WWF @ Boston Garden
by Scrooge McSuck
January 9, 1993
- Matches not featured on this recording: Crush versus Skinner and "Terrific" Terry Taylor against a ham-and-egger replacing the recently released/quit Lance Cassidy (a.k.a Scott Armstrong). Good to see the meat of the show was left intact, and you could understand the overall lack of depth on the "gimmick" in the Main Event and a second tour working the same day. The WWF not only was showing two different lineups that day, but BOTH were matinees. This lineup would head on to Portland, ME for the evening, while the second tour headlined by Perfect/Razor and Michaels/Jannetty would go from the Meadowlands in Jersey to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.
- Your host is a guy with a mostly-steady handheld camera.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
(Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster vs. Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs)
Money Inc. © (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Nasty Boys:
The Nasty Boys were always an interesting team: Their best work was probably as babyfaces, but for characters and overall interest, they were natural heels. These two teams worked a miracle on the Coliseum Video "Wrestlefest '93", so maybe there's hope for a quality performance. The Nasties attack on the floor before the bell. Dibiase quickly takes control by working the arm of Sags. Dibiase with a hip toss, but he misses an elbow, allowing the Challengers to take over. They take turns working Dibiase over, but I.R.S. interrupts a Pit-Stop attempt. He comes off the ropes missing an elbow, and now it's his turn to take a pounding. A cheap shot from the apron allows Dibiase to knock Saggs to the floor, where I.R.S. greets him with some good old fashion cheating. Saggs gets his back worked over, but nothing really noteworthy... until Dibiase grabs a bearhug. I'm sorry, when I think BEARHUG, Ted Dibiase doesn't come to mind. I.R.S. cuts off the first hot tag attempt and grabs his own bearhug. Really? Not an even an abdominal stretch? Second hot tag attempt, and Dibiase just casually comes in and helps Irwin pull Saggs back to their corner. Saggs hangs I.R.S. across the top rope and comes bounding back with a shoulder tackle, knocking them both, AND THE REFEREE, out. Knobbs comes in, rolls Saggs out, and covers for three at 10:00!! NEW Tag Team Champions! But wait... nope, a second opinion has the match re-start.
Dibiase goes back to punishing Saggs and slaps on the Million Dollar Dream! Surely, this must be the end of the match (Spoiler: It isn't, and don't call me Shirley... sorry, I always wanted to use that). Good to see it takes just as long to put Saggs down as it did the Hulkster at WrestleMania IX. Knobbs says "screw this" and runs in with a clothesline. Fair is fair, I guess. Knobbs FINALLY gets the hot tag and cleans Irwin's clock. He runs through both men with clotheslines. Whip to the corner, and Saggs launches Knobbs in with an avalanche. Saggs to the top rope with his signature Elbow Drop, but Dibiase breaks up the cover. Knobbs sends Dibiase out with a clothesline, then sets his sites on Jimmy Hart. Dibiase sneaks in with the briefase, KO's Saggs with it, and I.R.S. covers to retain the Tag Titles at 14:28. ** Pretty standard formula with teased false finish thrown in for extra effect. You could see there wasn't too much effort in this one, but still there's enough to make it decent.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Papa Shango:
Oh, this should be good. How did we NOT get a 'Taker/Shango program to be featured on WWF Television? The vignettes of Shango's Voodoo trying to combat with the Undertaker's unexplainable super-natural powers would be a thing of legend. You thought Shango making the Warrior leak black ooze and vomit was cornball stuff? Just imagine what these two could've produced. They do an epic face-to-face, and it's all downhill from here. Shango throws a right, barely sold. Another is blocked, and 'Taker counters with choking in the corner. Shango reverses a whip to the corner, but runs into a boot. 'Taker grabs the arm and walks the ropes for (old) school. 'Taker with a slam, but misses a leg drop. He's up first, of course, and drops Shango with a crappy Hot Shot. Shango uses his Voodoo stick to knock 'Taker to the floor, the first selling 'Taker's done all match. Undertaker gives him about 30-seconds of offense before no-selling again. Shango slaps on a Sleeper Hold, and it's working... I'm practically in Dream Land right now. Undertaker doesn't even let the arm drop once and escapes with a jaw buster. 'Taker makes the comeback, plants Shango with a Chokeslam, and covers for three at 5:41. 1/4* It was Undertaker vs. Papa Shango. If you expected better, you're probably one of the marks who thought the Miz was the best choice to Main Event WrestleMania XXVII.
Typhoon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
Bam Bam had only made his return to the WWF about two months earlier, and was mostly being paired up with other guys of massive(ish) size to build him as a challenger to Bret Hart's title for the weeks following the '93 Royal Rumble. These two had a surprisingly good match on the Invasion of the Bodyslammers Coliseum Video, so again, you never know... Bigelow quickly grabs a headlock, but a shoulder tackle ends in a stalemate. Bigelow comes off the ropes with a body press, but Typhoon catches it and plants him with a powerslam! Back inside, Typhoon with a slam, but he misses an elbow. Bigelow misses a headbutt, but uses the tights to throw Typhoon face-first into the turnbuckle. Bigelow continues to keep it in second gear, grabbing a chinlock, then turning it into a front facelock. Typhoon elbows free, but a suplex attempt is horribly botched, with the intent being Bigelow countering and landing on top. I think. It looked really awful. Bigelow hits a Rude Awakening, but it only gets two. Way to kill Rick Rude's finisher! Bigelow goes for a slam, but Typhoon is TOO FAT. Typhoon with clotheslines, followed by an Avalanche. He teases the "Tidal Wave", but pauses. Whip to the corner, another Avalanche meets boot, and Bigelow finishes with his top rope headbutt at 6:51. That was the same finish as their match taped for Coliseum Video. DUD So, yeah, this one sucked.
WWF Championship; 60-Minute Marathon Match:
I've got a bad feeling about this... Marathon/Iron-man matches are some of the hardest to maintain interest in, and considering it took me the better part of a DECADE to start liking Bret vs. Shawn from WrestleMania XII, I don't know what to expect from two guys who routinely trashed each other for working the same match and not wanting to conform to the other's wishes. Flair had already given notice at this point, so he was mostly doing clean jobs to Bret and Curt Hennig throughout the rest of January. VERY odd to see Flair accompanied by Heenan, who was at least a year removed from being an active Manager. The crowd still musters a healthy "Weasel" chant.
Bret "Hitman" Hart © vs. Ric Flair (w/ Bobby Heenan):
First Fall: Slow feeling out process, as we should've expected. They take turns working the arm, utilizing some chain wrestling, and plenty of counters. Flair keeps the advantage throughout the early part of the match, using all his usual underhanded tactics. I'm sorry, I don't see Bret Hart giving up to a hammerlock, whether or not Flair is using the ropes for more leverage. Every time Bret mounts offense, a handful of hair keeps him grounded. Hopefully Bret does a better job selling this arm work than he did for Shawn at 'Mania XII. Flair tries a series of cradled pin attempts, forcing Bret to use more energy, then goes back to the left arm. If you're judging the match on points, Flair's way ahead on the scoreboard. Bret offers his first offensive outburst since the opening minutes, but an inverted atomic drop puts him down. Bret reverses a whip, takes Flair over with a back drop, and slaps on the Figure-Four! That's cold, Obi-Wan. Flair fights through the pain until hooking the ropes to force a break. Bret brings him in from the apron with a suplex, then slaps the Figure-Four on again. This time, Flair escapes by going to the eyes. 20-minutes in, still no falls, but both men are looking hurt. Flair dumps Bret over the top rope... if this were WCW, it would be a DQ, but in the WWF, it's just something to do. Flair misses the knee drop, and Bret keeps going back to the Figure-Four! Bret keeps working the leg with elbows and a grapevine. Bret with a spinning toe hold, but a boot to the face breaks it. Bret tries a sunset flip, but Flair blocks and nails him between the eyes with a right. Flair with a delayed back suplex, but only gets two. Whip, Bret ducks a clothesline, and a roll up gets three at 27:15, putting Bret up 1-0.
Second Fall: After a brief rest-period, Flair sweeps the legs and tries stealing a pin with a roll up, but Bret kicks out at two, and grabs Flair coming off the ropes with a sleeper. Flair escapes, taking Bret down with an atomic drop targeting the left knee. 30-Minutes now, and it's 1-0 Bret. School must be in session, because Flair is targeting the knee. He goes for the Figure-Four, but Bret kicks him away. Flair with a snapmare, then bashes the knee with a chair while Heenan distracts the referee! Heenan gets tossed from ringside, but the damage is done. Bret's in a world of hurt in the corner, and Flair smells blood. He drags Bret to the center of the ring and slaps the Figure-Four on. Bret hangs in there as long as he can, but Flair pulls him back to the center of the ring, grabs the ropes (which the referee somehow DOESN'T see), and Bret is forced to submit at 35:00, tying the match up at 1 fall each.
Third Fall: Bret looks to be in trouble as we resume action. Flair stomps away at the knee, and you can only expect him to go back to the Figure-Four, sooner rather than later. Sure enough, after a brief working over, Flair pulls him to the center of the ring and goes back to what brought him to the dance. He uses the ropes for extra leverage, but this time... the referee signals for the fall at 37:44?! Looked like Bret was trying to point to Flair's dastardly cheating, but referee Earl Hebner says otherwise, and now the challenger is up, 2 falls to 1, with just a little more than 20-minutes remaining! Time to run out the clock!
Fourth Fall: Bret is still playing dead from the leg work (thank you for actually selling it, but what about that arm work from earlier?! DAMN IT BRET, SELL THE ARM! WE KNOW YOU CAN SELL THE LEG!). Flair grabs a chair, but without Heenan to run interference, even this referee isn't that dumb. Flair applies the Figure-Four one more time, but this time not only does Bret grab the ropes, but the referee catches Flair cheating, too. Bret blocks an atomic drop and lays Flair out with a headbutt. That's what happens when you go to the well, one too many times. Flair hooks a quarter-nelson, but can't keep Bret down for more than a two count. It's still a smart way to force him to waste more energy. Bret with mounted punches, Flair hits the leg to escape, then flops face-first to the canvas. Whip to the corner, Flair to the apron, up to the top rope, and jumps into a fist. Bret takes him down with a Russian leg sweep for two. Snap suplex for two. Flair deceptively goes low in the corner, but the referee can't figure out what happened. Flair with more pin attempts for near falls. Whip, Bret blocks a hip toss and counters with a back slide, only getting two. Criss-cross sequence ends with Flair hooking a sleeper hold! Bret hangs on and escapes by ramming Flair into the turnbuckle. Flair lays him out with a vicious chop as we reach the 50-minute mark! Flair with a delayed suplex, and both men play dead. He rolls over to cover, but only gets two. Flair to the top rope, and amazingly, Bret recovers in time to slam him off. Bret starts no-selling the chops and holy crap, THE STRAPS CAME DOWN! He sends Flair to the corner and takes him down with a bulldog for two. Back breaker and second rope elbow gets two! Super-Plex gets two! Bret slaps on the Sharpshooter, and Flair submits at 55:01, evening the match up at two falls each!
Fifth Fall: Suddenly, Bobby Heenan sneaks in behind the referee's back and tries to pass something off to Flair. Bret grabs a headlock, but they bump heads coming off the ropes, and both men go down. Bret reverses a whip, connects with an inverted atomic drop, and sets Flair across the top rope. Flair rakes the eyes, loads the hand, and nails Bret, seemingly knocking him out! He covers, but Bret RISES ABOVE CHEATING, and kicks out at two! Another cheap shot, and again Bret kicks out at two! Flair slaps on the Figure-Four as we approach the 2-minute warning, but Bret is quick to grab the ropes. Flair dumps Bret to the floor. He comes in with a sunset flip and takes Flair over with a handful of tights, but it only gets two! ONE MINUTE LEFT! Flair with an atomic drop to the knee. He goes for another Figure-Four, but Bret counters with a cradle, and gets the three count at 59:41! The clock ticks down, and we're out of time, with Bret Hart retaining his WWF Championship, 3 falls to 2! **** I honestly wasn't expecting to be into the match too much, but this surprised me quite a bit: The falls were well worked with logically booked finishes, with the first coming nearly at the half-hour mark, and then Flair stealing two close together by illegal tactics. Neither man really worked "their" style match until the very end, when Flair's signature bumping and Bret's Five Moves of Doom were showcased, allowing both men to work a different style of match, while keeping it a (mostly) pure wrestling match. Brownie points for Bobby Heenan's involvement, too.
Final Thoughts: There's only one reason to check out this Fan-Cam, and it's for a pretty sweet Ironman Match between Bret Hart and Ric Flair. There's plenty other of their matches out there on the Fan-Cam market, but the Ironman Match wasn't trotted out too often, and this proved that the concept can work. It doesn't hurt that Flair was known for going the distance, but Bret wasn't working much more than 20-minutes a night, but had the stamina to go if need be. The rest of the card (offered on tape) is a very mediocre Tag Title Match between the Nasty Boys and Money Inc., and a couple of stinker undercard matches that clocked in at 5-minutes each, so nothing major.
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