February 4, 2005
The Big Bossman vs. Mr. Perfect (w/ Bobby Heenan)
Los Angeles, CA
March 24, 1991
In 1990, two of the hottest names in the midcard scene were that of the Big Bossman and Mr. Perfect.
Upon turning babyface shortly after the 1990 Royal Rumble, the Bossman was instantly accepted by the fans as he dished out his law and order on the most hated heels in the company, from Ted Dibiase to Earthquake. He always gave good, emotional interviews and while his large frame was not overly distinctive in that era of the WWF his agility for being so big surely was.
For all the adoration the fans lavished upon Bossman, they reserved an equal amount of loathing for “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. The most arrogant performer on the WWF roster, Hennig utilized his Perfect Plex finisher to take him to countless victories, including two reigns as Intercontinental Champion. With the franchise player of WWF managers, Bobby Heenan, at his side Perfect seemed unbeatable.
In the fall of 1990, Heenan and his protégé “Ravishing” Rick Rude began making remarks about the Bossman’s mother. Week after week, insults were sent to Mama Bossman in Cobb County, GA. And week after week, Bossman, not one for jokes at this expense of his mother, swore revenge.
A wrench was thrown into the story when Rude abruptly left the WWF, wrestling his last match in September. A new pecking order of the Heenan Family was established in his absence. First Haku, then the Barbarian, and at the end of the road was the IC title holder.
Bossman went through Haku at the Survivor Series, picking up a decisive pin during their 8-man elimination match. At the Royal Rumble, the law enforcement officer made it by the Barbarian as well. There was only one more step to take and that would be at the biggest event of the year, WrestleMania VII.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, with celebrities Donald Trump, Chuck Norris, Henry Winkler, and Macaulay Culkin watching on, the Big Bossman would have his chance to dethrone Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan of their most cherished possession – the Intercontinental Title.
The Big Bossman (challenger):
“Bobby Heenan, you threw family member after family member in front of the path of the Big Bossman. And what happened? I mowed them all down. All but one man … and that’s your most prized possession – Mr. Perfect. Bottom line is, WrestleMania 7, Mr. Perfect you have to step in the ring with me. No more chances for appeal. Stay of executions are up. You’re going to make, at WrestleMania 7, a perfect example that crime does not pay!”
Mr. Perfect (champion) & Bobby Heenan:
“And I guarantee you this, that you will not find Mr. Perfect on his back giving the Big Bossman 56 free swipes at me, Bossman. Because I’m cool. I’m the Intercontinental Champion. I’m cool as a cat, Bossman. Most people in my position might be on edge, thinking they’ve got to get in the ring with a 300lb maniac. Well Big Bossman, I’m the champion, Intercontinental Champion. I have all the tools it takes to be a champion. I have Bobby “the Brain” Heenan in my corner, I have the right body, I have the right looks, I have the ability. I am what I say I am. And I say I’m …”
“They’re saying it. They’re saying it.” – Heenan
“…There’s only one. You’re looking at him.”
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes (subbing for Heenan) call the action.
After the bell, Perfect throws his towel at the challenger. Bossman grabs it, wipes it against his backside, throws it back in Perfect’s face, grabs it again, and swipes it back and forth against the champion’s face.
Perfect responds by spitting his gum at the challenger. Bossman retaliates by shooting a wad of spit at the title holder. A look of disgust on his face, Perfect slaps his foe and quickly goes out to the floor, only for Bossman to slide out behind him, drop him with an uppercut, and throw him back inside.
Bossman, now with the mental advantage, takes the battle to Perfect early on. Showing his quickness and agility, the challenger soon tosses the champion over the top to the floor where he is consulted by Heenan. With 1:45 removed, the crowd chants a unanimous “Weasel” towards the champion’s manager.
Back inside the ring, Bossman reverses an Irish whip into the corner, with Perfect hitting hard and bouncing off the turnbuckle. Moments later, the challenger takes off his belt and begins lashing away at the title holder. With Bossman distracted by Heenan on the floor, Perfect wraps the belt around his fist and lands several blows to the challenger, finally gaining the advantage. After getting the challenger on the mat, a few stomps follow.
Bossman is soon sent into the corner and is caught in a reverse chin lock, with the champion grabbing the ropes for leverage. Perfect locks on an abdominal stretch and, after 30 seconds, Heenan begins telling the time keeper to ring the bell.
The champion soon releases the hold and sends Bossman to the mat with a beautiful standing dropkick. A snap mare follows.
Perfect, without signaling, sets the Bossman up for the Perfect Plex but the challenger proves to be too big and Bossman reverses the attempt into an inside cradle for a 2- count.
Moments later, Perfect climbs up top and comes off onto a prone Bossman, only for the challenger to lift a boot into the champion’s face, finally turning the tide of the bout. Perfect soon finds himself face down on the mat, the ringpost in-between his legs. Bossman takes advantage by pulling him into the post, making Perfect an honorary member of the Vienna Boys Choir.
While on the floor, Bossman becomes distracted by Heenan, allowing Perfect to come up from behind him and throw him into the steel ring steps. With the referee distracted, Heenan takes the boots to the challenger only for the 8th Wonder of the World – Andre the Giant – to make an unscheduled appearance at ringside, making it clear that he would not stand for any of “The Brain’s” tactics.
Moments later, Andre, in possession of the championship title belt, begins stalking Heenan around the ring. The champion, who is in full control of the bout, takes exception to the giant touching his gold and repeatedly tells the referee to do something about it. Eventually, with the referee distracted by Heenan, Perfect sticks his head out in-between the ropes to yell at Andre. Without missing a beat, Andre smacks the championship gold against Perfect’s head. The champion falls backwards, knocked cold.
With both men on the mat, the crowd begins chanting for the Bossman to take advantage. He sits up and slowly rolls over to make the cover but Perfect kicks out at 2. Immediately thereafter, the Barbarian and Haku run to the ring on behalf of Heenan, resulting in the referee calling for the bell at 10:45.
The Bossman is briefly double teamed in the ring while Andre gets in a few lashes on Perfect on the arena floor. Moments later, the interfering family members go out to confront Andre, only for Haku to get smacked and the Barbarian to get sent into the ring post.
With Bossman now alone in the ring, the announcement is made that he is the victor on a disqualification. The title would remain with Mr. Perfect but the challenger had gained the moral win. Gorilla Monsoon makes note of the upcoming world title bout between Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter, mentioning that a technicality win will not result in a changing of the guard.
The match now over, Andre makes his way backstage only for Bossman to come up behind him and shake his hand. The two share words before raising each others arm in victory.
A good match. The heat was definitely there for all parties involved, Perfect, Bossman, Heenan, and Andre. The finish was crap and I think that takes something away from the match as an overall. But the crowd stayed enthusiastic throughout, especially for the appearance of Andre.
This would be Andre’s last WrestleMania before his death in 1993. Perfect and Bossman would compete in a handful more but I don’t think any of their future appearances were nearly as memorable as this. Both men were clearly in their prime, Bossman as the agile hoss and Perfect as the arrogant technician.
While watching WrestleMania VII, it’s sad to realize that so many of the performers that shaped that era of the WWF are no longer with us. Kerry Von Erich. Dino Bravo. Gorilla Monsoon. Road Warrior Hawk. Hercules. Davey Boy Smith.
In February, 2003, Curt Hennig joined that list. Last September, Ray "The Big Bossman" Traylor followed suit.
We miss them all.