The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #20 – 03.11.89
By Scott Keith on 7th February 2021
The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #20 – 03.11.89
Taped 02.16.89 in Hershey PA, drawing 9000.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Is it just me or is the audio on this episode BRUTAL? It sounds like it’s recorded off a poorly-tuned FM radio, as everything has a crackly and echoing sound and it’s really annoying.
Brutus Beefcake v. Ravishing Rick Rude
Brutus promises to give Rude’s ugly hair some “body”, as in cutting hair until he gets to the body and then stopping. Maybe that’s who gave Rude his new hairdo in 1990 then. So they don’t actually overdub Rude’s theme here, instead muting it down and turning up Vince and Jesse’s commentary, so maybe that’s why the audio is so screwed up. Beefcake slugs away and backdrops Rude to start, and quickly gets the sleeper before releasing it to avoid a trip to the turnbuckles. Beefcake slugs away again, but Rude takes him down with an atomic drop out of the corner and Rude takes over. He goes to the chinlock while Andre makes an appearance at ringside, but Beefcake hits Rude with an atomic drop, inspiring a Twitter feed 30 years later. But then Beefcake gets tossed and Andre shows him who’s boss, choking him out until Jake Roberts makes the save and the match is thrown out at 5:42. They were having a pretty decent match but it didn’t go anywhere. **1/4 The Heenan Family double-teams Roberts until Beefcake saves and gives Rude another atomic drop, but then Brutus tries to go after Andre and the Giant just brushes him off with this disdainful look. But then Royal Rumble winner Big John Studd saves further and stares Andre down and man he looks like an anachronism even in 1989. So we’re left with the triumphant trio of Brutus Beefcake, Big John Studd and Jake Roberts and that’s gotta be one of the weirdest babyface combinations you can put together at this point.
Hulk Hogan v. Bad News Brown
Yes, Bad News Brown is trying to DRAIN THE SWAMP, pointing out that Elizabeth has clearly been doing favors for corrupt old Jack Tunney, currying favor for Hogan. Jesse dubs this “The seamy underside to Jack Tunney’s administration” and Vince disbelievingly repeats this line right after. But a few years later when he was wiped from WWE history forever, we wouldn’t be laughing! Also the evidence piles up here, as Hogan’s pet cheating referee Joey Marella, who is the WORST, is officiating here. If you can even call it that. Bad News beats on Hulk at the bell and slugs him down, but Hulk pops up and beats Bad News out of the ring like he had asked to marry Brooke. Vince of course declares that the match is going to be a ROMP ‘EM STOMP ‘EM AFFAIR and there will be very little scientific wrestling on display. Back in, Hulk puts Bad News down with a clothesline and drops elbows on him to set up the big boot, but he decides to continue punishing him rather than going for the legdrop. Bad News gets a cheapshot in the corner, but Hulk puts him over the top with an atomic drop and then runs him into the railing like the rulebreaker he is. Bad News accidentally punches the ringpost in frustration at Hogan’s cheating and he goes to grab a chair, but of course Hulk uses it first and Bad News freaks out and searches under the ring for something. Sadly it’s not 2020 and there’s not a stash of ladders and wild animals under there to find, so he heads to the back instead and Hulk tells Marella to stop counting. Yeah well he probably would have needed cue cards once he got to 7 anyway. But Bad News finds a SNOW SHOVEL back there, and we take a break on that bizarre cliffhanger. Wish he’d come to my house and do my driveway. Back with Hogan trying a corner clothesline, but Bad News fights him off with a clothesline of his own and beats him down to take over. Bad News drops his own leg on Hogan, but that only gets two. Hulk probably stole it from him anyway. They head to the floor again and Brown goes after Elizabeth, but you KNOW Hogan isn’t gonna stand for a black man talking to a white woman without permission! So they fight back into the ring, where Brown gets a legsweep for two and slugs Hulk down. Then Bad News stops to cut a promo, and calls for the Ghetto Blaster, but it misses. Well now he just looks dumb. And indeed, Hogan makes the comeback and hits Brown with a high knee, and then finishes with the legdrop at 10:00. This was a hell of a match, actually. ***1/2 Jesse points out that Savage is right to be jealous, watching his best friend come in and put the moves on his woman. TRUTH.
Meanwhile, Randy Savage lurks around backstage, hanging out by Elizabeth’s dressing room. Well that’s a bit creepy.
Ted Dibiase v. The Blue Blazer
Dibiase debuts the Million Dollar Belt on SNME here, which was the perfect capper to the character. Meanwhile, the Blazer declares that Dibiase is going to be grounded, but he’s going airborne…from the rafters if necessary.
Oh dear. Moving on.
Blazer immediately gets clotheslined while flipping into the ring, like a geek, and Dibiase beats on him and puts him down with an elbow. Dibiase drops elbows on him, but Blazer cradles for two and gets a backslide for two. Dibiase goes up with the elbow off the middle rope and follows with a snap suplex, but Blazer flips into a dropkick to put Dibiase on the floor and then follows with a tope suicida! He sends Dibiase into the stairs and comes in with a flying bodypress for two, then follows with a backdrop and some dropkicks. But then Dibiase catches him with a powerslam and pins him at 4:00. Clearly big plans ahead for the young sports jacket. **1/4
And the show is brought to you by Burger King, as we all wonder if this means the imminent debut of Jerry Lawler? CALL THE WCW HOTLINE TO FIND OUT!
Elizabeth joins Mean Gene for a special interview, as he badgers her for a decision on whose corner she is going to reside at Wrestlemania V. Liz waffles and then declares she won’t be in Hogan’s corner at the show, at which point Randy Savage storms in and begins celebrating his triumph. But of course, she also will not be in his corner, and Hogan comes out and squabbles with Savage like a couple of grade school kids.
The Brainbusters v. The Rockers
Time for the real main event. I don’t know if it’s ever been pointed out, but it’s ironic that two people on opposing sides in AEW today are actually TEAMING UP here! Feel free to use that bit of trivia at parties. Really makes you think. Tully and Arn immediately attack and Tully tries the slingshot suplex on Marty, but Shawn comes in with a bodypress to break it up and everyone brawls while the heels retreat to the floor. Arn comes in off the top, but Shawn slams him and gets a Boston crab and then takes care of Tully as well. Everyone brawls again and the Rockers send them flying with double superkicks before Shawn suplexes Tully back in. Shawn keeps coming with a flying headscissors and it’s back to Arn, who manages a boot to the gut to slow him down. And then Bobby pulls down the top rope for good measure and Shawn takes a melodramatic bump over the top. However, this earns Bobby a trip to the back, while we get the famous visual of TIME TRAVELLING CABLE PULLER Daniel Bryan at ringside. Obviously he was up to some weird shit while he was out with the concussions. Well, you’ve gotta keep busy. We take a break and return with Arn putting the beats on Marty, but Jannetty comes back with a sunset flip on Tully for two, and then Arn throws HIM over the top rope for another dramatic bump. Man, he flew out of there like he was getting threatened with a paternity suit. Back in, Marty tries a sunset flip and Tully cuts him off, but they do the pinfall reversal sequence and Marty gets a backslide for two off that. Marty DIVES for the tag, but Tully catches him with a double-leg to cut it off and hauls him back to the corner for more punishment. Arn with the spinebuster for two and he goes up for a pump splash, but lands on Marty’s knees and it’s HOT TAG Shawn Michaels. He cleans house and we get a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER, but Tully comes off the top with a sunset flip and Arn nails Shawn to finish the move. But then they all brawl to the floor for the disappointing double countout at 10:34. So yeah, without a doubt one of the best matches in SNME’s history. ****1/4
The Brooklyn Brawler v. The Red Rooster
Amazingly, we get promos from Brooklyn Brawler and Red Rooster before the match, as they might as well just tell people to switch over the local news on the other channel. Rooster gets a hiptoss after fighting off the initial attack, and finishes with a small package at 1:00. They probably should have called an audible and cut it down some more. DUD
And we cut to Randy Savage throwing a tantrum in the back as we wrap it up.
Well this one was another banger, and next time is an even more famous episode. 1989 might not have been the best year for the promotion overall but they were sure cranking out some awesome Main Events for NBC!