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Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #40

The SmarK Retro Rant for the Main Event #4 – November 1990 – Taped from Fort Wayne, IN – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Roddy Piper – So with SNME going down the crapper, ratings and quality-wise, by 1990, we get this strange experiment. Originally taped to be a 90 minute Saturday Night’s Main Event show, complete with a controversial tag team title switch, the show was instead moved to prime time and chopped down to an hour. The result was not only horrible ratings, but the Rockers’ tag title win over the Hart Foundation being erased from history until the recent retroactive change has seemingly given them the belts again. Oddly enough, both Michaels and Jannetty would go on to win the belts with different partners anyway. – WWF title: Ultimate Warrior v. Ted Dibiase. Warrior was tanking badly as champion by November and a title change was imminent, while Dibiase was a non-factor by this point and was reduced to feuding with his own hired help by Wrestlemania VII, so that shows you how well this one was destined to do. Warrior powers Dibiase into the corner to start, but he slugs back, so Warrior dumps him with a clothesline. Back in, Warrior clotheslines him off the top and slugs away in the corner. Blind charge hits knee, however, and Dibiase takes over with the middle rope elbow. Piledriver gets two. Another is reversed and Warrior shoulderblocks him down, but gets dumped. We take a break and return with Dibiase dropping a fist for two. He grabs a side headlock, and clotheslines Warrior down. Warrior comes back with a backslide for two, but Dibiase suplexes him for two. Another is reversed to a sunset flip for two by Warrior, and Dibiase tosses him. Back in, Warrior reverses a suplex and starts no-selling, and they collide for the double KO. Warrior recovers and comes back with some rope-shaking, and the clotheslines and shoulderblocks follow, so Virgil runs in. (Warrior d. Dibiase, DQ, 9:50, ***) As much as I bust on Warrior’s in-ring prowess, Dibiase handled him like a champ and got a really good match out of him here. And of course the Macho King runs in afterwards and lays out Warrior to set up the fateful title change at Rumble 91, and the eventual WM classic between Warrior and Savage. – Nikolai Volkoff v. Sgt. Slaughter. No match, as Slaughter lays him out and whips him with the riding crop, and the camel clutch follows. Jim Duggan makes the save. (Volkoff d. Slaughter, DQ?, no rating) – Mr. Perfect v. Big Bossman. Texas Tornado was busy borrowing the IC title at this point, so Perfect doesn’t have it. Perfect sticks and moves to start and leads Bossman in a chase, but walks into a clothesline. Bossman hammers him in the corner and whips him into the turnbuckles, then hairtosses him around the ring and into the post. Backbreaker and Bossman goes up (!), but misses a splash. Perfect necksnaps him to take over, and gets two. Small package gets two. Perfect slugs away and undoes a turnbuckle, but Bossman blocks and sends him into it. Ear-wringer and Bossman comes back, but Perfect whips him into the exposed steel. Perfect goes to finish, but gets cradled for two. They slug it out and it’s the Perfectplex, but it only gets two. Criminal. Bossman dumps him and goes after Heenan, and gets counted out. (Perfect d. Bossman, COR, 8:29, *1/2) Could we actually have a FINISH to a match tonight? Just one? – And now, Blow Away. Where to start with this one? This was a fake infomercial for a weight-loss product which revolved around a gag with Buddy Rose. Basically, Rose pours a magic powder all over himself, eats whatever he wants, and when he blows the powder off he loses weight. Except of course he doesn’t lose any weight and looks exactly the same. This bit was, to say the least, famously bad and completely bombed on every level, as no one got the joke or those who did get it didn’t think it was funny. Mostly the latter. Now, on a deeper level, from what I understand the skit was a tryout of sorts for hot Stampede manager Dr. Jonathan Holliday, as Stampede itself was a feeder system for the WWF by that point. The skit was apparently his baby, and he decisively did not win himself a job with it, although it would have appealed to Vince’s sense of humor. – Rick Martel v. Tito Santana. Martel attacks to start and tosses Tito, but runs into the post. Back in the ring, Tito gets a double axehandle and starts working the arm, then blocks a monkeyflip with the a stomp to the face. Back to the arm, and a small package gets two. He says on the arm, but Martel grabs a chinlock, so Tito reverses to a hammerlock and forces Martel to go to the ropes. Martel chokes him out and works him over in the corner, and gets a backbreaker. He goes up and gets brought down by Tito, who goes nuts in the corner and dropkicks him. Backbreaker and top rope clothesline get two. Figure-four is reversed by Martel for two. Boston Crab finishes. (Martel d. Santana, boston crab — submission, 6:43, **1/2) Kind of disappointing compared to previous outings from them, but at least it’s a clean finish. The Pulse: It’s the show with BLOW AWAY. What more do you need to know? Throw it out the window and watch Impact or something instead.