The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG Show – November 24 1990
– Taped from MSG
– Your hosts are Sean Mooney, Jimmy Hart & Honky Tonk Man. Truly a dream team.
The British Bulldog v. Playboy Buddy Rose
This was during the epic Blow Away era for Rose, and he was doing a gimmick where he’d debate the announced weight and then weigh himself on his own scale, which he would then step off of and show to Finkel to verify. Pretty funny. Rose overpowers Davey Boy to start, but gets slammed and dropkicked out of the ring. Back in, Bulldog works the armbar, but Rose trades kip-ups (!) with him and uses the knee to escape. He goes to a rear chinlock and tosses Bulldog, who sunset flips back in for two. They collide and Rose falls on top for two. Rose goes up and gets slammed off. Bulldog makes the comeback with a backdrop and a back elbow for two. Rose catches him with his head down and goes back to the chinlock, which is not the way the match was looking to be going. Rose slugs away in the corner as this match has just died after maintaining a pretty decent pace for the most part. Rose misses a blind charge and Bulldog finally finishes with the powerslam at 8:40. Had they gone home after Bulldog’s first comeback, it would have been better, as Rose was bumping around pretty well. **
Boris Zukhov v. Tugboat
Zukhov attacks to start, but gets splashed in the corner as a result. Clothesline gets two for Tugboat. He yanks on the beard and grabs a headlock. I never got why we were even supposed to cheer for Tugboat — because he worked on a boat? And didn’t anyone tell him that stripes make you look fatter? But least we know he’s not on roids. Anyway, Zukhov slugs away in the corner and gets an axehandle off the middle rope for two. Boris pounds on him and goes for a slam, but that doesn’t work out well for him. Tugboat tries to come back, but runs into a boot in the corner and Boris goes to the chinlock. Tugboat fights out and elbows him down, and follows with a corner splash. Big fat splash finishes at 5:56. I assure you, the thrill of watching it was almost as great as reading it is for you. 1/2*
Earthquake v. Hulk Hogan
Mooney uses the “You have to see him live to appreciate him!” stuff with Earthquake, so that’s not anything unique to Big Show. And I have met Earthquake, and it wasn’t the awe-inspiring experience that they’re promising. He was a really nice guy, though. Quake of course attacks to start and pounds away, but misses an elbow and Hogan rips his shirt off. Well, not the most sound strategy, but it works for him, I guess. Hulk follows with a corner clothesline and slugs away in the corner, but can’t slam him. Quake quite smartly follows up with a Boston crab, but Hulk makes the ropes. Hulk quickly tries another slam, and Quake falls on top for two. Elbowdrop gets two and Quake goes to a bearhug. I have enough time to get my car detailed while that goes on, and he follows with the powerslam and BUTT SPLASH OF DEATH, but it only gets two. Hulk up, but Dino Bravo does the federally mandated run-in before we can even pretend there’s going to be a finish and it’s a countout win for Earthquake at 8:23 after Bravo gives Hogan a single forearm to the back. That’s quite the powerful forearm. * Hogan goes after Jimmy Hart, so Quake and Bravo beat the crap out of him. Honky Tonk makes a good point — Hogan was being a poor sport and deserved it. Don’t go after two guys if you can’t handle it.
Haku v. Shane Douglas
Ah, back in the post-Dudes mullet glory years for Douglas. Douglas pounds on Haku to start, but gets chopped down. Shane comes back with some armdrags and Haku bails. Back in, Shane slugs away and slams him to set up an elbowdrop for two. Rollup is blocked, but Shane takes him down with a monkeyflip for two. Shane works on the arm, but walks into a backbreaker. Haku follows with a backdrop suplex for two. He comes back with a sunset flip for two, but Haku slugs him down again. Shoulderbreaker and he goes to the Vulcan nerve pinch as the resthold du jour. Shane escapes, but gets kicked down again before coming back with a faceplant. Douglas gets a pair of clotheslines for two. Thesz Press gets two. Wasn’t that his finisher at the time? Springboard bodypress finishes at 7:47. Shane’s whitebread babyface run here probably should have killed his career. I’m frankly shocked he ever gained indy cred with the ECW crowd later on. The match was mainly him trying to be Lex Luger and Haku acting bored and no-selling. Not a good mixture. 3/4*
Intercontinental title: Kerry Von Erich v. Mr. Perfect
Roddy Piper is the special ref here, which is weird because I don’t recall him feuding with Hennig at this point. Although that would have been some awesome promos. Tornado tosses Perfect into the corner to start, and then catches him with a sucker punch while Piper is holding Perfect’s arm. Oh come on now! Kerry starts working on the arm and gets a discus punch to the gut, which Perfect sells like a gunshot and bails. They brawl outside and Perfect sells like crazy, and they head back in. Kerry goes back to the arm. Perfect pulls a turnbuckle cover off, but gets rammed into it for two. Tornado goes a Boston crab, but Perfect makes the ropes. Tornado hits boot on a charge and Perfect gets his usual excellent standing dropkick, sending Kerry to the apron. Perfect grabs a sleeper, and rolls him up for two while he’s groggy. Smart man. They trade punches and collide, with Tornado falling on top for two. Normally that would have been a ref bump spot, but Piper isn’t going down from a simple collision. Tornado punch stuns Perfect and the Iron Claw follows, but Perfect falls into the ropes. Perfect tries to slam him, but Kerry claws him again and Perfect has to go to the eyes to break. A chop gets two. This is some pretty uninspired stuff. Perfect gets a backdrop suplex, but they do the stupid shoulder lift finish and Tornado retains at 11:37. Very kicky-punchy. ** And just because it’s wrestling and inevitably I have to note stuff like this, Perfect actually regained the title on 11/19/90, which was five days BEFORE this show, although the title change didn’t air until a few days after this. So really, he could take solace in knowing he was already the champion.
Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect and Roddy Piper exchange pleasantries. “If you don’t know who I am, steal my wallet!” is a great line from Piper in the days before he went senile.
Ted Dibiase & Virgil v. Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
This was back when Dustin was greener than Kermit the Frog smoking some really good pot. Virgil works him over in the corner to start, but Dustin comes back with a backdrop and clotheslines him out in a really ugly spot. Crowds these days would jump all over that one. Back in, Dustin dropkicks him and Virgil heads out again to get advice from Dibiase. So now Dibiase decides to take matters into his own hands, and elbows Dustin down and follows with a suplex. Father and son pinball Dibiase in the corner, and Dusty tags in to TCB. Elbows are thrown and Dusty slugs away in the corner. Using his elbow, which is an impressive move. However, Dusty goes after Virgil and gets caught with a cheapshot as a result. Virgil chokes him down and Dibiase hits the chinlock. Dusty fights out and tags in Dustin, but he falls victim to a cheapshot himself and a big brawl erupts. Dusty gets all up in Honky’s area, which allows some double-teaming in the ring, and Dibiase finishes the kid with a powerslam and puts Virgil on top at 8:49. This whole feud was just Dusty putting Dibiase over on the way out of the promotion. Pretty meandering tag match, with Dustin not doing anything of note. *1/2
Sgt. Slaughter v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Really funny bit at the start, as Slaughter has Finkel inform the crowd that it’s Veteran’s Day…in Iraq. Oh, that’s GOLD. He asks for a moment of silence for all the Iraqi soldiers killed in the invasion of Kuwait. Gotta love the WWE. Slaughter hides in the ropes and then attacks Duggan, slugging and choking him in the corner. Duggan fights back and Slaughter runs away and then asks the ref to check on his teeth. Oh, this is gonna be one of THOSE matches, I see. More stalling as Slaughter wants a handshake, but Duggan is having none of that sportsmanship and attacks him. Slaughter boots him down and we get more choking, then he hits the chinlock to really ramp up the excitement. Slaughter takes him down and drops a knee for two. Backbreaker and Slaughter goes up, but misses a flying knee. Duggan comes back with a backdrop, but Adnan trips him and then hits him with the flag, giving Slaughter the pin at 9:44. Weak. 1/2*
Bret Hart v. The Barbarian
Pretty sure this was on a Coliseum Video release around this time, as I remember the idiot referee holding up Bret’s tag belt as though it was on the line. Barbarian pounds him down to start, then whips him into the corner and boots him down. Slam sets up the elbow that never hits, and as usual it misses here. Bret slugs back and pounds away in the corner, which sets up the legsweep and second rope elbow for two. Clothesline gets two. He tries a bodypress, but Barbarian reverses to a powerslam for two. Bret tries a piledriver, but Barbarian backdrops out, and Bret reverses to a sunset flip for the pin at 4:07. Nothing match. *
The Rockers v. Demolition
Demolition are Smash and Crush, as Jack Tunney has finally stepped in and banned the three-man version of the team. Doesn’t he have anything USEFUL to attend to? Marty tries to wrestle Crush down, but can’t overpower him, and Crush flexes to remind us that he’s strong. Marty keeps trying and finally gets him with a drop toehold, but jumps into a bearhug. Shawn comes in to break it up, however, dropkicking Crush into a rollup for two. Crush gets a bearhug on him as well, and Smash comes in to fire away in the corner. Shawn uses speed and dropkicks Smash, then brings him to the corner to work on the arm. Marty makes the mistake of jawing with Crush, however, and Smash catches him from behind, giving us the patented 360 clothesline sell from Marty. Crush gets his licks in from the floor and then comes in with an axehandle to the back, and a backbreaker gets two. Over to the bearhug again. Smash whips Marty into the corner and works on the neck as we are rapidly running out of time for this show. Hot tag Shawn and he’s all about the dropkicks, and a neckbreaker gets two. Sunset flip gets two. Superkick gets two. The Rockers double-team Crush to get rid of him and add a double superkick to Smash, then finish him with a Rocker Launcher, but Crush pulls out the referee for the retardo DQ at 10:50. Really, what’s the point of that? Mostly just both teams going through the motions, but still the best match of the night. **1/2
Just a totally worthless and dull show. Not sure why they bothered showing it, actually.