Triple H, October 2011:
“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.
Monday, January 02, 2006
If you're just hopping in now - where the hell have you been?
Consider going to previous posts, as this is a wrestling fable running in chronological order. The first post is "It begins" from December of 2005. If it's years from now, and this is the last remaining vestige of the World Wrestling Federation - serves them right. And - if I'm no longer with us, he says euphemistically, Congratulations! You're alive and I'm not. So you win. You da man!
1990 ended with this post.
Royal Rumble 1991 (Miami)
(Shane Douglas d. Tito Santana)
Gorilla and Piper remain your announce team.
1. Demolition d. Orient Express
-And back down the card they go – Demolition squashes them. I like the idea of, very sloppily, dubbing in the word "Crush" into the Dems entrance theme.
2. Davey Boy Smith d. Dustin Rhodes
-Bulldog, once again a babyface, albeit without Bret's endorsement, returns to the ring, taking out Dustin and sending him south.
3. Undertaker d. Dusty Rhodes
-Chokeslam. Tombstone. Bodybag. That’s for playing, Dusty. Following the match, Hogan hits the ring attempting to stop the ‘Taker from carrying away his once again friend Dusty – he and the ‘Taker do a staredown – and Hogan backs away warily, allowing the Taker to pass.
4. The Mountie Jacques Rougeau d. Kerry Von Erich
-I am the Mountie! In case you wondered, the KVE push is over. Note, we haven’t had a good match yet.
5. Shawn Michaels d. Marty Jannetty
- Okay, now we’re talking. Shawn wins clean, great, hard fought match. Shawn gets the fall after the superkick, as now it's time to get that move over.
6. Tags: Road Warriors d. Warlord/Hercules/Barbarian (w/Ultimate Warrior)
-Handicap match - they do some type of "I'm the real Warrior, snort" buildup coming into the Rumble - and the Road Warriors, getting the monster babyface push, destroy White Flight. Following the match, the Demolition music hits – Smash and Crush stand at the top of the ramp. The Warriors wave them to come onto the ring – Dems begin to make their ways down the aisle! Good God! Good God! Good…officials hit the aisle – both sides move back, still no physical confrontation between the two…oddly similar…tag teams.
In the tapings subsequent, Herc., who took the fall here to the Device, gets kicked out of White Flight - the Warrior directing the Powers to put the boots to him. Herc will then hook up with Paul Roma, late of the Entourage, and form Power and Glory.
7. IC Title: Bret Hart d. The Male Model Rick Martel
-Bret celebrates the one year anniversary of his winning his second IC title with a clean win over Martel. Following the match, as Bret hits the tunbuckles to accept the crowd reaction – Martel attempts to attack with a chair – and is stopped by an entering Davey Boy. Bulldog press slams Martel over the top to the outside – and again attempts to apologize to Bret – the crowd solidly with him, asking Bret to shake the Bulldog’s hand…and again Bret refuses.
In a subsequent taping, the Anvil will go to Bret, say he's being too hard on the Bulldog - say that he forgave him, so why can't he forgive Davey Boy. Bret just walks away.
Bret's a hard man, we should recognize, he has a very specific code, and when Davey Boy press slammed Owen from the ring, injuring Owen's ankle and leading to his leaving the WWF, the switch in Bret's brain just flipped - and his old tag partner the Bulldog became a non person.
8. WWF Title: Curt Hennig d. Ted DiBiase
The Perfect Reign continues. Recall, all the “Bobby’s gonna screw Hennig” signs over the past several months. Doesn’t happen. Virgil walks down the aisle, just as in SSeries ’89, gives Brain the briefcase, Brain opens it, closes it – hops to the apron – exact same scenario as SSeries ’89 when he screwed Rude out of the IC, but instead he hits DiBiase with it.
Hennig and Bobby get the face pop – after all, it’s a face move. DiBiase yells at Hennig and Heenan as they celebrate - the fans, should just for a second, forget about...
Savage has been unseen since Summer Slam, and he's back with his fork. He's swarmed by the Secret Service, but he's unstoppable - Fork! Fork! Fork! Fork! All the guys in black suits and sunglasses, bleeding on the ground.
And now he is all over Hennig – Fork, Fork, Fork, Fork, Fork – Savage has been gone since Summer Slam – he is here in streetclothes and battering Hennig. Savage has lost 3 straight title matches to Curt - he's lost his belt - he's lost Liz - his career has gone off track - and he is totally unhinged as he brutalizes Perfect with the fork. Blood all over the WWF Championship belt.
I like that the crowd was just cheering Hennig - and now the babyface Savage returns - and I wonder if the vengeance isn't so brutal that there isn't a mixed reaction.
The back empties – Savage fights them off…until Bret Hart runs in – Bret is able to pull Savage off – Bret wrapping his arms around Savage, walking him away, whispering to him as if he were an animal trainer. Savage is covered in Hennig’s and Bobby’s blood once again as the show ends.
You’ll note it wasn’t a very good show, really. They've got a real talent problem in this stretch. When Von Erich's wrestling for the big strap, it’s not exactly Steamboat/Dynamite from 1985. What will really improve as we move on are the undercards – the depth at the bottom really improves as we get into the mid and late 90s.
The NWA has two PPVs before we do the run up to WM VII. Two weeks after the Rumble, Terry Taylor gets a PPV win. Dustin Rhodes makes the surprise appearance and gets a win and the “Do you see who that is – he used to be in that other place” push. Steiners keep, Flyin’ Brian Pillman wins the US title back for the Horsemen, and Sting keeps in a terrific match against Vader. In February, we see the PPV debut of Kevin Nash, who goes over Sid. Terry Taylor gets another PPV win.
Luger goes over Ron Simmons, Barry Windham returns…again. There’s a tag switch – Bobby Eaton and Dustin take from the Steiners. There’s been infighting with the Horsemen – they told Pillman to give up the US belt to AA, its rightful owner – Pillman refused – so they stomped him out, kicked him out of the Horsemen – and at the PPV, AA took the title. Flair got his World Title rematch – but lost again to Sting in a classic.
Wrestlewar – 1991 Phoenix
NWA Title: Sting d. Vader
US Title: Brian Pillman d. Stan Hansen
Tags: Steiners d. Freebirds
Ric Flair d. Bobby Eaton
Dustin Rhodes d. Tommy Rich
Terry Taylor d. Tom Zenk
Brad Armstrong d. Sid
Doom d. Young Pistols
Superbrawl – 1991 St. Petersberg
NWA Title: Sting d. Ric Flair
US Title: Arn Anderson d. Brian Pillman
Tags: Eaton/Dustin d. Steiners
Barry Windham d. Fujinami
Lex Luger d. Ron Simmons
Terry Taylor d. Tracey Smothers
Kevin Nash d. Sid
Freebirds d. Young Pistols
Back up North is the last of the NBC prime time Main Events. As we’re on the Road to Wrestlemania VII from LA.
-The Warrior brings in Slaughter to White Flight. The Powers lose a title shot to the Road Warriors, and like Herc getting booted at the Rumble, the Powers get booted here. Sarge aids the Warrior in "purifying Warrior Nation" It’s the war, after all, so Sarge fits in with the jigoistic gimmick. So, not only do we want to bomb all the Arabs “Yay!” but also the Japanese and the Koreans and the Mexicans and the Germans too “Yay!” and the Blacks and the Jews and the Catholics and most of (insert city where the event is here) because the Warrior and Sarge (wearing the face paint, all the Warriors crazy tag partners have to (1) wear the face paint and (2) make out with the Warrior). And they feud with Hogan and Snuka, who are our old guy babyface tag team. It's a Legend's tag for Mania - one of two Legend's matches we've got going this year.
-Jake returns, for the first time since losing the tag belts. Jake gives an interview with Gene, saying that he’s been with the WWF since WM II and sometimes he’s been good….and sometimes he’s been bad….but the one thing he’s always been is a Legend – and he will prove it at the Legends match at WM VII.
BONG! BONG! Lights out. Undertaker on the big screen. “Rest…In…Peace…” So, there's that.
Martel, unhappy with Davey Boy’s tossing him out of the ring at the Rumble, pledges revenge. They'll do that at Mania.
Shawn, recall he dressed as Bret prior to his last shot at the IC, now puts on the Rocker costume to mock Marty, Shawn wrestling a tag team by himself, saying, “The only difference between this and the old days is I’m not carrying 180 pounds on my back.” Marty, unhappy, attacks.
So, one more Shawn and Marty.
The titanic tag team battle, the one years in the making – the Road Warriors, 2 year NWA champs, unbeaten and really unchallenged since entering the WWF – against Demolition, long considered Warrior knockoffs – but also unbeaten and unchallenged since Crush replaced Ax – is finally ready for WM VII.
Bret says that his slogan, best there is, best there was, best there ever will be isn’t just a catchphrase, isn’t just for a t-shirt, that he lives it every night – and he will continue his reign as the greatest intercontinental champion in WWF history at WM by taking on Japan’s greatest wrestler, Genichiro Tenryu.
Okay, the lie here is that he’s Japan’s greatest wrestler. Tenryu was pretty good, a world title holder – and actually, just a couple years ago, was the greatest 53 year old wrestler in the history of the world. Saying he’s Japan’s greatest wrestler – well, that’s goofy, but he is pretty good and he's who I have to use. Tenryu worked Mania, Misawa didn't. They get Tenryu over through clips –and WWF went to Japan in the run up to Mania, so Tenryu gets put over Martel and Davey Boy. Tenryu/Bret goes over big when it's announced in Japan, hopefully helping out as WWF looks to expand overseas, Vince, always foreward thinking, recognizing that the international market will carry the company through the tough times.
Finally….Savage. Savage only is allowed to appear in a WWF ring if he's in handcuffs and flanked by security. Unable to keep him away from Hennig through any other means – Bobby agrees to give Savage one….last….shot…at the title, if Savage puts up something in return --- his career. Title v. Retirement, Savage v. Hennig, the final chapter, at WM VII.
Yeah, baby. One more Hennig/Savage, Bret/Tenryu, the Warriors meet the Dems, Marty gets his rematch, Martel and Davey Boy, Hogan and Snuka tag up and the Undertaker makes his Mania debut against the Snake. I’m locked in daddy, I’m feelin’ my vital juices build up inside me and they gotsta spurt, yeah~ Skeet! Skeet! Skeet! Skeet! I LOVE WRESTLEMANIA!!
A reminder – Wrestlemania 6 was also headlined by Hennig/Savage. Hennig won the strap from Savage at SSeries and that was the rematch. A year later, a year and a half after winning the strap, tonight, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig faces Randy Savage for the final time – Title v. Career!! Call you cable company!! Wrestlemania VII