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Madison Square Garden Presents the WWF at the Meadowlands (5.8.1989)

July 31, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF at the Meadolands 5-8-1989 Honky Tonk Man
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Madison Square Garden Presents the WWF at the Meadowlands (5.8.1989)  

-The WWF is taking some time off from running house shows at MSG at this point, but they still have a TV deal with MSG Network, so we’re getting a show from the Meadowlands tonight.

-It’s May 8, 1989.

-Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Lord Alfred Hayes.


-Both guys are reluctant to lock up, well-acquainted with each other’s skills. Perfect armdrags and hiptosses Blazer, who kips up, only to get taken down with a fireman’s carry. Blazer starts to get mad, slamming Perfect and dropkicking him out to the floor. Back in, Perfect runs into an armdrag, and Perfect gets dropkicked out to the floor, selling it with an “Office”-style face at the camera, howing his frustration. Blazer baseball slides into him and heads upstairs, and Owen’s feeling it tonight because Perfect gets out of the way of Blazer’s top rope leap and Blazer hits the concrete. Not the blue protective padding, he heads the concrete in the aisle full-force.

-Perfect unloads all of his arsenal on Blazer to take advantage of the turn of events. Abdominal stretch is locked on by Perfect because he knows Gorilla Monsoon isn’t there tonight. Perfect gets lazy, releasing the hold and just half-assedly slapping and kicking Blazer. Blazer gives him a hard slap back and makes his comeback. Dropkick by Blazer. Forearm off the second gets two with Perfect getting a foot on the ropes, and for some reason, Alfred makes this incredibly complicated, declaring a three-count even though Tony is pointing out everybody including the referee saw the foot on the rope.

-Missile dropkick by the Blazer. He charges at Perfect and gets a boot to the face. Scary blown powerslam by Blazer,, who drops Perfect right on his head, and Perfect looks kind of pissed off about it. They go straight home, with Perfect stungunning Blazer and hitting the Perfect-plex, and noticeably more aggressively than his usually does it, as he makes a noticeable impact on the mat with Blazer. 1 for 1. Expectedly good outing aside from the botch.

-The trailer for No Holds Barred. Credit where it’s due, it’s a really good trailer, at least.

BRET “Hit Man” HART vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE

-These two get off to a verrrrrrry slow start. Not so much stalling as circling the ring and staring at each other like they’ll start wrestling any second now. They finally lock up after about three minutes. Atomic drop by Bret. Bret boots the midsection but gets distracted by Jimmy Hart and goes to the floor to jaw with him. This leads to a chase around the ring, and you can tell Valentine really, really does not want to do a spot where he runs because there comes a point where Bret looks behind him and Greg just isn’t there, so he goes back into the ring.

-Chinlock by Bret and we are definitely going to a draw here. Chops and punches are traded. Greg tries a whip and charge, but he hits the post shoulder-first and tumbles out to the floor. Bret applies an armbar, but Valentine bodyslams out…but Bret holds onto the arm so he still has the hold applied. Crowd is losing hope for this one as Bret clotheslines Valentine for two, and then goes back to the armbar.

-Bret runs the ropes and Valentine steps out of the way to send Bret to the floor. Valentine boots Bret on the apron to keep him from getting back in while he lets his own arm recover from the onslaught. Back in, Valentine elbows the Hit Man and applies a chinlock. Valentine tries to pin Bret by his wrists and they fight for that as this match drops down to 1 MPH.

-Backbreaker by Valentine, and he moseys up to the second rope, only to miss an elbow. Suplex by the Hit Man gets two. Backbreaker by Bret as Mr. Perfect shows up at ringside and gets on the apron to cause trouble for Bret. Valentine takes advantage, kneeing Bret in the back, but amazingly that’s not the finish, as Greg goes for the figure four. Bret kicks him into the corner and goes for the pin, but the bell sounds before the referee counts three. Fluggish as suck. 1 for 2.


-Martel attacks Tito on the floor during the entrance, targeting the leg with some whips into the post. The referee concludes that Tito is unable to wrestle, however, if he shows signs of improvement in the locker room, they’ll have the match later tonight. 1 for 3.


-Funny that they’re following that with a match that was set up by basically the same angle. Strange visual: Honky hasn’t bothered putting any products in his hair tonight, and with completely dry hair, he legit bears an uncanny resemblance to 1970s Elvis.

-Lots of stalling to the point that even Tony calls attention to how little is happening. Honky teases leaving and Jimmy gets on the mic to threaten the fans with no singing before the match finally finally finally starts. Hillbilly connects with a knee and Honky walks back to the locker room.

-He reluctantly re-enters and Hillbilly cinches on a side headlock, jumping up and down for a funny visual and giving Honky a Dutch rub. Bearhug by Hillbilly. Honky breaks it right away with a poke to the eyes. Chinlock by Honky. Hillbilly escapes and makes his comeback, but he gets distracted by Jimmy Hart and Honky rolls him up for three. 1 for 4. Probably would have got a point if Honky had product in his hair.


-The MSG chyron typist seems really, really sure that this is for the WWF Title because we see two different graphics that say that before we get started.

-Warrior charges into the ring and attacks, but he misses a corner charge and Rude comes off the top with a double axehandle. Warrior fights back, slamming Rude and going to the top himself, but Rude crotches him and follows with a piledriver for two. Rude drives knees into the midsection, but accidentally hurts his balls on Warrior’s shoulders and Warrior gets all pissed off now. Warrior flings Rude into the corner and clotheslines him here and there. Rude tries to escape to the dressing room and Warrior follows him back for a double count-out, and Heenan takes some bumps because that’s what Heenan does. 2 for 5. Pretty much all action from bell to bell.

-Martel and Slick brag about what they accomplished earlier tonight and basically declare victory because Tito isn’t fit to wrestle.

-Dueling promos from the Twin Towers and Demolition.


-Iron Mike hammers Powers, but a dropkick sends him to the floor and Iron Mike stalls, but it’s okay when he does it because he’s Iron Mike Sharpe. Iron Mike overpowers Powers in his effort to go over Powers. Powers powers out and goes to work on the arm. Atomic drop by Powers, but he misses a corner charge.

-Powers fights back with turnbuckle shots in one corner and then another. Powerslam finishes. Pretty underwhelming. 2 for 6.


-Fist fight to start. Rooster suckers Brawlers into a series of moves and avoids all of them to make Brawler crash repeatedly. Rooster wrings the arm. Brawler fights back but misses a corner charge. Rooster throws Brawler out to the floor and goes out there to brawl with him, which is dumb because it’s right there in his name. Sure enough, Brawler sends him into the post a few times to take control.

-Back in, Brawler locks on a side headlock as the crowd is far more interested in looking for themselves on the giant screen in the arena. Rooster fights out after a nice nap, but Brawler gives him a hard right. Corner charge is countered by Rooster with a sunset flip to finish. 2 for 7. Blah.


-Brother Love’s guest is Zeus, and Brother Love spends the next hour rolling his eyes and giving a condescending explanation of how Hogan/Zeus was actually the greatest feud of all time and the fans didn’t understand it. 3 for 8 for Lord Alfred Hayes helpfully explaining that the Z on his weightlifting belt stands for Zeus.


-Martel goes right to the leg with everything he’s got. He just keeps staying on the leg and staying on the leg. Tito makes a mini-comeback, but Martel just rolls him up with a foot on the ropes for three. 3 for 9.

-Howard Finkel announces that on Monday night, August 28, the WWF will return to the Meadowlands for SummerSlam!


-Smash throws right hands at the Boss Man. Towers stall a little bit after the hot start. Boss Man ends up getting pinballed by Demolition and Smash goes to work on the arm. Boss Man gets free by lifting Smash and ramming him into the corner. Akeem comes in and Smash arrogantly goes for a slam right away, but he hurts his back and Akeem pounds on him.

-Smash reverses an Irish whip and Akeem gets caught in the Demolition corner and he’s dazed by a flurry of punches. Towers take advantage of a moment of distraction to sandwich Ax for a two-count. Both Towers do the Boss Man legdrop, although with a subtle but distinct difference in execution, wherein Akeem places greater emphasis on his balls for impact. Akeem takes Ax to the floor to strangle him with the tag rope, and Ax just gets pissed off and rams him into the post.

-Boss Man hastily gets Ax back into the ring and wears him down with a chinlock. Akeem comes in with another chinlock. Slam by the Boss Man and a big splash by Akeem nearly finish but Smash makes the save. Akeem goes for a backdrop. Ax faceplants him but Boss Man acts quickly and knocks Smash to the floor to stop the hot tag. Ax evades the double avalanche and now Smash cleans house. Referee gets wiped out during a double clothesline, though. Boss Man sees the opportunity and grabs the nightstick, KOing both opponents, but surprise, the referee caught it and Demolition retains. 3 for 10. Really lethargic. And honestly, the card was so bad at this point that the crowd wasn’t reacting to anything in the early going and I think it got into everyone’s heads.

The final score: review Bad
The 411
The Intercontinental Title match is a gem but the rest is pretty forgettable.

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