The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #21 – 05.27.89
Taped from Des Moines, IA on 04.25.89
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Yes, Hulk Hogan is once again WWF champion following Wrestlemania V. Just accept it. In his pre-show promo, he promises to dish out justice to the Bossman and shove his fat head through the bars of the steel cage, and he’ll be judge jury and executioner! Unless the Senate just doesn’t have time to hear evidence, in which case there’ll be an acquittal.
Meanwhile, at Wrestlemania, Rick Rude screws the Warrior out of the Intercontinental title.
Intercontinental title: Ravishing Rick Rude v. King Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Duggan is offended that Rude’s pants are far too fancy to be wearing the IC title belt, which is pretty rich coming from a guy who wears a crown and rides to the ring on throne held up by working men. One week as “King” and he’s already a tool of the bourgeois elite. Rude slugs away on the ropes, but he tries a sunset flip and Duggan punches him to break and then clotheslines him over the top. Suplex back into the ring gets two and Rude bumps all over for Duggan’s clotheslines, and the kneedrop gets two. Fun fact: I have learned from WWE Champions that the move is actually called “Old Glory”. Duggan misses a charge and Rude goes up with a clubbing forearm from the top and thankfully has time for some posing. But then Duggan gets an atomic drop, because Rude is contractually obligated to take one per match, and follows with a piledriver for two. This brings out Haku to protest the theft of his crown and we’re all put in a KERFLUFFLE and must take a break to get things under control. PSHAW! FOOFERAW! Back with Rude in control and dropping elbows on Duggan before going to a chinlock. Duggan fights out, but takes a knee to the gut, and Rude goes up with a flying fistdrop and blows kisses to the camera. “LOOK AT THAT, THAT’S DISGUSTING!” notes Vince. I love disgusted Vince. Can you imagine if a heel sneezed on one of these? Duggan makes a quick comeback and hits the three point stance, but Rude bumps to the floor and gets counted out at 9:15. Jesse laughs with glee because you can’t win the title on a countout, despite Duggan’s over the top celebration. Man, I bet we’ll never see another American hero celebrating a countout win like that again! **1/2
Randy Savage v. Jim Neidhart
Oddly, Neidhart’s sunglasses disappear between his backstage promo and his entrance. Apparently Neidhart is standing up for women everywhere and is the barrier between Savage and future title shots. Well no wonder he got a rematch so easily then. Savage and Sherri were such a perfect pairing right from the start. Sherri immediately grabs Anvil’s ankle to distract him, but he gets a bearhug on Savage anyway. Savage quickly escapes with an eyerake and runs him into the corner with a high knee, which allows Sherri a chance to do more choking. Savage goes up with the double axehandle for two, but tries a slam and Neidhart falls on top for two. Anvil fights back with a shoulderblock from the apron and more shoulderblocks for two, and then puts him on the floor with a dropkick. And he throws ANOTHER dropkick on the floor! Back in, Anvil with a powerslam for two and he ties up Savage in the ropes and pounds away, but he charges and hits the floor because Sherri is actually useful to have out there. And then Savage drops the axehandle on him, and finishes him off with the flying elbow at 5:55. Neidhart must have been angling for a push there or something because this was shockingly good. **1/2
WWF Title, Cage match: Hulk Hogan v. Big Bossman
But first, Slick has a surprise for us: ZEUS. Yes, he’s so mad about Hulk being the star of the movie that he’s apparently had a psychotic break and is now playing the real life version of his character to confront the real life person playing Hogan’s character in the movie. Even though that person is in turn another character played a real life person. Man, this story has LAYERS. Anyway, Zeus blocks the cage door and then beats Hogan down before he even makes it in. And then he probably went and tried to date Hogan’s daughter for good measure. So Bossman hauls Hogan into the cage and starts beating on him and choking him out with his own shirt, but Hogan fights back. He runs Bossman into the cage and hits the big boot, but tries to climb out and gets hauled down and splashed. Hulk fights up again, but Bossman puts him down with the spinebuster and tries to climb out. And Hulk takes forever to get up, so Bossman makes it to the bottom of the cage, but Hulk pulls him up by the ears and then we get the famous spot where Hulk brings him back in with a SUPERPLEX OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE as Bossman takes an incredible bump. Both guys are naturally down off that, so the ref comes in and starts counting them out. But Hogan crawls for the door first, so Bossman cuts him off and puts him down with a clothesline. This allows Slick to pass Bossman a chain so he can choke Hogan out, but Hulk fights back and both guys ram each other into the cage. Bossman goes for the door, but Hulk rams him into the turnbuckles and steals the chain, because two wrongs make a right. Bossman actually starts bleeding and Hulk runs him into the cage and drops the leg, so Slick takes out the ref and goes in to take care of things himself. But then Hogan beats on skinny little Slick like a big man, cuffs Bossman to the ropes, and climbs out of the cage to retain at 9:54. What a hero. And then he goes over and helps the injured Hebner up so that he can have his hand raised. But is this maniac done yet? OF COURSE NOT. He chases Slick into the cage and then beats on him some more before stealing Slick’s cap to cover up his balding head. This man is a menace. THAT WAS SLICK’S FAVORITE HAT! ***1/2
WWF Tag team titles: Demolition v. The Brainbusters
Smash immediately chases Tully out of the ring and then catches him with a bearhug in the ring, but the Busters try some double-teaming and get chased off again. Arn comes in and Ax beats on him in the corner. Over to Smash, but Tully knees him from the apron and Arn gets a suplex, which Smash no-sells. And then Demolition double-teams them and chases them out of the ring again. Back in, Tully tries chopping on Ax and that goes nowhere for him, as Ax whips him into the corner for a Flair Flip to the floor, before Smash throws him back in, and then Ax clotheslines Tully out again and takes out Bobby Heenan in the process! So they help Bobby to the back and we take a break. Back with Ax continuing to beat on Tully before going to a chinlock, but FINALLY Arn sneaks in and clips Smash’s knee to go on offense. The Busters go to work on the leg and Arn gets the spinebuster for two. Tully makes sure to go annoy Ax before bringing Smash into the corner for some double-teaming, and Arn drops a knee for two. Smash powers out of a wristlock and goes for the tag, but Arn keeps control of the leg from the mat and makes the tag to Tully, cutting off the ring again. That’s classic. Arn slugs away in the corner as Vince declares it a SEE SAW MATCHUP BACK AND FORTH, but Smash fires back and both guys are down, so Tully sneaks over to the other corner and takes out Ax to prevent a tag. And then Arn nails him as well, so Ax freaks out and comes in for the double-team, before throwing Joey Marella around in frustration. And that’s a DQ at 11:20, although beating up Marella is always worth an extra ½* or so. The Brainbusters were too beautiful for the WWF at this point and this was a really great tag team match. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Randy Savage declares that having beaten JIM NEIDHART, he is now #1 contender again. There’s a lot of guys in the WWF who should be #1 contender then.
Jimmy Snuka v. Boris Zhukov
Boris tries to ram Snuka’s head in the turnbuckles and that does nothing, and Snuka quickly puts him away with the Superfly splash at 1:10.
And Hulk Hogan finishes things off as they talk about the clips of No Holds Barred that have apparently been omitted from the Network version of this episode.
This was a HELL of a show as SNME’s incredible run in 1989 continues.