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[1991-05-14-WWF-Primetime Wrestling] Earthquake and Vince McMahon

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They show the Superstars angle, and this time, there are no Sean Mooney cutaways. Earthquake brings out snakeskin from Damian, which appears to be pretty obviously plastic. He ends this odd segment by saying he's going to make Quake burgers and will be back later.

 

Later in the show, he's out with a stack of burgers wearing an apron and a chef's hat. Vince takes a bite, only to find out that Earthquake cooked Damian. Alfred Hays starts spitting everywhere and screaming "That's a snake!" Vince ends up swearing in the air over it, telling him this is bullshit (which gets censored) and throwing his burgers on the ground. Horrible segment, just terrible terrible terrible. But it is the precursor to Pepper Steak in '99.

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This isn't quite an ideal setting for Earthquake. He gives Vince the gift of Damian's skin as well as dice: snake eyes, naturally.

 

'Quake comes back out in an apron and chef's hat and they're trying to do a slow build with this, but the audience is clearly hip to what's going on as soon as the guys start eating. Vince is appalled and flips the tray over and storms off. Yeah, I can see why this segment became a Wrestlecrap staple.

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Before Earthquake came out I was saying to myself I bet he is wearing his wrestling gear. We get the "uncensored" video of Earthquake splashing Damien. Earthquake has the snake skin which Heenan asks if he can pet him. That was funny. Earthquake now wearing a chef hat and apron. Silly for a non comedic heel to dress like that. Heenan really enjoys the snake burgers. Vince is steamed!

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They had done a good job of giving some gravity to this angle that seems hokey on the surface. That all goes out the window here with Quake coming out in his wrestling attire, having the snake skin and snake eyes dice,and then really cements itself with the burgers.

 

This is bullshit indeed Vince.

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Call me nuts, but I think Vince actually taking physical action against a heel and getting himself bleeped for swearing elevates this segment as much as it can be elevated. When was the last time you saw Vince upset enough to do something physical while he was announcing or hosting, even if it's just overturning a tray of burgers? In a kayfabe sense at least, Vince was putting himself in physical danger, as Quake could have attacked him over it. He didn't, of course, but he could have, and a WWF announcer who's not also a former wrestler has never been the instigator in a situation like that before.

 

Don't get me wrong; the ending's not enough to save this. The rest is just a bad TNT sketch, and the old staple of making Lord Alfred sick lost whatever value it had about five minutes before the first time it happened. Heenan wasn't bad; he never is. But he didn't elevate himself to save this either. Quake was way out of place here using his wrestling outfit and promo voice, and where was Jimmy Hart? Was Vince so intent on saving money that he wouldn't even use managers on Prime Time tapings? He could have at least been a slight bit of comic relief if nothing else. Most heels don't do well in a situation like this because they don't have the verbal charisma to pull it off. The likes of Piper and Muraco, who shone on segments like this back in the eighties, are few and far between (and nonexistent on the 1991 WWF roster).

 

Overall, I could have done without this, ending aside. Vince's outrage could have been saved for another time, and the rest could have been used for another guest or match.

 

By the way, there are no WWF matches in the Yearbook for the month of May, which is a sad commentary on how lifeless and unimportant the in-ring portion of the product is right now. The next match featured in the set is the 6/3 Hogan/Slaughter Desert Storm match from MSG.

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Horrible segment. I was pretty sure as soon as 'Quake mentioned he was a chef I knew where they were going. I hoped not, but there it is.

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