*** Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***
This Tuesday in Texas: Tick Tock…Tick Tock
December 3, 1991
San Antonio, Texas
Buy Rate: 1.0
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan
Fun Fact: This was the WWF’s first attempt at setting up Tuesday as a secondary pay-per-view night and potentially to launch weekly PPV events. However the low buy rate and lukewarm reaction to the event caused them to shelve the idea until another Tuesday attempt was made in 2004.
Fun Fact II: There were a series of dark matches and matches taped for television on this night as well. The biggest match to occur that never made air was Ric Flair defeating Roddy Piper.
1) Bret Hart defeats Skinner to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with a Sharpshooter at 13:46
Scott: We open our experimental PPV with a solid title defense for the Intercontinental Champion against a very game Skinner. Steve Keirn has been an accomplished tag team wrestler for years as half of the Fabulous Ones in the 1980s. Now he’s a chaw-spitting heel, but still an accomplished worker. This is the perfect title defense for Bret Hart. Rather than face big fat guys and other monster heels, Bret should be facing the more athletic workers. That helps the product become more of a hybrid of what the in-ring work should be and compete with WCW’s more workrate-based product. Bret is the perfect guy for that. The only issue I have is that this should be the SECOND match of the show. One of the dark matches was Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper. Why for the love of God was this a DARK MATCH? Seriously? The crowd must have been off the charts for that match. In any event, our actual opener is a solid in-ring affair as Skinner dictated the pace throughout most of the match and Bret sold like a champ. He locked on an Abdominal Stretch for quite a while. Bret recovers and cranks up the Sharpshooter and Skinner’s undefeated stretch is over. This was a great opener and a harbinger of things to come from Bret Hart’s singles career. We will get awesome workrate/psychology-driven matches that tell a great story and have a solid conclusion. Grade: ***
Justin: Well, we heard plenty about this show less than a week ago at Survivor Series and now we have officially arrived in Texas for a very special Tuesday night PPV outing. The card was pretty stacked for such a short show, but the company was going all out to test the potential for weekly PPV events or maybe even just opening Tuesday as an option for PPV in general. We open with Bret Hart’s first PPV Intercontinental Title defense since he took the belt at SummerSlam and he has a pretty interesting challenger here in Skinner. While on the surface the alligator gimmick was a goofy, Steve Keirn was a respected and accomplished wrestler, so this was actually a pretty cool matchup on paper. Gorilla put over Bret strong here and this was a good showcase opportunity overall for the Hitman. Bret kept the undefeated Skinner off balance early mixing in arm drags, atomic drops and clotheslines, eventually sending the Alligator Man to the floor to catch his breath. Bret would work the arm a bit until Skinner was able to send Hart crashing into the ring post shoulder first. Skinner would target that shoulder and in between used a nice piece of heel work to distract the ref and jab his alligator claw into the throat of the Hitman. For some reason he then transitioned to Bret’s leg, earning a good chastising from Gorilla for not being very bright in his attack. None of that seemed to matter as Skinner snapped off the Gatorbreaker but a lazy cover gave Hart the opening to kick out. Skinner seems to really be wasting a golden chance at the title here. He would take his time pontificating on the second rope, allowing Bret to catch him with a boot when he finally leapt. From there, it was academic as Hart went through his usual repertoire, fighting off one last bit of Skinner offense, before wrenching in the Sharpshooter and forcing Skinner to give up and take his first notch in the loss column. That was a solid opener and a good defense by Hart but Skinner really wrestled a dumb match as he often lost focus in between meandering around and giving Bret openings. Maybe next time, Alligator Man. Grade: **
2) Randy Savage defeats Jake Roberts with the big elbow at 6:24
Fun Fact: This is Randy Savage’s first televised match since his loss to Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII.
Scott: This one has been bubbling to the surface for months and months and now it’s finally here. Going all the way back to SummerSlam and the wedding reception, Jake was handed Savage after Warrior bolted the WWF over money issues with Vince. Only these two men could go from being face/heel to heel/face and seamlessly have a fantastic feud. That Superstars episode when the cobra bit Savage and Jake was sitting in the corner cackling while the cobra stood at attention in front of him may be one of my favorite wrestling television moments of all time. Now, we can talk about one of the matches that helped sell this special PPV. The match itself isn’t much as there’s a lot of brawling and punching. Savage makes the comeback, complete with his bleeding arm bandage from the snake bite, and gets the victory. Then we see an example of how referees always fuck shit up. Savage was about to crush Roberts with the ring bell after the match, but Earl Hebner grabs it and in the distraction Jake recovers and DDTs Macho Man. The feud is over as Macho Man is out in the ring and Jake walks down the ramp. Or is it over? Jake stops, walks back and grabs a bag from under the ring. Jake promised WWF President Jack Tunney that he wouldn’t have a snake in the corner. Well the match is over and he’s about to get a lizard lunch. Suddenly Elizabeth runs in to stop the chaos. Jake is taunting her as he DDTs Savage two more times. This stuff is better than the match itself. Jake puts the protective glove on and is ready to bring out another poisonous snake to finish Savage off. Elizabeth is pleading while useless Earl is in the corner yelling and, well being useless. Seeing Jake forcing Elizabeth to beg for Savage is awesome psychology. He then grabs Elizabeth by the hair, and decks her. Wow, I never thought we would ever see that. That is what being a heel is all about. The match wasn’t much, but the complete package is priceless. Grade: ****
Justin: This red hot feud has been simmering since SummerSlam when Jake Roberts and Undertaker crashed Savage’s wedding reception. Since then Savage was bit by a snake and reinstated as an active wrestler and was ready to exact some much needed revenge here. Both men cut fantastic promos before the match, ratcheting up the heat and intrigue before they tussled. Adding Savage into the mix of a suddenly top notch main event talent pool was awesome and really made the division even deeper than it was already becoming. Elizabeth is with Savage backstage here as she has been a huge part of the storyline and the question immediately becomes whether or not it was a wise idea by Macho to have her in the arena. Jake didn’t even get to make a full entrance as Savage sprinted down the aisle and hammered him from behind. Inside the ring, Savage was on fire, destroying the Snake with passion and aggression…and with his jacket and feathered hat on. Roberts would try to escape, but Savage had none of that, chasing him down and dumping him back inside. The ever opportunistic Roberts used an inadvertent deflection by the referee to spear Savage low and take control. Things spilled outside and Savage accidentally slammed his gnawed up arm into the post giving Roberts something to target. Jake would peel away the bandages, trying to expose the wound, while also hammering away at the flailing Macho Man. Savage had an opening for a charge but ate a Roberts knee, which led to a short clothesline. Jake seemed to be queuing up the DDT but in the blink of an eye Savage was able to strike, take him down and pounce to the top rope before crashing into the Snake with his big elbow for the win. The crowd liked that one. While the win was nice, Savage wasn’t done as he was looking to really hurt Roberts. An official would block him from using a chair, so he instead grabbed the ring bell. However, that backfired as the referee grabbed the bell from him, which gave Jake the chance to rock Savage with the DDT. Jake would snap off a second one as well and now Macho was in some deep shit. Roberts would feign leaving before stooping by ringside and pulling out a bag from under the ring. He hinted that he kept his promise to Jack Tunney because the snake wasn’t in the corner. Before Jake could strike, Elizabeth came out to cover Savage and beg to be left alone. And things got even more intense as Jake crept in and taunted Liz, ignoring the ref’s pleas to back off. Jake ignored the begging and drilled a third DDT. As he teased releasing the cobra and berated the WWF’s first couple, he demanded Liz beg some more. Finally, he snapped and pulled Liz to her feet before slapping her in the face! This was some epic level heel stuff. Gorilla and Bobby both agreed it was too much and officials and Tunney finally forced Roberts to leave. As Tunney yelled at him, he crossed his heart and said he did nothing wrong and that there was no snake in the bag. This was amazing heel work by Roberts, perhaps the best in company history to this point. It was intense, sick and really fucked up. And it worked so well because of how sympathetic and beloved Savage and Liz were. In the back afterwards, Jake gave a demented promo about how he prefers women that stand up instead of begging and then basically compares slapping Liz to sex. “I could cultivate her into someone even I would want.” The match was nothing, but the angle after was everything. And it was amazing. Grade: ****
3) The British Bulldog defeats the Warlord with a Crucifix at 12:47
Fun Fact: This is the Warlord’s final PPV match. He is in the 1992 Royal Rumble, but as far as regular matches go, he is done. His final record is 4-10. He was 0-4 at the Royal Rumble, 0-2 at WrestleMania, 2-1 at SummerSlam and 2-3 at Survivor Series.
Scott: We try to compose ourselves after that unbelievable storytelling, to head to a rematch from WrestleMania that definitely isn’t for everyone. For Justin and I this is right up our alley, but for some others definitely not. We have two hosses here throwing powerhouse bombs at each other. Warlord had transferred managers from Slick to the newcomer Harvey Wippleman earlier in the month. He was Downtown Bruno in the indies, and honestly I think that’s a better name. However in the Federation Era we’re not supposed to know these guys came from anywhere else. Giving these two almost 13 minutes may be a risky proposition, but they actually did just fine. Bigger guys are supposed to be more deliberate in the ring and put over their big power moves. Maybe I’m going way out on a limb here, but this may be Warlord’s best match in terms of how he’s being booked. He’s stalking Bulldog and putting his moves over and allowing Bulldog to gain sympathy from the Texas crowd. Gorilla and Bobby are in perfect symmetry here during this match, continuing to discuss the Jake/Savage stuff while this match has some slow spots. The match does slow down when Warlord slaps the full nelson on, but his hands are too far apart. Gorilla and Bobby argue this point throughout the duration of the match. Bulldog battles back and wins the match with a pretty sweet crucifix. That was a fun match for what it was, and Bulldog is about to embark on the biggest year of his career to date. Grade: **1/2
Justin: 1991’s hottest feud rages on! Ok, maybe not hottest, but it has been pretty good. Things between these two started way back in March when they argued over who had the better finisher. Bulldog prevailed at WrestleMania and then led his team to victory over Warlord’s at SummerSlam as well. They also tussled at Survivor Series and are now set for their final war. The match would also signal the beginning of the end of Warlord’s WWF run. He hangs around into early 1992 before heading out to pasture when the WWF would come under fire for steroid distribution and he was a clear example of exactly what they were trying to argue they didn’t have going on. Gorilla and Bobby were rightfully distracted by what went down in the last match, spending a bit of time discussing that topic as the two hosses in the ring locked up. At this point, both men knew each other quite well so it would take some thinking to gain an advantage. Bulldog would try to mix things up by diving over the top rope and into Warlord after he clotheslined the big man to the floor. Unfortunately for him, Warlord caught him and ran him into the post, dinging up his back. Still, it was a risk worth taking. Bulldog battled through it and used his clotheslines to regain control, even causing Warlord to get tied into the ropes and allowing Bulldog to hammer away. However, Bulldog tried to recklessly dive into Warlord but crashed and burned when Harvey Wippleman helped free up his man. I do like how Bulldog is working a bit more of a risky style here instead of matching power with Warlord again. With Bulldog rattled, Warlord focused right back in on the back, hooking in a bear hug before snapping Bulldog down with a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Bulldog would get a near fall after blocking a piledriver but a Warlord clothesline put him right down on his back again. Warlord would pick this spot to strike and hook his full nelson, but just like at Mania, he couldn’t fully lock the fingers, which allowed Bulldog to survive and eventually power to his feet off his knees but was unable bust up the hold this time. Warlord eventually grew tired and broke the hold himself, instead deciding to soften the Bulldog up some more. That was a mistake as Bulldog made a fierce comeback, which included a well executed delayed vertical suplex. He would follow with a powerslam attempt, but Warlord shifted his momentum and crashed onto Davey Boy for a near fall. Bulldog would reverse an Irish whip and hook a crucifix roll up for the win. These guys had some real strong chemistry. I enjoyed how after their previous matches were centered around hitting their finishers, this match ended outside of that because both failed at connecting. Nice stuff. Goodbye Warlord, the promotion has lost a true juiced up shining star. Grade: **1/2
*** Randy Savage cuts an intense promo vowing revenge on Jake Roberts and taking the blame for what happened to Elizabeth. ***
4) Ted DiBiase & Repo Man defeat Virgil & El Matador when DiBiase pins Virgil after a Repo Man knee to the kidney at 11:16
Fun Fact I: Repo Man is a repackaged Barry Darsow, formerly Smash of Demolition. He had some hilarious skits where he went around repossessing random objects from random people while cackling his now cult-like catchphrase “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine too!”
Fun Fact II: Ted DiBiase regained his Million Dollar Belt at the Survivor Series Showdown, about ten days before this, with the help of the recently debuted Repo Man, who smacked Virgil in the head with the belt. That set up this tag match.
Scott: To spell the crowd before our main event, we get four solid workers in a nice little mid-card tag match. The Virgil/DiBiase feud is pretty much over as by this point as DiBiase has won his Million Dollar Title back and now Virgil is just another mid-card babyface. Repo Man is of course the former Demolition Smash but at the time I wonder if people actually knew that? So really it’s just four solid workers putting on a fun match. The match is pretty standard fare and as with any match involving Tito Santana we get solid workrate, but the heels escape with the victory. Grade: **
Justin: For the second straight match, another long running 1991 feud is officially put to bed. Way back at the Royal Rumble, Virgil finally broke free from his boss Ted DiBiase to strike out on his own. With the support of Roddy Piper, Virgil picked up wins over DiBiase at WrestleMania and SummerSlam, and came out of the latter with DiBiase’s Million Dollar Title around his waist. That would be his peak. Ten days before this show, the debuting Repo Man helped DiBiase regain his diamonds from Virgil, setting up a tag team showdown here. Repo Man was pretty damn fun right out of the gate, really hamming up the gimmick, creeping all around the ring and making you believe he may show up outside your house to steal your car some night. Virgil recruited El Matador to help even the sides, making this an intriguing little match on paper. Tito and Repo opened things up as Gorilla and Bobby set the stage for the Main Event. They wrestled fairly evenly as Sherri was very active on the outside shouting instructions, screaming at the fans and firing up her team. Repo would make the tag and Virgil begged Tito to let him in, to which he easily obliged. Bobby was pretty funny here, claiming Tito was using “poor, dumb Virgil” so he wouldn’t have to wrestle DiBiase. Virgil would open with a flurry, picking up a near fall, before sending Ted to the floor with an atomic drop. Tito didn’t give him a minute to breathe, chucking him back inside. The duo would repeat that again, battering DiBiase back and forth. Ted finally caught Virgil with a back elbow and tagged out to the refreshed Repo Man. Repo and DiBiase would tag in and out, working Virgil over and wearing him out. As much as Virgil had been elevated it did feel a bit funny seeing DiBiase in this match as he felt quite a bit above the other three by this point. Virgil would eventually find an opening by fending off DiBiase and making the hot tag. Tito came in on fire, rattling Repo with dropkicks and a flying forearm. He went for the El Paso de la Muerte but DiBiase tripped him up from the floor to break things up. That led to a second heat segment, with Tito getting hammered by both men, getting the crowd very fired up. A double clothesline with Repo gave Tito the chance to tag in Virgil. The crowd was hot as Virgil hammered away on DiBiase before things broke down and all four started brawling. Some interference from Sherri backfired as she accidentally smashed DiBiase with her high heel. However, as Virgil tangled with her, Repo drilled him with a knee to the back to allow DiBiase to roll over and pick up the win. That was a perfectly executed WWF style tag team match. The double heat segments were both well worked and the match quickly crested after the second comeback. The crowd was into it as well. Virgil and DiBiase have had a fun feud but it has more than run its course, time for both to move on. Grade: **1/2
5) Hulk Hogan defeats the Undertaker to win WWF World Title with a roll-up at 13:09
Fun Fact: To make sure no shenanigans go on in this match, WWF President Jack Tunney sat at ringside.
Scott: The match that this show was promoted around sees the Hulkster attempt to become an unprecedented four-time WWF Champion. He is taking on the Deadman, who is trying to stretch his first title reign longer than five days. For the first time in the Federation Era, WWF President Jack Tunney is actually sitting at ringside to assure there will be no shenanigans or tomfoolery during this match, unlike what happened at Survivor Series when Taker won the title thanks to Ric Flair. Both of these matches are actually tough to watch, as Taker was still going through his invincible phase where he was no-selling pretty much every move and his offense consisted mostly of face grabbing and chokes. Taker spent a big chunk of the middle portion of the match pretty much with his hand over Hogan’s face. Hogan hulks out of the move, and then Taker looks to have tripped on an Irish Whip and fell into the ropes for no reason. Eventually Ric Flair comes to ringside and Tunney is trying to stop him from interfering in the match. Hogan grabs a chair and smacks Flair, but Tunney went down as well. Hogan keeps the momentum going in the ring, but then we get perhaps the most overbooked last two minutes of a match in the Federation Era. Flair is on the apron with a chair, but Hogan reverses the Irish Whip and Taker goes into the chair. That doesn’t keep him down so Paul Bearer comes to the apron with the urn but Hogan ducks the blow and Taker gets hit, then Hogan grabs a handful of ashes from the urn and throws them in Taker’s face. Hogan rolls Taker up for the 1-2-3, and he is now a four-time WWF Champion. However Flair had lifted Tunney up to the apron so he could see Hogan using the ashes to throw in Taker’s eyes. While Hogan is celebrating we can see Tunney talking to the referee. So the show ends, and we’re not sure what’s going on at this point. The pro-Hogan Gorilla doesn’t care and says Hogan’s champ no matter what anybody saw. Overall the match isn’t great, as there’s no-selling and punching, but the storytelling is solid and leaves us in limbo heading into 1992. Grade: **
Justin: At Survivor Series, we talked about how it seemed Undertaker was just a challenger du jour roadblock on the highway to Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair. We were all shocked as Taker took the title, but once this rematch was announced it seemed like the Thanksgiving Eve title switch solely occurred to draw interest to a quick rematch where Hogan would regain the strap and set course to battle Flair at WrestleMania. Taker’s entrance was pretty cool here as he dragged the title behind him with Gorilla ominously warning that this could be one of the shortest WWF Title reigns of all time. The San Antonio fans were red hot for Hogan as he stomped to the ring, focused on regaining his gold. Taker got off to a quick start but Hogan fought through it and began pelting Taker with right hands. Jack Tunney finally showed up at ringside but not before Gorilla buried him for showing up late. Hogan kept on the offensive, only slowing down when he failed on a bodyslam attempt. Moments later he connected on the slam, but despite the smoldering start, Taker wouldn’t stay down. Even when Hogan clotheslined him over the top rope, Taker landed on his feet on the floor. Hogan followed him out, which was a mistake, as Taker turned momentum around and use the post and some chokes to quiet Hogan down. The crowd, however, wasn’t quieted down at all, loudly rallying the Hulkster the entire time. Taker methodically worked him over, cutting off a comeback attempt and following up by walking the top rope and crashing on Hogan with an ax handle. They would spill back outside where Taker sent Hogan hard into the post again, leading to a claw hold back in the ring. I will give these guys credit in that they found a way to work a somewhat different match at a better pace just six days after their boring slugfest in Detroit. Although I am sure the crowd here adds to it too, as they are just nonstop on fire for Hogan. Taker would go to the well one too many times as he again tried to scale the top rope, but this time Hogan yanked him down. As both men climbed to their feet an Hogan Hulked Up, Ric Flair showed up on the scene. Tunney tried to deter him but Flair shrugged him off and jawed with the president. The match spilled outside again, and there Hogan bashed Flair with a chair, wiping out Tunney in the process. Back inside, Hogan brought the heat. Flair would grab the chair and hop on the apron, but Taker got rammed into it instead. Before Hogan could finish things off, Paul Bearer hopped on the apron. Hogan ducked, though, and Bearer smashed Taker with the urn by accident. Hogan would grab handful of ashes from the toppled urn, chuck them in Taker’s face and roll him up to regain the title for the fourth time. Tunney recovered in time to see the pin, but afterwards he had a heated discussion with Joey Marella about what went down. Hogan would celebrate as Flair and Taker vanished, sitting on top of the WWF Kingdom once again. I actually liked this match quite a bit thanks to the hot crowd and heavy stakes. It was worked and booked way better than their Detroit match and felt a lot more chaotic in a good way. As we head to 1992, the main event and title picture look pretty clear on the surface, but as we soon find out, it was quite murky underneath. Grade: **
Scott: So the mid-week experiment has some ups and downs. We needed a World Title rematch to create the eventual vacancy to set up the Royal Rumble, and the “sort of” blow off between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage. I still don’t know why the feud wasn’t blown off here and instead Savage wins the battle but Roberts kept the war going. Bret Hart gets a solid IC title defense and we get another great Warlord/Bulldog match. Sadly the buyrate tanked and the WWF wouldn’t try the experiment again for 13 years. It’s a fine filler show that has some good moments but otherwise is probably forgotten. Grade: C+
Justin: What a difference six days can make. As we left Detroit, we felt very unsatisfied and were left with a fun taste in our mouths. The show kind of stunk, we had a mess in the main event scene and we were robbed of Randy Savage’s return. Now, we got an awesome taste of violence from Savage and Jake Roberts, we had a fun main event with a more satisfying, albeit just as chaotic, finish and a solid undercard of matches featuring good workers. Even though I don’t think this was a viable concept at the time, I did like the two hour show, as it led to a tight flow and a hot crowd that never burnt out. Everyone worked hard here and this really felt like the bow on a very interesting 1991. It has been a fun year full of hot PPVs and a bunch of title swaps and activity. The roster looks very different than it did a year earlier and for the first time in a while we have some real flux at the top. 1992, here we come! Final Grade: B-