Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Madison Square Garden
New York City, NY
December 28, 1989
The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Hulk Hogan (4/2/1989)
Intercontinental Champion: Ultimate Warrior (8/28/1989)
World Tag Team Champions: The Colossal Connection (12/13/1989)
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Hillbilly Jim. Woo doggie, what a terrible combination.
- Tito Santana vs. Bob Bradley
It always cracks me up seeing Tito still wearing the Strike Force gear well after the fact that team had already split. He’s either too cheap to buy new gear or never wanted to allow himself to forget what Rick Martel had done to him. In the WWF, Bob Bradley is just a job guy, but he’s a JACKED job guy. Bradley talks some crap to Tito and pays with an atomic drop that takes him to the floor. Back in, some armdrags put Bradley back on the outside. While he’s jawing with the fans on the apron, Santana flips him back in the ring and works a headlock. Bradley fights out with an inverted atomic drop and delivers a Tombstone Piledriver for two. It’s chinlocks and headlocks from there. Later on, Santana mounts the comeback and hits Bradley with the FLYING FOREARM for the win. (14:27) Standard stuff. *½
- Cowboy Catrell & Little Tokyo vs. Little Cocoa & Karate Chris Dube
Time for the little people! You get a ton of VINTAGE MIDGET spots in this one. While Tokyo is caught in a cross armbreaker, the others run across him. Lots of heel miscommunication. Tokyo kicks out of a pin and the ref catches Karate Chris only to dump him back on top of Tokyo, which is done a few times. When Tokyo tries that in reverse, the ref throws Tokyo away. Cocoa and Karate Chris use Tokyo as a battering ram on Catrell in the corner. Karate Chris points up to the rafters to make Cowboy Catrell walk into a crescent kick. Now they all freak out when they get under the lights. Of course that trick doesn’t work for Tokyo and he takes a forearm smash to the chest. Next up, Karate Chris starts biting people on the butt. Skip ahead to the finish, Tokyo receives an airplane spin and the heels get dog piled for the three-count. (11:56) Longest midget match I’ve ever seen, but some “comic relief” for sure. **
- Brutus Beefcake vs. Rick Martel
These two guys must get paid BIG bucks to waste time because they are doing everything but wrestle in the first two or three minutes as they argue over who has the better body. Seriously though, WHO CARES! Beefcake goes for the SLEEPER immediately, which causes Martel to bail and waste more time. Martel gets back in for some more stalling where he does the “shake my hand” bit and gets kicked in the gut for it. Beefcake does the ten-count corner punch and then goes to headlock. Martel shoves him off and tries a monkey flip, but Beefcake puts on the brakes and stomps him in the face. Martel counters out of another ten-count punch for an inverted atomic drop. A whole lot of stomping by Martel preludes a chinlock. Finally, Brutus fights up but goes down after taking a knee to the gut. A Martel knee drop gets two. Beefcake gets in an inside cradle for two. Ha, someone in the front row has a Four Horsemen t-shirt! Martel gets crotched up top and falls to the canvas after some shots from Beefcake. A pair of atomic drops and a clothesline sends Martel out to the floor. Beefcake goes out and throws Martel back in and then tries a sunset flip, but Martel holds on to the top rope for the cheap win. (12:30) That was a chore to sit through. After the match, Beefcake gives Martel the SLEEPER and tries to cut his hair, but Martel escapes just in time. *
- Tugboat vs. Dale Wolfe
This is the MSG debut of Tugboat. That could explain the reason nobody responds to him, but you can draw your own conclusions about that. To be fair though, he hasn’t even been on TV yet. Big splash ends Wolfe in 2:28. Gorilla mentions his approval of the Tugster.
- Jake Roberts vs. Ted DiBiase – No-DQ Match
This should be fun. Virgil is barred from ringside too. After they trade some wristlocks, Jake fires back with his signature punches and calls for the DDT, but DiBiase slips away. Back in, Roberts runs DiBiase’s shoulder into the top turnbuckle and works the arm. Another DDT attempt fails. Back in again, Jake is back on that arm. DiBiase goes to the eyes to stop Jake and a double-KO knocks Roberts back into the ropes where he gets tied up ala Andre. DiBiase lays into Jake’s neck with his good arm. Swinging neckbreaker and the piledriver follows. Cover, 1-2-NO! DiBiase grabs a chinlock and Jake’s arm drops once, drops twice, BUT NOT THREE TIMES! Roberts elbows out, but DiBiase runs him down with a clothesline. Flying double sledge by DiBiase misses and Jake rolls to the floor to draw DiBiase into a Knee Lift. He gets fired up, but runs into a knee in the corner. MILLION DOLLAR DREAM, but Jake makes the ropes. I guess it’s a limited no-DQ. Steel chairs are legal, but you better let go of that hold before the five count, buddy. On the floor, Jake posts DiBiase’s shoulder. Back in, Roberts follows up with a Flying Knee Lift! Awesome! Short-Arm Clothesline leads to the DDT for the win. (18:34) Good psychology as you would imagine from two of the masters. Jake tries to take the Million Dollar belt afterwards, but out comes Virgil to save the belt. ***½
In the back, Sean Mooney meets with the recently dethroned Demolition. Ax says he feels naked without the belts. Well, there’s a lovely visual.
After a break, Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan appear with Sean Mooney. Rude says he’s got something to prove and when he steps in the cage tonight, he’s going to bust a move. Okay, I’m glad they went with the rhyme and the obvious pop culture reference there. Bobby gets serious and tells us that we’re about to see the last of Mr. Piper. Once the heels leave, Roddy Piper joins Sean. He does his usual awesome coked-up promo.
- Koko B. Ware vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Some stalling from Sharpe to start. As much as Gorilla and Hillbilly talk about Sharpe, you might be confused as to who they are trying to put over here. Sharpe finally gets down to business with a big chop across the chest. Lots of pounding from Sharpe. Koko gets some hope spots in here and there, but nothing too amazing. Sharpe hits a piledriver as Gorilla admits there won’t be an upset no matter who wins. Oh, how the Koko has fallen. Just as I write that, Koko takes Sharpe to the floor for some guardrail action and bouncing Sharpe’s head off the steps. Back inside, Koko hits the GHOSTBUSTER for the three-count. (12:08) Nobody wants to see a 12-minute Iron Mike Sharpe match. C’mon. *
- WWF Tag Team Champions The Colossal Connection (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Demolition
Demolition hammers Haku to the mat to start. Haku sneaks that crescent kick in on Smash to turn things around. Tag to Andre, he misses a sitdown splash on Ax gets the tag. While they got Andre down, the Demos double hammer the Giant. I mean, what else can they do with him? The Demos are faster, but Andre is more effective as he headbutts away Ax. Tag to Haku, he takes over. Andre comes in and chokes Ax with his own gear. They try and keep Ax in the corner for a splash from Haku, but Ax moves at the last second. Once again, a corner charge by Haku fails as he runs into a back elbow. Hot tag to Smash, he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE taking down Andre with a clothesline and everything. Andre fights back though and headbutts Smash to the floor. After Ax throws Haku back in, ref Danny Davis counts out Smash as the champs retain. (11:13) Afterwards, Demolition clears out Andre and gives Haku their finisher. It was as good as it could be and the crowd was hot for the Demos, which made it fun. **
They fill our time with promos from different wrestlers. The Powers of Pain, the Rockers, Jake Roberts, Mr. Perfect, the Genius, and Hulk Hogan, brother.
- Roddy Piper vs. Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) – Cage Match
You get the chance to hear Rude’s famous pre-match speech. Rude attacks as Piper gets in the cage. Piper reverses a whip, which sends Rude back first into the cage. Piper takes off his belt and lays into Rude. The ref makes him give it up, so Piper switches to biting Rude. VINTAGE PIPER! Rude tries to escape the cage, so Roddy bites him on the behind. Piper goes up, but Rude crotches him. Rude knees him in the nuts and goes for the door. Piper grabs Rude’s leg and gets in a tug-of-war with Heenan. Roddy pulls Rude’s tights down and pulls Rude back in by the leg. They slug it out, and Rude gets the Rude Awakening. Rude goes for the door, but Piper leapfrogs him. Rude pulls him back in. They both climb over the top and down to the floor, but they both hit at the same time so the match continues since there MUST be a winner. Back in, Rude knocks Piper down and hits a fist drop from the top of the cage. It only gets two. PULL YOUR PANTS UP, RICK. Rude gives him a piledriver and goes up again. He’s about to come down on Piper, but Roddy shakes the cage and causes Rude to crotch himself. Piper ties him up in the cage and tries to walk out when Bobby Heenan slams the door in his face. Heenan slips Rude some brass knuckles. That plan backfires, as Piper nails Rude first, grabs the brass knuckles, and BLASTS Rude with them. That will do as Piper walks out of the cage for the win. (12:58) Way too much of Rude’s butt, but still an entertaining match. **¾
Final Thoughts: Pretty good MSG card for the time even though it was lacking their two biggest stars of the time of course being Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. The two big matches that are worth seeing are included on separate DVD sets, so I wouldn’t seek this show out for that.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.