Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #39

The SmarK Retro Rant for The Main Event #2 – February 1989 – Live and in prime time from Milwaukee, WI. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. (Our cable was out at the time and I was freaking out, so we had to watch this one at my grandma’s house, but the main angle was so upsetting to her that she had to leave the room because it was all so unfair to Hulk Hogan.  That’s how you know it was effective.)  The Megapowers v. The Twin Towers. Here’s a huge unintentionally prescient comment from the pre-match promo: Mean Gene, describing the various antics of Akeem and Bossman against Hogan and Savage, calls it a “terrorist attack” by the Twin Towers. Ouch. Well, at least Hulk didn’t use a metaphor about the power of Hulkamania flying a plane into Bossman to bring him down. So anyway, the Towers had been alternating attacks on the MegaPowers in the weeks leading up to this, and the result was Randy Savage getting increasingly internalized and paranoid about Hogan’s intentions towards his woman and his title. The reason why this worked is that it fit perfectly with everyone’s character — Savage was a well-known paranoid sociopath to begin with, and Hogan is an asshole. Needless to say, this whole angle was money in the bank and really freshened up the smiling babyface character Savage was shoe-horned into at that point. (That’s a pretty major understatement.)  So we start with Hogan and Bossman, and Hogan cleans house right away. The heels regroup outside and Bossman tries it again, but gets nowhere again. He bails, and Savage adds a humiliating shot from behind to rub it in. Akeem’s turn, and Hogan has it under control, so Savage comes in with an axehandle and slugs away in the corner. Hogan does the same sequence, but gets caught by the heels and clotheslined. Bossman adds a piledriver and Akeem pounds the back. Hogan dumps Bossman, however, and they brawl on the floor, but Bossman gets a spinebuster back in the ring for two. Akeem pounds away, but heel miscommunication allows Savage to come in. Savage gets a high cross on Akeem for two, but a cheapshot from Slick puts the heels back on offense. Akeem tosses Savage, and then does it again when Liz is in the way, and you can basically see the heel turn right before your eyes. Thus begins the gravitas of the situation, as Savage tries to win the match alone while Hogan tends to the fallen Elizabeth and abandons his partner. Again, this is why I was cheering for Randy at Wrestlemania V. The Towers commence beating the s--- out of the Macho Man while Hogan carries her to the back like he was King Kong or something, but it’s a hell of a visual, I’ll give ’em that. Still, way to support your team, jackass. We follow Hulk all the way back to the first aid station (where James Andrews was likely standing by telling her to tape it up and work through it) and get some Daytime Emmy award-winning acting from Hulk and take a break. The commercials are cut out of this one, but I’m guessing whatever Burger King commercial followed had better acting. Back with Savage getting pounded to within an inch of his life, but never mind that, because Hogan is still ACTING. (I also forgot to mention the infamous “tizzime” request from Hulk that ended up on live TV.) And Liz awakes from her dramatic coma, perhaps from the smell of cancerous skin caused by years of over-tanning on Hogan, and thus Hulk decides the time is right to generously return to the match, nearly 5:00 (plus commercials) after leaving Savage twisting in the wind with a pair of 400-pound guys. Jerk. So finally we get back to the ring, as the Towers get a double-team backbreaker on Savage, but he evades them and hits Bossman with an axehandle. Hogan gets up on the apron, but Savage is clearly snubbing him and trying to win the damn match by himself. Hogan keeps whining, being the gloryhound that he is, so Savage gives him a well-deserved bitchslap and walks out. This would seem to be a perfect way to have Hogan do a job, but if you think that, then you haven’t been watching Hogan for very long. (Hogan & Savage d. Bossman & Akeem, Hogan legdrop — pin Akeem, 19:39, **) Match quality is hard to judge because a lot of match was in the background of the Hogan drama class, but it was just there to make people want to buy Wrestlemania, and damned it if didn’t do that. – Backstage, Savage cuts the heel promo of his life, accusing Hogan of lusting after his woman and lusting after his title, going nuts with an all-time great paranoid rant against him unmatched by anything short of the rap album he made a few years back. (This was such a great heel promo, probably one of the best of all time, which basically sold hundreds of thousands of PPV buys and actually made him a heel against Bad News Brown at all the house show runs.)  Hogan protests, so Savage hits him in the face with the belt and then tosses Liz around like a ragdoll in an awesome moment. God, Super Heel Randy Savage escaping Wrestlemania with a DQ loss and then rampaging over the WWF until the broken and injured Hogan returned to win at Summerslam could have financed the company for 15 years after. It’s a total shame that they turned Savage into such a joke by pairing him with Sherri, because this was his defining moment. – Ted Dibiase v. Hercules. With the Megapower Explosion eating up the first 45 minutes of the one hour show, this was pretty much an afterthought. Basically Hercules is pissed because Bobby Heenan sold him into slavery, something which I think we can all relate to. Herc attacks and dumps Dibiase, then goes after Virgil. He slingshots Dibiase back in and gorilla slams him, but Dibiase yanks him out of the ring. Dibiase takes over with a pair of fistdrops for two. Middle rope elbow gets two. Herc comes back with a suplex, but runs into a boot, and Dibiase gets two. Herc rams him into the turnbuckle a bunch of times and powerslams him, but misses a charge. Virgil wraps the chain around the turnbuckle, but Dibiase takes it instead. Hercules gets two off that. Into the chain again to set up the torture rack, but Virgil trips him up and Dibiase gets the lame rollup. (Dibiase d. Hercules, rollup — pin, 7:07, *1/2) Weak finish to protect “third Megapower” Hercules (no, seriously), but it’s f------ Hercules, who cares?  (If anything shouldn’t Beefcake have been the Third Megapower?)  The Pulse: Less of a wrestling show than an hour-long angle and commercial for Wrestlemania V, it certainly accomplished the goal it set out to achieve, and somehow made me hate Hogan all the more. Sadly, the blowoff match gave me no happiness.