March 19, 1990
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Hillbilly Jim, and Lord Alfred Hayes
Tonight, we will see Brutus Beefcake vs. Dino Bravo and the Ultimate Warrior defend the Intercontinental Title against Mr. Perfect.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Jim Powers
Powers comes out to “Crank it Up” as he continues to wear his Young Stallions attire as well. These two go back and forth to start. Sharpe rolls outside after getting hit with a dropkick then Powers slingshots him back inside. Sharpe bails again after Powers rolls him up for a nearfall then heads up the aisle. Sharpe comes back and cheap shots Powers after challenging him to a test-of-strength. Powers finally fights back then starts working the arm. Sharpe once again regains control as he chokes out Powers in the ropes. Sharpe gets punched and ends up tied in the ropes but is able to boot down Powers and goes back to work. He tries for a piledriver but Powers is able to break that up. Sharpe beats on Powers in the corner now and is able to cut off each comeback attempt. Powers then fires up and has Sharpe begging for mercy. He hits a dropkick but Sharpe gets his foot on the ropes during the pin attempt but soon after that Powers catches him with a powerslam for the win (13:00) *1/2.
Thoughts: This wasn’t terrible and probably about the best you could hope for with these two. Sharpe was washed up and Powers never had a standout singles match but they kept things moving as the hometown guy got a win.
Black Bart vs. Hercules
Hercules shoves down Bart, who complains of a hair pull. He continues to overpower Bart then starts to rally the crowd behind him. Bart challenges Hercules to a test-of-strength then loses before he is sent down with a clothesline. Bart punches Hercules low then rakes the eyes before choking him out in the corner. The crowd gets behind Hercules as Bart continues to rough him up. Hercules falls outside after getting whipped into the post then heads inside where Bart hits a clothesline for a two count. Bart grabs a chinlock and works that for an eternity until Hercules finally escapes. Hercules gets the crowd behind him as he fires away then gets the win with a backbreaker submission (12:06) -*.
Thoughts: This was pure garbage. Bart is one of the worst wrestlers ever and half of this match revolved around a chinlock spot. Hercules was actually over a bit but his opponent was just awful.
Frenchy Martin vs. Koko B. Ware
They fight over a wristlock to start as Koko wins that battle. We get another wristlock battle with Koko winning that one too as Frenchy complains of a hair pull. Frenchy backs off after Koko no-sells a turnbuckle smash but rakes the eyes to take control of the match. Frenchy gets two with a back elbow smash as the crowd is getting restless. He now works a nerve hold as the announcers talk about the matches at WrestleMania VI. Koko escapes but Frenchy hits a knee smash for a two count before going back to a nerve hold. Koko gets tossed outside where Frenchy rams him into the apron. Frenchy breaks up a sunset flip then works yet another nerve hold as we get more “boring” chants. Koko manages to get a nearfall with a crossbody but Frenchy gets up and hammers away before applying his fourth nerve hold of the match. He hits a clothesline and covers with one foot but that only gets two. Frenchy continues to target the neck then dodges a corner splash and covers for two. Frenchy puts on another nerve hold but Koko fights out and hits a flying headbutt. Koko fires away and has Frenchy begging for mercy before putting him away with the Ghostbuster (12:40) DUD.
Thoughts: Who on earth follows a Black Bart match with this? Another awful match and of all the people to bring back they couldnt do better than Frenchy? And Koko sold for a majority of the match to a guy who was fired as a manager just about one year prior.
Orient Express w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Demolition
Smash yells at Fuji before shoving Tanaka into the corner. Tanaka bows after ducking a punch in the corner but ends up getting hit with a double clothesline as Demolition are in control of the match. Ax and Sato are in now as the front rows are chanting “Fuj the stooge.” The Orient Express cheap shot Ax and work him over in the corner briefly until Ax fights back. Smash hits Tanaka with a backbreaker for a nearfall then works the arm. Demolition stay in control until Smash gets tripped up in a spot the camera misses. Smash gets roughed up on the outside then the Orient Express hammer away in the corner. The match breaks down as the Orient Express are able to regain control until Smash tags out after turning Tanaka inside-out with a clothesline. Ax runs wild then the match breaks down. Fuji trips up Ax as Demolition was setting up for the Decapitation then Ax goes outside to attack Fuji but Sato tosses salt in his face as the Orient Express win by countout (10:58) *1/2.
Thoughts: This was the formula Demolition used against the Brainbusters except they took even more on offense and the Orient Express are nowhere near as entertaining or polished as a team. Tanaka took some nice bumps at least but this was all Demolition until the DQ end, which protected the Orient Express a little bit I suppose but in the short amount of time they’ve been on the roster it already looks like they are never getting higher than a lower card heel team.
Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Earthquake shoves Duggan right after the bell then backs him in the corner. Duggan fights back and plays up to the crowd then staggers Earthquake with a few clotheslines but Hart provides a distraction and he gets tossed outside. Earthquake charges as Duggan low-bridges him as Earthquake dumps outside as the crowd goes wild. Earthquake manages to shove Duggan into the post a few times then the match heads back inside. Duggan keeps trying to get up but Earthquake’s power is just too much. Earthquake locks on a bearhug that Duggan bites his way out of then misses an avalanche. Duggan takes Earthquake down on one knee after three straight clotheslines then punches him down. Duggan sets up for the Three Point Stance and hits that as Earthquake is sent back to the corner then tries it again but Hart jumps up on the apron as Earthquake attacks from behind and drops an elbow for the win (6:30) *1/2. Koko B. Ware and Jim Powers run in to try and stop Earthquake but gets tossed out then Duggan clears the ring with his 2×4.
Thoughts: It was fine for what it was and gave Earthquake a win over a big name. It was shorter and had more action than everything else we’ve seen at least.
Sean Mooney interviews Bret Hart, Rick Martel, Brutus Beefcake, and Curt Hennig.
Rick “The Model” Martel vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart
Originally, Piper was supposed to face Martel but he was pulled off of all house shows prior to WrestleMania VI. Before the match, Martel tells the crowd that they stink and sprays his Arrogance cologne. We get some stalling from Martel to start the match. They end in a stalemate after some back-and-forth stuff then Martel knees Bret in the stomach. Martel hammers away in the corner then acts cocky and taunts the crowd and ends up getting clotheslined. Martel bails after Bret almost put him away with a small package then returns as Bret starts working the arm. The announcers talk about the two men and their good looks as Bret gets a two count with a backslide. Martel hits a slam but misses an elbow drop as Bret goes back to working the arm. Bret hits a turnbuckle smash then a headbutt as that gets two before going back to the arm. Martel is able to use Bret’s momentum to send him through the ropes then rams his back into the apron. Martel goes back in to taunt the fans but is unable to raise his hurt arm so puts up the other one before going back out to target the back. Martel is now doing jumping jacks in the ring then suplexes him back in from the apron for a two count. Martel now works an abdominal stretch while occasionally grabbing the ropes for leverage. Bret is able to avoid a charge as Martel rams his shoulder into the post. Bret gets a nearfall with a rollup but Martel is able to go back to work. Martel drives his knee into Bret’s back and tries to get him over for the Boston Crab but Bret turns him over. Martel elbows Bret in the back then tries a slingshot splash but Bret got his knees up as both men are down then collide soon after that. They slug it out in the corner until Bret hits an inverted atomic drop. Martel begs for mercy but Bret hammers away then hits a snap suplex. Elbow drop gets two. Bret hits another elbow drop but this time from the middle rope as that gets two. Russian Leg Sweep gets two. Martel rolls outside but Bret tosses him back in and hits a backbreaker for another nearfall. Martel keeps trying to run away then eats a dropkick in the ring. Bret heads out to get Martel but has his eyes raked then the two slug it out when the bell rings signaling a time-limit draw (21:36) **1/2. After the match, Martel attacks Bret from behind but Bret fights back and clotheslines Martel to the floor.
Thoughts: Solid match. However, it took a while to get going and both guys were not as crisp or lively as usual. The finish made sense to protect both guys.
Dino Bravo w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Bravo celebrates after shoving Beefcake into the corner. He tries a cheap shot after a break but Beefcake was ready and fires away. Bravo gets knocked outside then returns for a test-of-strength as the two battle over that until Bravo tries a cheap shot but Beefcake fights back. Beefcake pauses before charging in the corner and tries mounted punches but Bravo hits an inverted atomic drop. They go back-and-forth for a bit until Bravo chokes out Beefcake on the mat. Bravo targets the back then applies a bearhug and works that for a while but Beefcake is finally able to escape. Beefcake then runs wild before putting on the sleeper. Hart jumps up onto the apron to provide a distraction as that allows Earthquake to run out and drag Beefcake outside and sends him into the post for the count out (11:27) 1/2*. After the match, Earthquake hits Beefcake with a pair of elbow drops then a few referees run out to stop him.
Thoughts: A whole lot of nothing here. Beefcake was getting the push against Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania so it made sense for him to win. The post-match attack once again solidifies Earthquake as a threat and since he called out Hogan already they can have more heat between them since Beefcake is Hogan’s friend.
An ad for WrestleMania VI airs.
“Pistol” Pez Whatley vs. Tugboat
Tugboat overpowers Whatley with ease to start the match. He then locks on a bearhug that Whatley breaks up with a thumb to the eye. Whatley hammers away in the corner then heads up to the middle rope for a headbutt that sends Tugboat to his knee. Whatley dances around as Lord Alfred calls that the “Whatley Waddle” then Whatley hits another headbutt and makes the cover but is shot up to the middle ropes on a kickout. Tugboat gets up and slams Whatley off of the top rope but Whatley rakes the eyes and lands some more punches in the corner that goes nowhere. Tugboat starts whipping him into the corner then finally puts this match out of its misery with a splash (5:51) DUD.
Thoughts: Another terrible match. Neither guy appeared to be on the same page but at least it was short.
Howard Finkel is in the ring to tell us about the 4/30 MSG show. The main event will be Earthquake vs. Hulk Hogan. Earthquake & Hart come out to yell about how he will put Hogan out of wrestling.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Mr. Perfect vs. Ultimate Warrior (c)
The Genius was not here as he was jobbing to Jim Neidhart at the Miami Arena show. Warrior chops Perfect over the top rope before the match even begins. The announcers play up how Warrior promised to end Perfect’s undefeated streak. Perfect stalls as Warrior acts mental in the ring. Warrior drags Perfect around the ring by his hair then slams him down. Perfect gets crotched against the post before Warrior clotheslines him over the top rope. Back inside, Warrior inflicts more punishment until Perfect gets his knees up on a splash attempt. Perfect takes control but Warrior starts pumping up so he uses a drop toehold to maintain the advantage. Perfect targets the leg and manages to get a nearfall with a dropkick. Perfect uses a rear chinlock but Warrior eventually escapes and fires away. Warrior then signals for a slam and hits the press slam/splash combo for the win as gives Perfect is first televised singles loss (10:02) *1/2.
Thoughts: Perfect took some great bumps to make Warrior look great and the rest was your standard Warrior match. This was played up as a big deal because it was Perfect’s first loss as a singles wrestler shown on any form of TV.
Final Thoughts: This show was awful. The only big matchup was the main event and there was just one match that was even remotely considered good. I know they are saving the bigger stuff for WrestleMania but you can do a hell of a lot better than this. If this happens to pop up on the WWE Network by all means watch something else instead.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 11/18/82
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/24/90
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/25/90
Tuesday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (The Ultimate Challenge Special) 3/25/90
Wednesday: PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 51 7/9/17
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/31/90