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WWF King of the Ring 1991
by Scrooge McSuck
- No, that's not a typo. For years, the WWF annually held "King of the Ring" cards at various locations during the Summer, from the years 1985-1991. They were usually never mentioned, but the King Harley Race gimmick stemmed from him winning the Tournament in 1986. I should note, this is Handheld footage, so the quality is somewhere between ass and crap.
- Taped from Providence, RI, on September 7th, 1991, with no host, except for the guy holding the cam corder and making occasional remarks that you can't make out.
[Note: This card also featured a tag team match between the Bushwhackers and the Beverly Brothers, but the quality is so bad, it's impossible to make out which man is which from each team. Just so everyone can sleep easy, the Beverly Brothers won the match. I don't care how, but they won. In other news, the sun will set tonight.]
King of the Ring Tournament 1st Round:
Road Warrior Hawk vs. Jerry Sags (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Hawk is one-half of the reigning Tag Team Champions at this point, winning the title (along with Animal, of course) from the Nasty Boys at SummerSlam, about two weeks before this card. I doubt this match is going to be any good. In a time tradition of the Nasty Boys, Sags plays to the crowd for boos, and Hawk does the same for cheers. You know the drill. Lockup, and Hawk shoves Sags down. Sags rolls out of the ring for some stalling. Back in, and Hawk applies a side headlock. Irish whip, and Hawk blocks a boot, trips up Sags, and punches him almost-low. Weird cut in the tape, as Sags takes over and dumps Hawk out of the ring for some choking. Back in, and Sags dumps Hawk back out. Hawk climbs back onto the apron and to the top rope, and comes off with a shitty punch. He covers for two, but gets up to chase Jimmy Hart off the apron. The mega-phone comes into play, and Hawk KO's Sags with it, giving Sags the Disqualification victory at 3:03. Pfft... I've seen better shit in the toilet bowl. DUD
The Dragon vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase:
This has a chance to be good. For those that forgot, the Dragon is Ricky Steamboat, but no one, save for Gorilla Monsoon, refered to him as "Ricky Steamboat." They lockup to start, and Dragon shoves Dibiase after a break in the ropes! Stalling from Dibiase follows. Lockup #2, and Dibiase with a cheap shot. Dragon returns the favor by applying an armbar. Dibiase with another cheap shot in the corner, and runs outside for more stalling. Dragon follows out this time, and hammers away on him before dumping Dibiase back into the ring. Dragon rams Dibiase face-first into the canvas. Dibiase rolls onto the apron, and gets the sling-shot treatment back in. Dragon with an atomic drop, sending Dibiase back out again. Dragon with a headlock from the apron, taking Dibiase back into the ring. Irish whip, and the Dragon with a shoulder block, followed by an arm drag and another headlock. Dibiase escapes with elbows to the midsection, but falls victim to another shoulder block. Dragon can't roll him up, but connects with a dropkick and goes back to the headlock. Dibiase escapes with shoulders to the midsection and chops away. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, but Dibiase boots Dragon on a charge attempt. Dibiase sends Dragon outside and rams him into the ring steps. Back inside, and Dibiase hammers away. Dragon fights back briefly, but gets a boot to the face, and Dibiase drops him with a clothesline for a two count. Dibiase with his signature suplex for another two count. Gut-wrench suplex gets yet another two count. Dibiase goes to the chinlock, to kill more time. Dragon elbows free and hammers away on Dragon again. Dibiase plants Dragon with a slam, but misses his usual middle rope elbow drop. Dragon rams Dibiase to the buckle ten times, and covers for a two count. Then a suplex of his own for two. Swinging neckbreaker by Dragon gets two. Leg-sweep and a roll up by Dragon for two, again. Slingshot in the corner and a roll up, but the bell sounds at 14:18, and it's a Time Limit Draw, meaning JERRY SAGS gets a bye into the Semi-Finals. Whatever. **1/2 It was painfully obvious this was going to distance, but overall, it was, to quote someone else, Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Brian Knobbs (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Ew...this is like the polar-opposite of the potential the previous match had going for it. Knobbs, as usual, stalls after the bell rings. Lockup into the ropes, and Knobbs pounds away. Irish whip is reversed, and Duggan comes back with a series of clotheslines, forcing Knobbs out of the ring for more stalling. Back inside, and Duggan clubs on Knobbs like a Government Mule. Duggan charges, but Knobbs back drops him onto the apron. Knobbs rams Duggan into the turnbuckle, but a second attempt is blocked and Duggan takes Knobbs out of the ring. Jimmy Hart runs a foul though, distracting Duggan enough to allow Knobbs to take control again. Back in the ring, and Knobbs goes to the chinlock. Excuse me while I go fluff my pillows for my next nap. Duggan escapes, but runs into a knee, and Knobbs covers for a two count. Knobbs goes back to the chinlock. Irish whip into the corner, but he misses a charge, and Duggan rolls him up for a three count at 5:04. Well, that was about as anti-climatic as you could get for a match featuring a tag team wrestler and an established midcarder. 1/4* Match was only slightly better than what we got in the opener with the other half of the Nasty Boys.
Irwin R. Schyster vs. The Berzerker:
Woah, talk about a weird combination. Some jerk-off added an "IWC!" comment on the corner of the screen, as if someone were saying it in the crowd. I'm guessing someone no sold, or something, because I.R.S. was HEEL-heel, and the Berzerker was fucking bananas. I.R.S. cuts his usual promo before the match, then sneaks up on the Berzerker and chokes him out for a good minute or so. I.R.S. with a leg drop across the midsection, then heads up to the top rope, and comes off to eat some Berzerker boot! HE BE CLUBBERIN', TONY! Irish whip, and the Berzerker with a big boot. Powerslam for a two count! Berzerker with some choking, now. Outside the ring we go, and the Berzerker nails I.R.S. with the "steel" chair, but the referee doesn't care. Berzerker rolls IRS back into the ring, and the bell sounds at 2:49, meaning the Berzerker was COUNTED-OUT. Damn, another shitty finish. 1/4* Match was nothing, but a minor point for the fact someone put these two together for a match, period.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Pete Doherty:
Like the LOD, Bret is only about 2 weeks removed from winning a Championship, winning the Intercontinental from Mr. Perfect in a 1991 MOTYC. According to The History of WWE, Doherty is the suitable replacement for Kerry Von Erich, meaning they must've jumbled the card around, or something, which explains the heel/heel match right before this one. For those who don't know, Doherty is "The Duke of Dorchester", and he looks like he's 60 years old, without any kind of muscle mass. He attacks Bret before the bell, but Bret fights him off, hits a suplex, takes off his jacket, and forces Doherty to submit to the Sharpshooter at the 31-second mark. Oh well, that was a quick round for Bret. DUD I would've given a small portion for a snap suplex while wearing the leather jacket, but I've been too nice so far.
Virgil vs. Skinner:
It seems like every Champion is here, save for one. Virgil, also successful at SummerSlam, is the NEW Million Dollar Champion, stealing the belt from it's rightful owner, Ted Dibiase. Too bad this is a HandHeld. I miss hearing Gorilla Monsoon calling Skinner a "filthy pig." They do some mouthing off before (or after) the bell. Skinner clubs away to start, and Virgil returns the favor with his mock-Boxing style. Virgil with an atomic drop, followed by a suplex to send Skinner out of the ring, where we get some hella-stalling. Virgil gets pulled out, but rams Skinner into the ring post, and we head back in the ring for more exciting action. Skinner with some begging off, and he uses Virgil's tights to leverage him into the ring post. Skinner chokes Virgil across the ropes, then stomps a swamp in his ass. Snapmare, followed by a rake of the eyes by Skinner for a two count. Skinner with a knee drop, and he chokes Virgil with his ankle while yelling at the referee. Irish whip to the corner, and Virgil boots Skinner in the face... then the video goes to crap, and Skinner makes the cover for three at 4:46. The fuck!? 1/2* Match doesn't deserve a rating considering we didn't get the see what lead to the pinfall, but the match wasn't good anyway, so who gives a shit?
Sid Justice vs. The Warlord:
Just what I needed to bring up my spirits. Sid was pretty new in the WWF at this point, and may not have officially debuted (in a match) yet on television. The Warlord was basically going through the motions, and doesn't have Slick as his manager anymore. Warlord tries a cheap shot, but Sid blocks and unloads with a series of rights. Irish whip, and Warlord slams Sid face-first into the canvas. Warlord with forearm blows and an eye rake. Irish whip to the corner, and Sid comes back with a clothesline, followed by a choppy punch. Irish whip to the corner again, and now Sid runs into a boot, and the Warlord puts him down with a clothesline. More clubbering! Then we get a super long chinlock. Sid fights out, but Warlord clubs him back down, like a baby Seal. Irish whip is reversed, and Sid boots Warlord in the midsection! POWERBOMB! Sid gets the three count at 3:21. DUD The match sucked, but at least they kept it pretty damn short. Only one match left in the 1st Round of the Tournament, so let's see who the participants are.
Road Warrior Animal vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):
As if there's any mystery who's winning this match. Undertaker tries a sneak attack, but Animal avoids it and hammers away. Irish whip is reversed, but Animal boots Undertaker in the face, and clotheslines him over the top rope, to the floor. Animal tries to follow up, but Undertaker drops him throat first from the apron to take control. Undertaker with choking in the corner, followed by choking across the middle rope. Then, to change things up, he just chokes him. Animal fights free, eventually, and connects with a series of clotheslines. Animal puts the Undertaker down with a diving shoulder tackle, but he sits back up! Irish whip, and Animal connects with a Powerslam! But Bearer gets on the apron, allowing the Undertaker to recover, get the urn, KO Animal with it, and cover for the three count at 3:38. DUD This show is certainly producing a lot of winners. I almost dipped into the negatives, but when Undertaker wasn't choking, everything else was at least fine.
King of the Ring Tournament Quarter-Finals:
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Irwin R. Schyster:
Winner of this match has the unfortunate task of wrestling JERRY SAGS in the Semi-Finals. Who booked this crap? It couldn't be Russo, he didn't even have a job back in 1991. Introductions are clipped, and we already see Jim Duggan playing to the crowd while I.R.S. does some stalling. Lockup, and IRS rakes the eyes. Irish whip into the corner, and Duggan comes out with a clothesline, causing IRS to run out of the ring again. USA! USA! Back in, and IRS takes control with a clothesline. IRS with a leg drop between the legs, followed by an elbow drop for a two count. ABDOMINAL STRETCH! Duggan attempts to fight free, but IRS takes him over with a hip toss. IRS tries ramming Duggan into the corner, but Duggan no-sells, and returns the favor. Irish whip to the corner, and Duggan runs into a boot. IRS rolls him up, and gets the three count at 3:14 while using the ropes for leverage. Blech... 3/4* Jim Duggan sucked, even in super-short matches. Poor Mike Rotundo. First the Berzerker, who couldn't have a good match with anyone, Jim Duggan, who's sucked since 1986, and next it's Jerry Sags.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Skinner:
I was about to make a Tuesday in Texas reference, but this card was held a good three months before that PPV, so I'm just killing time before I get to the next match. In a nice touch, Bret comes to the ring without his jacket, something he also did at the 1993 King of the Ring PPV. Lockup to start goes into the corner, and Bret gives a clean break. Bret with a wristlock applied, followed by some pounding of the arm. Bret with an arm drag, and he applies an armbar. Bret continues trading off between wristlocks and armbars. Skinner grabs the ropes to break and starts stalling. Lockup, and Bret with another arm drag and back to the armbar. Skinner breaks with a sucker punch in the corner, followed by some eye rakes. Skinner rams Bret face-first into the canvas, then stomps a Swamp in his Canadian ass. Skinner with biting for a two count! Skinner with a shoulder breaker for another two count. Bret mounts a comeback, ramming Skinner into the buckle. Oh, it's only the Edited Version of the "Five Moves of Doom." Irish whip, and Bret with a fist to the midsection, followed by a Russian leg sweep. Sharpshooter time, and Bret picks up the submission victory at 4:46. *1/2 Not that good of a match, but at least Bret tried considering the time constraints and the fact Skinner did jack shit to help him along the way, doing nothing more than typical heel tactics that any shmuck could do without training.
Sid Justice vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):
Wow, talk about giving away such a high profile match for the second round. At the SummerSlam reception, Sid made the save for Randy Savage and Elizabeth when the Undertaker and Jake Roberts crashed the party. Basically, Sid was plugged into Warrior's feud. Introductions are cut out, for whatever reason. Sid starts with boots to the midsection. Irish whip and Undertaker comes back with a throat thrust, followed by boots. Undertaker with choking in the corner, and this goes on for a while. Sid comes back with a boot to the midsection and rams 'Taker into the buckle. Irish whip to the corner, and Sid runs into a boot of the Undertaker. Undertaker comes off the ropes, and connects with his diving clothesline. Sid rolls out of the ring, and Undertaker follows out to continue kicking his ass. Back inside, and the Undertaker with more choking. Sid fights back to his feet... and he chokes him in return! They go into the corner, and take turns taking a shot at the referee, and it's a lame Double Disqualification at 3:59. After the match, Sid clears Undertaker from the ring, but JAKE ROBERTS comes out to play the distraction card, allowing the Undertaker to floor him with a clothesline. The evil duo stomps a mudhole in Sid's ass for a good 3-minutes before being forced away by a swarm of referees. DUD Match sucked dick, but at least they were following up on an important angle at the time. The Sid/Undertaker feud never went anywhere though, with both men doing turns down the road, and branching off into different feuds.
King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Finals:
Irwin R. Schyster vs. Jerry Sags (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Another weird-ass combination, for whatever fucking reason. Sags does his usual horse-shit heel heat stuff as the match begins, but since, you know, IRS is a heel too, it doesn't make sense. Like the Chewbacca defense. Lockup into the ropes, and Sags hammers away on IRS with rights. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron to hold IRS in place (already?), but Sags accidentally knocks him off. Sags with a clothesline, but then he starts undoing a turnbuckle. IRS sneaks up from behind and rolls him up for the three count at 1:21. Wow, that must be the shortest Semi-Finals Tournament match in the history of wrestling! So the finals will be Bret vs. IRS... not too bad, I guess. DUD No match to really speak of.
King of the Ring Tournament Finals:
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Irwin R. Schyster:
Let's see the path to the Finals. Bret Hart defeated Pete Doherty and Skinner by submission, then got a bye thanks to the Undertaker/Sid 2xDQ. IRS defeated Berzerker by Count-Out, rolled-up Jim Duggan, and rolled-up Jerry Sags... seems about even, if you ask me. Lockup to start, and IRS applies a wristlock. Bret counters into one of his own, and wring the arm a few times. Lockup #2, and Bret with a headlock takeover. Irish whip to escape, and Bret with a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence leads to a Bret hip toss, followed by a clothesline for a two count. Bret goes back to work on the arm, barring it. IRS escapes again and heads out of the ring. Bret gets pulled out and rammed into the apron. Back inside, and IRS with an elbow drop. Sleeper hold applied! Bret manages to escape with elbows, but runs into a knee lift. IRS with a leg drop for a two count, then goes to the chinlock. Bret up, but gets rammed into the buckle, and IRS hammers away in the corner. Irish whip across the ring, and IRS misses a charge. Bret with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a stomp to the chest. Bret with a small package for a two count. Back breaker for a two count. Snap suplex for a two count... you see where this is going. Bret with a headbutt, but IRS comes back with a boot to the chest. Bret escapes a slam, but IRS uses the leverage of a roll up attempt to send Bret out of the ring. Bret sunset flips back in, but IRS blocks and nails him between the eyes. Bret comes back with a small package, but again it only gets two. Bret with a series of rights. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, and IRS goes for the Write Off... or, in WCW "The Stock Market Crash" (Samoan Drop), but Bret escapes and tries another sunset flip. IRS grabs the rope, but the referee kicks his hands off WITH A VNEGEANCE, and Bret gets the three count at 9:48 to become the 1991 King of the Ring! *** Although a bit short for a finals match, considering the length of all the other matches, this was pretty good once you ignore the two boring rest spots by Rotundo. Not a classic or anything, but a good way to end the show on a high note.
Final Thoughts: First, just as a reminder, it's HandHeld footage, so if you WANT to see this, be forwarned, the video quality is going to be crap. If that's not enough to scare you away, most of the card is 2-4 minute matches with various bad workers. Two of the good workers are eliminated 15-minutes into the card, and the remaining good workers are saddled with the worst wrestlers possible, or don't have time to do anything. Two good matches (Dragon/Dibiase and Bret/IRS) can't make up for 12 boring/bad ones. Strong Recommendation to Avoid, unless you're the curious type, like I am, and want to see it for the hell of things.
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