WWE recently celebrated The Undertaker’s 25th anniversary with the company. Many references were made to his debut at Survivor Series 1990, but he made an even bigger impact almost exactly one year later.
Survivor Series 1991 saw The Deadman challenge The Immortal Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. Thanks to some outside interference from Paul Bearer and Hogan’s long-time nemesis, Ric Flair, Taker walked out with his first World Championship.
While Bearer distracted the referee, Flair slipped a steel chair into the ring which Taker would use to deliver the Tombstone Piledriver that ultimately sealed Hogan’s fate. At the time, The Undertaker was the youngest person to ever hold the title.
Hogan was granted a rematch for the championship just six days later at the one and only This Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view on Dec. 3, 1991.
Hogan was at the height of his popularity during this time. He had been the champ for 248 days before being dethroned by The Undertaker, and he was starting to become a legitimate box-office attraction. It seemed like he was untouchable.
This Tuesday in Texas was one of those special events that only happened once, and for good reason. At the time, Vince McMahon was trying to test Tuesday as a secondary option for pay-per-views, but due to the fact that Survivor Series was less than a week earlier, it didn’t work out like he had hoped.
After all, who wants to shell out money for an event just days after they forked over their hard-earned cash for one of WWE’s annual “Big 4” pay-per-views? The timing just wasn’t right.
However, that didn’t stop the show from being entertaining. Bret Hart defended the Intercontinental Championship against Skinner in an entertaining match, and Jake Roberts added another chapter in his feud with Randy Savage. By most accounts, it was a fun night for fans.
Undoubtedly, though, the main attraction was the rematch between Hogan and The Undertaker. This encounter also featured some shenanigans from Flair, but this time it was Hogan who used a chair to take out his nemesis to keep him from getting involved.
Unfortunately for Hogan, when he hit Flair over the back with the folding chair, Flair fell forward and took out Jack Tunney, who was the WWF president at the time.
The following night on WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Tunney stripped Hogan of the title, citing the controversial endings of both title matches from Survivor Series and This Tuesday in Texas as the reason for his decision.
It was a bit of a shocker to everyone as the title had only been vacated twice before. The first time came when Antonio Inoki defeated Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship at an event in Japan. WWE doesn’t recognize this as an official title reign, and the belt eventually found its way back to Backlund.
— Wrestling History (@pastwrestling) December 3, 2015
The second time the title was vacated happened after Ted DiBiase bribed Andre the Giant to give him the belt after winning it from Hogan, but Tunney stripped him of the title and refused to recognize DiBiase as the champion.
The company was without an official champion for almost two months until Flair won it in the 1992 Royal Rumble match.
It took Hogan a little over two years to regain the title, while it took The Undertaker almost six years before getting another reign as champion.
Their matches at Survivor Series and This Tuesday in Texas solidified The Undertaker as a true main event Superstar. Hogan was the biggest name in the business, and Taker stood toe to toe with him twice in one week.
Some people don’t realize what a big deal this was at the time. The Undertaker wasn’t the kind of character we usually saw in the title picture, and the fact that McMahon took a chance on him shows how much faith he had in Mark Calaway as a performer.
It also has to be noted that Hogan had a lot of power backstage at the time, and the fact that he was willing to put Taker over in their first encounter showed that he also had faith that the supernatural gimmick could work.
These two legends only wrestled each other a handful of times during their storied careers, which makes their match at This Tuesday in Texas a rare gem.
The event had some great action, but it would have been lost in the annals of history had it not been for Hogan and The Undertaker.