Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: The WWF at Madison Square Garden 3/15/91

Sgt. Slaughter (w/ Gen. Adnan) vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (w/ Hulk Hogan) in a Flag match for the WWF Championship

As we hit our last show at Madison Square Garden just 9 days before the biggest show of the year, you knew there was going to be something big to make the final push to that show. With all of the focus going on Hogan and Slaughter for that show, you figured that they would have them interact with each other in some capacity at this show without having them actually wrestle each other. Slaughter still had his issues with Jim Duggan going into this show and it made all the sense in the world to have them fight here with Hogan in Duggan’s corner, and with it being made a Flag match you knew they could try and draw even more heat for Slaughter in that building. The only question going in was to how good the match was going to be because they haven’t had many long matches, and with this being the last one you knew they would go all out and try to put on a good match.

This feud has been going strong since late 1990 after Survivor Series as they fought on the house shows with Slaughter usually defeating Duggan, and they would also face off at the Main Event V with Duggan winning by DQ when Adnan got involved only for him and Hogan to be beaten down. It was then announced that they would face off here in a Flag match for the title and that Hogan would be in Duggan’s corner, and you knew that the heat would be pretty good for the match and the only question as I said was how good the match would be.

Slaughter was red hot as a heel while Duggan got a big pop from the crowd and this was the only match on this card that deserved the main event spot, and then Duggan brings out Hogan who gets a massive pop from the crowd as he comes out in all camouflage gear. Slaughter goes for the 2×4 only for Duggan to pound on him in the corner to start the match and Slaughter rolls outside to regroup with Adnan, and Duggan stomps on Slaughter’s hand and then confers with Hogan as Slaughter returns to the ring. The two men lock up with Duggan backing Slaughter into the ropes and Slaughter shoves him away as he stalls in the corner, and they lock up again with Slaughter backing Duggan into the ropes and Duggan shoves him to the mat before pounding on him. He rams Slaughter into the buckles twice and then he rams him into the post before hitting a backdrop, and Slaughter attempts to roll outside only for Hogan to prevent him from doing so and Duggan pounds on him in the corner. He whips Slaughter into the other corner only for Slaughter to catch him ducking with a kick and he pounds on him, and he chokes him on the ropes and Adnan chokes him from the floor as Hogan comes over only for the ref to force him back to his corner. Slaughter comes off the apron with an elbow to Duggan’s throat and he pounds on him before rolling back into the ring, and he continues to pound on Duggan who starts to fire up and he pounds on Slaughter only for Slaughter to reverse a whip into the corner and he hooks a sleeper on. He brings Duggan to the mat and grinds down on him as he slams the back of his head into the mat repeatedly for a two count, and he hooks the sleeper back on Duggan who fights to his feet and breaks the hold as he sends Slaughter into the post. Duggan misses the elbow and Slaughter pounds on him before driving the knee into Duggan’s back and he pulls back on his hair, and he pounds on Duggan and hits a backbreaker for a two count before stomping on him twice. Slaughter goes up top and stomps on Duggan for a two count before kicking Hogan to the floor, and Slaughter goes up top again only for Hogan to shove him to the mat and Slaughter spits on him as Hogan gets on the apron. Slaughter stomps on Duggan as Adnan grabs at Hogan’s leg and Hogan stalks him around the ring, and he grabs Adnan as Slaughter goes outside and nails Hogan from behind before pounding on him and he rams Hogan into the announce table. Slaughter grabs a chair and hits Hogan in the head with it before grabbing a cord and he chokes Hogan with it, and Slaughter returns to the ring and stomps on Duggan before driving the knee into his back repeatedly. He hooks the Camel Clutch on Duggan as Hogan grabs the 2×4 and gets in the ring while Adnan distracts the ref, and Hogan hits Slaughter in the back with the 2×4 and rolls outside as Duggan goes for the pin only for Adnan to get in the ring and breaks it up which draws the DQ and Duggan wins the match though Slaughter retains the title. After the match, Adnan stomps on Duggan as Hogan gets in the ring with the 2×4 and he charges at Adnan who throws salt in his eyes, and Slaughter grabs the 2×4 and jabs it into Hogan repeatedly as Adnan stomps on him and then Slaughter jabs Duggan with the 2×4 repeatedly. Adnan grabs the Iraqi flag and jabs Hogan with it repeatedly before handing it to Slaughter who does the same thing, and he chokes Hogan with the flagpole and waves the flag around as officials come out and Slaughter pounds on Duggan with the flag. He continues to beat on Hogan with the flag and chokes him with it again as Adnan knocks an official down and the other officials pull Slaughter off, and Slaughter goes up top only for the officials to force him down and they force him and Adnan to the back. Hogan and Duggan regroup in the ring as Adnan comes back to ringside to get the title and he taunts both men with it, and he heads to the back until Hogan goes after him and he throws Adnan into the ring as Adnan begs off. Hogan throws the ref out of the ring and Adnan offers him the title as Duggan grabs the 2×4 and hits Adnan in the back with it, and Adnan heads to the back as Hogan celebrates with Duggan, the title, and the American flag. Slaughter comes back out only for the officials to hold him back as one takes the title from Hogan and gets out of the ring, and he gives the title to Slaughter who heads to the back and Hogan continues to celebrate with Duggan.

The match itself was pretty good as both men worked hard and put on a solid match. Both men were in a pretty good groove by this point and they had built up some good chemistry, and they had a good amount of time to work with though it did seem like they weren’t doing enough and they played to the crowd a lot more than they should’ve. Obviously, a lot of the heat for the match was on Hogan being at ringside and you figured he was probably going to get involved, and the ending was also fairly weak as Slaughter could’ve used a clean win over Duggan and you can still do the beatdown afterwards. It would’ve made more sense to have Slaughter go into Wrestlemania as strong as possible and you knew Duggan wasn’t going to win the title here, so having him put Slaughter over clean would’ve been big for Slaughter. The crowd was really hot for the match and Duggan as they do pop for him when he wins, but they are not happy when Slaughter is declared still the champion. Duggan gets the win over Slaughter by DQ and Slaughter escapes with the title as both men move on.

Final Grade: **1/2