Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #28

The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #28 (October 1990) It’s OKTOBERFEST! Oh man, I kind of love this one. Taped from somewhere that isn’t Germany, sadly. I believe they were trying to get away from naming the city at this point for some reason. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Rowdy Roddy Piper in front of an obvious green screen. Demolition v. The Ultimate Warrior & The Legion of Doom Sadly, the backstage interviews have been replaced by generic green-screen cut-ins at this point, showing the budget cuts for the series. And really, would it have KILLED them to do Ax & Smash v. LOD here, just so we could get it once for posterity? Big brawl to start as we get a quick shot of 19-year old Dustin Rhodes watching at ringside, possibly plotting revenge for getting his father fired from the NWA two years earlier. Smash chokes out Animal, but walks into a powerslam for two. Warrior comes in and runs wild on the Demos with slams, but Ax evades the big splash and Warrior is the nutjob-in-peril. They work him over in the corner and it’s DEMOLITION DECAPITATION, but Hawk has had enough and makes the save before they can hit it. Hot tag to Hawk follows, which seems a bit unfair since he broke up their finisher illegally, and he hits Smash with a flying clothesline before Warrior finishes him off with the big splash at 5:33. Demolition was circling the drain at this point anyway. * Meanwhile, at Oktoberfest, Mean Gene introduces some of the guys partying down and getting hammered. I haven’t seen this show in 20 years but I’m already predicting a food fight to end it. Dusty Rhodes v. Macho King Randy Savage The feud was long dead and buried by this point so this should be an easy win for Savage. Savage doing the iconic “Stand on the apron and point menacingly at the camera from above” pose was incredibly badass and shows how effective their crew still was at that point. Dusty dominates him with elbows to start, but he gets distracted by Sherri and attacked from behind. Kneedrop gets two. Savage goes to the sleeper, while Ted Dibiase buys the entire front row with CASH MONEY, until Dustin takes a stand and throws their money back at them. To be fair, Dusty was doing pretty good and he probably didn’t need the money anyway. So clearly not understanding the concept of personal space, Dibiase and Virgil sit right next to Dustin to watch the match, which really upsets Dusty. C’mon man, leave a buffer seat at least! We take a break and return with Sherri choking out Dusty and Savage hitting the double axehandle for two. Dusty makes the comeback and reverses a slam for two. Savage goes up and gets caught coming down, prompting Dustin to pick a fight with Dibiase and that, uh, doesn’t go too well for him. So after Dibiase thoroughly kicks his ass, Dusty goes out to make the save and gets counted out at 12:22. Really, Dibiase was a jerk, but Dustin threw the first punch, so really a chair to the head was kind of warranted. It’s mostly Dustin’s fault for being born a Rhodes. Decent enough match here. **1/2 Meanwhile, Hulk and Tugboat feel like Rhythm & Blues will be playing the glockenspiel after tonight. Please don’t let Tugboat talk anymore. Although Hulk promising to “Bavarian cream” them makes me feel dirty. Meanwhile, The Bushwackers demonstrate how well they can cut the cheese. Meanwhile, Lord Alfred Hayes continues getting drunker by the segment. Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine v. Hulk Hogan & Tugboat What exactly was Tugboat’s gimmick supposed to be, anyway? Is he supposed to be an actual boat, or the captain of a boat? Or just a random sailor? When he became Typhoon did he actually transmute into a storm? Was there a backstory where his boat got wrecked by an actual typhoon and he swore revenge? Really, the whole thing was just lazy. Hulk easily dominates both heels by himself and they control Valentine, and of course Tugboat is completely useless and gets clobbered from behind. Honky with an elbow for two and some choking. Hey wait, I think I just got that Bushwackers joke! See, they were literally cutting cheese, but it was a metaphor for farting! Ho, the wit and wordplay on these shows. Hogan gets the hot tag and is going to finish, but Earthquake and Bravo are wandering out so Tugboat stops him from hitting the legdrop. Uh, why? He’s still 100 feet away! Like Earthquake is gonna sprint out there and break up the pin or something? So we take a break and return with the match continuing until Honky quickly nails Tugboat with the guitar for the DQ at 11:11. And the beatdown is on as the four heels destroy Hogan while Tugboat is busy tripping over a piece of the set outside or something. And they wonder why the fans turned on Tugboat? Uncle Fred finally gets around to making the save. Why would Hogan bother keeping this goof around to help him? Maybe he finally got sick of people turning on him and knew Tugboat was too stupid to think of doing that? Meanwhile, the sausage stuffing contest, presided over by “master sausage stuffer” Lanny Poffo. Ha! Mr. Fuji throws a blatantly premade sausage on the table to win via cheating. Ha! This was a great segment. Intercontinental title: Kerry Von Erich v. Haku Tornado takes him down and tries the claw, which would seem to be an “unstoppable force v. immovable object” conundrum, but Haku escapes to the floor avoid the whole philosophical argument. He gets some advice from Bobby Heenan, and that advice was “Learn to sell cars.” Haku grabs a headlock and pounds away in the corner, but Tornado gets the clawhold and finishes with the discus punch at 4:09. ½* I feel like we were missing a wacky segment where Kerry crashes the party while completely drunk off his ass while clutching a beer stein and Mean Gene goes “What are you doing here at Oktoberfest?” and Kerry goes “What’s Oktoberfest?” THANK YOU, I’m here all week, try the veal. Sgt. Slaughter v. Koko B. Ware This was shortly after they shifted the character from “Former patriot who can’t deal with the cold war ending” to “cartoonish Iraqi defector” in order to cash in. Koko controls with armdrags, but Slaughter claims a hairpull in a funny heel bit. Because he’s bald, you see. That’s why it’s funny. In case you didn’t get it. Koko throws dropkicks, but misses a blind charge by a mile and Slaughter takes over with his boring offense. Backbreaker gets two, but Koko comes back with yet another series of dropkicks before walking into a stungun. And Slaughter finishes with the greatest motherfucking finisher in the history of the WWF, the MOTHERFUCKING ATOMIC NOOGIE OF DEATH, at 5:18. It was a sad day when he switched to the camel clutch, let me tell you. * Meanwhile, Slick and Anvil have a dance off and Lord Alfred is really fucking drunk. And then, as this trainwreck can only end with, the FOOD FIGHT closes things out. In his book, Bret Hart said that the other participants came to him with a tear in their eye and told him that it was the best food fight they ever had. Meanwhile, Ultimate Warrior gives a post-match interview, where he has now completely changed his makeup and tights, but he does grant Randy Savage a title match. Savage, also in a different outfit, is overjoyed to hear about this. Thankfully, Roddy Piper is still man enough to pay attention to continuity and keep his stupid Bavarian suspenders outfit from earlier. Meanwhile, Mean Gene and Alfred wrap things up. Vince promises that the next show will be in November after Survivor Series, but in fact that did not happen and instead NBC cut the show down to an hour and put it in a death slot at The Main Event instead. BAIT AND SWITCH! The Pulse This one was so stupidly fun you had to love it. See, they were CUTTING THE CHEESE.

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