Skip to main content

Yearly Review: WWF January 1989

WWF kicks off the new year with a few debuts and the Royal Rumble takes place.
WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Randy Savage)
At the Royal Rumble on January 14th, Savage was eliminated from the Rumble match by Hulk Hogan. Hogan had also tossed out Bad News Brown to go along with Savage. However, being eliminated by Hogan didn’t sit well with Savage at all. He had a brief argument with Hogan but was led to the backstage are by Miss Elizabeth. However, before the end of the show, Savage claimed that cooler heads had prevailed and that he and Hogan were on the same page.

Throughout the month, Savage continued to have matches with Bad News Brown on the house show market. Savage would be victorious each time they fought. Savage easily won his feud with Brown.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: the Ultimate Warrior)

At the Royal Rumble on January 14th, Warrior won a pose down competition against Rick Rude. Rude didn’t take the lost well and ended up attacking Warrior and choking him with a steel bar. Once he recovered from the beating, Warrior attacked several officials before running to the backstage area looking for Rude.

On the house show market, Warrior primarily competed against King Haku and came out victorious each time.

WWF World Tag Team Championship Scene: (currently held by: Demolition)

During the January 24th taping of WWF Superstars, it was announced that Demolition would defend the tag team titles against the Powers of Pain at WrestleMania V. They would continue to have several matches on the house show market with Demolition retaining the titles each time.

Other Happenings:

- At the January 3rd taping of WWF Superstars, Brother Love brought out snakes to show the world that Andre the Giant wasn’t actually afraid of them. However, Bobby Heenan and Andre wouldn’t allow Love to open the bag thus showing the world that Andre is indeed afraid of snakes. It would be announced during the January 24th Superstars taping that Andre would square off against Roberts at WrestleMania V. Roberts began to play mind games with Andre during the same taping by saying over the PA during Andre’s match that he and his snake Damien were watching Andre.

- Ted DiBiase began to mention that he was having a Million Dollar Championship created. Several vignettes aired that saw DiBiase telling a jeweler what he wanted the championship to look like. He also continued his feud with Hercules on the house show market.

- During the January 3rd taping of WWF Superstars, Dino Bravo came down to ringside during Jim Duggan’s match waving the Quebec flag. This would lead to several flag matches on the house show market with Duggan being victorious.

- The Bushwhackers made their WWF debut on WWF Superstars.

- Rick Martel made his return from an injury suffered back in June of 1988.

- Brooklyn Brawler made his debut.

- Continuing with the trend of debuts, the Rougeau Brothers debuted their new theme song “All American Boys”.

- During the January 4th taping of WWF Wrestling Challenge, WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin brawled with Sherri Martel. Martel would make it clear that she wanted a title shot against Robin.

- Ron Bass began a short feud with Brutus Beefcake which started at the January 23rd MSG house show where Bass attempted to steal Beefcake’s scissors. This caused Beefcake to lose to Mr. Perfect by count-out. During the same show, Beefcake got some revenge by screwing Bass out of a match against Tito Santana.

- The Brainbusters and the Rockers continued to have matches on the house show market with each team picking up victorious over the course of the month.

Royal Rumble 1989:

- Jim Duggan and the Hart Foundation defeated Dino Bravo and the Rougeau Brothers in a best two out of three falls bout.
- WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin defeated Judy Martin to retain the title.
- King Haku defeated Harley Race
- Big John Studd won a 30 man Royal Rumble.


Royal Rumble 1989: 1.5 

Bob's Reaction: 
An enjoyable month worth of angle advancements from the WWF. Though, I hate the Bushwhackers. They were so much better as the Sheepherders in the NWA. Their comedy gimmick in the WWF got old really quick for me.

Ted DiBiase introducing his own personal championship is a great idea. It goes along well with the fact he has enough money to create it for himself.

The card for WrestleMania V, title match wise looks to be pretty good. Savage/Hogan, Warrior/Rude and Demolition/Powers of Pain.

I thought it was interesting that Big John Studd won the Royal Rumble. If the stipulation of winning a championship match at Mania had been introduced we would have gotten Savage/Studd instead. Personally, I didn't think it was a great choice, but oh well.

What are your thoughts on the WWF in January of 1989?

Also, check out my blog Wrestling Recaps and if you enjoy the series support the blog by liking it on Facebook


  1. I really enjoyed the Savage - Bad News feud. I would´ve really liked a proper end to their feud, on a bigger stage. Of course, there wasn´t room for that with the Mega Powers thing going on, but still.

    Would have preferred DiBiase winning the Rumble, that´s for sure.

    "All American Boys". Such an awesome, awesome theme-song.

    And finally, I always dug the opening six man tag at the Royal Rumble.

  2. The RR was my first ever live show. Dark matches were Jim Powers beating Barry Horowitz with a missle dropkick, and Sam Houston beating Steve Lombardi with a bulldog. It was a great show live, although live we missed stuff like the drawings and DiBiase buying #30. I also recall Savage actually getting cheered by some of the audience over Hogan.

  3. Just wanted to mention that today is the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania IV and the first Clash of the Champions. Still love to watch Flair v. Sting!

  4. I would have liked to see Savage defend the title at Rumble against Brown, and have Hogan win the Rumble to start the tensions between the two.

    Funny stat: Randy Savage only defended the title twice on TV or PPV during his year long reign. Not including defending against Hogan at 5.

  5. Insane that they were booking WM matches back in January compared to today. And RR is a forgotten great ppv.

  6. To be fair, they didn't have No Way Out/Elimination Chamber to get through before WrestleMania. That said, I really do miss the days when matches, even midcard matches, were booked well in advance of the PPV.

  7. Andre and Dibiase?

  8. I enjoyed The Brainbusters - Mega Powers confrontation in the Rumble match.

  9. Adding the stipulation of "winner gets a title shot at WrestleMania" did a lot to add importance and prestige to the Rumble but it also took away a lot of the unpredictability as well. If you are watching the 1989 Rumble and a title shot at WM is on the line, well we all know who is winning.

  10. Kayfabe Commentaries is just releasing TIMELINE: 1989 with Brutus Beefcake

    Gotta acquire it.

  11. The Million Dollar Title was a great idea, because after Ted made the rounds through Hogan & Savage, he really had jack shit to offer the Main Event scene, and so had to make some kind of a midcard name for himself. His feuds with Jake Roberts & Brutus Beefcake kind of kept him going, but he never really WON any of those feuds, either. It's kind of odd to watch his career progression as a whole- he's a Main Eventer for a couple years, then gets downgraded to Upper Midcard as a feud-guy for up & comers or other Upper Mid guys (Jake, etc.), then slowly loses even that position... then all of a sudden becomes a Tag Team guy with I.R.S., thus giving his career a resurgence in THOSE ranks for a good while.

    Overall, it's a nice solid career, and a good use of a guy to prevent him from getting stale. Compare that to THESE days.

  12. Andre and One Man Gang.

  13. There were some fantastic MSG matches that were taped however.

  14. I feel like I've seen 3,000 different Savage/DiBiase matches from 1989.

  15. Agreed. Savage needed some more variety for his main feuds in 88/89, too much Dibiase, Andre, and Akeem.


Post a Comment