Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVII

Taped from Omaha, NE

Airdate:  July 28, 1990 (taped 7/16)

Attendance:  10,303 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Has the WWF gone ape? Or can they give us a decent show? Read on!

Lord Alfred Hayes welcomes us to a “special edition” of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. NOOOOO!

Fortunately, Vince corrects him by stating this is the WWF’s “wild kingdom” edition of SNME.

Opening montage.

Prior to the opening match, Heenan and Rude cut a promo on Warrior. Rude refers to Warrior as a “guppy in the ocean of life.”

Wearing less makeup than usual, Warrior rebuts.

Match 1 for the WWF title: Ultimate Warrior (champion) versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • Rude attacked before the bell, but Warrior came back with the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • After a cross corner whip, Warrior shoved and gave Rude the ten-kick-to-the-midsection count-along.
  • Upon delivering another cross corner whip, Warrior gave Rude an atomic drop and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
  • As Rude conferred with Heenan, Warrior gave them a double noggin knocker.
  • He then joined and rammed Rude face-first into the apron.
  • Back in the ring, Rude missed a clothesline, but Warrior didn’t.
  • Warrior then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit an axe handle.
  • Next, he attempted a splash but came up empty.
  • When Heenan distracted referee Joey Marella, Rude grabbed the IC belt and WALLOPED Warrior. SNEAKY!
  • Avoiding the countout victory, Rude joined and rammed Warrior face-first into the apron.
  • Upon rolling Warrior back in, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection.
  • Warrior then gave Rude an inverted atomic drop.
  • With Rude in the corner, Warrior charged but ate knee.
  • Rude then clotheslined him.
  • When Rude attempted a slam, Warrior blocked it and gave Rude a slam of his own.
  • Rude then hooked a sleeper while the Omaha faithful chanted “Warr-i-or.”
  • Oddly, as Marella checked Warrior’s leg three times, it only fell twice.
  • Warrior then countered with a jawbreaker.
  • Not THAT kind!
  • After an elbow smash, Rude attempted his finisher, but Warrior broke the hold.
  • Warrior then missed a clothesline enabling Rude to hit the Rude Awakening.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Warrior then came back with clotheslines followed by a flying shoulder block.
  • After a splash, Heenan interrupted the pinfall attempt.
  • Warrior then chased after him in the aisle.
  • As Rude caught up to him, Warrior military-pressed him until Heenan kicked him in the knee.
  • He then caught Heenan in the ring and gave him the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • After he tossed Heenan over the top rope to the floor, the bell rang.
  • Warrior won by countout.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Due to their upcoming battle at Summerslam, the decision makes sense. While Rude tried hard, this match wasn’t good whatsoever.

At the cabin, Hayes and “Mean” Gene Okerlund perform part one of a Wild Kingdom parody including an Okerlund potshot at Pete Rose.

After a commercial break, a video featuring Hulk Hogan airs. During the video, we revisit the Earthquake splash from the Brother Love Show on Superstars (aired 5/26, taped 4/23).

In the ring, Vince interviews Hogan who will face Earthquake at Summerslam. Hogan then informs us that Tugboat will be in his corner. Suddenly, Earthquake, Bravo, and Jimmy Hart come to the ring. Just before they attack, Tugboat hits the ring to save the Hulkster.

After a commercial break, Hayes and Okerlund encounter a wild Koko B. Ware who seeks a mate for Frankie. When a snake almost attacks Okerlund, Jake “The Snake” Roberts saves him. Next, as they cross the railroad tracks, the Bushwhackers trek down them.

Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: Demolition (champions) versus the Rockers

Highlights:

  • Three things:
  1. This was the supershow debut of Crush a.k.a. Brian Adams.
  2. Due to Crush’s involvement with the team, Demolition turned heel.
  3. To confirm their turn, they attacked the Hart Foundation on the Brother Love Show (aired 7/14, taped 6/25).
  • With three members of Demolition, they used the Freebird rule to defend the titles. In this case like most, Smash and Crush tagged while Ax stood in their corner.
  • Upon whipping Jannetty into the corner, Smash came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Jannetty then dropkicked Smash out of the ring.
  • As Demolition returned to the ring, the Rockers gave them stereo flying headscissors followed by stereo dropkicks.
  • Michaels tagged in, and the Rockers gave Smash their dropkick/huracanrana combo.
  • When Crush came in, he LEVELED Michaels with a clothesline.
  • Crush tagged in but got reversed on a cross corner whip.
  • The Rockers then gave Crush a double hip toss followed by a double elbow drop.
  • While Jannetty tagged in, Crush countered a head lock by placing him atop the top turnbuckle.
  • Jannetty then leaped from the second turnbuckle to give Crush a sunset flip. That did NOT look crisp thanks to Crush.
  • As Michaels tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Crush.
  • Jannetty tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered more boom upon Crush. When in doubt, more boom, right?
  • After Jannetty avoided a double-team in the ring, Ax clotheslined him on the floor. How dastardly!
  • Shortly after, Smash tossed Jannetty outside the ring, and Crush military-press-slammed him back in.
  • Crush tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Jannetty.
  • Next, he gave Jannetty a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
  • Upon giving Jannetty a standard backbreaker, Crush delivered a chokeslam.
  • Smash tagged in and applied a bear hug on Jannetty.
  • After Jannetty escaped, he hooked a sunset flip but ate a knuckle sandwich from Smash instead. Was that on white, wheat, or rye?
  • Crush tagged in and gave Jannetty a HARD cross corner whip resulting in a sternum-first bump.
  • Hot tag Michaels.
  • After Smash reversed an Irish whip, Michaels hit a flying shoulder block.
  • The Rockers then gave Crush a double dropkick sending him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Upon double-dropkicking Smash, they gave him a double superkick.
  • The Rockers then mounted adjacent top turnbuckles and hit stereo fist drops on Smash.
  • Do we have new champions?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Crush made the save.
  • While referee Joey Marella was occupied with Crush and Jannetty, Michaels rolled up Smash for a false pin.
  • That was until Ax came into the ring and ANNHILIATED Michaels with a clothesline.
  • Ax then made the cover.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Demolition retained.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Clever finish to a decent match. Demolition had to go over since they’re signed to defend the tag titles against the Hart Foundation at Summerslam.

Speaking of the Hart Foundation, they hit the ring after the match. Suddenly, the ROAD WARRIORS arrive while making their WWF supershow début. Neither team convinces Marella about Demolition’s shenanigans as he stands by his decision.

In the jungle, Okerlund gets bitten by insects and reacts strangely until Hayes gives him an herbal antidote.

Not THAT kind of herb!

As Santana made his entrance, Sean Mooney interviews Heenan and Perfect in the pink locker room.

Match 3 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect (champion w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Tito Santana

Highlights:

  • How did Perfect become Intercontinental champion? Remember when SNME XXVI was taped (4/23)? The finals of the Intercontinental tournament were held on the same night when Perfect beat Santana with help from Heenan (aired 5/19).
  • Santana reversed an Irish whip and gave Perfect a hip toss, arm drag, and dropkick.
  • After Perfect countered a back drop with a punt, he gave Santana the Ax.
  • He then delivered a knee lift followed by a standing dropkick.
  • Shortly after, Perfect gave Santana a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Santana then delivered a clothesline causing a 270° sell by Perfect. Woohoo!
  • After Santana nailed him with a Popeye-style punch, Perfect landed on referee Earl Hebner’s legs.
  • Santana then hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • No, because Hebner writhed in pain instead of calling the submission.
  • Santana then hit the flying forearm and earned a false pin as Hebner still couldn’t fulfill his role.
  • Eventually, Hebner made it over but only counted 2.
  • Santana then mounted the second turnbuckle, hit a clothesline, but only got 2 on a slow count.
  • Prior to the commercial break, an anonymous referee substituted for Hebner.
  • Afterward, Santana hit a cross body block for 2.
  • As the Omaha faithful chanted “Ti-to,” Perfect gave Santana a neck snap.
  • He then gave Santana a thrust kick and rang his bell.
  • During Santana’s comeback, he nailed Perfect sending him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Outside the ring, Santana chopped Perfect causing another 270° sell.
  • Back in, a hair mare by Santana resulted in Perfect’s crotching himself on the ring post. OUCH!
  • After an inverted atomic drop, Santana delivered a regular atomic drop that sent Perfect into the top turnbuckle.
  • Santana then nailed him giving us a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • When Perfect attempted the Perfectplex, Santana hooked an inside cradle for another 2.
  • Perfect then shifted momentum to put Santana shoulders down.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Perfect retained.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Superb ending to a great match that could have gone either way.

Backstage, Ventura interviews Hart with Earthquake and Bravo. They’re ready for Hogan at Summerslam.

Back in the jungle, Hayes and Okerlund find a wild Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Afterward, they encounter Slick and Akeem. When they come upon a river, Hayes loses his balance but tosses Okerlund into the river instead of falling in himself. He then tosses Okerlund some bark supposedly to save him from the deadly piranhas.

Match 4: The “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich versus “Playboy” Buddy Rose

Highlights:

  • Kerry Von Erich made his WWF début in this match.
  • While Vince referred to Rose as “hippo-like,” Ventura questioned Rose’s purported 217 lbs.
  • Correcting himself, Vince changed “hippo-like” to “walrus-like.”
  • Regardless, Von Erich countered a hip toss with one of his own.
  • Next, he performed the same routine with a slam.
  • Upon slamming Rose again, Von Erich gave Rose a pair of cross corner whips. The latter resulted in a Rose flip.
  • After a dropkick, Von Erich got 2.
  • Rose then tied himself in the ropes, and Von Erich nailed him repeatedly until Rose fell to the floor.
  • Upon his return, Rose delivered a knee drop and mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Von Erich then caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • Following that, Von Erich hit the discus punch.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Von Erich won.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary:  Showcase match for Von Erich.

Backstage, Ventura interviews Rude with Heenan. They discuss the upcoming cage match for the WWF title at Summerslam.

In the blue locker room, Mooney interviews Warrior.

To end the program, Okerlund befriends a chimpanzee while Hayes mocks him again.

Conclusion:  Since both the IC and tag title matches were worthwhile, I would certainly recommend this show. Keep in mind that the Wild Kingdom theme may be too over the top for some.

IN OTHER NEWS: This was the last major WWF broadcast until 1999 for Jesse Ventura as he left due to a disagreement over an endorsement contract with Sega. Why was there a problem, you ask? Because Akklaim stood as the video game sponsor for the WWF—a Nintendo company. I wonder where he’ll end up next.

Stay tuned for WWF Summerslam ‘90!

Rating: 7.20

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