The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG – October 28 1989
– Live from New York. Weird that they showed the November show a couple of months ago and now they’re skipping back to this one. I’m guessing the Macho King in the main event is why.
– Your hosts are Gorilla & Hillbilly. Gah.
Boris Zhukov v. Tito Santana
Tito gives Boris a clean break in the corner to start, then hiptosses him out and into a series of armdrags to send him reeling. Back in, Zhukov tries a top wristlock, but Tito powers out of it. So Boris wants the test of strength now and Tito bests him there, too, forcing Boris to headbutt Tito in the gut. Tito still powers up regardless and stomps the fingers (That THAT, communism!). Tito goes to work with an armbar, but Boris gives him a cheapshot and stomps on the gut to take over. Clothesline gets two. Boris goes to the nerve hold, but Tito quickly fights up until he runs into an elbow, which gets two for Zhukov. Choking on the mat follows. Backdrop suplex gets two. Another extended nerve hold follows, but Tito fights out and slugs away, only to run into a knee on a blind charge. Zhukov gets two off that. He tries a powerslam, but Tito falls on top for two. Another try is reversed to a small package for two. Take the hint, commie. So he goes back to his nerve hold, but Tito makes the comeback and backdrops him. Boris begs like the cowardly red that he is, but Tito fights for AMERICA and pounds away for democracy in the corner. Boris gets a cheapshot and whips him into the ropes, but it’s flying forearm, goodnight at 12:47. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. **1/2
Conquistador #1 v. Al Perez
Hey, more from Perez. I commented before that I didn’t even know he had a WWF stint and now he’s on another MSG show. Huh. Conquistador hails from “somewhere in Latin America”. What, they couldn’t even narrow it down to a COUNTRY? And wouldn’t the Conquistadors be from Spain, anyway? Perez controls with the armbar to start and they fuck up a leapfrog spot, as Perez accidentally turns it into a high knee in the face when Conquistador doesn’t go down in time. Perez counters an armdrag and Conquistador backs off. He gets a cheapshot and then goes up, takes FOREVER, and hits a crappy forearm as his big move. They slug it out in the corner and then Conquistador does the same thing again, then gives us more stalling. This is so boring that the announcers just talk about whatever they feel like. A slam gets two. Perez comes back and tries a corner splash, but hits the post instead. Perez finally comes back by tossing his mysterious Latin American foe, and then back in for a spinning vertical suplex and kneedrop. That gets two. And we hit the chinlock. Finally that’s enough boredom, and Perez finishes with the helicopter slam at 10:21. Perez looked like a star and had a killer finish, but there was just something missing during the matches. *1/2
Bret Hart v. Dino Bravo
I’m 99.9% sure I’ve seen this on a Coliseum Video somewhere before. Bravo overpowers Bret to start and hits an atomic drop, but Bret comes back with a crossbody for two and returns the atomic drop. Three clotheslines and Bravo takes a breather on the floor. Back in, Bret works on the arm and controls with an armbar. They criss-cross and Bret stomps him in a cute spot before going back to the armbar again. Bravo pounds out of it, but Bret takes him down with a backslide for two and then controls with a hammerlock. Bravo offers a handshake, so Bret spits on it (well, Bravo IS from Montrealâ€¦) and pounds away in the corner until Bravo finally whips him into the other corner for the Bret Bump. Bravo tosses him and doles out the punishment on the floor, and then back in for a gutwrench suplex that gets two. We hit the chinlock and Bravo pounds on the back for two, then goes to a bearhug. Bret fights out and evades a blind charge, but misses his middle rope elbow and Bravo gets two. He tries to follow with a suplex, but Bret reverses to his own and makes the comeback. Backdrop and elbow get two. Rollup gets two. Small package gets two. Bret headbutts him down and stomps him, and the backbreaker and middle rope elbow gets two as the bell rings for the draw at 18:19. Good, hard work from both guys here, well worth checking out. ***1/2
The Brooklyn Brawler v. Jose Luis Rivera
Geez, poor Rivera gets double-booked tonight, unless it was Jose Estrada in the first match. Brawler pounds away in the corner, but Rivera slugs back and rams him into the turnbuckle. Brawler tosses him and stomps away to take over, and that gets two. We hit the chinlock and Brawler pounds away with boring stuff and even Gorilla is like “Uh, maybe use something a bit more effective, you dumbass.” Well, nicer than that, but you know. Back to the chinlock and the crowd has pretty much had enough of this shit. Brawler goes up and Gorilla continues burying him (“What’s he gonna do up there? He doesn’t have a clue!”) and indeed Rivera slams him off and makes the comeback. Punch punch and Rivera runs into a knee, allowing Brawler to finish with a pretty nice falling knee to the back ala heel Ricky Morton, at 7:30. Gorilla gives him credit for the finish at least. DUD
Crown match: Macho King Randy Savage v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
This is one of the last appearances of Savage’s traditional short tights before he switches permanently to the long ones. Duggan attacks to start and fires away with forearms in the corner, but he stops to go after Sherri and ends up eating the post as a result. Savage beats on him and drops the axehandle to the floor, and back in for the necksnap. Double axehandle gets two and Savage chokes him down, but charges and knocks himself out as a result. Duggan misses an elbow as Sherri’s histrionics are more entertaining than the match, but Savage goes up and Duggan nails him on the way down. Savage charges again and this time Duggan backdrops him over the top, as Savage is just bumping like crazy. Duggan tosses him into the crowd and they brawl at ringside. Duggan wins that and drops a knee back in the ring. Sherri distracts the ref (is he really gonna pin Savage with a kneedrop?) and Duggan gets two, then slugs Savage down for two again. And Sherri interferes again, putting Randy’s foot on the ropes. Duggan stops to yell at her, but still watches Savage, allowing him to hit a shoulderblock on the groggy Savage. Macho comes back with a clothesline, however, and goes up, but Duggan was playing possum and the big elbow misses. Duggan comes back as this match is surprisingly great, hitting three clotheslines and then a short one, setting up the three-point stance. Savage bumps to the floor off that and Duggan tosses him back in, but he gets wrapped up with Sherri yet again and falls victim to a high knee from behind, bumping the ref. Duggan gets the visual pinfall with a small package and hits Savage with an atomic drop and clothesline for another one, but Danny Davis is still out. He was a WRESTLER! Could he really be that frail? Sherri finally slips Savage the LOADED PURSE OF DEATH, and that gets a very dramatic two count. Huh. Finally Savage takes him down in the corner, puts his feet on the ropes, and Sherri holds the legs down for the pin at 16:05. You do what you gotta do. Call me wacky but I enjoyed the hell out of this one, as they had some crazy good chemistry together and it was never boring. ***3/4
Akeem v. Hercules
Test of strength to start and that goes on longer than you’d like. Herc boots out of it and takes him over with an amrbar and works on the arm. Akeem pounds him down and chokes him out, using his array of clubbing forearms to control. And we hit the chinlock. Terrific. More choking follows. You know, you wouldn’t think it would be possible for One Man Gang to REGRESS as a worker, but here you have it. Herc slugs back, but runs into a boot. Akeem’s got no follow-through for that, but he finally just goes with an Avalanche and then stands around gloating about it for six hours. He tries another one, but misses and bumps to the floor, giving Herc the countout win at 11:22. Well that one certainly lived down to its pedigree. DUD
Jimmy Snuka v. Mr. Perfect
Snuka chases him out of the ring to start as Perfect tries to goad him into losing his cool. Snuka chops him out of the ring and then back in for a headlock, as Snuka gives him a cheapshot and actually acts kind of heelish. He aggressiveness backfires, however, as he charges Perfect and gets dropped with a stungun as a result. Perfect stomps away and hits the necksnap, then goes to a neckvice. He pounds away, but Snuka no-sells and makes the comeback, which has Perfect running again. Snuka rams him into the turnbuckles and chops him down, but Perfect rolls through a bodypress for two. Snuka puts his head down, however, and now you’re gonna see a Perfectplex at 10:33. They weren’t working together very well, with Snuka not really selling Hennig’s offense and Hennig not doing his usual crazy bumps. **
Intercontinental title: The Ultimate Warrior v. Andre the Giant
Speaking of guys not working well together, this is a prime example. Andre hated working with Warrior so much that the resulting matches were among the worst of his career. Warrior attacks from behind with two clotheslines, then hits a third and finishes with the big splash at 0:15. It’s interesting because from a wrestler’s standpoint, it’s a huge insult to go out and job like that without truly “putting him over”, but from a fan standpoint it made Warrior look like the main event star he was becoming.
The Powers of Pain v. The Bushwackers
Barbarian attacks Butch to start and chokes him out, but Luke bites him to force the break. Barbarian overpowers Butch and we get the stall from the Bushwackers as a result before Butch finally grabs a headlock. Barbarian powers out again and Butch makes a show of stopping to think, which sets up a cute double-team with Luke kneeling down behind Barbarian for the schoolboy trip. I can’t believe these guys used to be the most violent team in wrestling. Luke fires away on Warlord and gets nowhere, falling victim to a bearhug as a result. Butch bites the leg to break that up, but walks into a clothesline and plays idiot-in-peril. Fuji gets a cheapshot on the floor and Barbarian adds the big boot in the ring, and the Powers double-team in the corner. Hot tag Luke and they hit the battering ram on both Powers, but he walks into another big boot from Barbarian, and the Powers beat on him with Fuji’s cane for the DQ at 8:00. Yeah, not a really inspiring finish to the show. 1/2*
Couple of good matches in the middle, but the rest is a definite miss.