The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #24 – 11.25.89
Taped from Topeka, KS on 10.31.89, drawing an 8.7 rating.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
You may also remember this episode.
Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant chat with Jesse about the IC title match, as Bobby quotes Charles Manson and notes “it’s all in the family” when questioned about Rick Rude being jealous if Andre wins. Considering he was doing 30 second jobs to Warrior around the horn I’m sure he had nothing to be worried about there.
Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Andre the Giant
Warrior lets us know beforehand that he only feasts on the fruits of victory, so I’m sure he’s got things under control. Warrior does some random grunting in the corner, so Andre hits him from behind and chokes him out on the ropes, then headbutts him to the floor as this match is already horrible. No wonder they were only working under a minute everywhere. Warrior comes back in and does his own choking, but charges and gets sent to the floor like a moron. Back in, Andre gives him some hella weak shots and goes to a kind of surfboard, but Warrior fights out of that and knocks Andre to the floor with a clothesline. And we take a break off that. Back with Andre choking him out from the floor, but Warrior gets a bearhug as this match is somehow getting worse every second it’s allowed to continue existing. Forget Covid, we need a vaccine against this match. And then Andre goes to a bearhug to somehow slow it down even more and even the canned heat is bored. I think they dubbed in the sound of some guy telling his wife he’s gonna go take a shit and then asking her if she wants anything from the concession on the way back. Warrior ties him up in the ropes and then manages to run into Andre’s foot in a logic-defying bump, which allows Bobby to run in and attack Warrior in an amazingly ill-advised idea, and that’s a DQ at 9:42. Matches like this one really make the phrase “craptacular bullshit” lose all meaning after a while, ya know? -**
Meanwhile, Jesse has words with The Genius, who of course has a poem for the occasion.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. The Genius
Hulk gives us some Scott Steiner-like math before the match (3 demandments + 24 inch pythons x all the Hulkamaniacs) and even offers his own poem: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a wrestler, what are you?” Well that’s pretty dismissive of him. Genius graciously offers a handshake and does some stretches in the corner and he’s mincing like no one’s business. Really harkening back to the works of Ricky Starr in the 50s there. Hogan powers him right out of the ring off the lockup, so genius minces back into the ring and even Hulk has to give him a polite clap for his efforts. Hulk slams him and tries the big boot, but Genius takes a powder and stops to do some equations on the scroll, which equal to HULK DOWN. THE MATH CHECKS OUT! And I majored in math in university so I’m something of an expert. I’m no The Genius, of course. Genius celebrates his equations with some cartwheels of joy, but Hulk has had enough joy and beats on him in the corner before following up with an elbow and some ballet of his own. Joke’s on him, pretty soon he’d be in a tutu on video covers the world over. Hulk slugs away in the corner while Mr. Perfect suddenly joins and spits his gum on the WWF title, which naturally has Hogan upset because Perfect didn’t bring enough to share with everyone. This allows Genius to hit Hogan from behind and run him into the ringpost to take over back in the ring. Genius unleashes the FISTICUFFS and follows with the moonsault, but Hulk makes the comeback. Genius doing the Stefan sell for every failed punch is just awesome. Hulk gets the big boot, but Genius rakes the eyes and the back and everything else one can rake, but Hulk rakes in return because he’s getting frustrated and doesn’t know how to deal with the Genius. Finally he tosses him to the floor and goes after Perfect, but Perfect hits him in the head with the title and Hulk Hogan is COUNTED OUT at 8:34 as brains triumphs over brawn in one of the most famous upsets of all time. And then Perfect steals the belt and they sprint to the back with it. It’s hard to classify this match as technically good, but it was tremendous entertainment and actually a really unique style of psychology for a Hogan match, as he was faced with a totally incompatible opponent who he couldn’t figure out. Normally he takes the heel aggression and turns it back against them, Hulking up and feeding off it, but Genius presented him with an opponent who essentially absorbed his punishment and didn’t fight back, going for the draw instead of the win. ***1/4 Of course we know in the end that Hulk really was the smartest man in wrestling, but Genius got one over on him on this night.
Dusty Rhodes v. Big Bossman
Slick dubs the Dream “Husky Toads” in the pre-match promo for your Sick Burn of the Week. I feel like we needed our second Scott Steiner run-in of the show here, so he could pop in and clarify HE’S FAT before disappearing again. Dusty demands that Slick be thrown out of the building, so Slick flashes his manager’s license and he’s allowed to stay. This allows Bossman to lay out Dusty so that Slick can use his license and choke Dusty out on the apron, which draws the ire of some lady at ringside. They fight on the floor and Bossman runs him into the post, which is the point where Dusty would normally be busted open in the NWA, but he shows some restraint here. Back in, Bossman goes to work on the arm while Jesse notes that Dusty will be confessing soon. In fact, I’m pretty sure I heard him yell “I BOOKED TOO MANY CAGE MATCHES ON ONE SHOW, DADDY!” at one point. Bossman puts him down with a back elbow while Slick prematurely informs us that it’s time to turn out the lights because the party’s over, but in fact the party’s still sort of in the 1:30am awkward time when you’re down to the last couple of people who are still watching the Britney Spears documentary on Netflix even though you know they’ve already seen it, and angling to play one more round of Jackbox Party Pack Volume 3 while you’re trying to politely find a way to get them to go home. And then Bossman gets distracted by that lady at ringside, and Dusty rolls him up and pins him at 4:48. Bossman is not happy with Slick over that, which of course would pay off soon after. And then in a historic first, Dusty invites her into the ring for some dancing, which is like Cody dancing with Brandi if they both ate Shaq beforehand. -*
Meanwhile, the Red Rooster makes some weak chicken puns in preparation for Mr. Perfect. STOP STEALING MY BIT!
Red Rooster v. Mr. Perfect
Genius now has a new robe for this match, although to his credit he points that out in his pre-match poem so I can forgive it. So this is weird because Perfect is complaining about not being #1 contender to Hogan’s title, but his MANAGER somehow got a title shot earlier in the show! You’d think he would qualify then. Perfect beats on Rooster but gets taken down with a kneelift and snapmare and Rooster goes for the chickenwing, forcing Perfect to get the ropes. Rooster with a rollup for two, but Perfect slugs him down and goes for the neck while putting the badmouth on him. You’d think “Dude, you’re dressed like a rooster” would be enough, but I guess not. Rooster makes a comeback and backdrops Perfect for two and they’re both sleepwalking through this one. And Perfect forearms him down and NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A PERFECTPLEX at 4:10. ½*
The Rockers v. The Brainbusters
With the Busters having dropped the titles a few weeks before this, and then given their notice, this ended up as the final match between the teams. Once again TV magic pops up, transforming Tully’s trunks from black in the pre-match promo to red by the time he makes it out to the ring. Maybe the cameraman had his white balance REALLY out of whack, I dunno.
First Fall: Marty gets double-teamed in the corner, but Marty fights them off and gets a sunset flip on Tully for the pin at 1:48. These guys are falling apart like they’re the Canucks in the third period.
Second fall: The Rockers get a double rollup for two and follow with double superkicks to put the Busters on the floor, at which point Bobby Heenan walks out on his team and never returns. Shawn slugs away on Arn and gets a rana on Tully, and the Rockers clean house with dropkicks while Bobby waves goodbye to his team and moves on to a different tag team strategy a few weeks later. Shawn gets a hiptoss on Tully, but he tries a headscissors and gets necked on the top rope and pinned at 5:13.
Third fall: Jesse catches up with Bobby backstage, as he promises that the Brainbusters will be calling him from a soup kitchen and begging him for a dime soon enough. Well, maybe Tully. We join the third fall as the Busters double-team Shawn in the corner and Arn hits him with a spinebuster for two. Arn Anderson hitting Shawn Michaels with a spinebuster is like peanut butter and chocolate coming together. Arn does the knucklelock spot, but Shawn catches him with a bodyscissors, so Arn catapults him into the corner and Tully slugs him down for two and tosses him over the top rope. Shawn fights his way back in with a bodypress for two, but Arn cuts off the ring with the facelock. But then he goes after Marty and Marty punches him, causing him to snap backwards and collide with Shawn headfirst in a perfectly timed spot. Marty comes in without a tag, but Tully pulls out Shawn and runs him into the post. Tully goes up to set up the piledriver, but Shawn takes him out and comes off with his own bodypress onto Arn for the pin at 10:28. Third fall was GREAT but this wasn’t like their best match ever or anything. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect has a historic moment, smashing up the WWF title with a hammer. Rumor was that it became the Hardcore title years later, but then someone actually found the original WWF title remnants and we were all saddened by it.
Meanwhile, Mean Gene presents Hulk with the shattered remnants of his belt, like when evil Michael Knight and Goliath destroyed KITT in the second season finale of Knight Rider and the replacement science chick had to put it back together with a whole new dashboard modelled after KARR in time for the third season, and we get a dramatic shot of the destroyed belt on the floor. And then Hogan beat Perfect 180 times in a row at the house shows to get revenge and unfortunately they didn’t draw worth shit.
Well this was certainly an episode of varied quality, to say the least. Really, I think the Rockers match and Genius…whatever that was….warrants a thumbs up for this one because we sure as hell all remember this episode, so that’s a win.