Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #26

(Fair warning, this is an old rant and I don’t like it very much, but today was my daughter’s birthday party and I’m sunburned to a crisp from being in a swimming pool for three hours and don’t feel in the mood to redo it, so this is what you get.  However, everything else from here will have to be fresh rants because I don’t think I’ve done any more.)  Saturday Night’s Main Event (April 28 / 90) – Taped from Austin, Texas. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. – Okay, this is the fallout show after Wrestlemania VI, as Warrior is now the World champion and Hogan is reduced to a secondary role. Thus begins the end for the glory years of the WWF. – Curt Hennig offers his opening thoughts, wearing yellow tights. When he emerges for the first match, they’ve magically become orange. Pre-taping or miracle, you decide. – Opening match: Curt Hennig v. Hulk Hogan. The usual as Hogan dominates with the punches and the body slams, all of which are hideously oversold by Hennig. This is pretty much move-for-move the same as the tag match from the first SNME in this rant, and my thoughts will be confirmed if Hennig tags Hulk with the scroll to gain the advantage. Yup, Hogan chases Hennig outside the ring and gets clobbered with the steel scroll.  (Well really, by this time the formula was set with the main matches being move-for-move copies of the house show circuit from a couple of months before, so it shouldn’t have been surprising.)  We come back from commercial with Perfect doing the usual spots and stalling. Hennig with the Perfectplex but it only gets two. Comeback, three punches, big boot and legdrop and that’s it. This was, as they say, good enough for government work, and it was a better match without Warrior weighing it down like in the tag match. ** Hogan goes over clean but Hennig would go on to bigger and better things over the next year.  (I feel like this was a better match than I’m giving it credit for, but I checked my redo for the Hulk Still Rules DVD set and I actually downgraded it by a star.)  – Rick Martel does a western themed ad for Arrogance. – Earthquake v. Hillbilly Jim. (This would be the last significant appearance of Hillbilly Jim, would it not?)  What is with Vince and redneck wrestlers? Canned heat is in full effect as Hillbilly starts off quickly. Jimmy Hart distracts Jim and it’s elbow and FATTEST BUTT SPLASH IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT for the pin. Lasted a bit over a minute. DUD Earthquake does the world a great service and flattens Hillbilly Jim with about five elbowdrops and two butt splashes.  (Oh man, I’m gonna hear about this one from a certain person on the blog…)  – Another Arrogance spot. – The Rockers v. The Hart Foundation. YES! YES! YES! Awesome opening sequence that is ruined for me by my roommate telling a disgusting bar story. (I believe that would have been the infamous “SMELL ME, JOHNNY!” story, but I could be wrong.  There were a LOT of them.)  Rockers double-team Bret, but Anvil takes out Shawn with power. The Harts take over with their patented knee-to-the-back from Bret on the apron. Is it me, or is Bret hitting Shawn really stiffly? The Harts get several two counts on Shawn, and then Demolition wanders down to have a look at the action. Bret is yelling at the Demos and Shawn dropkicks him right into them as we go to commercial. We’re back as Bret continues to lay an ass-whupping on Shawn. Hot tag to Marty, who cleans house for a bit and brings Shawn back in. Anvil nails him with a shoulderblock and Shawn does a triple somersault. Hennig must have taught him or something. Shawn goes over the top and gets beat up by Demolition, triggering a three-way brawl. Now see, if they knew what a three-way dance was in 1990 this would have been a killer match at Summerslam. Still, a great match ruined by a bonehead ending. ***3/4  (No way it was that high.  Let’s check the redo from the Bret Hart DVD…) The Hart Foundation v. The Rockers. From SNME, 4/29/90. Bret and Jannetty exchange takedowns to start, and the Rockers double-team him until Anvil comes in and overpowers Marty. Shawn comes in and can’t slam Anvil, but a dropkick works. Anvil has no such trouble slamming Shawn, allowing Bret to come in (along with a moment of FORBIDDEN COMMENTARY from Jesse Ventura!) and the Harts do the quick tags and work Shawn over. The theme is “pounding the back” and the double-whip gets two. Shawn comes back with a sunset flip for two, as Demolition comes out to scout. Bret stops to yell at them, and we’re clipped for an ad break. Back with Bret pounding on Shawn in the corner, but missing an elbowdrop. Hot tag Jannetty, who superkicks Bret for two. Sunset flip gets two. Bret comes back with a neckbreaker, but slingshots Anvil in and misses with that. Back to Shawn, who promptly runs into Anvil and takes a two-count as a result. High cross body gets two, however, and Demolition runs in for the double DQ at 9:02. Seen better, but this was fun enough. **3/4  (Sounds more reasonable.)  – Earthquake gives an environmentally friendly interview. – Bobby Heenan lists the good points of Texas. Oh, and the cow dung, can’t forget that. – Warrior says…something. I think. – WWF Title match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Haku (geshundheit). I should point out that Warrior needs canned heat here whereas Hogan needed none. Further, the lights are *gone* past the first few rows, which means that everyone past the floor seats has left and they had to darken the arena to cover it up. (Maybe they all went to sign up for the Network?)  That is an unspeakably bad sign for the Warrior’s popularity (or lack thereof). Haku takes control with whatever but Warrior makes the comeback to canned cheers with the usual clotheslines, shoulderblock and splash. Totally underwhelming. 1/4* – Another Arrogance spot, this time on a tennis court. The spiel could be used by Val Venis today! Picture this: “Hello, ladies! You know ladies, when the Big Valbowski plays at Wimbledon, heh heh, he’s always the NUMBER ONE SEED. (Pause for screams of ladies) And the Big Valbowski is always one SHOT, right into the royal box!” (Man, I think just like Vince Russo!)  Hmm, Jim Cornette said that the statute of limitations on stealing angles is 7 years, so Val could use that one if he wanted. Rick is retired anyway.  (Wow, and it’s now been SIXTEEN years since I wrote that!  Time flies.)  – Big Bossman v. Akeem. This is the last match so it should be quick and painless. The arena has brightened considerably, so either the people came back or this was taped earlier in the evening. Jesse takes shots at dirty politicians, foreshadowing his own political career. (He was elected mayor pretty soon after this, in fact.)  Akeem dominates quickly with punches and butt splashes in the corner, then hits the big splash for two. Bossman backdrops him over the top rope and then slingshots him in. Nice spot. Cross corner whip and Bossman splash, but Dibiase and Virgil run in for the DQ. Not terrible or anything. * The Million dollar beatdown ensues. This is the first and only time you’ll see a black guy beating on a cop with a nightstick. Go fig. – Warrior offers more thoughts, ostensibly taped after his match, although he’s still wearing the belt, he’s not sweating, and his makeup is in perfect condition. Plus his hair isn’t messed up. I bet they taped the first interview, sprayed some water on him, and then taped the followup interview. The Bottom Line: Not a bad show overall, with a great tag match and a better-than-usual Hogan match. Considering that these shows were usually the bottom of the wrestling quality barrel, that’s not bad.