Allaying my fear that Jim Cornette would be a permanent fixture on the announce team, Vince is instead joined by Shawn Michaels. This makes two heel personalities in a row. I wonder if this pattern will continue. It seems like almost all the interesting personalities in the federation are heels. I also wonder if it will remain a two person job for long. Vince does a pretty mediocre job as an announcer so he really needs someone like HBK to bounce off of.
First up this evening is the much anticipated debut of Jeff Jarrett. Before he even gets to the ring he’s already being booed like crazy. I guess I wasn’t alone in hating his long winded promos. His opponent is PJ Walker which just feels so anticlimactic. I mean, after all this build up, his first match is against some random jobber? I’m not saying he needed to be wrestling Razor Ramon, but at least give him Virgil or something. I’ll say this for ol’ Double J though, he moves much more quickly than a lot of the other wrestlers and at the same time shows off a lot of power. He also keeps his natural cockiness on display by constantly strutting around in between hip tosses. It gives him a Ric Flair sort of vibe that I actually dig.
In between matches, we’re given yet another call-in poll to line Vince’s pockets. This one is “Should WWF President Jack Tunney Allow Lex Luger to Participate in the 30 Man Royal Rumble?”. These are starting to feel less and less important. Next week we’ll have “Who’s the Hunkiest Superstar?” followed by “Which Color Tie Should Vince Wear?”.
Let’s move on to what is presumably the main event, even though it’s just some random match in the middle of the episode, between Ludvig Borga and Tatanka. The Native American has an ax to grind with Borga for putting him in the hospital after being blindsided by a steel chair and sat on by Yokozuna. The match seems to be going well for Tatanka, so naturally Yokozuna shows up and climbs in to help out his buddy. The ref isn’t standing for any of these shenanigans though and signals for the end of the match. Tatanka being double teamed by two foreigners must have set off the alarm in Lex Luger’s fortress of solitude since he runs in to help out his buddy with a bionic forearm to Yokozuna’s cranium. Crisis averted, fellow Americans.
After that, we get a match between Adam Bomb and Mark Thomas. For the second week in a row, Captain Lou Albano is just hanging out, but this time he’s actually in the ring before the match starts. No explanation is offered at all and he just sort of wanders off. Somebody should call his grandkids and find out what’s going on. Also, why isn’t Mark Thomas just an actual wrestler instead of jobbing out to this big idiot? I mean look at the guy!
Now that Jeff Jarrett is officially in the company, we need someone new to get excited about. We’ve had cowboys and a country singer, so the next logical step is obviously a NASCAR driver, so in comes Thurman “Sparky” Plugg. What were they thinking giving him that name? Why isn’t he just Sparky Plugg? Or if they really wanted Sparky to just be a nickname, why not just give the guy a normal name? Gerald Plugg. Ernie Plugg. Heck, I’d even take Doug Plugg. Come on, guys.
After that vignette, we get another Owen Hart match. I really don’t understand if he’s supposed to be a heel or just a misunderstood face. Does wanting to step out of your brother’s shadow to become your own man really make you a bad guy? If the boos from the crowd are any indication, apparently so. He’s still ripping off his brother’s entrance gimmick too by giving his sunglasses to a fan. The kid and his mom seem pretty happy about it though, so really how bad of a guy could Owen actually be? Plus his matches are more entertaining than most of the other ones anyway. Seems alright in my book.
As the show draws to a close, we’re told that next week we’re getting highlights from the WWF Women’s Championship. What?! Have they been hiding a women’s division on another program or something? Have I been missing out? I’ve watched nearly a year’s worth of programming and haven’t seen one mention of anything like this yet. I can’t wait to find out what’s going on here.