Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: WWF at Madison Square Garden 11/24/90

“The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich vs. Mr. Perfect for the WWF Intercontinental Championship

As we come out of Survivor Series and head towards the end of the year, there were some guys that seemed to be in a bit of flux and you weren’t sure where they were going to be when 1991 started. Two of those guys are Tornado and Perfect who have continued to feud since Summerslam when Tornado defeated Perfect to win the IC Title, and as we come to the end of the year it seems like Perfect was being poised to once again be champion. Even though his win was pretty memorable, Tornado seemed to be on fumes with his reign and it was time for Perfect to regain the title and be the top midcard heel going into 1991. Now it was unlikely that Perfect was going to win the title at the Royal Rumble since both would probably be in the Rumble match, it was only a matter of when he would win between this show and then. Obviously, the December TV shows have already been taped so for all we know, Perfect has already regained the title and Von Erich was holding it to get through the run of house shows until Perfect wins the title on TV.

Since Von Erich won the title at Summerslam, the two men continued to feud on the house shows with Tornado either winning or the matches ended in double DQs or countouts, and they would stay apart on TV aside from cutting promos on each other. The two would face off at Survivor Series on opposite teams with Perfect pinning Tornado during the match though he would ultimately lose to the Ultimate Warrior. After their last match at MSG back in October ended in a double countout and Perfect demanded a rematch with a competent referee, it was announced they would face off here and that Roddy Piper would be the referee. Piper was an interesting choice because that is probably the last person Perfect would’ve wanted as a referee, and we will see if Piper remains impartial or not.

Perfect was red hot as a heel while Tornado gets a good pop from the crowd though to be fair Piper actually got a bigger pop than he did. The two men lock up to start with Tornado shoving Perfect into the corner and they lock up again with Perfect backing Tornado into the corner, and Piper forces a break by getting in between them and they lock up again with Perfect again backing Tornado into the corner. Perfect goes for a punch only for Piper to block it and Tornado gets a shot in which knocks Perfect down, and Perfect gets in Piper’s face until Tornado works on the arm and Perfect backs him into the corner before pounding on him. Tornado reverses a whip into the other corner and hits a discus punch to the ribs of Perfect who rolls outside to regroup, and Perfect rolls back into the ring only to quickly slide back out to stall and he keeps breaking the count so he can continue to stall on the floor. Tornado goes outside and pounds on Perfect as he rams him into the apron and he hits another discus punch, and both men roll back into the ring and Perfect begs off in the corner as Tornado goes back to the arm. Perfect backs Tornado into the corner and he rams the knee into him twice only for Tornado to reverse a whip into the other corner, but he misses a charge as he rams his shoulder into the post and Perfect takes the padding off the buckle. He pounds on Tornado in the corner as Piper tries to put the pad back on the buckle and Perfect tells him to move, and Tornado reverses a whip as Perfect hits the exposed buckle and Tornado hits the discus punch for a two count. Tornado hooks a sloppy Boston crab on and Perfect grabs the rope to force a break as Tornado pounds on him in the corner, and he whips Perfect into the other corner only for Perfect to catch him with a boot to the face. Perfect pounds on Tornado in the corner and hits a standing dropkick that sends Tornado to the outside, and Tornado gets on the apron as Perfect pounds on him only for Tornado to block a ram into the exposed buckle and he pounds on Perfect. Perfect gets a shot in and kicks Tornado to the floor as Tornado returns to the ring and Perfect whips him hard into the corner, and then he hooks a sleeper on as he brings Tornado to the mat and Tornado powers out of the hold only for Perfect to block the discus punch and he knocks Tornado down. Perfect pounds on Tornado in the corner and hits a kneelift before hooking a small package for a two count, and he continues to pound on Tornado in the corner as Tornado tries to battle back and he pounds on Perfect in the corner. Perfect gets a shot in and pounds on Tornado who reverses a whip and he sends Perfect into Piper in the corner, but Piper recovers quickly as Tornado gets a two count and he pounds on Perfect only for both men to clock heads. Perfect recovers first only for Tornado to block a shot and he hits another discus punch before hooking the Claw on, and he takes Perfect to the mat as Perfect reaches the rope to force a break and Piper pulls Tornado off. Perfect gets a knee in and he pounds on Tornado before attempting a slam only for his back to give out, and Tornado hooks the Claw on again and Perfect backs Tornado into the corner before raking the eyes to break the hold. He knocks Tornado down for a two count and then he hits a slingshot back suplex only for Tornado to get his shoulder up as Piper counts three, and Perfect thinks he won as he takes the title only for Tornado to be announced the winner. Perfect confronts Piper about the decision as another ref gets in the ring and Tornado tries to pull Piper back, and Perfect hits Piper and Tornado in the head with the title before beating down Piper with the title and he kicks at him. More officials come out and try to pull them apart as Perfect again hits Tornado with the title and he continues to beat on Piper with the title, and Tornado pulls Perfect off and Perfect knocks him down as the officials hold him back and he is forced to the back. Piper tries to go after him and the officials keep him back as Piper starts to head to the back, but he comes back to the ring and raises Tornado’s hand in victory. Perfect would cut a passionate promo afterwards where he challenged Piper to face him at next month’s show and Piper would respond by agreeing to it.

The match itself was pretty good as both men worked hard and put on a solid title match. Tornado was still pretty solid in the ring by this point though it did seem like he was starting to break down and Perfect was hitting his stride by this point as well, and they still had really good chemistry though for some reason it didn’t completely click on this night. I don’t know if part of that was Piper being the ref though he was a non-factor for the most part, but it seemed like they were moving Perfect onto a feud with Piper and Tornado almost felt like an afterthought despite being IC Champion. The crowd was into the match and did pop for Tornado when he was announced the winner. Tornado retains the title over Perfect albeit in a bit of a controversial manner and this issue isn’t over yet.

Grade: **1/2