Written by: Jim
Madison Square Garden
April 30, 1990
Hercules vs Haku w/Bobby Heenan
A rematch of Wrestlemania 5. Hercules is really just killing time until he can turn heel and join up with Paul Roma. A lot of rest holds in this one. Despite being a quality wrestler, even Haku doesn’t look to be putting in a lot of effort. Things start to pick up near the end with some fighting on the outside. Haku gets in some nice short chops to Hercules head while Herc fires back with horrible punches. Hercules tries to sunset flip Haku, but Haku gives him a throat thrust and kneels down for the cover. He gets a two before Hercules uses his legs to pull Haku down by his arms in the pin position to pick up the three. If you’re not going to put effort into a match, you shouldn’t be given so much time. The match is about twice as long as their WM 5 match and it shows it. Haku at least keeps me from falling asleep. 1 Star.
Jim Powers vs Paul Diamond
Powers still somehow has a job despite his partnership with Paul Roma ending a couple years ago. Paul Diamond is better known as Kato from the Orient Express. He also played the character of Max Moon during 1993. Both guys are JTTS at most during this time. Diamond uses every cheap tactic in the book to anger Powers. Commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes rips on Powers for losing his cool so easily. Bobby Heenan joins the commentators mid way in the match to make the match more entertaining. Monsoon gives Heenan a hard time for Haku losing earlier. Powers attempts a big power slam, but botches it badly. Diamond holds on and rolls into a cover to get the victory. Monsoon and Hayes rips on Powers for being so horrible. Monsoon even calls the power slam atrocious. Powers may have been a terrible wrestler, but he at least tried unlike Haku and Hercules. As for Diamond, his work may have been a little cliche, but it entertained me. With both wrestlers’ “Star status”, the match didn’t have any heat. Still, it’s a decent little match, you can only expect so much with two JTTS fighting each other, one of which is Powers. 1 1/4 Stars.
Jake Roberts vs Bad News Brown
In the time since Wrestlemania 6 aired and this show took place, they already began Jake’s first feud after the DiBiase one. On an episode of Wrestling Challenge, Bad News was presented with a birthday present (Real birthday being in October though). In the package was a rubber snake. Bad News reacted in the same way that Miss Elizabeth would at Summerslam 1991. Early on in the match, Heenan talks about Bad News’s Olympic past. Heenan calls him an Olympic Gold Medalist, but he really only won the Bronze for Judo. He did win gold in the Pan American Games though. Useless information aside, back to the match. A large portion of the first half has Jake trying to pull Brown near Damien’s bag and Bad News freaking out. When Heenan questions whether Jake may have a poisonous snake in the bag or not, Gorilla Monsoon claims that there isn’t any poisonous snakes in North America. ¿Que? He finally connects with a Ghetto Blaster to send Jake to the outside. Bad News takes this time to throw Damien under the ring. A lot of time is wasted by Brown once he pulls Jake back in the ring. He eventually gets on the mic and talks about how he’s going to beat Jake up in his hometown (He’s billed from Harlem, New York). All during this time, the commentators are baffled as to why Bad News isn’t trying to win. When Roberts is picked up, he surprises Brown with a DDT to finish him off. After the match, Jake angrily looks around for Damien before finally finding him. Brown is able to escape before coming into contact with Damien. This was more about the angle than anything else. Before the knockout moment with the Ghetto Blaster, the match was decent. But after that, it really drags on. I don’t mind if wrestlers waste some time, but at least do something meaningful. I did enjoy the whole angle of the match though. It further develops the feud between Jake and Bad News that would culminate at Summerslam. 1 1/2 Stars.
Jose Luis Rivera vs Nikolai Volkoff
It looks as if Rivera forgot his mask at home. Rivera is better known as many different masked wrestlers. Two of the more well known ones were Shadow #2 (Aka Small Shadow aka the bad Shadow) and Conquistador #1. I guess he was promoted. Volkoff is still in his heel The Bolsheviks team, but it’s nearing the end. Before Summerslam, Volkoff would turn face and have a short lived tag team with Jim Duggan. Not too bad action here. Rivera performs well for the face, making Volkoff look good. Volkoff gets in his trademark spinning knee kick (Imagine a spinning heel kick, but you remain on your feet and just hit your opponent with your knee) and some other nice moves. Rivera misses Stinger Splash and is whipped front first into the opposite corner. Russian Sickle (Robert Roode’s Northern Lariat) gets Volkoff the win. Volkoff kind of reminds me of Harley Race in the WWE in this match. He’s not exactly good, but you get hints of some true skill. Pretty much the only Volkoff I’ve seen is his mid to late 80’s work as a heel. I’m wondering if Volkoff was a lot better earlier in his career. He had a lengthy feud with Bruno Sammartino over the WWE title in the mid 70’s. I may try hunting down some old school Volkoff to see if my theory is correct. Anyways, this match is a good example for what having the right amount of time in a match can do for the quality. It’s just long enough not to feel like a waste, but it ends before it drags. Not too bad. 2 Stars.
The Bushwackers vs Rhythm and Blues w/Jimmy Hart
Some decent build here with The Bushwackers ruining R&B’s concert at Wrestlemania. The Bushwackers shows a glimpse of their true quality with some brawling early on. That ends and we get the typical Bushwackers comedy match that just drags on and on. If the Rougeau Brothers couldn’t get a good match out of the Bushwackers when they worked this sort of match, Honky sure as hell wouldn’t. Skipping to the end, Honky tries to use a chair on Butch, but Luke prevents it and chases Honky to the back with the chair. That leaves Greg Valentine alone in the ring to pick up the count out victory. Post-match sees Valentine attacking Butch, only for Luke to make the save. The Bushwackers clean house and regains their face. As a kid, I loved the Bushwackers. But their matches as an adult is just a chore to get through. It’s really sad seeing Greg Valentine in this match. He looks so awkward in his role. He still has the rest of the year to get through before he turns face at the start of 1991 and we get a little better version of Valentine again. 3/4 Star.
The Red Rooster vs Dino Bravo w/Jimmy Hart
Oh God. This could be bad. Since Heenan is still commentating, Monsoon brings up Wrestlemania 5 where Rooster beat him. It seems as if these two are trying to have a match with the weakest punches ever. There’s one punch by Bravo that comes several inches from even touching Rooster, but Rooster still sells it as if he’s hit with a hammer. Bravo comes off of the top rope and falls into the back hand of Rooster. I’m not even sure what that was supposed to be. God, this is horrible. Bravo hits his finisher, the Side Slam (Side walk slam) to pick up the victory. I’ll give these two credit. For as bad as I thought the match was going to be, they somehow made it worse. One of the worse Bravo matches I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. 1/2 Star.
The Big Boss Man vs Ted DiBiase w/Virgil
Nice, a match with some good build behind it. Shortly after the Royal Rumble, Jake Roberts had DiBiase’s Million Dollar Title, but he kept it in Damien’s bag. During a match on Superstars, Boss Man ran out and stole the bag. With Roberts handcuffed, the two heels went on the Brother Love Show so DiBiase can get the belt back. DiBiase makes the mistake of talking about paying Boss Man off. For the first time in his WWE career, Boss Man is angered by being made out to be a dirty cop. He turns face and brings the belt back to Roberts. At Wrestlemania, DiBiase stayed behind after his good match with Roberts to attack Boss Man during his entrance. On the last SNME (Aired two days before this show) DiBiase and Virgil attacked Boss Man during his rematch with Akeem. Boss Man was handcuffed to the ropes and beaten up. Boss Man runs out to start the match by brawling with DiBiase. He even uses the microphone code to choke DiBiase out. Boss Man is PISSED. The punishment continues in the ring until Boss Man makes the mistake of trying a splash from the top rope and missing. With Virgil distracting the referee, DiBiase uses Boss Man’s nightstick to injury his ribs. Over the course of the next several minutes, DiBiase is hitting the ribs with knees and punches every chance he gets. Boss Man makes a comeback, but when Virgil tries to interfere, Boss Man slingshots him in the ring. Virgil is beat up from one side of the ring to the next. Boss Man is so intense tonight. DiBiase comes back with the Million Dollar Dream, but Boss Man makes it to the ropes. DiBiase whips Boss Man into the ropes, but Boss Man surprises the Million Dollar Man with a small package for the surprise victory. Post-match sees Ted trying to get revenge, but Boss Man is able to clear house. He manages to remember to hold his ribs in one of the final moments before the camera moves off of him. Now THIS is how you tell a story. Boss Man was so driven at this point in his career and it showed. I loved the story of DiBiase working over the ribs and Boss Man just wanting to kill Ted. It may not be as good as Shawn Michaels vs DiBiase, but it’s one of Ted’s best matches from 1990. Pretty impressive for a year that most didn’t have much to write home about. 3 1/4 Stars.
Jimmy Snuka vs The Barbarian w/Bobby Heenan
The Barbarian has been with Heenan for a couple of months now. His look is a hybrid of his Powers of Pain and furry singles look. He no longer has the face paint, he’s growing back the hair that he had shaved off and now has the furry boots. However, he’s still wearing the POP arm brand with tassels, the tights and the vest/jacket thing. I kind of dig the look. This goes on for too long. It’s mostly back and forth action with Snuka getting in far too much action for a JTTS. Barbarian gets a big boot and uses the ropes to steal the victory. I love the Barbarian and around this time period his workrate really increased. However, this match was just bad. He didn’t have the extra frills to his moves he normally had. It just looked as if he was on autopilot. As for Snuka, he was bad, but that’s typical Superfly for you at this time. I knew not to expect anything great, but I’m still disappointed. 1 Star.
Bad News Brown comes out to talk about walking home to Harlem. He promises to head down to the sewers and find the biggest and nastiest rat he can find so he can bring it back the next time he’s in the ring. A little long, but decent hint at what his Summerslam match will be about.
Hulk Hogan vs Earthquake w/Jimmy Hart
Warrior who? I believe for the first time in history, the first MSG after Wrestlemania, the World Champion isn’t on the card. That just goes to show you how hard the WWE was trying to give Warrior the top spot. Once Hogan gets in the ring, Quake and Hart starts stomping away on him. Some good back and forth action. Hogan tries to body slam Andre Earthquake, but he can’t. Quake works in a bear hug for awhile. Hogan tries to body slam Andre Quake again, but his back gives out on him. Quake only gets a two count. Earthquake Splash, but Hogan kicks out of it. I believe he’s the first ever to do so. It’s time to Hulk Up. Earthquake looks scared, not knowing what to do now. Typical Hogan move sets follows with Hogan connecting with the Leg Drop. Jimmy Hart breaks up the count at two to give Hogan the DQ win. Post-Match sees Quake trying to attack Hogan, but Hulk finally manages to body slam Andre Earthquake. Hogan poses to send the fans home happy. Paint-by-numbers Hogan aside, it’s a fun match. The match dragged on in the second half, but the first few minutes were pretty good. The match reminded me a lot of Hogan vs Andre at Wrestlemania 3, but with a much more agile monster heel. It may not be rocket science, but Hogan knew how to put on a decent match that had the fans eating out of his hand. You can check out this match on Hogan’s latest DVD that came out last November. 2 1/2 Stars.
Talk about a weak MSG show. You didn’t have the World, Tag or (Future) IC champion. Meanwhile, the WWE also felt they didn’t need to have the majority of their quality wrestlers on the show. At this point, the WWE was actually running three different house show rosters. As a result, each roster was really thin. Luckily, just like at Wrestlemania, Ted DiBiase steps up to put on one of the two good matches of the night. I’m really surprised that the WWE never threw his match on any Coliseum Home Video. Since you can find the Hogan match on his DVD, this is an one match show. I wouldn’t go out of your way of looking for it, but if you come across it, check out Boss Man vs DiBiase.