October 28, 1989
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Hillbilly Jim
Boris Zhukov vs. Tito Santana
Zhukov is subbing for The Widowmaker here, who had a cyst removed from his chest then never returned as his family got in trouble for counterfeiting at the end of the year. The crowd boos Zhukov’s rendition of the Soviet National Anthem. Tito ducks a cheap shot in the corner and hits a few armdrags before Zhukov bails. Back inside, they fight over a wristlock until Zhukov ducks out on the apron then returns for a test-of-strength as they fight over that. Tito stomps on Zhukov’s fingers then works the arm. Zhukov knees Tito after a break then targets the ribs. He catches Tito with a clothesline for two then chops the neck before applying a nerve hold. Zhukov continues to use his methodical offense before choking out Tito on the mat. Back suplex gets two then Zhukov goes back to the nerve hold. Tito fights back but runs into a knee smash in the corner as Zhukov gets two. Tito grabs the ropes as Zhukov tries a slam then the ref tries to kick Tito’s hands away and fails as Tito falls on top of Zhukov for two. Tito gets another nearfall with a small package but Zhukov goes right back to the dreaded nerve hold. Zhukov gets booted in the face after trying a backdrop then Tito runs wild. Zhukov cuts him off but ends up missing a clothesline and Tito puts him away with the flying forearm (12:46) *1/4.
Thoughts: This was not good at all. Tito tried but Zhukov was an all-around terrible performer and did far too many painless looking nerve holds for the fans to care.
Conquistador #1 vs. Al Perez
Jose Luis Rivera is under the mask here. This is the MSG debut for Perez, who has yet to debut in any televised match at this point and never did for that matter unless you count “Prime Time Wrestling.” Perez starts by working the arm until Conquistador yanks him down by the hair then works a side headlock. Perez breaks free then hammers away in the corner as the crowd appears restless. Conquistador fights back and hits a forearm smash to the back of the neck. He stays in control as the announcers talk about everything but this match, which is just dragging. The Conquistador takes Perez down with a knee smash then avoids a corner splash after a brief Perez comeback. Conquistador hits a vertical suplex for two then we hear some “boring” chants. Perez tosses the Conquistador outside by using his momentum then heads out and rams him into the ring apron. He slams the Conquistador on the floor before tossing him back inside. Perez hits a delayed vertical suplex and follows with a knee drop for two before working the neck. Perez then hits a back elbow smash and follows with a flying double axehandle before getting the win with a helicopter slam (10:15) *. The crowd actually popped for the finish as Gorilla proclaims “Al Perez is sensational!”
Thoughts: The last minute of this picked up but this was a terrible debut for Perez, who besides an appearance on Prime Time Wrestling never made it to TV.
Lord Alfred Hayes is at ringside as he tells us Jim Duggan said Randy Savage will enter the ring as a king but leave as a “pauper.”
Dino Bravo vs. Bret Hart
Bravo taunts the fans to start then pushes Hart across the ring. He works a side headlock then runs Hart over as the crowd boos. Bravo follows with an inverted atomic drop as he stays in control. Hart ducks a few chops and hits a crossbody for two before hitting a reverse atomic drop of his own. Hart runs wild until Bravo rolls outside for a breather. Bravo returns as Hart takes him down and works the arm. He dodges a monkey flip and boots Bravo before going back to the arm. Bret gets a nearfall with a rollup and a backslide then works a hammerlock on the mat. Bravo bails again and heads up the ramp as the crowd boos. He rolls back inside and offers a handshake as Hart keeps blowing him off until spitting in his hand. Hart grabs a hold of the arm and gets backed into the corner where Bravo lands a cheap shot off of a break. Hart fights back and knocks Bravo down but gets whipped into the corner hard as Bravo covers for two. Hart is tossed outside where Bravo rams him into the barricade. Back inside, Bravo hits a gutwrench suplex for two then applies a reverse chinlock. Bravo tosses Hart outside and taunts the fans but Hart slingshots in with a sunset flip for two. Bravo fights back and applies a bearhug then yells for the referee to ring the bell. Hart fights out but Bravo knocks him into the corner. Bravo charges but Hart catches him with a knee then hits an elbow drop from the middle rope. Hart wins a battle over a suplex as both men are down. Hart backdrops Bravo then drops an elbow for a nearfall. Reverse rollup gets two. Small package gets two. He knocks Bravo down then hits a stomp to the gut. He goes up to the middle rope after a backbreaker and hits an elbow drop but the bell rings as the match is ruled a time-limit draw (18:06) **1/4. Bravo tries to sneak attack Hart after the match but gets caught and runs away.
Thoughts: Bret busted his ass here to make this halfway decent anyway. The company was in the midst of Bravo strongman push #34 here and starting to give Bret some attention with the cover of a magazine so protecting them both with this finishes makes sense. Unfortunately, the following night in Toronto they wrestled again and Bret broke some ribs and his sternum.
Brooklyn Brawler vs. Jose Luis Rivera
Brawler immediately attacks Rivera then knocks him down. He rakes Rivera’s face across the ropes then hits a charge in the corner. Rivera dodges a charge then wins a slugfest. He dropkicks Brawler and hits ten turnbuckle smashes but Brawler comes back with an eye rake and tosses Rivera outside. Brawler rams Rivera into the post then knocks him off of the apron a few times. Back inside, Brawler hits a stomp for two then applies a chinlock. Rivera gets out but Brawler tosses him back outside. Brawler brings Rivera back inside and pokes him in the eyes before beating him in the corner. Back elbow smash gets two as Brawler now works a neck vise. Rivera escapes then blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Brawler is up first and heads up top but gets slammed off. Rivera follows with a knee lift then hammers away in the corner and gets two with a dropkick. Brawler gets his knee up on a charge then uses the Sidewalk Smash for the win (7:34) 1/2*.
Thoughts: I guess The Widowmaker’s no-show resulted in Rivera pulling double duty tonight. This match was garbage and no one cared about either guy.
“Macho King” Randy Savage w/ Queen Sensational Sherri vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Savage attacks Duggan from behind to start. Duggan reverses an Irish whip and hits Savage with a clothesline then hammers away. Sherri tries to drag Savage outside but Duggan pulls him back in as Sherri falls down. Duggan hits Savage with an atomic drop but Sherri pulls the rope down on him then shoves Duggan into the post before screaming at Savage to wake him up. Sherri decks Duggan in the throat and continues to lay into him as Savage also comes out to inflict some punishment then hits the flying double axe handle. The action heads back inside where Savage remains in control. He clotheslines Duggan on the top rope for two. Flying double axe handle gets two . Savage misses an attack and gets caught up in the ropes as both men are down. Sherri is going mental trying to wake up Savage, who rolls away from an elbow drop as Gorilla believes Sherri handed her man a foreign object. Savage tries another flying double axe handle but this time Duggan punches him in midair. Savage blocks a comeback with an eye rake then charges but ends up getting backdropped to the floor. Duggan tosses Savage over the guardrail then drags him back to ringside where he beats him down. He whacks Savage in the ribs with a chair before tossing him back inside. Duggan hits a slam then drops a knee but Sherri distracts the ref as Duggan made a pin. The ref finally turns around and counts to two then Duggan punches Savage down and covers as Sherri puts Savage’s leg on the ropes. Duggan yells at Sherri but gets hit on a charge as Savage is in control. Savage clotheslines Duggan and heads up top but misses the flying elbow drop as both men are down. Duggan is up first and hits a few clotheslines then sets up for the Three Point Stance as he uses it to knock Savage outside. Duggan rolls Savage back inside then gets hit by Sherri and chases her around but gets caught in the ring and puts both Sherri and the ref in the corner. Sherri escapes then Savage knocks Duggan into the ref with a high knee. Duggan sneaks in a small package but the referee is still out. Duggan breaks the pin and tries to wake up the ref then stops a sneak attack from Savage. He covers after an atomic drop then makes his own count to three but tries again to wake up the ref but as that happens, Sherri slips Savage a foreign object and he uses that to knock Duggan down. Savage slowly crawls over and covers as Sherri counts then yells at the ref, who very slowly counts to two as Duggan kicks out. Duggan yanks Savage off the middle rope but Savage takes Duggan down and rolls him up with his feet on the ropes as Sherri holds them down for leverage and he gets the win (16:04) ***1/4. After the match, Duggan gets revenge and whacks Savage with his 2×4.
Thoughts: This was a really good match. Duggan’s brawling looked good and Savage was running around like a lunatic, as was Sherri, and the crowd was hot for this. Possibly Duggan’s best WWF singles match.
Akeem vs. Hercules
Hercules hammers away after a shoving match until Akeem retreats. Hercules hits some more punches then works the arm until Akeem fights back. They fight over a test-of-strength as Akeem brings Hercules to his knees. Hercules finally gets up and lands some kicks then they trade arm wringers until he takes Akeem down. Hercules works on the arm until Akeem backs him into the corner and hammers away. Akeem works a chinlock then tries a splash but misses as Hercules hits several jabs then finally knocks Akeem down. Hercules eats boot on a charge as Akeem gloats but misses a clothesline and spills outside then Hercules ends up winning by countout (11:19) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Christ, this was awful. Neither guy was doing anything at this point anyway and the finish was way too fast as Akeem got counted out after being outside for about four seconds.
“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. Mr. Perfect
Snuka is still over in the Garden. Perfect runs out after slapping Snuka as he plays some mind games to start and continues this for a bit. Snuka gets revenge by chopping Perfect over the top rope. Back inside, Snuka takes control as he works over Perfect in the corner. Perfect comes back to catch Snuka with a hotshot then draps him over the apron and hits a few elbow smashes to the face. Perfect guillotines Snuka against the bottom rope as he is now in control of the match. He works the neck for a bit then runs away after Snuka started to hulk up. Perfect calls for time in the corner but Snuka hits him and uses ten turnbuckle smashes. He chops Perfect down a few times but ducks his head on a backdrop attempt as Perfect hits him with the Perfect Plex and gets the win (10:36) *1/2.
Thoughts: Snuka was unbelievably bulked up here and could barely move so there was not much Perfect could work with.
Lord Alfred Hayes tells us the Ultimate Warrior was pacing and grunting around backstage and was repeating “one, two, three” as Lord Alfred promises this will be a “great one.”
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Before the match, the referee informs us that if Heenan does not leave ringside by the count of ten, he will be suspended. A pissed off Heenan leaves. Andre mocks Warrior’s rope shaking then gets hit with a clothesline. Warrior then knocks Andre down after a few more clotheslines and hits a splash for the win (0:19). Warrior leaves as Andre is pissed off that the bell was never rung to start the match then chases away the referee before he heads up the aisle.
Thoughts: This match being so short is for the best. It also continued their program around the house show circuit.
Powers of Pain w/ Mr. Fuji vs. The Bushwhackers
The Bushwhackers work over The Barbarian to start. The Barbarian runs over Butch, who plays to the fans then marches around after that. The Bushwhackers clown around and get the best of the Powers of Pain until Warlord catches Luke with a bearhug. Butch breaks up then gets clotheslined and rolls around the mat before going outside. Fuji whacks Butch in the back as the ref was distracted then Warlord rams Butch into the corner. Back inside, the Barbarian boots Butch in the face as the Powers of Pain stay in control. Butch rolls away from an elbow drop then tags Luke as he runs wild. The Bushwhackers take out their opponents with the battering ram then Fuji comes in and whacks Luke with the cane for the DQ (7:55) DUD. After the match, the Bushwhackers steal the cane and march around.
Thoughts: A horrendous match. Nothing looked good and the crowd stopped caring. This feud produced a lot of bad matches.
We head backstage with Sean Mooney for some interviews. An irate Jim Duggan flips out on Randy Savage to hype their rematch at MSG on 11/25, two days after the Survivor Series. Really good promo by Duggan here and not the goofy stuff he usually said. After that, we hear from Savage & Sherri as Savage tells Duggan he will beat him again and again.
Final Thoughts: Duggan vs. Savage was really good but the rest of this card was brutal. I do not recommend this show at all.
Wednesday: wXw 2017 16 Carat Gold, Night Three
Thursday: Highspots All-Access with Mickie James
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/29/89
Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 8/12/82
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 11/4/89
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/5/89
Tuesday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 11/6/89