April 27, 1991 (taped April 15)
Taped from Omaha, NE
Television rating: 7.7
Announced attendance: 9.400 (capacity: ca 10.960)
Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the 29th edition of WWF’s SNME. This episode features a rematch from the Royal Rumble between The Ultimate Warrior and Sgt. Slaughter, with The Undertaker paying close attention, a big battle royal featuring WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart’s first big singles break against Ted DiBiase.
Here’s the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:
- WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan [champion since March 24 1991 – previous champion: Sgt. Slaughter)
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Mr. Perfect [champion since Nov. 19 1990 – previous champion: The Texas Tornado)
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) [champions since March 24 1991 – previous champions: The Hart Foundation]
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter(w/ Gen. Adnan & Col. Mustafa)
This is obviously a rematch from the WWF Championship match at that year’s Royal Rumble, with Warrior having recently been attacked and locked inside a casket by The Undertaker. We’re wasting no time here, as Warrior slams Slaughter off the top to start and takes over with the clotheslines and the baaaaaaack bodydrop. Another one of my favorite Vince-isms on commentary! They take the fight to the floor, where Sheiky Mustafa Baby gets a shot and allows Slaughter to take control. Sarge pounds away back inside with lots of kicks and punches for a while. He works a bearhug, which Warrior escapes from with a powerslam, but his back is too hurt (from a 5 second bearhug and a slam?) and he stays down, allowing Sarge to go back to the bearhug. And we stay there for a while. Cue Paul Bearer, who brings a casket and leaves it at ringside. Slaughter pounds away on Warrior, but he’s shaking! Warrior fights back with the clotheslines and the flying shoulderblock, but Bearer opens the casket and The Undertaker is in it, stopping Warrior’s comeback sequence as all the heels jump Warrior for the DQ at 8:00. They go to work on Warrior until Hulk Hogan runs in to make the save. One shot takes Slaughter and his guys down but UT no-sells it and beats down Warrior some more, while Hogan goes after Slaughter. Warrior makes the comeback with the usual sequence, but UT no-sells it all and walks away.
- Rating: The match itself was very forgettable and kinda sucked a little bit, but the post-match segment was pretty good and made The Undertaker look like a million dollars. 3/4*
WWF World Tag Team Championship – The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)(c)(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke)
This is the Nasties’ first tag title defense. Ignore Bushwhackers were off WrestleMania and did nothing to earn this, apart from being a bunch of popular idiots, while The Rockers won their match and weren’t considered. Strange! Slugfest gets things going until the Bushwhackers clean house with a double clothesline. The Nasties stall for a while, but Butch turns his back to pose like a complete geek and Sags jumps him from behind. You don’t say! Butch fights back with a kneelift into a Luke jumping clothesline, but Knobbs is there to break up the pin. The Bushwhackers deliver battering rams to both Nasties, who stall some more. Luke eats a kick to the back of the head from Knobbs on a criss cross, putting the Nasties back in control. Knobbs comes in with a number of elbowdrops for two. Sags drops one of his own, but now Butch comes in and breaks up the count. Sags misses a charge in the corner and it’s hot tag Butch. He runs wild on both Nasties until Knobbs catches him with a clothesline and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN OMAHA! The Bushwhackers hit the battering ram in the middle of the confusion but Sags is there to break up the pin at the last second. And then Knobbs simply rolls up Butch, with a little leverage from Sags, to retain the titles at 6:48. The Bushwhackers hit the battering ram and stand tall to close the segment.
- Rating: Not much to this one, a simple match designed to put the Nasties over the popular Bushwhackers. It was effective at that, but the finish was a bit weak. *
Meanwhile, Jake Roberts introduces the new snake, Lucifer, after Earthquake squashed and destroyed Damian.
20 Man Battle Royal
The participants: Big Bossman, Earthquake, Greg Valentine, Haku, Hercules, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka, Kato, Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect, Paul Roma, Shawn Michaels, Tanaka, The Barbarian, The British Bulldog, The Texas Tornado, The Warlord and Tugboat
Hogan jumps everyone to start and Mr. Perfect already steals the whole show, sitting on the apron and hugging the ringpost to avoid elimination while everyone’s still in there! It’s a bunch of people kicking and punching each other all over the ring, until Marty Jannetty and Paul Roma eliminate each other for our first eliminations. Hogan, ever the sportsman, chokes Earthquake with his tape. Mr. Perfect teases getting eliminated a few times and starts bumping all over the place for everyone. He tries to quietly crawl under the bottom rope, but Hogan catches him and nearly eliminates him. Over on the other side, Warlord dumps Bulldog. Snuka eliminates Tanaka, only to be immediately tossed himself by Haku. Roberts is gone too via Earthquake, but he gets Lucifer out of the bag and into the ring, with the match literally stopping. And we take a break.
We return with the action already underway, and Hogan is shockingly attacked by Tugboat, his greatest friend in the whole world. Hogan backdrops Warlord out while Barbarian dumps Von Erich. Earthquake eliminates Duggan, which infuriates his greatest friend in the whole world, Hulk Hogan, who retaliates by eliminating Quake. Kato is gone too via Hogan, but then Tugboat dumps Hogan himself. Michaels tosses Tugboat immediately afterwards, and there’s tension between the two greatest friends in the whole world. Perfect dropkicks Bossman into a Barbarian backdrop and out for a pretty cool elimination, and then Michaels dropkicks Haku out.
Final four: Perfect, Michaels, Barbarian & Valentine
Michaels pounds away on Perfect and puts him out, but Perfect hangs on. Michaels catches Perfect with a dropkick back inside and now it’s Michaels who barely avoids elimination on the apron, but Perfect completes the elimination with an elbow to the back of the head. Perfect and Barbarian go to work together on Valentine, but Perfect dropkicks Barb by mistake and Valentine dumps him. And it’s down to Perfect and Hammer. Perfect chops away and Valentine responds with some of his own, the last one with a little bit of extra mustard on it. Valentine atomic drops Perfect right into the buckle and drops some elbows. Hammer tosses Perfect with a slam over the top, but Perfect holds the top ropes and Valentine is the one who hits the floor, with his own momentum taking him all the way down to give Perfect the win at 12:30.
- Rating: During the first few minutes, it was the usual kicky punchy battle royal mess, but after the break and the whole Jake Roberts deal it was actually quite good. Mr. Perfect was obviously the highlight here, spending the whole match doing everything to avoid the elimination before getting an intelligent win in the end. The people who interacted with him got over, particularly Shawn Michaels and Greg Valentine in the final sequences. This match created some tension between Hogan and Tugboat as well, while also developing the Earthquake/Roberts feud. Battle royals rarely impress me, but this one wasn’t bad at all. ***
Ted DiBiase(w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Bret Hart
So yeah, this was basically Bret’s first real test as a singles wrestler, just a month after the friendly split from Jim Neidhart. Hard lockup to start and DiBiase cheapshots Bret on the clean break. He chops away but Bret hiptosses him out of the corner and clotheslines twice. A third one dumps DiBiase over the top rope, as Bret then meets him there with a dive. Back in, Bret gets two off a side headlock takedown, and Ted gets a two count himself. DiBiase fights out of it only to eat a shoulderblock, but then Sherri trips Bret on a criss cross and distracts him. DiBiase charges with a knee but hits Sherri instead, and Bret O’Connor rolls him for two. DiBiase catches Bret with a stungun and gets two with a piledriver. Bret blocks a DiBiase slam and goes for another O’Connor roll, but DiBiase ducks and the momentum dumps Hart to the floor.
Sherri gets her shot in while DiBiase distracts the ref, and DiBiase pounds and chokes away back inside. Sherri adds some choking of her own as well and a punch to the throat. A hard whip to the buckle, with the awesome Bret Hart bump, sets up the Million Dollar Dream. DiBiase locks it but Bret runs him into the corner to break. DiBiase goes up but misses it and Bret starts making the comeback. Atomic drop followed by a great flying back elbow gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker sets up the middle rope elbow, and gets two more. The crowd are really buying into all these nearfalls, which was a great sign. Bret goes after Sherri once she trips him up on a criss cross yet again, which allows DiBiase to jump him from behind. This draws Roddy Piper down to ringside, who beats Sherri all the way to the back with a broom. DiBiase leaves the ring to confront him, but Bret follows him out as well, and they get into a slugfest on the ramp as the ref calls for a double count-out at 9:56.
- Rating: What a really great match this was up until the (understandable) non finish. You could tell Bret was leaving it all out there to impress and finally get his big singles break, and he couldn’t have had a better opponent. Both DiBiase and Sherri were absolute pros and great natural heels, so it naturally clicked. The fans were into all of Bret’s nearfalls near the end, and the in-ring action was superb. Very good stuff that could’ve been epic with a proper story between each other and, obviously, a proper finish as well. ***1/2
(Alleged) Main Event – Tito Santana vs. The Mountie(w/ Jimmy Hart)
This is actually a rematch from the penultimate match on the card at WrestleMania VII, which Mountie won in a minute. The Mountie starts off cocky, which earns him an atomic drop and a couple of clotheslines, and Mountie bails. Santana follows him to the outside, where he rams Mountie’s head onto the apron, and he pounds away back inside. Santana goes for a monkey flip out of the corner, but Mountie grabs the ropes and Santana knocks himself out instead. Mountie rams Santana’s head into the buckle a few times but a splash only finds Tito’s knees. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron to stop the count after the flying jalapeno, so Santana gives him one as well. However, this allows Mountie to grab the stick and knock out Tito for the win at 4:29.
- Rating: Your typical brief final match at a SNME, with Tito getting some shine but ultimately putting Mountie over once more. It was alright. *1/2
Meanwhile, Slaughter and Hogan cut promos on each other to close the show.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Not a bad edition of SNME at all to follow up on WrestleMania VII. The Warrior/Slaughter match was a giant sack of nothing, much worse and more forgettable than their Royal Rumble encounter, but the angle that came afterwards was pretty damn cool and made The Undertaker look like a badass next to the main-eventers like Hogan and Warrior. The Bushwhackers standing tall against the tag champs feuding with the Road Warriors was what it was, while the battle royal and Bret/DiBiase were clearly the highlights of the night, with a number of wrestlers looking better than they did coming in. In the final match, Mountie and Santana did the best they could with four short minutes. Pretty solid edition, carried by a fun battle royal with a very exciting final sequence, and a strong match between DiBiase and Bret. 6/10
For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more about my point system click here
For the battle royal participants, each elimination will be worth 0.5 points, and being eliminated will cost the wrestlers 0.5 points as well. Winning will be worth 3 points.
|Brian Knobbs||1||1||–||–||+1 for retaining a title|
+0.5 for winning the fall
|Jerry Sags||1||1||–||–||+1 for retaining a title||3|
|The Ultimate Warrior||0.75||0.5||–||–||–||1.25|
|Bushwhacker Butch||1||-1||–||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||-0.5|
As always, thank you all so much for your time. Make sure you tune in next time for WCW SuperBrawl, featuring Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami for both the WCW and NWA World Heavyweight Championships. As far as SNME goes, it’s taking a break until early 1992, and the WWF’s next review will be SummerSlam. Until then, stay safe!