From the UK: Madison Square Garden Classics Episode 1 – January 23rd 1989

No real reason for this review. Basically, I knew I hadn’t posted a review in a while and I felt like watching this DVD again so there you go. I got four episodes of this series from, the now sadly defunct, ECUK shop in Manchester. Not a day doesn’t go by where I don’t miss that shop, it was a smarks wet dream come true!

Anyway episode 1 includes matches from January 23rd 1989

We’re in MSG, duh

Hosts are Mean Gene, Lord Alfred Hayes and Rod Trongard

The Rockers Vs The Brain Busters
Oh yeah baby! Shawn and Anderson start, with Michaels grabbing a side headlock. Arn takes a breather outside but Marty throws him back in and unloads with some right hands and it all breaks loose. When order restores, Michaels and Anderson trade some slaps and it all again breaks loose. Tully and Michaels now go at it with Michaels targeting the arm with an arm lock. The Rockers take turns on working over Tully’s arm. Tully makes a couple of false tags which is not something you often see heels do, and continues having his arm worked over. Some shenanigans follow that with the Busters getting both double arm dragged and super kicked at which point we have a commercial.

Commercial

We’re back with Tully begging for mercy, which of course leads to a cheap shot as Shawn would appear to be our Cocaine Addict in Peril but The Rockers rebound again and send both Busters outside with a double dropkick. Tully continues to have his arse kicked from pillar to post. Tully bails again and Shawn is stupid enough to follow him, setting up an Anderson cheap shot on the outside to officially start our heat segment. Back inside, Arn stomps Shawn’s face off and sends him spine first into Tully’s knee. The Busters cheat at will and it’s chin lock time for Shawn. Shawn breaks the hold but takes another knee to the spine to stop his momentum. Shawn fights back with right hands and a sunset flip but another well places cheap shot puts him back on the defensive.

Shawn manages a desperation cross body but gets stopped with the old rope assisted abdominal stretch before he can tag. If there was a heel factory somewhere in an evil place like North Korea you know they’d be teaching that move in the first class. Shawn continues to get mugged in the heel corner at every opportunity but he manages a back slide out of nowhere for two. Tully stops the tag and drags Shawn back into the heel corner, where Arn nails him with a Spine Buster but Marty saves at two. Shawn gets the old accidental knee to the groin and makes the old hot tag to Marty who is a good old fashioned House en Fuego. How many times did I right old there? Anyway I would say it’s Bonzo Gonzo, but that would be stealing, so lets say it’s Nutzo Rocco! During the commotion, Marty goes to suplex Tully but Anderson trips his leg and Tully lands on top for the win.

WINNERS – THE BRAIN BUSTERS
Time – 15 minutes ish
***1/4 – Hot tag match with some great heel work by the Busters. A big brawl breaks out at the end but the video cuts away, bastards

Ted Dibiase Vs Hercules
This match stemmed from Dibiase trying to buy Hercules, which went as well for him as you’d imagine. Virgil is also banned from ringside here ensuring that Dibiase will have to fight fair, yeah right. Brawl starts on the floor to begin with, which goes Hercules way due to Virgil not being able to interfere, and Hercules controls inside. Hercules nails a monster Atomic Drop and a body slam for two. Hercules locks in the Full Nelson but Dibiase makes the ropes. Dibiase gets clotheslined outside and Hercules follows him out to body slam him on the floor. Dibiase starts begging for mercy, but when Hercules refuses, he tugs his tights and sends him outside. Hercules eats some apron on the outside and slams him on the floor as we go to a commercial

Commercial

We’re back with Dibiase having Hercules in a Sleeper. Hercules elbows out and both men clothesline each other down. Hercules gets two from a Small Package but Dibiase knocks him down and heads up top, only to be thrown off. Hercules unloads with rights and lefts to Dibiase and flattens him with a knee lift and back body drop. Hercules moves in for the kill but Dibiase uses the ropes for leverage to get the good clean scientific win.

WINNER – TED DIBIASE
Time – about 10 minutes, 7 shown
**1/4 – Good little match actually. Dibiase and Virgil attack Hercules post match causing the referee to reverse the decision and give Hercules the win by DQ.

Big Bossman w/ Slick Vs Hulk Hogan
Bossman promises to crush Hogan’s spirit and throw him in prison for life. Well, that’s an unusual threat if anything else. This was match 55 in the series of 200 between these two in 1989. sadly, there’s no Jive Soul Bro for the Bossman, damn music rights. The ref threatens Bossman with a DQ if he doesn’t get rid of the Night Stick and Bossman complies reluctantly. Hogan uses the right hands of death to start and flattens Bossman with an Axe Bomber.

Slick comes in to get a piece of the Hulkster and is promptly beaten up and Hogan pulls some handcuffs out of his pants, which is probably used to enhance his sex games with Brutus Beefcake earlier, and handcuffs Slick to the ring post to take him out of the equation. Hogan hammers away on Bossman in the ring, actually getting a high knee at one point, but lowers his head and takes a clothesline. Bossman drops Hogan with a Piledriver and passes Slick keys to the handcuffs so he can unlock himself. Bossman hammers away as we go to another commercial

Commercial

As we come back, Bossman delivers a Back Breaker and a Spine Buster to Hogan for a two count. Bossman gets back dropped out of the ring, taking a nasty bump where he hands Spine first on the apron, but Slick causes a distraction allowing Bossman to nail a Side Slam and a Splash for two. Hogan Hulks Up and big boots Bossman to the outside. The two brawl outside and Hogan gets sent shoulder first into the post. Bossman uses the chance to put handcuffs on Hogan on the outside. Hogan beats the count to get back in where Bossman gives him the dreaded back rakes of death, destruction, doom and deceit. Bossman misses a charge in the corner and Hogan snaps the handcuffs. Hogan gets the big boot and two Leg Drops but he doesn’t want the win and grabs the Night Stick. Hogan shoves down the ref to get disqualified, like the dirty cheat he is.

WINNER – HULK HOGAN
Time – About 10 minutes
**1/2 – Good match before the confusing ending. Hogan still poses afterward like a petulant child, despite the fact he openly cheated and lost the match. How was this guy not turned on sooner by the audience?

The Inside Pulse
Whereas WCW probably had the better workers at this point, the WWF had an influx of really good wrestlers during 1989 and that led to some awesome matches and feuds throughout the next couple of years. This is a great example of that with each match being at least watchable and none of these matches stinking. If you see this on WWE 24/7 then check it out because it’s a good way to burn an hour.

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