Saturday Night Main Event No. 23
October 14th, 1989
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura
We skip ahead past Wrestlemania and Summerslam to just a month before The Survivor Series. We're just about to the climax of the Hogan vs Zeus feud. If you're a recent fan of the WWE and you actually believe the Great Khali is a talentless big man, then you need to see Zeus. Zeus makes Khali look like the second coming of Andre the Giant.
Macho King Randy Savage w/ Queen Sherri vs Superfly Jimmy Snuka
Just a few weeks earlier, Savage became the new King of the WWF. In a pre-match interview, Jesse Ventura repeats "All hail the king" several times. Think Regal in 2006, just without the British accent. Meanwhile, Snuka in his jibberish claims that the Superfly has no king or queen.
Cut to the ring with Snuka coming out and getting jumped once he gets in the ring. Savage runs the ropes, only to get one of Snuka's trademark chops and headbutts. Randy tries escaping, but Jimmy throws him back in the ring. Sherri does her best to distract Snuka which pays off with Savage sneak attacking Snuka. For the next few minutes, Savage proforms several versions of chokes.
Whenever the referee pushed him back, Sherri would choke the Superfly. Finally, Snuka gains control once Savage misses a high knee in the corner. Randy is suspended in a tree of woe with Jimmy taking shots on him. Once the ref pushes Snuka back, Sherri slips Savage her loaded purse.
Once again Superfly falls for Sherri's distraction and Savage hits him in the back and rolls him up in a school boy and gets the pin. Post match sees Savage missing the Elbow Drop and Snuka headbutting the King out of the ring. I love Snuka, but at this point of his career, he was really only good for his chops, headbutts and his crazy coked out facial expressions.
Speaking of which, Snuka looked like he just did a little sniffing before the match. Either way, this match would of been better had it happened before Snuka took some time off (Circa 1985). Six Minutes. Two Stars.
Hulk Hogan vs Ted Dibiase w/ Zeus
Ted Dibiase tells Jesse Ventura in a pre-match interview that he only buys the best of things and Zeus is his biggest investment to date. Hogan tells Mean Gene that Zeus should of finished him off when he had the chance. Dibiase heads to the ring with Zeus, but Virgil is missing.
The first half of the match really suffers with Zeus at ringside. Everytime Hogan got near him, Zeus would grab his legs. The problem with this is that Dibiase and Hogan could never really get in a flow. Luckily, Jake Roberts comes down to even the odds ad we get more of a match. With Hogan pounding Dibiase in the corner, Virgil comes running down and steals Damien in his bag.
This caused Roberts to run after Virgil and was enough of a distraction for Hogan for Dibiase to closeline him out of the ring. Back from commercial, Dibiase is in total control. Hogan starts a comeback, but a duel clothesline sent them both down to the mat. Dibiase gets up first and does a top rope knee across Hogan's throat.
He goes for the pin, but Hogan kicks out and begins to Hulk up. Hogan hits the ropes and nails Ted with the big boot, but before he can do anything else, Zeus comes in.
With Zeus holding Hogan, Dibiase goes to clothesline Hogan (Damn, there's a lot of clotheslines in this match), but Hogan ducks and he nails Zeus. The misstep allows Hogan to set Dibiase up for a small package pin for the three. For all haters of Hogan, him doing a small package is yet another example that he could do more than what he showed in the WWF. Post-match has a staredown between Zeus and Hogan.
Dibiase jumps Hogan and the double teaming begins until Jake Roberts returns with Damien to clear the ring. But before Roberts could get in the ring, Zeus "Breaks" Hogan's neck with a twisting neck move. I wonder how Zeus vs Hogan would of turned out at WM six.
All of this buildup was for that match, but they made the smart move of putting Warrior in the match instead. The first half of this match wasn't too good. It felt more like an interview turning physical than an actual match. The second half of the match went a lot better.
However, I still wish that Hogan and Dibiase a World Title match on PPV. Royal Rumble 1990 would of been perfect, but then we would of missed out on the epic Warrior/Hogan fight at the Rumble. Eight Minutes. Two Stars.
Roddy Piper vs Haku w/ Bobby Heenan
In a pre-match interview, Heenan talks about how the Heenan family loves to have fun and how Piper will pay for costing Rick Rude the IC Title at Summerslam. Roddy Piper in his return on SNME, acts too crazy to even make sense.
Piper comes to the ring, but Haku attacks him before the bell. Roddy counters and starts a flurry of punches and backhands. Haku is closelined out of the ring (Closeline is the move of the night I guess) and Piper jumps on Haku beating him up more. Piper back in the ring sees the weasel on the outside. The two of them runs around the ring until Haku knocks him down.
Back in the ring Haku hits a nice shoulderbreaker and a legdrop that looks like it would knock the wind out of you. Piper comes back and irish whips Haku to the ropes and thrusts Haku into the ring. Not sure what it's called, but it's typical done by big or power wrestlers (Umaga comes to mind).
With that, Piper hits a belly to belly suplex for the pin. Very short match with a full minute of Piper just in the ring and chasing Bobby. However, Haku hit a few good moves and Piper did a couple moves I've never seen him do before. I do wish that these two would of gotten more time. 10 minutes or so could have produced a three star match at least. Four Minutes. Two Stars.
Rick Martel w/ The Slick and The Enforcers vs Tito Santana w/ The Dream Team
Martel tells Mean Gene that he was the true member of Strike Force and he's going to prove that he's better than Santana. Tito says that he has a surprise for Martel. Martel makes his way down the ring with Akeem's music.
But besides having his manger The Slick, he also has the entire team of the Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Akeem and Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart of course). Santana comes out to the ring by himself but he whistles to the back and out comes the Red Rooster, Brutus Beefcake and Dusty Rhodes, The Dream Team.
The match begins with both former members of Strike Force hitting hard and going back and forth. Santana closelines Martel out of the ring (Seriously, was this a requirement for the night?) and attacks him outside the ring. Back inside, Santana starts dominating Martel and irish whips him into the ropes and flies off the opposite side to hit his Flying Forearm.
The Slick gets up on the ring apron to distract Santana. The Boss Man shoves Santana back which causes all six wrestlers to jump in the ring. Another ref comes down to stop from a fight breaking out. Cut to a commercial and when we get back, all is settled with both men fighting it out again. The two fight for another five minutes before Santana gets his former partner where he wants him.
While twisting Martel's leg around for the figure four leg-lock, Slick once again gets on the apron. Santana like a child with ADD seeing something shinny on the wall goes to the Slick trying to get his hands on him. Boss Man gets in the ring or rather falls over the ropes and chops Santana. This brings in the entire Dream Team followed by the rest of the Enforcers and we have an impromptu battle royal with the faces, The Dream Team being left in the ring.
The longest match of the night and they couldn't have picked a better two to take up the time. Not quite ppv quality, but it was a nice blend of in ring action and build up for The Enforcers vs The Dream Team at the Survivor Series. I still can't understand why they didn't book Santana vs Martel at Wrestlemania Six.
Neither man did much at the show, so I don't see why they couldn't have had one more major match and just book the Barbarian vs Koko B Ware. Nonetheless, Nine minutes. Three stars.
Rougeau Brothers w/ Jimmy Hart vs The Bushwackers
Raymond and Jacques heads down to the ring with the most bitchin' theme music of all time. For whatever reason, they're the only ones who doesn't have a pre-match interview.
Cut to the back with The Bushwackers with Mean Gene. This is their SNME debut. I can't really understand what Butch and Luke are saying, but I could make out the word "Cousin" used a few times. The interview ends with the Bushwackers licking Mean Gene. Good times?
Back to the ring, The Bushwackers jump the Rougeau's and knock them out of the ring, which leaves Jimmy Hart alone with the Kiwis. He tries to run out of the ring, but the Bushwackers grab him, but Jacques grabs Jimmy's hands. For a moment there's a tug of war with Hart being the rope. Finally, the Bushwackers ends up pulling the pants off of Jimmy Hart, like we needed to see that.
Once the match actually begins, it's all Raymond and Jacques up until Jacques showboats a bit and Luke takes over doing some moves that weren't common for a Bushwacker, dare I say they were actually good. In comes Butch to hit a battering ram with his head and a double gordbuster gets the three on Jacques. Short match, but some good moves displayed by the Rougeaus and surprisingly, Luke. Raymond and Jacques deserved much better though. Four minutes. 1 1/2 stars
The matches were below SNME's normal quality, but it was a great buildup for Survivor Series. Hogan and Zeus had another good build while The Dream Team/Enforcers had a nice build during the match. I do find it weird that all four men of Roddy's Rowdies in action, yet none of the members of the 4x4's and Ultimate Warriors. Rockers (half of the Ultimate Warriors) vs the Rougeaus could of been a great match. This was still a weak outing for SNME though.
Tito Santana vs Rick Martel