Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Saturday Night’s Main Event #31
Date: November 14, 1992
Location: Hulman Center, Terra Haute, Indiana
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan
This show has a gimmick, which unfortunately doesn’t live up to the highs of Oktoberfest or Wild Kingdom. The theme tonight is Triple Crown, meaning it’s a three match card with only title matches filling out the show. This has been done before, but never exclusively as there were always extra matches on the card. Let’s get to it.
Al Bundy of Married With Children fame welcomes us to the show and says it should be good. Just cross promotion stuff here.
Tag Team Titles: Money Inc. vs. Ultimate Maniacs
That would be DiBiase and IRS (Irwin R. Schyster, an evil accountant played by Mike Rotundo, who was in action on the very first episode of the show) as Money Inc. (with Jimmy Hart), defending against Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. It’s a big brawl to start with Warrior cleaning house in a singlet. The look really doesn’t work for him but the champs are quickly sent to the floor. Heenan busts out his Brain Scan telestrator to draw some funny pictures (including presidential candidate H. Ross Perot) until Money Inc. gets back in to take an even bigger beating.
DiBiase gets suplexed for two but avoids a flying tackle to send Warrior face first into the mat. We get a split screen of Perfect, Flair and their new friend Razor Ramon, the latter two of whom will be teaming against the Ultimate Maniacs at Survivor Series in eleven days. Savage breaks up the Million Dollar Dream with a knee to Ted’s back and gets the hot tag to face IRS. A slam sets up the elbow but DiBiase makes the save. Everything breaks down and the champs take a walk to save the titles.
Rating: C-. Energetic match which never got boring but the ending was the only way they could save the titles. You can’t have the Maniacs lose here but you also don’t want to put the titles on them. Money Inc. was a very successful tag team around this time and it was nice to see DiBiase get a title reign in his WWF career.
The Maniacs go after Money Inc. but get jumped by Flair and Ramon.
Bret Hart music video, set to Makin’ Some Noise by Tom Petty.
Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog
Bulldog is defending, having beaten Bret Hart clean in the main event of Summerslam 1992 in one of the greatest matches of all time. Shawn is now full on heel (though he’s missing his manager Sherri here), having split up the Rockers nearly a year earlier by throwing Marty Jannetty through a barber shop window. The much stronger Bulldog shoves Michaels around to start so Shawn slides through the legs and scores with a right hand.
Shawn goes to a short arm scissors, but Bulldog turns it over and muscles Shawn up into the air without breaking the hold in a fairly famous scene, even though Bob Backlund had done it about ten years earlier. Davey hurts his back though and has to clothesline Shawn to the floor. Back in and Davey locks on an armbar to give his back some rest. Bulldog finally misses a charge and is sent to the floor, banging up his back again. Shawn unhooks a buckle pad and we take a break.
Back with Shawn cranking on an abdominal stretch but Davey is smart enough to reach down and grab Shawn’s foot to relieve some pressure. He finally escapes and catapults Shawn face first into the buckle for two. There’s the delayed vertical suplex for two more but Shawn whips him into the exposed buckle to crush Smith’s back again. Davey pops back up and whips Shawn across the ring, setting up a suplex. The back gives out though and Smith falls back with Shawn on top for the pin and the title.
Rating: B. They had a basic story and paid it off the whole way. It wouldn’t make sense for Smith’s back to hold up with all of his power moves and the back injury, leading us to the finish. It makes perfect sense because they set it up to work. This was the real launching point of Shawn’s career and he would face Bret in a champion vs. champion match in a great main event at Survivor Series.
Flair wants the winner of the WWF World Title shot at Survivor Series. Ramon doesn’t care where he has to go to get a fight and there’s plenty more for the Maniacs where that came from. Ric wraps it up by saying the Survivor Series is about making it out in one piece instead of winning the match.
Bret talks about his father Stu taking he and his six brothers down into the basement, more famous as the Dungeon, to teach them to wrestle. He’s learned from everyone and won the Tag Team Titles and Intercontinental Title, but now he’s the WWF World Champion and Papa Shango isn’t taking that away from him.
WWF World Title: Papa Shango vs. Bret Hart
Shango is a voodoo priest who terrified a lot of children. He fills the ring with smoke before the match to really help the atmosphere. You might know Shango by his later character of the Godfather. Bret reverses a whip into the corner and monkey flips Shango across the ring before a cross body gets two. A clothesline sends Papa to the floor and it’s all Bret so far. He planchas down onto Shango and we take a break.
Back with Heenan trying to open a box that someone has delivered to him. Shango slaps on a bearhug but Bret, ever the technician, bites the head to escape. We hit the nerve hold as the match slows way down. Shango starts going into voodoo mode but misses a middle rope elbow. Bret comes back with his Russian legsweep and a middle rope clothesline for two each. Papa misses a charge and the Sharpshooter retains Hart’s title.
Rating: C. This was another simple formula match and it made Bret look great in the process. Shango was little more than a monster of the week for Hart to vanquish, which is what you want to do at the start of a title reign. It was interesting to see Bret pick an opponent apart and it made Shango look like little more than a target, which is pretty much all he ever was going to be here. Solid effort for a basic title defense.
Paul Bearer talks about Undertaker building a special casket for Kamala for their match at Survivor Series. Undertaker walks out of a casket and says Kamala should enjoy the journey he’s about to take. Everyone has experienced the same fate, and the only thing left for Undertaker to do is take Kamala’s soul. Undertaker is really getting into his character here and his voice is the deep tone that he would be known for.
Bret is in the back when Shawn comes up to get in his face. He’s coming for the title at Survivor Series and beat the man that beat Bret at Summerslam.
Heenan gets a phone call and is told either Savage or Warrior will not make it to Survivor Series. That would be Warrior, who was fired just before the show. Mr. Perfect turned on Flair and joined Savage for the match.
Overall Rating: B-. I was surprised here as they just went out there and had good to very good matches and the results worked. It’s just a big commercial for Survivor Series, but this show acting as a pay per view commercial is almost a tradition at this point. I’m glad that the original run went out on a high note instead of some of the horrible shows we had for such a long stretch.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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