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Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #20

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night's Main Event #20 - March 1989

- Taped from Hershey, PA.

- Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura.

- Ravishing Rick Rude v. Brutus Beefcake.

My god, the mullets! So many mullets! Long lockup to start and they slug it out, which Beefcake wins to set up a backdrop. Quick sleeper by Beefcake, but Rude breaks. Beefcake tries the corner punches, but gets atomic dropped and Rude knees him in the gut. Suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock, as Andre joins us for no discernible reason other than to give Jake Roberts an excuse to be there as well. Beefcake comes back with an atomic drop, but runs into a knee. Rude tosses him and Andre beats the crap out of him, which as predicted draws out the Snake, and it's a wash. (Beefcake NC Rude, 5:41, *) Really disappointing, as both guys were in the midst of big pushes and I was expecting a lot more out of this than a setup for the lame Roberts-Andre match.

- Hulk Hogan v. Bad News Brown.

Once again, I would like to stress that Bad News was so far ahead of his time, with 90s attitude and UFC street cred, that it's a shame he wasn't born 20 years later. He could have been like Samoa Joe or something. Bad News attacks to start and pounds on Hulk, then chokes him down. He misses elbows, however, and Hulk slugs him out of the ring. Hulk slingshots him back in and elbows him down, setting up the elbowdrops and a big boot. Bad News no-sells a shot to the turnbuckle, however, and takes over. He runs into a boot and gets dumped and Hogan keeps coming as they brawl on the floor, but Brown finally sends him into the post to go on offense for good. They fight over a chair and Hogan wins that battle, so a frustrated Brown heads to the back as we take a break. He returns with a snow shovel of some sort, but Hogan gets rid of it and hammers away in the ring. Brown catches him with a clothesline and works him over. Hogan takes a breather outside, where he gets run into the post again. Back in, Brown gets the legsweep for two. He stops and cuts a promo mid-match on Hogan, telling him outright that it's time for the Ghetto Blaster, and if that doesn't count as the most blatant telegraphing of a move ever, I don't know what does. (I’m surprised someone hasn’t literally tweeted at ringside that they were about to do a finisher, actually.)  Needless to say, Hogan dodges the enzuigiri and the rest is academic. (Hogan d. Brown, legdrop -- pin, 10:00, **1/2) Brown being a jerk and Hogan acting all fired up to prepare for Savage was a good combination, and the result was a good brawl and lots of fun. It should be noted that Elizabeth was with Hogan here, thus proving Savage's suspicions correct.

- Ted Dibiase v. The Blue Blazer.

Dibiase clotheslines Blazer off the backflip into the ring and elbows him down. Elbowdrops follow, but the Blazer cradles for two. Backslide gets two. Dibiase clotheslines him, however, and gets the middle-rope elbow. Suplex and backdrop, but Blazer lands on his feet and dropkicks him out of the ring. He follows with a rather nasty tope, and Dibiase hits the post afterwards. Back in, Blazer gets a high cross for two. Backdrop a pair of dropkicks have Dibiase reeling, but a crossbody attempt is reversed to a powerslam for the pin. (Dibiase d. Blazer, powerslam -- pin, 3:55, **) A very energetic, but short, TV match.  (Seemed way better when I was a kid.) 

- The Rockers v. The Brainbusters.

This is pretty famous, as both teams were making their network TV debut and decided to blow the roof off the place. Donnybrook to start and Tully rolls up Marty, but Shawn breaks it up and Rockers clean house. Arn goes up and gets slammed off by Shawn, who follows with a Boston crab. Tully breaks it up and it's BONZO GONZO already, and the Busters bail. Shawn suplexes Tully back in and slugs away in the corner, then hiptossses him into a flying headscissors. Arn comes in and gets taken down, but boots Shawn in the gut. Bobby pulls down the top rope for good measure, getting himself thrown out of the match in the process. We take a break and return with Marty slugging it out with Tully and sending him into the corner, but Arn makes the classic blind tag and clobbers Jannetty from behind. The Busters take over, but Marty gets a sunset flip for two. Arn tosses him to end that rally, but Marty keeps coming with a another one for two. Marty slugs it out with Tully and they do a great pinfall reversal sequence with the bridges into the backslide, but Marty ends up in the heel corner again. Arn gets the BADASS spinebuster for two, but misses the pump splash. Hot tag Shawn Michaels, who rams the Busters into each other. They come back with a double-team on Shawn for two, but everyone brawls outside for the countout. (Rockers DCOR Brainbusters, 8:36, ****) This was a monster tag match by TV standards, probably the best one ever on SNME and featuring tons of innovative stuff that hadn't been done in the WWF before, like the NWA-ish pinfall reversal sequence that was right out of a Flair match. They were shooting for the full monty here, and given another 7-10 minutes and a finish, likely would have gotten it.

- Red Rooster v. Brooklyn Brawler.

And from that to this. (Rooster d. Brawler, small package -- pin, 1:03, DUD)

The Pulse:

Rockers v. Brainbusters is a no-brainer (nyuk nyuk), but Hogan-Bad News is also very much worth a look, making this one of the best SNMEs in the whole series.


  1. Didn't Nash try to justify the horrid format of the first hour in some interviews afterwards?

  2. That Rockers/Brianbusters match is up there on matches I wish had gotten more time. Owen/123 Kid from KOTR94 is up there, too.

  3. Stranger in the AlpsJuly 30, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    They left the ring to admire the interior decorating of the arena......together, hand in hand.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  4. People ask me how I can put up with the idiocy of RAW for so many years.
    I tell them after watching Nitro in 1999, absolutely nothing can kill my wrestling viewing patience anymore.

  5. Apparantly, claimed just having fun and such and today can back it up with the stupid stuff going around in WWE and TNA.

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  7. Bad News could have been like Samoa Joe? Bad News probably made and drew 10 times the money Samoa Joe ever has. Too bad he was never in tip top shape but hell he was 45 years old here! After cowering in fear of him while watching Stampede as a kid it's nice he at least got a couple years of big paydays.

    As for the Rockers/Brainbusters match, it's no surprise it was such a barnburner, HBK has gone on record about how big a fan he was of Tully Blanchard so letting them cut loose on NBC all but guaranteed a good match.

  8. I'm not saying it was good, but I thought 99 Nitro was watchable at least. 2000 Nitro was when the product got completely unwatchable.


    Oh my God, I was 11 it was SOOOOOO exciting. The house show main was Savage going over Warrior by DQ in an (I think) IC title match. Days later my mom talked about how crazy it was when Savage came off the top rope to attack Warrior and he just caught him like he was nothing.

  10. Hindsight being 20-20, you do a Brainbusters/Rockers rematch at WM5 to blow off the mini-feud and add a superb match to that show. Strike Force vs. Bossman/Akeem works just as well given the breakup storyline, and maybe even works even better at generating sympathy for Tito when Martel leaves to get crushed by two giants.

  11. This was the show that finally made me stop watching Nitro. After nearly two years of switching between shows, although with less and less time spent on Nitro, I was henceforth only a Raw guy.

  12. I'm glad I basically remember zero of this show. I can actually recall a lot of incidents on Nitros you've reviewed, but this one definitely eludes my memory.

  13. Probably. Did he blame it on the merger, or on Goldberg's injury?

  14. What's interesting about this show is that it was in the same arena as Mick Foley's title win against The Rock on RAW a couple months before. I was in the building for both shows. Talk about a contrast...

  15. He probably "didn't have the book yet" for that first hour


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