Written by: Jim
June 10, 1989
The Genius vs Jim Powers
Oh Jim…how I hate thee so. Supposedly, Jim Powers is subbing for Koko B. Ware. The Genius shares a poem about No Holds Barred to advertise the movie a little more. It was actually just released nation wide eight days earlier. It takes me awhile to notice, but the Genius’ boots are pretty creative. On them are the letters ‘H, I and Q’. It stands for high IQ, but when you say it like “Hi-Q” it sounds like Haiku. A man who shares poems has a type of a poem on his boots! Yes, I’m excited about a pair of boots that are over twenty years old. However, the match is long and boring with The Genius stalling early on and Powers using rest holds to waste time in the second half. The one highlight is The Genius attempting a Swanton Bomb (Although it was more gymnasticish than Hardy) that peaked my interest. Powers goes for a suplex and floats over for a cover. The Genius using his high IQ hooks one of Powers’ legs to get the surprise pinfall. It’s an opening match for a house show, you can’t expect too much. They tried getting the crowd into it, but hearing a guy chant “Boring” isn’t a good way to start any show. I always love seeing the Genius in action though. 1 1/2 Stars.
Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart vs The Rockers
A match with potential that even has a backstory! In a previous match with each other, The Rougeau’s attacked the Rockers during their entrance. Shawn Michaels would end up being injured during said attack. He’s even going into this match with some sort of bandage/wrap around his neck. Not much happens early on except for loads of showboating to get the crowd cheering. However, things pick up in a big way with a double team hot shot to Michaels. Everything for the next few minutes is directed to Shawn’s neck/throat. The entire heat face-in-peril sequence takes up over half of the match easily. Classic tag team wrestling with the heels cheating non-stop with the ref just oblivious to it. They add in a few hope spots for Michaels, but a Rougeau always gets the advantage back by going after the neck. There’s even one point when Jacques hooks Michaels in the Sharpshooter. Thus proving that Canadians have some sort of weird fetish for that move. When Marty finally gets the hot tag, the crowd erupts for a few horrible dropkicks. How is it that Marty could be so bad at throwing them? The match continues to heat up with Marty getting a couple of near falls. At one point, he has a small package on a Rougeau, but the ref gets distracted by Michaels going after Jimmy Hart, who was on the apron. Michaels chases Hart around the ring while Raymond reverses the small package so that Jacques pins Marty. Ugh. The finish really sucked. I don’t know who made the mistake, although I’ll guess the ref. However, Shawn entered the ring at a two count to go after Hart, who the referee wasn’t even noticing. It wasn’t necessary. It’s only made worse by the fact that the camera was keeping an eye on Michaels and Hart while the pinfall occurred. Fix the finish and you may just have the Rockers’ best match ever. The time just flies by on this classic. Everything up until the finish was done to near perfection. It’s a shame that the Rougeau’s were treated as such jokes on PPV. Instead of putting on these classics, they were given the Bushwackers to job to. What a waste. 4 Stars.
Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Brutus Beefcake
The Dream Team EXPLODES~! Does wrestling over two years after the split still count as exploding? Beefcake is in the middle of a feud with Randy Savage after Savage and Sherri cut some of Beefcake’s hair. Slow, slow match with many breaks to play to the crowd. After nearly fifteen minutes, Brutus gets the win with a roll up after Valentine ran into Jimmy Hart on the apron. Valentine had to be phoning it in. He’s too good of a worker to put on such a horrendous match. It’s a good thing Beefcake was so over at this point, otherwise, the match wouldn’t have even had the fans interest. 3/4 Star.
Andre the Giant vs Hillbilly Jim
I imagine Bobby Heenan is in Toledo, Ohio to manage Rick Rude, thus explaining why he’s not with Andre. Andre chokes, Hillbilly Jim uses double ax handles and punches. Repeat, repeat and repeat. Andre switches to using bear hugs. Jim finds some success by focusing all of his attack to the abdomen. Haku eventually wanders down to attack Hillbilly Jim when he’s on the outside. King Jim Duggan runs out for the save. Duggan nails Andre with a 2×4 shot behind the ref’s back. That only gets a two count, prompting Haku to climb in the ring to attack Hillbilly Jim to cause the DQ. Duggan enters the ring to send the heels packing. As bad as this looked on paper and how little they did in the match, this was surprisingly fun. It’s a simple match with such simple “Moves” that couldn’t be botched and the face using strategy. The interference from Haku and Duggan only adds more heat to their match later in the night. As sickening of a thought as this is, this made me want to see a Colossal Connection vs The Hillbilly Kings (Like my name I gave Duggan/Hillbilly?) tag match. On top of all that, this match went eight whole minutes. Far longer than I’d want to see Hillbilly Jim ever work. There’s just something about Andre near the end of his career that’s a guilty pleasure for me. He may have been extremely limited in what he could do, but the matches were booked so well. 1 3/4 Stars.
Haku vs King Jim Duggan
These two had been feuding since late April when Duggan defeated Haku for the King of the WWE crown. Haku locks in long nerve holds in addition to pulling at Duggan’s tights to show off Duggan’s ass more times than I’d prefer to see. Duggan wins with the 3 point stance. While it was never as bad as Brutus vs Valentine, it wasn’t particularly exciting. Duggan was only really good when he wrestled Randy Savage in the WWE. As for Haku, the quality really varied depending on his opponent’s capabilities. 1 1/2 stars.
Boris Zhukov w/Jimmy Hart vs Jimmy Snuka
Wow. My least favorite heel vs my least favorite face of WWE 1989. Jimmy Hart is only out there with Zhukov since this was scheduled to be Honky Tonk Man vs Snuka, but Honky was either sick or hurt depending on which source you go on. Boris keeps a slow pace with his rest holds while Snuka gets in his typical moves. Snuka wins with the Superfly Splash to which Zhukov sells for a long time after the match. Meh. I expected a terrible match and I got one. I dig seeing the Superfly Splash, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. 1 Star.
The Fink announces a return date of July 10th. Already signed matches include:
The Genius vs Jim Powers (Wouldn’t happen)
The Warlord vs Koko B. Ware
Mr. Perfect vs Hercules
The Twin Towers vs Demolition – WWE Tag Titles
Colossal Connection vs Hillbilly Jim and King Duggan (EEK!!!1!)
Randy Savage vs Brutus Beefcake
Not too bad of a card.
Powers of Pain w/Mr. Fuji vs The Hart Foundation
Final match of the evening. Thanks to Jim Neidhart being in this, a Jim was involved in every single match tonight. Neidhart and The Barbarian were in the middle of a house show feud to keep Neidhart busy while Bret was putting on classics with Mr. Perfect. So there’s some backstory behind this. Bret plays the face-in-peril for most of the match before finally getting the hot tag to Neidhart. Action continues for a couple of minutes before all four men battle on the outside with Hart and Barbarian being the legal men. Hart actually slingshots himself to the outside to peak my interest. Barbarian holds Bret for Fuji to nail him with a cane shot, but Bret ducks and Barbie takes the blow. Bret makes it back in the ring before the ten count resulting in a count out victory for the Hart Foundation. It isn’t anything special, but you could always depend on the Hart Foundation to give you a watchable match. Easily the second best match of the show. On a night of mostly bad matches, they at least ended the show with something fun. 2 1/4 Stars.
This is what happens when the WWE runs three cities in one night. The Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude main event in Toledo, Ohio, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage main event in Houston, Texas. As a result, the quality workers are spread thin across all three cities leaving this show without any of the champions. The star power for this show is still impressive knowing that the roster had been broken into three parts though. There isn’t any reason to watch the full show. However, be sure to watch the Rockers vs Rougeau Brothers. Besides saving the show, it was one of the best matches of the year.