Written by: Tom Hopkins
I don’t know how the dates got messed up along the line with Superstars, as it was running every 7 days in 1991 until it spanned 9 days here. I go with the WWE dates because you’d expect that they would know better than I would.
We’re in New Haven, Connecticut with Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper and Mr. Perfect. They are all talking about Hulk Hogan’s reacquisition of the WWE Title. Jack Tunney does have an announcement to clear up the whole ordeal.
-Legion of Doom vs. Skull-Faced Jobbers-
The jobber’s names are not posted on the screen but they are wearing masks with a skull painted on them. The Legion of Doom are currently your Tag Team Champions. To show how dominant they are they attack the jobbers from behind. This is a week I’ve always longed for – I get to watch the LoD twice on the service! The Legion of Doom appear on the Superstars posted this week as well as part of the themed matches posted. This match is going on two-minutes now with Hawk putting a knee into the back of jobber one and 2-minutes is already too long. Hearing Perfect and Piper argue on commentary was fun and the best part of this match. The Legion of Doom end this with the Doomsday Device at 3:19.
We’re at the Update Center with Gene Okerlund and Jack Tunney has an announcement for us. As a result of the shenanigans at This Tuesday In Texas during the Hogan/Undertaker match, Tunney decrees that the WWE Title has been vacated. Furthermore, the WWE title will be put up for grabs at the Royal Rumble. Also, Hulk Hogan and Undertaker can only draw between numbers 20-30. That was big news and now we’re going to be in Royal Rumble sell-mode for the next month. That usually makes the shows better so I am all up for that.
-The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Al Phillips-
The fans are chanting “Jailbird” to Mountie. Piper has the line of the night about Tunney’s ruling, “How come it takes him three months to reinstate Savage but only a week to make this one.” That’s a fair point. Hold on. “I’m the MOUNTIE!” Okay, that’s out of the way. Mountie tosses Phillips outside but that’s only so we can see Jamison at ringside. Mountie ends this with his version of the Boss Man (choke) Slam at 1:34.
Sean Mooney is with us and he brings us promo’s from Bret Hart (who’s at the top with his IC win and he calls out Mountie and Flair – ironically he would lose his IC title to Mountie but win the WWE title from Flair), Skinner (who is undefeated and has bad teeth).
We go back to footage of Survivor Series Showdown and Virgil losing the Million Dollar Title to DiBiase thanks to the interference of Repo Man. I think this was shown on WWE Classics.com a while back. Anyway, Tito Santana makes the save. Tito and Virgil made a good tag team during the early 90’s, although they were mostly JTTS by this point. I remember a really fun match they had with Money Inc around the time Raw first started.
-Ted DiBiase (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Ross Greenburg-
Ted controls Ross the whole time and finishes with the Million Dollar Dream at 2:31. The guys were talking up the DiBiase/Santana feud and Piper gets another good shot in on Sherri by likening her to Peg from Married With Children.
We’re back at the Event Center with more promo’s. Hacksaw talks about his career at WWE being like the Marines at Iwo Jima. I don’t get the reference but he’s the All-American so let’s just take a memorable WWII moment and use it. The Beverly Brothers talk about being the only undefeated team before mentioning a new team called the New Hart Foundation. Considering they are brand new they would also be undefeated, too. In the span of 1-minute they already invalidated their original statement making them look like idiots.
-New Hart Foundation vs. Kato & Peter Weeks-
The New Hart Foundation consists of Jim Neidhart and Bret’s younger brother: Owen Hart. Owen and Kato start this off and Owen tries showing off some of his “high-flying” stuff. He even unleashes a spinning heel kick! What aerial moves! The New Hart Foundation are wearing ridiculous checkered boots and crazy-colored pants. I guess they didn’t want them wearing the Pink and Black to keep Bret a singular entity and not connected with the group. The Foundation some cool things (Owen slingshotting the Anvil into the ring as he shoulderblocks his foe and a Rocket Launcher finisher) and as the match ends at 3:50 the New Hart Foundation have shown what they could do.
We have our first Royal Rumble report with Gene Okerlund. Hulk Hogan is standing by with his comments. Hogan says that just because he’s stripped of the title doesn’t hurt Hulkamania – in fact it is stronger than ever. We’ll have more on the Rumble next week.
-Greg Valentine vs. Barry Horowitz-
Piper calls Valentine Stubby. How come that’s a nickname that never stuck? The guys talk about the Figure-Four that Valentine uses and how it relates to Ric Flair. They keep talking about a Flair/Piper match that I don’t believe ever came to fruition. Valentine was warming up for his match by playing Gameboy. Holy crap, remember that? I had that when I was younger. It looks like Valentine was playing a WWE game. During the match Jack Tunney calls the announce booth and he wants to speak to Piper. I am surprised they had speaker phone on there. Tunney asks Piper if he wants to enter the Royal Rumble. He was the first entry (besides Hogan and Taker of course). The match is all but ignored (Hammer ends with an elbow drop at 2:44) as Piper’s entrance into the Rumble is the main story. I notice Hammer didn’t use the figure-four. I guess that was now Flair’s move.
-Nasty Boys (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Paul Perez & Mario Mancini-
The jobber team is wearing matching leather jackets though it extends only to their waste and not to their boots like the Nasty’s do. Jamison is shown again at ringside. He’s gotten a lot of face time this episode. Roddy Piper storms away from the announce booth thanks to Mr. Perfect’s ribbing. The Nasty’s take their time with the jobbers, ending with a Sags elbow drop at 4:20.
We return to Mooney and the Event Center. He segues between one tag team (the Nasty Boys) to another – the Bushwhackers. They talk about Christmas. Luke wants his two front teeth for Christmas and Butch wants fluffy ducks. I hate the Bushwhackers. Mooney keeps the puns going, bringing us the Ebenezer Scrooge of the WWE: IRS. We have a preview for next week: The Bushwhackers, Virgil, Jake Roberts, and a special presentation to Bret Hart. There will be a ton of Rumble information, too. Next week’s matches look terrible.
-The Bottom Line-
This was an inoffensive waste of time. Superstars usually excels not with its matches but with the angles being advanced to strengthen the upcoming big events. The start of the Royal Rumble build had some big moments – especially with Hogan getting stripped of the belt. The matches this week weren’t duds but they were unspectacular squashes and I miss those superstar matches they’d been having during November. It’s not a stellar episode but it had enough to be entertaining for the 45-minutes.