WWF Madison Square Garden – January 15th, 1990

January 15, 1990

From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Hillbilly Jim

Matches tonight include: Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Perfect for the WWF Heavyweight Title, Jake Roberts vs. Ted DiBiase for the Million Dollar Title, and more!


The Genius vs. Jim Neidhart

The Genius stalls after Neidhart declined his handshake attempt. They finally lockup where Neidhart tosses The Genius down. The Genius keeps complaining of his hair being pulled as Neidhart tossed him down again then ponders something in the corner. The Genius cartwheels Neidhart after an Irish whip but gets sent outside with a forearm smash after that. Neidhart chases him around but The Genius stops him on the apron then hits a dropkick. Neidhart gets kicked to the floor as The Genius taunts the crowd. The Genius starts raking the eyes and lands some more strikes. Neidhart ducks a clothesline and comes back with a crossbody for a two count. The Genius attacks him in the corner again but Neidhart breaks that up with an inverted atomic drop. The Genius fights back though and tries the moonsault but Neidhart got his knees up then tosses Genius down by the hair. He does it again then chases him outside but as The Genius rolled back in, Mr. Perfect runs down behind the referee’s back to hit Neidhart with the scroll and Genius covers for the win (9:21) *.

Thoughts: Not much of a match and more about putting over The Genius’ antics than anything else.


Powers of Pain w/ Mr. Fuji vs. The Rockers

The Barbarian shoves Shawn into the corner but misses an attack. The Barbarian knocks Shawn down then catches a crossbody attempt but Marty comes off of the top to put his partner on top as that gets a nearfall. The Rockers now work over the Barbarian’s arm then clean house with double super kicks. The Warlord tags in now and beats non Shawn for a bit but Marty tags in and assists Shawn with a hurricarana in a cool spot. The Rockers continue to use their speed to get the best of the Warlord until Marty gets caught and powerbombed. Warlord skies Marty on a backdrop as that gets two. The Barbarian tags in and kicks Marty to the floor then rams him into the post outside after Fuji hit Marty with his cane. Back inside, Barbarian turns Marty inside-out with a clothesline for a nearfall as Marty is in a lot of trouble. Marty keeps trying to get up and fight back but gets overpowered. Marty then breaks out of a bearhug with a bell clap and tries to find his partner but gets caught with a powerslam. Barbarian is up top now but misses an elbow drop as both men are down. Marty then makes the tag as Shawn runs wild. He gets two after Marty assisted with a sunset flip. Shawn rolls out of the way as Barbarian lands on his own partner trying to break up a pin. Marty and Warlord collide then Shawn bounces off of the ropes but Fuji trips him up then Barbarian drops an elbow for the win (9:59) ***1/2. After the match, Marty dropkicks Fuji off of the apron then Shawn gets dumped as the Powers of Pain beat Marty down and hit him with their finisher. Fuji whacks Marty with his cane until Shawn grabs a chair and clears the ring. Medical personnel then come out and carry Marty to the back on a stretcher.

Thoughts: Very good match and the best Powers of Pain match I’ve ever seen. Marty put on one hell of a performance here. He was just great and made the Powers of Pain look like a million dollars. I’d seek this match out. It was really fun and the finish will lead to another match down the line.


Al Perez vs. Paul Roma

Gorilla gives the edge to Perez here due to his experience. Perez taunts Roma after a fireman’s carry. He does it again but misses an elbow drop as both guys go for a lockup. Roma blocks a hip toss and hits one of his own then follows with a pair of arm drags. They go back-and-forth until Perez bails after Roma started working on the arm. Back inside, Roma works the arm until Perez reaches the ropes. Perez shoves Roma and shoves his finger in his face then Roma blocks him and slams him into the corner as Perez is now in the tree-of-woe position. Perez comes back to run Roma over and then rakes his knee across Roma’s face. Perez chokes out Roma in the corner with his foot then dodges a charge. Perez works the neck for a while but Roma blocks a suplex and cradles him up for two. Perez fights his way to the ropes as he breaks a sunset flip attempt but poses to the crowd as Roma almost puts him away with a backslide. Perez goes back to choking out Roma in the corner but soon after that ducks his head and gets kicked in the face. Perez fights back but eats boot on a charge then cuts off a comeback attempt with a knee smash before going back to the neck. Perez whips Roma into the corner but Roma stopped himself as Perez taunts the crowd again but that allows Roma to fight back. Roma heads up top and hits an elbow smash. He then hits Perez with a dropkick and a suplex then heads back up top for a crossbody but Perez rolls through and gets the win (11:18) *.

Thoughts: This match sucked, more specifically Perez was the one who sucked. He was just awful playing the heel role on this match. I can’t tell if this guy half-assed the match or just plain sucked. He was an enigma that way. Roma tried and his offense looked good but he is just floundering at this point without the minor push the Young Stallions had been receiving several months prior.


An ad for the Royal Rumble airs.


WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Mr. Perfect w/ The Genius vs. Hulk Hogan (c)

Perfect ducks out on the apron then heads outside after getting tossed into the corner. The crowd chants for Hogan as he takes Perfect over with a hip toss. He follows with a pair of slams then Perfect bails again. Hogan heads outside to use a double noggin-knocker then slams The Genius on the floor and chases him in the ring but Perfect and then the Genius stomp away. Hogan gets up to back Genius in the corner as Perfect accidentally splashes his manager. Hogan ties up Perfect’s neck into the ropes then tosses Genius outside. Perfect finally gets free as Hogan went back out to ram Genus into the post. Hogan knocks Perfect outside with an elbow drop then follows out for another noggin-knocker. Back inside, Hogan hits a clothesline then Perfect takes an overexaggerated bump off of a turnbuckle smash. Hogan ducks his head for a backdrop but gets kicked in the face then sent down with a clothesline. Perfect targets the neck then punches Hogan through the ropes. Perfect heads out and hits a chop but Hogan reverses an Irish whip and sends Perfect into the post. He sends Perfect into the post again but back in the ring, Perfect fights back. Hogan hulks up as Perfect heads up top but gets raked in the eye as Perfect comes off with a double ax handle then applies a sleeper. He drops Hogan to the mat but Hogan holds his arm up after the second attempt and gets to his feet with Perfect on his back but Perfect is able to run Hogan into the turnbuckle. Perfect heads up top but Hogan shakes the ropes as Perfect crotches himself. Hogan grabs Perfect by the hair and crotches him a few more times then hits an atomic drop. Hogan kicks out Perfect’s leg a few times as Perfect is bumping around like a madman. Perfect manages to avoid an elbow drop then hits the Perfect Plex but Hogan kicks out and starts hulking up. Perfect fires away to no effect then Hogan starts hammering away. Hogan sends Perfect over the top rope with a big boot but Perfect pulls him outside as they have a slugfest. Hogan ducks a chairshot then grabs the chair as the ref makes him drop it but as that happens, Genius hands Perfect a pair of brass knux. Hogan slowly heads inside but is able to knock Perfect down then takes the knux and hits him before dropping the leg but the bell rings as Hogan has been disqualified (13:36) **3/4. After the match, Perfect & Genius flee as they announce Hogan as still being the champion to make the crowd happy.

Thoughts: Good match. Hogan was out for revenge after what these two did to him at the last “Saturday Night’s Main Event” feud and the finish kept Mr. Perfect’s flawless record in tact. It was all action in this one and I thought Hogan and Perfect had good chemistry in the ring.


We get interviews with Sean Mooney to hype up the DiBiase vs. Roberts and Greg Valentine & Honky Tonk Man vs. Ronnie Garvin & Jimmy Snuka matches.


Akeem vs. Bret Hart 

Apparently, Bob Orton was supposed to wrestle Bret. Akeem shoves Bret down to start then starts to dance. He hammers away on the neck of Bret then grabs a bearhug but Bret breaks that by biting the nose. Bret then low-bridges Akeem and fires away on the outside. Akeem tries to fight back but ends up punching the post. Back inside, Bret targets the wrist and hand. Akeem fights back in the corner after Bret tried a headbutt. Akeem boots Bret in the ribs then drops an elbow for a nearfall. Akeem eats boot on a charge in the corner then Bret makes his comeback. Bret rams Akeem’s head into the turnbuckle ten times then hits a clothesline for a nearfall. Akeem blocks a reverse rollup so Bret trips him up and cradles him for two but tries for a sunset flip soon after that and Akeem blocks that with a sitdown splash for the win (8:30) *1/2.

Thoughts: Bret tried but Akeem was really limited in the ring at this point, coming back from injury. The finish was a bit shocking too as Bret was the one getting a push while Akeem had been an afterthought even before his injury as the Big Bossman was the one getting featured in his feud against Dusty Rhodes.


Rhythm & Blues w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin & “Superfly”Jimmy Snuka

Valentine & Honky are billed as Rhythm & Blues here. Honky stalls a lot until he locks up with Snuka. Honky works over the neck then yells at the crowd. Snuka fights back but the crowd doesnt seem to care. Snuka runs into a double knee smash then Valentine tags in and goes to work. Snuka fights back and tags Garvin, who chops Valentine down. Honky gets knocked off of the apron as Garvin goes back to beating on Valentine and takes him down with a headbutt. Garvin locks on a sleeper and brings Valentine tot he mat then lets go in order to hit the Garvin Stomp. Valentine breaks up a Hammer Jammer attempt with an eye poke then chops Garvin against the ropes. Honky tags and drops a few elbows then Valentine adds an extra elbow drop behind the ref’s back. Honky works the arm now but Garvin breaks free and tags out. Snuka works Honky’s arm until Honky hits him in the gut then tags out. Snuka puts Valentine in an armbar but is backed into the corner. Valentine misses a charge then Snuka works a hammerlock in the ropes before tagging out. Garvin & Snuka take Valentine down with a double chop as Honky makes the save on a pin attempt. Valentine cheap shots Garvin in the throat then slaps on the figure four was Garvin is now laughing and smiling then starts taunting Valentine in something made famous in gif form. Garvin gets two with a small package then tags out. Snuka and Honky are in now as Honky ducks a crossbody then takes Snuka outside. Honky distracts the ref as Valentine slams Snuka on the floor. Back inside, Rhythm & Blues cut off the ring. Snuka comes back with a double clothesline and tags out as Garvin runs wild. The match breaks down for a bit then settles down as Garvin gets a few nearfalls on Valentine. Garvin gets placed in the tree-of-woe as Honky removes the Hammer Jammer shinguard and uses it to beat Garvin as Valentine drops a few elbows and signals for the figure-four as this time Garvin is not laughing. Snuka makes the save with a knee drop as Garvin is trying to stand up. Garvin gets Valentine in a small package for a two count then Valentine knocks Snuka off of the apron. He heads up top now but took too long as Garvin slams him off. Garvin now removes Valentine’s shinguard and hits him in the face then tries the Hammer Jammer but the bell rings signaling the time-limit (19:39) **1/2. After the bell, Honky gets slammed but Valentine drags him to safety after Snuka was about to hit the Superfly Splash.

Thoughts: Long but decent match here. The Valentine/Garvin stuff looked good and got the fans into this as they were sluggish at the beginning.


Howard Finkel now tells us about the 2/19 show. Matches include Rick Martel vs. Red Rooster, Ronnie Garvin vs. Canadian Earthquake, Bad News Brown vs. Jimmy Snuka, Akeem vs. Dusty Rhodes, Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji vs. The Rockers & Jim Duggan, and Mr. Perfect & The Genius vs. Hulk Hogan. Also, Tito Santana was listed as appearing and he faced off against Buddy Rose.


Regis Philbin is shown sitting in the crowd.


Million Dollar Title Match: “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (c) w/ Virgil vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

These two fight before the bell as Jake ends up tossing DiBiase outside. Jake then works a side headlock in the ring and maintains the hold despite DiBiase’s best efforts. Jake lets go and hits a knee lift but DiBiase is able to avoid a DDT attempt. Jake rolls DiBiase back inside and puts the side headlock on in the middle of the ring. DiBiase gets out of that but runs into a clothesline as Jake covers for a nearfall then works the side headlock on the mat once again as DiBiase is frustrated as he cannot escape. DiBiase hits a back suplex but Jake still holds on to the headlock. DiBiase backs Jake into the corner then rams him after the break. Jake comes back with a knee lift as the crowd chants for the DDT but DiBiase ducks between the ropes. Jake tries another knee lift but DiBiase side steps him and sweeps the leg as Jake falls on his injured neck. DiBiase targets the neck now then stomps away in the corner. DiBiase hits a piledriver but Jake is able to get his foot n the rope during the pin attempt. Jake tries to reach for Damien but DiBiase beats him down then works a reverse chinlock. Jake tries to rally the crowd behind him and is able to shove DiBiase off and into the corner near Damien. DiBiase freaks out but is able to hit an atomic drop for a two count. Jake tries to fight back but eats boot on a charge then DiBiase gets two with an elbow drop before working a front facelock on the mat. Jake gets to his feet and tries a neckbreaker but DiBiase held on to the ropes. DiBiase gets two with a neckbreaker of his own and is pissed he has not yet won the match. DiBiase locks on the Million Dollar Dream but Jake is able to reach the ropes. He puts it on again and maintains the hold as Jake rolls outside but he ends up getting run into the post as both men are down. Back inside, DiBiase misses a falling back elbow drop off of the middle rope as both men are down again. Jake fights back and takes control now as DiBiase begs for mercy. He hits a slam then follows DiBiase outisde and tosses him back in the ring where Jake hits the short-armed clothesline for a two count. DiBiase heads out again and gets tossed inside where Jake knees him in the back several times. DiBiase keeps trying to leave and Jake tosses him in but this time Virgil attacks Jake, who responds by beating him up and hitting a slam. Back inside, Jake then hits DiBiase with the DDT but the ref rings the bell as Jake has apparently been counted out (20:31) ***. After the match, Jake clears the ring with Damien and leaves after applause from the crowd.

Thoughts: Much, much better than their MSG match from last month. The finish was really screwy but it was clever enough to keep their feud going on as it remained a focal point of the TV shows.


Mooney then interviews a few of the competitors on next month’s show.


Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a good show. I have no clue who fed Dave Meltzer the match results and ratings for this show in the Observer at the time but that person rated just about every match a “DUD,” including the Powers of Pain vs. The Rockers and DiBiase vs. Roberts, which is absolutely insane. However, this show only drew 11,500 fans and that is a poor draw considering Hogan was on the show. I recommend this show as it had three really good house show matches but there is a some crap here too.


Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Wednesday: EVOLVE 83 4/23/17

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/20/90

Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 10/6/82

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/21/90

Monday: WWF 1990 Royal Rumble

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/27/90