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WWF @ Providence, RI
by Scrooge McSuck
June 30, 1991
- We're taking another magic journey down the road I'd like to call the "I'm bored and out of ideas, so let's do some Fan-Cam shows to fill the void." I know, I know, no one cares, and these days, everyone and their mother has recapped these shows, thinking it's an original idea. Well, I don't care, if I want to point out why a match in front of 300 hicks stank up the barn, then I will. Not to go into a proper introduction, but with the WWF scaling back on it's televised cards from local arenas, getting some fan-cam shows is a nice way to fill that void, as long as the quality is at the least, watchable.
- Originally held at the Civic Center in Providence, RI, hosted by whatever doofus smuggled a camera into the arena for the purpose of filming all the action we're about to see. I should note this is not the complete card, but enough of it is here and interesting for me to justify going through with a recap. I should note this show is the lowest graded quality I will sit through for a fan-cam. It's shot pretty far away, it's a dimmly lit arena, and if not for a very recognizable cast, I would probably have hard times following certain matches. See the recap of the '91 King of the Ring card, where I skipped on a tag match because I couldn't possibly tell the difference between either Bushwhacker or Beverly Brother for the tag team match on that card.
The British Bulldog vs. Typhoon (w/ Jimmy Hart):
We're only two weeks removed (in television time) from Tugboat's heel turn, and transformation into Typhoon, forming a team with Earthquake known as the Natural Disasters in the process. In fact, this is one of the first matches featuring our old pal Fred Ottman with the new name. We jump ahead to the Bulldog having a headlock applied. Whip to the ropes, and a shoulder tackle does nothing. Bulldog tries again, with no luck. Third time off the ropes, and a dropkick sends Typhoon to the floor. Back inside, Typhoon tries to boot Bulldog coming off the ropes, but he catches the foot and pushes the big man over. Bulldog goes to work on the leg, row boat style, then hooks a grapevine. Bulldog traps Typhoon in the ropes, but this isn't the Attitude Era, so no "Shattered Dreams" are coming. Whip to the corner, and Typhoon follows in with an avalanche. Crowd doesn't approve of that. Whip to the ropes, and it's Bearhug time! Bulldog fights his way free, but a slam attempt doesn't work, and it's back to the bearhug. Typhoon with an inverted atomic drop, but instead of going for a cover, chooses to pose. Charge attempt is countered with a back drop over the top, to the floor. Bulldog follows, and we can't see anything, but Bulldog somehow makes it back in while Typhoon ends up getting counted-out at 6:24 (shown). Afterwards, Bulldog chases Typhoon away following a clothesline.
The Dragon vs. The Barbarian:
Poor Ricky Steamboat... the guy vanished from NWA Television in the Summer of '89, comes back to the WWF around the time of WrestleMania VII, about 18 months after, and is brought back to open shows and feud with Skinner. Wow. Really, that was the planned program on television: Dragon vs. Skinner. Come to arena's to see that. Barbarian is just winding down his WWF career, doing jobs to anything that moved. We're Joined in Progress, with Barbarian taking things to the floor and slamming Dragon's back across the security rail and against the ring post. Barbarian continues putting the boots to "Dragon" (he's not allowed to be called Ricky Steamboat), and brings him back in with a suplex. The delay on that would make Davey Boy proud, but it's only good for a two count. Barbarian with a slam for a two count. Barbarian punches Dragon across the midsection, as we continue to go at a very deliberate pace. Dragon offers a comeback with chops, but a knee to the stomach cuts him off, followed by a back suplex. Whip to the corner, and in a trend I sense we'll be seeing tonight, it's time for a bearhug! Barbarian with another slam, and now it's time for an abdominal stretch. Mike Rotundo must've taught him, because he uses the ropes for leverage. Barbarian with ANOTHER slam, but the second rope elbow drop misses (of course). Dragon comes off the ropes with blows to the head, followed by a diving clothesline for two. Dragon with a back suplex for another two count. He heads to the top rope, but the flying chop is countered with a shot to the midsection, then rolls to the floor on the follow through. Sunset flip back in, but Barbarian blocks and covers, using the ropes, but the referee kicks him off, and Dragon follows through for the three count at 8:49. I swear to God, EVERYONE did that finish with the Barbarian. I could set my watch to it. Steamboat had very few, if any, good matches during this run, and I don't want to hear anyone whine "he carried Haku to a 4-star match in protest", to which I respond "show me."
Hulk Hogan & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Col. Mustafa (w/ Gen. Adnan):
Special Referee: "Macho Man" Randy Savage
Talk about an interesting Main Event (don't worry, this isn't the last match on the card...). Hogan is the reigning WWF Champion and feuding (still) with Slaughter and his band of merry men, but why is RANDY SAVAGE the referee? He had nothing to do with any of them. Lots of stalling of course. Slaughter and Hogan start with a slugest. Whip to the corner, and Slaughter takes his signature bump to the floor. Something is in the way of the camera, but the good guys are in control. Savage gives Hogan the business, but it doesn't stop Hogan from wiping the floor with Slaughter. Duggan tags in, and Punch-a-Mania continues. Duggan works the arm, and Hogan comes off the second rope with an axehandle. Hogan and Duggan take turns biting and working a wristlock. Whip to the ropes, and Slaughter finally takes Hogan down. Mustafa tags in and immediately misses an elbow drop. Duggan in, and he connects with a series of clotheslines to clear the ring. Mustafa gets to play the ping-pong ball this time, before tagging out to Slaughter.
Slaughter goes for the eyes (cue Heenan joke), and finally takes control with the usual. We clip ahead to Slaughter choking Duggan across the ropes, only for referee Randy Savage to pull him off. He teases hitting Savage, but turns his attention back to Duggan. So far we've seen a few wristlocks and a whole lot of punching. Oh, wait, there's a double elbow from the Two-Thirds of the Triangle of Terror. Mustafa slaps on a chinlock, and yet the crowd still is alive enough to chant USA to rally Duggan. He fights free with elbows, but runs into a chop. We get some illegal double teaming while Hogan and Savage argue. Mustafa goes for a suplex, but Duggan blocks and takes him over with his own. Slow crawl, Hogan gets the hot tag, and pounds away on Slaughter with rights. Whip to the corner, followed by a back drop. Hogan with clotheslines and a cheap shot to Mustafa. He connects with an atomic drop, and now Adnan hops on the apron, throwing baby powder in Hogan's face... despite Savage looking right at them. Ugh. Slaughter heads to the top rope, but comes down, arguing some more with Savage. He knocks Savage to the floor, for whatever reason, but that's just going to make him mad. During the melee', Savage comes off the top rope with a double axehandle on Slaughter (to the biggest pop of the card, so far), allowing Hogan to roll Slaughter up for the three count at 11:03 (shown). Typical goofy "special referee" main event, with a lot of punching, no real attempt at structuring a good technical match, and a silly finish.
Shawn Michaels & Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Paul Roma & Dino Bravo:
From the files of "What the HECK is this?!", it's time for substitution madness! Marty Jannetty is nursing an injury, so he's subbed out for Greg Valentine (the Hammered Rockers? Sounds about right), and I recall Roma doing a lot of solo stuff during the Summer, so maybe Hercules was "hurt" too (or the steroid thing coming to light around the same time might've had a factor), so he's subbed in for the "where the hell did he come from" Dino Bravo, now sporting dark hair instead of the bleached blonde look. Wait... how can they take Hercules off, and sub in DINO ROID MONKEY BRAVO?
We join the match in progress (of course), with Michaels having a headlock applied to Roma. Whip to the ropes, Valentine gets a blind tag, and levels Roma with an elbow. Valentine with a snapmare, and Michaels off the top with a sledge across the arm. Roma breaks free of a hammerlock with a rake of the eyes, then plants Michaels with a slam. Bravo comes in and drops an elbow, but a leg drop misses. Valentine in with elbows and kicks to the leg, taking Bravo off his feet. He drops a headbutt across the midsection and slaps on the Figure-Four, but Roma quickly breaks it with an elbow drop. Bravo with knees across the chest, knocking Valentine to the floor. Bravo with a snapmare takeover, then slaps on a Boston Crab. Michaels with a fist drop off the top to break the hold, much like Roma did earlier to Valentine. Michaels with the hot tag, and he pounds away on Roma. Whip to the ropes, he slams Roma face-first to the canvas, then knocks Bravo off the apron with a crescent kick. Michaels with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline on Roma for two. Valentine and Bravo get involved in the action, and the heels get whipped into each other. Michaels rolls up Roma, and that's enough for the three count at a clipped 4:00. Damn, I was really enjoying this one too. No sarcasm! But what's with every match having roll up finishes?!
Virgil vs. The Warlord:
Oh boy, not only did I get to be treated to a Barbarian match, but now I get an extra special dessert with The freakin' Warlord. Joined in Progress, again. Warlord sends Virgil to the ropes, and it's another "sweep the leg of the big man" spot. Warlord takes control, and drops a series of elbows for a two count. Warlord with clubbing blows across the back, and it's only a matter of time before we get a bearhug. Warlord with a snapmare, and he chooses to go with a chinlock, instead. Bastard! How dare you ignore my predicting your predictability! Virgil escapes with elbows, but gets dropped across the top rope, Hot Shot/Stun Gun style. It's only enough for a two count, though. I should note now, I'm really tired of listening to the stupidity of the guys filming this. Warlord charges, and gets back dropped to the floor. Might as well call this Bulldog vs. Typhoon II, 'cause it's the same damn match. Virgil with a plancha, but nothings going to drag a star out of Warlord's ass. Virgil continues pounding away, then shoves off the referee, drawing the Disqualification at a clipped 4:11. Warlord needed to win by DQ against VIRGIL? Wow.
Road Warrior Animal vs. Jerry Saggs (w/ Brian Knobbs & Jimmy Hart):
Hawk is hurt, so Animal gets to fly solo for a while. We get a coin toss to decide which Nasty Boy wrestles, and I can honestly see this not being rigged. Both men suck equally. The Nasty Boys are the reigning Tag Team Champions, as if it matters here. Lots of stalling, to the point we clip out some of it. Even after the bell sounds, we get tons of stalling. Typical crappy Nasty Boys style. I guess the mantra back then was "if you know you suck, suck up to Hulk." I'm begging for some mid 90's Undertaker matches at this point. Lockup, FINALLY, and Animal shoves Saggs across the ring. Lockup #2, Saggs goes to the eyes, and starts pounding away. Whip to the ropes, and Animal plows through Saggs with a shoulder tackle. Animal with a jumping elbow drop for two, interrupted by failed interference by Knobbs. Animal with clotheslines to both men, and yet the match continues, with Knobbs having been ejected from ringside. Animal continues pounding on Saggs, until meeting the boot on a charge attempt. Saggs takes control with his usual shitty offense, notably taunting the crowd and a lazy seated chinlock. Animal powers up to his feet, and slams back down on top of Saggs to break it. Saggs somehow remains in control and takes Animal out of the corner with a bulldog. He heads to the top, only to land right on a fist. Whip to the corner, Saggs meets the boot this time, and Animal follows through with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with the diving shoulder tackle. Jimmy Hart distracts the referee, allowing Knobbs to run in, only to have the interference backfire. Animal with the piledriver, and it's good for three at 8:16. Pros: The match finally ended. Cons: Everything else.
Final Thoughts: Wow, what a disappointing show this had to be. In order of best to worst, I would rank it the following: Michaels/Valentine vs. Roma/Bravo, Bulldog/Typhoon, Hogan/Duggan vs. Slaughter/Mustafa, and then the rest can all be lumped together in the same manure pile. Don't be confused by the listing of those other matches, though. Bulldog/Typhoon was merely OK, and the main event was fine for it's rarity and crowd satisfaction. What that leaves us is one match I would technically call "good", and it happened to be clipped to barely 4-minutes in length, so that would make up only about 6% of the run time of the entire video. Despite the rarities, it's not worth sitting through. Pass if you ever come across it.
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