The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #29 – 04.27.91
End of the line for the NBC version of the show. In a reverse of the November 90 show, this one was taped as The Main Event and then edited into a full SNME after the fact because NBC didn’t want to give them a primetime slot. So all the banners say “The Main Event”. This is another one I’ve never seen because advertising for the show was so minimal that I didn’t even know it was on at the time.
Taped from somewhere that is again never mentioned.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.
Sgt. Slaughter may have lost the title, but he threw fire at Hogan, so everything is cool. Oddly, Randy Savage is playing backstage interviewer and Slaughter puts him over as a “great American”, which is opposite of what he should have been doing after Savage’s babyface turn.
Ultimate Warrior v. Sgt. Slaughter
Warrior slams Slaughter off the top and slugs him out of the ring, but Slaughter pokes him in the eyes and tosses him. Cheapshot from Mustafa allows Slaughter to take over, and he stomps away in the ring and follows with a backbreaker. Bearhug follows, but Warrior slams out of it, so Slaughter goes back to it again. This allows Paul Bearer to wheel a custom Warrior casket out for him, and there’s way too much ick factor there right now. Warrior contemplates his own mortality while we take a break. Back immediately after the cut with Warrior making the comeback with clotheslines, but Undertaker pops out of the casket. Warrior is again freaked out, and Slaughter attacks for the beatdown and DQ at 7:30. Warrior should have got his job back here, but they needed Slaughter for the house show run against Hogan I’d assume so it had to be a screwjob. Shit match. ½* Undertaker gets chased off by Warrior afterwards, but he showed a real star presence here and would have fit in with the bigger era of the show with no problem.
WWF tag team titles: The Nasty Boys v. The Bushwackers
This is the end of a great SNME tradition, as this is the last “first title defense” on the show for the tag champions. All it was lacking was Tito Santana and a random partner. I would presume it was taped as a dark match and added in afterwards. The Bushwackers manage to clear the ring, but Sags hammers away on Luke. The Bushwackers clear the ring again, however, and the Nasties are forced to cheat and take over on Luke. Butch gets a quasi-hot tag and quickly gets double-teamed down again and it’s BONZO GONZO, allowing Knobs to roll Butch up for the pin at 6:50. Another terrible one. -*
We’ve got Hulk, Earthquake, Rockers, Orient Express, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, Texas Tornado, Warlord, Tugboat, Mr. Perfect, Haku, Greg Valentine, Power & Glory, Big Bossman, Barbarian, British Bulldog and Jimmy Snuka. Roma and Jannetty put each other out and then it’s a whole lot of milling around and punching. Hulk and Hammer team up with elbows on Perfect, but can’t put him on the floor. Warlord dumps Bulldog and Tanaka goes out off-camera. Quake takes Snake. Jake gets pissed and lets the snake slither around the ring, so the ref halts the match and we take a break. Back with Hulk and Tugboat having a dramatic altercation until Warlord interrupts and gets tossed out for his troubles. Barbarian puts Tornado out, and Duggan stands there going “Hooo” until Earthquake tosses him out. Hulk dumps Quake in retribution. Hulk puts Kato out, but Tug puts Hulk out, then Shawn puts Tug and Herc out. Wow, good showing for Michaels. Perfect dropkicks Bossman into a Barbarian backdrop over the top, making him the only choice left with a shot to win. Shawn dropkicks Haku out and goes after Perfect, but can’t get him over the top. Shawn bumps to the apron, however, and Perfect slugs him to the floor and out. That leaves Perfect, Valentine and Barbarian. Hammer can’t get Barbarian out and the heels double-team him, but Perfect accidentally dropkicks Barbarian out of the match. Perfect and Hammer exchange chops in the corner and Perfect goes down, then Hammer puts him down with an elbow for good measure. He drops the elbows and tosses Perfect, but he still won’t go out. Another go at it and Perfect takes him out while holding the ropes, winning the match at 12:30.
Bret Hart v. Ted Dibiase
Dibiase slugs away in the corner, but Bret comes back with a hiptoss and a pair of clotheslines before clotheslining Dibiase to the floor and following with a pescado. Back in, Bret grabs a headlock, but gets tripped up by Sherri before recovering with a rollup for two. Bret charges and runs into a stungun, however, and Dibiase takes over with a piledriver. That gets two. Dibiase tosses him and Sherri gets some cheapshots, and back in for the choking. Bret takes the corner bump and it’s Million Dollar Dream time, but Bret runs him into the corner to break. Bret makes the comeback and Dibiase begs off, so Bret gives him an atomic drop and back elbow for two. Russian legsweep gets two. Middle rope elbow gets two. Sherri trips Bret up again and this time he chases her (Piper: “This is on purpose!” Ya think?), which allows Dibiase to attack from behind. And in fact Piper is so pissed that he leaves the “booth” and heads down to help Bret, sending Sherri running with a broom. Back in the ring, Bret hammers away in the corner, but Dibiase chases after Piper and Bret follows for the lame double countout at 9:37. Weak, this was in **** territory before the cop-out finish. ***1/2 I feel like the Piper-Dibiase feud was a wasted opportunity to book a cheap Scotsman against the richest man in the company. Think of the vignettes!
Tito Santana v. The Mountie
Whoa, a Wrestlemania rematch to close out the NBC era of the show! Fitting that Santana would get to be the guy to turn out the lights on the series. Tito chases him from the ring with dropkicks and slugs away in the corner, but Mountie blocks a monkey flip to take over. He runs Tito into the turnbuckles, but Tito comes back with the Flying Jalapeno for two. Jimmy Hart gets involved and takes one for the team as well, but the DILDO OF DOOM puts Tito down for the pin at 4:22. Nothing much to this one. *
Next up: The brief FOX era of the show!