The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #19 – 01.07.89
Taped from Tampa, FL on 12.07.88. Yeah this show was a MONTH OLD when it finally aired!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Haircut match: Outlaw Ron Bass v. Brutus Beefcake
Yes, it’s finally the blowoff after Bass cost Beefcake his Intercontinental title shot at Summerslam 88, long after the feud was burned out on the house shows. Bass attacks with the whip to start as the ref stands there being useless…oh, it’s JOEY MARELLA. No wonder. I’m amused that when Beefcake steals the whip and stands there “snapping” it, they make sure to overdub whip sounds.
Bass slugs away, but Beefcake beats him down and slugs away on the mat, hitting him with blatant closed fists while Joey Marella does nothing about it. Finally Bass gets an atomic drop and follows with a gutbuster before putting him on the floor with some boots to the gut. Back in, Bass continues beating on the gut as the canned heat is, as usual, way overdone for what the match offers. Bass continues slugging away and follows with a piledriver, but Bass decides not to go for the pin. Then he drops Beefcake on the top rope and again decides not to try for a pin. Finally he gets a clothesline for two and then goes to retrieve Beefcake’s giant hedge clippers, but he charges and walks into the sleeper and Beefcake puts him out at 7:38. So Beefcake finally gets the chance to cut someone’s hair off. At least he makes the most of it and actually shaves Bass bald, although for some reason they overdub what sounds like a chainsaw while he’s using the clippers. Unfortunately, by the time Bass was able to do TV again after waiting for this show to air, his hair had almost grown back entirely. Obviously Bass was never going to main event, because I doubt we’ll ever see a day when a bald Texan in black tights makes it to the top. *1/2
Meanwhile, One Man Gang is now Akeem, and tonight he faces Hulk Hogan, whom Slick accuses of a habitual rulebreaker. And here I thought he was a fan favorite.
Hulk Hogan v. Akeem
Meanwhile, Randy Savage and the lecherous Gene Okerlund are watching on a TV in a dark room, making sure that Hulk Hogan isn’t up to anything untoward with Elizabeth, I’d assume. Hulk slugs away on Akeem to start and then goes after Big Bossman and tosses Slick at him for no reason, which proves Slick’s point about Hogan being a habitual rulebreaker who had the nightstick beating coming to him. Back in, Hulk goes for a slam and Akeem pounds him down, but the Dream misses an avalanche and Hulk hits him with clotheslines to put him down. Akeem goes after the arm for a bit, but Hulk slugs away again and puts him down with an Axe Bomber before running him into the Big Bossman. Hulk mocks Akeem’s traditional African dance because we know how he feels about Akeem’s people, but the ref gets bumped and the Twin Towers proceed to beating Hulk down with the nightstick. So we cut back to the Macho Man, who assures Mean Gene that Hulk has things under control despite what it looks like. Hey, who was the guy who spent the entire match antagonizing the Bossman and Slick for NO REASON? That’s right, Hulk Hogan. Elizabeth runs back to the dressing room looking for help as we take a break. Back with Savage trying to reassure Elizabeth that Hulk has everything under control. And then Hulk does the comeback and PROVES HIM RIGHT! And he beats up all the heels by himself while we keep cutting back to Savage cheering him on like a good partner. Hulk slams Akeem, but then he trips and lands back-first on Bossman’s nightstick and THAT’S somehow a DQ at 10:38. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about how inspirational the Twin Towers were, with the baton-swinging southern cop teaming up with the jive-dancing African Dream? They were the unity that the country needed all along. Randy Savage finally comes out to make the save, but then he catches Hulk and Liz making eyes at each other and demands answers from his manager. The match was a huge mess, especially the part before the break where the ref was bumped and they spent about two minutes beating Hogan down before the break. ½*
Intercontinental title: The Ultimate Warrior v. The Honky Tonk Man
So the announcers (and Mean Gene before the match) make the ridiculous claim that Honky would be “the first person in history to regain the Intercontinental title”, which is ludicrous on the face of it and in fact had already happened multiple times. Warrior throws Honky around and beats on him in the corner, but he misses a charge and Honky manages to sneak the megaphone behind Joey Marella’s idiot back and hits Warrior with it to take over. Yes, by this time Honky was such a joke that he needed a megaphone just to get the heat on Warrior. Honky drops knees on him and slugs away in the corner, but Warrior fights back, only to miss an elbow. But then he comes back with a clothesline, only to miss a splash this time. Honky gets two off that, but Warrior hits him with a shoulderblock and pins him at 5:07 to retain. DUD
Meanwhile, Slick and the Twin Towers celebrate their brutal beating of Hulk Hogan. They’re as tight as a family, but what about the Megapowers, they wonder? Guess we’ll find out next month.
The Red Rooster v. Tito Santana
The Brain is mic’ed here, offering advice as you can literally see sections of seats empty out on the hard camera side. The announcers proudly discuss how Rooster was “undefeated” but that was a blatant lie unless you’re not counting house shows. They slug it out and Tito misses a splash to put the Rooster on top of the coop, and he chokes away, but Tito slugs him down on the mat and gets two. Rooster tries a sunset flip, but he doesn’t heed Heenan’s advice to hook the tights and Tito escapes. Tito slugs away and gets the figure-four, but Rooster claws his eyes to escape. So Bobby freaks out and pulls him out of the ring for a verbal beatdown and we take a break. Back with Tito getting a suplex into the ring for two, but Rooster gets a backbreaker for two. Tito gets a small package for two and a backslide for two. Rooster puts him down again to take over and goes for the Sharpshooter thing he was using at the time, but Tito escapes and dumps him, so Bobby throws the Rooster back in and Tito rolls him up for the pin at 9:43. This was long and dull, despite Bobby trying to spice it up with his running commentary. * And then the Rooster has finally had enough of Bobby afterwards and turns on him, setting up his amazing run through 1989 while losing every match.
Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect promises a hot new finishing move: THE PERFECTPLEX. Hopefully he lets us know when we’re going to see it beforehand.
Mr. Perfect v. Koko B. Ware
Yup, it’s the king of the death slot himself, Koko B. Ware. I’m assuming that when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame it was 10 minutes before the end of the show and everyone was filing out of the building to beat the traffic. Perfect slugs away in the corner while the announcers are still calling him “Curt Hennig” while trying to get this “Mr. Perfect” name over here and there. Koko comes back with an armdrag, but Perfect gets a dropkick to put him on the floor. Back in, Koko misses a blind charge and NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A PERFECTPLEX at 3:07. Just a squash.
Meanwhile, Scheme Gene stirs up accusations of trouble between the Megapowers like the troll that he is, but Hulk assures us that they breathe the same air, drink the same water, and sleep the same sleep. We’ve got a stage five clinger! Anyway, EVERYTHING IS FINE with the Megapowers and Vince McMahon is fully convinced of it.
NEXT TIME: Everything is so not fine with the Megapowers as THE MAIN EVENT returns!
I guess your enjoyment of this episode depends on what you’re looking for. Shocking storyline developments? This has ‘em in spades. Good matches? Not even one. It was still an easy watch and there was no Warrior v. Super Ninja garbage dragging it down, at least, so it’s a thumbs up from here.