Back to the vault, this time for what was once the Fed’s flagship. It’s the 13th June 1992 (filmed 19th May) and we’re in Rupp Centre of Lexington, Kentucky for WWF Superstars! Your main event tonight: Um, Nailz vs Ron Cumberledge. Don’t worry, I don’t know who they are either. We’ll find out together.
Superstars existed in various forms from 1984 through to 2001, and for the first eight or so years of that run was pretty much the most important TV outlet for Vince McMahon.This is where PPV feuds were built up, where house shows were plugged and where even the odd title change took place, though the majority of it was still the classic format of squashes (get ready for a few of those tonight, with seven matches down for a 45 minute show). The advent of Raw relegated Superstars in importance, but it lingered on as a highlight show until after the Attitude Era, before being re-booted more recently as WWE’s lower-level abode for everyone they have nothing else for.
We’re on the build for Summerslam 1992, though it is still a few months away. After our super New Generation opening titles (upbeat music, rapid cuts, lots of wrestlers who will not appear tonight) we’re in in the arena with commentary team Vince “Of course I am not the owner” McMahon and Mr Perfect. McMahon proclaims that we are in “the horse capital of the world” which has to be one of the best intros to a location I have heard in wrestling yet. The opening spiel from the two contains at least 12 horse puns, so this is already the greatest episode of TV in wrestling history. Randy Savage will be interviewed later, we’ll get an update on the Ultimate Warrior and, as noted, “Nailz”.
This is also apparently the day that the “World Bodybuilding Federation” had it’s last PPV, which as McMahon outlines is due to take place after Superstars. Lex Luger was supposed to be the big star at that show, but got in a motorcycle accident earlier in the day, so missed it. The WBF was really already dead in the water despite McMahon’s enthusiasm, and it got 86’d after tonight. McMahon shortly to be caught up in the steroid scandal by the way.
Tatanka vs Barry Horowitz
WWF’s Native American shame vs wrestlings most famous jobber. THE WORLD IS WATCHING. Lock-up, Horowitz thrown back hard. McMahon calls Tatanka an “exemplary figure for all Native Americans”. OK. Tatanka throwing Horowitz around with slams and a clothesline, but then Horowitz actually gets a bit of offence for around 30 seconds, before a real awkward press slam sets up the finish. But forget that, we cut to a picture-in-picture promo from Rick Martel, who has apparently stolen some feathers from Tatanka recently. OK. Scoop Slam, Tatanka to the top and hits a chop to the head. Indian “warcry’s”, and this one is brought to an end with a Samoan Drop in just under two and a half.
Winner: Tatanka, whose Wiki page says he is part of “the Lumbee Tribe (citation needed)”
Verdict: I’m guessing we don’t see a match go over three minutes tonight.
Mean Gene here to give us an update on the Ultimate Warrior, who has been “cursed” recently by Papa Shango, which translates to some kind of voodoo nonsense causing the Warrior to double over in pain randomly and have black goop flow from his head. Mean Gene also got the black goop after an interview. “Obviously folks, I don’t know what to say”. Put that on wrestling’s tombstone. Warrior gives a rambling promo about how he’s surrounded by the spirits of warriors, so Shango doesn’t scare him. Two years removed from that Wrestlemania, and this is what they have him doing.
Shawn Michaels w/Sensations Sherri vs Craig Brown
Brown the definition of “some guy”. Michaels out with Sherri holding a mirror for him to admire. So strange seeing Michaels at this point, with McMahon having to explain what his gimmick is. In a picture-in-picture spot, Michaels says he can’t imagine what it is like to go through life looking like Bret Hart. WAS THE SCREWJOB PLANNED EVEN THEN SHAWN? Anyway, Michaels knocks Brown around for a while, drop-kick, superkick (not called Sweet Chin Music), pumphandle reverse suplex, and that’ll be all in just over a minute-and-a-half.
Winner: Sexxxy booooyyy
Verdict: In 90 seconds Michaels did show a bit of what he can do, so mission accomplished I suppose.
Over to the event centre with Sean Mooney. His introduces the Repo Man, who is feuding with the Bulldog, and talks a bit too vividly about how he likes to abuse dogs. Mooney posits he may soon get “a pounding” from Davey Boy in an unfortunate bit of phrasing. Kerry von Erich next with a bit of a stuttering face promo, saying he has re-dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. Won’t do him much good in the WWF though.
Back from break, and we cut to a promo from “Cuban immigrant” Razor Ramon, who has only just debuted in the WWF. Standard Cuban accent promo, that sounds so dumb in retrospect.
The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) vs The Executioners (#1 and #2)
The Executioners are black clad luchas whose small size is the joke. One of them is Duane Gill I believe. The big guys throw the little guys around for a bit, as McMahon promotes a future Tag Title match for the Disasters against Money Inc. The Disasters make me think of Heavy Machinery, but Otis and Tucker can actually go. Typhoon ends this one in just over two-and-a-half with a Big Splash.
Winners: The big guys.
Verdict: One wonders why anyone ever thought a match like this was strictly necessary.
Back to the event centre so Mooney can introduce us to Skinner, who in terms of 1990’s WWF’s “My job is my gimmick” style stands out as an alligator wrangler. Then the Undertaker, who is still quite new to the WWF, to the point that he is thrown in with the “Job as gimmick” guys. Remember when the Undertaker was actually meant to be an undertaker? Calls “the Wild Bezerker” out. OK then.
After the break, time for some Canadian flavour.
The Mountie w/Jimmy Hart vs Bill Koby
The Mountie was actually an IC champ this year, and sings his way to the ring here. Koby such a nobody he doesn’t even have a Cagematch profile. Tree of Woe straight away for some kicks, before we get thrown to Sgt Slaughter to run down his Canadian foe. Drop-kick and that’s it in less than 90 seconds.
Winner: Canada’s pride
Verdict: Even for a squash this was pointless.
The Mountie grabs his stun stick and runs down Slaughter. Koby dodges out before he gets stunned. Odd end to this one.
Ad for the WBF, and man, professional bodybuilding just seems strange to me.
Mean Gene is with the Macho Man, the then World Champ, for a pre-recorded interview. Savage doesn’t care about accusations that he has bent the rules to get where he is, and won’t apologise for being the WWF Champion. That’s pretty much it, they’re building to a feud with Flair, where I think the title would change on a dark match.
Kamala w/Harvey Wippleman and Kimchee vs Dale Wolff
Wolff was Doink on occasion. Kamala choking his opponent repeatedly: “Of course he’s a savage, he’s from Uganada!” offers Perfect. This was ended with a big splash in around a minute-and-a-half but only after a “comedy” spot where Kamala has to be told how to pin his opponent.
Winner: Racists everywhere.
Verdict: Gimme me a break
El Matador vs Mike Samples
Matador is Tito Santana, don’t know why he changed his name. Samples a USWA guy primarily. Picture-in-picture promo see’s Matador big up the WBF because that’s badly required. Matador knocks Samples around with strikes, then a Scoop Slam, back body-drop, running punch to the back of the head and that’s it in a minute-and-a-half.
Winner: El Matador, and this show has a lot of dodgy ethnic gimmicks
Verdict: Who cares.
After a break Mr Perfect conducts a phone interview with the Big Boss Man. Asks him about the beating he recently took from Nailz. He’s gonna be back though. Perfect hangs up on him. Alright then. Time for the main event.
Nailz vs Ron Cumberledge
Wiki reminds me that Nailz is a guy somewhat famous for getting into a backstage fight with McMahon later this year over money, and then turning up as a witness in the steroids trial. Has a escaped prisoner gimmick going by the ring gear. Cumberledge a total mystery to me. Lock-up, Nailz with the choke, knee to the head, stomp, kick to the side, rake to the face, Irish Whip, terrible looking clothesline, kick to the head, rear-naked choke and we get a submission in just over a minute.
Winner: Nailz, who has no theme music.
Verdict: They saved the worst for last.
Nailz keeps attacking after the bell with Boss Man’s night-stick. Crowd calling for the BBM, but nothing doing.
Back to the event centre, where Papa Shango gets another standard promo, beware, evil power, etc. Legion of Doom are with Paul Ellering, and run down Jimmy Hart. I loves me some Ellering, but he only gets a few seconds here. Crush, the Undertaker and Money Inc will be on next week, and that’s it.
Best Match: You got me here. I suppose the Mountie’s match forwarded a story-line in the best way that it could.
Best Wrestler: Gotta go with Michaels I suppose, even here you can see how good he is.
Worst Match: Take your pick. I’ll trump for the nominal main event.
Worst Wrestler: Kamala is both limited and embarrassing.
Overall Verdict: I forget when exactly McMahon will move on from this squash-heavy kind of TV, but it must be soon enough with the main competition already getting past it. It makes for a really dull event looking back.
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