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Saturday Night’s Main Event (3.11.1989) Review

May 5, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Brooklyn Brawler
7.5
The 411 Rating
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Saturday Night’s Main Event (3.11.1989) Review  

-Originally written way the hell back in 2011, when I watched this from a tape-traded video of the original broadcast.

-Instead of the usual promos, the show begins with Vince recapping the rise and fall of the Mega-Powers. TONIGHT, Elizabeth has to make the decision of a lifetime!

-Originally aired March 11, 1989.

-We’re in Hershey, PA.

-Your hosts are bad-hair-day-having Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura.

-Gene Okerlund has words with Ravishing Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan, who say they want to rid the WWF of Brutus Beefcake because image is very important.

-Brutus retorts that Rick Rude has a great body, but his hair has no body.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. RAVISHING RICK RUDE (with Bobby Heenan)

-Now here was a perfectly logical feud that they just never got around to pursuing. Classics on Demand showed this one a while back during their marvelously-themed Mullets & Moustaches Month.

-Collar-and-elbow lock-up goes all over the ring until Beefcake goes to work with punches and a backdrop. He clamps on the sleeper immediately, but Rude breaks free in a pretty shocking spot, and the commentators are just totally unfazed by the idea that somebody’s finisher was countered. Weird.

-Knees and forearms by Rude, and watching Rude throw forearms instead of punches makes me ask who the earliest wrestlers were to do that? It’s more realistic than punching and I’m in favor of any wrestler who does it. Rude clamps on a headlock and Beefcake counters with a stunner.

-And here comes Andre the Giant for some reason! Beefcake gets tossed to the floor and Andre attacks him until Jake Roberts shows up to even things up, and it turns into a brawl until the referee gets fed up and calls for the bell. Big John Studd saves the day, and we have a giant staredown until Damien sends Andre running. “Running” being a relative term, of course. 1 for 1. Disappointingly short because Beefcake and Rude had chemistry together while it lasted, and given more time, they probably could have put on a classic.

-We get words from Hulk Hogan, who sounds noticeably sick tonight. Hulk’s a pro, everyone, you gotta give him that.

-Awesome, original commercials! A bunch of attractive people are skiing, and for some reason, there are penguins watching them, and then they go into a cabin and drink Coors Light.

-Jesse Ventura talks to Bad News Brown about Bad News’ accusation that Miss Elizabeth performed “special favors” for Jack Tunney. Ridiculousness of the night: Since Savage is freshly heel-turned, they explain that he won’t do anything to defend Elizabeth’s honor, even though he just had a two-month house show run with Bad News Brown and doing exactly that.

-Gene Okerlund talks to the Hulkster. He’s going to defend the honor of Elizabeth, and then onto recapturing the gold!

HULK HOGAN (with Elizabeth) vs. BAD NEWS BROWN
-Brown goes to work with a sneak attack. Hulk dodges a series of forearms and manages to knock Brown to the floor. A slingshot brings Brown back in and Hogan unleashes his standard offense. Turnbuckle shot is attempted by Hogan, but because of Bad News’ ethnicity, it blackfires, and Bad News gets some offense of his own. The brawl goes out to the floor, and Brown has had enough. He disappears to the locker room to find a weapon, and re-emerges with a snow shovel, and we pause for a break…

-Back to the show, Vince, who has never seen snow in Connecticut apparently, asks what it is that Bad News has with him and refers to it as some sort of object. Hogan himself fights it away from Brown and disposes of it, but Brown manages to get the advantage anyway. Legdrop by Brown puts Hulk in the awkward position of having to break his own finisher to stay alive.

-Brown goes after Elizabeth and Hulk revives just for the purpose of coming to her aid, and it’s all a part of Brown’s plan because he’s able to fight it off when the Hulkster comes for him. Brown punches away at Hulk and asks for the microphone. The Fink abides and Bad News announces that he is about to connect with a ghetto blaster. Even Jesse can’t defend how stupid that is, and Hogan ducks the ghetto blaster, then calls it a night the usual way. 2 for 2. Yeah, it’s a Hogan match, but hey, it had storytelling! Bad News uses Elizabeth to his own advantage, Hulk tries to keep up by meeting Bad News with his own tactics, Bad News screws up the match for himself. That’s a plus.

-Randy Savage angrily paces backstage.

-Ted DiBiase reveals the Million Dollar Belt for the first time on network television.

-The Blue Blazer…Jesus, I wish I was kidding…The Blue Blazer promises to jump from the rafters to defeat Ted DiBiase.

BLUE BLAZER vs “The Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil)
-DiBiase attacks with a clothesline from behind and hammers the Blazer, who is so unprepared for battle that his cape is tangled around his ankles. DiBiase tries a backdrop and Blazer counters with a cradle for two. Backslide gets another two. DiBiase collects himself and goes back to work on the Blazer. Backdrop by DiBiase, but the Blazer lands on his feet and dropkicks DiBiase out to the floor.

-Blazer meets him out there with a tope and atomic drops DiBiase into the stairs. Back in, DiBiase is begging for his life and Blazer throws dropkicks. Blazer tries a Thesz press, but DiBiase catches him and powerslams him and pins him immediately to end it. 3 for 3. It probably doesn’t sound like much just reading it, but goddamn that was an impressive four minutes.

THE DECISION OF A LIFETIME
-Elizabeth has to decide whose corner to stand in at Wrestlemania V. Hulk and Randy plead their cases, but Elizabeth refuses to stand with either one of them and chooses a neutral corner. This recap is approximately one word per minute of the interview. 3 for 4. More than the time-consuming nature of it, I think the greatest offense is that so much of it was spent forcing us to watch Elizabeth act.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Arn & Tully & Bobby.

-Then he talks to the Rockers. Marty Jannetty says that when you put two winners together, somebody has to lose, and he knows the Brainbusters will do anything to win. Sooooo…

ROCKERS vs BRAINBUSTERS (with Bobby Heenan)
-Heels attack from behind; damn, the heels are in a rut tonight. Brawl goes all over, in and out of the ring. Busters try to whip the Rockers into each other, but the Rockers do-si-do and clear the ring with it. Arn gets Flair-slammed off the top rope and Shawn tries to finish it right away with a Boston crab, but Tully comes in and we have another donnybrook that ends with the Rockers clearing the ring.

-Shawn suplexes Tully back in and stays in control until Heenan yanks down the top rope and brings Shawn crashing to the floor. The referee misses that and Bobby pushes his luck by stomping on Shawn, and the referee catches that, so Bobby is forced to leave.

-Back from commercial, and suddenly it’s a very different match, with the Busters firmly in control and wrestling a much smarter way. Neat little bit with Tully dragging Marty by the eyes across the top rope, and Marty tries to retaliate by throwing a punch, but instead of blocking, Tully just steps backward and lets him throw the punch, since he’s blinded anyway.

-Marty and Tully trade two-counts and counters, but Tully blocks a tag and brings Marty back to the Busters’ corner. Beautiful spinebuster by Arn almost finishes, but Shawn breaks the count. Arn’s pump splash meets Marty’s knees and both men make the much-needed tags after that. The Busters gang up on Shawn and he manages to fend off both of them, and one more brawl erupts and it’s finally a double-count-out. 4 for 5. One of the best under-ten-minute bouts of all time. Fuck, let’s throw it open to discussion. If this isn’t it, what do you think is the best under-ten-minute match ever?

-We recap the Red Rooster-Bobby Heenan feud. It still sort of blows me away that Gorilla Monsoon took a bump to put over the Brooklyn Brawler.

-Bobby warns the Brawler that if he screws up this career-changing opportunity, he’ll just wind up back in the gutter.

-Rooster tells us he’s somebody.

RED ROOSTER vs. BROOKLYN BRAWLER (with Bobby Heenan)
-Rooster pins him in under a minute. 4 for 6. So to build toward the match with a manager, they have Rooster go out there and beat the dangerous new charge in less than a minute, leading to Wrestlemania V, where Rooster wins in even less time, then gets attacked by Brawler from behind to set up a house show run, even though we’ve already established that even with a fresh coat of paint, he’s still just a jobber.

-We wrap up with a backstage glimpse of Randy Savage losing his shit and destroying the locker room.

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
Make some popcorn, get comfy, watch this one. Time well spent.
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Adam Nedeff