WWF House Show 3/15/1991
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation House Show
From: New York, NY
1.) Marty Jannetty defeated Pat Tanaka
2.) The Mountie defeated Koko B. Ware
3.) Davey Boy Smith defeated the Warlord
4.) The Undertaker defeated Tugboat
5.) WWF World Tag Team Champions Hart Foundation defeated Earthquake & Dino Bravo to retain the titles
6.) The Barbarian defeated Jim Brunzell
7.) Texas Tornado defeated Ted DiBiase
8.) Kato defeated Shawn Michaels
9.) Jim Duggan defeated WWF World Champion Sgt. Slaughter by disqualification in a flag match
1. One half of the Rockers, Marty Jannetty took on one half of the Orient Express, Pat Tanaka to open the show. Mr. Fuji distracted Jannetty so that Tanaka could hit a thrust kick to get the early advantage. Jannetty is able to quickly comeback with a right hand to knock Tanaka to the floor. Jannetty knocks Tanaka to the floor a second time and follows up with a cross body on the floor! Fuji and Jannetty stall for a few minutes while Tanaka struggled to get the top turnbuckle off. It really took forever. Tanaka slapped Jannetty several times but is soon met with a super kick for insulting Jannetty. Tanaka avoided a splash in the corner and Jannetty fell over the top to the floor. Jannetty leaps off the middle rope a few moments later to hit a bulldog but only gets a near fall. They exchange rollups but neither man is able to get a three count. Tanaka regains control with a nice spinning heel kick. Late in the match, Tanaka tries for a tombstone pile driver but Jannetty counters and hits an extremely dangerous version of it for the win. The variation Jannetty used was the same that Steve Austin did to Owen Hart but looked far worse. One of the better the openers I have seen on these house shows during this era, but there were still a few awkward moments that hurt the match.
2. Koko B. Ware doesn’t have his parrot, which sucks a lot. I thought the parrot was more entertaining than Koko. Koko actually had the early advantage with an atomic drop and side headlock but his offense didn’t last all that long. Mountie put some kind of claw hold on Koko but apparently it was a choke so it was broken quickly. Koko tried a late match surge by avoiding a double axe handle attempt off the middle rope but seconds later he is met with a double arm choke slam by Mountie giving him the win. After the match, Mountie handcuffs Koko to the middle rope and is zapped by Mountie. It is clear that Mountie will be feuding with Bossman soon. Not a bad match since it was kept fairly short.
3. I wonder how many times Warlord and Smith wrestled each other in 1991. It seems like they wrestled quite often. Right off the bat Warlord blocks a crucifix attempt with a Samoan Drop to get the early advantage. Smith gets out of a bear hug but is quickly dropped throat first across the top rope. Warlord tried to pin Smith with a reverse Boston Crab, which looked goofy to me. Smith finally gets some offense in with a standing dropkick. Smith nearly wins with a high cross body but Warlord still has a lot left in the tank. Warlord counters a sunset flip by sitting down but is nearly rolled up by Smith. Warlord stops the momentum shift with a big boot in the corner where Smith was charging towards. Smith blocks a running power slam and avoids a splash in the corner to roll Warlord up for the win. After the match, Warlord puts a full nelson on Smith before leaving after two referees came out to help Smith. Thankfully it was fairly short, but it was still boring to me. It wasn’t just a brawl, though so that is fine. Smith actually hitting some moves was a pleasant sight to see.
4. This is a rather odd choice of a matchup. Undertaker quickly worked on Tugboat ramming him head first into the mat to avoid a backdrop attempt. Taker hits a leaping clothesline off the ropes and is getting a positive reaction from some fans in the audience. Tugboat clotheslines Taker to the floor late in the match but Taker drops Tugboat throat first across the top from the apron. Taker hits a top rope elbow drop for the win. Yeah, a top rope elbow drop. It was a really weird match to me, but Taker looked good and the fans were actually behind him despite the fact he is a bad guy.
5. Just nine days until the Hart Foundation defend against the Nasty Boys at WrestleMania, but first they have to defend against Earthquake and Dino Bravo. Hart and Bravo kick off the contest with Bravo using his strength to get under Hart’s skin early on. Hart is able to gain control of Bravo to tag in Neidhart who works on Bravo’s arm for a few moments. Bravo comes back with stomps and chops in the corner but is hip tossed and clotheslined by Neidhart. Bravo stops Hart with an atomic drop to tag in Earthquake who misses an elbow drop attempt. Neidhart spears Quake in the corner and along with Hart knock both opponents down with clotheslines. Quake catches Hart on the floor and rams him into the ring post back first. Hart is dominated by the challengers for a few moments which saw Quake and Bravo punish him with body shots and a pile driver by Bravo. Quake nearly wins with an elbow drop but Neidhart broke up the pin. Quake drives Hart to the mat with a big power slam but Neidhart makes the save on the cover. Hart makes the tag while in a bear hug but Quake distracts the referee costing Hart the tag out. Quake signals for the sit down splash but is cut off by Neidhart with a clothesline! Neidhart slams Hart onto Bravo and that is good enough for the win. After the match, Earthquake splashes Hart but is run off by Neidhart who grabbed a chair. I enjoyed the match as it was put together well. Bret took a beating and the fans really seemed to be buying into Earthquake as a world destroyer. Quake & Bravo made for an interesting team and I would’ve been interested in a longer feud between these teams, personally.
6. I think the goal of Barbarian vs. Brunzell was to kill the crowd, and if that is the case it succeeded. Well, it at least worked for me. Brunzell tried to get some momentum going but was cut off with a big boot from Barbarian which gets him the three count. It was really just an extended squash match with Brunzell getting a few seconds of offense.
7. Prior to the next match, Tornado cuts a promo saying that DiBiase is all alone. Tornado asks if they like surprises and brings out Virgil to be in his corner. Obviously, DiBiase didn’t like that. This is by far the biggest pop that Virgil ever got in his career. DiBiase goes to the floor to yell at Virgil but is soon attacked by Tornado from behind. Tornado continues his onslaught in the ring and nearly wins with a quick rollup. DiBiase goes to the floor after Virgil nearly cost him the match but is able to poke Tornado in the eyes to get the advantage. Tornado knocks DiBiase out with a tornado punch on the floor. DiBiase avoids a splash in the corner and DiBiase rams him head first into the ring steps. DiBiase works on Tornado with a clothesline and mocks Virgil. DiBiase tries to suplex Tornado back into the ring from the apron but Virgil trips DiBiase and Tornado lands on top of DiBiase to win the match. Despite it being a short match, I thought it was an effective match. A fairly big win for Tornado who to the best of my knowledge hadn’t done much since losing the WWF Intercontinental Championship back to Mr. Perfect several months prior. Anyway, it was a solid short match.
8. It’s the other half of the Rockers against the other half of the Orient Express. I bet Shawn Michaels wouldn’t appreciate being called the other half of the team but oh well. Kato monkey flips Michaels out of the corner to open the match for the early advantage. Michaels flips out of the corner to arm drag Kato and followed that up with a monkey flip of his own and several arm drags. Kato drives Michaels face first into the canvas to regain the advantage. Kato continues to work on Michaels with a knee shot to his chest. Michaels rolls through a cross body for a near win but is quickly kicked by Kato after kicking out. Kato puts a nerve hold on Michaels for several minutes until Michaels gets out of it, but Michaels can’t maintain offense. Kato misses a splash in the corner and both men are down. Michaels turns Kato inside out with a big clothesline. Michaels connects with the super kick and heads to the top rope. Michaels hits a picture perfect elbow drop but only gets a near fall. Mr. Fuji distracts the referee so that Pat Tanaka can hit Michaels with his cane and Kato picks up the win. Another solid bout on the card. Aside from the lengthy nerve hold spot by Kato, there was some fast pace action in this one which is good to mix up the speed of the matches. Better than the opening match, I thought.
9. It’s the turncoat against the all American Jim Duggan, until 2000 at least. Hulk Hogan comes down to the ring to be in Duggan’s corner. Duggan doesn’t waste any time just hammering away on Sgt. Slaughter in the corner. Duggan continues to have his way with Slaughter hitting a backdrop. Slaughter blocks a second backdrop attempt with a kick to the chest and begins to choke Duggan over the middle rope. Duggan begins to have second wind after absorbing a few punches but Slaughter puts a sleeper on Duggan! Slaughter rams the back of Duggan’s head into the mat before going back to a sleeper. Duggan rams Slaughter into the corner chest first to break free. However, Duggan misses an elbow drop and Slaughter goes back to work on Duggan with a back breaker. Slaughter hits a top rope single stomp but isn’t able to put Duggan away. Slaughter kicks Hogan in the back when Hogan had his back turned to the action. Slaughter heads up top but is shoved off by Hogan! Slaughter spits at Hogan, who tries to get into the ring. Hogan goes after the General but Slaughter leaves the ring to ram Hogan into the announcers table and hits him with a chair! Slaughter is choking Hogan with a cord! Slaughter puts the camel clutch on Duggan. Hogan has the 2xd4 and enters the ring to hit Slaughter over the back while the referee was distracted. Duggan tries for the cover but General Andan enters the ring and breaks it up causing the disqualification. Slaughter tosses sand into Hogan’s eyes and beats both Hogan and Duggan down with the 2×4. Several referees run down to try and stop Slaughter but the champion beats down both men with the Iraqi flag. Slaughter is escorted to the backstage area. Hogan and Duggan recover when General Andan came back to get more shots in. Duggan hits Andan with the 2×4 but he escapes before Hogan can get his hands on him. Hogan and Duggan pose to close the show. I’m not exactly sure how this was a flag match since the flags weren’t put on the ring posts or anything. It was just a match with a stipulation not enforced. I thought it was a fun main event with the crowd hot for everything. A decent ending to the show for sure.
The crowd was amped up for this show. I’m inclined to think that with WrestleMania VII right around the corner that had a great deal to do with it. There were several good house show matches on this show. Both of the singles matches that involved the Rockers and Orient Express were fine matches. The tag team title match was a fun bout, I thought as well. The main event wasn’t all that bad either since the crowd was really into it.
That being said, I can’t give this show a full thumbs up. I’m leaning towards giving it a thumbs in the middle since it was a really average show to me. So, yeah, thumbs in the middle.
Thanks for reading.