The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #27 – 07.28.90
Taped from Omaha, NE on 07.16.90, drawing 10,303 and a 7.2 rating. That’s down pretty significantly from the last one.
Anyway, this is the “Wild Kingdom” episode because it’s “Mutual of Omaha”. Is that even a thing anymore?
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. I think this is actually Jesse’s final SNME, in fact. And we don’t even get any cheesy promos to start the show, for some reason!
So we don’t even get an actual backstage interview with the guys, either, as they just cut in a green-screen promo from both Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude, which is pretty low rent of them.
WWF World title: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude
So this time they at least put Warrior in the headline spot as the champion, but the crowd is still not super jacked for him and they have to turn up the heat machine. Rude attacks to start and Warrior beats on him in the corner and then hurls him into the turnbuckles a couple of times and stomps him down. Warrior with the atomic drop and a clothesline to put Rude on the floor. Warrior beats on Rude out there and then back in for a clothesline, but Warrior decides to go to the top rope and he hits a double axehandle before missing the big splash. Rude grabs the belt while Bobby takes the ref, and Rude lays out Warrior on the floor. Back in, Rude goes up and Warrior nails him on the way down, setting up our contractually obligated atomic drop sell from Rude. Rude regroups and pounds Warrior down again, however, and goes to work on the back, but he’s unable to slam Warrior, so he tries a sleeper instead. So then we get a ridiculous bit where the ref tests Warrior’s LEG instead of the arm. What kind of a moron would…oh, IT’S JOEY MARELLA. No wonder. Warrior makes a comeback and Rude slugs him down again to set up the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out of it. But then Rude ducks a clothesline and hits it on the second try, which gets two. Warrior makes the comeback with his usual clotheslines and the big splash, but Bobby breaks up the pin and they fight on the floor. So Warrior beats on Rude and press slams him back to ringside, then beats up Bobby in the ring while Rude gets counted out at 9:45. So this complete ass-kicking from Warrior and victory on national TV was somehow supposed to make us want to buy Summerslam for the rematch? Match was good at least, but Rude just wasn’t a strong challenger. ***
Meanwhile, Mean Gene and Lord Alfred do some wacky hunting comedy at the lodge.
Meanwhile, we get a video package celebrating Hulkamania, but then OH NO, Earthquake squashes him and we get the sad string arrangement of “Real American” instead to show how sad we all are. DON’T TELL ME HOW TO FEEL, MUSIC!
Hulk Hogan joins Vince for a special interview in the ring, as he promises to answer each and every one of the cards and letters sent by fans to his home in Venice Beach. Especially the ones post-marked from Dr. Zahorian. Anyway, much like crabs, he’s back again! And he’s gonna have Tugboat in his corner at Summerslam. I hear he’s busy in the Suez Canal these days. Earthquake and Bravo storm the ring and stand there menacingly, but Tugboat makes the save and for some reason this convinces them to leave.
Meanwhile, out in the wild, Alfred and Gene run into Koko B. Ware, Jake Roberts and the Bushwhackers.
WWF Tag team titles: Demolition v. The Rockers
Since Demolition had added Crush to the team, maybe the Rockers should have brought in young Leif Cassidy so THEY could be a three-man team too! God knows he couldn’t have been any worse than Crush was at this point. Smash beats Marty down to start, but Marty SWEEPS THE LEG and dropkicks him to the floor. Demolition regroups, but the Rockers hit them with double flying headscissors and chase them out of the ring. Back in, Demolition uses some distraction and chicanery, in the words of Vince, to take over on Shawn, but the Rockers double-team Crush to take over again. Jesse has a point, as they were cheating just as much as the champs there. Crush powers Marty onto the top rope, but Marty gets a butt ugly sunset flip for two. Smash tosses Marty, however, and Ax clotheslines him out there as we take a break. Back with Smash pounding on Marty and choking him out on the ropes. Crush comes in with a double axehandle to the back and a backbreaker, and Smash goes to the bearhug, but Marty slugs out of it. Crush comes in and whips Marty into the turnbuckles, but he crawls over and it’s hot tag Shawn. He whips them into each other and we get a SUPERKICK PARTY, complete with thigh slapping, to set up the double flying fistdrop on Smash for two. Crush makes the save and Shawn rolls up Smash, but Ax comes in and clotheslines Shawn for the pin at 9:34. What kind of a referee would be stupid enough to confuse Ax and Smash…oh, IT’S JOEY MARELLA. No wonder. Solid tag team match but Crush dragged things down a lot. **1/2
Meanwhile, Gene gets bitten by a mosquito and hilarity results.
Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect v. Tito Santana
Tito quickly gets a hiptoss and dropkicks Perfect to the floor, then follows him out and chops him out there as Perfect is already taking crazy bumps. Back in, Perfect hits him with the clothesline and follows with a kneelift and dropkicks Santana into the corner. Perfect goes to a neck vice, but Tito fights out and hits him with a clothesline out of the corner for another huge bump from Perfect. Another bump takes out the ref this time and Tito gets the figure-four while Hebner is clutching his leg like Peter Griffin, and then Tito hits the flying forearm this time and Perfect takes ANOTHER huge bump off that, as Tito gets two. Finally Tito has had enough of Hebner’s ankle injury and puts the badmouth on him while we get another ref and take a break. Back with Tito getting a bodypress for two. Perfect slugs away to take over again and hits the necksnap and works on the neck. Tito makes the comeback and they fight to the floor, but Tito makes the comeback and hairtosses Perfect for the ringpost bump. Tito with a pair of atomic drops and a clothesline for two as Perfect continues hurling himself around the ring. Small package gets two, but Perfect reverses for the pin to retain at 12:19. This one remains a hidden gem from the show. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Jesse Ventura interviews Earthquake and Dino Bravo.
Meanwhile, back in the jungle, Gene falls into piranha infested waters or whatever.
The Texas Tornado v. Playboy Buddy Rose
Apparently there was something of a bidding war for Kerry around this time, although I imagine the rise of Ole Anderson to booker probably meant that WCW wasn’t going to be shelling out money for anyone. But I think Kerry would have been a good fit in 1990 WCW, probably much better than the WWF, where he was always kind of a square leg in a round boot. Kerry gets a pair of slams on Rose and whips him into the corner, then follows with a dropkick for two. Rose gets trapped in the ropes and Kerry slugs away on him, sending him to the floor. Back in, Buddy gets a kneedrop and goes to the top rope, but Kerry slams him off and finishes him off with the Tornado punch at 3:08.
Meanwhile, Rick Rude is pretty confident about his chances in the cage match at Summerslam. Warrior also has thoughts but who the fuck knows what they are.
This was definitely a strong show in the ring, but the presentation was getting more and more dull, with this one in particular feeling more like a Coliseum Video or something. It’s a really good show, but very forgettable.