Written by: Scrooge McSuck from Dawrestlingsite.com
– Taped from the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on December 14th, 1989. The matches presented were collected from various television and commercial release sources, and isn’t the complete card. Matches that weren’t included are as followed: The Genius defeating Mark Young, and Brutus Beefcake defeating Rick Martel. Not too much missing. Even though this isn’t a complete card, it’s as complete as we’ll get unless this show happened to be televised locally, and considering how many random shows I’ve unearthed or sought out, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
Paul Roma vs. Bad News Brown:
Gorilla Monsoon and Sean Mooney are calling the action for this one. I honestly can’t recall much Bad News Brown did during 1989. Outside of three week arch with the Brooklyn f’n Brawler on Prime Time Wrestling, he was pretty much a non-factor until starting a program with Roddy Piper at the 1990 Royal Rumble. Bad News tries a sneak attack, but Roma surprises him with a sunset flip for a near fall. Imagine Bad News jobbing to Roma in 7-seconds. Roma brings him back in the ring with a slingshot, and sends him back out with an atomic drop. Brown offers an obviously insincere handshake, but Roma doesn’t fall for it. Whip to the ropes, and Brown catches Roma off guard with a hard blow to the back of the head. Mooney actually makes reference to Bad News competing in the Olympics in Judo, but doesn’t mention the year (Monsoon, master of kayfabe, throws not only a wrong year, but a year that makes Brown seem even OLDER… Monsoon said ’66, it was really in ‘76). Brown exposes a turnbuckle and ends up getting rammed into it on a counter. Roma to the top rope with a sledge to the top of the head for two. Roma with a back elbow for another two count. He misses a charge to the corner, and the Ghetto Blaster finishes at 8:02. * Not much to this one, but it was watchable. Roma seemed game, too.
Tito Santana vs. Dino Bravo:
No Jimmy Hart in Bravo’s corner. Main Event in any arena in the world, at least in the eyes of Gorilla Monsoon. Dino’s in the middle of a short-term program with the Warrior over the IC Title at this point, so I’m going to assume Tito’s jobbing. Monsoon can’t resist referencing Bravo being the former “Canadian Heavyweight Champion.” They play the crowd to start, then Bravo stalls on the floor. Bravo with knees to the midsection. Whip to the ropes, Tito ducks under a clothesline and comes back with a body press. He takes Bravo over with a hip toss, then sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Back inside, Santana goes to work on the arm. Bravo forces a break in the corner and takes control following an inverted atomic drop. He grabs a chinlock as I realize the referee is John Bonello, who a few months later would be arrested for trying to put a hit on his wife. Santana comes back with a back-slide, but Bravo regains control with a lazy bear-hug. Bravo with a slam, but a trip to the top rope is met with a fist to the midsection. Whip to the ropes, Santana with a back drop. He sets up for the Flying Forearm, but its countered with the Side Suplex, and Bravo covers for the three count at 11:18. ½* Mostly resting. Santana could be a miracle worker to some degree, but when someone is just not budging on making an effort, you’re screwed.
The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation:
(Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty vs. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)
There is a God! These teams were working regularly with each other throughout the Fall, and mostly going to Time Limit Draws. We’ll see if they change the script for this one. Bret and Jannetty start. Lockup into the ropes and a clean break. Bret pounds the arm and takes him over with a side headlock. They go through a series of counters until ending up in a neutral position. Jannetty counters a hip toss with his own for a near fall, then grabs the arm-bar. Whip to the ropes and Michaels comes in for a double arm drag and elbow, but Neidhart evens the odds by taking out both Rockers with a double clothesline. Neidhart with a headlock, but Michaels counters with a head scissors. Whip to the ropes, Neidhart catches a body press, but Michaels turns it into a small package. Neidhart comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle, but Michaels again uses his agility to surprise him with a roll up for two. The Rockers take turns working on the left arm. Bret rightfully complains about the referee allowing them to take turns going for pins, without making tags. Neidhart easily over-powers Jannetty in a test-of-strength. Jannetty escapes, but gets knocked across the ring via body tackle. He slips in between the legs, takes Anvil down with a drop toe hold, and applies a front face-lock.
Bret tags back in, instantly missing an elbow drop attempt. Whip to the ropes, and Bret catches Michaels in a leap frog attempt with an inverted atomic drop. He lays Michaels out with a hard clothesline, drops and elbow, and stomps hard on the midsection. Neidhart sends him to the ropes, and Bret casually boots him from the apron, because cheating is cool, especially when the Hart Foundation does it. Bret comes in, without a tag, and connects with a back breaker for two. Bret with a pair of brutal uppercuts, but the third is countered with a back slide. Neidhart in with a bear-hug. Michaels fights free and Jannetty with a cheap shot to return the favor from earlier. Michaels tries to dive over him, but Neidhart carries him back into his corner. Michaels counters a side suplex attempt and puts Bret down with a slam. They trade blows in the corner. Neidhart tags back in, takes him over with a snapmare, and grabs a chin-lock. They give Michaels a form of the Demolition Decapitation, but Michaels kicks out at two. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Michaels meets boot on a charge. Bret heads to the second turnbuckle, and misses his signature elbow drop. Jannetty with the hot tag, and unloads on Hart. Whip to the ropes and an elbow, followed by a dropkick to Neidhart. Power-Slam on Bret, followed by a second-rope fist drop for two. Flying body press gets two. Bret misses a charge and Jannetty takes him over with a sunset flip for two. Bret sweeps the legs and stomps the chest. Jannetty counters a slam, but a flying body press misses, and he goes sailing over the top rope, to the floor. Jannetty somehow makes the tag to Michaels, who gets wiped the fluck out with a diving shoulder tackle from the Anvil. Whip to the corner, Michaels with a twisting body press for two. Sunset flip on Hart gets two. Bret blocks a suplex and counters with his own for two. Bret with a fist to the midsection and roll up, but Shawn follows through with a counter for two. They fight over an abdominal stretch, but Neidhart interrupts… and the bell rings at 21:22. I guess that’s the extra time of Soccer rule when it comes to a Time Limit Draw. **** I can say without hesitation this will probably end up being the best match of the night. Just an excellent example of pure tag team wrestling, without either team having to play the heel, either. Only complaint is obvious: needing a more satisfactory finish.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “Million $ Man” Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil):
Much like the Rockers and Hart Foundation, these two worked extensively throughout the final months of 1989, mostly doing 20-minute snoozers based on Dibiase working the “surgically repaired neck” of Roberts. We get the Hulk Hogan Comedy open, where the referee rings the bell while someone is being attacked by his opponent and their manager. They trade blows, with Roberts getting the upper-hand. He goes for a DDT, but Dibiase bails. Back inside, Roberts works the arm. Another DDT attempt, another chance to stall. Roberts has enough, follows, and gives them a double noggin-knocker. He gives chase to Virgil, allowing Dibiase to take control. He goes after the neck, as expected. He applies a front face-lock to really eat time. He lets go, then goes right back to it. Roberts takes him to the corner with a handful of tights and drives a series of shoulders to the midsection. Dibiase to the second rope, connecting with a double axehandle for a two count. Dibiase stomps away and goes for another headlock, but Roberts counters with a swinging neck breaker. He takes Dibiase over with a back drop and unloads with jabs. He takes Dibiase down with an inverted atomic drop and slams him face-first to the canvas. He unloads with a flurry of knees to the back of the neck, then knocks Virgil off the apron. He lays out Dibiase with a short-arm clothesline. Here comes another DDT attempt, but Virgil comes in with a clothesline to draw the DQ at 12:35. They do a post-match beat down, but Roberts fights them off before they could stuff his mouth with cash and plants Virgil with a DDT for good measure. *1/2 Same formula as expected, but much shorter.
WWF Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan © vs. Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius):
We’re Joined in Progress, with this video coming courtesy of WWE Classics on Demand, probably during a Mr. Perfect profile. Perfect’s in control with a sleeper hold. Hogan rallies back to his feet and escapes with a series of elbows to the midsection. Perfect tries hopping on Hulk’s back, then shoves him chest-first into the turnbuckle. Perfect goes up to the top rope and gets crotched along the turnbuckle. Hogan follows him up, and slams him up and down with a double handful of hair. Hogan with a back suplex, followed by kicks to the back of the knee, causing Perfect to over-sell. Perfect rolls away from an elbow drop and takes Hogan over with the Perfect-Plex, but Hulk Up Time™ breaks the count. Hogan with a series of roundhouse rights, a scoop slam, and elbow drops. He knocks Genius off the apron and knocks Perfect over the top rope with a big boot. Perfect drags him out and unloads with rights. Hogan fights him off and goes after the Genius. Perfect from behind, sending Hogan into the post, and rolls back in the ring for the Count-Out victory at a clipped 3:45. Good action for what was shown, but impossible to rate the final moments of a 15-minute match. Probably in the neighborhood of **, based on previous examples.
Final Thoughts: For an incomplete show, most of the importance stuff is available, with the exception being the complete Main Event. For what’s hear, a decent waste of about 75-minutes, although only one (full length) match delivers in regards to in-ring quality. The Main Event was fun, but clipped, so hard to judge accurately, Roberts vs. Dibiase was the snoozer we all expected, and nobody expected the undercard fluff between Santana/Bravo or Roma/Bad News to be any good. Unless you’re a fan of the era, don’t bother, there are plenty of other matches between the Rockers and Hart Foundation available.