Ringside Apostles Presents… FLASHBACK FRIDAY [Episode 14]: The Gravy Challenge.

“Pastor” Shawn Puff

Yo, yo, yo!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! It’s that time again even though everyone is stuffed and tired from eating all that turkey. That’s right. It’s time to pull out the Waybach Machine and head to a wayward time to watch some old school wrasslin’.

All things equal, I figured that since it’s Thanksgiving, what better time to go back and experience the Thanksgiving Night Tradition? Wait, they changed it this year. For this particular year, it’s the Thanksgiving eve Tradition. Works for me. That’s right, we’re firing this baby up and setting the date for November 27, 1991. Next, we’ll set the destination for Detriot, Michigan. More specifically, we’re setting it for the Joe Louis Arena. That’s right. We’re going back to the 1991 Survivor Series, the site of the “Gravest Challenge”. In case you haven’t realized it yet, it’s your boy, Shawn Puff. And THIS is Flashback Friday

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show an old WWF Event Center segment with Mean Gene Okerlund. To be clear, this aired a week prior to Survivor Series on Wrestling Challenge and Superstars of Wrestling. Basically, this was the WWF’s way of promoting upcoming pay-per-views and even house shows. We get some backstory as to what led up to the matches followed by interviews by the participants. So, now that you know what’s going on, let’s get to the show.

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the broadcast position. Heenan was always great on the mic and I’m sure tonight, we’re going to get to see him shine in that seat.

Before things start, we get a package showing what happened between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage. In case you live in a bubble, Roberts had just attacked Randy Savage at the announce position (he had lost a career vs career match to the Ultimate Warrior). Jake tied him up in the ring and let his king cobra bite into his arm. Go find and watch this if you haven’t seen it yet.

Then, we see WWF President Jack Tunney, who had decided that both Savage and Roberts would be off of tonight’s show. He reinstates the Macho Man immediately and says they would face each other at the first possible date, which would be this Tuesday In Texas and reptiles would be banned from ringside.

Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil, & British Bulldog vs. Ric Flair, the Mountie, Ted Dibiase, & Warlord – The first match of the night is an eight-man elimination match. These matches were great because we got to see a shit ton of feuds on the same show. Monsoon tells us that all the managers are sent to the back because Jack Tunney apparently passed a no manager edict. We need a new Jack Tunney to make pointless rulings again. For some reason, Sensational Sherri is still out here though. Really? She gets involved and Piper plants a kiss on her before she gets sent to the back. Why not?

The first elimination comes when Flair pins Bulldog. Hey ref, there was no tag. Here we go. Second, Warlord is eliminated after a double ax handle from the top rope. Basically, legal tags don’t matter and everyone can do what they want. Got it. Of course, a melee breaks out since the ref wasn’t enforcing any rules. Now the ref calls for the bell. Huh? The ref just eliminated everyone EXCEPT Ric Flair. What in the name of fuck finishes is this?? This may be the King of all fuck finishes!  – 2/5

Obviously, Heenan is ecstatic that Flair won. Gorilla threatens to toss him out as a response. My question, why is there a frickin’ rotary telephone at the broadcast position? Who’s writing this shit? Conversely, here’s a #FunFact, Flair used an old WWF Tag Team Championship belt here in place of the actual big gold belt since it was being blurred out for television. What bullshit for the live audience. How did nobody take a picture and post it on the internet? For the record, the world wide web was made available to the public on August 6th of 1991, just so you know.

Up next, Mean Gene is at the podium for an interview with Randy Savage. He talks about getting bit by the cobra and the venom going through his veins and how he couldn’t see or hear. By the way, this is the worst lie because he follows it up by saying that he could ONLY see and hear Elizabeth crying. So did the venom put you into a state of delirium or were you coherent enough to see your fiance run to ringside and start crying for you?

Anyway, what is the reason for the GIANT fucking feather in his hat? Seriously. Equally, I have to ask, did Savage even dress himself? Wait. Savage just called Roberts a snake. No shit Sherlock. His name is literally, Jake “the Snake”. Conversely, is Elizabeth gorgeous or what? Ooooooooh yeeeeeeeah!!  

Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, El Matador, & the Texas Tornado vs. Col. Mustafa, the Berzerker, Hercules, & Skinner – Why does Col. Mustafa walk like the Bushwhackers in the first place? To sum it up, this was a bunch of mid-carders. First and foremost, Hercules was in here replacing Big Bully Busick and El Matador replaced the Dragon. That’s where we are so far. Jesus. The Iraqi hate speech coming from Heenan and Monsoon in a word is cringe.

Sgt. Slaughter eliminates Col. Mustafa first. I guess that’s fitting. Second, Santana hits El Paso Del Muerte or the Flying Jalapeno or whatever his new finisher is called and pins Hercules. This is just not a good match for the record. At one point, Slaughter slammed Berzerker’s head into the EXPOSED turnbuckle and nobody sold it at all. Berserker just ate it like it was normal and nobody paid any attention to it. Way to go guys. In the end, Duggan’s entire team survived.  And the crowd went to pee so they couldn’t go wild.  – .5/5

Can I just say that Jake Roberts gives one hell of an interview? Someone should have put their World Title on this man. Moreover, Jake says he’s the snake everyone should worry about. See? Told you. It’s his frickin name. Notwithstanding, Jake was obviously dressed by the same guy that dressed Macho Man. He’s wearing leather pants, snakeskin boots, and a Bill Cosby sweater. What the fuck.

Next, we get a look back at the Funeral Parlor where Ric Flair approached Hulk Hogan to challenge him. In case you’re too lazy to hit play, Undertaker comes out of the coffin and attacks the Hulkster. Eventually, Flair and Piper came down with chairs and chased off Flair with chairs. Taker just stood there and ripped Hogan’s chain off and dropped it on his chest. Why did everyone always rip Hogan’s chain?

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. the Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer – Damn. Surprisingly the hair still stands up on the back of my neck & I’m ready to mark out when Hogan’s music hits. Why is Hogan destroying the Hulkamania casket? Triggered much? Nobody in the world was more over than Hogan but that was kind of on the downfall here. The Undertaker choked Hogan with a cord outside the ring while Paul Bearer distracted the ref. I never got why refs fell for that shit. Don’t they watch tapes of their matches to see what they did wrong? Basically, this match has been all Undertaker. Holy shit. Hogan just no-sold the tombstone like it was an arm drag. Are you shitting me? Way to bury a move.

Now here comes the Nature Boy. We all know nothing good can come from this right? Of course, Hogan attacks Flair when he sees him because that’s what he does. Next, Hogan hits a big boot but before he can hit the leg drop, Paul grabs his leg. The ref is too stupid to realize he’s being distracted again.

Meanwhile, Flair slips a chair into the ring, and the Undertaker Tombstones Hogan right on it. Hogan is selling this Tombstone like a god. To be clear, Hogan just had BOTH the worst sell and the best sell of a tombstone– in the same match. Subsequently, The Undertaker is the new champ and the fans are cheering.  – 2.5/5

Accordingly, Mean Gene is in the back appalled at what he just saw. Thus, he calls Piper over to get his point of view. I don’t know why. Piper compares this to David Duke becoming President of the United States. Ummm… No.

Quickly we go to Sean Mooney, who is with Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect. Flair says Hulkamania is dead. He also says that he’s the only World Champion now as a result. I think that Flair really believes that the Undertaker is dead. Now he’s saying that the World Title is dead. Clearly, Flair has totally lost touch with reality and doesn’t know what’s going on.

After this, the Natural Disasters and IRS and the Legion of Doom, and the Big Bossman are all interviewed for their match. Then, Mean Gene finally catches up with Jack Tunney who says that this Tuesday in Texas we will also get a rematch between Hogan and the Undertaker and he would be sitting at ringside to make sure it’s fair. Basically, this ensures we WILL have a fuck finish right? Monsoon lets us know that This Tuesday In Texas will be available live on pay-per-view. Nice.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) & the Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) & the Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) – This one was different from elimination tag matches of the past. Typically it would be four or five teams and if your partner was eliminated, you would, in turn, be eliminated as well. Here it’s single elimination. To point out, I don’t understand how the Sheepherders went from being legit badasses to sardine eating, head licking clowns.

To be frank, the only thing of any magnitude that happened here was when Marty Jannetty scooped up Jerry Saggs and accidentally knocked his partner, Shawn Michaels, down with Saggs’ feet allowing Knobbs to score a pin and eliminate Michaels. Shawn and Marty get into it and Shawn walks out on Jannetty. Unfortunately, the commentators made it out that Michaels just walked out on Jannetty and didn’t even acknowledge that he had been pinned and eliminated. In the end, Jannetty is eliminated and they announce the Nasty Boys and Blake Beverly as the sole survivors. In conclusion, somebody doesn’t know what the phrase, “sole survivor” means. – 1.5/5

The Big Bossman & the Legion of Doom vs. I.R.S. & the Natural Disasters – Last, we get the main event of the night featuring IRS. Wait… What? Who booked this shit??? So, you’re telling me that nobody in the back thought that since Savage and Roberts were out of this one that it shouldn’t be the main event of the fucking show? Come on. All things considered, nobody cares and everyone knows it. I mean, I’m pretty sure IRS’ briefcase got more of a response than anyone in this match. The horrible Hogan vs Undertaker match would have been better suited for this spot.

The first elimination comes when IRS nails Bossman with his briefcase and knocks him out. IRS tries to use the briefcase again later on Hawk, but he was able to move out of the way and Typhoon took the hit. Hawk got the pinfall and eliminated Typhoon. Earthquake, Typhoon’s regular tag team partner got upset and screamed at IRS and walked out of the ring and to the back with Typhoon, getting counted out. This left IRS alone with the LOD. Eventually, he decided to head to the back too, but Big Bossman stopped him in the aisle and forced him back to the ring where he would be the victim of a Doomsday Device leaving Hawk and Animal as the survivors. Still, nobody cares.1/5

Finally, Mean Gene is in the back and finds the Undertaker… in a smoky boiler room?? Ummm… Ok. I guess this is kind of creepy.  In particular, why is there a casket in the boiler room? Is this real life? The show goes off the air with Undertaker showing Mean Gene what is in the coffin. To be frank, it’s clearly a cameraman from the final shot. Just sayin’.

Yeah, this show wasn’t that good. It would have been better served to have taken place on Thanksgiving because you could have fallen asleep from the turkey and not have had to worry about missing anything. I figured the Undertaker’s first title win would be a better match. Apparently, I was wrong. By and large, this just felt like an infomercial for This Tuesday In Texas. To clarify, I am aware of how bad of an idea this is.   

Overall = 1.75/5 Bibles

Shawn Puff

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