Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: The WWF at Madison Square Garden 1/21/91

The Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage (w/ “Sensational Queen” Sherri) in a Steel Cage match

As 1991 was starting, there was a lot of excitement coming out of what ended up being a very good Royal Rumble and as we come to this house show at MSG, all eyes were starting to focus on Wrestlemania. One of the hottest feuds going on at this time was the one between the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage, which had been burgeoning since the end of 1990 and really picked up when Savage cost Warrior the WWF Title at the Rumble. While on the surface it doesn’t make much sense that Savage cost Warrior the title as the feud could’ve been a great title feud for Warrior, it was fairly obvious that Warrior’s reign needed to end and they could have a great feud without the title. While the feud would continue to grow over the coming weeks, the fact that they were going to be in a cage at this show a mere two days after the Rumble was very intriguing and made you wonder what they had planned for the two at Wrestlemania.

The feud between the two really began back on the 9/8/90 Superstars when Warrior and Sherri were on the Brother Love Show and Warrior denied Savage a title shot with Sherri slapping him repeatedly, and the two men would go back and forth over the next few weeks with Savage taunting Warrior and Warrior continuing to refuse his title shot. On the Main Event IV, Savage attacked Warrior after his match with Ted Dibiase and demanded another title shot, and Warrior would respond that he was finally accepting Savage’s request though he would turn around and rescind it. The two would then begin feuding on the house shows and also in dark matches before the TV tapings, and on the 12/15 Superstars it was announced Warrior would face Sgt. Slaughter at the Rumble. Savage said he would get assurance of a title shot from both men and at the Rumble, he claimed that Slaughter had agreed to give him a title shot and he had Sherri try to talk Warrior into giving Savage a title shot though Warrior again refused. Later that night, Savage would interfere twice during the match and he would hit Warrior in the head with the scepter which allowed Slaughter to get the win, and Warrior would stalk Savage later in the night which led to Savage missing his appearance in the Rumble match. They did a good job really heating this feud up to the point that it didn’t need the title, and putting them in the cage was also a good idea though again it was a bit unusual given how long this feud was set to go.

Savage gives a solid promo before the match and he was red hot as a heel when he comes out with Sherri, and then Warrior gets a good pop from the crowd. Savage hides behind the guardrail near the entranceway and ambushes Warrior as he runs out, but Warrior pounds on him and Savage grabs a chair as they fight for it until Warrior shoves Savage into the cage. He pounds on Savage and rams him into the cage before ramming him into the timekeeper’s table and he knocks him down, and he throws Savage into the cage and climbs up to the top as he poses for the crowd. Savage tries to climb up the cage only for Warrior to pull him back to the mat and he hits an atomic drop, and he pounds on Savage and hits a pair of short clotheslines before shaking the cage as he yells at Sherri. He hits another short clothesline on Savage as Sherri climbs up the cage only for Warrior to scare her back to the floor, and Warrior hits a fourth short clothesline on Savage and stomps on him only for Savage to send Warrior into the cage. Savage rakes the eyes and he clotheslines Warrior in the back of the head only for both men to clothesline each other, and Savage goes for a pin and gets a two count as Warrior blocks a ram into the cage and he tosses Savage to the mat. Sherri grabs at Warrior’s leg from the outside and Warrior kicks her off as Savage hits a high knee that sends Warrior into the cage, and Savage chokes Warrior on the mat and continues to choke him with his boot as Warrior battles back. Savage rakes the eyes and continues to choke Warrior as he pounds on him in the corner and continues to choke him, and he rams the knee into Warrior repeatedly and hits a slam before going up top and he hits the flying elbow for a two count. He pounds on Warrior who shakes the ropes and starts to fire up as he no-sells Savage’s shots and he knocks him down, and he hits a trio of clotheslines only for Savage to get his knees up on the big splash attempt and he climbs up and over the cage. He climbs down only for Warrior to grab at him through the bars and Savage tries to kick at him, and Warrior climbs up the cage as he drags Savage up the cage as well and Sherri shoves the ref down before getting in the cage. She climbs up top and pounds on Warrior who no-sells her shots and she takes her jacket off, and she chokes Warrior with her jacket until Warrior tosses her to the mat as Savage falls to the floor and wins the match. After the match, Warrior blocks Sherri from crawling out of the cage and rips her top off as she starts to climb up the cage, and Warrior rips her skirt off as she climbs over the cage and Warrior grabs her by the throat through the bars. Savage gets back in the cage and hits Warrior from behind before raking the eyes as he climbs to the top of the cage, and he comes off the cage only for Warrior to nail him as the ref gets in the ring and Warrior shoves him to the mat before pounding on Savage on the mat. Warrior rams Savage into the cage and tosses the ref to the mat before pounding on Savage as more officials come in the cage, and Warrior shoves the refs aside and continues to pound on Savage as the Nasty Boys get in the cage and pull him off though Warrior continues to stomp on Savage. Warrior breaks free from their grip and goes after Savage again only for Boys and the refs to hold him back, and Warrior breaks free again though they quickly grab him again as Sherri gets in the ring with the scepter and she hits Warrior in the ribs with it. Savage crawls out of the cage and heads to the back along with the Boys and the refs though Warrior grabs Sherri and closes the door, and he hits the press slam on Sherri before climbing up the cage and shaking it.

The match itself was pretty good as both men worked hard and put on a pretty fun cage match though it did feel like it was a bit rushed. Even though it was in the main event spot which it deserved and also got the most time of all the matches, it still felt at only 10 and a half minutes that they were forced to rush a bit and they could’ve used another 5 minutes to really get things cooking. You could tell that these two would have great chemistry especially since they even had matches back in 1989, and that shows here as Warrior dominates most of the match though Sherri once again makes the difference by helping Savage win. The ending was just as memorable as Warrior’s frustrations take over and he wants nothing more than to finish Savage, and him not only stripping Sherri but also attacking her at the end made up for him losing. The crowd was hot for the match and Warrior, but are not happy when Savage wins. Savage steals the win over Warrior in this cage match, but this issue is clearly not over yet.

Final Grade: ***