WWF @ Madison Square Garden
by Scrooge McSuck
October 29, 1994
- We're back with more Fan-Cam Action from the WWF Universe. For those who weren't watching on a regular basis around this time period, the WWF started marketing their house show tours with cute little tour names, possibly to drive up ticket prices. The first such example was the WrestleMania Revenge Tour, taking place in the months following, you guessed it, WrestleMania. There was also the Summer Sizzler Tour, which took up the latter parts of summer and through the early Fall. Now we're back with the Hart Attack Tour, complete with beating heart and shadow of the Undertaker as the design.
Note: Matches missing from this recording: Duke "The Dumpster" Droese doing the job for Irwin R. Schyster, and a 5-star classic between Jim Powers and Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz (a.k.a Steve Lombardi cashing in on the MLB Strike). Excellent video quality for this one, by the way, which is always a huge plus for Fan-Cam cards.
Opening Match: Adam Bomb vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Ted Dibiase):
Interesting choice to open the card with... you would think it would be something along the lines of Sparky Plugg vs. Kwang, or something equally lame. Although there wasn't an official program between the two, both men would be on opposite Survivor Series Teams, captained by Lex Luger and the Turncoat-Tatanka. Bigelow does his tuck and roll dodge to show how limber he is. Lockup into the corner, and we get a semi-clean break. They do it again, with Bomb ducking a cheap shot attempt and unloading with rights. Whip to the ropes, and a shoulder tackle ends in a stalemate. Bigelow with rights, and a shoulder tackle puts Bomb on his back. Criss-cross ends with Bomb coming off the ropes with a clothesline, sending Bigelow to the floor for a breather. Bomb with a drop toe hold and grabs an armbar. Bigelow with a slam, but a headbutt misses, allowing Bomb to go back to work on the left arm. Whip to the corner and Bomb with mounted punches. Bigelow counters with an inverted atomic drop, then lays Bomb out with a clothesline for two.
Bigelow throws Bomb out in front of Dibiase, and hey look, they even have nifty ring aprons with the Hart Attack Tour logo. Bigelow hangs him across the top rope to keep him from re-entering the ring. Back in the ring, Bigelow puts the boots to him and comes off the ropes with a diving headbutt for a two count, then hooks a chinlock. Bomb fights free with elbows until being laid out with an enziguri. Bigelow covers for a pair of two counts and goes back to the chinlock. Bomb escapes again, and this time it's a knee to the midsection that puts him back down. Bigelow with choking across the middle rope, while Dibiase continues his verbal harassment technique. Bomb gets dumped out, again, but turns the tables with a slingshot clothesline. Both are slow to their feet... Bigelow misses an enziguri, and Bomb takes him over with a hip toss, followed by a dropkick for two. Bomb with a diving cross body for another two count. Bigelow thumbs the eyes, but a suplex attempt is blocked. Bomb goes for a slam, but Dibiase sweeps the legs... and the referee saw it! Disqualiication victory for Adam Bomb at 13:12. Lame finish aside (it would've been lame with the old sweep and pin, too), a pretty solid opener. Adam Bomb was a pretty under-rated big man for the era, and Bigelow was still semi-motivated.
Doink & Dink vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler & Queazy:
Hopefully this will be short. Queazy is dressed like Lawler, and WWF fans may recognize him as Little Louie from various Midget Matches in 1993. They happened to be with Tiger Jackson, a.k.a Dink, so I guess the WWF only had the phone numbers to two midget wrestlers at the time. Hey look, Vladimir is in the front row. Yes, I make sure to point that out, even for fan-cam videos! Bell rings, and Lawler gets on the mic' to talk trash to Dink. Lockup into the corner, Lawler misses a cheap shot, and Doink bops his nose. I sense a long comedy match... loud "Burger King" chant as nothing happens. Lawler blocks a boot and Doink follows through with an enziguri. Whip to the ropes, Lawler tries the same, but Doink ducks. Kudos to Lawler even being able to throw an enziguri. Doink with a snapmare, and we get the "midgets run across Lawler's chest" spot. Lawler tries the same, with less successful results. Next we get a game of chicken, and sadly we don't see the midget carrying Lawler. He still makes an ass of himself, though. The match finally "gets serious", but I've long lost hope. The midgets brawl in the corner, Lawler chases Dink around, Dink with a cross body from the top, only to be caught. Lawler throws him into Doink, Queazy does the old school boy trick to trip them, and Lawler covers for three at 12:13. Ech... The crowd seemed into it for most of the time, and I guess that's all that matters. This reminded me too much of the Survivor Series Match, so you know how much I disliked it. For those wondering, the clowns get the last laugh to make the fans happy.
- Howard Finkel introduces us to the owner of the World Wrestling Federation, Vince McMahon. That seems out of place considering the era. Vince being acknowledged as anything more than a broadcaster on Monday Night Raw and Superstars. Long story short, it's an interview with MISTER Bob Backlund, who is set to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship at the Survivor Series. I guess that Open Challenge hyped on the syndicated shows doesn't take place after all. I'd rather the person recording this had taped Droese vs. I.R.S., just to get another match in the 2-hours.
WWF Championship Match:
Here's one of those sorta'-dream matches we never really got to see on television, at least not in a one-on-one situation: The Hart Foundation Explodes! Short reminder: Neidhart made his return at the King of the Ring, helping Owen Hart in the Finals, and joined in on the post-match beatdown at SummerSlam. Lockup, and Neidhart easily shoves Bret off. Bret bounces off the ropes, slips through a powerslam, and comes back with a body press for two. Neidhart sends Bret to the floor on the kick-out, and Bret pulls him out as well. Slugfest won by Neidhart, but he misses a forearm to the post. Back in the ring, Bret with a shoulder to the midsection and a sunset flip for two. He sends Anvil to the corner, but a whip across the ring is reversed, and Bret takes the chest-first bump. Neidhart with clubbing blows across the back of the head, and quickly slaps on a chinlock. Bret fights back to his feet, but Neidhart puts him back down with a short-arm clothesline for a two count. Neidhart with forearms across the back, followed by some choking.
Bret "Hitman" Hart © vs. Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart:
Bret comes back with rights and a rake of the eyes across the top rope. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Neidhart slaps on a bearhug. Bret with biting to escape, but takes a knee to the midsection coming off the ropes. Bret gets sent to the corner once again, and Neidhart plants him with a powerslam for a two count. Neidhart takes it to the floor, introducing Bret to the steps. Bret brings Neidhart back in from the apron with a slingshot, then starts unloading with rights in the corner. Bret with a running bulldog for a two count. Small package for another two count. Whip to the ropes, fist to the midsection, and a Russian leg sweep for two. Back breaker, but the second rope elbow meets a boot. Neidhart sets him up across the top rope, then slams him off. Neidhart to the top, only to miss the ugliest splash ever attempted. Bret turns over the Sharpshooter for the submission victory at 8:32. Well, that was quick. Good match, thanks entirely to Bret doing all of the work. Neidhart was pretty bad in a singles role, and barely having a good match with a motivated Bret Hart is a good testiment to that. Post-match, Bob Backlund attacks and leaves Bret laying after locking on a Crossface Chicken-Wing.
Billy Gunn (w/ Bart Gunn) vs. Dr. Tom Prichard (w/ Jimmy Delray):
This was originally scheduled to be a tag team match, but unfortunately Jimmy Delray injured his knee the day before at the Nassau Coliseum so we get the ever-popular half of the tag teams match, with the lesser talented partner of the healthy team winning the coin toss. You want to know how these teams were programmed together? The Bodies destroyed the Gunn's cowboy hats, and the Gunn's responded by tearing the wings off the Heavenly Bodies' robes. Lockup to the corner and Gunn takes him over with a hip toss. Whip to the corner and he takes Prichard over with a monkey flip, followed by a sunset flip for a two count. Prichard grabs a headlock, using hair pulls to prevent counters. Criss-cross sequence ends with Gunn taking him down with a bulldog for two. Delray distracts Billy, allowing Prichard to clip the knee. Prichard continues working the leg as Delray is taken from ringside by Danny Davis. Prichard with a snapmare, followed by a modified surfboard. Prichard with a suplex for two. He connects with another suplex, but misses an elbow from the top rope. Gunn unloads with rights and sends Prichard to the corner. They do a horribly ugly roll up reversal sequence until Billy winds up on top for the three count at 6:45. That was one hell of an ugly finish. Decent, by the numbers match, otherwise.
"Made in the USA" Lex Luger vs. Tatanka (w/ Ted Dibiase):
I never understood how they milked this program for damn near 7 months. It's not the worst ever, but it just started out of nowhere with Tatanka randomly accusing Luger of selling out, only to reveal it was he who sold out instead, and then they wrestled about 600 times until the Sunday Night Slam leading to WrestleMania XI where Luger won a Cage Match to finally end it for good. Speaking of dumb nicknames... MADE IN THE USA? He's really introduced as that. They do a cat and mouse chase, leading into the exchange of chops and rights. Luger comes off the ropes with a clothesline, sending Tatanka to the floor. We get another chase, leading to stalling. Tatanka bum rushes back in and kicks away, then starts laying in with chops. Luger starts no-selling them as if he were working with Flair, and mounts a mild comeback. Mounted punches in the corner, followed by a clothesline. Luger sends him to the corner, and puts him back down with an elbow. Tatanka suckers Luger over, throwing him to the floor with a handful of tights.
Back inside, Tatanka with punting blows, followed by chops. Lots of them. He's really bringing' the workrate like it's 1971. I never thought Tatanka was a bad worker, but he's ATROCIOUS here, doing the bare minimum, be it as a heel or face. Tatanka with a slam, then comes off the ropes not once, not twice, but thrice, with elbows, for a two count. Tatanka with a snap suplex and top rope chop to the head for two counts. Luger with a surprise roll up for two. Whip to the ropes and Luger with a sunset flip for two. Luger misses a charge, and Tatanka takes him down with a back suplex for two. Tatanka sends Luger to the corner and slaps on a bearhug. Ugh... Thankfully Luger quickly breaks it with a back suplex. He comes off the ropes with a running knee lift and bulldog. They take it to the floor, and brawl to a Double Count-Out at 12:36. The crowd rightfully (or should I say thankfully?) boos that finish out of the building. Luger wants more though, calling Tatanka back in with threats and slaps on the Torture Rack to get the crowd kind of happy. In the immortal words of Boris Karloff, this stink, stank, stunk. This made me want to watch the comedy match with Doink, again.
- Howard Finkel hypes up the next card coming to Madison Square Garden on November 26th. It's going to be Family Appreciation Night! Kwang takes on Aldo Montoya in the latter's MSG Debut. Well Dunn meets the "ever popular" Bushwhackers (that's Fink's words, not mine). Quebecer Pierre faces the 500-pound Mabel. King Kong Bundy returns to MSG to take on the recently returned British Bulldog. "Double J" Jeff Jarrett challenges Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Captain Lou Albano returns to MSG with the Headshrinkers to face the Tag Team Champions, Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Irwin R. Schyster faces The Undertaker... as long as he goes over at Survivor Series. WWF Champion Bret Hart faces Mr. Bob Backlund, with Special Referee... MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE?! You can imagine this card went under quite an overhaul. Considering Diesel's face turn, the split of him and Shawn vacating the Tag Titles, Bret's "injury" to keep him out of action post-Survivor Series, and Randy Savage leaving for WCW. Sometimes "card subject to change" shouldn't mean "outright lying to our faces."
Casket Match: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & I.R.S.):
Please be short, please be short... did I say this about another match on this card? I.R.S. cuts a pre-match promo on the Undertaker, and hangs around to be in Yokozuna's corner. I forgot about Undertaker's ridiculously over-sized urn from this era. I still don't buy that having enough material to turn into that gaudy chain Kama was wearing after "melting it down." Yoko' falls on his ass in fear of the very visual of the casket. Undertaker with rights, knocking Yoko' to the floor. Watching Yokozuna run is NOT something I needed to see. Undertaker hangs him across the top rope, then goes old school (before it was old school). He comes off the ropes with clotheslines until being caught with a Samoan Drop. Undertaker blocks being rolled into the casket and I.R.S. gets involved physically. You would think Undertaker would stop accepting or challenging people to casket and buried alive matches... he's really no good at them. This is the longest 5-minutes of my life.
Undertaker from the top rope with a clothesline, but I.R.S. shuts the casket lid to prevent Undertaker from putting Yokozuna away. Somehow that gets him thrown from ringside, but not attacking the guy, that's all legal. Hitting the participant is good, shutting the lid prematurely is not. Fuji throws a handful of salt in 'Taker's eyes, proving he's more useful than the majority of "managers" and valets these days. Bearer threatens to get naked, to try and add some positive snowflakes to the match rating. Undertaker gets rolled in, but comes back to life in time to block the lid from closing. Yoko' with a belly-to-belly suplex and clubberin' blows in the corner. Undertaker starts no-selling again, but meets an elbow charging into the corner, and Yoko' lays him out with a clothesline. He connects with the fatest leg drop in the history of Sports Entertainment, and we get another failed attempt at winning, as the referee's very slowly close the lid before Undertaker pushes it open. He comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline, plants him with a horrible looking chokeslam, and rolls his disgustingly fat ass into the casket for the victory at 12:21. I would personally like to kick the person in the nuts that came up with the concept of a Casket Match. Right in the nuts.
Final Thoughts: Not much to see here in quality performances. The opener got us off on the right foot, and Bret Hart tried his damndest to carry his former partner to something decent (and that was just barely, Neidhart was pretty useless here), but the rest of the card falls between watchable (the Solo Gunn/Bodies match), to stupid (the comedy clowns/Lawler mixed tag), to downright awful (Luger/Tatanka and the Casket Match). I love me some fan-cam shows, but this one definitely looks better on paper than it turned out to be watching it.
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