October 27, 2006
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
November 29, 1992
Buy Rate: 1.4
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan
1) Crush (Brian Adams) beat Brooklyn Brawler (Steve Lombardi) by Submission.
1) The Headshrinkers defeat High Energy when Fatu (Solofa Fatu) pins Owen Hart at 7:38 after a splash from the top rope.
Fun Fact: This is Koko B. Ware’s final PPV match (not counting Royal Rumble 1993). His final PPV record from 1987-1993, including Rumbles, tag matches and dark matches was 2-11, with his only two wins coming in dark matches at Wrestlemania VII and Summerslam 1991. His actual on-air PPV record is 0-11.
Fun Fact II: This is a big tag team debut, as the Headshrinkers make their PPV debut. The former Samoan Swat Team in WCW was Samu and Fatu, both related to the legendary Wild Samoans of Afa and Sika. As we see in future reviews (including later in this review) more professional wrestlers come from this family.
Scott: This definitely was the first transitional PPV in the history of the WWF. This show debuts the screens that are next to the entrance with a graphic of whoever is coming down the aisle, a precursor to the "Titantron" if you will. That's just the beginning. This was a solid match, as the Headshrinkers are establishing themselves as a top heel team with a win over another slapped together team of Owen Hart and a fading face. I did enjoy the It does suck that Owen had to be pinned here, but I guess it's called paying your dues. The pacing was good and Owen was definitely looking up as 1993 was dawning. The Headshrinkers (I wish they kept Samoan Swat Team, frankly) start off with a solid win and move quickly up the tag team ladder. A decent match to get the crowd started, but better things are to come. Grade: 2
Justin: A decent opener to a good show, as Owen is continued to be showcased to the crowd, but not given much of a push. I surmise he was only around at this point for 2 reasons: 1) as a favor to Stu and Bret and 2) so WCW wouldn’t have him. This is the Headshrinkers PPV debut and they are put over High Energy very convincingly, as they would go on to be a very good tag team over the couple of years. The Headshrinkers were a good, solid, hard hitting team and provided a nice change from the steady flow of finesse tag teams that had begun to take over the tag division. High Energy had a solid run and gave Koko one more chance to be in the spotlight before he headed out of the Federation for good. The match here is a well worked tag team formula match that saw some stiff work from Fatu and Samu. High Energy makes the comeback at the end, but the Headshrinkers polish them off with a great looking splash off the top by Fatu. A good debut for the Samoans and a fitting exit for Koko, as he goes out on the losing end of the purse money, just like every other PPV match he was in over the course of the past 6 years. Grade: 2
2) Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) defeats Nailz (Kevin Kelly) in a Nightstick Match after a Boss Man Slam in 5:43
Fun Fact: After this feud and show, Nailz was set for a big feud with the Undertaker that would lead to a Royal Rumble match. They even set the feud up on an episode of Superstars in December, and the face to face meeting even graced the cover of the January 1993 WWF Magazine. Here is the back-story. In December 1992, Nailz confronted Vince McMahon backstage about money that was supposedly owed to him and possibly about a raise. When Vince blew him off, Nailz flipped and began choking McMahon out. He was eventually pulled off by WWF officials, but as you would expect he was immediately turfed from the Federation and essentially blackballed from wrestling. Nailz resurfaced VERY briefly (for only one night) in WCW as the “Prisoner,” where he had one match (which he lost) with Sting at Slamboree 1993. Right after the PPV he was gone from WCW as well. Nailz popped up once more at the 1994 Steroid Trials where he tore into McMahon on the witness stand and made all sorts of wild accusations. Nailz’ testimony was thrown out and seen as bullshit as many believed Nailz was lying just to try and screw McMahon. Nailz has not been seen on wrestling TV since.
Scott: This would be the swan song for one of the most popular superstars of the era. Big Boss Man was a heel for about a year and a half, but by mid-1990 became one of the era's biggest faces. It was a matter of time before there would be a storyline involving a former convict bent on revenge. This was a nice, earned blow-off for Boss Man, who within 4-5 months would be gone. The match itself really isn’t that great, and the nightstick barely came into play, so what was the point? It’s really a shame that Boss Man’s swan song was going to be quiet and very painful to watch. Nailz? He probably had a good solid career as a mid-card heel ahead of him, including a career-making feud with the Undertaker. Instead he thought he could push Vince McMahon around, and we saw where that got him. Grade: 2
Justin: An OK match here to blow off what was a pretty hot feud. After putting Boss Man out of action in July, Nailz went on a tear and destroyed jobber after jobber. On the August 15 Superstars, Boss Man returned to action and defeated Skinner. The two men battled on house shows all through the fall, trading wins and losses. On TV, Nailz called out Boss Man numerous times, but the two never squared off until this match. The blowoff had the right ending, but was really short for the amount of buildup that had gone into it. Boss Man wins fairly easily after a few stiff nightstick shots. The nightstick isn’t used very much despite having been the catalyst for the entire feud. A satisfying ending to a sub-par match, but it was nice to see Boss Man get his moment in the sun as his time in the WWF was winding down. Grade: 2
3) Tatanka (Chris Chavis) defeats Rick Martel (Richard Vigneault) after the Papoose to Go in 11:05
Fun Fact: This rematch from Wrestlemania VIII came about because Martel stole Tatanka’s sacred Eagle feathers in October.
Scott: The rematch from Wrestlemania VIII was a little better than the first encounter, with Tatanka winning again, keeping his undefeated streak, albeit small at the time, intact. The memorable moment from this match, was the first of three huge debuts at this PPV. An unforgettable character walking around with balloon animals, and throwing buckets of confetti. I'm of course talking about Doink, otherwise known as Matt Borne. This is Matt Borne's first PPV appearance since losing to Ricky Steamboat at the first Wrestlemania in 1985, and since that was closed-circuit, not PPV, this is technically his first PPV appearance. He didn't really have anything to do with the match, just that he was outside the ring. That’s probably the reason why this match was 11 minutes when it probably could have been 6 or 7 minutes. We’ll delve more into the crazy clown’s career to date in our next review. He starts out as an awesome heel with cool music, and then he becomes a face, which both Justin and I disagreed with. More on that in future reviews. One error worth noting was that Vince accidentally called Martel a former IC champion. Not quite. Former AWA World Champion, but no singles belts in the WWF. Grade: 2
Justin: A decent match that is a little longer and a little better than their first PPV encounter. The problem with this match is that they had to slow it down and do a lot of restholds so the cameras, fans and commentators could focus on Doink messing around at ringside. Doink was an intriguing character, as the idea of a wrestling clown seemed really stupid at first, but once the nuances of the evil clown gimmick started to play out the gimmick really got over. Not to mention, once he got in the ring and proved he could wrestle to back up the great heel persona, Vince saw that he had struck some gold. Here he just prances around the crowd messing with kids as Tatanka and Martel trade restholds. The match is quite boring, but picks up at the ends as Tatanka makes his comeback and picks up his second PPV win over the veteran Martel in the past three shows. Tatanka would start to get better in the ring and improve greatly as the New Year rolled around. Here, he is still quite raw and the result is a sluggish match with a decent ending. Grade: 1.5
4) Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) & Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) defeat Ric Flair (Richard Fliehr) & Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) by Disqualification at 17:08.
Fun Fact I: Here is our second big debut of the show. Razor Ramon is Scott Hall, who started his career down in Florida feuding with Dusty Rhodes. He then moved on to the NWA where he was a mid-card act named Starship Coyote. Hall really cut his teeth in the AWA starting in 1985, winning the Tag Team Titles twice with, ironically, Curt Hennig. He then moved on to WCW in the spring of 1991, originally as his real name but eventually became the Diamond Studd, bodyguard and charge of Diamond Dallas Page. Being wasted in the lower mid-card, Vince signed Hall in the spring of 1992 and re-packaged him as Razor Ramon. The first vignette aired on the June 13 episode of Superstars, with his first match on the August 8 Superstars, defeating Paul Van Dow with his patented finisher, the Razor’s Edge.
Fun Fact II: Here’s the reason for this match: Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage were feuding over the World title leading up to Summerslam, and Ric Flair had both guys convinced that the other was working for Flair, when in fact neither was. Warrior beat Savage by count-out at Summerslam, and injured him enough that Flair was able to cash in on the situation and win the World title himself a few days later. So Savage & Warrior decided to team up and challenge Flair and Razor Ramon, but Warrior fucked it up by leaving the WWF ten days before Survivor Series. So Savage decided to play mind games with Flair in retaliation, asking his manager Curt Hennig to be his new partner on Prime Time Wrestling, and Hennig actually accepted, causing Bobby Heenan to flip out and slap Hennig. So Hennig turned face and we had this match. Also, this was Curt Hennig’s first PPV appearance as a face in his WWF tenure.
Scott: The Bad Guy. Oozing Machismo. Razor Ramon. He debuts here as Ric Flair's tag partner against the new face, Mr. Perfect, and a fading Randy Savage. This feud starts on one of the last Prime Time Wrestling shows of all time. Flair questions Perfect's loyalty which causes Bobby Heenan to flip out and slap him. Perfect grabs Heenan by the collar, ala Andre 1990, and dumps a pitcher of water over his head. Perfect then would receive one of the biggest pops of his career this night in Ohio. The match was pretty good, but the ending was kind of weak. If Flair was preparing to leave, why didn't he just lose outright? They made it out that the feud was going to continue, which would have been fine, but it didn't, so then it looked stupid. Nice pop for Perfect and Savage in the end. One year after making a big splash in the WWF, it already seems like his time is coming to an end. Savage’s shelf life is slowly shrinking also, but he stays on camera. As for Razor? This was just the beginning for the "Bad Guy". Grade: 3
Justin: A fun tag match here with a red hot crowd and some interesting characters going at it. Mr. Perfect is the fresh face in the match, as he spent the past 12 months as Ric Flair’s corner man. He is finally back in a ring and looks awesome in his first match back. He teases a heel turn half way through, as he starts to walk back and feign that he is abandoning the Macho Man, but the crowd starts to rally Perfect and he returns to Savage’s corner to finish the match. Speaking of Macho Man, he is slowly starting to fade out of the Main Event picture, but is still way over with the crowd and is still bringing in the ring. His feud with Flair is starting to wane a bit, but the hatred between the two is still palpable, and Vince was trying to transfer that heat from Flair to the new heel in town, Razor Ramon. Ramon had been questioning Savage’s “Machismo” and the two began a feud that started pretty hot but died off quite quickly as 1992 came to a close. This is the final time we see Ric Flair on PPV in a regular match, as he is in the 1993 Royal Rumble, but gone from the WWF for close to 9 years the night after. The ending of this match is sort of head scratching, but understandable, as Perfect and Savage pick up the DQ victory to keep Ramon and Flair strong going forward. A strong match with a great crowd keeps this show rolling along. Grade: 3
5) Yokozuna (Rodney Anoia) defeats Virgil (Michael Jones) with a Banzai Drop at 3:43
Fun Fact: Here is big debut #3 on this show. Rodney Anoia, a Samoan with bloodlines to the legendary Afa and Sika makes a splash (literally) as Yokozuna. The term “Yokozuna” stands for “Grand Champion” in Japanese. Anoia began his career in Japan in 1984, and would eventually flock to the AWA. He’d wrestle there as Kokina Maximus, but like most in the AWA they would be let go when the company went under in 1991. Vince scooped him up and he makes his TV debut on the October 31 edition of Superstars, squashing Bill Jordan in under 2 minutes. To give him even more heel heat, Yoko was given Mr. Fuji as his manager. There had been rumors of him being a third member of the Headshrinkers, but Vince went a different route and had him remain as a singles monster, a role he was perfectly suited for.
Scott: The man who would dominate the WWF for the next 17 months, and one of the nastiest heels in history, begins his quest for gold here. Probably the last minor match Yokozuna would wrestle in for a good two years, Virgil is fodder for the big man from Samoa (I mean Japan, like anyone knew the difference), and would give Vince his next big heel. He absolutely dissects Virgil, including a nasty splash that looked like it wasn’t meant to be as nasty as it was. With a need for some new main event heels, Yoko would immediately go up the ladder, and in January makes his first big mark. His 4-plus year run was memorable for many reasons, which we'll document as they happen. Tragically, his career (and life) would end sadly. Let’s enjoy the high points of his career. Here, at the 1992 Survivor Series, his reign of terror begins. As for Virgil, he’s definitely on the bottom of the food chain, but does give a chilling post-match warning to the WWF (and Bret Hart in particular) that Yokozuna is for real. Grade: 1.5
Justin: The main reason to for this match to have the slim, trim, 505-pound Yokozuna start on his warpath by destroying Virgil. Vince is pretty funny on commentary here as he tries his best to convince everyone that Yoko will have a harder time with Virgil as opposed to the other way around. It is kind of sad to see how far Virgil fell after Summerslam 1991, but his usefulness all but ended after the DiBiase feud, as he is used as cannon fodder now. One cool thing he does do, however, is his grim warning to WWF and Bret Hart, especially, as he warns them of the danger of Yokozuna. Yoko adds a side of squash to your Thanksgiving dinner in this short, but entertaining little bout. Grade: 1.5
6) Natural Disasters & Nasty Boys defeat Beverly Brothers & Money Inc. in 16:01
Earthquake (John Tenta) pinned Blake Beverly (Mike Enos) with a Quake Splash at 9:30
IRS pinned Typhoon (Fred Ottman) while Ted DiBiase holds his leg at 15:54
Jerry Sags (Jerome Sagonovich) pins IRS (Mike Rotundo) with a roll up at 16:01
Fun Fact: The Nasty Boys were actually replacing the Bushwhackers, as they faced out just weeks before this match. The Nasties had been complaining to Jimmy Hart that they were being ignored in favor of Money, Inc. and that they wanted a tag title shot. Hart refused and Money, Inc. beat down Sags and Knobbs, essentially turning them face. The Nasties would actually get a shot of their own medicine, as they were in line for title shots heading into to 1993 (even scheduled to fight Money, Inc. at Wrestlemania IX). However, right in the midst of their feud, a couple of hot, new face teams would debut, thus busting the Nasties down to the 3rd ranked face team in the federation, and they were gone by April. The Disasters would also be gone by February, as they were shoved even further down the face tag team food chain. The ironic thing is how eerily similar this was to late 1990-early 1991, when the Nasties and Road Warriors jumped and screwed up the push of Power and Glory. I guess what goes around comes around. The Nasty Boys would return to WCW where they would stay for the rest of their careers, never appearing in the WWF again.
Scott: This was a pretty good filler match with old school survivor series rules. It's ironic how two nasty (no pun intended) heel teams are faces for this match. The match, obviously with the size of a few guys, went at a very slow pace. Ted DiBiase did a great job of transcending into a tag team wrestler (with his cool white tights making their second, and last appearance), at the time holding his only WWF gold. Earthquake gets a bigger pop than others in this match, why I don't know. Sags rolls IRS over immediately after IRS pinned Typhoon, and the match was over, just like that. This was pretty good action for big guys with little workrate as far as the face side was concerned. Grade: 3
Justin: An OK match that is made more watchable by DiBiase’s awesome swank alternate white tights that he retires after the match, thus robbing us of one of the best pair of tights ever. The main issue here was the impending feud between the Nasty Boys and Money, Inc., as the Beverlys and Disasters were just bit players at this point. This match definitely had a weird ending, where Sags ends the match before Money, Inc. and the Nasties can go at it to establish the feud. The bout is slow and a bit sluggish, but the Nasties were pretty over with the crowd, so not all is lost. The Disasters had dropped the belts back to Money Inc. at a house show in October and have seen their peak pass them by. Anyway, this match has no long lasting meaning in hindsight and it is the swan song for three of 1991 and 1992s most consistent teams: the Natural Disasters, Beverly Brothers and the Nasty Boys. Grade: 2.5
7) Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeats Kamala (James Harris) in a Casket Match when he nails the casket shut at 5:26
Fun Fact: This is the first casket match in WWF PPV history, and the first of many for Taker over the next 3 years. The rules of this one were very different, as you had to first PIN your opponent, then roll him in the casket and nail the door shut. After the match, Kamala was an emotional mess and was berated endlessly by Kim Chee for the next month or so. Finally, in late January, Reverend Slick came to the rescue, saving Kamala from the Kim Chee’s abuse and teaching him to be more humane. Kamala would stay around as a face until the summer of 1993, but this is his last PPV appearance. One of his final matches on TV was an I-C Title match with Shawn Michaels on Raw in July. He was also scheduled to be at Wrestlemania IX, but his match with Bam Bam Bigelow was canceled due to time constraints.
Scott: Oh my god. It was bad enough to watch this debacle at Summerslam; we actually had to watch a re-match? Oh god, how horrible. Kamala is so past his prime it's unbelievable, and poor Undertaker had to carry this guy AGAIN. This time he actually had to put him in a casket. Back then they put nails in the door and hammered it shut, after pinning him. With this being the debut of the casket match, there were a lot of wrinkles to iron out. Trust me, we'll continue to monitor the lousy booking the Undertaker dealt with from now thru the end of 1995. We do get to see the first of many “Taker in the barn making the casket” vignettes. The Kamala feud was pretty much done at this point, and now Undertaker is handed another piece of shit, but more on that in our next review. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Ugh! What a retarded match this is as poor Taker continues battling his monsters. I can’t blame Vince for doing it, as the crowds were always hot for Taker and he didn’t need to be in the title mix to be over with the fans, but Mark Callaway deserved better at the time. It is just too bad that Taker had to celebrate his 2-year anniversary in the WWF, and his 1 year anniversary of his first World Title with this debacle. Survivor Series WAS a good event for him, but this ruined that legacy. The match is slow and a friggen mess on all levels, and thankfully Taker literally slams the door shut on Kamala’s run as a legit heel threat. Grade: 1
8) Bret Hart defeats Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) with the Sharpshooter at 26:42 to retain WWF World Title
Fun Fact: This match is a first on many levels. It is Bret Hart’s first World Title defense on PPV, Shawn Michaels’s first PPV World Title shot and first Main Event match, and is the first time these two men would meet on PPV.
Fun Fact II: This match was originally booked as just a straight up match with no title on the line. After the big title change below, Shawn Michaels defeated British Bulldog on October 27, 1992 in Terra Haute, Indiana (on the final Saturday Night’s Main Event until March 2006) to win his first singles title.
Fun Fact III: Bret Hart defeated Ric Flair at a TV taping on October 12, 1992 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to win the WWF World Title. Man, the fall of 1992 was a BUSY time in the WWF. Bret Hart was NOT supposed to win the Title, but, on a whim Vince decided to switch it to Bret, as he decided he was the true future of the Federation.
Fun Fact IV: This match was originally booked as just a straight up match with no title on the line, because neither man was champion when the match was booked. The original I-C Title match booked for this show was British Bulldog (then champ) vs. the Mountie, but when Bulldog lost the I-C Title to Michaels on the last Saturday Night’s Main Event in October, the match was scrapped, as Bulldog was sent packing (steroid thing) and the Mountie disappeared until Summer of 1993. However, before that, Bret had won the world title from Ric Flair. So, this match was then changed to a World Title Match, with the I-C Belt not on the line.
Scott: Well, here it begins: the most controversial rivalry in WWF History. Two men facing off that have totally different personalities and two totally different wrestling styles. In Bret Hart's first PPV title defense as World Champion, he puts on an excellent match against a young, still green Shawn Michaels. Michaels was Intercontinental Champ at the time, and this match also extends his credibility, credibility that would be cemented at the Garden in March 1994. Here, he keeps the match going, with lots of grappling moves, most noticeably a simple headlock. The match was very slow-paced, as the time of the match indicates. Shawn executes a perfect Stun Gun on Hart at one point, a sign that his execution was getting better. However, there is only one "Excellence of Execution". The commentating was great also, as Vince was doing his usual Bret shilling, and Bobby was pushing hard for the “Boy Toy.” There would be better moments for Michaels in this rivalry, but on this night, Bret Hart was the better wrestler. Grade: 3.5
Justin: An excellent match to cap off the show, as Bret and Shawn proved they could carry the Main Events as opposed to the usual suspects. It was a nice, fresh change of pace to see two new faces in the World Title match and the two really helped usher in a new era. The match is a little slow at points, but the drama and selling make up for that. Since winning the World Title, Bret had been labeled as a fighting champion, and had battling all comers every week on TV and around the country. It was a nice change of pace to have a fan friendly, technical stud carrying the company, as he was someone the fans could rally behind as a true fighting champ. His matches were all solid and well worked, as you would expect from the Hitman. Shawn Michaels was also starting to carve out a niche as a solid upper mid card wrestler who could bring the goods when need be. Michaels and Hart had tangled in the past in tag matches, but this their first major singles match. As we all know, it would be farm from their last, but for now it was cool to see them go at it before all the politics and egos weighed everything down. It was a battle of two hungry, young up and comers trying to prove they could carry the ball. It was also refreshing to see Vince give these guys a great chunk of time to go out and take the show home on a great note. I wish he would have kept the faith and ran with these new guys on top longer than he did, but for now it is nice to see. The end of the match is very good as the pace picks up and Bret picks up a solid Title defense on PPV. Grade: 4
Scott: One of the most important PPVs in the growth of change in the World Wrestling Federation. You saw feuds end, wrestlers leaving and most importantly, the birth of 3 influential superstars: Doink, Razor Ramon, and Yokozuna. Eventually, over the next year other superstars would make their debut and change the face of the WWF for the next 4 years. In terms of the show itself, it had its bright spots and was a nice change of pace than the usual suspects in the main events clogging up TV time. Bret Hart is the new face of the federation as champion, and it’s a welcome change. As for this show, Taker would have to carry a has-been, with a never-was coming up, and the birth of a great rivalry was also born. Final Grade: B
Justin: This PPV helped solidify the transition from Hogan-Warrior brawling main events to Michaels-Hart WRESTLING main events and should have proved to Vince that smaller guys could carry his show. Unfortunately, Vince had a lapse and ends up panicking and brings back sluggish main eventers and setting himself back a couple of years instead of trusting the young horses to bring his product back to greatness. It is too bad Vince didn’t build on the great momentum he created in late-1992, as he was building new stars and using the veterans correctly. The fall of 1992 was an exciting time that had good, surprising title changes (Bret and Money, Inc. winning at house shows and Michaels on TV), new fresh faces in the main events (Michaels, Bret, Ramon, Perfect), well done build-up for new wrestlers (Doink, Yokozuna, Tatanka, Ramon) and solid WRESTLING! This show is a simple microcosm of that period, as he did everything right, and the crowd was into it. If only Vince knew what he had, so much could have been different in 1993. 1992 was a great PPV year and is capped off by a hot show with a hot crowd. As we will see, 1993 would very, very different. Oh well, you live and learn. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Mr. Perfect
Runner Up: Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, Doink
Non MVP: Ultimate Warrior
Runner Up: Nailz & Kamala