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Rick Martel is out hawking Arrogance to start things off again. This is Slaughter's first interview in front of a crowd. I'm struck by how much we have changed culturally when Vince talks about how Slaughter has the opportunity to be a great role model for our "boys" in the middle east, but isn't one at all. It's all fairly tasteless, but Slaughter is an awesome heel and delivers a hell of an interview. It's a breath of fresh air in a pretty stale company. The way he says "Iiiihhhhrrraaaaccckkkk" is amazing. General Adnan debuts as his ... manager (Is that the right term??) and even Brother Love sells a little shock over that. They openly play up his resemblance to Saddam Hussein. For the purposes of this yearbook, I'll just focus on the performance aspect and not the taste issues moving ahead, unless there's just something I can't overlook.

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Arrogance is now presumably the new sponsor of the Brother Love Show. Love is still wearing his medal that Slaughter bestowed upon him at SummerSlam.

 

Agreed that there is no way they could run any kind of heel military gimmick nowadays, regardless of whether or not they hitched him to a foreign menace.

 

This Slaughter run is a tale of contradictions. He really does play the gimmick well, both as the '80s relic and as the turncoat Iraqi sympathizer. But the latter gimmick in particular is so distasteful and so utterly wrongheaded in the face of what was actually happening that it's really hard to call it an artistic success. At the same time, Slaughter was considered washed-up physically very shortly after he departed the WWF and hadn't been perceived as a top-shelf worker in 5+ years, yet he came back to a company he had been drummed out of on very bad terms, was given the Heavyweight title, and headlined their premier show...a premier show that had to get moved from a 100,000-seat stadium to a standard arena. Slaughter headlining even a failed WM was utterly inconceivable mere months before this. The entire stint was a personal success for Sarge but a failure on all other levels.

 

Anyway, I was enjoying Sarge as a guy who couldn't handle a '90s post-Cold War world, but it all goes off the rails here as the Iraq alliance is now introduced to the character. The WWF tries to book an angle around current, outside world events but in their own hamfisted way, in the end everyone involved ends up looking even more trapped inside the wrestling bubble. Contradictions.

 

(I should add here that Piper was really great in responding to all this.)

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The tone used here was great by the WWF with Brother Love's reaction and Piper not taking this shit on commentary. Watching a segment like this shows why Slaughter was in the position he was in early in 1991.

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I wonder how this would have played out if the war was as long as the 2nd time with Iraq was. Ending as early as it did (I think it was already done by the time WM 7 came around) gave a good out for the Slaughter character to turn back babyface like he did.

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I wonder how this would have played out if the war was as long as the 2nd time with Iraq was. Ending as early as it did (I think it was already done by the time WM 7 came around) gave a good out for the Slaughter character to turn back babyface like he did.

In that case, I suspect that the pressure would have gotten to the WWF to a greater degree and the angle would have gotten killed sooner than it actually did. I can easily see NBC deciding around April that with U.S. casualties mounting, either Slaughter would not be a part of any SNME or the program would go away permanently. That's the kind of consequence that would get the WWF to backtrack real quick.

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Are we allowed to post on these if we didn't buy the set (wasn't a member yet)? If not just delete this post.

 

 

Anyway I remember this segment like it was yesterday because it was the moment I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt wrestling wasn't real. My logic as a 10 year old was flawless. Sgt. Slaughter was still doing live intros to repeats of GIJoe on the USA network at the time, and there's no way the network would allow that if he had an Iraqi as a manager. Maybe as a misguided heel sure, but a traitor, not a chance in heck. So this was the moment I accepted what so many friends and other kids had told me for years that everything wasn't real and on the up and up.

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Slaughter talks about how the maggots need someone to tell them what to do and to order them around. But even Slaughter has someone to answer to. General Adnan! Slaughter has aligned himself with Iraq. Different times to be able to try pull that one off.

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Like Loss, I'm just going to assume that everyone reading this knows this angle is total horseshit in terms of taste and move on to the individual aspects of each segment.

 

That out of the way, this is a massive blunder on Vince's part. Adnan can speak English despite being a native Iraqi; Vince's idea of him not doing so (in hopes, no doubt, that someone would confuse him with the real Saddam Hussein) makes him completely useless to Slaughter, since he can't wrestle anymore either. Again, they needed to make Heenan the commanding general, even if it meant junking the whole Iraqi sympathizer load of crap. Either that or just send Sarge out there by himself; it's not like he can't draw heat or anything.

 

Piper would have made a much better first program for Sarge than Volkoff, but I doubt that Rod would have laid down for Sarge clean. I've heard a lot of his commentary concerning this angle, and I don't think he was happy with it in real life, which only added to his on-screen ferocity. I can't help but wonder what Jesse would have done with it if he'd still been there, especially if he had any political ambitions (which we all know he did).

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I thought Brother Love was the star of the segment here. Him selling the shock of General Adnan and that being too sketchy even for him really put it over well. I'm also super into heel Slaughter during war time. Seems pretty nuanced for WWF really.

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Rick Martel is back spraying Arrogance around the Brother Love set.

 

Love would personally like to personally thank the man who bestowed upon him the greatest honour that could be bestowed upon any American, the Sgt. Slaughter Great American Award, Sgt. Slaughter. McMahon says how he is anything but a great American! He has the opportunity to be a role model for all the boys in the Middle East, instead of that he’s a complete mercenary who cares just about himself and not a jot about his country. The Sarge and Love salute one another and have a warm embrace. Slaughter says that Brother Love looks fantastic with his ‘Sgt. Slaughter Great American Award’, and wants him to keep up the good work! For weeks he’s been telling all these maggots that they need a leader, someone to tell them what to do, well he’s that man who can tell them what to do. Just as they need a leader, even Sgt. Slaughter needs a leader, someone to take orders from. There’s always a chain of command. He then introduces a man he respects and the only man he takes orders from, to which Roddy Piper says ‘President Bush is here!’, but it’s not President Bush, it’s a man from a country of great military power, Iraq, General Adnan. Piper is livid on Adnan’s arrival calling it ridiculous, pure garbage and that he doesn’t agree with this at all, while even Brother Love seems shocked with the General’s resemblance to Saddam Hussein. Adnan says something in Iraqi and Love asks the Sarge what he said, and he says that together they are going to kick some butt, and that’s an order! Piper again says that it’s garbage and to come give him some orders!

 

I thought Brother Love was real good here with that look on his face when he saw Gen. Adnan. It was indicating that Slaughter had gone a step too far, even for someone like him. As a kid I was never a fan of the Adnan character and wondered what he actually bought to the party. Re-watching, bar the similarities to Saddam Hussein, I think the exact same. Slaughter didn’t really need the manager and could talk perfectly fine on his own. Adnan spoke in Iraqi so he wasn’t cutting the promos for him, it was as if the Iraqi verbage was just a way to try and add to the heat. Someone in an earlier thread suggested Skandor Akhbar as a possible manager for Slaughter, and whilst not his biggest fan, think he would’ve been better than Adnan. Liked the Sarge and Piper was tremendous on commentary, displaying his disgust with what he was witnessing here.

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I thought Brother Love did great with this. I am in agreement that this was a terrible idea, but the execution seems to work for the people involved, including Piper.

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