Written by: Jim
Madison Square Garden
September 30, 1989
The Genius vs Koko B. Ware
Koko has blue and yellow streaks of paint on the sides of his head to resemble a parrot. I can’t decide if that’s beyond awesome dedication or just stupidity. Genius stalls a lot early on with his showboating. Once the action really begins, they have a nice little back and forth match. Genius goes for his Swanton, but Koko moves out of the way…sorta. Genius sells it as if he did though. Genius ducks out of a charging Koko, forcing Koko to hot shot himself. That only gets a two though. Showing his brilliance, Koko tries another charge in the form of a Stinger Splash (?), but the Genius only moves out of the way yet again. The blow allows Genius to roll Koko up for the 3 count. The match felt longer than the 13 minute length, but it eventually became a quality opening bout. Better than I expected at least. Cut out the playing to the crowd, The Genius was a pretty underrated in ring talent. 2 1/4 stars.
Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart vs Jimmy Snuka
The match I didn’t get to see with the Nassau Coliseum show. Snuka is wearing the zebra black and white trunks. I believe the only major match he had with those tights was at Summerslam 1989 against Ted DiBiase. nWo Snuka gets a thumbs up from me. Snuka starts off with blocking a Pearl Harbor attack and pokes fun at Honky by doing HTM’s dance. That’s a sight to witness. Match slows down with Honky on offense. It’s not bad, but the heat segment lasts too long. Honky takes too long before going for Shake, Rattle and Roll with Snuka easily back dropping out of it. A few moments later, Snuka picks up the win with the top rope headbutt. For a Snuka return match, it was better than most. It’s certainly better than watching Snuka vs Zhukov. My ultra low expectations for anything Honky or Snuka related greatly helps watching these matches. 1 3/4 Stars.
Mr. Perfect w/The Genius vs The Red Rooster
These two met at Summerslam, but the match was cut short after Rooster injured his knee. The commentators make note of The Genius being at ringside with Perfect, so I’m guessing it’s early on in their partnership. Random back and forth fighting up until Perfect turns his attention to Rooster’s wrapped up knee. A lot of psychology with Perfect working it over and Rooster selling it to perfection. At the end, Perfect goes to lock in a Figure Four, but Rooster surprises him with a small package. Perfect manages to reverse it into a small package of his own and gets the win with by pulling the tights. Big improvement on their Summerslam and SNME match. The leg work was all solid and helped tell a story. I would have preferred to see the leg play a part in the end, but it’s fine. The best Red Rooster match I’ve seen. 3 Stars.
Barry Horowitz vs Mark Young
Mark Young is the son of Chief Jay Strongbow. Given who his father was, the WWE gave him a chance. Lasting about a year and a half in the company, Young saw some mild success on the house show circuit. However, Young never made it above the enhancement talent level on TV. Young enters the ring and immediately does a spinaroonie three times as long as Booker T’s. Young can best be described as a modest version of Jack Evans…after his third match ever. Young keeps going back to arm drags and arm bars. Apparently, he hasn’t learned any of the B moves yet. Horowitz sells the arm for awhile before taking over. Things improve with how talented of a worker Horowitz was. Late in the match, Young hits a top rope version of Christian’s corner twisting sunset flip pin to get the victory. Before leaving the ring, Young does another spinaroonie to only further humiliate Booker T. Young had potential, but he was so green. Had he stayed in the business and learned the basics, he could have fit in nicely with the more high flying 90’s. Thanks to a broken neck in Japan, he’d never get that chance though. Horowitz is an underrated talent who could make anyone look good. Great heel during this time period as well. Alas, both guys were just jobbers to the crowd, so they didn’t care. 2 Stars.
Andre the Giant w/Bobby Heenan vs The Ultimate Warrior (c) – IC Title
Since this is the biggest match for Heenan’s clients, he’s not in the other two towns the WWE worked this night. Total brawl with neither guy allowing the other to get a real advantage. Warrior does the unthinkable and slams Andre. Andre gets a boot up when Warrior goes for a splash. Warrior closelines Andre out of the ring, but when Warrior goes to do it again, Andre pulls the ref in front of him. Andre has Warrior covers for a good six seconds, but once the ref wakes up, he calls for the bell. Warrior wins by DQ due to Andre pulling the ref into harms way. The two continues to brawl after the match. Warrior gets away after several belt shots to Andre’s head. Once Andre’s all alone, he gets on the mic and calls himself the new IC champion. He knows that everyone in attendance knows this. A lot of talk that I can’t understand before Andre thanks the fans for coming to see him. Andre finishes up by throwing the mic over his shoulder with a giant smile on his face. Andre’s speech is gold. So fucking hysterical. What’s shocking is that this was a good match. Very simple booking, but they kept the action going for the full ten minutes. Andre was such an incredible worker. I can’t say that enough. Even with his body failing on him, he knows how to book a match so that it’s entertaining. I may be alone in this, but I thought this was pretty great. 2 1/2 Stars.
The Brainbusters (c) w/Bobby Heenan vs Demolition – WWE Tag Titles
For some reason, this match isn’t included with the show I have. However, thanks to Dailymotion, I can still check it out. Demolition controls the early going by out cheating the ultimate cheaters. Pretty great idea really. Eventually, the Brainbusters keep Ax away from Smash, forcing him to be the face-in-peril. Behind the ref’s back, Tully uses the tag rope to choke Ax. Later, Smash gets the hot tag and easily decimate both members of the tag champions. As Smash has the winning cover, the ref is pulled out of the ring by a Brainbuster, drawing the DQ. Demolition wins, but The Brainbusters keep the belts…until they lose them to Demolition at a TV taping two days later. Did we really need two straight DQ results? Gripe aside, this was a fun match. I really dug the story of “Who can out cheat the other?” These two teams had the right chemistry and I’d say this was better then their two SNME matches. 3 Stars.
Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Ron Garvin
Already summed up the history of their feud in my Rumble ’90 review. I’m thinking Garvin was reinstated as a wrestler sometime in the last month. A total slugfest for 17 minutes. Both guys end up looking like two of the toughest guys in the locker room by standing toe-to-toe without either having the advantage for long. Garvin nails his Garvin Stomps to my delight. The Heart Breaker comes into play with Valentine attempting, but failing to lock in the Figure Four. Garvin tries a slingshot sunset flip, but Valentine kneels down in a pinning position. With the extra use of the ropes, Valentine steals the win. After the match, the two continues to pummel each other until Valentine gets tied up in the ropes. Garvin removes the Heart Breaker and puts it on his leg. Before he can use it, Jimmy Hart frees Valentine and the heels flee. This is the sort of match you should show someone who believes wrestling is fake. It may be staged, but both looks like they could beat the shit out of you. Great little battle with the Heart Breaker storyline starting up. While not as good as their Rumble match, it’s a nice set-up match though. 3 1/4 Stars.
The Fink announces the return date of October 28th with a card of the following:
The Widowmaker will be in action (Wouldn’t show)
Bret Hart vs Dino Bravo
Powers of Pain vs The Bushwackers
Hercules vs Akeem
Macho King vs Jim Duggan
Ultimate Warrior vs Andre the Giant – IC Title
Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs Roddy Piper
This feud all started at Summerslam when Rude blamed Piper (Who had been gone since Wrestlemania 3) for losing the IC title back to the Ultimate Warrior. Rude gets some huge heat when he tries to do his normal pre-match shtick. He’s forced to stop several times so that the noise quiets down some. Piper walks out with one of the most serious expressions I’ve seen from him. Brawl to start before Rude bails from the ring. Piper chases Heenan out from ringside so that he won’t be an issue. The ref is very lenient with the rules. There’s choking with t-shirts, belt whipping and even Piper throwing a drink in Rude’s face. A great moment early on when both are about to hit each other, but they spot Piper’s belt laying on the mat. They jump to the mat to be the first to grab it. This fast pace style lasts the entire bout. Rude works over Piper’s back with his seated chin lock (Just a Camel Clutch without the arms being trapped) to which Piper sells well. Eventually, the ring can’t contain them as they continue the fight on the outside. Referee, Danny Davis, counts to ten, counting both men out. The end of the match doesn’t stop them as Piper gets in a few more good shots before celebrating in the ring. I knew this would be good due to how much I love their cage match. However, this was even more fun than that. The crowd was loud during the entire match, there wasn’t a dull moment, the hate felt real and it felt like something entirely different from the usual WWE match. If the objective was to get the fans to be willing to pay to see the rematch, it worked. It doesn’t even bug me that it doesn’t have a finish. 4 Stars.
The first half of the show feels like any normal house show. None of the matches are anything too special, but there’s a couple watchable bouts. However, the last three matches only get better as the night goes on. It goes to show that as long as you have big matches and quality matches, you can have a great house show without the World Champion. For a house show, this was above average.