What the World Was Watching: Saturday Night’s Main Event – January 27, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura provide the commentary for this evening’s matches.  They are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 3.  According to oswreview.com, this show scored an 11.1 rating, an improvement over the 8.7 rating of the previous edition.

Gene Okerlund interviews Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who makes Cold War references about standing up for peasants everywhere.  He threatens to crack Sensational Sherri’s makeup like the Berlin Wall.

Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sherri.  Savage says that Duggan will never wear the crown of the WWF again.

Roddy Piper side suplexing a jobber is the Mountain Dew Slam of the Night.

Opening Contest to be the King of the WWF:  Randy Savage (w/Sensational Sherri) defeats Hacksaw Jim Duggan (4-0) after Sherri interferes at 7:51 shown:

A former professional baseball player and second generation talent, Savage got his start in the ring in 1973 and worked a bevy of territories throughout the South.  He was a star in his father Angelo Poffo’s International Championship Wrestling (ICW), teaming and feuding with his brother Lanny, and later got a push in Memphis as a challenger for Jerry Lawler’s AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship.  Signed by the WWF in 1985, Savage quickly worked his way up the card, becoming an Intercontinental champion in 1986.  After getting a run with the WWF Championship between WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V, Savage was working as an upper midcarder, sporting a king gimmick after he defeated Duggan for the title in September 1989.  For most wrestlers it would be a goofy gimmick that could further depush them, but Savage found a way to mesh his crazy, heel style into something that was entertaining and memorable.

There is a nice bit to start where Savage poses on the elevated throne he was carried to the ring on and Duggan walks over and tips it over, causing Savage to crash to the arena floor.  The match is arguably the best of Duggan’s bouts in his WWF career as he and Savage trade blows for nearly eight minutes, with Savage flying all over the place to bump for Duggan’s clotheslines and use his own offense.  Sherri gets involved multiple times, distracting the referee so Duggan cannot win after a knee drop and tossing Savage a loaded purse, which he uses for a near-fall.  Duggan hits Savage with the three-point stance clothesline, but Savage falls to the floor and when Duggan goes to suplex his rival into the ring, Sherri trips Duggan and holds his foot down – with Savage putting his own feet on the bottom rope – so her man can come out on top.  This would end the 1989 feud between the two and would allow Savage to focus his attention on the new program with Dusty Rhodes.  Rating:  ***½

Ventura interviews Mr. Perfect and the Genius.  Ventura cuts his own promo about how Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior will never be able to work together after what developed at The Royal Rumble.  Perfect hypes his own abilities and brags about the Genius beating Hogan before on Saturday Night’s Main Event.  The Genius reads poetry about how his incredible IQ will give his team the edge.

A recap of the Hogan-Warrior showdown in the Royal Rumble airs before Okerlund talks with both men.  The Warrior says that he and Hogan are explosive chemicals that will forge a bond stronger than perfection.  Hogan adds that their team will be a nightmare for perfection and genius.

Hulk Hogan & the Ultimate Warrior defeat Mr. Perfect & the Genius after Hogan pins the Genius after a leg drop at 7:49:

In 1990, Hogan was still the biggest name in professional wrestling, carrying the WWF’s main event scene for the last six years.  The problem was that Hogan was so dominant that the WWF was running out of credible challengers for him to face and his routine had started to grow stale with parts of the fan base, although that disaffected part of the crowd was a tiny minority in 1990.

Hogan wrestles most of the match, decimating the heels until the Genius uses his metal scroll to put them in control.  Perfect hits Hogan with the Perfectplex, but releases the hold so the Genius can do his moonsault, but that eats knees and the Warrior gets the hot tag.  After that, the Genius is a dead man walking, with the Warrior giving him a gorilla press drop.  However, when the Warrior runs the ropes for a splash, Hogan tags in and finishes the Genius with a leg drop.  That is a great finish because it casts Hogan as a glory hog and subtly adds to the Warrior’s grievances against the WWF Champion.  Rating:  **½

After the bell, Perfect and the Genius rush the ring and the Warrior handles both of them with relative ease.  However, he accidentally clotheslines Hogan and that creates an argument and staredown between the two.  All of this makes Ventura very happy because it satisfied his pre-match prediction.

Okerlund asks Roberts if he still has possession of the Million Dollar Championship Belt.  Roberts asks Okerlund to find out for himself, but Okerlund does not want to dig into the snake bag so Roberts tells him to watch the next match.

Ventura talks with Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart, who pledge to get the Million Dollar Belt, but they are unclear about what they would do if they got it in their possession.  That would have been an interesting place to take this angle where all of the talent are trying to get DiBiase’s belt for a big payoff.

Jake Roberts (2-0) beats Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) (0-1) via disqualification when Ted DiBiase and Virgil interfere at 5:11:

Roberts and Valentine wrestle a fun, hard hitting television match, countering each other’s big moves.  Valentine works the back for a short time, limiting Roberts ability to make sudden moves by the end of the match, but Roberts kicks his way out of a figure-four effort, sending Valentine into Hart on the apron and then into a DDT.  However, since Valentine admits he did not like to do clean jobs on television, DiBiase and Virgil rush the ring to beat up Roberts before the referee can count to three.  Rating:  **

After the bell, Roberts recovers to deck DiBiase and Virgil and forces each to flee the ring after pulling Damien out of the bag.

Ventura interviews Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan, who make fun of Sapphire and Rhodes’ weight.  Rude says that no woman can resist him, including Sapphire.

Okerlund talks with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire.  Rhodes says that Rude has been treating women bad throughout America and he is here to stop him.  And he says Sapphire is at his side to stop Heenan.

Dusty Rhodes (w/Sapphire) (1-0) wrestles Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) (2-0) to a double count out at 8:44 shown:

After several minutes, Heenan gets in Sapphire’s face and argues, prompting referee Joey Marella to send both of them to the backstage area.  However, Sapphire comes back by appearing in the crowd, appearing with a ticket near the front row.  McMahon and Ventura hype the next Main Event telecast where Mike Tyson will referee a WWF Championship match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage because there is no way that Tyson will not be the world heavyweight champion by that point in time, right?  Rhodes and Rude keep things basic, largely punches, elbows, and stomps because Sapphire’s extracurriculars are the focus of the match and there is no use outshining that.  Sapphire mocks Rude’s taunt and when Rhodes confronts him the two brawl in the aisle where the match is ended by the referee.  That is a weird finish because it implies these two will face off later but that is not going to happen.  Rating:  ¼*

Okerlund interviews Dino Bravo, the Canadian Earthquake, and Jimmy Hart.  Hart hypes the “national disaster” under his tutelage.  Bravo tells Ronnie Garvin that it is time for him to get stomped for a change.

Dino Bravo (w/Jimmy Hart & the Canadian Earthquake) (3-0) pins Ronnie Garvin (2-0) after rolling through a flying body press at 3:17:

This is a rematch from WrestleMania V where Bravo went over, but that is not discussed.  Garvin got a big win at The Royal Rumble but that is already old news as Bravo dominates most of the match.  The highlight is when Garvin does some of the Garvin Stomp to Bravo and in the process stomps Earthquake’s hand.  Hart also takes a bigger bump than anyone in the match when Garvin tosses him into the ring over the top rope near the end.  Rating:  ½*

Following the match, the heels do a two-on-one attack and Earthquake gives Garvin two Earthquake Splashes.  Garvin sells it like death and does a stretcher job.  Between this and his performance in the Royal Rumble it is only a matter of time before Earthquake gets a big singles push.

Ventura hypes The Main Event on February 23 and interviews Randy Savage.  Savage says that having Mike Tyson as the referee will guarantee that there are no excuses for Hulk Hogan when he loses.  Savage warns Tyson that if he does not call it down the middle that he will be in for a bad day.

Okerlund interviews Hogan.  Hogan says he is tired of being asked when he is going to finish Savage once and for all.  Hogan promises to prove that Hulkamania is stronger than it has ever been.

The Last Word:  This was a really fun show with a hot opener, good angle advancement between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, and it continued the push the Canadian Earthquake is getting.  And the promos at the end adequately put over The Main Event on February 23.  Most fans did not give Savage much of a chance, though, because Hogan had beaten him a lot the previous year.

Up Next:  Wrestling Challenge for January 28!