating the Barbarian at The Royal Rumble and beating Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via disqualification at WrestleMania VII. After that, the Bossman won a long feud with the Mountie, sending his rival to jail after SummerSlam. However, while the Mountie used that feud as a springboard to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship, the Bossman’s momentum stalled and he ended the year in a feud with Irwin R. Schyster, who accused him of taking bribes. The Bossman and IRS were exchanging wins on house shows and Schyster eliminated the Bossman from a six-man tag team elimination match at Survivor Series.
Hernandez, who was trained by the Great Goliath and began working in 1977, was another often used enhancement talent, doing televised jobs for the company going back to 1986.
In the split screen, IRS tells the Bossman that he is going to end his corruption and tax cheating in the Royal Rumble. The Bossman beats down his opponent and finishes with the Bossman Slam. After the bout, he handcuffs Hernandez to the ropes, poses, and runs to the locker room.
Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri show up in a low income neighborhood, talking in front of a house that they claim El Matador grew up in. Sherri complains about the smell as DiBiase runs down the neighborhood’s lack of economic activity.
The Natural Disasters (w/Jimmy Hart) defeat Brian Donahue & Robert Taylor when Earthquake pins Taylor after the Earthquake Splash at 2:57:
The Disasters, a tag team composed of Earthquake and Typhoon, formed in June when Typhoon, then known as Tugboat, turned on the Bushwhackers. The team won a small feud with the Bushwhackers and Andre the Giant, which culminated at SummerSlam, and then became the first challengers for the Legion of Doom’s tag team titles. The Legion were winning most of their house show matches via disqualification and the Legion also won when the two teams were on opposite sides at Survivor Series. Despite the setbacks, the Disasters size always made them credible challengers for the tag team belts.
Donahue was a former professional football player for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). After being trained by Mark Tendler, he did work for Herb Abrams’ Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and some jobs for the WWF in 1991. He later became a Hollywood stunt man.
In the split screen, the Disasters promise pain for the Legion at The Royal Rumble. Taylor takes a long beating from the Disasters, eventually finished off by both Disasters finishing maneuvers: Typhoon’s Tidal Wave (splash) and Earthquake’s Earthquake Splash.
Sid Justice is a guest on the Barber Shop. This is Sid’s first appearance on a “live” television broadcast since November. He puts himself over as someone that does not need a sidekick or manager so that is why he will win the Royal Rumble. Sid adds that his injured arm is 100%, which is bad for the other 29 participants in the match.
Okerlund does The Royal Rumble Report. In Rumble promos, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect say Flair is going to win whether people like it or not, Randy Savage says Jake Roberts crossed a line with him and he is out for revenge, Roberts rebuts that Savage had better not turn his back on him, the Undertaker and Paul Bearer talk of burying their opponents, and Hulk Hogan says that he would prefer to draw number one to beat up the entire WWF.
Repo Man defeats Sonny Blaze via submission to a leg grapevine at 2:07:
Repo Man was the new persona for Barry Darsow, who wrestled for the first quarter of 1991 as Smash of Demolition. Repo Man, a villain, debuted in November and was plugged into a feud with Virgil after Repo Man helped Ted DiBiase regain the Million Dollar Championship from his former bodyguard just before Survivor Series.
Blaze, trained by Mark Tendler, started wrestling in 1987. He had been doing jobs for the WWF since 1990.
As Repo Man pounds on Blaze in the corner, Virgil does an insert promo where he wishes to be number one and Repo Man to be number two for the Royal Rumble. Repo Man grounds Blaze, submits him, and then ties him up in the ropes just to re-enter the ring, leg drop the jobber, and dump him on his head.
Tune in next week to see the New Foundation, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, and the Undertaker in action! Also, the Rockers will be on the Barber Shop!
The Last Word: This show continued the hype for The Royal Rumble and did it effectively, hyping the prospect of feuds being played out in the Rumble match. It is good to see Sid back on television as the upper tier of the card has suffered in his absence. Next week’s show promises some fireworks as well when the Rockers visit the Barber Shop.
Here is a summary of the WWF’s house show results to start 1992, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
San Diego, California – San Diego Sports Arena – January 4, 1992 (5,000): Skinner beat Chris Walker…The New Foundation defeated the Beverly Brothers…The Warlord beat Greg Valentine…El Matador beat Ted DiBiase via disqualification…The Undertaker beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Chris Chavis defeated Kato…Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart defeated the Mountie…Randy Savage beat Jake Roberts.
Atlanta, Georgia – The Omni – January 5, 1992 (4,500): Chris Chavis pinned Kato with a tomahawk chop at 10:00…Roddy Piper beat Skinner with a roll up at 5:00…Greg Valentine pinned the Brooklyn Brawler (substituting for the Warlord)…Ted DiBiase defeated El Matador via count out at 10:00…The New Foundation defeated the Beverly Brothers when Jim Neidhart pinned Blake at 13:00…Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair via count out at 10:00…Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart defeated the Mountie via submission to the Sharpshooter…WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom beat the Natural Disasters when Hawk pinned Typhoon with a flying clothesline.
Backstage News*: Inside Edition’s piece on the WWF was devastating as former WWWF Champion Superstar Billy Graham claims that Hulk Hogan was a steroid abuser going back to the 1970s and that he personally injected Hogan with steroids on numerous occasions. Hogan’s steroid use was also corroborated by David Schultz, who said he allowed Hogan to stay at his house in the late 1970s in return for steroids. Inside Edition also recounted the evidence of Dr. George Zahorian’s trial, where it was revealed that Hogan had received packages of steroids. The WWF tried to have the piece squashed via legal threats but failed. And the hits are bound to keep coming as Graham and Schultz are scheduled to do more media appearances to discuss the prevalence of steroids and illegal drugs in the wrestling industry.
*The WWF’s recent house show at the Omni, headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair, drew a disappointing crowd but the number was almost twice what WCW drew there for a show on New Year’s Day.
*In a positive bit of media news, FOX has agreed to air a special prior on February 8, where it is expected that there would be a big angle run for WrestleMania VIII.
*The Nasty Boys and Mike Rotunda were involved in an incident with fans after a house show in Peoria, Illinois on Sunday, January 6. According to police reports, three fans followed the trio from the arena and threw things at their car, swerved in front of them several times, and also brake checked them. When Brian Knobbs got out of his car to confront the fans he was attacked, and Jerry Sags and Rotunda came to his aid. Knobbs was stabbed four times in the incident and Sags suffered a concussion after being hit with jumper cables. The fans were arrested the next day and charged with aggravated battery, armed violence, and mob action.
*Elizabeth will not be accompanying Randy Savage to house show matches against Jake Roberts even though it has been implied on television that she will do so.
*Several WWF talents were sent to Japan for a series of SWS shows. These included the Berzerker, Shawn Michaels, and the British Bulldog.
*In talent relations news, WCW Champion Lex Luger has given his notice but his contract runs through the spring of 1993. It is expected that Luger will be given a limited release that would not allow him to wrestle in the United States. However, there are rumors that he might join the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF) until he can come back to the ring.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 10.
Up Next: Prime Time Wrestling for January 6!