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The Name on the Marquee: WWF at Boston Garden (1.13.89)

January 18, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Hacksaw Jim Duggan WWF Royal Rumble
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF at Boston Garden (1.13.89)  

-It’s January 13, 1989.

-Your hosts are Rod Trongard, Superstar Billy Graham, and Lord Alfred Hayes.


-Both guys are on the verge of significant repackaging, so I’m curious to see who gets the win to lead into it.

-Lombardi attacks from behind, but Poffo fights back with a backdrop and Lombardi heads outside to walk it off. Back in, Lanny applies a wristlock. Lombardi bites his way out of it and goes to the eyes, as Lombardi starts really brawling in this one.

-Chinlock by Lombardi, with handfuls of hair keeping Lanny on the mat. Poffo kicks free and throws punches. He rams Lombardi into the turnbuckles. He puts his head down for a backdrop, but Lombardi outsmarts him with a boot to the face and hits a vertical splash from the second rope for the win. So the story of the match was that Lombardi was a brawler but Poffo wasn’t quite enough of a genius to beat him. 1 for 1. Short and inoffensive.


-Bolsheviks finally do something they should have figured out a long time ago, facing the aisle as they sing the Soviet anthem so the babyfaces can’t mount a surprise attack.

-Pier sixer to start with the Bushwhackers clearing the ring. Back in the ring, Boris gets knocked around. Nikolai tries to help but takes an accidental shoulderblock from his own partner. Nikolai tries a bearhug on Luke, but Luke keeps finding ways to break it immediately, which means in kayfabe logic, Luke has just outsmarted a TON of babyface bearhug victims.

-Bolsheviks take over as Luke takes a pretty nice bump out to the floor. Butch tries to come to his aid and Nikolai hammers him. Back in, Bolsheviks cut the ring in half and choke Luke out. Butch gets knocked off the apron to prevent the hot tag. Weird spot as Luke just pulls on Boris’ beard and it hurts so bad that Boris can’t block the hot tag.

-Butch heads in and immediately gets caught in an attempted double-team, but Boris accidentally clotheslines his own partner over the top, and the battering ram followed by the double gutbuster finishes. 2 for 2. What you see is what you get. It’s Bushwhackers vs. Bolsheviks and it delivered exactly what that sounds like. But they kept it moving, there was no stalling, it had a story (The Bushwhackers are so insane that the Bolsheviks can’t figure out what to do with them)…so it was fine.

BLUE BLAZER vs. AKEEM (with Slick)

-Akeem no-sells dropkicks. Blazer surprises him with right hands and Akeem goes to Slick for some sage advice, like “Hit him back.” Except Slick probably says it more charismatically.

-They trade arm wringers and Blazer hits the ropes, but Akeem catches him in a backbreaker. Akeem unloads on the Blazer with full fat guy arsenal, including clubbing blows and corner-ramming. Boston actually starts an “Akeem” chant.

-Avalanche misses and the Blazer comes back with punches and kicks. Blazer heads to the top and connects with a bodypress for two. Blazer tries again but Akeem dodges a missile dropkick and capitalizes immediately with a splash for three. 2 for 3. This was pretty much just a squash and Blazer actually looked kind of unmotivated with unusually generic offense.


-The first match in a feud that unexpectedly lasted an entire year. They trade shoves and Valentine just unleashes the aggression right away, pounding and biting Ron while working his arm over the rope. Valentine keeps wringing the arm, but Garvin chops out, and they have a good old fashioned chop war from that.

-And they just keep chopping the shit out of each other until Valentine goes splat and heads out to the floor. Back in, Valentine chokes Garvin and drags him over to the apron to drive elbows into the neck. ANOTHER chop fight breaks out, and Garvin lays the Hammer out with a series of punches.

-Garvin stomp follows, and he goes for a sleeper. Valentine breaks free and adjusts the brace for the figure four, but Garvin turns it into a cradle for two. Valentine stays on the leg to the point that Garvin isn’t even able o put weight on it, so Valentine tries the figure four one more time, but a hard right causes him to lose his grip. Garvin makes it back to his feet and the fight goes out to the floor, where they trade more chops until the referee reaches the ten-count. 3 for 4. Garvin had some of the best matches of his life with Ric Flair, so feuding him with Chubby Ric Flair was a good call.

-Sean Mooney talks to Dino Bravo and Frenchy Martin. Dino promises that Duggan’s going down. I remember Bobby Heenan saying once that if he had ever been in charge of a promotion, he would fine guys for saying “You’re going down!” because it’s so generic.


-This has promise.

-Arn Anderson isn’t messing around, just jerking Shawn Michaels by the hair down to the mat to start off, then knocking Marty Janetty off the apron. Marty retaliates by hooking his leg and dragging him out to the floor, and we immediately have all four men brawling, with Tully just straight up running away.

-Tully tags in and Shawn keeps elluding everything he’s trying to do until Tully finally gets a grip on him and goes for a wristlock. Janetty tags in and runs into a hiptoss, bu lands on his feet, slams Tully, and applies an armbar. Tully kicks his way to the corner and gets Arn back in. Marty clears the ring with dropkicks.

-Marty stupidly goes to the Busters’ corner voluntarily and gets caught there, but he just punches wildly in every direction until Shawn steps in to help him, and they clear the ring again. Anderson mows Shawn down with a shoulderblock, but another pier sixer breaks out and the Rockers clear the ring a THIRD time.

-Tully gets pinballed and Marty goes for a flying headscissors, but Arn gets a hold of his head and snaps it over the top rope. Tully uses a handful of tights to heave Marty out to the floor. Marty slingshots himself back in with a sunset flip, but Tully tags out while in the pin and Arn sneaks in and attacks.

-Abdominal stretch by Arn, with a leverage assist from Tully. Arn with a hell of a spinebuster, but Marty hangs in there and faceplants him. Hot tag Shawn. Arn gets cleared from the ring and an axehandle looks to finish Tully, but Arn breaks the pin. Shawn goes for a suplex, but Arn slips his arm in and trips him, so Tully lands on top for the three count. 4 for 5. That was tag team wrestling, y’all.

-Sean Mooney talks to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who promises to beat people up.


-Lock-ups go nowhere and Dino celebrates the fact that they went nowhere as Hacksaw leads a USA chant. Atomic drop and a punch by Duggan send Dino out to the floor. Back in, Dino gets backdropped and Duggan goes for the three-point stance, so Dino goes to the floor to stall again.

-Dino reluctantly re-enters, but Hacksaw chases Frenchy around the ring so Dino can catch him with a clothesline. Chinlock by Bravo. And then another one. Elbow by Dino gets two. Side suplex looks to finish, but Duggan’s too close to the ropes and gets a foot out. Dino celebrates until he’s corrected by referee “Joey Mauriello” according to Rod Trongard. Frenchy comes up on the apron and takes a swing at Duggan with the Quebec flagpole, but he knocks out Dino instead, and Duggan gets three. 4 for 6. They actually tease a Dino face turn after the match, but don’t pay it off.

HERCULES vs. VIRGIL (with The Million Dollar Man)

-Hercules runs right into a 2 on 1 attack but wipes them out with a double clothesline. Hercules stays on DiBiase and gets distracted, allowing Virgil to sneak up, but Hercules comes right back with a backdrop.

-Chops by Virgil, but Hercules clotheslines him from every direction and powerslams him. Full nelson gets the submission, but in an awesome bit, Virgil passes out instead of submitting, to preserve the “Virgil never talks” gimmick. 4 for 7. Just a squash and really a pretty unnecessary one, as Hercules had already squashed Virgil on an SNME.

-Sean Mooney has words with the Big Boss Man and Slick. Boss Man shows off his “extra special handcuffs,” which are pretty unmistakably the gimmicked pair of handcuffs from the Los Angeles house show, so spoiler alert: Hulk’s going to break the handcuffs in two.

HULK HOGAN vs. BIG BOSS MAN (with Slick)

-Crowd is AMPED. Series of rapid punches by Hogan to start. Slick attempts a run-in and Boss Man accidentally avalanches him, and Hulk back suplexes Boss Man and lays him out while he handcuffs Slick to the post with his own set of handcuffs. So see, Slick kind of deserves it this time.

-Hulk slams Boss Man and clotheslines him, then heads back to kick Slick’s ass some more. Big boot on Big Boss Man, but instead of following with the legdrop, he goes out and beats up Slick yet again. And he pays for it, as Boss Man clotheslines him and follows with the spinebuster. Boss Man dashes over to unlock Slick, then chokes Hogan over the middle rope and gives him the Boss Man legdrop.

-Piledriver by the Boss Man gets two. Boss Man tries another piledriver, but Hogan counters it by backdropping him over the top rope. Slick hasn’t learned his lesson, so he trips Hogan from the outside. Hogan chases him around the ring and back in, where Boss Man is waiting with the sidewalk slam and a big splash for two.

-Hulk Hulks up, but we haven’t seen the special handcuffs yet so we’re not done yet. Big boot sends Boss Man to the floor and he drags Hogan out with him and posts him. And NOW Hogan is trapped in the handcuffs. Boss Man punches and rakes Hogan, and Slick gets his revenge, slapping Hogan around. Avalanche misses again in grand fashion and Boss Man crotches himself on the top rope. Hogan snaps the handcuffs and drops the leg, but Hulk’s so pissed off he drops a second leg. Still angry, so Hogan grabs the nightstick. Joey Marella, whose name has been mispronounced three times now, tries to stop Hogan from using the nightstick, but Hogan shoves him on his ass and gets himself DQed as a result. That’s such a shallow ending, I feel like they’re going to have to wrestle again. Perhaps in a cage. 6 for 8.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Recommended if you can find it (I grabbed this one from a shut-down YouTube channel). Everything moved at a good pace and delivered.

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WWF, Adam Nedeff