November 24, 1990
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Sean Mooney, Jimmy Hart, and the Honky Tonk Man. The show is billed as a “Mega Card” with a main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake.
“British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. “Playboy” Buddy Rose
Rose takes umbrage at being announced as 317 lbs. He then says he has proof of what he really weighs and pulls out a scale that claims he weighs 217 lbs, something Howard Finkel confirms even though Rose is holding the scale in his hands. Rose takes Davey down with a hip toss then does some jumping jacks. Rose follows with a slam but Davey comes back with a hip toss and a slam of his own before dropkicking Rose outside. Davey works the arm and they trade kip-ups then Rose hits Davey with a knee smash. Rose now works a reverse chinlock then tosses Davey outside. Hart says that Davey is missing his tag team partner but Mooney says he is back here on his own. Davey slingshots in with a sunset flip but Rose is able to regain his balance and hit a sitdown splash. Davey reverses with a cradle for two then both men collide as Rose falls on top for a two count. Rose heads up top but Davey tosses him off then runs wild for a bit. Davey ducks his head and gets kicked as Rose now works a chinlock. The crowd gets behind Davey as Rose chops him in the corner. Rose rakes Davey across the chest then chokes him out. Knee drop gets two but he misses a charge in the corner then Davey picks him up for a running powerslam and the win (8:48) **.
Thoughts: Fun opening match here. Despite his size Rose still had some athleticism and could work around his physical limitations. The crowd was into this more than most matches on the show.
Boris Zhukov vs. Tugboat
Zhukov attacks Tugboat before the bell. He hammers away until Tugboat reverses an Irish whip and hits a clothesline. Tugboat runs over Zhukov for a two count as the latter bails. Tugboat follows out and tosses Zhukov back inside where he yanks his beard. Tugboat works a side headlock now and wrenches it several times as Zhukov drops to the mat. Hart is pissed at Tugboat for bringing Hogan back and giving out bracelets. Tugboat now works a chinlock as Honky declares that Hulkamania will be over soon. Zhukov rakes the eyes then hits a double axe handle from the middle rope for a one count. Zhukov ‘chokes” out Tugboat by using the ropes then cuts off a comeback with a boot to the face. Hart leaves commentary to help Earthquake get ready for his match as Zhukov works the neck. Tugboat escapes and lands some punches before hitting a corner splash. The crowd chants “boring” then Tugboat hits a slam then a splash for the win (5:57) DUD.
Thoughts: Terrible match, which was to be expected given the participants. This was the last match Zhukov wrestled for the WWF although he did have matches air from TV tapings that took place a few weeks prior. Not even being paired with Hogan could save Tugboat, who the fans still do not care about at all.
Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hulk Hogan
Hogan is still quite over with the crowd. Earthquake attacks Hogan from behind and targets the back. Hogan rolls away from an elbow drop and pops up to rip off his shirt. Hogan fires away then hits a big boot. He follows with a corner clothesline then mounted punches and ends by biting Earthquake’s forehead. Hogan signals for a slam then knocks him to one knee. Hogan punches Hart off of the apron and attempts to slam Earthquake but fails. Earthquake now works a Boston Crab but Hogan is able to fight back. He tries for another slam but Earthquake falls on top and gets a nearfall. Earthquake drops an elbow for two then puts on a bearhug. The crowd gets behind Hogan, who is starting to look limp. The ref raises Hogan’s arm but is stays up after the third attempt. Hogan starts firing away to break the hold but gets run over with a shoulder block. Earthquake then hits a running powerslam and steps on Hogan while flexing his biceps. Earthquake sets up for his sit-down splash but Hogan kicks out at two and hulks up. We now see Dino Bravo at ringside as Hogan starts pumping himself up before throwing punches. He takes Earthquake down with a big boot then knocks Bravo off of the apron. Earthquake pulls Hogan outside and they start brawling. Hogan tosses both Earthquake & Hart inside but Bravo takes him down with a sneak attack as Hogan gets counted out (8:33) **. After the match, Hogan tosses Hart at Earthquake, who catches him. Hogan then slams Earthquake but Bravo attacks from behind and stomps away. Hart is back in cheering on Bravo then Earthquake gets up to assist Bravo with a double clothesline. Hogan continues to get beat down and Earthquake sets up for his splash but Tugboat runs out with a chair to make the save.
Thoughts: The match was okay but really just followed the Hogan formula he was using at this time but less inspired here. This feud has little juice left but there is nothing else you can really run as a main event that can draw. They tried Warrior vs. Savage this same day in Detroit and could only draw 1,800 fans. Yikes.
Haku vs. Shane Douglas
Hart is back on commentary and says that Earthquake’s victory was a victory for his entire organization. Douglas hits a dropkick after an Irish whip sequence and follows with a pair of arm drags. Haku ducks out for a breather then returns as they seemingly mess up a float over spot but Douglas remains in control. Douglas takes Haku over with a monkey flip for two then starts working the arm. Haku fights back and hits a back suplex for two. Douglas comes back with a sunset flip for two but Haku knocks him back down. Haku works a nerve hold after hitting a shoulderbreaker then Douglas escapes and hits a bulldog as both men are down. Douglas fires away first then starts running wild. He gets a nearfall with a clothesline then with a Thesz Press before hitting turnbuckle smashes. Haku fights back and pokes the eye and whips Douglas into the corner but ends up getting hit with a crossbody as Douglas picks up the surprise win (7:48) *1/2.
Thoughts: Not much to this one. These two had a 15 minute draw on Prime Time Wrestling a month or so prior and that was not very good, either. At least this time the match featured more action. Douglas is getting a lower card push now as poor Haku is really sliding down the card and firmly established as the lowest man on the Totem Pole in the Heenan Family.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match with Special Guest Referee Roddy Piper: Mr. Perfect vs. Texas Tornado (c)
Piper maintains order before the bell rings as he yells at Perfect to stay in the corner. Perfect tries to cheap shot Tornado but Piper hooked his arm, allowing Tornado to knock him down. Perfect yells at Piper but Tornado takes him down with an armbar. Perfect bails for a breather then keeps sliding back in and out. Tornado follows and beats on Perfect, even hitting him with a discus punch as Perfect takes a delayed bump off and whacks the apron. Back inside, Tornado goes back to the arm. Perfect fights back then takes off the turnbuckle cover but it backfires as Tornado almost puts him away with another discus punch. Tornado puts on a Boston Crab but eats boot on a charge as Perfect starts hammering away. Tornado gets dropkicked outside then Perfect heads up top but Piper orders him down. Tornado blocks a turnbuckle smash but Perfect ends up punching him off of the apron. Tornado heads back in and Perfect locks on a sleeper. Perfect takes Tornado down with a knee lift then gets a nearfall with a small package. Tornado fights back but the fans do not seem to care. Perfect grabs Tornado’s hair but Tornado ends up whipping Perfect into Piper by accident. Tornado covers for two then collides with Perfect after that. Tornado gets up and uses the claw but Perfect gets out. Perfect hits a hard chop but fails on a slam attempt and the two end up in the corner. Perfect rakes the eyes and chops Tornado down for a two count then hits a bridging back suplex as Tornado seems to have gotten his shoulder up before the three count. Perfect thinks he has won but is informed that Tornado’s shoulder was up and remains the Intercontinental Champion (11:38) **1/4. After the match, Perfect stares at Piper then gets in his face. He then nails Piper in the face with the belt and takes a shot at Tornado too. Perfect starts beating the shit out of Piper until a few referees run out to pull them all off. Perfect decks Tornado for pulling him off then Piper gets up and bolts towards Perfect, who is out on the outside. Perfect then walks away as Piper stumbles up the aisle then heads back inside to raise Tornado’s arm.
Thoughts: The highlight here was at the end when Perfect attacked Piper. The story of the match was Piper not letting Perfect get away with anything as these two are now going to be locked in a house show program. The match was fine and the best on the show but it was nothing worth going out of your way to see.
Lord Alfred Hayes is with Mr. Perfect, who calls out Piper for being awful at announcing, wrestling, and refereeing. He then challenges Piper to a match next month. After that, Piper says he’s never been perfect at anything and all he wants for Christmas is Mr. Perfect at MSG. And we have a match set for next month.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase & Virgil vs. Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
We get a brawl to start off the match. DiBiase & Virgil get whipped into each other then bail as the Rhodes family stand tall in the ring. Dustin and Virgil are inside as Virgil messes up going over the top rope after a clothesline then just goes out anyway as the announcers talk about his lack of wrestling experience. Virgil returns as Dustin runs him over then hits a dropkick. Virgil gets knocked outside again and gets yelled at by DiBiase, who then tags himself into the match. DiBiase beats on Dustin, who then fights back and knocks DiBiase outside. Dusty rolls DiBiase back inside after tagging in then takes him down after a few elbow smashes. Dusty then uses mounted elbows in the corner but Virgil creates a distraction, allowing DiBiase to attack from behind. Virgil tags in and chokes out Dusty on the mat. DiBiase is back in and applies a chinlock but he escapes and tags out. Dustin beats on Virgil but they collide then DiBiase chokes out Dustin behind the ref’s back. Dusty runs out for the save as Virgil is stomping on Dustin and choking him out. Dustin comes back with a dropkick as Dusty has words with Honky. DiBiase runs inside and breaks up a pin then hits Dustin with a powerslam and drapes Virgil’s arm on top as that gets the win (8:51) *.
Thoughts: DiBiase tried hard to hold this together but this was mostly a mess. Virgil struggled and you can see how hard they phased out The Rhodes as they did not get a whole lot in this match.
Honky gets into the ring to perform “Hunka Hunka Honky Love.”
Before his match, Slaughter & Adnan force Finkel to tell the crowd its Veterans Day in Iraq and for them to stand up and give ten seconds of silence. Adnan then yells at the crowd in his native tongue for some cheap heel heat. They are really forcing Slaughter’s cheap heat anywhere they can as it gets mixed results. It seems to do well on the house shows but on TV, its not always getting over.
Sgt. Slaughter w/ Gen. Adnan vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Slaughter ducks underneath the rope to avoid Duggan, who starts up a “U-S-A” chant. Slaughter hammers away in the corner but Duggan comes back and clotheslines him over the top rope. Slaughter’s chin gets stuck on the bottom rope as Adnan helps him off. Back inside, Slaughter hammers away then chokes out Duggan on the middle rope. He continues to beat on Duggan, who starts to fight back. Duggan misses a charge and gets clotheslined as Slaughter slaps on a chinlock. Slaughter rakes the eyes and hits a hard chop before driving his knee into Duggan’s ribs. Slaughter covers for two then hits a backbreaker but decides to go up top where he misses a knee drop. Duggan makes his comeback and hits mounted punches in the corner. He hits a backdrop but Adnan trips him up. Slaughter is about to attack from behind and is stopped by the ref but that allows Adnan to hit Duggan with his flag and Slaughter covers for the win (9:10) 1/2*. After the match, Duggan grabs his 2×4 and clears the ring.
Thoughts: Bad match and the finish was even worse. Slaughter moved around very, very slow and Duggan was deteriorated himself at this time. The crowd was into this a bit but it was not a fun match to watch.
The Barbarian vs. Bret Hart
Barbarian overpowers Bret to start. He stomps away then tries a middle rope elbow drop but misses. Bret is up first and starts firing away. He then hits an inverted atomic drop and follows with mounted punches in the corner. Elbow drop gets two. Clothesline gets two. Barbarian catches Bret with a powerslam then blocks a sunset flip but uses a cocky cover and that allows Bret to roll him up for the win (4:09) *.
Thoughts: This was like watching a featured match on a syndicated show in terms of length and finish, where the person losing does not get put away with a finisher but rather surprised by a fairly basic move. The work was slower than that type of match usually is though. This show must have been booked before they decided against splitting up the Hart Foundation as Neidhart was not on any cards until a few days later.
Demolition vs. The Rockers
Smash & Crush are representing Demolition as Mooney informs us that President Jack Tunney informed us there will no longer be three member of Demolition. Crush uses his strength to counter Marty’s speed but gets cocky and ends up being slapped on the back. Crush places Marty up top then catches his body press attempt and rams him into the corner. Shawn tags in and escapes from a bearhug but ends up getting beat down by Smash. Shawn fights back and hits a jumping back elbow smash and a dropkick. The Rockers use quick tags to isolate Smash but that ends with Marty walks into a clothesline. Crush beats on Marty outside of the ring as Demolition regain control. Crush flexes after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then uses a bearhug. Demolition cut off the ring while targeting Marty’s back and neck but Marty avoids Smash and makes the tag as Shawn runs wild. Shawn hits a few dropkicks then takes a swing at Crush. He hits a corkscrew neckbreaker for two then Marty comes in to assist on a sunset flip. Shawn drills Smash with a super kick then Marty comes in as they take out Crush. The Rockers hit Smash with a double super kick then Shawn jumps off of Marty’s shoulders for a splash but Crush pulls out the referee before the three count and gets disqualified (10:53) **.
Thoughts: The Rockers tried hard but their opponents were just awful. Demolition really should have just been put out to pasture at this point because no matter how many fresh coats of paint they tried to use it still could not mask the problem of them being an old, dated act.
Final Thoughts: It was billed as a “Mega Card” and did have probably the top drawing main event you could run with and had an IC Title match complete with a stipulation that will lead to a match next month. However, it just wasn’t any good. Sure, it drew the biggest house at MSG (still not a sellout) in over a year but the crowd was dead for most of the show and it was a chore to watch. Also, Hart & Honky were bad on commentary. They just used every basic heel color commentator cliche to accuse the babyface of cheating. This was a rough time in the WWF and the house shows that took place in the Fall of ’90 were struggling in general. This is not a show worth seeking out.
Here is my tentative schedule for the next several days:
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 5/5/83
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/25/90
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/1/90
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/2/90
Wednesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/8/90
Thursday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/9/90
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/15/90