This Tuesday In Texas
Date: December 3, 1991
Location: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan
The main reason for doing this is simply because it’s the only WWF PPV I haven’t done from the first one ever until King of the Ring 1996. Also it’s kind of an anomaly as it’s held on a Tuesday, hence the name. This is 6 days after Survivor Series where Taker won the world title from Hogan and tonight is the rematch. The other main event tonight is the long awaited showdown between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage which was the hottest feud in the world back then.
It’s just two hours long and they were trying to make Tuesday into another PPV night. Since the next Tuesday show didn’t happen until 2004, you can guess how well this went over. Naturally Vince blamed everything other than his brilliance of having two PPVs in a week since he could never have a bad idea.
I remember reviewing the 91 Survivor Series and being PISSED that Jake and Randy, who were scheduled to be in the main event as team captains and had been advertised until 3 days before Survivor Series were pulled as Savage was “injured”. The thing is, that wasn’t mentioned until Sunday morning and then again at the beginning of the show.
Needless to say, people were furious. Other than the Hogan match, that had been the only reason to buy such a terrible show. Along with the double thing in seven days, I’ve always thought that was why the show bombed. Maybe it was the wrestling. Let’s find out.
There were actually about 5-6 dark matches before the PPV went on the air, with the main one being Flair vs. Piper. Other than that it was a lot of squash matches.
After a standard Texas themed intro and Sean Mooney mentioning the main events, we’re ready to go.
Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. Skinner
If you don’t know who the champion is here, you’re beyond my help. Skinner is in the ring when the champion’s music plays so what do you expect out of this? Bret’s singles push was in full swing here, having beaten Perfect in their classic at Summerslam. Skinner is apparently undefeated at this point, meaning he had beaten about three jobbers or something.
Bret gives some girl the shades and she FREAKS. You would think it was 1999 and she was a 13 year old at an N Sync concert. Bret is crisp here, and given that Steve Keirn, more commonly known as Skinner, is a very good wrestler in his own right means this should be solid. He’s the head trainer in FCW, or at least he was as of a few months ago. We get a WILL YOU BE SERIOUS from Monsoon as those two somehow have more chemistry than Ventura and McMahon.
That’s a very high compliment if there ever was one. Bret goes into the post to turn the tide here. That shouldn’t be a DQ as some commentators freak out about. It’s part of the ring after all. Bret goes into his standard great selling as the clinic on psychology that is a Bret Hart match begins. We get an abdominal stretch and say it with me: Gorilla criticizes it. One of my favorite bits that they do is Gorilla saying something and Heenan repeating it.
That’s just great stuff that you just can’t teach. Danny Davis is the referee here, despite being banned from doing so for life plus ten years. We go through the motions of Skinner working over the shoulder and things are working quite well indeed. Just as I say that, he goes after Bret’s leg and even Gorilla points out how stupid that is. Heenan says that it’s like beating on a lizard and goes into a biology thing, which Gorilla is annoyed with.
The crowd is WAY behind Bret here. Skinner hits his finisher, a reverse DDT, but Bret gets out at two of course. Bret plays possum, and despite the fact that he does this IN EVERY MATCH HE HAS EVER HAD, Skinner falls for it and Bret goes into the original five moves of doom, which of course he doesn’t get through before Skinner breaks up the streak, just like everyone else does.
See, the difference between Hogan and Hart is that while they always finish the same, Bret had a million different ways of getting there while you could plot a Hogan match from bell to bell with relative ease. Skinner goes up top for no apparent reason, and in a great impression of Ric Flair, gets slammed off of it. Sharpshooter goes on and the match goes off.
Rating: B. It’s a formula match, but since Bret is the master of formula matches, ok second master after Flair, this was fine. Skinner was built up as the challenger of the week, he went in and did his stuff, Bret survived and got the tap out. Do that about 10 times and you have yourself a dominant champion, which is exactly what they did and it worked like a charm. This was very solid stuff all around and it worked quite well to open the show. The bad part is that it’s probably going to be the best match of the night.
Jake says he feeds off of the screams of Elizabeth. He gets close to saying he wants to have Savage and Liz. Apparently it’s illegal for him to have a snake tonight. Jake’s heel stuff here is just amazing. He has every inch of this persona down to the letter.
Savage babbles and mumbles more incoherently than Warrior ever dreamed of. His outfit looks like an art supply store exploded on him.
Jake Roberts vs. Randy Savage
Savage jumps Jake in the aisle and we’re off. The crowd isn’t cheering so much as roaring. I mean they’re hardcore here. The thing is it’s kind of hard to take Savage seriously here as he’s got a feather on his hat that’s at the very least a foot and a half tall. That’s just freaking huge. Ok good it’s gone now. As for why this feud is happening, Savage had gotten married but Jake wasn’t invited to the bachelor party because he was a heel. Well if nothing else that’s creative.
That led to Savage coming out of retirement to fight him, but one day on I think Superstars, Jake beat down Savage and put his (devenomized) cobra onto Savage’s arm, but it held on too long and the bite was worse than expected. Jake also shoved Liz, which made him the biggest heel in forever. They were supposed to be opposing captains in the Survivor Series main event but due to the cobra attack, Savage was deemed too hurt to fight so we got this instead.
Jake goes kind of low to break the momentum. Savage’s arm is screwed up because of the snake bite injury too. In a nice little touch, Jake rips the bandage off of the arm and there’s blood under the tape. His arm was fine, but they thought about it here enough to make it look like he’s injured worse than he really is.
Since the arm is so hurt Roberts is beating the tar out of Savage. Just as I say that, Savage gets a quick shot in and within 30 seconds he gets Jake down and hits the elbow for the win in a match that felt like it had 3 minutes cut out.
Now we get to the important part though. Savage gets the bell but the referee stops him, allowing Jake to get a quick DDT. Savage is down but Jake is still hurt too so Savage actually beats him to his feet. A second DDT puts Savage out cold though and Jake is up now. After faking leaving, Jake comes back and goes under the ring to pull out a little bag. This doesn’t sound like much but it’s an absolutely INSANE reaction for every tiny movement.
Liz comes running down and is FREAKING on Roberts. Jake is feeding on her fears here and it’s amazing stuff. Savage kind of gets up and he takes an unprecedented third DDT. No one had ever taken more than one before this so that was completely insane. He puts the cobra handler glove on and Liz just completely loses it. Jake slips the glove off and says that Liz better beg if she wants to save him.
They stand up and Jake secures his place in the 7th circle of eternal punishment BY PUNCHING LIZ. Jack Tunney comes out to glare at Jake and suspend him for having a snake with him until he points out there was no snake in the bag, which confuses Tunney to no end, which is impressive for him as asking his name confuses him more than likely.
In the back, Jake says that when he hit Liz, it was the best feeling he’s ever had and he would pay to be able to do that again. He ends it by saying that Savage can come back again, but to bring his wife again because Jake can make her into something even he would want. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but this was one of the best heel promos I’ve ever seen in my life.
Rating: C+. The match is a fast paced mess but the angle is just completely awesome. The problem was there was never the big match that these guys so desperately needed where Savage could destroy Jake with like 5 elbows or something because Flair came in and changed everything around.
Warlord vs. British Bulldog
This is more or less based around Warlord having a full nelson as a finisher and saying no one can break it. Smith says he can. That’s it. Smith was just ridiculously awesome at this point so I’m sold pretty easily here. Naturally there’s not a word said about the match at first and it’s all about the Savage vs. Roberts thing, which is understandable. For some reason there’s a ton of times here where there’s no talking from the commentators which is never a good thing. It’s just dead air.
At least once they got done talking about the angle they focus on the match for the most part. I can understand talking about the angles a lot, but there’s no excuse for ignoring a match entirely. We’ve mainly got a power match here, but in this case it’s working. It’s odd to have Warlord go this long in a match and also against a guy that uses the same style he has. He’s managed by Harvey Whippleman.
That’s a bit early for him I thought but whatever. Hey it’s a power vs. power match and we have a bearhug. Who could have seen that coming? We’re about five minutes in and Heenan insists it’s over ten. I love hyperbole in wrestling. Usually the power vs. power doesn’t work but Smith makes up for it by having the wrestling ability to balance things out. That’s what made him so solid in the ring.
He was a hybrid wrestler that could do both styles and it allowed him to have decent matches with a lot more wrestlers than a guy like Warlord for example did. Warlord gets the Full Nelson but can’t get the hands in. His hands are on the side of the head so in essence this move is doing nothing at all.
That makes the escape look completely stupid. Smith makes the comeback and gets a decent vertical suplex which is borderline very impressive. From out of almost nowhere, Smith gets a crucifix for the quick pin. That was different if nothing else.
Rating: B-. Given what they had to work with here, this came off pretty well. Smith winning with a wrestling move instead of a power move was a nice little twist in there as everyone was expecting it to end in a power thing, but instead he does the exact opposite and it works. That’s a solid bit of psychology and it worked like a charm here. This might be Warlord’s longest match ever and it worked pretty well. Smith carried the majority of this, but not all of it.
Savage says he’s getting Roberts and there’s no stopping him because all of this was Savage’s fault. He winds up on his knees and then on the ground during this. It’s a lot better than it sounds. Savage is messed up out of his mind here and you can tell it.
Ted DiBiase/Repo Man vs. Virgil/Tito Santana
One thing modern WWE programming is great about is recapping stuff. That helps a ton as to someone that is randomly seeing this, this match makes NO sense. In reality, DiBiase had said that Virgil had stolen the Million Dollar Belt and recruited Repo Man to help him get it back, which worked. Since we need to fill in a match slot here, Tito joined Virgil and we get this match. The faces are already in the ring so what do you expect to happen here?
Virgil’s career is in essence over as far as importance goes here. He just had nothing to do once he left DiBiase and that singles feud went on about as long as it could so the WWF kept it going for another few months after it. Repo here is of course Smash from Demolition if you weren’t aware of that. Santana is more or less worthless here as El Matador.
The problem is that after that, no one remembered the great work he did as Tito Santana, as he was just remembered for the stupid gimmick that he did. As for the match, there’s not a lot to say. It’s your standard filler tag match that could have been on any house show or TV show of the era. I don’t know if it’s good enough for here but we’ll see I guess. Repo Man and DiBiase might be the weirdest combination of all time.
The main problem here is that there’s no point to having Santana in there. He didn’t have any feud with either guy that I can remember other than a few random matches with Repo that would have happened just because they were on the same level of the card. This is just a weird combination to have. The wrestling is fine, but it just comes off as weird all around. The match itself is once again the same kind of match that you would expect to see at a house show or on TV.
It’s actually not bad to be fair. It’s nothing to go out of your way to see, but I don’t have a problem with it being on a low level Tuesday PPV. The problem here is that Virgil is the guy that’s getting the hot tag. How is that appealing? With Sherri making a distraction, Repo hits him in the back with a knee to allow DiBiase to get the pin.
Rating: C. This was ok I guess, but it wasn’t anything great. The faces were just overly matched here and it was really easy to tell that. The formula worked fine here as it ca be expected with guys like DiBiase and Santana out there though, so that balances out I guess. This was pure filler.
Hogan says he’s proud of the Hulkamaniacs for sticking up for him. He says for Flair to stay out of this.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker
So as you likely know, Taker more or less cheated to become champion at the last show so Tunney set this up to make up for it. He’ll be at ringside I think. This is Taker’s first title defense, although I’m guessing he did some on house shows. It was fairly obvious that Hogan would get the belt back here, but it was at the same time not a good thing as you could clearly hear Taker being cheered when he won the title, which I always thought was because he wasn’t named Hulk Hogan and he was world champion.
Of course he’s Hogan though so he has to get pushed. Hogan pounds away but naturally Taker no sells the heck out of it. There’s your missed attack though and Taker just covers Hogan’s face, which in theory should kill him. So after that attempt at murder, we’re back up and somehow going even more slowly if that’s possible. Flair comes out and gets in Tunney’s face, so Hogan wipes him out with a chair.
That made no sense at all but whatever. It took Tunney down too so there we are. Hogan keeps beating on Taker but can’t get anywhere with him. Flair brings in a chair to end it like last time but Taker gets his head rammed into it and Flair is taken out by a freaking horrible looking clothesline. After a big boot is no sold by Taker, he gets hit in the head by the urn and then in something completely stupid, Hogan opens the urn and takes some ashes out to throw in Taker’s face.
A quick rollup gets him the title back. Posing takes us out. Seriously? The same urn that the Million Dollar Team couldn’t open for months, Hogan just opened inside of 2 seconds. Only in wrestling could things that huge be completely forgotten. This wasn’t any good at all.
Rating: D. So let me get this straight. Taker is completely invincible to the point where chair shots mean nothing on him, but throwing dust in his eyes is enough to keep him down for three? My goodness what they wouldn’t do for Hogan back in the day. This just didn’t work at all as it was overbooked and their styles have never worked well at all. This was by far the worst match of the night, which reminds me of WCW for some reason.
Overall Rating: B-. This is a pretty good show, but it begs the question of why was this on a Tuesday 6 days after a major PPV? The buyrate was lower than it was previously thought humanly possible and while the show is solid, nothing else about it was. The reaction was completely awful and given that it didn’t happen again for 13 years, you can tell the office wasn’t that pleased with it.
To show you the respect it got, this never got its own official video release. It was put on a compilation tape called Supertape 91. What does that tell you about this? It’s ok, but only watch it if you’re a more hardcore fan as otherwise you might be mildly entertained but not much. Everyone should watch the Savage/Roberts segments though as they’re amazing stuff.