AIRDATE: January 27, 1990
VENUE: UTC Arena (Chattanooga, TN)
COMMENTATORS: Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
On this edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event the two biggest stars in the WWF team up as Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior take on Mr. Perfect and The Genius. Can they co-exist after throwing hands at the Royal Rumble just a week prior? We will find out! Also on the show Jake Roberts takes on Greg Valentine, Dusty Rhodes faces Rick Rude, and we get a whole lot of hype for an appearance on next month’s show…that doesn’t end up happening. Awkward.
- WWF CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Colossal Connection (Haku & Andre The Giant)
- Jim Duggan vs. Randy Savage (**1/4)
- Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mr. Perfect & The Genius (***)
- Jake Roberts vs. Greg Valentine (**1/2)
- Dusty Rhodes vs. Rick Rude (*1/2)
- Ronnie Garvin vs. Dino Bravo (*)
-McMahon and Ventura welcome the home audience. They call TN the Volunteer State because everyone volunteers to get out of there. PLEASE BODY, DON’T HURT ‘EM. Ventura knows Hogan and Warrior won’t get along too well in tonight’s tag team match given what happened at Royal Rumble. There are A LOT of matches announced for a one hour show.
–“Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. HOOOOOOOOOOO. Duggan is ready for the 90s, and ready to for that low-down king and queen. Clip of Savage beating Duggan for the “King” crown back in September of 1989. Okerlund asks Duggan if he wants revenge or wants the crown again, Duggan says it’s both and also neither if you know what he means. Nope. Duggan has no qualms cracking Sherri’s makeup like the Berlin Wall if she gets involved. Yiiiiikes. Duggan makes his way out to the ring.
-Okerlund is with “The Macho King” Randy Savage and Sensational “Queen” Sherri. Savage calls the crowd “peasants”. Okerlund asks if he knows what a guillotine means, Savage says that’s what peasants use to get a haircut. He rules the peasants, Duggan will never have a queen like Sherri. Sherri says anything she has is his to command. I love how winning a fake king crown makes everyone into a medieval cosplayer. Savage is carried to the ring on his throne.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. “The Macho King” Randy Savage [w/ Sensational “Queen” Sherri]
Savage takes his time removing his entrance attire, Duggan finally has enough and tips over the throne sending the King crashing to the floor. Duggan misses a corner splash but no-sells it because of his thick head. Savage counters a backdrop attempt with a kick and follows up with a clothesline. Duggan connects with a pair of clotheslines of his own and a lateral press for a two-count. Atomic Drop, Sherri climbs the apron to distract Hacksaw; it works and Savage sends him crashing to the floor with a forearm from behind. Savage connects with a double axhandle on the floor and in the ring, but Duggan kicks out of the lateral press. Savage snaps Duggan’s throat across the top rope and covers again for a two-count. Nimble like a cat. Savage misses a seated splash and hits nothing but rope. Savage rakes the eyes and charges, Duggan backdrops him out to the floor. Duggan clotheslines Savage on the floor, Sherri argues with the ref as we go to commercial.
Back from break and Duggan connects with a kneedrop, but Sherri distracts the ref long enough for Savage to kick out of the pinfall attempt. Duggan with a right hand and another cover, Sherri puts Savage’s foot on the rope to prevent the loss. Duggan with three clothesline and a big ol’ meaty right that sends the King falling to the floor. Duggan rolls Sherri in, Sherri attacks from behind. Duggan chases her into the ring and wants to hit her but the ref is a good person and stops it. Sherri escapes, Savage with a knee from behind. Savage connects with a flying axhandle but Duggan also connects with a right and both are down. Sherri hands Savage her loaded purse, which he used to win the King’s crown in the first place. Duggan rolls Savage over, Savage belts him with the purse and Savage takes forever to cover for the 1…2…DUGGAN KICKS OUT. Duggan with an inside cradle (?!?) for the 1…2…Savage kicks out. Duggan with an atomic drop, sending Savage bouncing like a pinball into the corner and following up with more clotheslines. Duggan nails Savage with the Three Point Stance, sending Savage to the floor. Duggan suplexes Savage in, Sherri trips him up, Savage lands on top and covers (his feet on the ropes, Sherri holding Duggan’s leg down) for the 1…2…3! ALL HAIL THE KING!
Randy Savage defeated Jim Duggan via pinfall (7:55 shown)
- Savage is one of the greatest of all-time so obviously this match wasn’t terrible. I enjoyed the callback to the loaded purse and Duggan this time not losing the same way he did back in September. Second match in a row for 1990-era Duggan I’ve seen that I’ve enjoyed, maybe I’ve grown to appreciate him more in my old age…or he’s had a string of worthwhile opponents. Either or. (**1/4)
-Ventura is backstage with Mr. Perfect and The Genius. Ventura puts them over as the perfect match of brain and brawn. Perfect brings up Genius already holding a win over Hulk Hogan on a previous episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. Genius launches into poem, and it rules. One day I’ll transcribe them. Not today though. Perfect and Genius make their entrance, cut to footage from Royal Rumble 1990 of Hogan and Warrior going one-on-one during the Rumble match.
-Mean Gene is standing by with Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. Hogan and Warrior talk about turbulence between the two, but they have a common bond. Hogan says they will be THE ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE. Yelling and growling ensue.
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mr. Perfect & The Genius
Hogan launches Perfect into the corner, Perfect bails to the apron to prevent a follow-up. Hogan with a hip toss and a scoop slam to both Perfect and Genius, who bail from the ring. Genius prances around to sell his back. Warrior tags in and double noggin knocks Perfect and Genius, then rams both their heads into the apron. Back in the ring Warrior drops Genius with a shoulderblock and slingshots Perfect back in before whipping him into Genius. Warrior clotheslines Perfect out and the heels are cleared once again. Hogan tags in, Perfect with a series of strikes in the corner. Hogan counters a corner Irish whip and connects with an elbow, sending Perfect flying to the floor. Hogan sends him into the post and he sells it with a flip. DANG. Genius grabs his metal scroll and writes a poem, Perfect oversells a Hogan clothesline and a buckle shot (FLIPPING to the mat). Hogan sends Perfect to the floor with a big boot, Genius hands him the scroll and Perfect cracks it over Hogan’s head. Perfect tries to use a chair but Hogan dodges and it hits nothing but post.
Perfect ditches his scientific playbook and pummels Hogan with punches and forearms. Genius tags in for a few strikes then quickly tags back out to Perfect. Genius prances at Warrior to make him mad; given what we know about the man nowadays it was probably shoot anger. Perfect connects with the Perfect Plex, but lets go so Genius can get the win. Genius with a moonsault (!!!), Hogan gets his knees up. Perfect flies off the top as well, Hogan gets his boot up. Warrior gets the hot tag and pummels the sh*t out of both Genius and Perfect, sending the latter out to the floor with a right hand. Warrior slams Genius and goes running, Hogan tags in. Warrior hits Perfect, Hogan hits a real awkward angle Big Legdrop on Genius for the 1…2…3.
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior defeated Mr. Perfect & The Genius via pinfall (7:52)
- Ahem, a PERFECTLY entertaining tag match. Perfect and Genius played their roles beautifully, the former overselling as only he could and Genius getting his licks in like a vulture; I also appreciated Perfect letting go of the Perfect Plex because Genius wanted to get a SECOND win over Hogan, and having that cost them in the end. They COULD’VE won but their hubris was their downfall. (***)
Perfect attacks Hogan from behind, sending him to the floor. Warrior beats up Perfect and Genius, Hogan turns Warrior around and Warrior “accidentally” drops him with a clothesline. OH SNAP. Warrior helps Hogan up, Hogan shoves him. Warrior shoves back and they go nose to nose talking (likely insane) trash.
-CLIP: Jake Roberts beats up Ted DiBiase and Virgil on the 1/20/90 edition of Superstars. Roberts takes the Million Dollar Championship.
-Mean Gene is with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Okerlund asks if the belt is in the bag with Damien. Roberts says all he needs to do is reach in to find out, Okerlund declines so Roberts gives him another way to find out: watch this match.
-Ventura is standing by with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. They are not phased by Roberts as there are two of them.
-Roberts makes his entrance and empties the bag, revealing Damien AND The Million Dollar Championship.
-REPLAY: Warrior accidentally belts Hogan during the post-match attack by Perfect and Genius.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]
Valentine with a couple of arm drags early, and is beyond pleased with himself. Roberts counters an armbar with an armdrag of his own and goes for a DDT, but the Hammers slides out to the floor. Valentine lights Roberts up in the corner with chops and forearms, and whips him repeatedly into opposite corners to wear him down. Valentine drops an elbow to the spine and arrogantly covers for the 1…2…Roberts easily kicks out. Valentine works on the back, dropping knees and covering but Roberts kicks out once more. Roberts connects with a series of jabs and dodges a corner splash. Short-arm clothesline, Roberts signals for the DDT but takes too long and Valentine counters with a backdrop. Roberts dodges an elbowdrop but misses a kneelift and gets thrown into the corner. Valentine and Hart hug in celebration (uhhh why?), Roberts kicks out of the Figure Four and sends him into the Mouth of the South then hits the DDT! Before he can pin out come Ted DiBiase and Virgil to attack and cause a DQ.
Jake Roberts defeated Greg Valentine via DQ (5:17)
- Perfectly fine match, always down to watch Roberts miss a kneelift and go flying. (**1/2)
Attack continues, Virgil reluctant to get into the bag to get the title. Roberts fights them off and brings out Damien, which causes them to run in fear.
-Ventura is with “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Ventura doesn’t know why they’re messing with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. Rude is doing it out of ego, as he’s the masculine ideal and will make Sapphire come to him. Creepy. Rude and Heenan make their entrance, dubbed AWFULLY by the WWE Network. I can’t believe Rude’s original theme is copyrighted to someone else, that’s ridiculous.
-Mean Gene is with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. Sapphire says Rude is nothing next to Dusty. Dusty says it’s the Decade of the Common Man and the Common Women, and is here to stop Rude from treating women like garbage.
“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes [w/ Sapphire] vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude [w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan]
Rude attacks Rhodes from behind, Rhodes counters an Irish whip and sends him back-first into the corner. Rhodes drops an elbow to the spine and tosses him out to the floor, following him out to send him back-first into the apron. Rude tries to slam Rhodes but his back is too injured and eats a whole lot of Bionic Elbows. Rude dodges an elbowdrop and locks in a rear-chinlock. This man has NO fat on him, it’s insane. Heenan gets in Sapphire’s face, Rhodes backdrops Rude and hits a series of rights before coming to her aid. Rude clubs Rhodes from behind, the mind games working. The ref ejects Heenan and Sapphire from ringside as we go to commercial.
Back from break, Rude sends Rhodes crashing into the ring post. Rude tries to gyrate but his back is too injured. Sapphire reappears, this time in the front row as she bought a ticket. There was a front row ticket available DURING the show? Yikes. Rude settles into an armbar/wristlock, Rhodes breaks out and catches him on the breadbasket as he flies from the top. Rhodes goes for a Figure Four, Rude breaks it with a rake of the eyes. Rhodes no-sells the right hands and responds with an elbow but gets dropped with a kick to the face. Rude connects with a series of forearms, Sapphire taunts him with a gyration. Rude grabs her wrist, Rhodes attacks her from behind. They brawl up the aisle, Rhodes rams Rude into the guardrail…and I guess it’s a double countout?
Dusty Rhodes and Rick Rude fought to a double countout? (8:51 shown)
- I DIDN’T HEAR NO BELL. Match was…not good, Dusty was pretty much done at this point in his career and it’s sad to see. Sapphire ruled though. (*1/2)
-Mean Gene is standing by with The Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo, and Jimmy Hart. Bravo vows that Garvin will be the one to get stomped.
“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. “Canada’s Strongest Man” Dino Bravo [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart & Earthquake]
This is a WrestleMania V rematch. Bravo tosses Garvin to the floor, Earthquake rams him against the apron and throws him back in the ring. Bravo drops an elbow for a two-count. Gutwrench slam by Bravo for another two-count. Garvin tries for an O’Connor Roll but Bravo blocks it. Bravo misses elbowdrops, Garvin fights back with hands of stone and hard slaps to the chest. Hart climbs the apron, Garvin brings him into the ring and throws him into the arms of Earthquake. Garvin stomps Earthquake’s hand, Bravo tosses Garvin to the floor. Bravo celebrates prematurely, Garvin with a flying crossbody but Bravo rolls through for the 1…2…3.
Dino Bravo defeated Ronnie Garvin via pinfall (3:18)
Garvin tries a post-match attack for some reason but gets beaten up and leaves on a stretcher after a pair of splashes by Earthquake.
-Ventura is with Randy Savage. February 23rd on The Main Event Savage will meet Hulk Hogan with special guest referee “Iron” Mike Tyson, boxing’s World Champion. Savage warns Tyson to call it down the middle, otherwise it’ll be really bad for him. Well I don’t think he has anything to worry about.
-Mean Gene is with Hulk Hogan. Hogan is excited that the dark cloud of Randy Savage will finally fade away next month at The Main Event.
-Ventura shadowboxes as McMahon once again hypes Mike Tyson’s appearance for next month’s Main Event. Ventura also threatens Tyson to call it down the middle.
-After a commercial break McMahon and Ventura once again hype next month’s Main Event and we conclude with another replay of the Hogan/Warrior confrontation from earlier.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Entertaining hour of television, I’m impressed the WWF fit that many matches into such a small time frame and that only one of them was meh. Loved the Hogan/Warrior build continuing as well as my first peak into the feud between Roberts/DiBiase. The hype for Mike Tyson is also hilarious for reasons we’ll get to once I recap that show.