WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event – January 7th, 1989

January 7, 1989

From the Sun Dome in Tampa, FL

Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon

Tonight, we have the Ultimate Warrior defending the Intercontinental Title against the Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake vs. Ron Bass in a Haircut Match, and Akeem vs. Hulk Hogan

 

Haircut Match: “The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Bass starts off by choking Beefcake out with Miss Betsy. Beefcake escapes and now has Miss Betsy as Bass bails as Beefcake cracks the whip. Bass heads back in after order his restored but Beefcake hits a high knee. He then knocks Bass off of the apron a few times then fires away once he is back inside. Beefcake is in complete control here until Bass comes back with an inverted atomic drop. Bass tosses Beefcake outside after roughing him up then inflicts more punishment when Beefcake heads back inside. Bass hits a piledriver but does not cover as Bass says he is not satisfied so he drops him throat-first on the top rope. Bass gets a nearfall with a clothesline then grabs Beefcake’s clippers and yells at the ref for counting slowly. Beefcake then ducks a clothesline and catches Bass with a sleeper as the fans are going nuts as he gets the win (7:40) **.

Thoughts: I thought this was a decent match to blow off their feud. It picked up a lot at the end too. This was the last singles match of importance for Bass as he was gone from the company a few months later. The fans also dug the haircut stipulation as Beefcake can now go on to a bigger feud.

 

After the break we see Beefcake cutting off Bass’s hair as he is still out. He then gets electric clippers as Jesse wants to know how he got those and shaves off the rest of his hair as Jesse says Bass must be a relative of Gene Okerlund with how his hair looks now. Beefcake leaves then Bass slowly gets to his feet and flips out as he runs backstage.

 

Gene Okerlund is backstage with Akeem, Big Bossman, and Slick. Okerlund asks why Bossman is here as Slick tells us Hogan is a habitual lawbreaker and Bossman is there to maintain order. After they leave and head to the ring, Hogan, Randy Savage and Elizabeth come out as Savage tells Hogan he has his back then leads Okerlund to a special place where they can watch things, which is a dark corner of the locker room.

 

Akeem w/ Slick & Big Bossman vs. Hulk Hogan w/ Elizabeth

Vince is upset that Bossman is at ringside as Jesse wonders why Hogan didn’t leave Elizabeth and bring Savage before joking he would not leave Elizabeth alone with Okerlund. Hogan starts off by beating Akeem then picking up Slick and ramming him into Akeem as that gets two. Hogan stays in control then runs out and attacks Bossman and tossses Slick at him too. Hogan heads back in and tries to slam Akeem but fails as Akeem beats him down. Hogan comes right back and rams Akeem into the corner a few times. Hogan clotheslines Akeem and attacks Bossman again but Akeem yanks Hogan down by the hair. Hogan hammers away then takes down Akeem with an elbow smash. He whips Akeem against the ropes as Bossman gets knocked off of the apron. Akeem begs for mercy as Hogan brings him up and punches away in the corner. Bossman is back up on the apron as Hogan charges into the corner but Akeem drags the referee in front of him as a shield as he gets knocked down. The Twin Towers are both inside and beating on Hogan as we cut to Okerlund and Savage, who tells us Hogan will be okay. The Towers continue to beat down Hogan as the ref is still out then Elizabeth runs backstage and screams for Randy. Back from break, Akeem is on the middle rope as we see Savage as Elizabeth yells or him to hurry while Savage says he is okay as Okerlund is screaming about what happened. Elizabeth runs back to the ring as Hogan starts to hulk up. Hogan knocks everyone off of the apron as we cut backstage again as Savage says he told us all Hogan had this covered. Hogan mocks Akeem’s dance then hits a big boot but Akeem is still on his feet. Hogan then slams Akeem and sets up for the leg drop but Bossman whacks him with the nightstick for the DQ (8:00) *. Elizabeth now gets in the ring as Hogan is getting beat down by Bossman and his nightstick. Bossman then grabs Elizabeth and cuffs her hand but Savage runs in with a chair to clear them from the ring as Jesse notes the minute Elizabeth got in trouble, Savage immediately came down for the save. Elizabeth then gets upset with Savage, who grabs her when she tries to leave with Hogan. Savage then follows them all out as Jesse says he smells a bit of a “rat” with the Mega Powers.

Thoughts: As an actual match, it sucked to be honest, but the storytelling was great. On the match, Hogan did a crap job at selling anything and for most of the match he made the Twin Towers look like goofs. However, the end was great and the cuts to Savage and Okerlund in the locker room where awesome as they started the next chapter leading up to the Mega Powers breakup.

 

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ultimate Warrior (c)

The match starts after the break as Warrior catches Honky outside of the ring and follows him up the aisle. Warrior then presses Honky above his head and walks around until tossing him back inside. Warrior boots Honky down then uses the double noggin knocker when Hart jumps up on the apron. Vince lets us know that Bobby Heenan will be mic’ed up for the Red Rooster vs. Tito Santana match as Warrior stays in control. Warrior misses a corner splash then Honky gets the megaphone and uses that while Hart distracts the referee. Honky targets the ribs with Hart choking Warrior out when the ref was not looking. Warrior starts hulking up while getting kicked  but Honky sends him down. Warrior blocks a turnbuckle smash and starts ramming Honky in the corner. Warrior then hits a clothesline but Honky got his knees up on a splash. Warrior then ducks a pair of clotheslines and hits a flying shoulder tackle for the win (5:07) *.

Thoughts: The match served it’s purpose, which was to give the Warrior a dominating win as he decisively beat Honky in this feud. Honky now moves down the card to feud with the Hart Foundation.

 

Okerlund is backstage with Slick and the Twin Towers, who are all happy. Slick wants to know how many beatings can Hogan endure as Okerlund promises to interview the Mega Powers later on and see how tight they are.

 

Red Rooster w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tito Santana

We hear Heenan give Rooster advice as Tito takes control to start. Tito hits a dropkick as Heenan screams for Rooster to head outside then Heenan sees George Steinbrenner in the front row, who suggests he fires Rooster. Tito cuts off a comeback and fires away as Heenan yells at the ref. Tito blocks a sunset flip and follows with a backdrop as Heenan flips out on Rooster and drags him outside, saying he is embarrassing and slaps him but Rooster shoves Heenan back as we head to break. We return with Rooster in control as Vince notes he wants to see Rooster go on his own as Jesse says he will just lose matches if that is the case. Rooster finally takes control and hits a backbreaker but Heenan continues to yell. Tito counters a suplex with a small package for a nearfall then gets two with a backslide. Heenan continues to yell at Rooster, who is back in control of the match. Rooster hotshots Tito then sets up for the Cock of the Walk but that fails then Tito gets up and fires away. He clotheslines Rooster to the floor as Heenan gets Rooster up and tosses him back inside. Rooster heads over to the corner but Tito rolls him up and gets the win (7:27) **1/2. Heenan heads inside and screams at Rooster for making a fool out of him. Rooster then yells at Heenan and starts beating on him in the corner. He whips Heenan, who does a crazy bump as Rooster tells Heenan never to put his hands on him ever again. Heenan finally retreats as Rooster poses on the turnbuckle.

Thoughts: Solid match, although having Heenan mic’ed up was taking away from it a bit. The Rooster/Heenan alliance has ended after just a few months. Heenan sold like a champ to get the split over as much as possible but Rooster was buried for so long that his stock was already in the toilet.

 

Curt Hennig is backstage with Gene Okerlund. Hennig lets him know he wants to be referred to as just “Mr. Perfect” and will show us all the Perfect Plex. This was done as a way to get drop Hennig’s name and just go by “Mr. Perfect.”

 

Mr. Perfect vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko sends Perfect outside after a dropkick then rallies the crowd. Perfect heads back inside and beats on Koko in the corner. Koko comes back with an armdrag then takes him over again after an Irish whip sequence. Perfect nails Koko in the gut then tries a turnbuckle smash that had no effect. Perfect comes back and takes Koko outside with a standing dropkick but Koko headbutts him from the apron then hits a clothesline. Perfect avoids a charge in the corner then puts Koko away with the Perfect Plex (3:10) *1/4.

Thoughts: An abbreviated version of the house show matches they were having at the time. It gives Perfect a win over a name opponent to keep his undefeated streak going.

 

Okerlund is backstage with the Mega Powers and Elizabeth. Hogan says Savage has his back then puts over Elizabeth’s “soul and beauty” while maintaining that everything is kosher between them. Savage adds that they have their backs and even feel pain when the other gets hurt. They cut back to Vince and Jesse, who says that is all a cover up that’s worst than Watergate and Contragate. Vince then signs off by saying they will be back on February 3rd in Milwaukee, which was the “Main Event” special. As great as both Hogan & Savage were during this angle, Jesse’s commentary here and going forward was just top notch. It was brilliant, actually.

 

Final Thoughts: As far as the action, it was nothing special. However, it was a storyline driven show and it worked great in that regard. The Mega Powers stuff was brilliant and watching the Rooster finally snap on Heenan after being abused was executed well, not to mention a blowoff for two other feuds. They pushed Brutus Beefcake, Ultimate Warrior and Mr. Perfect as they would be vital to the company in 1989. Solid effort here that would be used to set up the Main Event show in February.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/18/82

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/8/89

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/14/89

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/15/89

Wednesday: PWG Thirteen 7/29/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF 1989 Royal Rumble