This Week in 90’s Wrestling: February 1st – 7th

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FEBRUARY 1

1991

The Main Event aired a show NBC taped on January 28 from Macon, GA, in front of 7,500 fans. New WWF World Champion Sgt. Slaughter defended the title against “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Slaughter was disqualified for using a chair and continued his attack after the match until Hulk Hogan made the save. Why the hot heel headlining WrestleMania who had already beaten the Ultimate Warrior did not decisively beat Duggan is beyond me. Slaughter’s rhetoric was noticeably toned down, as he never mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein, nor did he wave the Iraqi flag. Also on the show, footage was shown of Hulk Hogan visiting the USO and he also had the crowd recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which all in all seemed like a pretty shameless way to hype a WrestleMania main event. “After watching Friday night’s NBC special I do have to apologize to Hulk Hogan,” Dave Meltzer sarcastically said in the February 11, 1991 Wrestling Observer Newsletter. “It was obvious, since the WWF didn’t air any footage of his visit to military bases, nor did Hogan even mention his trips as a way to cloak himself in patriotism, what his and the company’s true motives were in making that USO tour. Since that tour has turned into such a controversial issue and the WWF has insisted all along the tour wasn’t for promotional purposes, it was just heartwarming to see, before its largest possible audience on Friday night that they resisted what must have been a huge temptation to show clips of Hogan’s flexing his biceps for the troops and for Hogan, in his interview, to talk about the kids of servicemen abroad that he visited with. It was also nice to see that the WWF didn’t even send out any press releases after the tour trying to use it to get Hulk Hogan over.” The show drew a 6.7 rating and an 11 share, which placed in 74th in prime time ratings for the week. It was the worst NBC rating the WWF had ever had to that point, by a healthy margin, which came as a surprise since Hogan was heavily featured. You can watch this show on the WWE Network.

The USWA held the Rumble Royal, not to be confused with the WWF’s Royal Rumble, at the Sportatorium in Dallas, TX. The concept was basically the same, but they play word games with the name to avoid a lawsuit. Additionally, match eliminations could come by pinfall. The match was not nearly as organized or tight as the WWF version, with wrestlers missing their cues left and right and some sloppy eliminations. On the plus side, Steve Austin did put on a good show.

1992

Smoky Mountain Wrestling aired its first television show, highlighted by a promo where Jim Cornette laid out the SMW mission in succinct fashion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz99–Elnpc

1997

ECW holds Crossing The Line Again at ECW Arena in Philadelphia. On the show, Paul Heyman announced that ECW would hold its first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, on April 13. The best match of the night was a *** brawl between Tommy Rich and Terry Funk. Rich was fairly broken down at this point, but he could bleed and throw a punch with the best of them.

1999

WCW Monday Nitro aired live from Minneapolis, MN in front of 17,259 fans. Footage was shown of Scott Steiner harassing Kimberly during Nitro Girls rehearsal earlier in the day, and when she tried to get away from him, she slipped and hit her head, knocking her out. Also on the show, Ric Flair placed Eric Bischoff in a dunking booth in obviously freezing cold weather and Lex Luger and Kevin Nash agreed to face Konnan and Rey Misterio Jr. at SuperBrawl IX in a match putting Elizabeth’s hair on the line against Rey’s mask. In the main event, Scott Hall defeated Chris Benoit to win a shot at the WCW U.S. Title at SuperBrawl. The show drew a 4.68 rating.

WWF Monday Night RAW aired a show taped on January 26 in Tucson, AZ, in front of a sellout 6,986 fans. The show was highlighted by a series of vignettes on location in Texas, with Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco on the hunt for Steve Austin. Their plan is to provoke Austin into hitting Vince, as the contract stipulated that if he placed his hands on Vince ahead of their upcoming PPV encounter, then the match was off. There were too many funny moments to list them all, but one of the highlights was Pat Patterson getting slapped after approaching a woman in a bar by using a horrible Texan accent to tell her she looked prettier than a spotted puppy.

In The “To Watch” Queue:

Barry Windham vs Steve Austin (WCW Saturday Night 02/01/92)

Bobby Eaton vs Dustin Rhodes (WCW Pro 02/01/92)

Sting & Marcus Bagwell vs Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (WCW Pro 02/01/92)

El Hijo del Santo, Dos Caras & Gran Hamada vs El Canek, Negro Casas & Fishman (UWA 02/01/92)

Author: Charles Williams

Charles is just a wrestling fan who likes talking about wrestling with other fans. He is the owner and admin of ProWrestlingOnly.com and posts there under the name Loss. You can register for an account there by sending an email to pwomembership@gmail.com, and you can also follow him on Twitter at @prowresonly.