September 30, 1989
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Hillbilly Jim
Tonight’s matches include Andre the Giant vs. Ultimate Warrior, Roddy Piper vs. Rick Rude, and The Brainbusters defend the WWF Tag Team Titles against Demolition.
The Genius vs. Koko B. Ware
The Genius takes his time before removing his cap and gown then stretches in the corner after the bell rings. Koko mocks The Genius, who offers a handshake, then the Genius starts doing cartwheels and prancing around as the crowd boos. They finally lockup then the Genius hammers away after refusing to break in the corner. The Genius does another cartwheel but Koko hits him with a dropkick then the Genius bails. Back inside, Koko avoids a monkey flip and punches The Genius, who once again bails outside. They battle over a test-of-strength but Koko ends up taking The Genius down with a monkey flip and hits another dropkick. The Genius stalls some more outside of the ring then taunts the fans but Koko slingshots him back inside. The Genius avoids a charge in the corner then stomps Koko in the corner. He then works the arm before tossing Koko outside where he follows out and stomps away. He kicks Koko down on the apron then goes over and taunts Frankie before going back to work on the arm. More stomping and armbars from The Genius. He hits a slam then heads up top misses a somersault senton as both men are down. The crowd rallies behind Koko as he fights back. He hits a few headbutts but misses a jumping attack and clotheslines himself on the top rope as The Genius covers for a nearfall. Koko headbutts The Genius in the corner then misses a corner splash as The Genius rolls him up for the win (13:01) *1/2. After the match, The Genius tells us to pay attention to him but Koko attacks and dropkicks him to the floor.
Thoughts: The Genius got some heat early on but his act became repetitive and the crowd lost a bit of interest as a result. Koko is still over as an opening act though but The Genius is a new gimmick so it makes sense for him to get the win.
Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
Honky tries to attack Snuka before the bell but ends up getting kicked. Snuka then chops him down and takes off his robe before taking Honky down with a headbutt. Snuka hits a double chop from the middle rope then chokes out Honky on the mat as Snuka is firmly in control of this match. Honky catches Snuka with a knee smash then starts hammering away. Snuka fights out but Hart grabs his leg as he chases after him outside. Honky tries a sneak attack but that fails as Snuka turned around then rammed him into the post. Honky is rolled inside but is able to get up and kick Snuka off of the apron. Hart attacks Snuka from behind then Honky grabs Snuka by the hair and fires away on the apron but Snuka no-sells the punches to the head and takes Honky down with a headbutt. Snuka then tries a springboard splash but Honky gets his knees up and covers for two. Honky works the neck but Snuka fights out. Honky cuts off a comeback with a knee smash then chokes out Snuka on the bottom rope. Hart also chokes Snuka when Honky distracted the ref. Honky sends Snuka outside with a high knee then takes him off of the apron after that. Honky brings Snuka inside with a back suplex then hits a piledriver but instead of covering he yells at the fans and does so for a long time. He finally picks Snuka up for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll but Snuka counters with a backdrop. Snuka hulks up then fires away. He hits a backbreaker then grabs Hart on the apron. Honky charges but hits his manager then Snuka comes off of the top with a diving headbutt and gets the win (10:27) *.
Thoughts: Not a good match here. It at least got better in the final two minutes but everything prior was just awful. This feud was not over anyway as Honky loses to get shoved further down the card.
The announcers plug the Survivor Series PPV, which takes place on November 23rd.
Mr. Perfect w/ The Genius vs. Red Rooster
The Genius did the ring introductions for Mr. Perfect here, who comes out to theme music for the first time as the announcers speculate as to whether or not The Genius is Mr. Perfect’s manager. Perfect beats on Rooster to start the match. Rooster catches Perfect with a hip toss then sends him outside with an atomic drop as Perfect regroups with The Genius. Rooster knocks Perfect back inside then goes to work on the arm. Perfect escapes then wins a slugfest in the corner after kicking out Rooster’s leg. Perfect goes to work as Hillbilly points out how Rooster’s leg is heavily taped up. Rooster slaps Perfect then tries a slam but his knee gives out and Perfect falls on top for a nearfall. Perfect goes back to work on the leg but Rooster fights back. Rooster uses ten turnbuckle smashes in the corner then hits a backdrop for a two count. Perfect takes Rooster down but gets rolled up then is able to reverse it and gets the win (9:38) **.
Thoughts: More competitive than their match at SummerSlam anyway. The Genius & Mr. Perfect pairing had not yet been introduced on TV at this point. The match did not have much heat at all.
Barry Horowitz vs. Mark Young
Young got an entrance with some synthesizer theme music too. He breakdances in the ring too. Horowitz cheapshots Young before the bell but Young takes him down with a backdrop after a few leapfrogs. Horowitz bails then Young slingshots him back inside and works the arm after a pair of armdrags. The crowd grows restless here then Horowitz cheapshots Young after a break on the ropes. Young comes back and flips over Horowitz before hitting an armdrag as he goes back to the arm as we get some boring chants from the crowd. Horowitz comes back when he folds up Young with a back suplex as he is in control. He hits a gutwrench suplex then drops a knee for a two count before he starts targeting the back . Young manages a backslide for a nearfall but Horowitz gets up and knocks him down. Young catches a kick attempt but gets poked in the eye as Horowitz takes him over with a butterfly suplex for two. Young keeps kicking out but the crowd does not care about him whatsoever. A frustrated Horowitz then works a bodyscissors for a while then Young finally escapes but misses an elbow drop as he was playing to the fans. Horowitz hits a few uppercuts in the corner but Young comes back with a sunset flip. Horowitz hits a backbreaker then a double stomp but gets caught with a sledgehammer coming off of the top rope and runs wild until he puts Horowitz away with a top rope sunset flip (10:58) **.
Thoughts: Horowitz was a total pro here in how he carried the match. The crowd didnt seem to care but did pop for the finish. Young was terrible and did more high-flying than the majority of the roster but he was not ready for any sort of push.
Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior
The crowd is nuts for Warrior. Andre blocks a charge and chokes out Warrior. They fight in the ropes where Warrior jumps on Andre’s back but gets shrugged off as Andre chokes out Warrior in the corner. The fans start a “weasel” chant as we know get biting from Andre. Warrior escapes a thump in the corner then hammers away but Andre grabs him by the neck and chokes him out against the ropes. He works a sleeper in the middle of the ring then switches to a surfboard as he headbutts Warrior in the back. Warrior escapes and uses a bearhug as Andre is in pain. Warrior then hits a slam but tries for a splash and Andre was supposed to get his foot up but rolled on his side as Warrior sells like he is in pain. Andre ends up kicking Warrior in the head from the mat then dumps him outside. Warrior gets in and fights back but Andre catches him with a kick coming off of the top rope. Warrior fights back and clotheslines Andre through the ropes as Andre really dumped out hard. The fans are going crazy then Warrior charges at Andre, who pulls referee Danny Davis in front of him and he gets knocked down. Back inside, Andre takes Warrior down with a headbutt then covers after dropping an elbow. The referee gets up and waves it off but Andre holds up the belt as he won the title then we hear from Howard Finkel that the match has been ruled a DQ in favor of Warrior (9:28) *. After the match, Warrior attacks Andre then grabs his belt as they fight outside. Andre then grabs the mic and tells the crowd they all know he won the match and declares himself the new Intercontinental Champion.
Thoughts: To be honest, this wasn’t an abomination like a lot of others reported these two have had around the house show circuit. The finish was awful but I understand they did not want to pin either man in this situation as they could get another round of matches from the two.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: The Brainbusters (c) w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Demolition
This starts off in a brawl as Demolition takes control. It settles down as Demolition beat on Arn. Tully is in but also gets destroyed then he begs for mercy. Arn runs in after the ref is distracted but Ax takes them both down. Smash is in now and works the neck of Arn as this match slows down. Tully gets the tag after he had his feet on the bottom ropes but the ref does not allow that to happen as Ax then switches with Smash. Arn gets stomped outside then Tully gets decked when he runs over to try and attack. Back inside, Ax cuts off a tag attempt then Smash tags and gets two with a back elbow but ducks his head as Arm drops an elbow then tags out. Tully lands some offense then Arn tags back in to hit a spinebuster. Smash blocks a stomp attempt and hits an atomic drop as Ax boots Arn from the apron. Tully breaks up a pin attempt but Ax eventually knees him from the apron then tags in and beats him down. The Brainbusters manage to distract the ref as Tully chokes out Ax. Tully then applies a reverse chinlock but Ax gets to his feet. Tully is able to tag out though as Arn beats on Ax. The Brainbusters cut off the ring until Arn and Ax collide as both men are down. Arn is up first then goes to the top but Ax catches him with a clothesline. Both men tag out as Smash runs wild. He catches Tully in midair then clotheslines him over the top rope. Demoliton hit Arn with a double team move as Smash covers but Tully yanks out the referee right before he could make the three count as the Brainbusters lose via disqualification but retain the titles (12:51) **.
Thoughts: This was on the bland side. The story was that Demolition was outsmarting the Brainbusters at the beginning but at the end the Brainbusters managed to sneak away with the Tag Titles. The rumors of the Brainbusters heading back to the NWA were hot and heavy at this time and it was reported they could each make $250,000 per year and there was even a feeling more would follow suit.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
Garvin beats on Valentine, who bails. He comes back inside where Garvin wins a shoving match as Valentine ducks underneath the ropes. They square off and start really laying into each other as Garvin wins that battle. Garvin beats on Valentine in the corner and it looks vicious. Valentine comes back with a right jab as he is the one now in control of the match. They are back to trading strikes as Valentine gets dropped. He begs for mercy but Garvin pulls him up and rams his head into the turnbuckle. Garvin headbutts Valentine down then drops an elbow for two. Valentine tries to escape an armbar and does then he boots Garvin in the midsection. Valentine chops Garvin then hits a slam before working a chinlock. Garvin tries to escape but Valentine switches to a sleeper. Garvin is able to escape that but Valentine yanks Garvin down by the hair then puts on another sleeper. Garvin does get out and wins a slugfest as he knocks down Valentine a few times. Valentine bails and Garvin chases him around and back into the ring where Garvin catches him with a sleeper. Garvin now uses the Garvin Stomp and tries for the Scorpion Death Lock but Valentine breaks that up with an eye poke. Valentine starts laying into Garvin now then drops an elbow. He cuts off a comeback with a shinbreaker then turns around his shinguard to set up for the figure four but Garvin punches him in the face. Both men are down as Garvin is clutching his knee. Hart is up on the apron but Garvin shoves Valentine into him and rolls up Valentine for a nearfall. Valentine dumps Garvin after that but we Garvin fights back. Valentine blocks a piledriver attempt but Garvin is able to turn that into a sunset flip for a nearfall. Garvin blocks a sunset flip with a punch and covers for two. Valentine gets up and decks Garvin and hits a backbreaker but decides to go up top and took too long, allowing Garvin to slam him off. Garvin wins a slugfest and covers for two Valentine is able to dump Garvin, who slingshots in with a sunset flip, but Valentine blocks that and grabs the ropes for the win (17:05) ***1/2. After the match, Garvin attacks Valentine and ties him up into the ropes then removes the shinguard. He puts it around his leg as Hart frantically tries to get Valentine out of the ropes and does so just in time as they both retreat to the back.
Thoughts: This was a good, stiff match between two guys who hated each other and wanted to do nothing more than cause pain. The end means they will continue the feud and with matches like this, I approve.
Howard Finkel tells us about the next show that take place on 10/28. Matches include: Akeem vs. Hercules, Dino Bravo vs. Bret Hart, Mr. Perfect vs. Jimmy Snuka, Powers of Pain vs. Bushwhackers, Macho King Randy Savage vs. Jim Duggan, and Andre the Giant vs. Ultimate Warrior. The Widowmaker will also appear (That never happened as Windham was gone from the company a week after this show).
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Roddy Piper
The fans were all over Rude here during his pre-match routine. And, they were really into Piper. Rude tells Piper to take off his “miniskirt” as he doesn’t know whether to kiss him or beat him to death. Rude tries a sneak attack but it fails as Piper tosses him outside. Piper points at Heenan and chases him out back before running out and tossing his kilt at Piper’s face. Piper choke Rude out with his shirt but Rude takes the belt and whips him. Piper hits a dropkick then they fight over the belt until it ends up back in Piper’s hands. He whips Rude hard for a bit until Rude fights back. Rude clotheslines Piper down then hammers away. Rude works a bearhug but Piper powers up and reverses the hold. Rude rakes the eyes then goes back to targeting Piper’s back. He works a reverse chinlock for a bit then tosses Piper outside. Piper runs right back inside and tries to fight back but Rude knocks him down then taunts the crowd. Rude works another chinlock but Piper lifts him up and hits an electric chair drop as both men are down. Piper clutches his back as he is too hurt to try a suplex then Rude falls on top during a slam attempt for a two count. Piper dodges a punch when Rude blocked his sunset flip attempt then they fight over a backslide as Rude wins that and gets a two count. Piper rolls him up for two then comes back with a spinning back fist in a nice sequence but misses an attack in the corner. Rude heads up top and hits a fist drop for a nearfall. He then sets up for the Rude Awakening but Piper breaks out and hits a swinging neckbreaker as that gets two as Rude was able to get his foot on the ropes. Piper heads outside and tosses a cup of liquid in Rude’s face as he is in control. They both spill outside after Piper’s momentum took them out and they brawl until the bell rings as its a double countout (11:00) ***1/4. Rude heads backstage but Piper drags him back out and gets a chair as he hits Rude on the head. Piper then drops the ref but Rude comes back to hit him with the chair before bailing as Piper looks crazed in the ring as he plays to the fans. Piper sits in the chair as he music plays.
Thoughts: Fun match with a ton of heat. I did like the finish here as this feud was still in its infancy and needed to continue.
Rude & Heenan are backstage with Lord Alfred Hayes and calls Piper an animal and that he will be back for him. Heenan then tells Hayes Andre won the Intercontinental Title tonight but got robbed and will win it next month.
Final Thoughts: This was the first MSG show since April. They also increased the tickets by $3 and still sold out, making it the thrid highest grossing show of the year (WrestleMania and SummerSlam drew more). The final two matches were really good but the undercard was really weak here in terms of star power. Not the worst MSG show from this era but besides those matches I mentioned there is nothing else worth going out of your way to see.
Wednesday: PWG Mystery Vortex IV 12/16/16
Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1994 ECW as told by Shane Douglas
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/1/89
Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 7/15/82
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/7/89
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/8/89
Tuesday: WWF Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens 10/8/89