What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 3, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, and they kick off a new round of tapings in Phoenix, Arizona.  These tapings took place on February 13.  Ventura is clad in Hulk Hogan merchandise because he predicts Hogan will win the WrestleMania VI main event.

Opening Contest:  Randy Savage (w/Sensational Sherri) (1-1) pins Jim Powers after the flying elbow drop at 1:29:

Powers scores a near-fall from a clothesline but a distraction from Sherri puts Savage in control and he finishes quickly with a flying elbow drop.  In the split screen Savage and Sherri yell about WrestleMania, with Sherri telling Sapphire that she is “going to knock her big fat butt into her big fat butt.”

Gene Okerlund hosts a new Update segment.  After replaying Hulk Hogan saving the Ultimate Warrior from Earthquake on Main Event Hogan cuts a promo.  Hogan says that God is keeping he and the Warrior apart.  He argues that the Warrior would be a poor leader for his fans, vowing to turn the Intercontinental Champion into a Hulkamaniac at WrestleMania.  The Warrior counters with less sensical promo by saying that he has poisoned Hogan but the power of Hulkamania is proving to be the elixir to that poison.  He says that he wants Hogan to walk with him to the edge and move beyond his fears.

The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) defeat Pete Ketchum & Mark Young when Tanaka pins Ketchum after a German suplex at 1:55:

The Express were composed of Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato and each man went by their last name as part of the team.  Tanaka was a second-generation wrestler as his father, Duke Keomuka, was a survivor of the Japanese internment camps in World War II and teamed with Hiro Matsuda in Florida in the 1950s, winning the Florida version of the NWA tag team titles four times.  Starting for Jim Crockett promotions in 1985, Tanaka received a push in Memphis as a tag team specialist, teaming with Jeff Jarrett and Paul Diamond.  Tanaka and Diamond formed a tag team called Badd Company, which won titles in Memphis and later the AWA Tag Team Championship from the Rockers in 1988.  Sato started wrestling in 1970 and during that decade he worked in Texas and Central States.  In the 1980s he worked largely for All Japan but then returned to the United States for a tag team run in Memphis with Tarzan Goto.  Before signing with the WWF, he also had a brief run in the AWA under the nickname “The Asian Assassin.”

Mr. Fuji hypes his team in the split screen, billing them as Japan’s top tag team and that they have devious ideas for the rest of the WWF.  Although the Orient Express are wearing red tights with a Japanese flag on them, they are different, with Tanaka preferring long tights to Sato’s short ones.  It is a rough debut as Young puts Tanaka on his heels and then plants Sato with a hurricanrana.  Ketchum fails to keep up the jobber momentum, though, as Sato kicks him in the head and Tanaka has to deadlift Ketchum into a German suplex – nearly losing his balance on the bridge – to secure the win.

Jake Roberts tells Ted DiBiase that he has put the Million Dollar Championship in Damien’s bag but that does not mean Damien is in there.  He shows off the multitude of snakes that could await a prying hand.

Roddy Piper (5-0) pins Dale Wolfe after a side suplex in 28 seconds:

Piper says that Bad News Brown does not know what hard times are in an insert promo as he makes his way to the ring.  Wolfe grabs Piper’s kilt from the timekeeper and tries it on in the ring, sending Piper into a rage.  Piper turns into the Ultimate Warrior, blitzing Wolfe with a series of clothesline and finishing with the side suplex.

Rick Martel cuts a commercial for Arrogance, putting it over as a cologne that will make the ladies worship you.

The Mr. Perfect squash from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

Brother Love, recovered from last week’s beating at the hands of the Big Bossman, hosts Hercules on this week’s episode.  Hercules shows good fire in his promo, saying he can survive Earthquake and the aftershock and vowing to win at WrestleMania.

Okerlund does the WrestleMania VI Report.  Akeem and Slick vow to get the Bossman at the pay-per-view and the Bossman counters by saying that his shackles are one size fits all and his former tag team partner will wear them.  Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire vow to whip some booty in the mixed tag team match.  Brutus Beefcake warns Mr. Perfect that he will ruin his perfect record and perfect haircut.  And mew matches are also announced.  These include Tito Santana against the Barbarian, Jimmy Snuka against Rick Rude, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan against Dino Bravo.  Duggan tells Bravo that he can fight back, unlike the weights that Bravo is famous for lifting.  Rhythm & Blues will also sing their hit song “Hunka Hunka Honky Love.”

Demolition (3-0) defeat Buddy Rose & Larry Stevens when Ax pins Stevens after Demolition Decapitation at 2:52:

Rose was an experienced veteran by 1990, having worked for the AWA, NWA, the Pacific Northwest, and for the WWF on two prior occasions in the early 1980s.  A trainee of Verne Gagne, Rose wrestled the first match in WrestleMania history, donning a mask as the Executioner and losing to Tito Santana.  Without the mask he was best known to fans in the late 1980s for his tag team with Doug Somers in the AWA, leading to a bloody series of matches with the Rockers over the promotion’s tag team titles.

As the squash plays out, WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection and Bobby Heenan tell Demolition that if they want the belts they will have to come and get them at WrestleMania.  Rose is grotesquely overweight, something that McMahon and Ventura call attention to on commentary.  He takes his fair share of axe handle blows from Ax before tagging in Stevens, who endures on a two-on-one beatdown and Demolition Decapitation.

Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart tell Hulk Hogan that he will realize why Bravo is the world’s strongest man.  Hogan rebuts by hyping the power of his twenty-four-inch pythons.  Earthquake warns Hogan that he may not leave next week’s broadcast unscathed.

Tune in next week to see Hulk Hogan face Dino Bravo!

The Last Word:  There was no feature match this week but the trickle of news about WrestleMania VI continued.  The new bouts do not add much to the show, although it probably seemed weird to fans that the Barbarian was getting a singles match against Tito Santana.  The Orient Express did not look good in their squash since they did not function as a unit and the commentators largely ignored them.  This, coupled with getting Mr. Fuji as a manager, is not a good sign for their future.

Up Next:  Wrestling Challenge for March 4!