SummerFest Countdown: 1990

(I was going to 2012 Scott sez this one, but then realized how much I hate the original rant and decided to bust out the Anthology DVD and re-rant on it instead.  So stay tuned after the crappy 1997 version for a BRAND NEW re-rant!)The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 90 Live from Philadelphia, PA Your hosts are Mr. McMahon and Roddy Piper, in the role WCW should have him in now. I’ve probably seen this show more times than most current RSPW fans have seen episodes of RAW and Nitro combined, but hey, I’m always happy to oblige my fans, even if I am sick of seeing it. Opening match: Power & Glory v. The Rockers. Michaels had a severe knee injury at the time, so Hercules makes sure to nail him with the chain before the match starts. Jannetty is left fight alone, and does a respectable job for the first couple of minutes. He small packages Chachi…oh, sorry, Roma, but gets an elbow dropped on him to turn the tide for the heels. Shawn keeps climbing to the apron and P&G keep knocking him off. Jannetty powerslams Roma and hits the fistdrop off the top rope, but Slick is distracting the ref. Power & Glory proceed to lay a royal ass-whupping on Jannetty, allowing him to display all his selling prowess. He works in everything, including the “get pressed and land on his face” spot and the obligatory 360 clothesline sell. P&G finishes him with the superplex/money shot finisher at 6:00, drawing a BIG pop from the face-hating Philly crowd. Oddly, the Rockers would win their only tag title (the infamous phantom reign) a couple of weeks after this, and would have transitioned said titles to Roma and Hercules, but politics and life in general intervened and Power & Glory got turned into jobbers. Such is life. **1/2 Heenan and Perfect run down Kerry Von Erich. Von Erich was subbing for Brutus Beefcake, who suffered the career-ending injury in 1990. He was scheduled to win the title here. Probably would have moved onto main events by 1991. I understand that someone who looks remarkably like him is being retooled into an Indiana Jones gimmick as we speak, but we all know the real Ed Leslie died in 1990. Intercontinental title match: Curt Hennig v. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich. Have I ever mentioned how retarded it was to use an “Exodus” clone as Hennig’s ENTRANCE music? Hennig, Mr. Oversell, goes flying back into the corner off a shove. Hennig gets his own shoving in and towels himself off. Von Erich slams him and clotheslines him over the top, and of course Hennig does his patented tumble over the top. Hennig clotheslines out of an armbar to take control, then applies a sleeper. He inexplicably releases and slaps the Tornado around in the corner, which never works out well for the heel. Tornado no-sells, slingshots Hennig into the corner, then applies the CLAWHOLD OF DOOM! He quickly releases, hits the DUMBASS PIROUHETTE TORNADO PUNCH OF DEATH, and covers for the pin and the IC title at 5:10. When you absolutely, positively have to get a stupid finisher over TODAY, call Mr. P. Match was nothing, although running about two minutes longer than many recent IC title changes on RAW. * Mean Gene is apparently waiting for Sapphire, but she’s not there. The plot thickens. Perfect and Hennan crash the scene and rant about the loss. Queen Sherri v. Sapphire. Sapphire no-shows, so we waste about 5 minutes as Sherri demands that she win by forfeit. No match. Dusty Rhodes doesn’t know where Sapphire is, either. The Warlord v. Tito Santana. Warlord is a dead ringer for Bill Goldberg, and was a better wrestler for all of about two months after his debut until becoming the roided freak he is here. Santana uses a series of dropkicks to send Warlord to the floor. Tito keeps sticking and moving, but gets dumped to the floor and rammed into the ringpost as Piper makes racist jokes about Slick. Very good, Roddy, why not make a watermelon joke while you’re at it? Warlord s.l.o.w.l.y hammers on Tito. Sooooooooo sloooooooow. He runs into a boot from Santana, and actually sells a clothesline! Whoa. Santana shows his fisticuffsmanship and hits the Flying Jalapeno, but Warlord gets his foot on the ropes. He goes for a monkey flip, but Walrus-man shrugs him off and then powerslams him for the academic pinfall at 5:27. 1/2* The Demos introduce their newest member…Crush. They stress that they can pick any two members they want, ala the Triad. In an inside joke, they call LOD a couple of “second rate imposters”. The Harts react to the Demos choice of team members, although Bret seems to be confused: At first he thinks it’s Ax and Smash, then goes to Ax and Crush. It’s actually Smash and Crush tonight. Oh well, that bit was probably taped days before the show. WWF World tag team title match: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation, 2/3 falls. Bret and Smash start. For those who don’t know, let’s go over it again: Smash is current WCW jobber Barry Darsow, and Crush is current nWo B&W member Bryan Adams. Harts double-team Smash and Bret gets a quick two-count on a rollup. Vince begins selling the “You can’t tell the Demos apart” thing, which would lead to the incredibly lame “Masked Demolition” thing that was mercifully killed after about two months, due to the fact that DEMOLITION LOOKS NOTHING ALIKE! Smash gets the better of Bret, but Crush blows it. Bret runs into a slam, however, so I guess Crush made up for the error. Crush practices the fine art of no-selling, until Neidhart is tagged in to destroy Smash. Doesn’t last long as they cheat and gain the advantage. Bret comes back in and cleans house on both Demos, getting a two count on Smash with a Russian legsweep. Not quite the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM because there was no Sharpshooter, and besides Crush breaks up the sequence with a legdrop. Oops, Demolition Decapitation, and the champs take the first fall at 6:18. In the second fall, Bret gets hammered by Crush with a quasi-chokeslam to start, and the usual Demolition power stuff. Bret hits the clothesline and hot tags Neidhart. He goes nuts and gets a pair of two-counts on Smash with a powerslam, then they hit the Hart Attack for two before Crush makes the save, drawing a DQ at 10:38. Well, that was a lame finish. In the third fall, Bret gets tossed to start. While the ref attends to him, Ax runs in and hides under the ring. Bret recovers and sunset flips in for two. The Harts get their reverse slam thing in a nice sequence for two. It’s to describe unless you’ve seen it. Ax swaps in at this point and Smash hides under the ring. Ref doesn’t notice. Yeah, right. Ax of course kicks Bret’s ass. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret’s run to the corner bump gets two. Crush gets a backbreaker for two and things are looking grim at Neidhart has to break it up. The Demos double-team Bret on the outside, and now Smash swaps back in…until the LOD make their way down and pull Ax from under the ring. Smash and Ax confront them, leaving Crush alone with the Harts. *David Spade mode on* Demos: We’re Demolition, we’ve got three guys on our team, and one of them is a big motherfucker who can kick your ass blindfolded. Harts: Buh-bye. *David Spade mode off* Bret cradles off a Neidhart shoulderblock at 15:44 for the pin and the titles. The Demos’ best match ever. ***1/2 THAT is how the tag title match at Bash at the Beach should have gone, with the babyfaces overcoming insurmountable odds. This match has always been a sentimental favorite of mine. The Harts and LOD celebrate in the back. The Demos yell threats at the LOD from behind their dressing room door, thus kicking off the dream feud that every mark was screaming for since 1988. The Cavalcade of Interviews continue, with Sherri, Volkoff/Duggan, Earthquake/Bravo and Jake Roberts. Jake Roberts v. Bad News Brown. See, Bad News was afraid of snakes, so he got a sewer rat from Harlem to counter. I’d like to point out that if this was Stampede, he’d have shown up for an interview with Damien turned into a new pair of boots for himself one week. But this is the WWF, so, well, ya know. Bossman is the special referee here. Brown destroys him and goes for the Ghetto Blaster early, but Jake collapses. Brown drops a leg and gets two. Brown and Bossman get into an argument, allowing Jake to recover and they go brawling outside the ring. A chairshot draws a warning, and we return to the ring for more Brown ass-kicking goodness. Roberts flips him off, causing more punishment. Damn, I love Brown. He was so wasted in his WWF run. Jake comes back with rights and the short-arm clothesline, but BNB backdrops out of the DDT and keeps on whupping. Another chairshot draws the DQ at 4:43. Lame. Brown tries to legdrop Damien to get his revenge, but Bossman makes the save. Sadly, Bossman wouldn’t be around when Quake tried the same thing months later. My personal theory is that the grief of the loss of his snake drove Jake to the heel turn, in a weird kind of phallic/emasculation thing that I’m sure Freud would spend days analyzing. Match was okay. **1/4 Brother Love re-introduces us to Sgt. Slaughter, repackaged as the Iraqi sympathizing traitor. What a classy guy that Vince McMahon is. The run did, however, give me prime material for Netcop Busts with the ultra-lame ATOMIC NOOGIE OF DOOM that he used as a finisher, so it’s not all bad. Just most of it. Hey, we’ve found Sapphire. Now I can sleep at night. The Orient Express v. Nikolai Volkoff & Jim Duggan. The Express are just from plain ol’ Japan. This was during Volkoff’s “I really love the USA” period. *Sniff* It makes me all teary-eyed just thinking about it. See, even 85 year old wrestlers like Volkoff can change. I’m shocked WCW hasn’t signed him yet – he’s practically a young lad! The patriots sing the national anthem and then the scheming Japanese attack. The Express have to dumb down their offense because Volkoff is useless, so they chop a lot. Duggan gets the hot tag after a marathon 2 minutes of punishment and cleans house. Three-point stance finishes it at 3:03. What a farce. It’s no wonder the Express were repackaged shortly after this – there really wasn’t anywhere left to go with the team after this. DUD Backstage, Dusty tries to convince Sapphire to open her dressing room door, but she won’t. Hey, maybe she’s on the john or something, geez, give the woman a break. And if YOU were a woman and a fat guy who dresses in polka dots and has a splotch on his belly was knocking on YOUR door, would YOU open it? I think not. Dusty Rhodes v. Randy Savage. I don’t recognize any of the jobbers carrying the throne. BUT WAIT! Over on the interview stage, Ted Dibiase and Virgil have a Shocking Revelation for Rhodes: He has bought Sapphire. Wonder what Dibiase’s wife thought of that? She would disappear from the WWF shortly after the turn, rightly so. Dusty tries to go after Dibiase, but Savage decks him from behind and the match begins. Savage dominates the distracted Rhodes, although he has a brief flurry of elbows to come back…and a DROPKICK! Must have been a blue moon or something. Dusty goes after Sherri, who hands the loaded purse to Macho, who nails Dusty with it and pins him at 2:14. This would be the beginning of the long feud with Dibiase that ended with Dusty and his talentless son Dustin losing to Dibiase and Virgil at Royal Rumble 91, which in turn led to Virgil’s long awaited face turn. Match was there. 1/2* Hulk Hogan v. Earthquake. It should be noted that my father, who is a noted sadist, printed out a huge “GET WELL HULK” poster and hung it in my room while I was asleep, just to piss me off. Tugboat was supposed to be in Hogan’s corner, but he ate one Ring-Ding too many and exploded, so Bossman takes his place. I keep waiting for Tugboat to come crashing through the backdrop in a Stormtrooper helmet during the pre-match interview, but he disappoints as usual. TO THE MATCH! Hogan tries a shove out of the lockup, but Quake is JUST TOO FAT! None of Hulk’s subsequent lockups work, so he bails. Man, if THAT’S all it takes to outthink Hogan, put me in there with him. Hogan tries a slam, and it doesn’t work. Duh. A series of right hands doesn’t work either, until he windmills his arm like Popeye, and then that one knocks him down, presumably because of the increased momentum, but you’d really have to ask one of the physics guys on RSPW/M. Hulk and Bossman double-team Quake in full view of the ref, so Quake and Bravo double-team Hogan when he’s not looking. Gotta love the hypocritical booking of Hogan’s matches. See also: Motorcycle helmets with fists attached. Quake hits a double-axehandle off the top and…STOMPS ON HIS HAND! Man, that’s just MEAN! Someone tell Quake’s mommy. Quake gets a Boston crab, but it’s Philadelphia so Hogan is able to make the ropes. Hogan bails again (COWARD! ORANGE SKINNED FREAKISH CHICKEN!) and gets beate up by Bravo. Back in the ring, as Earthquake misses a big elbow and Hogan goes for the slam again (what a moron), but of course Quake falls on him for two. Why? Say it with me, kids…HE’S JUST TOO FAT! Bearhug. Hey, that’s what I was wanting to pick up the pace. Hulk always knows how to make me happy. Hulk rips apart Hebner’s shirt while trying to escape. Don’t ask me why. A couple of shoulderblocks stagger the Quake, and Hulk actually tries a BODYPRESS, thus putting him in Jushin Liger territory compared to his usual arsenal. Sadly, Quake catches him and slams him, so we’ll never know the outcome of that particular experiment. Quake hits the FAT-ASSED BUTTSPLASH OF DOOM and Vince mourns Hulk’s career, but he doesn’t want the pin yet. Another splash, but Hulk kicks out. See, ONE splash was enough to put Hercules in the hospital, but Hulk takes TWO and then kicks out. Don’t you just LOVE the guy? Hulk up, big boot, slam (this time it works, psychology be damned), but the 84th Airborne runs in and both guys end up outside the ring. There’s a table that is inexplicably at ringside, so Hogan slams Quake on it and beats the count in at 13:17. The table doesn’t break. It should be noted that if it HAD broken, ECW would have officially stolen their best idea from the WWF. Just wanted to point that out. 1/4* The reason why Hogan didn’t get a pinfall win eludes me to this day. Long series of interviews to allow time for the cage to be set up. WWF World title match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude. It should be noted that Warrior’s belt is roughly the color of fresh puke. I don’t know WHY it should be noted, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I will contend to my dying day that Rude should have gone over Warrior for the title on the SNME that preceded this show, allowing Warrior to regain it here and make both guys look better, but it’s the Warrior, so, ya know. They fight on top of the cage to start, and Warrior hits an axehandle off the top on the way in, after knocking Rude down. Piper’s strategic advice: Tie Warrior’s tassels to the bars. Warrior tosses Rude into the bars a few times, but misses a charge and goes face-first into the cage. Piper’s cynical commentary is pretty funny here, as it’s obvious that he’s not a Warrior fan. Rude is bleeding two minutes in. Hey, it’s PPV, why not. It’s about 0.0003 Muta, but the effort is there. Rude tosses Warrior into the cage a few more times. He tries the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out. Big splash hits the knees. Why is the Warrior going for the pin in a cage match? Because he’s an idiot. But you knew that. Rude hits the Rude Awakening and goes to the top of the cage for a fistdrop. Bobby opens the door for him, but Rude chooses to come off the top again. Warrior nails him coming down and crawls for the door, but the Brain slams the door in his face. Rude covers for two. Pinfalls in a cage match? Don’t ask me why they changed it for this match. We get the obligatory ass-shot of Rude when Warrior grabs his tights to prevent escape, then Warrior beats on poor Bobby. Why Rude didn’t just walk out the door when the beating was going on is just one of those questions you don’t ask, I guess. Rude attacks him from behind, but Warrior hulks up. CLOTHESLINE! CLOTHESLINE! He forgets to do the third one, but he’s excited so I can forgive it. Gorilla press, and he climbs out for the win at 10:00. Bad match with an anticlimactic ending. * The Bottom Line: The undercard is really fun, if not exactly a modern wrestling exhibition or anything, and I think it’s enough to recommend this show. Stop when you get to the main events, though, because it’s just not worth the trouble. Mild recommendation. The SmarK Rant for WWF Summerslam 1990 Live from Philly. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Roddy Piper This is of course a show that is LOOOOOOOOONG overdue for a redo, given that it was originally written in 1997. Luckily I have my trusty Anthology collection to pull the full PPV version from instead of the Coliseum video that I’ve been watching for the last couple of decades. And since this clocks in at 2:40 instead of the 2:00 I’m used to, obviously I’ve missed some stuff. The ridiculous number of deaths on this show also led me to keep track as I went along, just because. The Rockers v. Power & Glory Nothing like Paul Roma to kick off a show! P&G don’t even get an entrance, which is funny given they were on the fast track at this point. Shawn is injured but they still wanted to advertise him, so Hercules attacks the knee before the bell, leaving Marty to fight alone. He fights off the heels with hiptosses and manages to dropkick both guys at once, because Roma is so useless that he can’t even beat up MARTY JANNETTY when he’s at a 2-on-1 advantage. Finally the heels use Slick’s distraction to take over, until Marty gets a small package for two. Vince is calling for the DQ, but Piper is all about the competition in between his bizarre stream-of-consciousness commentary. The new Mick Jagger and David Bowie?! Roma pounds on Marty while Shawn fights to get into the ring, because if there’s one thing you know about Shawn Michaels it’s that a knee injury isn’t going to keep him out of the ring! Herc powerslams Marty and gets rolled up off that, but Roma breaks it up and hits the backbreaker for two. Marty makes his own comeback with a powerslam and superkick, and he goes up with the flying fistdrop on Roma for two. Finally he runs into a cheapshot from Hercules on the apron, while Shawn sells outside. Piper: “Get up!” He’s kinda crazy. The POWERPLEX finishes Marty at 5:52 as the Rockers get destroyed but good. As Marty lays on Shawn to protect him, Piper notes that NOW they look like Jagger and Bowie. Oh, Roddy, you insane bastard. This was a fun destruction by the heels, but sadly they never went anywhere with it, mostly because Roma was so terrible. **1/4 Death count: 1 (Hercules). Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect notes that he’s perfect and thus won’t have any trouble coping with the Texas Tornado on short notice. Can’t fault the logic there. Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect v. Texas Tornado This was of course to be Brutus Beefcake’s title win, before the infamous boating accident ended his career for 3 years. What’s the over-under on how much blow Kerry was doing just before his pre-match promo, I wonder? Especially given how short they kept this one. I still think they should have kept the challenger a surprise, because Kerry had some name value even if he was already on the downslide, and everyone was buying this show for Hogan anyway. They fight for the lockup and Hennig goes flying into the corner from that. What a Ziggler ripoff. Perfect with a pair of hiptosses, but Tornado clotheslines him to the floor and then starts working on the arm. Hennig finally clocks him with a forearm as the match breaks into FISTICUFFS in the words of Vince. I love that word. Perfect with the sleeper, but Kerry is too wired on coke and breaks free. Perfect gets arrogant and slaps him around in the corner, but Kerry catapults him into the corner for the trademark bump, and the claw and discus punch finish at 5:13 to give Von Erich the title. That was kind of a weird match, actually, with no real heat segment before they suddenly went home. *1/2 It proved to be a short reign. Death count: 2 (both guys) Meanwhile, Mean Gene is supposed to be interviewing Sapphire, but she no-shows, so Bobby and Perfect storm in and yell about losing the title instead. Tornado cheated and Perfect had his shoulder up at two! Queen Sherri v. Sapphire I have no idea how Sherri was supposed to be wrestling in a full dress and Halloween mask, but it’s a moot point anyway. Sapphire fails to show, so Sherri wins by forfeit. This took quite a while to get to that point, but it was a different time. Death count: 2 (Both women). Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes is mystified by what happened to Sapphire, even after asking every security guard in the building, AND Hacksaw Duggan. That was quite the walk-on cameo. Not much has changed in 22 years, I guess. The Warlord v. Tito Santana This is quite the quickly-paced show thus far, with four matches by the half-hour mark. Tito was apparently during the Powers of Pain Solo Jobbing Tour in 1990, getting to lose to both former members. Tito grabs a headlock and gets tossed off, but he throws some dropkicks and Warlord bails. Here’s your random Tito story for the day: A local wrestling promotion (led by WAVELL STARR!) brought Tito to Saskatoon for a show here a couple of weeks ago, which I was sadly unable to attend due to not giving a shit. Nothing to do with Tito, he’s still awesome and I would have loved to meet him. Anyway, the best part of the poster is that tickets were available at the door, or at TACO TIME. Now that’s class. Tito manages to take Warlord down for two, but gets thrown out of the ring on the kickout while Piper makes vaguely racist remarks about Slick. Oh, Piper, how did you ever survive for more than a few months in this job? Back in, Warlord slowly pounds away, but Tito makes the fired up comeback and hits the flying forearm for two, but Warlord gets his foot on the ropes. Not exactly making Warlord out to be a world-beater here. Warlord shrugs Tito off in the corner and finishes with a running powerslam at 5:23. I love that Tito makes sure to kick out a bit after the three-count, showing that he’s always fighting. Man, Warlord on offense just ground this thing to a halt. * Death count: None! WWF World tag titles, 2/3 falls: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation Man, even 1990 high-school aged Scott knew the writing was on the wall for Demolition at this point. Vince does an exaggerated bit where he can’t tell the difference between Ax and Smash even after three years of them being near the top of the tag division together. In this case, it’s Smash and Crush defending the belts. This actually ended up being a major career resurgence for the Harts, as they had some great matches from here all the way to breaking up after Wrestlemania VII. Bret gets a quick rollup on Smash for two, and Vince still can’t tell the difference between Ax and Smash. Hey wait, you don’t think the Demos would use that confusion to their ADVANTAGE, do you? Bret works on Smash’s arm, but he gets caught in the heel corner briefly before dodging Crush’s clumsy offense. Crush finally slams him as Piper notes “we ain’t looking for dairy products, we fighting!” Yeah, you tell him, senile middle aged person! Bret comes back with a rollup and brings in the Anvil, but a cheapshot turns the tide and Smash hammers him in the corner. Back to Bret and he cleans house on the heels and slugs away on both of them, then sends Crush to the floor and hits Smash with the legsweep for two. Backbreaker and middle rope elbow get two. Crush breaks it up with a cheap elbow, and the Demolition Decapitation wins the first fall at 6:18. Piper is so adamant about the referee’s five count that you’d think Daniel Bryan was in the match. Second fall and Smash gets a backdrop suplex for two on Bret, and Crush goes to a neck vice for a bit. Bret crawls for a tag, but Crush grabs Smash’s leg to keep Bret on that side in a cute spot. Bret perseveres and it’s hot tag Anvil, however. Clothesline on Smash gets two. Powerslam gets two. Hart Attack gets two, as Crush attacks the ref for the DQ at 10:34. Not sure why they did that for a fall. Final fall and Demolition tosses Bret, which allows Ax to sneak out and hide under the ring. Piper argues that this does not violate the ban from ringside, since he’s not actually at ringside, per se. Maybe Ax should have hired Piper as his lawyer for his lawsuit. The Harts regroup and double-team Smash, and Anvil slams Bret onto him for two. Bret and Hebner get into a tiff (perish the thought) and Ax switches off with Smash, with Vince being the only person in the building who can’t immediately tell. Ax of course beats on Bret as the fresh man and gets a slam for two, and a legsweep for two. Bret takes his corner bump and Ax gets two off that. Crush with a backbreaker for two. It’s BONZO GONZO as all three Demos get involved and Smash switches back in, but the LOD comes out because they’ve had ENOUGH of these shenanigans. The Demos get their ass kicked, and Anvil slingshots in with a shoulderblock on Crush to give Bret the pin and the tag titles at 15:50 and one of the biggest pops you’ll ever hear in your life. It was kind of a disjointed match with no real long heat segment or anything (kind of a recurring problem for the night thus far) but it was fun good guy v. bad guy stuff with the Demos finally getting what they deserved after a few months of chicanery with Crush. It should have set up a big money program with the LOD, but by that point Ax was on the outs with Vince and the WWF had no real interest in giving fans the longtime dream match they wanted. Oh well, it’s still a favorite match of mine from the time period, flaws aside. You could just tell that Bret was a huge star in the making. ***1/4 Death count: 1 (Crush). Meanwhile, the Harts celebrate and the Demos aren’t giving interviews. Sherri has heard rumors about Sapphire’s fate! And with that, we hit the intermission after Mean Gene recaps the matches still to come. Meanwhile, we get shots of Jake’s snake in the shower (not that one) and Bad News Brown’s sewer rat. Now there’s a mascot merchandising opportunity they totally missed out on. Then we get comments from Big Bossman (doing double duty tonight as guest ref and then in Hulk’s corner), plus Duggan & Volkoff, Earthquake & Bravo, and Jake Roberts with a snake that’s threatening to go into business for itself. Bad News Brown v. Jake Roberts You see, Billy, black people are afraid of snakes, because SCIENCE. Big Bossman is the guest ref here, although I don’t recall how he got slotted in here since he moved onto the Heenan family after this and he wasn’t feuding with Bad News. Bad News attacks to start, as you’d expect, but he can’t quite hit the Ghetto Blaster. Legdrop gets two instead. Jake tries the DDT and Bad News bails to escape and then beats on Jake with a chair, but Bossman is all about law and order and CHASTISES him. Really, a prison guard isn’t actually part of the police force, so he’s kind of overstepping his authority in general. Brown pounds away on Jake, but misses a fistdrop off the middle. Jake comes back with the kneelift and short clothesline, but Bad News backdrops out of the DDT. Piper credits the oiled head of Brown. They fight to the floor again and this time Bossman calls for the DQ on Brown at 4:40 when he cheats. Basically just a Saturday Night’s Main Event match on PPV. *1/2 And that was pretty much it for Bad News in the WWF. Death count: 1 (Bad News, 2 if you count the snake.) And now, the Brother Love Show, as Sgt. Slaughter cements his return and heel turn by presenting Love with a special award for being a great patriot or something. Slaughter was GIGANTIC here. His weight less by the time he got to Wrestlemania was pretty impressive, actually. Slaughter wasn’t actually doing the Iraqi sympathizer bit yet, he was just expressing general disgust with America at that point, and with Nikolai Volkoff specifically. Hacksaw Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff v. The Orient Express Oh man, the Volkoff babyface turn. To this day I have no idea why they pushed and re-pushed the guy as much as they did. This whole thing was basically the Superpowers angle redone 4 years too late with the wrong people for it. Volkoff goes after Tanaka to start, but gets caught in the heel corner, only to make the hot tag seconds later. Duggan cleans house and destroys them single-handledly, pinning Tanaka with the clothesline at 2:55. DUD Duggan as the guy who gets the hot tag as a regular gig was a good idea, but not with 43 year old Volkoff. Death count: None! Randy Savage v. Dusty Rhodes To get Sapphire off TV, Ted Dibiase interrupts before the match starts and introduces her as his newest acquisition. This was built up by a few weeks of Sapphire getting mysterious gifts from a benefactor. As usual for this time period, Sapphire just kind of disappeared after another few weeks of this plot twist and was never seen on WWF TV again after that. I find it hilarious that Dibiase would buy her off with a giant bag of money, but would use an official WWF sports tote. Wasn’t there a briefcase they could have used? So as you’d expect, Dusty is pretty distracted, which allows Savage to attack him and slug away in the corner. Dusty quickly makes the comeback with the DUSTY DROPKICK OF DOOM and Savage bails, then grabs Sherri’s loaded purse and nails Rhodes with it for the pin at 2:08. Man, who is booking these shitty finishes tonight? Another nothing TV-level match to pad out PPV time. * Death count: 1 (Randy Savage). Earthquake v. Hulk Hogan A poster on the blog noted recently that this feud was like a lesson in TV time economy, as Quake attacked Hogan in a 5-minute Brother Love segment and they launched an 8 month feud off of it. No 20 minute interviews needed, just Quake putting Hogan out, Hogan making the big comeback, and then a whole bunch of house show main events for months afterwards. Hogan of course compares himself to George Washington in the pre-match promo, because he cannot tell a lie. I don’t even know where to START with that one. Quake wins a test of strength and shrugs off a headlock attempt, as Piper notes that Hogan might have been “training lean for endurance.” For a match with EARTHQUAKE? Back in the ring, he goes for the slam and that goes badly for him, as Quake whips him into the corner and tries the avalanche, only to have Hulk slug back. The whole heel team gets to bump for Hulk multiple times and everyone brawls outside, then we get a team match in the ring. This is some absolutely horrible refereeing. Finally Hebner restores some order, as Quake drops the elbow on Hulk for two in the chaos. Quake goes up with a TOP ROPE CLUBBING FOREARM, the most devastating of all clubbing forearms, and things are looking bleak for Hulkamania. Vince writes him off, but he makes the ropes to escape, only to have Dino Bravo slam him outside. Back in, Quake wears him down with the bearhug and gets the slam for two, and the BUTT SPLASH OF DEATH has Hogan in spasms. Perhaps he farted on the way down. Another one gets two, and it’s time for the comeback. Big boot and this time he gets the slam, but Bravo distracts the ref and everyone brawls outside again. Hulk slams Quake onto a table and beats the count back in at 13:07. The crowd goes batshit for this terrible finish. However, it set up another few months of matches that did boffo business, so you can’t fault it too much. Standard Hogan house show main event, but the heat was off the charts for it all. **1/2 Quake attacks again after the decision, but Bossman makes the save with a metal stepladder of all things, and puts some NASTY welts in Quake’s back with it. Holy SHIT that would hurt! I should note that the countout finish would have been much more acceptable if the show didn’t feature screwjob finishes up and down the card. Death count: 3 (Quake, Bravo, Bossman). WWF World title, cage match: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude This is the current lame pin/submit/escape rule variation. Like seriously, just pick one or the other. I bet they could have cut 15 minutes out of the show easily by omitting all the cage setup time that’s in here. Their innovation of hanging a cage above the ring was a GODSEND for fans in the arena. We’ve got 10 minutes of airtime left so this will be brisk. Warrior comes in via the top rope with a double axehandle and runs him into the cage, but Rude puts him down and tries to escape. Warrior grabs an ankle to stop him and Rude is already bleeding. Even wussy 1990 cartoonland WWF was more awesome than the current era when it comes to that. Rude puts Warrior down with a SPINNING BACKFIST and then runs him into the cage a few times, but Rude can’t get the Rude Awakening. Warrior powers out and then misses a splash, and this time Rude gets his finisher. They’re really pressed for time here. Rude to the top of the cage with a forearm, and Piper notes that he’s pretty stupid to have not just gone out of the cage there. Rude tries the same thing again, but Warrior slugs him down and goes for the door, which allows Bobby to slam it in his face. That gives Rude two. Collision and both guys are out, but Rude recovers first and goes for the door. Warrior stops him with a full moon and beats up poor Bobby yet again, and he makes the superman comeback. Gorilla press and he climbs out to retain at 10:00. Well at least he didn’t get John Cena’d by Hogan’s comeback match. **1/2 Death count: 1 (Rick Rude) The Pulse This is definitely a show that’s helpful to have lived through in order to enjoy it on a nostalgic level. Because the actual wrestling is the drizzling shits most of the time, and the finishes are AWFUL. But it had a hot crowd and a double main event that gave the people what they wanted to see, so it remains an entertaining spectacle if nothing else and at least still worth a watch these days. Final death count: 12 people out of 10 matches on the show. What more can you say about that?