Rock Star Gary reflects on SNME XX

Taped from Hershey, PA

Airdate:  March 11, 1989 (taped 2/16)

Attendance:  9,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

As if the dissolution of the MegaPowers isn’t enough, what else can cause separation between Hogan and Savage? Let’s find out!

Vince voices over Elizabeth’s “decision of a lifetime” as to whose corner she’ll represent. Will she remain with the “Macho Man?” Or will she align herself with the Hulkster?

Prior to the first match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Rude with Heenan. According to Heenan, image is everything. He must be spending some quality time with André Agassi.

After Rude makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Beefcake who compares Heenan to a hair dryer.

Match 1: Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • At the onset, Ventura mentioned Rude’s tights which had an airbrushed picture of the Ultimate Warrior on them. Hmmm….
  • After a back drop, Beefcake gave Rude the ten-punch count-along.
  • He then applied the sleeper, but Rude escaped.
  • Next, Beefcake attempted another ten-punch count-along, but Rude countered with an inverted atomic drop.
  • After a knee to the midsection, Rude delivered a snap suplex for 2.
  • Suddenly, André the Giant came to the ring as Beefcake countered a reverse chin lock with a jawbreaker.
  • After Rude missed a haymaker, Beefcake gave him an inverted atomic drop with mustard.
  • When Beefcake gave Rude a cross-corner whip, he ate knee on his follow-through.
  • Rude then tossed Beefcake outside the ring. In the meantime, André SQUISHED him then choked him.
  • All of a sudden, Jake “The Snake” Roberts came to the ring to even the odds.
  • As Roberts entered the ring, referee Dave Hebner called for the bell.
  • According to ring announcer Howard Finkel, Beefcake won by DQ.

Rating: *

Summary:  Was this the Attitude Era? The crowd got more excited for the run-in than the match.

After the match, André and Rude double-team Roberts until Beefcake rejoins the fray. Upon giving Rude an atomic drop, Beefcake clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. When Beefcake goes after André, he doesn’t fare well at all. To add even more mystique to the chaos, Big John Studd comes to the ring to confront André. But before the battle of the giants commences, Roberts tosses Damian into the ring scaring André away.

After a commercial break, Ventura interviews Brown who calls Hogan a “big dummy.” I’d ask Brown his net worth, but he’s no longer with us unfortunately. RIP.

As Brown makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Hogan with Elizabeth. According to Okerlund, Hogan will challenge Savage for the WWF title at WrestleMania V. Interestingly, Hogan sounds like he’s got a nasty cold. Get this man some Theraflu, STAT!

Match 2: Hulk Hogan (w/ Elizabeth) versus Bad News Brown

Highlights:

  • Brown attacked Hogan before the bell, but Hogan came back with a right hand that sent Brown between the ropes to the floor. Hogan then joined and nailed him.
  • With Brown on the apron, Hogan brought him in the hard way.
  • After a clothesline, Hogan delivered a pair of elbow drops then gave Brown the big boot.
  • Instead of attempting the leg drop, Hogan decided to ram Brown into the top turnbuckle to zero effect.
  • Brown responded with a head butt to prove how allegedly hard-headed he was.
  • He then gave Hogan a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Hogan then delivered an atomic drop that sent Brown over the top rope to the floor.
  • He then joined and made Brown taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Grilled Rachel at Duke’s Bar and Grill. No, not THAT Rachel!
  • Brown came back and rammed Hogan shoulder-first into the ring post.
  • As Hogan leaned against the ring post, Brown tried to nail him but HIT THE POLE instead. OUCH!
  • Brown then grabbed a steel chair, but Hogan blocked the chair shot and gave him one instead.
  • After Brown took forever to search for something under the ring yet didn’t find what he was seeking, he went backstage and acquired a metal snow shovel.
  • Before Brown could use it, Hogan disarmed and tossed him back into the ring.
  • After Hogan gave Brown a cross-corner whip, Brown exploded out of the corner with a clothesline.
  • Upon slamming Hogan, Brown delivered a leg drop for 2.
  • As a boot to the midsection by Brown sent Hogan to the floor, Brown joined and rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • When Brown inauspiciously directed his attention toward Elizabeth, Hogan caught and nailed him.
  • To counter a side headlock, Brown rammed Hogan shoulder-first into the ring post again.
  • Back in the ring, Brown gave Hogan a side Russian leg sweep but only got 2 because Hogan’s leg was under the bottom rope.
  • Out of nowhere, Brown took the microphone and notified Hogan that “it’s Ghetto Blaster time, fool!”
  • However, when Brown attempted his finishing maneuver, Hogan ducked. It’s not wise strategy to telegraph your next move.
  • Nonetheless, it’s Hulk-up time!
  • After delivering a high knee, Hogan gave him the leg drop.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hogan won.

Rating: *

Summary: With Brown’s brawling style, Hogan changed his formula a bit; therefore, I can’t classify this as a typical Hogan match. Your mileage may vary on the rating.

Afterward, Hogan poses for the Hershey faithful while Elizabeth cups her ear. Hogan then puts Elizabeth on his shoulder while continuing to pose.

Upon completion of a commercial break, Savage paces outside Elizabeth’s dressing room. If only he had a Fitbit, then he could quantify his daily steps.

After DiBiase makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews the Blue Blazer. That voice sounds familiar.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews DiBiase with Virgil. DiBiase shows off his NEW million dollar belt.

Match 3: The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) versus the Blue Blazer

Highlights:

  • As the Blazer entered the ring via a top rope flip, DiBiase clotheslined him down to the mat.
  • After a back elbow, DiBiase slammed him then delivered a series of elbow drops.
  • Surprisingly, the Blazer hooked an inside cradle.
  • Can he pull off the upset?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • He then hooked a backslide and earned another 2.
  • DiBiase came back with a clothesline, mounted the second turnbuckle, and followed with a double axe handle.
  • Next, he gave the Blazer a vertical suplex and attempted a back drop.
  • However, the Blazer landed on his feet and delivered a dropkick that sent DiBiase over the top rope to the floor.
  • But the Blazer wasn’t finished as he hit a tope suicida. Amazing!
  • S
  • till on the floor, after DiBiase missed a haymaker, the Blazer gave him an atomic drop sending DiBiase shoulder-first into the ring post.
  • Back in the ring, the Blazer mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a flying body press, and got 2.
  • After a back drop, the Blazer gave DiBiase an enziguri.
  • He then followed with a dropkick for another 2.
  • As the Blazer attempted a leap frog, DiBiase caught and powerslammed him.
  • 1-2-3.
  • DiBiase won.

Rating: ***

Summary:  What appeared to resemble an ordinary squash on paper turned out to be a great little match between the established veteran and 23-year-old Owen Hart.

Saturday Night’s Main Event is sponsored by Burger King. Any Whopper fans out there?

From the podium, Okerlund interviews Elizabeth. Whose corner will she represent at WrestleMania V? Initially, Okerlund asks if she will be in Hogan’s corner. She says no as Savage immediately runs out to celebrate. Next, Okerlund asks if she will be in Savage’s corner. After Savage demonstratively boasts that she will be in his corner, she says…no. When Savage angrily gets in her face, Hogan arrives on the scene to rescue her as well as notify us that he’ll wait until the PPV to destroy Savage and regain his belt. Good promo.

After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews the Brain Busters with Heenan backstage. Arn lets us know that they have all the tools to succeed. Methinks he shops at Sears.

As the Brain Busters make their entrance, Okerlund interviews the Rockers who are fired up for this encounter. I don’t think that’s the only that’s been fired up lately.

Match 4: The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus the Rockers

Highlights:

  • After Arn nailed Michaels to send him to the floor, Blanchard attempted a slingshot suplex to Jannetty, but Jannetty escaped.
  • Blanchard then attempted a rollup, but the anonymous referee was putting Arn back in his corner.
  • Michaels then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying body press on Blanchard. Before any count could be made, Arn made the save.
  • When the Busters tried to whip the Rockers into one another, the Rockers performed a do-si-do and nailed the Busters sending them to the floor.
  • Arn then attempted to re-enter the ring via the top rope, but Michaels caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • He then applied the Boston crab as Blanchard mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Blanchard leaped, but Michaels released the hold and nailed him in the midsection on the way down.
  • With all four men in the ring, the Busters gave the Rockers an Irish whip, but the Rockers turned the tables and gave them tandem superkicks.
  • While Blanchard was on the apron, Michaels gave him a vertical suplex to return him to the ring.
  • After a hip toss, Michaels gave Blanchard a flying headscissors.
  • Shortly after, Michaels came off the ropes, but Heenan gave him a low bridge sending him crashing to the floor.
  • While Jannetty distracted the referee, Heenan put the shoes to Michaels.
  • Having seen the chicanery, the referee ejected Heenan from ringside.
  • After a commercial break, Jannetty gave Blanchard an atomic drop, but Blanchard wisely tagged out mid-maneuver.
  • As Blanchard reversed a cross-corner whip from Jannetty, he received a clothesline, but Arn took Jannetty’s head off with a clothesline of his own. SNEAKY!
  • Blanchard tagged in and gave Jannetty a cross-corner whip, but Jannetty responded with a sunset flip for 2.
  • While Michaels distracted the referee, Arn tossed Jannetty over the top rope to the floor. If this was the NWA, I’d say it was dastardly, but there was no over-the-top-rope DQ in the WWF.
  • With Jannetty on the floor, Blanchard leaped from the apron and gave Jannetty a forearm smash.
  • Jannetty returned to the ring via a sunset flip, but Arn made the tag despite the referee’s counting to two. CLEVER!
  • Jannetty came back with a backslide but only got 2.
  • He then tried to tag out, but Blanchard caught and gave him an inverted atomic drop.
  • Arn tagged in and delivered the SPINEBUSTER but only got 2 thanks to a save by Michaels.
  • After a slam, Arn mounted the second turnbuckle, attempted a Vader bomb, but hit knees.
  • Hot tag Michaels.
  • After he cleaned house, Michaels attempted a vertical suplex, but Arn blocked it.
  • Blanchard mounted the top turnbuckle and hooked a sunset flip.
  • Arn then nailed Michaels to complete the maneuver, but Blanchard only got 2 thanks to a save by Jannetty.
  • All four men then brawled outside the ring as the referee counted both teams out.
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Wow! What a spectacular tag match! If the Hershey faithful had been educated to these teams’ styles, their reaction would have factored into the match. Having said that, this match-up deserves to be on PPV.

After the match, the Rockers give double dropkicks to Arn and Blanchard consecutively.

Prior to the commercial break, we revisit SNME XIX when the Red Rooster turfed Heenan as his manager. We then revisit Prime Time Wrestling when Heenan supposedly apologized to the Rooster but then slapped the taste of his mouth. Afterward, the Brooklyn Brawler nailed him and Gorilla Monsoon with a wooden stool. He then rammed the Rooster face-first into a metal storage cabinet and slammed him atop it.

Following that atrocity, Ventura interviews the Brooklyn Brawler with Heenan.

Okerlund then interviews the Rooster backstage. Rooster claims to be “somebody” instead of “nobody.” As opposed to his appearance in SNME XIX, the Rooster wore a red Mohawk hairstyle.

According to Vince, Elizabeth will be in a neutral corner at WrestleMania V. All this neutrality has me thinking about Switzerland.

Match 5: The Red Rooster versus the Brooklyn Brawler (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • Rooster reversed a cross-corner whip, noticed that he’d come up empty on his follow-through, and applied the brakes.
  • He then gave the Brawler a dropkick followed by a hip toss.
  • Ultimately, he hooked an inside cradle and got the pin.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Is it me or is Taylor a better competitor than a curtain-jerker?

After the match, Rooster coaxes Heenan into the ring only to fall victim to an attack from behind by the Brawler. Shortly after, Rooster dispatches the Brawler from the ring, so Heenan hightails it to save his hide.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews a rather perturbed Savage. Upon destroying the dressing room, Savage yells “I am the champion!”

Conclusion:  Unlike previous SNME episodes, the WWF got the opportunity to shill WrestleMania V, and I believe that will pay dividends. As far as my recommendation is concerned, the DiBiase-Blazer and Busters-Rockers matches are must-see encounters.

See you for NWA Clash of the Champions VI!

Rating: 10.0

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.

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