Rated R Reviews:Super-Stars and Stripes Forever – 3/17/91
SUPER-STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER
MARCH 17, 1991
Thanks to a good friend, I’ve managed to get my hands on a couple of old WWF prime time specials, that they’d use to build up upcoming PPV shows (back when there were only a few per year instead of twelve to fifteen per year).
Shawn Michaels . . . holds his own against the Intercontinental Champion, long before tossing Jannetty through the Barbershop window.
Rick Martel . . . gives the world a sneak peak of exactly how bad his upcoming blindfold match at WrestleMania will be.
Bret Hart . . . shows how good a worker he is by getting something watchable out of one of the Nasty Boys.
Mr. PERFECT vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
Aside from the stupid finish, with the Big Bossman interfering to break up the Perfect-Plex, this is everything you’d expect from Hennig and Michaels, even though Shawn was a rocker at this point. Neither of them is shy about taking gratuitous bumps. Hennig is doing back flips when Shawn is leveling him with kicks to the leg. Shawn also breaks out a couple of nice dives and even does the superkick a good three years before it was a viable finisher for him. When Hennig is in control, he’s exactly what he needs to be, the overconfident champion who feels that wrestling a tag team wrestler is far beneath him. His disdain is never more clear than when he’s bouncing Shawn’s head off the mat. Up until Bossman mucks it up, even the run-ins make sense. Jannetty comes out after Michaels takes a big bump to the rail to make sure he’s OK. Heenan comes out after Jannetty decks Hennig (retaliation for Hennig taking a shot at him first). And, after Heenan’s interference gives the opening for the Perfect-Plex, Bossman hits the ring and causes the DQ. ***1/4
DAVEY BOY SMITH vs. JIM CORBETT
This is just a quick squash for Davey. He does his usual spots and then dispatches Corbett with the powerslam. The only notable thing is that Corbett tries a full nelson, which Davey easily breaks, which is only notable because Davey’s ‘Mania match with Warlord is based on whether or not Davey can break his full nelson.
RICK MARTEL vs. KOKO B. WARE (Blindfold Match)
At least this was short. Koko puts on the hood and Martel jumps him and beats him down. Martel puts on the hood and they crawl around aimlessly for a few minutes. Martel finds Koko and puts on the Boston Crab for the submission.
GREG VALENTINE vs. SCOTT ALLEN
Here’s another short squash, just like the Bulldog’s match, which sucks because it’s supposed to take Valentine ten minutes or so just to get warmed up. Valentine does his stuff and finishes Allen in short order with the figure four. If nothing else, Greg did a pretty good lariat.
HULK HOGAN vs. GENERAL ADNAN
Oh, please, this has “run in” written all over it. Indeed, it goes for all of a minute before Slaughter jumps Hogan. Slaughter just hits him with the riding crop, hits him with the flag, and then does the camel clutch. It’s too bad he didn’t do anything really brutal and possibly make Hulk juice, but the crowd was pretty hot anyway.
There’s a tag team battle royal shown from an episode of Superstars, but it doesn’t look all that good or interesting. There’s no crazy eliminations or big bumps. The Nasty Boys win, and earn a shot at the tag titles at WrestleMania.
BRET HART vs. BRIAN KNOBBS
To no surprise, this is pretty much The Bret Hart Show. Knobbs isn’t a complete load, but he’s pretty close. The only wrestling move he uses is a piledriver, everything else is punches and kicks and very little of it looks any good. Knobbs does a good job at bumping and stooging for Bret, such as the dropkick that sends him to the floor, but Knobbs is certainly not Hennig or Michaels in that respect. Bret looks pretty good throughout, he brings his share of good offense and he’s also good for selling while Knobbs pounds on him. The finish comes off a bit anticlimactic, with Knobbs running himself into Bret’s lariat and getting pinned. You’d think the “Excellence of Execution” would have something more technical up his sleeve, even though it wouldn’t take much to outwrestle Knobbs. But this is a good enough example of what Bret could do on his own, even a few months before he went solo.
THE UNDERTAKER vs. TUGBOAT
And the show ends with another short squash. UT sells nothing and really seems to want to drop elbows tonight. Tugboat isn’t able to get anything going, twice he tries to pick up UT for a slam and winds up falling down. He finally does catch UT with a powerslam and UT is on his feet in two seconds. Tugboat is too big for the Tombstone, so UT settles for another elbow.
The 411: The point of this was to build up to WrestleMania, which it did a good job of, so the show accomplished its goal. There’s good stuff from Bret, Shawn, and Hennig, but nothing else worth bothering to hunt down.
|Final Score: 5.0 [ Not So Good ] legend|