WWF at Madison Square Garden - February 23, 1992
by Scrooge McSuck
- This was a very interesting tape for me. Growing up in New York, we were able to get the MSG (Madison Square Garden) Network, which not only was home (at the time) for most of the New York located teams, but also televised a WWF Event almost every month, unless a PPV was held there. Anyway, when we lost cable in March of '92 (for the time being), this would mark the final time I'd get to see a televised MSG event, making it a sentimental favorite, since the last episode to air was in March, 2 weeks before Wrestlemania VIII. Before anyone mentions it, yes, I know they aired one more time in 1997, but it's pointless to mention.
- Your play-by-play team for the broadcast is Gorilla Monsoon, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad... which can mean 2 things. That 2 of the 3 don't suck, or 2 of the 3 are dead, but saying "ain't bad" makes it sound like I'm glad they died (Monsoon & Hayes). Anyway, before we get into the show more, the tape is missing Chris Walker vs. The Warlord, which sucked. If you don't know who Chris Walker is... you didn't miss much, since he rarely appeared on TV in the 3 months he was around.
"Jumping" Jim Brunzell vs. The Berzerker:
Quite the opening match we have here. The Berzerker was just about to go into the only angle he participated in, and Brunzell had been on the All-Star Jobber Starting Roster™ since the Killer Bees split up... nearly 4 years earlier! It shouldn't be a surprise who jobs here. Berzerker doesn't have Mr. Fuji with him here, for those that care. Lockup to start, and Brunzell with a monkey flip followed by an atomic drop. Brunzy misses a charge, so Berzerker boots him in the chest. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, but Brunzell runs into a big boot. Berzerker with a chop across the chest, followed by a funky looking dropkick, sending Brunzell to the arena floor. Brunzell gets sent into the ring post, and Berzerker peels back the floor padding, and follows by slamming Brunzell onto the exposed concrete. Back inside the ring, and Berzerker hammers away on the former-Bee, sending him back outside again. Brunzell trips up Berzerker from outside, and rams his leg into the post. Berzerker no sells for a moment and headbutts Brunzell in the chest, then boots him to the outside. Brunzell gets introduced to the ring apron, and we stall for more time. Back inside again, and Berzerker applies a front facelock, but the referee is too stupid to realize this isn't an illegal hold. 'Zerk rakes the eyes for good measure, but runs into a Sleeper Hold. Berzerker breaks the hold by backing Brunzell into the corner, and works into the dreaded reverse chinlock rest period spot. Brunzell fights free with elbows to the midsection, but gets put back down with a knee lift. *Huss Huss Huss* Berzerker paces the ring and kicks Brunzell in the face a few times. Brunzell no sells though, and kicks Berzerkers leg from under his leg, and tries hyper-extending the left knee. Berzerker returns the no sell, and throws Brunzell to the floor. Irish whip, and Berzerker with a diving shoulder tackle *Huss Huss Huss* for a two count. Wait... I thought Berzerker NEVER pinned people! Brunzell with the token Jobber Punches™, and comes back with a running high knee. Brunzell takes a bite out of 'Zerker, and nails a european uppercut. Irish whip, and Brunzell with his patinent dropkick for only a two count. Irish whip is reversed, and the Berzerker drops Brunzell with a powerslam for the victory at 8:44. 3/4* Basically an extended squash for the Berzerker, but Brunzell sold like a champion for most of it, other than his token spots. I don't get the point of Berzerker winning by pinfall, since his choice of victory was destroying his opponent and throwing them outside for the count-out, then squashing them with a plancha.
The Bushwackers vs. The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Well here's something I hate... in 1991-92, the Bushwackers and Nasty Boys must've fought about 500 times, and almost every time either team performed at MSG during that time, it was against each other, so this is about the 3rd or 4th match of theirs I'm reviewing, and all the other ones sucked ass. I'm just hoping this one is quick. It won't be painless though. Both teams pull out the stalling "faces pose, fans cheer, heels pose, fans boo" spot to kill some time, since the bell already rang. At 1:43, the first contact is made with double butt biting, and the Nasties are sent into each other. Both Bushwackers tease a nut stomping special, but go a bit north of the border. Luke with a clothesline to Knobbs sends him out, and Butch drops Saggs to send him running for more stalling. Butch now brings in a sign that reads the Bushwackers should be President & VP, stalling even more time. Knobbs and Butch lockup, and Knobbs hammers away in the corner for the first Nast Boy offense at 4:13. Irish whip to the corner, but Knobbs runs into a big boot. Weak bulldog by Butch, and Sags eats canvas now. Wristlock applied by Luke, the first wrestling move done at 5:04. Luke bites away at the arm of Sags, and works it over in the ropes. Luke gets tripped up by Knobbs behind the referees back, giving us the first face-in-peril segment at 5:50. Knobbs chokes Luke out with a tag rope while Butch distracts the referee. The pain continues as Sags drops a series of knees across Luke's chest, and tags in Knobbs to drop an elbow for a two count. Butch gets the crowd behind Luke, who avoids a charge by Knobbs. Sags prevents a mild-tag, and we get some double team choking in the corner. Irish whip, and Luke with a (good) sunset flip, but the referee is out of position, thanks to Knobbs. The Hell continues, so I hit the fast forward button at the 8:26 mark. Oh yeah, they make sure to work in the "Hot tag that the referee doesn't see" spot, too. Luke continues to be made the bitch of the Nasty Boys, as Knobbs applies a reverse chinlock, the first Nasty Boy wrestling move at 10:19. Butch FINALLY gets the hot tag after more pain for the viewers, and, to steal someone elses joke because the match doesn't deserve a good joke, it's Bonzo Gonzo time. During the mayhem, Sags clobbers Butch with the ring bell, and Knobbs makes the cover to end this match at 12:37. -** Horrible, Horrible, Horrible. The Nasty Boys used every cheap heel spot in the book, and the match still sucked. The Bushwackers actually tried to make something of it, but they aren't that good. Also, who in their right mind would book this to go longer than 7:00?
Hercules vs. Sid Justice (w/ Dr. Harvey Wippleman):
Before anyone asks, Hercules was still a heel here, but was on his way out at the time, and spent time wrestling other heels like the Barbarian and the Warlord (in losing efforts) on Primetime Wrestling. Justice had recently turned heel at the first ever Saturday Night's Main Event on FOX, setting up his match with Hogan at Wrestlemania. I never really got the reason behind WWF calling him Sid "Justice", but I guess NWA suddenly owned the name "Vicious." Really, after turning heel, how could he be Sid "Justice", since that name was conditioned for a babyface? Justice runs down Hercules for being a loser before the match, and gives him the chance to take a hike. Hercules responds by punching Sid in the face a few times, sending Sid outside. The chase is on, and Justice makes short work of Hercules, hammering away, booting him in the midsection and nailing the powerbomb for three at 0:26. Hercules, by the way, made sure to protect his head on the way down, and absolutely no sells it after the pin is made. DUD, for those who really need to know what kind of a rating a match that doesn't even last 30 seconds gets.
- It would be around here on the show that Chris Walker vs. Warlord happened, so according to the History of WWE, the Warlord pinned Walker at 10:30 following a Powerbomb. I doubt it, and would say the person meant a PowerSLAM (since only Sid did Powerbombs), but no doubt this match sucked major amounts of ass. (Editor's note: Walker tried flying off the turnbuckles with double axehandles. For the finish, Walker appeared to attempt a Frankensteiner, but Warlord caught him and yes, powerbombed him. Well, it was the second half of the powerbomb, without the "lift guy up and flip him" part).
Intercontinental Championship Match:
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper © vs. Repo Man:
For all of you trivia buffs, this would mark the only time Piper would defend a championship belt at Madison Square Garden, and it's in a silly, throw-away match on top of it. Before the match, Repo Man wanders around the ring, then steals a womens watch... excuse me, I have a cold. Cough:Plant!:cough There, that's much better. If you thought the plants in the Black Scorpion fiasco acted bad, look at this bitch. Also, I didn't know a Mickey Mouse watch was expense even to warrant reposessing. Piper whips Repo like a dog with his strap, then chokes him out. Repo gets sent from corner to corner by the neck, and Piper clotheslines him with the strap. Repo with an attempted atomic drop, but Piper blocks and pokes him in the eyes. Jabs by Piper, and a back hand bitch-slap sends Repo to the outside. Piper with a sledge off the apron, and he introduces Repo Man into the ring steps. Repo comes back by dragigng Piper outside and throwing him into the steel post a few times. Back inside the ring, and Repo with some punching. Irish whip, and Piper escapes a back drop and applies a Sleeper Hold. Repo goes for his tow-rope, but the referee blocks. Piper picks up the thing now, and nails Repo with the hook. Piper drops an elbow when the referee turns back around, and covers for three at 3:34. *1/4 Fun match, if nothing much more than punching from both sides. Afterwards, Piper retrieves the watch and gives it back to the planet... I mean fan.
- Intermission time, as Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Ric Flair (World Champion at the time), Roddy Piper, Sid Justice & Harvey Wippleman, and Hulk Hogan about the upcoming Main Event Battle Royale, that will end the show. Nothing of note is really said, so I take this time to save me 7 minutes of time to watch more Night Court on TV Land.
The British Bulldog vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):
Another weird combination here, this time face vs. face, as the Undertaker had just turned face the previous week by preventing Roberts from assaulting Savage and Elizabeth, and the Funeral Parlor on Superstars where he confirmed his non-allegience with Roberts. Undertaker heels it up with a pre-match attack of shots to the throat, followed by some choking. Thankfully, this was NOT a main event in 1995, but they branched off against Kevin Nash and Mabel... blech, I'd rather see this I think. More choking by the Undertaker in the corner. Irish whip to the corner, but Bulldog avoids a charge, and clotheslines Undertaker over the top rope and to the floor. Undertaker snapmares Bulldog across the top rope, and slowly heads back into the ring. Undertaker chokes Bulldog across the middle rope. Bulldog comes back with a few punches, but can't do his special suplex, and collapses under the weight of Undertaker on a slam attempt. Undertaker chokes away as Heenan declares him the Dominant Wrestler of the 90's. Can't argue that logic, but you have to ignore the years 1993-1995 to take it seriously. Undertaker with more choking in the corner, and right now the Bulldog is looking like a bitch. He charges out of the corner with a clothesline and nails a series of headbutts, but they get no sold. A Dropkick sends the 'Taker into the corner, but Bulldog gets whipped in the opposite direction. Undertaker with more choking, and he heads to the second rope. This allows Bulldog to ram him into the corner, but it gets no sold, and 'Taker drops him with a thrust to the throat. Jumping Elbow Drop that never connects misses, and Bulldog hammers away some more. Delayed vertical suplex connects, but Undertaker sits up right after. Bulldog bounces off the ropes, but a stun gun spot gets botched, and Undertaker covers for three out of nowhere at 5:21. That finish looked messy, to say the least. They could've at least improv'ed a Tombstone spot to cover up for it. 1/2* Very basic, and very boring, but I'm a mark for both guys, and at least someone had the brain to keep it short.
Big Boss Man vs. "The Model" Rick Martel:
All of the previous matches have been short-changed in the time department, so I have a very good (and somewhat sad) feeling this match is going to be very long, so excuse me while I get some asperine and NyQuil. Gotta love that big fucking Q in the middle of the word. Boss Man seemed to lose his talent when he lost all of the excess baggage he was carrying, and Rick Martel, in short, really really sucked from 1990-1992 during the heart of his run as the Model. Lockup goes into the ropes, and Martel with a slap to the face. Martel applies a front facelock (after some stalling) but gets set up on the top rope. Hebner however, forces Boss Man to not do anything to Martel, since he's in/on the ropes. Martel with a series of knees into the midsection, but a roll up attempt is blocked. Boss Man with a scoop slam, followed by another, and Martel gets scared out of the ring. After a game of cat and mouse, Boss Man takes over Martel with a hip toss, then applies a wristlock. Boss Man messes with Martels hair for good measure, and takes him over with the wristlock. Martel gets hammered on in the corner, and Boss Man goes back to the wristlock and hair messing with spot. Irish whip, and Boss Man blocks a hip toss and connects with his own, then goes back to the wristlock. Boss Man tries invading Martels personal area with a finger, then knocks Martel into next week. Martel gets to eat some buckle, until Martel finally gets to make a comeback when Boss Man misses a charge into the corner. This match is just too boring to even makes stupid one liners about. Martel comes up from behind (he's the first Mr. Ass?) and takes down Boss Man with a nice back suplex for a two count. Martel goes to work on the back of the Boss Man with stomps and elbow drops, then works in a reverse chinlock. Oh God... (hits fast forward again) This spot literally lasts for over 2 minutes, and I don't have the patience to sit through it all. Boss Man FINALLY escapes by sending Martel into the corner, but the Model comes off the ropes with a sledge to the lower back. Boss Man counters a slam with a small package (and a good one!) for a quick two count, but Martel is back on offense, and actually scoops him up for a back breaker. Martel heads up to the top rope, but Boss Man shakes him up, and forces him to get crotched. Irish whip to the corner, and Boss Man with a back body drop. Martel ducks a roundhouse kick, but gets punched right in the nose. Boss Man teases a splash across the middle rope, but goes outside instead and punches him in the mouth. Boss Man blocks the Arrogance can of death, but Martel nails him with his own nightstick (and takes out the referee for a moment), and covers for the victory at 13:49. Well, it wasn't as long as I expected. *3/4 The first few minutes and the chinlock spot were really boring and kinda pissed me off, but to my surprise, the rest was decent enough to not warrant an entire match of super-fast watching, however, the match was a bit boring still.
- Howard Finkel hypes the March 23rd, 1992 show at Madison Square Garden (the last to be televised on the MSG Network). Scheduled to appear includes "The Model" Rick Martel, The Warlord, Skinner takes on Tatanka (making his MSG Debut), Shawn Michaels (with girl pop) goes up against Virgil (available on Wrestlefest '92), and I.R.S. battles "El Matador" Tito Santana. 6-Man Tag Team Match features The Mountie & The Nasty Boys vs. The Bushwackers & Bret Hart. Finally, in the main event, Hulk Hogan & Roddy Piper face Ric Flair & Sid Justice.
- 20-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale:
(Participants: The Berzerker, The British Bulldog, "The Model" Rick Martel (sweating bullets), Hercules, Bushwacker Butch (with taped ribs), Bushwacker Luke, Skinner, Repo Man, The Warlord, Chris Walker, Kato (without Tanaka), "Jumping" Jim Brunzell, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Brian Knobbs, Jerry Sags, The Undertaker, Big Boss Man, Sid Justice, Ric Flair (World Champ), Hulk Hogan)
The introductions literally eat up 12 minutes of television time, but as long as some of the crap matches didn't get that, I'm happy. As usual, I won't really bother doing PBP for most of the match, since it's all punchy-kicky, with a lot of hugging, so when it gets down to 8-9 people, I'll probably chime in more often. Quick Note: The referee is in the ring for some reason, so be prepared for a pre-Russo era Russo-Finish™. Shockingly, by this time the next year, only about 8 of these guys were still on the (Full-time) active roster. Hogan and Sid go at it to start the match, and spill to the outside. Boss Man goes back to beating up on Martel, and the Undertaker no sells for everyone (and chokes down Sags). No one is eliminated yet, but as I say that, Butch is thrown out at around 2:50. Hogan beats on Flair in the corner while nothing of note else happens. Former Horsemen members have a miscomunication that goes nowhere. Berzerker misses a boot to Hogan (and Skinner), and gets casually dumped out at 5:31. Piper back drops Skinner out soon after at 5:50, then Kato becomes Piper's next victim, being thrown out at 6:02. Jim Brunzell, after getting in his token offense, is back dropped out by Martel at around the 6:40 mark. Hogan and Hercules trade awful chops, and Hogan dumps him out at 7:12. Boss Man sends Martel flying out moments later at 7:19. Flair, Boss Man, and Hogan play a game of poke each other in the eye. Sid saves Flair from elimination (Horsemen for life!), while Repo and Luke are bunched up with the Undertaker for a weird threesome. As I say that, Hogan throws Sags out, at 8:29. Luke is gone, courtesy of the Undertaker, at 8:38. Warlord ends Walker's night for the second time in two hours, back dropping him out of the ring at 8:51. Pair offs include Hogan/Warlord, Flair/Boss Man, and Undertaker/Knobbs. Sid misses a charge in the corner, but lands on Knobbs and beats him into the canvas. Flair accidentally nails Repo with a forearm, so Piper retaliates by clotheslining both of them out of the ring at 9:47. Sid gets the win back for his former stablemate, and sends Piper packing at 10:06 with a well timed clothesline to the back of the head. Hogan and Undertaker team up for about 4 seconds on Knobbs while Warlord tries dumping Boss Man. Undertaker chokes on Boss Man now as Knobbs tries dumping Hogan. Warlord and Sid double team on Bulldog. Hogan with a boot to Knobbs, and Undertaker kicks him, as does Sid. Hogan whips Sid to the ropes, but gets kicked in the face for his troubles. Boss Man ducks an Undertaker clothesline, and manages to dump him out at 11:44. Warlord pounds away on Boss Man while Knobbs works over Hogan. Boss Man comes back with some weak ass punches and slaps that barely connect, then kicks Knobbs in the ass. Bulldog scoops up Sid, but Sid escapes and hip tosses Bulldog out at 12:35. Boss Man with a back elbow to Knobbs, but Sid works him over. Hogan no-sells his best friends offense, and big boots him (Knobbs) out of the ring at 13:13.
Final Four: Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Sid Justice, The Warlord
Just guess who the final two will be, and what a collection here. 2 Hosses for the heels, and 2 Hulkamaniacs for the faces. Warlord goes for Hogan while Sid chokes on the Boss Man, and knees him in the midsection. Hogan ducks a Warlord clothesline, and sends him out with one of his own at 13:37. Boss Man hammers away on Justice with hard rights, but misses one too many, and gets back dropped out at 13:45, leaving Hogan and Justice, with a referee in the ring. Hogan plays the crowd and we get the face to face. Justice boots Hogan, then clobbers him across the neck. More kicking from Psycho Sid Justice Vicious, followed by a charge into the corner. Hogan moves out of the way of a charging shoulder, and hammers away with roundhouse rights that barely connect. Mounted punches have more impact, and Justice takes out both Hogan and the referee. Sledge to the back of Hogan, and Justice rams the referee into the corner for better effect. Hogan gets choked out across the top rope. Irish whip to the corner, but Sid runs into a boot, and Hogan dumps him out, but the referee doesn't see it. Justice takes Wipplemans bag, clobbers Hogan with it, rolls him out of the ring, and the referee is stupid enough to believe him, and awards Sid Justice as the winner at 16:39. I usually don't like Battle Royales, but this one was neither that great or horribly bad, but the referee bump, in a BATTLE ROYALE, really pisses me off, because obviously that's the worst booking decision ever for this kind of match, other than 2 people winning every time they do one. Hogan cuts his usual "I was robbed" promo after the match, but for once, he actually has a legit argument.
Final Thoughts: Much like most Coliseum Videos and Wrestlemania IX, the show is enjoyable from a mark point-of-view, but when rating it in a review, it just doesn't hold up. The bad here is really bad, which mainly consists of the Bushwackers and Nasty Boys, and there wasn't much good, and what was good wasn't good enough to warrant tracking down. The only highspot is the Hulk Hogan/Sid Justice confrontation, but that was rather weak, and it's really not worth hunting down this tape to see, since both men are just going through the motions. No Recommendation here, unless you really want another Bushwackers/Nasties match, and a Battle Royale with a REF BUMP FINISH.