September 21, 1990
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan
Dustin Rhodes vs. Paul Diamond
This is Dustin’s MSG debut. He comes out to “Crank it Up” as his theme music. He works the arm to start as Heenan makes fun of him for being a “drugstore cowboy.” Heenan suggests that Dustin might not be Dusty’s kid after all as he already made two moves, something Dusty has never done in his life. Dustin goes back to the arm after a dropkick as Heenan cracks more jokes. Diamond blocks a hip toss then sends Diamond down with a clothesline. He hammers away but Dustin blocks an Irish whip by swinging Diamond down as he goes back to the armbar. Diamond catches Dustin with a knee smash after a reversal sequence then hits a pair of elbow drops for a two count. Diamond stays on the attack as Heenan continues to make fun of the Rhodes Family. Diamond works a chinlock on the mat but Dustin avoids a few attacks then hammers away. Diamond catches Dustin with a back elbow smash for a two count then goes back to the chinlock. Dustin stands up then Diamond drops his head for a backdrop but Rhodes charged low and they collide heads in an odd spot. Dustin comes back with a dropkick but misses a second attempt. Diamond takes over and covers with his feet on the ropes but is stopped by the ref. Diamond argues then Dustin rolls him up for a nearfall. Diamond goes back on offense but misses a charge in the corner then Dustin punches away. Dustin lands some mounted punches after a clothesline then hits a flying clothesline and after that jumps up for an elbow drop and the win (13:07) *1/2.
Thoughts: Started out okay but fell apart in the middle and the end did not look good at all. Dustin showed fire but his finish was weak. I know his dad used it to win but a crappy clothesline followed by a generic elbow drop is not how to get a young guy over. The crowd did not know Dustin or seemed to care if he was Dusty’s dad. A middling debut.
Lord Alfred Hayes is ringside and sells the Ultimate Warrior & Legion of Doom vs. Demolition main event.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Nikolai Volkoff
The fans chant “maggot” at Slaughter. We get some stalling then both men try to knock each other down before ending in a stalemate. Volkoff knocks down Slaughter then hits a pair of slams before Slaughter retreats to the corner. Slaughter rakes the eyes then runs Volkoff’s face against the top rope. Slaughter then cheap shots Volkoff but whiffs on a clothesline and gets caught with a spin kick. Volkoff lands a sorry excuse of a clothesline for two then lands some attacks in the corner. Slaughter comes back with a clothesline of his own as both men are down. Slaughter is up first and stomps away before using the Camel Clutch for the win (8:40) -*. The announcers sell Slaughter using the Camel Clutch as a “shocking” move.
Thoughts: The match itself was absolutely horrendous. Volkoff’s offense was nothing short of embarrassing. However, these two were in the midst of a TV feud and Slaughter already winning clean was a surprise. And, the way they sold Slaughter using the Camel Clutch as “shocking” you can kind of see that it was code for him turning on America. An easy worst match of 1990 WWF candidate.
The Barbarian w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tito Santana
Lord Alfred has replaced Heenan on commentary. Barbarian shoves Tito into the corner to start. Tito comes back with a Thesz Press then a dropkick as Barbarian regroups outside with Heenan. Barbarian returns but puts his head down and gets kicked then Tito nearly puts him away with a small package. The Barbarian gets some offense in and shoves Tito outside. The Barbarian grabs Tito’s hair and knocks him off of the apron. Tito fights back and slingshots in with a sunset flip attempt but Barbarian blocks that and flexes, allowing Tito to roll him up for two. Barbarian hammers away in the corner then locks on a bearhug. Tito escapes but Barbarian catches him another bearhug to wear him down. Tito is slammed into the corner but soon after fights back. Tito signals for the figure four but Barbarian shoves him off then catches him with a hotshot that gets two as Tito got his foot on the rope. Tito ducks a flying clothesline then heads up top and hits a crossbody but Barbarian rolls through and grabs the tights for the win (13:28) *1/2.
Thoughts: I like The Barbarian but all he really did here was use a bearhug. And his win was cheap so he really gained nothing from this match. Tito’s offense looked good and was the best part of the match.
An ad for the Survivor Series airs.
Power & Glory are in the ring. There is a coin flip to decide who will face Marty Jannetty and Roma wins.
Paul Roma w/ Hercules vs. Marty Jannetty
Heenan is back on commentary. Jannetty runs in and dropkicks Hercules outside. He then runs wild on Roma as Heenan gloats over the fact Shawn Michaels is at home recuperating from injury. Marty hammers away after hitting a hurricarana but Roma sends him to the floor. Marty drags Roma outside but Roma rams him into the apron. Back inside, Roma tries to block a sunset flip but Marty slips outside and that leads to a reversal sequence where Roma attacks his neck. Roma stays on the attack and hits a pair of backbreakers then a running powerslam but taunts the crowd instead of making a cover. Marty comes back with a backslide for a nearfall then a small package but Roma puts him in a chinlock. Heenan tells us the rumor is that Lord Alfred is romantically involved with Bossman’s mother and starts making fun of her for a bit. Roma clotheslines Marty, who takes an inside-out bump, then goes to a reverse chinlock. Marty rams Roma into the corner but whiffs on a corner splash then Roma drops an elbow. Roma is back to the chinlock and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage. Marty fights out then starts firing away. He blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. They slug it out until Marty hits an inverted atomic drop. Marty hits a jumping back elbow smash then a knee lift before firing away in the corner. Marty hits a bulldog from the top then climbs back up for the fist drop and covers but Hercules pulls him out during the count. Marty rams Hercules into the apron and goes back in to slam Roma but Hercules sweeps his leg and holds it down as Roma fell on top for the win (13:43) **1/4. After the match, Power & Glory beat Marty down until a few officials run in to break it up. Heenan then says Jay Strongbow, who came out to break things up, looked like Bossman’s mother.
Thoughts: This was fine and continued the Power & Glory vs. Rockers feud while Shawn recuperates from surgery. I’d call it the match of the night but it was nothing you need to go out of your way and see.
Sean Mooney tells us there will be a “quadruple main event” on October 19th of Mr. Perfect vs. Texas Tornado, Tugboat vs. Dino Bravo, Ted DiBiase vs. Dusty Rhodes, and Hart Foundation vs. Rhythm & Blues. More like a “zero main event” show. Begging fans to go out and buy tickets while putting out a lineup like this is not going to get more people to go to shows. And with Hogan filming “Suburban Commando” shortly after this (He main-evented the LA Sports Arena show on this same night against Earthquake) the attendance will not improve.
Bob Bradley vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
According to the History of WWE, Bradley replaced Akeem in this match. Akeem would leave the company in a couple of weeks anyway. Heenan applauds Bradley for his “upper body weight.” Garvin takes Bradley across the ring and backs him into the corner. Bradley then works a side headlock for a really long time as the boo birds come out. Bradley hits a handspring back elbow smash that was in slow motion as that gets two. He now works a chinlock then hammers away in the corner. More boring chants break out as Bradley chokes out Garvin on the mat. Garvin fights back and uses ten turnbuckle smashes before chopping Bradley down. Garvin locks Bradley in a sleeper then uses the Garvin Stomp but tries for the Scorpion Death Lock and gets thumbed in the eye. Bradley continues to choke out Garvin and rakes the back before dumping him outside. Garvin heads inside and lands a headbutt before hitting a crossbody for a two count. Heenan leaves to go back with Rick Rude in the dressing room as Bradley regains control. He hits an elbow drop for two but ducks his head and Garvin uses a small package for a two count. Bradley blocks a piledriver then a sunset flip and poses but Garvin flips him over and gets the win (12:21) DUD.
Thoughts: Just atrocious. Bradley took most of the match and his offense sucked. His noticeably enhanced physique and thinning hair tells you all you need to know. The crowd shit on this match and rightfully so to be honest. This was Garvin’s final MSG match.
We get another ad for Survivor Series.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Rude cannot shove Duggan back so he decides to do some pushups. Duggan shoves Rude down this time and plays up to the crowd. Rude gyrates while using a hammerlock but Duggan sends him into the corner. Rude challenges Duggan to a test-of-strength and they play up to the crowd then go for it but Rude rakes Duggan across the eyes. Duggan catches Rude with a back drop then hits an atomic drop before dropping him with a clothesline. Duggan then hits a slam before catching Rude with a bearhug. Rude breaks that up with an eye rake but Duggan comes back to bite hits forehead. Duggan ducks his head and gets kicked in the face. Rude clotheslines Duggan then heads up top for a flying punch to the face. He now works a chinlock then switches to a sleeper but heads up top for another punch and gets caught. Duggan whips Rude into the corner a few times but Rude fights back. The ref keeps trying to back Rude out from the corner and ends up getting tossed and is called for the DQ (9:10) *1/2. After the match, Rude sends Duggan into the post then taunts the fans inside of the ring. However, Duggan crawls and grabs his 2×4 to clear Rude & Heenan from the ring.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but they were at least able to get reactions from the fans. Rude sold Duggan’s offense well as he goes from #1 contender to getting DQ’ed against a guy firmly entrenched as just a midcard talent. However, Rude got hurt shortly after this and came back then quit. This was the final match he wrestled at MSG.
Demolition vs. Legion of Doom & Ultimate Warrior
Demolition get clotheslined outside before the match starts. The match begins with Smash beating on Animal until he is caught with a powerslam. Hawk and Crush are in now and engage in a shoving match. Crush hits a backbreaker then starts beating on him for a bit. Hawk ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick then a flying shoulder tackle. Warrior is in now and beats on Ax then takes care of Demolition all by himself until he misses a splash. Ax hammers away then dumps Warrior outside where Smash & Crush beat him down. Ax continues to beat on Warrior then tags out as Smash hammers away. The match breaks down then Warrior rolls around and makes the tag as Animal (called Hawk by Gorilla) starts running wild. The match breaks down again as Animal is outnumbered in the corner. Crush puts Animal in a bearhug then Animal reverses but Ax & Smash run in to beat him down. Ax ducks his head but Animal knocks him down. Warrior pumps up the crowd from the apron but Demolition keeps Animal in the corner. Ax works a chinlock then Animal escapes and comes back with a clothesline. He tags out as Warrior runs wild on Demolition and hits Smash with a flying shoulder tackle then the splash for the win (12:59). **.
Thoughts: This was mostly all action but man did Warrior sell an awful lot during this match. He did not get to look strong even though he scored the pin. The match was messy with little flow but the finish got over at least.
Final Thoughts: Yikes, this was a bad show. The crowd was mostly dead and this was the first MSG show since April. It drew 11,000 fans and with the “Quadruple Main Event” for next month you can expect less to attend ( and that show only had 9,000). The Slaughter stuff was mildly interesting and foreshadowed what would happen on TV the day after this air if you were in attendance. There is no reason to watch this show if it makes its way on the WWE Network.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/24/83
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/22/90
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/23/90
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/29/90
Wednesday: wXW World Tag Team League, Night Three
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/30/90