This week’s edition of The VHS Memoirs will be a unique event, with This Tuesday in Texas as the selection on Peacock. While today marks 31 years since the original event, it’s interesting to note that WWF management tried to establish Tuesday night as a potential pay-per-view spot that long ago. Granted, some of the closed circuit events were held outside of the weekend, but with the technological advancements of the ability to order an event at home, it became more important to have the convenience of the weekend. More than a decade later, the office tried this experiment again with Taboo Tuesday, but that lasted only two years until the vote concept was shifted to Cyber Sunday. If I had to guess, I’d say that fans, especially in the more modern era, just have too much to do during the week for anyone to settle in for a pay-per-view viewing.
This event took place just before the start of the more cartoonish aspects of the company, a concept that was amplified after the steroid scandal of the early-90s in an attempt to soften the organization’s image. It’s ironic that Steve Keirn, who broke into the business under the guidance of legendary promoter, Eddie Graham, was a part of a heartthrob tag team in the 80s with Stan Lane as The Fabulous Ones, but resurfaced just a few years later as the brawling Skinner in the WWF. With nasty tobacco in his mouth and an alligator claw around his neck, the gator gimmick was memorable, but somewhat overshadowed the fact that he was a very skilled in-ring wrestler. Proof of that being his extensive record as a trainer in the WWE developmental system during the FCW era.
The special Tuesday night pay-per-view opened with Bret Hart defending the IC title against the previously mentioned Skinner. This was a classic baby face/ heel bout and everything these two did looked solid. There weren’t a lot of high spots here, but each maneuver was crisp and the action was kept believable. Skinner made Bret look like a million dollars at the start of the contest before the villain rammed the IC champion’s shoulder into the post, causing him to collapse to the outside. This is where the fundamentals are so important and some of those aspects are missing in today’s presentation. Bret’s selling was so well done that it put the result of the contest in doubt, and Skinner looked like a vicious competitor as he put the boots to Hart, while tobacco flew everywhere. Nobody had to go through a table or take an unprotected chair shot to build the drama of the match. Everything was solid with realistic punches, kicks, and selling that built the narrative of the contest. In fact, the most “devastating” portion of the contest was when Skinner used the dreaded alligator claw to take a cheap shot at Bret near the conclusion. Thankfully, Bret was able to kick out and eventually secured the sharpshooter for the victory. A side note, Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon were entertaining as always during the broadcast, but it was particularly comical that Heenan mentioned the cost of gas prices, which continues to be a topic of discussion more than thirty years later.
Randy Savage clashed with Jake “The Snake” Roberts for one of the more memorable segments of the era. The Macho Man defeated Roberts in a brief five-minute match, but it was the post-match heat that really made this such a memorable angle. Roberts hit Savage with a few DDTs at a time when the move was protected, and the baby face was at the mercy of the villain. Ms. Elizabeth ran to the ring to attempt to help Savage, but Roberts grabbed her by the arm and took her away from the fallen hero. He “slapped” her and she collapsed to the canvas, clutching her face. In reality, Jake barely made any contact, but the presentation of the dastardly action was done well. Jake’s post-match promo was tremendous and he made himself sound like the most despicable heel on the roster. Savage’s post-match response was exactly what you’d expect from The Macho Man. He was incensed and vowed revenge against the heel. That type of heat is how you draw money.
Next up, The Warlord challenged The British Bulldog, and this match was the cement mixer you’d expect it to be. I’m sure The Warlord is a nice guy, but outside of saying a lot of prayers and taking a lot of “vitamins,” his aptitude for pro wrestling was rather limited. The guy looked like a monster, but it was downhill after that. So, this wasn’t exactly Lou Thez vs. Karl Gotch. The action was basic and rather clunky so there’s not much to discuss for this contest. Speaking of looking huge, Davey Boy looked massive to an almost unhealthy level, which is why it was no surprise that he departed for WCW shortly after the steroid scandal brought negative press to the company the following year. Davey Boy got the victory with a crucifix pin and relieved a nice reaction from the crowd. However, this clearly is wasn’t his best work. Don’t get me wrong, The Bulldog could go in the ring and had many great bouts, but this match was around the time that his outside of the ring issues affected his performance.
Another match that didn’t exactly send the crowd into a frenzy was the rather random tag match of Ted DiBiase and Repo Man vs. Virgil and Tito Santana. This was a very average and very basic tag match that would’ve been on any throw away episode of a random syndicated TV show at the time. DiBiase was solid, Repo Man was okay, Tito didn’t have the same fire he did when he was younger and didn’t look like he wanted to take too many bumps, and Virgil’s in-ring work was very sloppy. Repo man and DiBiase get the win, but this match is skippable.
The main event was The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan in a rematch after the controversy at Survivor Series just a week earlier when The Undertaker won the title with an assist from Ric Flair. If I had to guess, I’d say that the brief title switch was booked just to set up this rematch to attempt to sell a Tuesday night pay-per-view. This was definitely the sizzle to the show, as opposed to the substance of the in-ring work in the opening match. As far as the in-ring action, it was more or less the typical Hogan match you’d expect without anything that wasn’t already in the usual playbook. The conclusion of the bout was chaos, as Flair was at ringside, and WWF president, Jack Tunney was there. Hulk hit Flair with a chair, which sent him crashing into Tunney. While the WWF president was down at ringside, Paul Bearer tried to hit Hogan with the urn, but he moved and it was The Undertaker that got cracked with the urn. The Hulkster waffled Bearer with a punch and picked up the earn before he threw the ashes in The Undertaker’s face. In a somewhat odd finish, Hogan used a roll up to get the win.
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Until next week
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