Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Main Event II

WWF The Main Event II

Live from Milwaukee, WI

Airdate: February 3, 1989

Attendance:  20,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Pro wrestling in prime time again? What could possibly happen this time?

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Slick with the Twin Towers. Slick tries to use logic (“wrestling dynamics”) to show that the Twin Towers can defeat the MegaPowers tonight. If he uses the Pythagorean Theorem instead, perhaps his team could defeat Hulkamania forever.

After the Twin Towers make their entrance, a video promoting the MegaPowers is shown. It would seem that Hogan and Savage are quite buddy-buddy. Has harmony returned despite their little squabbles?

Apparently so because Okerlund interviews the MegaPowers who are amped up to tear down the Twin Towers together. 1989 was certainly a different time.

Match 1: The MegaPowers (w/ Elizabeth) versus the Twin Towers (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • While Elizabeth chose Savage to start the match, Boss Man wanted Hogan instead.
  • After Hogan nailed Boss Man a couple of times, Slick got up on the apron only to get nailed too.
  • Add one for Akeem for the trifecta. Place your bets!
  • Hogan then gave Boss Man an atomic drop that sent him over the top rope to the floor as the Milwaukee faithful went CRAZY!
  • When Boss Man returned, Hogan gave him the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • While Boss Man ducked outside to avoid being pummeled, Savage gave him a double axe handle.
  • Akeem tagged in and got pinballed between the MegaPowers.
  • After Hogan staggered Akeem, Savage tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a double axe handle.
  • He then whipped Akeem into the corner and gave him a back elbow.
  • Hogan tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and nailed Akeem with a double axe handle.
  • It appeared that the MegaPowers were working on all cylinders.
  • Boss Man tagged in, got reversed on an Irish whip, but delivered a clothesline to Hogan.
  • He then gave Hogan a piledriver.
  • Could this be curtains for the MegaPowers?
  • Not yet, as Boss Man tagged in Akeem rather than pinning Hogan.
  • Shortly after, Hogan dumped Boss Man over the top rope to the floor. Hey! The Royal Rumble was last month!
  • Nevertheless, Boss Man pulled Hogan outside the ring, tried to ram him head-first into the ring post, but Hogan rammed him shoulder-first instead.
  • While Akeem distracted referee Dave Hebner, Slick grabbed Hogan’s leg. Savage took exception and put the boots to Slick.
  • Boss Man then gave Hogan a spinebuster for 2. Arn Anderson was backstage letting everyone know that his SPINEBUSTER is better. I wouldn’t disagree.
  • After some miscommunication between the Twin Towers, Savage tagged in and guillotined Akeem using the top rope.
  • Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but only got 2 thanks to a save by Boss Man.
  • While Akeem distracted Hebner again, Slick nailed Savage with the nightstick as he came off the ropes.
  • Akeem tagged in, and the Twin Towers gave Savage a double back elbow.
  • Akeem then tossed Savage over the top rope to the floor. These guys can’t seem to remember that this isn’t the Royal Rumble. They need more ginseng in their diet.
  • Regardless, Savage returned to the ring only for Akeem to toss him out again.
  • This time, Savage landed on Elizabeth!
  • When Hogan checked on them, Elizabeth was OUT COLD.
  • Akeem then brought Savage back into the ring.
  • After the Twin Towers gave Savage a double slam, they missed a double elbow drop.
  • Savage then gave them a double noggin knocker.
  • Meanwhile, Hogan carried Elizabeth back to the dressing room for medical attention.
  • He placed her on a stretcher while Boss Man tossed Savage back into the ring.
  • Hogan then took Elizabeth and the paramedics back to the first aid room.
  • An emotional Hogan then pled for Elizabeth to be OK.
  • Miraculously, after a commercial break, Elizabeth was OK so Hogan returned to the ring.
  • When Boss Man tagged in, the Twin Towers gave Savage a double backbreaker.
  • As Akeem fell out of the ring, Boss Man missed a splash.
  • Savage then mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Boss Man a double axe handle.
  • He then tossed Boss Man outside the ring.
  • When Akeem tried to return, Savage tossed him out of the ring on the other side.
  • Instead of tagging Hogan, Savage SLAPPED him and made efforts to leave the ring.
  • The Twin Towers then attempted a double avalanche but came up empty.
  • Savage then took the WWF title belt and bid Hogan adieu.
  • In the meantime, Akeem gave Hogan a cross-corner whip followed by an avalanche.
  • He then hit the 747 but only got 2.
  • It’s Hulk-up time!
  • Hogan then gave Akeem the big boot.
  • After nailing Boss Man, Hogan delivered the leg drop.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  There is some significant dissension between Savage and Hogan. What happens next?

After the match, Boss Man tries to handcuff Hogan to the top rope, but Hogan rams his head into Slick’s instead. Hogan then goes backstage to check on Elizabeth.

As Hogan walks backstage, he yells “Macho Man.” Concurrently, Savage is in the first aid room telling Elizabeth that the WWF champion is #1. As Savage tells Hogan that he’s “out of line,” he also says that Hogan has “jealous eyes.”  Yikes! He then tells Hogan that “man to man, (he) never asked (him) for a title shot.” Next, he accuses Hogan of lusting after Elizabeth. As Hogan pleads with Elizabeth for some sense, Savage ANNIHILATES him with the WWF title belt. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!

As Elizabeth checks on Hogan, Savage pulls her away and tosses her down. The scoundrel! While Savage is ready to destroy Hulkamania, Brutus Beefcake runs in to take the belt away from him and questions his motives. In response, Savage nails him. That’s what he gets for being nosy.

When officials come in for Hogan, Savage tosses one of them into a wall! Before leaving, Savage knocks over the stretcher and claims to be #1. Due to the drama and historical significance of this segment, I’ll add an extra * to the match.

After a commercial break, Okerlund is in the first aid room as paramedics take care of Hogan. Beefcake remains alongside the Hulkster.

Match 2: The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) versus Hercules

Highlights:

  • And now for something completely different
  • Before DiBiase can enter the ring, Hercules attacked him on the apron.
  • He then gave DiBiase an atomic drop followed by a clothesline that sent him to the floor.
  • Virgil mounted the top turnbuckle, but Hercules caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • He then whipped Virgil into DiBiase on the apron.
  • Following that, he clotheslined Virgil over the top rope to the floor.
  • He’s not finished as he brought DiBiase back into the ring the hard way.
  • After a military press slam, Hercules gave DiBiase an atomic drop that sent him to the floor once again.
  • As DiBiase and Virgil conferred, Hercules gave them a double noggin knocker.
  • With DiBiase on the apron, Hercules tried to nail him, but DiBiase used momentum to send Hercules to the floor.
  • He then rammed Hercules face-first into the apron.
  • Back in the ring, he gave Hercules a clothesline followed by a pair of fist drops for 2.
  • After a knee to the midsection, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered an elbow smash for another 2.
  • He then attempted a vertical suplex, but Hercules blocked it and gave him one of his own.
  • After Hercules reversed a cross-corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • DiBiase then delivered a backbreaker for 2.
  • All of Hercules’ kick-outs thus far have been overpowering. Methinks Hercules has done some shopping lately.
  • In any event, Hercules came back to give DiBiase the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along followed by a powerslam.
  • Virgil then wrapped Hercules’ chain around the top turnbuckle.
  • But when DiBiase tried to ram Hercules into it, Hercules blocked and rammed him instead.
  • That should be the finishing touch.
  • 1-2-NO!
  • While Virgil distracted referee Joey Marella, Hercules rammed DiBiase again into the chained turnbuckle.
  • He then applied the backbreaker rack.
  • As Marella unwrapped the chain from the turnbuckle, Virgil interfered.
  • DiBiase then rolled up the distracted Hercules, grabbed the tights, and got the pin. Sigh.

Rating: **

Summary: DiBiase outsmarted Hercules here in a match I won’t remember tomorrow.

After the match, Hercules slams DiBiase and grabs his chain. Virgil then assists DiBiase backstage.

Back in the first aid room, Okerlund tries to interview a distraught and angry Hogan, but Hogan leaves the room shouting “Randy!”

Before going off the air, Hogan destroys equipment backstage and manhandles Jim Neidhart when looking for Savage in a dressing room. He then asks Shawn Michaels where Savage is and tosses him aside like a rag doll. He then gets in Bret Hart’s face but doesn’t get any answers. As an enraged Hogan continues to shout “Randy,” Marty Jannetty luckily gets out of harm’s way.

Conclusion:  Wow! This was a monumental and historic episode with the breakup of the MegaPowers. Savage’s heel turn was absolute perfection while Hogan needs more acting classes. Despite that, if you’ve never seen this show, you owe it to yourself to do so ASAP. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it, pull up a chair and enjoy it as this is as good as the WWF gets.

See you for NWA Clash V!

Rating: 11.6

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.

  • MrMaye

    Ah yes, the memories of 1989 continue, my 2nd favorite year in wrestling history. I love this episode right here and monumental and historic are two very good words to describe it. I’m probably going to watch it now, lol.

  • thejob111

    I remember at WM5 Hogan did a promo that basically was that Macho Madness was always a little bit behind Hulkamania, and from a kayfabe standpoint yes. But as for as performers go…Macho all the way.

    • RG-Dallas

      In hindsight, the WWF slowly waited to turn Savage fully heel. I mean the heel turn happened at The Main Event #2, but they spent weeks slowly making him more hated. I guess maybe they knew some Macho fans would follow Savage, and heel turns like this are very difficult to pull off. I mean I was a Hogan fan from day one, so Hogan could do no wrong back then in my eyes (as a 12 year old), Looking back at it now, Savage could have easily been justified in his actions. Heck, Hogan’s first response after Savage turned, due to jealous of him being the champion and the lust for Elizabeth, was saying he was taking back HIS title. As a 12 year old kid, yeah Hogan never REALLY lost the title, and it is time for Hogan to get HIS title back. As a 40 year old looking back, they could have easily had Hogan be the self-righteous jerk here. However, the money (in theory) was still on Hogan being the babyface hero, so Savage has to spiral down to full evil scum heeldom by the end of Wrestlemania 5.

      The first few weeks, Savage’s promos aren’t really that different. If Elizabeth had simply gone into Savage’s corner, then you might actually have a bigger split in the fanbase. So Elizabeth has to do her neutral corner stuff, and Savage gets more evil. “I don’t need you, I never needed you.”

      Then Savage loses the title. The next week on Superstars, they shoot the angle where Sherri and Savage attack Elizabeth back stage after Savage lost to Hogan. [Not shown on the PPV, but more of a setup for the summer house show series and foreshadowing to Sherri and Macho’s alliance that wasn’t made official for two more weeks.]

      We already know, in theory, when Savage says he is going to get a new manager that it is going to be Sherri. [Savage was red hot in 1989 as a heel after this. Maybe in some alternate time line, it might have been logical for him to win at Wrestlemania 5 by DQ or something and have Hogan chase him until Summer Slam, but back in 1989 – I was just happy to see Hogan champion again. I was also a fan of Beefcakes and didn’t know he was Hogan’;s buddy, so seeing him in the upper midcard challenging Savage was a breath of fresh air for this 12 year old.

      Although, I never understood why they had Jim Neidhart be the guy Savage had to beat on SNME to get another title shot at Hogan? I liked Neidhart back in the day, but I found that just to be off.

      • Linz G

        What they should have done is have Elizabeth do the neutral corner and then turn on Hogan Mid Match– Savage retains!!! and they go back to being heels and Elizabeth got a bit of an edge… but I guess she wanted off the road at that point so that didn’t work. In Super Hindsight, had she stayed on the road and married to Savage, she probably wouldn’t have overdosed and died at 42.

      • JayDust

        The Jim Neidhart promo before the match with Savage always struck me as strange. It wasn’t long ago that he was cackling while the Honky Tonk Man shoved Elizabeth to the mat before hitting Savage with the guitar, and now he’s talking about standing up for Elizabeth by taking on Savage.

        I’ve mentioned it before that this is a personal favorite of mine. I was a huge Savage fan since he joined the WWF, and still cheered him even after he turned face and, ugh, shook Hogan’s hand. I always hated Hogan, so this was the moment for me. I knew Savage would be losing to Hogan at WM5, but couldn’t they have treated them more like equals at anytime? If they let Savage kick out of the leg drop once before succumbing to a second leg drop, Savage could’ve been kept at a higher level longer.

        The following year the The Main Event III, Savage was up immediately after the leg drop and Buster Douglas’ fast count, visibly kicking out of a normal three count. If he had legitimately kicked out after the leg drop at WM5, it would’ve been in the back of everyone’s minds that he could do it again.

        Anyway, it always annoyed me that Hogan had to totally kill everyone’s finishers. It always seemed to irk him if someone was considered on his level. He needed to be two levels above everyone else. Savage was totally justified in turning on Hogan. And the slow burn reaching this point made the moment so much sweeter.

      • The Gambler

        I think they left a ton of money on the table by not having Savage retain by breaking every possible rule in the book and then building to the ultimate blowoff in a steel cage at Summerslam.

  • WChilders49

    Did you catch the blooper where Beefcake briefly stepped into frame about 15 seconds before he was supposed to appear?

    • nwa88

      It’s one of three great ones — along with Akeem falling out of the ring and Hogan rehearsing his pleading to Elizabeth in the breathiest, creepiest possible manner and asking for a countdown before he realized they were already rolling.

      • spicollidriver

        these are the kind of botches that I feel are okay to edit out on rebroadcasts etc.

        • nwa88

          I get why they do, but I wish they wouldn’t. It makes it so much harder to find and enjoy them later!

  • jabroniville

    This was actually probably the first wrestling show I ever saw- the Macho Man was my favorite just based off of his appearance, and I remember whining to my dad “Why is Macho Man LOSING…?” “Well, he’s fighting two guys!” I immediately took his side against Hogan. This made me a social pariah at Elementary School, where Hogan & Warrior were worshiped.

  • JosephM

    This was the event that hooked me. The craziness in Savage, I was transfixed. And even though he was a ‘bad guy’ he was forever a favorite of mine.

    And years later I got a kick out of Hogan searching for Randy in the back and confronting Shawn and Bret in succession. Shawn selling it like the wrath of God, Bret reacting like it was a minor annoyance.

  • JosephM

    See if Hogan was really as selfless as he claimed, he would have tagged in and told Randy to go to the back with Liz. Selfish Orange Goblin!

    LUST IN THOSE EYES!

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