Rick Martel vs. Jake Roberts Blindfold Match

Blindfold Match

Another year, another Wrestlemania behind us.

Call me a traditionalist if you will, but I sorta miss the days when Wrestlemania was still THE BIGGEST PAY PER VIEW of the year, something that really stood out among what used to be 4 or 5 WWF PPVs we got every 12 months instead of the 47 or so we get now. By having so many events, it’s really hard to make Mania stand out, and as every year passes, it seems more and more like just another PPV.

I suppose, however, this could be considered a blessing in disguise. There were times in the past where gimmicks, angles, and the wrestlers themselves had more time to build up creatively and fan reactions on certain characters and angles could be experimented and tested.

Case in point, 1991’s feud between Jake the Snake Roberts and “The Model” Rick Martel.

This feud was built up VERY well over the course of about 6 months. Not two weeks, not two months…SIX MONTHS. The fans were way into it and all the segments leading to the blow-off match made you want to see it right then, right now. BUT, you’d have to wait for Wrestlemania VII to see one person finally get satisfaction. THAT, my friends, is a work of booking art.

So why, you may be asking, if the build was so good and I’m going so far as to throwing the term “art” around is it basking here in the confines of WrestleCrap.com? Two words: blindfold match.

Yes, this epic feud would come to an end after six months of build in a match where the men had “blindfold hoods” on their heads. If you can’t actually see your opponent, how good do you think this thing had a prayer of being? Trust me, it sucks. But before I get to that, let’s take a look at the events leading up to this often requested gem of crapola.

Rick Martel appeared on The Brother Love Show, and as was his custom at the time he had his “Arrogance” perfume atomizer with him.A word about said atomizer: it looked like something you’d see Harpo Marx running around with, spraying uptight society dowagers. If ever a gimmick needed to be brought back, it’s that atomizer. Give that thing to, say, Mike Knox and you’ve got one half of your WrestleMania 26 main event right there.

Back to Brother Love, who informs us that he has Rick on the sidelines tonight because his real guest, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, is bringing his snake with him and we all know how snakes smell like canned tamales.

Sadly, Brother Love did not give fun facts such as this on all his segments.

So Jake comes on with Damian in the bag while The Model walks around spraying the air surrounding them. See, because it stinks. Somehow Jake ignores this disaster waiting to happen by telling Brother Love that if anything stinks, it’s his butt.

You know how old timers always talk about how Jake was a master of psychology?

This would NOT be an example of it.

So Jake yammers on with Brother Love until Martel starts spraying the bag containing Damian, resulting in Jake pushing him away, and in the melee getting a big blast of Arrogance right in the eyes, which he sells by covering his peepers and flailing around like he’s just seen the trailer for The Hannah Montana Movie.

The Big Bossman comes to his rescue to run off Brother Love and Martel and the Usual Gang of Idiots led by Rene Goulet and Pat Patterson come to Jake’s aid while he flails around some more.

You know, it’s a good thing for Jake that Bossman was there. I remember when the same crew, without Bossman, tried to rescue the Warrior when he’d been locked in a coffin with a hammer.


If that’s how they thought you should open a locked casket, I’m actually shocked they didn’t think a hammer would help Jake’s blindness.

You laugh, but I could totally see Goulet attempting to pop Jake’s eye out with the claw end of one.

So the following week, Rick comes out to tell Brother Love and the fans that it was all Jake’s fault that he was blinded. After all, he was just spraying the bag and Jake put his face right in there.

Can’t argue with that logic.

Score one for the Model.

“Nobody Loves You”? Mother, get out of here, please.

Martel says he’s a great “human-an-tarium.” I wasn’t quite sure what a “human-in-tarium” was, but thankfully, Vince McMahon was there to help me out.

Thanks, Vince!

Martel proves his human-an-tariumism by getting out a blind person’s walking stickm which sends Vince into convulsions, explaining to us that “THIS GUY IS A CREEP!!”

Oh now, Vince – it wasn’t like he started belting out “Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For” or anything.

Too bad. I bet a clay sculpture of Jake Roberts’s head would have gotten over huge.

Anyway, Jake comes back to the scene of the crime, but not alone. Not only does he now sport Ray Charles sunglasses, but hanging on his arm is none other than Tony Garea.

Thankfully, Tony doesn’t have a hammer.

Sadly, Tony is apparently the world’s most disobedient seeing eye dog, and he leaves immediately.

There’s a reason I called him and Patterson “the usual gang of idiots”, you know.

Brother Love taunts Jake by giving him the blind person’s cane, which Jake thanks him for by swinging it in the direction of Brother Love’s big strawberry face.

Brother Love plays mind games by pushing the podium and the walking stick away.

It’s like the world’s most sadistic version of The Miracle Worker.

Martel comes out and joins in on the taunting fun until Garea finally comes back and leads him away, resulting in Brother Love being left alone for….

THE DDT!!! Boy do I miss when the DDT was the damn finisher and not just another offensive move. These days that move is as deadly as a collar and elbow tie-up.

Anyway, Jake’s glasses get knocked off, thus treating us to…


Milky Eye!!

Can you really get Milky Eye from being sprayed by cheap perfume?

Jake, a master of convincing everyone of this dramatic turn of events, proclaims “I am not an animal!!”

Well you’re nickname is “The Snake” so….ya actually kinda are.

And how come everyone quotes The Elephant Man when something happens to disfigure them?

Drama queens.

HEY!! There’s Koko!! Our beloved WWE Hall of Famer. What’s he doing here?

If you guessed “Giving the non-paying public a free, horrible blindfold match in hopes of getting the same public to pay for a similarly horrible match…”

…step up and claim your prize!

And after seeing this encounter, I’m sure countless folks immediately called their cable systems, so they could witness yet another match in which men stumbled around the ring…

…feeling the ground for their opponent…

and reaching out for a person that wasn’t there.

A wrestling match with no real action whatsoever?

That DOES sound like money well spent!

Sadly, Koko is caught and Boston Crabb’d in about 2 minutes. As if that weren’t enticing enough, Vince also plugs the George Steinbrenner-Paul Maguire Instant Replay debate.


Onto Wrestlemania VII, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (originally slated for the L.A. Coliseum but moved because of a “bomb threat”, which was actually true – the show was totally bombing in ticket sales, so they had to move it).

Just to make sure things didn’t get out of hand, the WWF assigned two men beyond reproach to officiate the encounter: Danny Davis (suspended prioer to WrestleMania III for cheating for the Hart Foundation) and Earl Hebner (one of the evil twin referees in the Hogan-Andre bout, possibly the one who had “money falling out of his pocket” according to Hulk Hogan).


You may think I’m joking, but I’m really not. If you like wrestling matches with no wrestling, this one’s for you, baby.

Since he ‘can’t see’ his foe, Jake keeps pointing in different directions, with the fans all yelling to guide him along.

Now I will admit, the fan interaction is kinda fun here.

I will also admit that after about three minutes of said pointing, it got a bit tedious.

Seriously, the match is mostly reaching and feeling around.

Fun on a date.

Not fun in a wrestling match.

Here Jake finally finds and grabs his nemesis.

Unfortunately, it appears he found his anus.

This feud just keeps getting worse for the Snakeman.

It improves little as the two men run past each other…

….and then just miss each other in the corner.

Thankfully, about 10 minutes in, we get some action.

Sadly, said action is Martel falling backwards over Jake who is down on all fours.

Eh, at this point I’ll take what I can get.

Eventually, Rick actually catches Jake and slams him to the mat. Jake, whose other senses are seemingly already enhanced, has the innate knowledge to roll out of the way of a Model elbow drop.

I once saw Rick Steiner do that on an episode of WCW Power Hour only Rick wasn’t blindfolded and his opponent didn’t move out of the way, true story.

Becoming frustrated with his continual failures, Martel rolls to the outside and somehow is able to find a folding chair to poke around, finally slamming it into the ringpost and hurting his hands.

Sound funny?

It isn’t.

Thankfully, the horribleness ends when Jake finds Martel and finishes him off with a DDT.

What?? He’s still….feeling around….for him?

Oh geezum, just PIN HIM ALREADY!!!

NOW the match is OVER!

Thank you, Jake.

Whew, that was awful. And the WWF knew it was awful because they never tried it again, though I have a feeling they will now after reading this.

This did not spell the end of the Blindfold Hood match entirely, as our old buddy and pal RD Reynolds participated in a “Blindfold Kiss My Foot” match when he was a manager on the indy circuit in Hope, Indiana. And actually made a more entertaining match in front of 40 people.

For that, you have my admiration, Mr. Reynolds.

Note from RD: I strongly disagree that it was more entertaining…but you be the judge:

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