Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #23

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #23 – October 1989 – Taped from Cincinnati, OH. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura – “Macho King” Randy Savage v. Jimmy Snuka. So Sherri gets into the Hall of Fame but Randy Savage doesn’t? That’s fucked up, dude. Extra props to Lanny Poffo in the pre-match video showing the coronation of Macho King, as he rhymes “ravage” with “Savage”. You think Kanye West can pull that off? (He did rhyme “Yeezus” with “Jesus”.)  Savage blindsides Snuka to start, but gets chopped down. Snuka sends him out with an atomic drop, and back in Sherri trips him up and Savage takes over. Kneedrop gets two. Savage tosses him and follows with the double axehandle, and Sherri gets her damage in as well. Back in, it’s two for Macho. A knee to the back sends Snuka to the corner, but he hulks up. Clothesline out of the corner sets up the Tree of Woe, but Sherri gives Randy her purse, and a handful of tights later it’s all over. (Savage d. Snuka, rollup — pin, 5:35, *) Snuka was useless here, much as he was for his entire comeback run.  (I hear he has a daughter, though, who might be pretty decent.)  – WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Ted Dibiase. Zeus is lurking at ringside, much like herpes lurks where you least expect it or want it. (Or, uh, so I’ve heard.  From friends.)  Hulk wins a slugfest to start, but Zeus trips him up and slugs away. Hulk fires back, but keeps going after Zeus, allowing Dibiase to get a clothesline. Jake Roberts comes out to threaten Zeus, which gets Dibiase all flustered and allows Hulk to roll him up for two. Dibiase misses his elbow. And now Virgil gets into the act, stealing the snake and thus removing Roberts. We take a break and return with Dibiase getting a clothesline for two. Suplex gets two. Middle rope elbow gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Hulk fights out and they clothesline each other. Like an idiot, Hulk runs right into Zeus’ direction and gets clobbered. Dibiase goes up and a weird-looking flying kneedrop, but it’s Hulk Up Time. Zeus comes in for what seems like the sure DQ, but Hulk cradles Dibiase instead. (Hogan d. Dibiase, small package — pin, 7:40, **) Too much extracurricular junk.  (Wait, it just occurred to me that no one ever did paternity tests to determine if Zeus actually was the father of Hercules while they were in the same promotion together.  We could have solved an ages-old mystery!  And why didn’t anyone ever team them up as the Gods of Olympus?) – Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Haku. Piper was basically brought out of Hollywood retirement by Rick Rude, and this begins his quest to beat all the Heenan family members. Slugfest is won by Piper and he dumps Haku, following him out for more punishment. Piper goes after the Brain, but gets caught by Haku. Back elbow is sold in typical goofy Piper fashion, and a shoulderbreaker gets two. Legdrop and Hauk goes up, but a diving headbutt misses and Piper comes back with a faceplant. Belly to belly finishes. (Piper d. Haku, suplex — pin, 3:00, *) Very short.  (Man, once he lost that crown, Haku went plummeting down the depth chart until the tag title run saved him.  In fact, he might have been tag champion by the time this show was taped.  Let’s check the history books right now!) (Nope, that wasn’t until December.  Never mind.)   – Tito Santana v. Rick Martel. This was basically a commercial for the Survivor Series, as Martel has Honky Tonk Man and the Twin Towers with him, while Santana sports the imposing team of Red Rooster, Brutus Beefcake and Dusty Rhodes. Martel attacks and gets dumped as a result, and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Martel hammers away, but Tito gets a sunset flip for two. He chokes Martel out and goes to an armbar, and a crossbody gets two. Martel leverages Tito into the corner and takes over. Tito gets hung in the Tree of Woe and stomped, but blocks a backdrop and fights back. Backdrop and flying forearm look to finish early, but it’s a huge schmoz and we take a break. Back with Martel slugging away, but Tito hiptosses him and then gets dumped. Back in, Martel goes to work on the back and hits the chinlock. They fight for a backslide and Tito wins, for two. Martel comes back and chokes him down, setting up the Crab. Tito quickly makes the ropes and reverses for two. Martel takes him down with a backbreaker and goes up, but Tito shakes him down, then rams him into the turnbuckle a number of times that can only be summed up as excessive. Figure-four, but it’s another schmoz, and we’re running low on time so it’s just a DQ instead of an ad break. (Santana NC Martel, 8:35, ***1/4) I was really digging the intensity and hatred before the easy-out finish.(Given their obsession with breaking up tag teams, I’m still shocked we never got the big PPV blowoff of Strike Force.  In fact you’d think they would have done the split before Wrestlemania V and done the singles match there.)  – The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers v. The Sheepwackers. Oh no, now I’ve got that song in my head again. Brawl to start and the Rougeaus bail, and Jimmy Hart loses his pants. It’s always fun and games until someone loses their pants. The match starts, such as it is, as the Rougeaus double-team Butch and Jacques elbows him down. Hot tag quickly follows, however, and the Wackers quickly finish. (Bushwhackers d. Rougeaus, Butch stomachbreaker — pin Jacques, 3:18, 1/2*) Just a quickie comedy match. The Pulse: Not much here, although Santana v. Martel is surprisingly worth a look.