February 20, 1989
Your hosts are Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
This is the “Face-to-Face” special that saw podium debates among those facing off against each other at WrestleMania V.
Mark Ming & Ricki Ataki vs. Twin Towers w/ Slick
Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are the announcers here for a match taped at the 1/24 “Superstars of Wrestling” tapings in from Tucson, AZ. This was the first time Tony’s voice was heard on WWF programming. The Towers destroy Ataki to start. Ming tags and seems eager to get in as he also gets hiss ass kicked. Ming gets hit with a double avalanche in the corner then sandwich him before Akeem gets the win with a splash (3:44). After the match, Bossman cuffs the losers and beats them with the nightstick.
Thoughts: Just a quick match to put over the Twin Towers.
We get the WrestleMania V update we saw from TV this week. They announced the three title matches and Jake Roberts vs. Andre the Giant with special guest referee Big John Studd.
Vince McMahon welcomes the Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji and Demolition to the stage. Fuji calls Demolition “stupid” for signing the contract to make it 3 vs. 2 for the titles. The Powers of Pain then tell Demolition they will get Fuji the titles then Fuji is pissed that he got cut off because his time was up. Smash then tells Fuji he taught them everything he knew as Ax says Fuji’s ego will get him trouble and promises to grab him by the neck and pop his eyeballs out of his sockets. That match finally seems like it will be the end of this long and underwhelming feud.
Boris Zhukov vs. Koko B. Ware
This is from the 2/11/89 Boston Garden show, with Schiavone & Hayes on commentary. Zhukov starts off with some stalling as that last for a minute or two. He takes Koko down with a hip toss then a slam but keeps backing off after each move. Koko starts up a “USA” chant then sneaks behind Zhukov with a rollup for two as Zhukov once again bails outside. Back inside, Koko knocks Zhukov down for a two count. Zhukov catches Koko with a knee smash in the corner as the announcers talk about WrestleMania V. Zhukov stays in control using really basic, slow-paced offense. He catches Koko with a bearhug then hits a slam but misses a falling headbutt as both men are down. Koko gets up and flaps his arms as he makes his comeback. He fakes Zhukov out with a crossbody then catches him with a missile dropkick for the win (8:58) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Dear lord this was awful. The last minute with Koko making his comeback was the only thing that did not suck. Zhukov used a lot of stalling and restholds in a pitiful performance.
Back to the stage, Bobby Heenan is with King Haku and demands everyone show respect. Hercules then comes out as these two will be facing off at WrestleMania V. Heenan tells Hercules that he can play with his chains and think he is the strongest man on earth as Haku tells him he will bow like everyone else. Hercules then yells at them about not bowing or being a slave. Basic hype for a match that we just learned will take place on the PPV. Really tough to get excited about this as its another ex-Heenan guy feuding with him rather than the wrestler. We have that going on with the Red Rooster too.
After the break, Andre is now on stage with Heenan to confront Jake Roberts. Heenan and Andre yell and demand Jake not bring the snake bag to the stage. Jake leaves the bag near a police officer and said while he does not match up with Andre in size as he gets cut off. Heenan calls him scum who is not man enough to face Andre without a snake or Big John Studd as a referee so they will handle manners there way. Heenan then yells at Vince about Studd not giving him a fair shake as Studd walks out. Studd says he cannot be pushed, shoved, or intimidated and will be impartial. Andre yells at Studd then Jake grabs Damien to chase off Andre and Studd as part of a “gift.” This was teasing an eventual Studd vs. Andre feud more than it hyped Jake vs. Andre at WrestleMania.
Paul Roma vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass
This is also from the 2/11/89 Boston Garden show. The crowd chants “baldy” at Bass, who takes control to start off the match. Roma comes back with a crossbody for two. He then hits a dropkick and a flying headscissors as Bass ducks outside for a breather. Bass heads back in as Schiavone puts over his “tendon strength.” Bass then catches Roma with a knee smash after an Irish whip sequence but Roma comes back and works the arm. Bass takes Roma outside then heads out and rams him into the post. Back inside, Bass beats on Roma for a bit. Roma fights back and hits a dropkick then gets two with a fist drop from the middle rope. Roma hits another dropkick then three straight elbow drops but that cannot put Bass away. Bass reverses an Irish whip and ducks a crossbody before putting Roma away with a gordbuster (8:50) **.
Thoughts: This was a fine big man vs. little man match. Roma looked great on offense here.
Bad News Brown vs. Pete Doherty
Another match from the 2/11 Boston Garden show. Rick Martel was originally scheduled to be Bad News’ opponent here but was replaced. Doherty came out running around outside of the ring. Bad News beats him down in the ring. He pulls his vest over his head as the announcers talk about WrestleMania. Bad News stays in control until missing an elbow drop then Doherty lands some offense and even bites the arm and leg. Doherty engages in more biting but Bad News catches him with a boot on a charge then hits the Ghetto Blaster for the win (4:58) DUD.
Thoughts: This was complete garbage as Doherty’s antics were far too dated even by 1989 standards.
Our next face-to-face is between Ronnie Garvin and Dino Bravo, with Frenchy Martin by his side as this is now going to be a match at WrestleMania. Garvin tells Bravo that he is not the strongest man in the world and will find out how rugged he is as Bravo calls him cocky and overconfident like every other American. Garvin starts up a “USA” chant as Bravo said he will crush every bone in his body. Garvin tried but the crowd was not really behind his “USA” chants and it felt too much like he was copying Jim Duggan. This is also another match added to the WrestleMania V card.
The next face-to-face is between Sensational Sherri and Rockin’ Robin. They are talking about which corner Elizabeth should be in at WrestleMania V when the Mega Powers face off. Sherri says Elizabeth is the luckiest girl in the world and blessed to have Savage, the most wonderful man in the world. Even though she does not deserve it, Elizabeth should be in his corner. Robin said she is amazed by Sherri’s lack of common sense as everyone saw Savage manhandle and abuse Elizabeth and that Hogan was the one who made sure she was okay and stayed by her side as Savage showed zero concern and she should be with the winner, Hulk Hogan. Instead of taking about their feud, the women had to resort to this nonsense.
Jim Powers vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Another match from the 2/11 Boston Garden show. This is joined in progress as Sharpe goes for a test-of-strength. Sharpe then boots Powers in the gut and holds him down. They repeat that a few more times until Powers gets up and kicks away. Powers works an arm wringer for a bit then hits an atomic drop that ties Sharpe up in the ropes. Powers charges and gets booted down as Sharpe beats him down for a bit. Powers ducks a clothesline then hits a crossbody for two as he takes back control of the match. He ducks his head for a backdrop and gets hit with a clubbing forearm but ends up reversing a piledriver attempt and rams Sharpe into the corner. Powers gets a nearfall with a dropkick then leapfrogs Sharpe before catching him with a powerslam for the win (7:11).
Thoughts: The first four minutes or so of this match were not shown but I cannot imagine we missed anything of note. The action was really dull and neither guy had anything going on so no one cared.
We now get the face-to-face between Bobby Heenan & Brooklyn Brawler against the Red Rooster, who is sporting the red spiked hair in the middle of his head. Heenan calls Rooster a “dummy” for not being able to take direction as Vince wants to know why he has yet to accept the Rooster’s challenge to a match. Heenan then tells him his name is Terry Taylor and says he’s not in his league but if he gets through the Brawler, then maybe he will get a chance. Heenan flips out and says Rooster has zero ability and says he created the Rooster name. Rooster then said Heenan did nothing but take his money as Heenan tells him to shut up and that he is a “limited subhuman.” The Rooster then challenges him again and cackles as the segment ends. Heenan was flipping out on the Rooster and just insulting him the entire time a he dodged the challenge issued by his ex-client. I enjoyed this, actually.
We are shown the Honky Tonk Man vs. Jim Neidhart match from the 2/19/89 edition of Wrestling Challenge.
The next face-to-face is between the Bushwhackers and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers & Jimmy Hart. The Rougeaus say they come from Memphis, TN as the Bushwhackers say they want to get a home in their neighborhood as the Rougeaus are disgusted. The Bushwhacker call the Rougeaus the “Ragu sisters” and refers to Jinmy Hart as a “sissy” then each team promises to win at WrestleMania.
Clip of DiBiase at Betteridge Jewelers were he demands they add more diamonds to his Million Dollar Belt.
We now are shown the Rockers vs. Brainbusters from the 2/18/89 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” that ended in a brawl.
The face-to-face between the Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude & Bobby Heenan is up now. Rude talks then Warrior runs out and chases Rude & Heenan away before smashing a podium. This was a lot more effective way to hype this match up than have Warrior cut a promo.
Brooklyn Brawler w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Omar Atlas
This is from the 1/24 “Superstars of Wrestling” taping in Tucson, AZ. Brawler slaps Atlas with his hat then hammers away. The crowd engages in a mild “weasel” chant as Brawler maintains control. Atlas manages a punch but is immediately chopped down. Brawler ducks his head and gets kicked as Atlas lands a few more punches before getting slapped. Brawler then clotheslines Atlas before finishing him off with a diving kneeling facebuster (3:10).
Thoughts: Crowd was absolutely dead for this match. They might not have even known about the Brawler/Rooster stuff that happened a few weeks prior.
Sean Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from Jake Roberts as he says for the first time in wrestling he got what he wanted in a match against Andre the Giant with Big John Studd as the referee, who can prevent Andre from choking him out. Jake does not even like Studd but says he can take care of business.
Vince is back on the stage but says that Randy Savage has refused to appear. We are then shown the promo from Savage from Superstars. Hogan comes out and is asked about what he meant by saying Elizabeth was his lady. Hogan first talks about Savage not appearing and how that is not a surprise but as far as that comment he said he just wanted Elizabeth as a manager and did not want anything emotional. He then accuses Savage of doctoring footage to make it look like he was lusting after her then said he knows how warped his thinking is and only got involved in his match against the Conquistador because he was his partner. When asked if it was his idea to use Elizabeth as the secret weapon at SummerSlam as Hogan said it was Savage’s idea for her to wear a bikini to distract their opponents. Hogan then said that he was proud of Savage for the job he did at SummerSlam and gave him his belt and helped put Elizabeth on his shoulder and was envious of him but said he’s now happy Savage did not show up and will wait until WrestleMania V as that he will end the madness. They are building up the WrestleMania V main event superbly through promos, most of them pre-taped, but its been brilliant.
Powers of Pain w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Demolition
This was taped from the Bradley Center, where the Main Event was held. Both teams start throwing down right after the bell. It settles down with Smash and Warlord in the ring as Smash is beating him down. Demolition stay in control as Ax is yelling at Fuji, calling him “Fuj the Stooge.” Fuji ends up hitting Ax with his cane behind the referee’s back shortly after that as the Powers of Pain beat down Ax as Fuji intermittently interferes. Barbarian hits Ax with a shoulderbreak as the Powers of Pain target that body part for a bit. Barbarian chops Ax through the ropes were Fuji and Warlord rough him up some more. Back inside, Ax comes back to hit Warlord and makes the tag as Smash cleans house. He hits Warlord with a hotshot but Barbarian runs in for the save then tosses Ax outside. The Powers of Pain hit Smash with the Doomsday Device but Ax is able to break up the pin. Fuji jumps up onto the apron but Ax decks him and takes his cane. Ax beats on the Powers of Pain with Fuji’s cane until Fuji comes back in and throws salt in his eyes as the ref rings the bell for a DQ (8:16) *3/4. After the match, Ax is rolling around in pain as Smash is screaming for the medics to come out.
Thoughts: The match was not that good at all until the end. On commentary, they explained that the reason Demolition wanted Mr. Fuji to team with the Powers of Pain at WrestleMania is that it would be easier to keep an eye out on him rather than having Fuji interfere while out on the floor with his cane so at least they explained why they agreed to a handicapped match for the titles.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this show was just too long. The matches we got to see were bad and some of the face-to-face segments were cold for various reasons. The studio cut-ins with Bobby and Gorilla really seemed to focus on whose corner Elizabeth would be in at WrestleMania along with the general banter between the two. If you wanted to see how they built up to WrestleMania V, then I’d give this a shot but if not, then pass.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 2/20/89
Wednesday: PWG Battle of Los Angeles, Stage Two 9/3/16
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/25/89
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 4/22/82
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/26/89
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/4/89