Skip to main content

Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #19

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night's Main Event #19 - January 1989

- #18 wasn't on the list of stuff, which means that I've done it somewhere before. It didn't sound familiar to me -- Ultimate Warrior v. Super Ninja? -- but at this point my fans know better than I do what I've covered and what I haven't anyway. Again, if you're enjoying these SNME rants, check out, because it needs the traffic and stuff.  (Not anymore, apparently.) 

- I'd also like to note before we begin that today, Feb. 25, marks my first wedding anniversary, although I can only hope to achieve the kind of long-term wedded bliss of Britney and K-Fed.  (Ninth anniversary was this year!) 

- Taped from Tampa, FL.

- Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura.

- Hair v. Hair match: Brutus Beefcake v. Outlaw Ron Bass.

The backstory is the usual for wrestling -- Bass costs Beefcake his shot at the title, Brutus is pissed and wants revenge in C-show midcard matches around the country. I can't believe Beefcake's low-grade blading required a big red X on it, unless it was to cover up the fact that there was no blood. I've seen Lex Luger go deeper than that. Boss opts for the sneak attack, but loses his whip and runs away. He's helpless without his giant phallic symbol, you see. Beefcake quickly gets a high knee and Bass bails, so Beefcake won't let him back into the ring. Back in, Beefcake slugs him down and pounds away on the mat. Bass comes back with an inverted atomic drop and a gutbuster, and now it's Beefcake on the floor. Back in, Bass elbows him in the gut and adds a running boot. He keeps working over Beefcake's abs, and he's just lucky it's not Rick Rude or all this psychology would be for NOTHING. Piledriver gets nothing, as Beefcake is in the ropes. Stun gun gets two. Lariat gets two. Bass thinks it's over, but of course it's not, and in fact he walks into the sleeper and goes nightie-night. (Beefcake d. Bass, sleeper -- submission, 7:40, *1/2) Basic kick and punch TV match, with some interesting stuff with Bass working over the midsection for no real reason. Bass showed up for the Royal Rumble with his 'do and then vanished off the face of the earth.  (Kudos to them at the time because I legitimately bought the washed-up Bass as a threat to Beefcake back in 88.) 

- Hulk Hogan v. Akeem.

Hogan is borrowing Liz AGAIN tonight. No wonder Savage got all jealous. Randy, however, is watching via a TV in the back with Mean Gene. Akeem misses a charge to start and Hulk slugs away, then he stops to go after Bossman and Slick. Back in, he tries to slam the African Dream, but gets pounded down. Hogan runs into an assortment of turnbuckles, but tries a wristlock and gets taken down. That wrestling stuff always comes back to bite you on the ass. He comes back with more punches, having learned his lesson about wrestling, and sends the Towers into each other. OMG, he's like a one man gang! Akeem kills the ref and the beatdown is on. Then begins the funniest portion of the match, as Savage is watching backstage with Gene and they have a conversation which I'm paraphrasing and embellishing below:

Mean Gene: My god, they're killing him! (Akeem and Bossman hit Hogan with a series of splashes and stomps the crap out of him.)

Savage: I'm gonna see how this plays out first.

Mean Gene: They're literally ripping his head off and shitting down his throat! (Indeed, Bossman has dropped his pants and is defecating on the headless corpse of Hogan, something you didn't often see on network TV at the time)

Savage: I have every confidence in him, Mean Gene. GO HULKSTER!

That's why I was cheering for Savage at Wrestlemania V. And in fact, Savage proves to be RIGHT, as Hogan comes back from all that after the break and the match continues. (Never bet against Hogan!  Overcoming the odds is what he DOES!)  Hulk takes Akeem down with the dreaded POPEYE PUNCH OF DOOM. Big boot, bodyslam, and the inevitable DQ. (Hogan d. Akeem, DQ, 7:00, 1/2*) This went nowhere but the point was to set up The Main Event #2, with the Megapowers EXPLODING, and that it did. Sadly, Savage's gay buccaneer look was just too far ahead of its time, as there wasn't yet a porno version of Pirates of the Caribbean for him to star in. However, if they did decide to make Butt Pirates of the Caribbean today, Randy could haul it out of the closet and be ready.

- Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Honky Tonk Man.

This feud pretty much peaked with their first match. Stupid "fact" du jour -- three different announcers tout the idea that Honky would be the first person to regain the IC title, which is ludicrous considering there had just recently been a Coliseum video released detailing how Pedro Morales, Don Muraco and Tito Santana had all done just that. Anyway, Warrior tosses Honky around like the proverbial sack of potatoes to start, but misses a charge and Honky uses the megaphone to beat him down. This shows the fundamental problem with the "feud" -- Honky was so out of Warrior's league that he couldn't even go on OFFENSE without something extreme like that. He stomps away in the corner and dodges an elbow, but Warrior no-sells and clotheslines him down. Splash hits knee and Honky gets two. Funny spot as Honky tries a clothesline, and Warrior won't even sell the minimal amount needed to MOVE, and Honky just bounces off him awkwardly. Warrior then finishes with a shoulder tackle. (Warrior d. Honky Tonk, shoulderblock -- pin, 4:49, 1/4*) Both guys were just phoning it in, and that pretty much ended Honky's run as any kind of singles threat.

- Terry Taylor v. Tito Santana.

Speaking of people who weren't a singles threat, this was the big angle where Red Rooster turned face. Yay. Lockup in the corner to start, and they criss-cross into a Tito dropkick for two. Tito tries a splash and hits knee, allowing Taylor to take over. Jawbreaker and choking follow. Sunset flip is blocked and Tito comes back. Backdrop and spinning toehold, but Taylor pushes him off. Heenan pulls his guy out and slaps him around, and we take a break. Back with Terry getting a kneedrop for two. Tito cradles for two. Backslide gets two. Blind charge hits boot and Taylor gets a piledriver for two. Stun gun sets up a scorpion death lock, but Tito comes back and dumps him with a clothesline. Heenan, fed up with Taylor, throws him back in and Tito rolls him up for the pin. (Santana d. Taylor, rollup -- pin, 7:44, *1/2) Really long and dull, as Heenan's abuse of Taylor was the focus and ruined the match. Taylor officially turns on him afterwards, setting up the epic Rooster v. Brawler feud, and as it turned out he should have stayed with Bobby.

- Koko B. Ware v. Mr. Perfect.

(Hall of Famer Koko is back in his rightful spot in the death slot.)  This was before the vignettes, before the longer tights, and definitely before the steroids and managers. Koko hiptosses him out of the ring to start, but Perfect comes back with chops. He grabs a headlock, but gets armdragged. Perfect gives him a cheapshot and pounds him in the corner, and a dropkick puts Koko on the floor. Koko comes back and misses a charge, and the hot new move promised, The Perfectplex, puts him away perfectly. (Perfect d. Koko, Perfectplex -- pin, 3:07, *) Just a squash.

The Pulse:

I gotta say, this one made me want to see The Main Event #2 now, and good thing because it's next on the list. Not really a memorable show otherwise.  (The Savage exchange and Rooster face turn make it pretty notable.)