The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG – November 25 1989
– Taped from New York. I guess they just decided to pull a Thanksgiving show out of the archives.
– Your hosts are Gorilla and Hillbilly Jim. Oh this has got bad idea written all over it.
Haku v. Paul Roma
Haku attacks to start and pounds on Roma in the corner, but Paul fires back by ramming Haku’s head into the turnbuckle 10 times. You’d think that wouldn’t work, but Haku sells it. He follows with a dropkick and Haku bails. Back in, Roma works on the arm and gets a bodypress for two, then back to the armbar. Haku tries to chop out, but gets taken down with the armdrag again. Finally Haku comes back with a clothesline to stop the awesome offensive onslaught that is Paul Roma, and he takes over with a back elbow and backbreaker for two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Roma comes back with a sunset flip, but Haku uses his samoan martial arts to put him down again, setting up the Vulcan nerve pinch. Roma powers out of it, so Haku pounds him in the corner. Roma uses the turnbuckles again and Haku sells it AGAIN, so Roma drops an elbow for two. Suplex and he goes up with a fistdrop for two. Blind charge misses, however, and the THRUST KICK~! finishes at 10:06. Pedestrian match, slick finish. **3/4
The Hart Foundation v. The Rockers
Bret starts out with Marty and works on the arm, but a blocked rollup leads to a nice little stalemate sequence. Bret tries a hiptoss and Marty comes back with his own and takes him down with an armbar, then the Rockers do a blind tag and slick double-teaming sequenceâ€¦before walking into a double clothesline from Neidhart. HA! Clearly the Harts are going to bite the bullet and go heel in this one, although I’d like to see what the Rockers could do with that role, just for fun. Anvil comes in for real and tries a headlock on Shawn, but Shawn counters out and gets his own. They trade shoulderblocks and Shawn tries a bodypress, but Anvil catches him for the slam, which Shawn reverses into a cradle for two. Sneaky! Neidhart goes back to the headlock and powers Shawn down, but Shawn escapes a slam attempt and rolls him up for two. Marty comes in and gets shoulderblocked by Anvil, but he also out-thinks Neidhart and takes him down with a drop toehold. Into the corner, but Marty goes right back to the arm and the Rockers double-team with the stereo superkick for two. Anvil finally slams Shawn to escape and brings Bret back in, but Shawn goes right for his arm as well. Bret comes back with an atomic drop and now the Harts are pissed, as Bret tags out to Anvil and then gets his patented cheapshot on the apron. Purely awesome every time.
Bret comes in with a backbreaker and then sets up Shawn for a standing dropkicking from Neidhart, which gets two. Bearhug, but Shawn escapes, so they corral him back into the corner and Bret fires away with some mean forearms. Shawn catches a backslide for two, but Bret elbows him in the head to take over again. Shawn flips out of a slam attempt and gets his own, but Bret pounds him down again. They slug it out and Bret drops a leg, but he slingshots Anvil in and hits nothing but mat. Bret, however, is still thinking ahead and drags Shawn back to the corner, then draws Marty in for the distraction and suplexes Shawn for two. Anvil with a backdrop for two. Shawn whips Bret into the corner, but runs into a boot, then dodges Bret’s elbowdrop and it’s HOT tag Marty. Back elbow for Bret and he follows with a kneelift for two. Backslide gets two. Bodypress gets two. Sunset flip out of the corner gets two. Bret takes him down and stomps him to buy a minute, then dodges a bodypress and Marty splats on the floor. That’s a pretty good bump for what is essentially a house show.
Anvil drags him back in and Marty brings Shawn back in, but Anvil DESTROYS him with a shoulderblock that Shawn sells with a flip, and that gets two. Shawn recovers with a dropkick for two. He tries a bodypress and barely gets two, but Anvil powers him out of the ring on the kickout and tags Bret back in. Shawn goes up and gets another bodypress, but Bret rolls through and hooks the tights for two. Rollup gets two, and Shawn reverses and also hooks the tights for two. Awesome! They fight for a suplex and Shawn wins that one and gets two. They fight for the abdominal stretch and Shawn gets that, but Anvil clobbers him to break and the bell rings for the draw at 19:39. Nooooo! It was just getting into the ****+ territory! ***3/4
The Brooklyn Brawler v. Al Perez
Say WHAT? That must have been one short stay because I don’t even remember Perez in the WWF. Perez fires away in the corner and hiptosses Brawler out, obviously the babyface here after a career of playing the heel. Maybe that’s why he left so soon. Brawler goes to the eyes and fires back with a shoulderblock in the corner. He pounds Perez down for two, but Al comes back with a high knee and puts Brawler down with a back elbow. They fuck up a shoulerbreaker spot and Perez drops a knee and puts Brawler on the floor, but goes after him and gets tied up in the ropes. Brawler works on his trapped leg and then stomps away on the bad knee. That leads to a toehold that goes on forever, until Perez gets a small package for two. Brawler works on the leg in the corner and then goes to the eyes, then makes the mistake of going up. Perez slams him off and finishes with a neat spinning vertical suplex at 8:31. Good finisher, but a totally unimpressive debut for Perez otherwise. *1/2 And I’m left with the question: Has anyone definitively seen Perez and Vince Russo in the same room at the same time?
Ted Dibiase v. Jake Roberts
Dibiase is making his autumn residence in Bel Air, California, for those keeping track. It was the little touches like that which made the character so great. Jake attacks quickly and tries the DDT, but Dibiase is on the run. Back in the ring, Dibiase slugs away, but Jake fires back and tries the DDT again. And Dibiase slips away again. Back in, they try to psych each other out and Jake starts working on the arm, but goes for the DDT yet again and Dibiase slips out again. Dibiase & Virgil confer, but Roberts rams them together and sends Ted back into the ring, but gets caught by Virgil with a weak cheapshot and Dibiase takes over. He drops a knee and gives the fallen Jake some quality de-motivational speaking and drops a pair of elbows before stopping for an EVIL LAUGH. That’s like 15% of the character right there. He drops a knee on the neck and goes to a facelock on the mat as this one is surprisingly draggy. Jake rams him into the corner to break, but Dibiase puts him down again and follows with an elbow off the middle rope. After some stalling, that gets two. Dibiase goes back to the facelock, but Jake turns it into the move that would later be known as Roll the Dice to escape. Dibiase comes in again, but Jake backdrops him and slugs him down, then drops knees on Dibiase in rapid succession to set up the short clothesline. And of course he sets up for the DDT and Virgil runs in for the DQ at 15:10. Dull and didn’t go anywhere. **
Tito Santana v. Bad News Brown
Brown lays him out right away and chokes him out using his own shirt, because he’s bad news. It’s right there in his name! Bad News whips Tito into the corner but misses the charge, and Tito elbows him down. Tito adds a fistdrop off the middle rope and gets two. He charges, however, and Bad News levels him with a clothesline out of the corner and pounds him on the mat. Tito comes back with a bodypress for two and actually gets a monkey flip out of the corner for two. Not often that actually works. Tito slugs away on the mat, but Bad News slugs back, but jams his hand into Tito’s mouth to fish-hook him and Tito bites his fingers! Bad News goes to the eyes and tosses him, then gives him the old chair to the spleen. Tito fights back in with a sunset flip for two, but Bad News chokes him out with the tag rope (“Why is that even there?” declares Gorilla in the disapproving tone only he can pull off) but Tito fights back up again and backslides for two. Brown bails, so Tito gives him that spleen-rupturing chairshot right back and then rams one into the throat for good measure. Back in, Tito gets really dirty and chokes him out on the ropes, then slugs away in the corner. Bad News fires back with a kick to the gut and undoes a turnbuckle pad (“What’s he looking for now, a hand grenade?” asks Gorilla) but Tito rams him into the dreaded steel and goes to work on the leg, setting up the figure-four. Bad News counters out, but whiffs on the Ghetto Blaster and Tito hits him with the flying forearm to put him in the floor. Bad News is really fed up now and brings another chair in, but Tito gets there first and they fight over it, which puts them on the floor again for the double countout at 15:53. What’s with all the lame finishes tonight? Lemme tell ya, though, never give up on a Tito Santana match, because the longer you give him the more he’ll suck the fans into it until he gets a great match out of someone by sheer force of willpower. ***1/4
And now, The Brother Love Show, with special guests Elizabeth and Queen Sherri. They do the bit where they verbally abuse Liz and never let her answer, but before it can get physical Jim Duggan makes the save.
Hercules v. Dino Bravo
The real battle here is who can look manlier while wearing powder blue tights. They fight over a wristlock to start and Gorilla gives his “there won’t be many flying headscissors” routine to apologize for the match in advance. Bravo slugs away in the corner, but misses a blind charge and Herc clotheslines him out of the ring. Back in, Bravo comes back with an atomic drop and goes to a chinlock, then pounds on the back and goes to a bearhug. Herc fights out and slugs away, then follows with a pair of clotheslines for two. Bravo catches him with the sideslam for the pin at 8:35, then drops an elbow and gets another apparent pin after they messed up the first one. Absolutely awful. DUD
Randy Savage v. Jim Duggan
This is for the prestigious crown of the WWF. Savage is rocking the regal silver and purple color combo tonight. Duggan attacks and slugs away on the floor, and they head into the ring where Duggan gets a hiptoss and slams him. Kneedrop gets two. He follows with an atomic drop, but stops to yell at Sherri and Savage catches him with a knee to the back to take over. He drops the axehandle to the floor and they head back in, where Savage hits another axehandle for two. Sherri jumps into the ring and everyone messes up the spot, so they just continue on and Savage drops a knee for two. Duggan fires back with a clothesline and gets the three-point stance, but misses a charge and hits the corner. Savage goes up with another axehandle and Duggan hits him on the way down, and both guys are out. Sherri gets involved again, but now Liz runs out to pay off her earlier appearance and gives Duggan the loaded purse, which he uses for the countout at 7:35. Sadly, the crown cannot change hands on a countout. Yet another lame finish. *1/2
Sean Mooney wraps it up in the back with Ted Dibiase and a series of SNME-style interviews, setting up the next show.
Bleh, Harts-Rockers and Tito-Bad News are worth a look, but it’s a forgettable show overall.
Tags: 24/7, Haku, Hart Foundation, MSG, Tito Santana, WWE