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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 5.27.89

February 2, 2024 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Saturday Night's Main Event 5-27-89 Hulk Hogan Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 5.27.89  

-This show aired on my 8th birthday and I have memories of watching this show when it happened. We are past WrestleMania V at this point where Hulk Hogan regained the WWF Title from Randy Savage. You can find my review from many years ago here. I still may go back and do another review at some point, but I wanted to get to something I haven’t reviewed first. NWA WrestleWar will be next on my list. Let’s get to it!

-Announce Team: Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
-Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, IA
-Taped: April 25, 1989 (Aired on NBC May 27, 1989)

-Hulk Hogan with a cold open promo on Boss Man behind the Blue Bar Steel Cage! Memories! My 6 year old son got the newest version of The Blue Bar Cage that WWE released for Christmas. It is much easier to put together than that one we had growing up.

-We go back to WrestleMania V where Bobby Heenan tripped Warrior and grabbed his leg which let Rick Rude get the upset win and Intercontinental Title.

-To the pink curtains where Gene Okerlund is with Rick Rude and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They deny any cheating and followed the cardinal rule: Just Win!

-Jim Duggan cuts a promo at the silver curtain and his plan is to keep one eye on Heenan and one on Old Glory. Well, Rude shouldn’t have any issue then as Duggan won’t see him coming.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rick Rude (c) (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. King Hacksaw Jim Duggan

-They show a woman in the crowd fawning on Rude and Vince excitedly yells, “Hello there.” Yuck, this is going to be a thing now! The crowd loves Duggan and we get a loud USA chant. This is a good choice as a first challenger for Rude as Duggan is coming off taking The Crown from Haku, who is also managed by Heenan. Rude tries a sunset flip, but Duggan punches him in the face. A clothesline sends Rude to the floor. Duggan brings him back in with a suplex for two. Another clothesline from Dugan and then another and then another. Rude face plants before a fourth one can connect. Slam from Duggan followed by a knee gets a two count. He complains about the count and that lets Rude get in a shot to the gut. Reversal by Duggan in the corner, but Rude gets his feet up to block a charge. Rude comes off the top with a fist and then swivels his hips. Vince tells Rude to stop with the shenanigans and Vince should have listened to his own advice. Duggan gets a reverse atomic drop and Rude does his awesome sell job. Always amazing! Piledriver from Duggan, but Rude gets his foot on the ropes just in time. Here’s Haku and he wants his crown back. That draws Duggan to the floor as the officials try to keep them apart. Heenan tells Haku he will handle it and we take at 4:15.

-60 seconds of Peacock commercials! Again, as a note I am sure the commercial break was longer on NBC, so the match times will likely be off.

-Rude was able to get himself back together and catches Duggan with a dropkick. He drops a series of elbows as the crowd starts a USA chant. Rude is from Minnesota. Rude gets a two count which has Heenan complaining. Rude hooks a chinlock, but Duggan punches his way out. Rude buries a knee to the gut and decides to head up top again. He drops a fist and crawls to the camera to make a kissy face. Duggan starts to Hulk Up and unloads with right hands. Big back drop sends Rude flying! The Running Clothesline sends Rude through the ropes and to the floor. Duggan is an idiot and is cool with taking the count-out at 8:20.

Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan via count-out at 8:20
-I guess they couldn’t let Duggan lose on Memorial Day Weekend and I assume they worked around the horn based off this one. Solid match with a hot crowd and both guys working hard. **1/2

-Back to the silver curtains where Gene is with Jim Neidhart. He hates Macho Man for how he treated Elizabeth and he is going to make sure Macho never gets Hulk Hogan’s belt back. Apparently Sherri wears a flea collar as well!

-Jesse is at the pink curtains with Macho Man and Sensational Sherri. They are decked out in all white. Savage says once he gets by Neidhart he is coming right after Hogan and Elizabeth won’t bury his chances again. He also tells Jesse to never say “Elizabeth” again. Sherri matching Savage’s craziness was perfect!

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Sensational Sherri)

-Jesse rants about Savage having to go through Anvil to get the rematch with Hogan that he is deserved. Man has a point! Sherri immediately grabs Anvil’s leg and that lets Savage bury a knee to the back. Sunset flip is blocked as Anvils sets down and throws some punches. Jim hooks a bear hug, but Savage goes to the eyes to break. A running knee sends Anvil to the buckle and Savage follows with a clothesline. Sherri chokes Jim while Randy distracts the ref. More choking from Sherri and the crowd is pissed. Jesse notes that Sherri makes Randy even deadlier. Double ax from the top, but Anvil kicks out rather easily. Macho tries for a slam, but Anvil falls back and gets a two count. Savage to his feet first and he lays in the boots. Anvil gets a shoulder from the apron and sling shots in with a flying shoulder. Sweet! He runs down Macho with two shoulders. He misses a clothesline the first time, but hits the second one for a two count. Standing dropkick sends Macho to the floor. Anvil follows and hits another dropkick on the floor. LUCHA ANVIL! Back in the ring Neidhart gets a powerslam for two. Savage gets tangled in the ropes and Anvil just unloads with right hands. Sherri frees Savage and Neidhart crashes to the floor as he tries a running shoulder. Macho gets a top rope double ax to the floor. Back up top once in the ring and The Flying Elbow finishes at 5:56.

Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage via pin at 5:56
-Sweet little match as they just went all out for 6 minutes and Savage gets back on track after the loss at WrestleMania. The crowd was into this one as well and it also let us see how dangerous Savage could be with Sherri by his side. **3/4

-Jesse back at the pink curtains with Big Boss Man and Slick! Slick says Hogan is running scared and tonight Boss Man will put him on ice. Boss Man is going to rehabilitate Hogan and then he will serve hard time with a hard man. Yep! Slick alludes to a big surprise that the whole family will love.

WWF Title: Steel Cage Match: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. The Big Boss Man (w/ Slick)

-Slick takes the mic and introduces his surprise: ZEUS! This terrified me as a kid and I thought Hulk Hogan was going to die. I will take it as a good omen that I am reviewing this show with the debut of Deebo while my 49ers are about to play The Super Bowl. Zeus blocks the door to the cage as Hogan stares him down. Zeus kicks Hogan in the chest and delivers heavy blows to leave Hogan laying.

-We take a commercial break.

-Hogan is still out on the floor, so Boss Man heads out and throws him through the ropes and into the cage. Vince explains this is Escape Rules only. Boss Man throws Hogan into the corner and then delivers a head butt. Hogan reverses a whip and catches Boss Man with a clothesline. He unloads with right hands, which are legal here. Boss Man blocks getting sent into the cage, so Hogan goes to the eyes. Jesse notes this match is perfect for Hogan as his cheating is legal. Big Boot from Hogan and he starts to climb, but Boss Man stops that. Boss Man with a slam and he lands a splash. He tries to walk out the door, but Hogan grabs the leg to save. They start trading blows again and Hogan wins the exchange. Boss Man catches a charging Hogan with a spinebuster. Boss Man decides to climb and Jesse questions why he doesn’t go out the door. Boss Man is nearly all the way down, but Hogan reaches through the cage and grabs Boss Man by the throat. They both end up on top and HOGAN BRINGS BOSSMAN DOWN FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE WITH A SUPERPLEX. The crowd is in awe as both men are DONE. Neither man is moving, so the ref heads inside to check on both. He checks the arm of each and the crowd is freaking out. Hebnar starts a count, but Hogan sits up at eight and starts crawling for the door. Boss Man is up and he lunges to make the save. Hogan goes to the eyes, but sets too early on a backdrop and that lets Boss Man deliver a clothesline. Slick throws a chain into the ring and as Jesse points out, “anything goes.” Boss Man uses the chain to choke Hogan and he is still selling the crap out of the suplex off the cage. Good Man! Hogan starts to fight back, but Boss Man cuts him off. They each get rammed into the cage and Boss Man is close enough to crawl to the door, but Hogan stops that. Hogan rams Boss Man off the buckle and now he has the chain. Sure, why not? He wraps the chain around his fist and blasts Boss Man. Another shot and then Boss Man is sent into the cage three times. Boss Man is bleeding! Hogan drops the leg and starts making the climb. Slick has seen enough and decks the ref and heads into the ring. He stops Hogan, so now we have Boss Man climbing. Hogan cuts off Boss Man and he falls balls first on the top rope. Hogan grabs some hand cuffs from Slick and decks him. He uses the cuffs on Boss Man, so Hogan starts to climb. Boss Man gets to the door, but can’t drop down. Slick rushes over with the key and we have a race as the crowd is losing it. Hogan touches the floor first and gets the win at 10:01.

Winner: Hulk Hogan via cage escape at 10:01
-This was great and credit to both men. Just a straight up fight with a hot crowd and a ton of drama by the end. The superplex spot is one of the most famous WWF cage bumps of all time as well. It gets lost in all the rightly deserved praise for Flair/Steamboat/Funk, but Hogan had a fantastic 1989 inside the ring as well. ****

-Hogan attacks Boss Man outside after the match and sends Slick into the cage for good measure.

-We get multiple replays of the famous suplex spot and the crowd reaction is great.

-Jesse is at the pink curtain with The Brain Busters and Bobby Heenan. Arn feels the belts already belong to them and they just have to go pick them up. Heenan has no worries!

-To the silver curtains where Demolition are being interviewed by Mean Gene. They are the champs and they will demolish The Busters.

WWF Tag Team Titles: Demolition (c) vs. The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

-That Demolition theme song still slaps! Smash and Tully start us out and Tully gets shoved on his ass. A clothesline sends Tully to the floor. Back in the ring he gets caught with a bear-hug. Heenan distracts the ref which lets Arn make the save. Smash takes both men down and makes the tag to Ax. He catches Arn with a back elbow followed by a slam. Clothesline to the back of the head and Arn gets placed on the ropes where Ax and Smash pound away. Tully gets a knee to the back from the apron and that gives Arn the advantage. He catches Smash with a suplex, but no sell and Arn eats another slam. Tully in and Smash gives him an atomic drop into a slam from Ax. The Busters regroup on the floor with Heenan as they can’t get on track. Back in the ring, Ax no sells some strikes from Tully and then beats him down in the corner. A charge is blocked by two well placed knees from Tully. He tries to come off the ropes, but gets caught by Ax and run into the buckles. Tully gets bounced on the floor, so Smash presses him over his head and back into the ring. A clothesline sends Tully over the top and he crashes down on Heenan. Heenan actually wants to fight Demolition as we take a take at 4:15.

-30 seconds of Peacock commercials!

-Tully gets pulled back into the ring and Ax catches him with a shot to the gut. Ax hooks a neck crank and then makes the tag to Smash. Double Choke from Smash, but Arn distracts the ref and draws Ax into the match. That lets Arn deliver a shot to the back of the knee. Now, The Busters go to work! Arn stomps away and holds Smash down so Tully can come off the top. Smash gets dropped throat first on the top rope and then Arm hits his awesome spinebuster for two. Tully struts to taunt Ax and that brings him into the ring. The Busters double team behind the ref’s back and continue with their quick strike, quick tag offense. Smash escapes a hold, but Arn is too close to his corner and the tag is made. More messing with Ax, so they can double team Smash on the floor. Perfect tag wrestling! Smash starts firing back and gets off a desperation punch that leaves both men down. Arn grabs the tights to keep Smash from making the tag, and Tully pulls Ax off the apron for good measure. Ax has had enough and all four men start brawling in the ring. Ax throw referee, Joey Marella, across the ring for the DQ at 9:50.

Winners: The Brain Busters via DQ at 9:50
-Fun tag match as these teams meshed so well. Tully and Arn had years of working The Road Warriors, so this was old hat for them. Crappy ending but again, they seem to be setting up house show loops and this will pay off down the line. ***1/2

-Jesse Ventura is back at the punk curtains with Randy Savage and Sherri. Savage says he is now the #1 contender and he will get back his WWF Title. Again, Sherri’s craziness is perfect for Savage.

Boris Zhukov (w/ Slick) vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka

-Boris with a kick to the gut and he sends Snuka into the top buckle, but that’s dumb. Jesse is right on it as he questions that strategy. Snuka with a double ax followed by a backbreaker. Snuka heads up top and finishes with The Flying Splash at 1:13.

Winner: Jimmy Snuka via pin at 1:13
-Well, it had an opening bell and a closing bell so I guess that makes this a match. Basically what it needed to be. SQUASH

-Okerlund and Hogan are at the silver curtains to discuss all the happenings tonight. Hogan says he has been having problems with Zeus for some time now. He challenges Zeus to get a piece of Hulk-a-mania. Hogan then plugs No Holds Barred and it worked on me as I was there to see the movie in the theater.

-Vince and Jesse wrap things up and out next show will be in July.

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Tremendous show with a great cage match, a very good tag match, and two other matches that were solid. Two matches didn't have proper finishes, but they weren't changing any Titles this soon after Mania. A very famous show and one of the best SNME of all time. Check all of this out!