(Indeed, for most of the early stuff they post to the Network, I’ll already have it done from when it was up on Classics on Demand, so here’s the MSG show currently in the Old School section of the vault).
The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG - October 28 1991
- Taped from New York
- Your hosts are Gorilla & Bobby & Alfred
Kerry Von Erich v. Big Bully Busick
Busick stays away to start and they trade headlocks, which goes nowhere. They do the test of strength and Kerry misses a blind charge, hitting the post as a result. Bully can't capitalize and gets caught with the claw, but manages to block the discus punch. And we go to the bearhug before Bully elbows him down. Another try at the discus punch finishes for the Tornado, however. Kerry was absolutely awful at this point and obviously didn't give a shit any longer. 1/2* Halfway notable for a young Billy Silverman as the referee. Maybe a quarter of a way notable. It's not an exact science.
IRS v. The British Bulldog
Irwin gets the slam to start, but Bulldog hiptosses him and gets his own slam. IRS bails and starts working the arm back in the ring. Bulldog overpowers him and we get a couple of stalling sequences before IRS bails off a dropkick. More stalling follows. I should note the funny conversation between Bobby and Gorilla about the quality of the upcoming Survivor Series teams featuring Flair, as Gorilla runs down Flair's team, finishing by noting that Warlord is "only interested in Domino's Pizza". You get the craziest references on these shows sometimes. IRS works a headscissors on the mat and uses the ropes as this thing drags on, then bails and stalls when the ref calls him on it. Back in, Bulldog gets dumped. Back in, Gorilla notes that IRS has "pulled out all the stops", which in this case is stomping him a couple of times and going to the abdominal stretch. I'd hate to see him being lazy, then. Seriously, what happened to Mike Rotundo between his WCW stint and his WWF one? He was an awesome, if unspectacular, worker for most of the 80s and then once he got the shirt and tie it was like he was killed and replaced with Larry Zbyszko or something. IRS works on the legs and gets two, and we hit the chinlock. Bulldog fights up, but gets backdropped and it's MORE stalling. IRS drops an elbow for two, and it's back to the chinlock. Bulldog powers up, but IRS gets a good shoulderblock to put him down again and drops a leg for two. Blind charge misses and Irwin hits the floor. For more stalling. This is so obviously leading to a 20-minute draw that they might as well have advertised it in the program. Back in, they slug it out and Bulldog catches him for the powerslam, but IRS falls on top for two. Bulldog comes back with a backdrop for two. IRS bails for the millionth time and finds a tag rope under the ring, which he uses to choke Bulldog out with. Bulldog retreats to the floor and finds his own rope, but IRS goes low. Bulldog gets a small package for two, but the time limit expires at 20:00. Well shucks. It had moments of good stuff, but every step forward was negated by IRS ducking out of the ring for cheap heat. **
Jim Neidhart v. The Mountie
Big stall from Mountie to start, and Anvil slams him three times to set up more stalling. Back in, Mountie fails to overpower Neidhart, hits the floor and stalls, comes back in, goes out again and does more stalling. Have I mentioned this was a pretty awful period for the company? Back in, Neidhart gets three clotheslines with enough white space showing to paint a picture of the countryside, and SURPRISE, Mountie runs away again. Jesus, just skip to the obvious finish and zap him with the shock stick already. Neidhart misses a charge and goes after Jimmy Hart, and that double-whammy allows Mountie to gain the advantage on the floor. Back in, a back elbow sets up the chinlock to really ramp up the pace. Mountie rams him into the turnbuckle, but Neidhart makes the comeback with a backdrop and another awful clothesline for two. Neidhart misses a charge, however, and Mountie pins him with two handfuls of tights at 11:22. WEAK. *
Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Ric Flair
This is Flair's MSG "debut" (actually not, but we'll play along) and the reaction to his entrance is REALLY interesting, with pure WWF marks booing him, and everyone else giving him a crazy loud standing ovation. Piper also gets a mega-reaction so this will have heat if nothing else. They do the trash talk to start and Flair gives him a rare clean break, so Piper spits on him. Flair gives another clean break, and Piper bitchslaps him this time. Flair tries the headlock and Piper reverses out of it and smacks him down again. Piper knocks him down, so Flair comes back with the chop in the corner, but Piper slugs back and puts him down. We get a Flair Flop off that and he bails, so Piper chases and rams him into the railing. Back in, Piper knocks him down again and they criss-cross, but Piper wins that by punching him down and slugs away in the corner. Flair uses the ref to get a cheapshot in, however, and takes over. He works the headlock and they do the pinfall reversal sequence, as Piper gets a backslide for two. You don't see that from Piper very often! Flair tosses him three times and he keeps popping back in, so Flair takes him to the floor and throws chops in the aisle to put him down. Back in, Flair gets the necksnap on the way in. Piper throws down with own chops, however, and puts Flair down with a huge kneelift, which sends them back to the floor again. Back in, Piper slugs him in the corner, but the ref gets bumped. Flair attacks from behind and gets rolled up as a result, but there's no ref. Another ref comes in and Piper gets the rollup again, for two. Flair Flip and Piper clotheslines him on the apron, but Flair grabs a chair and clobbers Piper with it…for two. Piper comes back with the sleeper, but Flair quickly escapes with a backdrop suplex and goes up. Piper slams him off and fires away, then catches Flair with his down and gets a neckbreaker. He retrieves a chair of his own, but the ref prevents him and Flair takes him down and pins him with his feet on the ropes at 12:00. Wow, Piper does a semi-clean job? That's pretty high praise from him. Tremendous stuff, the only thing on the show to have any life to it. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Flair cuts a crazed victory promo against Hulk Hogan, which should have set up a PPV match and yet never did.
Big Bossman v. Col. Mustafa
IRS accuses Bossman of being a tax cheat, which has Bossman so preoccupied that he clotheslines Mustafa down and then runs off to chase him. Back in, Bossman slams Mustafa and slugs away in the corner. Mustafa gets a cheapshot and pounds away to take over, then hits a gut wrench suplex. Bossman reverses another suplex attempt and takes Mustafa down with a spinebuster for the pin at 4:45. That was the finish? DUD
Intercontinental title: Bret Hart v. The Berzerker
Berzerker attacks to start and chokes away in the corner, but misses a kneedrop, which allows Bret to slug away and dropkick him out of the ring. He pops back in, so Bret clotheslines him out again and then follows with an atomic drop to put him out again. Back in, Berzerker goes low and stomps away, then tosses Bret and lays him out on the floor. Back in, Bret falls on top for two during a slam attempt, but runs into a knee, as we hit the chinlock. Piledriver gets two. And after that burst of wrestling ability, we go back to the chinlock. Bret fights up, but Berzerker gets a powerslam for two. Bret manages to drop him on the top rope, however, and a legsweep gets two. Small package gets two. Backbreaker and elbow get two. Sharpshooter is blocked, but a crucifix finishes at 10:12. Dull stuff. *1/2
Hercules v. Tito Santana
Tito debuts as El Matador in MSG here. I liked the gimmick change solely because it got him to start wearing those damn Strike Force tights two years after the team broke up. Kind of a funny spot to start as Tito uses the cape to evade a charging Hercules, then wins a slugfest. Hercules bails, and then grabs a headlock back in the ring. Tito works on the arm and slugs away in the corner, which gets two. Herc comes back with an atomic drop, then slugs away in the corner and goes to a bearhug. That lasts an insane amount of time. Tito fights out and hits the flying forearm, but it only gets two. Luckily, he has his new finisher, the PACE WITH EXTRA PICANTE, and it finishes at 9:10. Not a thrilling start for the new gimmick. *
WWF tag titles: The Legion of Doom v. The Natural Disasters
Typhoon tries to overpower Hawk, but gets caught with a shoulderblock out of the corner for his troubles. Animal comes against Earthquake and puts him down with a shoulderblock of his own, but can't get the slam. Disasters take over and Quake goes to the bearhug, then they double-team in the corner and a powerslam gets two for Quake. Animal fights out of the corner with a boot and a clothesline to set up the hot tag to Hawk, who dropkicks Quake and gets a shoulderblock for two. Disasters catch Animal alone, however, and splash him into oblivion, but they toss the ref for no adequately explored reason and it's a DQ at 8:00. Man, they were booking the Disasters super-strong here, as they basically had the champs beat at will and only lost because they were stupid. Match itself was pretty shitty stuff. 1/2*
Yikes, track down Piper v. Flair on YouTube or something, avoid the rest like the plague, much like audiences did in 1991 anyway.