Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #25

(So the remainder of the Main Events went up on the Network this morning, and apparently I have a SHITLOAD of modern-era ones to review.  Damn you, NBC deal.  This show was done twice, so for fun here’s the original 4-in-1 version and then the redo from the 24/7 era.)  Saturday Night’s Main Event (Jan 23 / 90) – Taped from the UTC arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. – Opening match: “Macho King” Randy Savage v. Jim Duggan. This is the same match that I reviewed in one of my Coliseum rants a few weeks back, so I won’t bore you with the details here, but suffice it to say it’s the usual SNME opener, with lots of meaningless action and running around that doesn’t really lead anywhere. Savage takes a few nice bumps but the wrestling is nonexistent. Duggan gets some near falls but Sherri keeps interfering to prevent the win. Duggan goes for the kill with the CLOTHESLINES OF DEATH but Sherri runs in to prevent the pin again. Repeat a couple of more times. The canned heat is painfully obvious. The LOADED PURSE OF DOOM gives Savage a two count, then Duggan makes the super-idiot comeback. More CLOTHESLINES OF DEATH and Duggan goes for the THREE POINT STANCE OF ALL-ENCOMPASSING DOOM, but Savage gets knocked out of the ring and they do the “manager hooks the leg on the suplex attempt” cheap-o ending for the Savage pin. Bad match. 1/2* – Curt Hennig & The Genius (The Ambiguously Gay Duo) have some poetry for Hulk and the Warrior. – Flashback: The Orange Goblin and the Face-Painted Moron have an epic confrontation at the 1990 Royal Rumble. In all fairness, I was marking out so hard that my head nearly exploded when it originally happened, but it’s not so great to watch today. – Goblin and Moron have some words for Hennig & Poffo. Warrior is his usual incoherent self, yelling something about chemical reactions at 150 words per minute. I guess the drugs were kicking in at that point.  (Man I was feeling mean to Warrior at that point.)  – Curt Hennig & The Genius v. Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior. The Egomaniacs have separate entrances, of course. Hogan cleans house on both guys with a hiptoss (!) and some slams. Warrior manhandles them next. Watching this from a “smart” perspective, it is SO obvious that Hennig and Poffo are doing all the work and it increases my respect of them that much more. Hogan wallops on Perfect (with requisite overselling to the nth degree) until Hennig manages to nail Hogan with Poffo’s scroll to gain the advantage. Hogan won’t sell any kind of significant offense for Hennig, forcing him to rely on punching and kicking after bumping all over the ring for Hogan. Hennig gets the Perfectplex, but breaks it at two and allows Poffo the chance to pin Hogan. Poffo tries a MOONSAULT (!) but Hogan gets the knees up, and hot tags Warrior. Warrior with the press slam and Hogan tags himself in when Warrior comes off the ropes for the splash, and legdrops Poffo for the pin. Hennig and Poffo attack right after the win, and Hogan accidentally nails Warrior in the melee. Warrior and Hogan do the big staredown, which led to Wrestlemania VI. * for Perfect’s bumps. – Flashback: Jake Roberts steals the Million dollar belt. – Jake Roberts and Greg Valentine do generic hype interviews. – Jake Roberts v. Greg Valentine. Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, elbow, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, kneelift, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, short arm clothesline, but Roberts can’t hit the DDT. Valentine goes for the figure four (with Jimmy Hart conveniently standing on the apron) but Jake pushes Greg into Hart, and DDT’s him, and Dibiase runs in for the DQ. Nobody’s trying here, but it did set up the Dibiase v. Roberts match at WM6 nicely. 1/4* – Ravishing Rick Rude v. Dusty Rhodes. AAAH, THE SPLOTCH! MY EYES! Punching and restholds until Heenan starts yelling at Sapphire, leading to everyone getting sent back to the dressing room. We come back from the commercial with Rude applying move #193 (ARM-bar) as Sapphire has snuck back to ringside by buying a ticket. Rude jaws with her as Rhodes makes the comeback, and they end up fighting down the aisle for the double-countout. Yay. DUD This was utterly pointless because neither guy was involved with anything at the time. – Dino Bravo v. Ronnie Garvin. Earthquake is at ringside, so you can guess how this one ends. They exchange some rights and Garvin rolls out of the ring and gets beat up by Quake. Back in and Bravo with a side salto for a two count. Garvin makes the comeback with his useless offense but he makes the mistake of going after Jimmy Hart. This guy beat Ric Flair cleanly? Garvin begins the GARVIN STOMP OF DEATH! but Earthquake distracts him. Garvin to the top rope for a bodypress, but Bravo rolls through for the pin. Two minutes if that. * Earthquake does the big squasheroo to Garvin (YES!) with two Earthquake splashes, leading to a Garvin stretcher job. – Randy Savage hypes the upcoming match against Hogan in prime time, which Mike Tyson was supposed to referee. But everyone’s plans got screwed up when Tyson lost to Buster Douglas, and he took over as the referee and did a horrible job. – Hogan offers a rebuttal. I like his heel interviews better, sadly enough. – Vince and Jesse wrap things up as we review the Hogan-Warrior confrontation from earlier in the night. The Bottom Line #1: A pretty subpar effort aside from a hot angle with Hogan and Warrior. The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event – January 27 1990 – This is a redo of a rant from 98-ish and a pretty fun show anyway. This one ties into the January theme of “ring royalty” via Macho King, I’m thinking. – Taped from Chattanooga, TN. – Your hosts are Vince & Jesse. Macho King Randy Savage v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan This is a “title” match, for those wondering. Savage’s coked-out promo is classic stuff (“The guillotine is what peasants use to get their hair cut, yeah!”) and Mean Gene notes that some people are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them, and still others steal it. Very true. Duggan insolently dumps over Savage’s carriage to start, but puts his head down in the ring and gets nailed. Duggan comes back with a clothesline for two and follows with an atomic drop, but gets distracted with Sherri, allowing Savage to dump him. Double axehandle follows and they head back in for another one, and that gets two for the King. Necksnap gets two. Blind charge misses and Duggan fights back, backdropping Macho out of the ring. Vince declares the match OVER, but he’s not there to elbow the timekeeper in the ribs so it continues regardless. And we take a break. Back with Duggan slamming Savage and following with a kneedrop for two. Forearm gets two, as Sherri continues being a pest. Duggan puts Savage down with a pair of clotheslines and dumps him again, but again with the Sherri and a chase ensues. Duggan threatens to backhand her, but Savage nails him from behind and follows with the double axehandle. Once more from Sherri, as she gives Savage her purse and he KO’s Duggan for two. Jesse is mystified that anyone could be dumb enough to fall for it twice. Duggan recovers with a small package for two and makes the comeback, sending Savage into the corner with an atomic drop. He sets up to finish, but Savage rolls out and reverses a suplex back in to finish at 7:55. You have to hand it to Sherri — Elizabeth would never get her hands dirty like Sherri would. In fact, it’s probably her fault that Savage lost the World title to Hogan. Fun, fast-paced match with Savage cheating six ways from Sunday to retain the crown. He’s no worse than Prince Charles, I suppose. ***  (That rating got a bit of an upgrade, didn’t it?)  Mr. Perfect & The Genius v. Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior Hulk Hogan should bring Warrior in as a coach for any further seasons of CCW and then make his students watch and imitate the pre-match promo. Without coke. Now that would be entertainment. (I miss CCW.  It was so balls-to-the-wall terrible that I couldn’t help but be entertained.)  Anyway, Hulk slams the heels repeatedly to start and Warrior cleans house. Back in, Perfect slugs away in the corner, but Hulk elbows him out of the ring and sends him into the post, as Hennig is already on bump overdrive tonight. Back in for another 180 bump off a trip to the turnbuckle, then one off a punch, then another off the turnbuckle. And people wonder why he had back problems. Genius, meanwhile, grabs his scroll and presumably does a live blog from the ring apron while Perfect bumps to the floor off the big boot. The headline turns out to be “WHAM!” as Perfect uses the scroll on Hogan to take over, and slugs away in the ring. Hulk sneaks in a small package for two, but Perfect stomps him down again and adds an Ax clothesline. Necksnap and it’s over to Genius for his mincing offense, and Warrior is offended. Queering don’t make the world work, you know. Perfect slugs away and now you’re gonna see a Perfectplex, but he releases at two and lets hetero lifemate Poffo try the moonsault. That misses, so Perfect goes up and tries himself, but lands on Hogan’s foot. Hot tag Warrior, and he beats the swishiness right out of Poffo, dumps Perfect, and that fucking jerk Hogan tags himself in and legdrops Genius for the pin at 7:50. That was WARRIOR’S kill! Warrior “accidentally” clotheslines Hogan in the post-match fracas with the heels (but really could you blame him?) and they nearly come to blows, setting up Wrestlemania VI in the process. Hennig bouncing all over the ring like a superball makes anyone look good. ***1/4  (Another big jump in the rating.)  Jake Roberts v. Greg Valentine Hammer takes Jake down with an armdrag to start, but Jake tries for the DDT, forcing Valentine to bail. Back in, Greg gets a cheapshot and throws chops in the corner, then whips Jake into the turnbuckle and drops the elbow for two. He slugs Jake down for two and drops a knee on the back for two. Jake slugs back and runs Hammer into the corner, which sets up the short-arm clothesline. He tries the DDT, but Valentine backdrops out of it and sends Jake into the corner to dodge a kneelift. The figure-four appears imminent, but Jake runs Valentine into Jimmy Hart and KICK WHAM DDT follows. Ted Dibiase runs in for the DQ at 5:14. Sadly, Virgil is afraid of snakes, so he’s unable to reclaim the stolen Million Dollar Belt. This would have been better with 15 minutes instead of 5. ** Ravishing Rick Rude v. Dusty Rhodes This is another feud that would seem to have been a natural fit and yet never happened. Rude attacks to start, but Rhodes puts him down and drops an elbow on the back. They head to the floor and Dusty rams the back into the apron to work it over. Back in, Rude tries a slam for the comedy spot, only to get elbowed down. Dusty misses an elbow and Rude goes to a chinlock, while Bobby Heenan gives a piece of his mind to Sapphire. Tempers flare outside the ring and the managers are sent packing as we take a break. Back with Rude kneeing Dusty out of the ring and into the post. He goes to an armbar while Sapphire returns to sit in the front row, as ticket sales were so bad in early 1990 that you could buy a ringside seat halfway into a TV taping. Dusty and Rude collide, allowing Rude to go up, but Dusty nails him on the way down and works the leg. Rude stomps away in response and Dusty comes back (“Hit him in the gut!” notes Jesse as he tries to cheer Rude on) but Rude slugs him down again. Sapphire draws Rude out of the ring with a “seductive” pose, and the menfolk brawl to the back for the double countout at 8:38. No official decision announced, but I’m just assuming. This was Rude’s last tour as a comedy heel before his repackage as a main event killer at Wrestlemania VI. ** Dino Bravo v. Rugged Ronnie Garvin Poor Garvin doesn’t even get an entrance at this point in his WWF career. Bravo pounds away to start and tosses Garvin, allowing Earthquake to get a cheapshot and send him back in. Bravo drops an elbow for two off that. Gut wrench gets two. Bravo misses a series of elbows and Garvin slugs back and puts him down with Hands of Stone, but he’s such a jobber here that Bravo just gets up. Garvin goes after Jimmy Hart, but his Garvin Stomp is interrupted by Earthquake. Bravo tosses him and Garvin goes up with a flying bodypress, but Bravo rolls through to finish at 3:15. The Canadian beatdown commences from there and that was pretty much it for Garvin on the national scene. * You could definitely tell that the SNME concept was running out of steam by this point, but this is a fun show with some good matches that you didn’t often see on TV, so it’s well worth checking out.