Vince McMahon moderates tonight’s panel of Gorilla Monsoon, Slick, Bobby Heenan, and Mr. Perfect. McMahon tells viewers that Ric Flair won the WWF Championship at The Royal Rumble and Heenan and Perfect gloat. Slick offers his hand in congratulations and Heenan and Perfect ignore him.
Opening Contest: The Texas Tornado (1-0) beats Barry Horowitz after the discus punch at 4:08:
The Tornado rings Horowitz’s arm a lot, causing the jobber to cry out in pain. Horowitz returns some of the favor until he eats a clothesline. The Claw and discus punch follow so that the directionless Tornado can win again.
Footage of an eight-man tag team match between the Big Bossman, Jim Neidhart, and the Legion of Doom against the Mountie, Earthquake, and the Nasty Boys from Supertape ’92 is shown.
Hercules (0-1) beats Greg Valentine (1-1) when he raises his shoulder off the mat from a double pin spot at 9:06:
This match took place at Madison Square Garden on December 29. Even though Hercules has let his look slip since Power & Glory ended, Lord Alfred Hayes insists that he is in great physical condition. With neither man moving on the card there is not much of an incentive for a good match, so the bout is filled with stalling and rest holds. When there is effort, the bout has a clunky flow, exemplified when Valentine misses some slow elbow drops before finally hitting one, only to have Hercules put his foot on the bottom rope to break. The end comes when Valentine lands a back suplex and holds on for a pin, but Hercules raises his shoulder before the three count and Valentine is an idiot and pins himself. Thrilling stuff! Rating: ½*
Monsoon and Heenan debate how close the Natural Disasters came to winning the tag team titles at The Royal Rumble.
The New Foundation (2-0) beat Bob Avery & Brad Avery when Owen Hart pins Bob after the Rocket Launcher at 2:45:
Hayes notes that the jobbers team name is “The Avery Boys,” but he shows little journalistic acumen by not being able to identify who is who. He and Sean Mooney eventually settle on “The Avery Brothers” instead. In the split screen, the Beverly Brothers and the Genius remind fans about hurting Jim Neidhart’s knee the previous year. That signifies that the Beverlys have finished their program with the Bushwhackers and are moving onto the New Foundation exclusively. The squash is another good one for the Foundation with Owen’s high-flying offense mixing well with Neidhart’s power moves.
Jake Roberts’ squash from Superstars airs.
Strangely, McMahon says that Randy Savage did not get much of a chance to dish out punishment to Roberts in the Royal Rumble even though Savage tossed Roberts out of the match.
A new Chris Chavis vignette sees his soul cleansed by a Native American shaman so that he can soar like an eagle in the WWF.
A replay of the Big Bossman-Kato match from last month’s Prime Time Wrestling airs.
McMahon says that WWF President Jack Tunney is assembling a list of the top five contenders for Ric Flair’s WWF title. Monsoon posits that Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice should be on the list. Slick proposes Bret Hart, but McMahon says he is sick. Monsoon also adds Randy Savage. Perfect jokes that Jamison should be there. McMahon also speculates that new Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper should be there. When McMahon tosses out the idea of the Undertaker facing Flair, Heenan says that this speculation is unhelpful because Flair should get to pick his WrestleMania opponent. The segment ends with McMahon saying that a hotline will open for fans to call in and vote for who they think Flair’s opponent should be.
A replay of the Rockers’ breakup angle is shown. The fact that this angle has been replayed so many times showed how good it was.
McMahon recaps how the Intercontinental Championship has changed hands over the last week. Heenan argues that having a high fever was no excuse for Bret Hart because he once wrestled with a 118-degree temperature.
Bret Hart (1-0) wrestles Ted DiBiase (w/Sensational Sherri) to a time-limit draw at 18:51 shown:
DiBiase was entering his fifth year in the WWF. A feud with his former bodyguard Virgil occupied most of his time in 1991. DiBiase lost the Million Dollar Championship to Virgil at SummerSlam but regained it before Survivor Series. During that time DiBiase also feuded with Roddy Piper, who was training Virgil, and defeated Piper on house shows via referee stoppage. After the Virgil program ended, DiBiase began a feud with El Matador. All of this activity kept DiBiase locked into the midcard and he was no longer seen as a main event threat like he had been years earlier.
This match is also from Madison Square Garden on December 29, back when Bret was the Intercontinental titleholder. In a fun spot in the beginning, Bret atomic drops DiBiase, who goes flying over the top rope and Bret waves goodbye to DiBiase as he goes to the floor. Sherri also gets involved early, having her head rammed into DiBiase’s on the floor. Heenan praises some of the early technical action even though Monsoon shoots down a battle over a headlock as something that will not result in a pin for either man. DiBiase catches Bret with a stun gun and scores several near-falls from an elbow drop and swinging neckbreaker. After Bret goes chest-first into the corner, DiBiase applies the Million Dollar Dream, but Sherri rings the bell after Bret’s hand drops once. That causes DiBiase to break the hold and pose with the Intercontinental title. It does not take long to nullify that result and the match continues, with Bret going into the moves of doom after catching DiBiase with a swinging neckbreaker off the ropes. The crowd is electric for that, and the near-falls that come with it. Sherri goes flying off the apron when Bret collides with her after DiBiase kicks out of an O’Connor roll and DiBiase is clotheslined over the top rope shortly thereafter. Bret pescados onto the Million Dollar Man but before they can resume their fight in the ring the time limit expires. As the description attests, this was a great match, and it is a shame that these two never feuded or had a high-profile pay-per-view match. Rating: ****
After the bell, Sherri tries to go after Bret, but he chases her around the ring. DiBiase also goes after the Hitman but gets knocked over the top rope.
A replay of Gene Okerlund’s interview with Ric Flair, Heenan, and Perfect after the Royal Rumble is shown.
Sid Justice pins Skinner (0-1) after a powerbomb at 1:43:
Sid came into the WWF the previous summer after a two-year stint in WCW. He was immediately put into the main event picture, guest refereeing the SummerSlam main event and feuding with Jake Roberts and the Undertaker. Sid was getting great reactions from crowds after quickly dispatching lower midcard acts like Big Bully Busick and Colonel Mustafa, but he injured his tricep in a house show match with Roberts in October and it put him on the shelf for the rest of the year.
This match took place at a Superstars taping in Daytona Beach, Florida on January 7. Skinner tries to use his alligator claw as a weapon to improve his chances, but Sid reverses an Irish whip, kicks his opponent in the gut, and powerbombs him. Short matches disguises Sid’s weaknesses and this was a great way to reintroduce him as a title threat and keep him over.
The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) (1-1) beats Jimmy James after a knee drop at 1:48:
James was a Texas-based talent that did enhancement work for World Class and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) before playing that same role for the WWF.
In the split screen, the Mountie screams about how he is going to get the Intercontinental title back from Roddy Piper and not even Bret Hart will get in his way. The Mountie tosses James to the floor, knees him into the ring post, and deviates from his usual pattern in using a knee drop for the winning pin. After the bell, the Mountie does not bother to read James his rights before shocking and stomping him.
Slick gives Heenan directions to get to a sermon he is giving. Monsoon predicts that Washington is going to win the Super Bowl over the Buffalo Bills.
Chris Walker pins the Brooklyn Brawler after a flying body press at 4:01:
Walker began wrestling in 1989 and appeared in an enhancement match for the WWF in 1990 against the Powers of Pain. In 1991 he wrestled for the USWA, teaming with Curtis Thompson as the U.S. Males. Where he got noticed was for the Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas, adopting the nickname “Conan.” While there he won the tag team titles with Shawn Simpson and the WWF poached him while he was still holding that title, signing him to a contract in the fall.
This match also comes from the December 29 Madison Square Garden show. Walker has a good look and throws a good dropkick. However, his ring gear is generic, and he does moves without any flash or flourish to them. After taking some blows from the Brawler, Walker powerslams his foe and flies off the top rope to win his television debut. Rating: *
Tune in next week to see Marty Jannetty face Kato! Also, Bret Hart faces Colonel Mustafa, Jim Powers collides with Skinner, and the Bushwhackers face the Nasty Boys!
The Last Word: The Bret Hart-Ted DiBiase match was fantastic, especially during an era when matches of that quality were not the norm on WWF television. This show also featured more exclusive matches, which is a step in the right direction if the WWF wants to improve the show’s ratings. The only negative is that Slick does not fit well on the panel and he only serves as fodder for Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect to make fun of.
Up Next: WWF Superstars for January 25!