Summer Slam ’89


1. Hart Foundation vs. Brain Busters


First off, who on earth is that doing the commentating?  It’s sure not Jesse and Gorilla.  It’s Jesse and someone else.  Wikipedia tells me it’s Tony Schiavone.

And the Brain Busters have the title.  Huh.  I guess they won it from Demolition sometime after WM5.   And for some reason this isn’t a title match, something to do with them booking the match when Brain Busters weren’t the champions.  So lots to be confused about.

This match has tons of quick action and good momentum.  The Hart Foundation take the early offense, and then it’s the Brain Busters turn.  Pretty evenly split.

The fight ends up spilling outside the ring, with all four men going at it.  The Hart Foundation end up back inside with Tully Blanchard and do a move so fucked up I don’t even know what it’s called.

A reverse power Bret Slam
A reverse power Bret Slam

It’s fantastic.  Unfortunately, the Brain interferes, Arn Anderson kicks Hart in the head, and the Brain Busters get the pin

Overall: Great match with an incredible finish

 


2. Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man


As I write this (Jun 2015), Dusty Rhodes literally just died about a month ago.  So this is a bit depressing.  Dusty Rhodes was never one of my favorite wrestlers, but the guy was an icon in the business, helping to shape both the WWE and the NWA.

He also did the
He also did the “are you not entertained” pose a full 10 years before Russell Crowe

Rhodes is great at playing to the crowd, so he keeps the entertainment level pretty high.  Honky ends up throwing Dusty into the ref and Hart uses the opportunity to hit him with the guitar.  Dusty moves, Honky gets clocked and Dusty gets the 1-2-3

Overall: Honky really never moved above low-mid card after losing the best, did he?

 


3. Mr Perfect vs. The Red Rooster


I just can’t take the Red Rooster seriously, I’m not sure why.  Is it the ridiculous entrance theme with the chicken noises?

The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it's Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?
The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it’s Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?

I really feel like one bird-themed wrestler is enough for the WWE.  They already have Koko B. Ware, they really don’t need to explore more birds.  Also, if they were going for the attack chicken theme, shouldn’t they have gone with the Fabulous Fighting Cock?

I’m not sure if this is Mr. Perfect doing a great job of selling, but he seems genuinely irritated to be in this match.  He slaps the Rooster alot and seems to throwing a ton of potatoes.  He demolishes the Rooster pretty quickly and gets the pin with the Perfect Plex

Overall: A perfectly serviceable match

 


4. The Rockers with Tito Santana vs. The Rougeaus with Rick Martel


This should be a good one.  Plenty of talent in the ring.  I don’t understand why Tito is still wearing his Strike Force tights.  Will… will the WWE not spring for new tights?

The Rockers immediately jump into the ring, do like six insanely athletic moves and clear house.  The Rougeaus get the upper hand though, and start putting a beating on Tito.  Every time Martel gets in the ring with him, he does a ton of showboating for the crowd.  They hate it and it gets the audience really fired up.

Weirdly, Jacques Rougeaus ends up slowing down the match by throwing on an Abdominal Stretch.  It gives Tito a breather and the beating of Tito continues.  Honestly, I think the offense against him goes on for about 14 minutes.

He finally makes the tag and Shawn Michaels comes in a house of fire.  The action goes insane for about 3 solid minutes of high flying moves and the audience is on their feet the whole time.  Obviously it culminates in a flying forearm and obviously I’m going to screen cap it

Drink it in, it always goes down smooth
                      Obviously

Unfortunately, Martel ends up getting an illegal hit on Marty Jannetty and the Rougeaus get the win.

Overall: Pretty decent match.  Tito is awesome

 


5. Intercontinental Title Match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude


Didn’t I just recap this match in Wrestlemania V?  I didn’t love it then, why would I want to watch it now?

Warrior – again – no-sells every single move Rude puts against him, while Rude does a great job over-selling every move Warrior does

For example, look how high Rude lifts himself
For example, look how high Rude lifts himself

I feel like Warrior ushered in the new style of wrestling that we see reflected in the modern era.  He is just a big, powerful guy that throws out punches and power moves.  Half the match happens outside the ring, he’s doing moves that used to be disqualifications (like hitting Rude with the belt) and there’s no real wrestling to speak of.

I guess Vince really liked this approach.

This match is really lopsided, with Warrior beating the ever-loving crap out of Rude.  Rude kicks out of a bunch of pin attempts.  Eventually the momentum shifts and Rude gets the sleeper on the Warrior.  As the Warrior powers out of it, there is a three way collision between Warrior, Rude and the Ref and all three men are out.  Warrior Hulks out, hits a power slam, but there’s no ref to count the pin.

I’ve got to hand it to Rude, this is the second match where he’s made the Warrior seem like an actual wrestler.

Both men hit the piledriver on each other, but neither can get the pin.  The momentum is now shifting back and forth every 2 minutes.  The crowd is losing their mind.

Then Piper comes out.

Sure, why not?
Sure, why not?

You can guess what happens next.  Rude is distracted, Warrior comes from behind and slaps on the big press slam and gets the pin.

Overall: A surprisingly great match.  So far this is way better than Wreslemania V.

 


6. The Twin Towers with Andre the Giant vs. Demolition with Hacksaw Jim Duggan


Here’s some early thoughts.  Twin Towers (an unfortunate name in retrospect) enter to “Jive Soul Bro” which is Slick’s opening theme.   Is Slick the only manager to have a theme song?   Do all of the guys in his stable enter to Jive Soul Bro?  Should I refer to it as his “stable”?  I get that he’s a pimp, but is that too on the nose?

Hacksuck sure gets included in a bunch of tag matches.  I expect it’s because he’s completely, completely horrible and is unwatchable in solo matches

This match is a very standard punch-only match.  What’s most surprising is they actually tag in Andre.  I didn’t even think he was mobile at this point in his career.

Ax also seems really surprised
Ax also seems really surprised

Anyway, this match ends the same way any match with Hacksuck does.  With a 2×4 to the face while the refs back is turned

Overall: I’m just glad it’s over

 


7. Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine


This match starts off with Ronnie Garvin doing ring announcing.  I have no idea what the backstory is for this, but as he announces Greg Valentine he spends 2 minutes insulting him.  This entire thing is just filthy with C-level wrestlers.

Both the Hammer and Hercules are looking a little long in the tooth.  Just a bit slower on the pace of this one.  The match comes to a surprising and unexpected end very quickly when the Hammer gets a pin by putting his feet on the ropes

Overall: Oh, there was more stuff with Ronnie Garvin.  I just don’t care

 


8. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka


Wow, Snuka must be like 60 at this point.  Let’s check.  Hmm, nope.  46.

Much like Hercules and the Hammer, Snuka is a couple beats off his game.

Case in point
    Case in point – he was supposed to jump over Dibiase

Still, pretty good for 46 I guess.  Through the whole match, Jesse refers to Snuka as alternately  “an animal”, “a neanderthal” and “a gorilla”.  Jesse’s racism is on fine display in this match.

The match is mostly lop-sided to Dibiase.   Snuka briefly gets the upper hand and goes for the Superfly off the top ropes.  Virgil distracts him, Dibiase hits him out of the ring and Snuka loses by count out.  All is not lost however because he still manages to hit Virgil with the big splash

Screencap provided because it's awesome
Screencap provided because it’s awesome

Overall: Snuka!

 


9.  Macho Man and Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake


This match features Lanny Poffo (Macho Man’s brother) and Brutus Beefcake (Hogan’s very good friend) in a main event.  So this match is all nepotism.  Hogan, stop trying to push Beefcake on us.  He’s just not that good a wrestler and “The Barber” is not that great a shtick

"This is my favorite wrestler!" - Nobody, anywhere
“This is my favorite wrestler!” – Nobody, anywhere

Hogan comes out by himself to a huge, enormous, deafening pop.  Man, he was popular.  Miss Elizabeth also gets a chance to come out to her own ovation and the crowd has another chance to lose their minds.

So Zeus is in this one.  This is right after No Holds Barred then, the horrible Hogan action movie.  I can’t remember how long Zeus lasted in the WWE, but it wasn’t long.  The match starts off with Zeus in the ring and he no-sells every single move.  They are obviously setting him up to be this indestructible, unstoppable monster.

Savage gets in the ring and he quickly puts a sleeper hold on Hogan.  He tags in Zeus, who gets Hogan in a bear hug.  This is like 6 minutes of rest holds to start the match.  So, dull as shit.  But finally, the tag to Beefcake… who puts Macho in a sleeper hold.

Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action
Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action

Jesus.

Then Zeus comes in!!!! And… Brutus puts him in a goddamn sleeper hold.  Okay, I’m pretty much done reviewing this match.

Anyway, the match ends with Hogan vs. Zeus.  Hogan does his standard moves of punching and eventually hits Zeus with what seems to be a lead-filled purse.  The match ends!

And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.
And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.

Overall: A pretty dull match, but Macho is still fantastic.

 

Royal Rumble ’89


1. 6 Man Tag: Rougeau Brothers and Dino Bravo vs. Oh God Why Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the Hart Foundation


Jesus Christ.  I am so fucking sick of Hacksuck Shit Fuckhead.  When did he finally retire from the WWE? < checks Wikipedia >.  Ah shit, not until like ’93.  Okay, let’s just get through this

The match starts – as always – with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura arguing about whether Dino Bravo legitimately benched 700 pounds or whether Jesse helped him.  I am kind of with Jesse on this one.  Maybe Dino got a leg up from Jesse on the bench, but it doesn’t change the fact that he easily benched 400 – 600 lbs by himself a couple times.  I mean, Jesus Gorilla, cut the guy some slack.

The match features some pretty good wrestling between the Hart Foundation and the Rougeaus.  Lots of quick exchanges and reversals, some great power moves.  The match is the best 2 out of 3, so they get the first pin out of the way pretty quickly.  It’s the old Fabulous Crotch Sniff right into the face of the Hitman for the pin.

Whiff my poutine-scented balls, Hitman
Whiff my poutine-scented balls, Hitman

Fall two has the crotch-inhaled Hitman starting in the ring, so he’s pretty tired and gets beaten up for awhile.  I have to hand it to the Rougeaus.  I don’t really find them all that interesting, but they’re pretty decent wrestlers and they keep the match going at a good pace.  To keep the Hitman’s spirits up, Hacksaw starts a “USA” chant.  Jesse remarks (correctly) “I don’t understand it, why are they chanting USA when the Hitman comes from Calgary, Canada”.

Anyway, eventually Hart makes the tag to Hacksuck and Hacksuck is just fucking terrible.  Just non stop punches and “hos”.  Some moves occur and they get the pin and it’s tied at one fall apiece.  On to the third fall.

Hacksuck starts this one off and Dino Bravo gets the upper hand.  As is eternally the case when Hacksuck is being beaten, my erection could hammer the face off a sparrow.  The Rougeaus get into the action with some more weird, odd crotch stuff.   I think they have a fetish

I cannot think of one possible reason this gif would require any context
I cannot think of one possible reason this gif would require any context

Hacksuck gets a chance to nail Dino Bravo with the 2×4 and he takes it.  Hitman gets the pin and this match is over

Overall: You know, Neidhart was barely in this match.  I wonder if he was injured?

 


2. Super Pose Down: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior


This is exactly what it sounds like.  A pose down (a super one, no less) between Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude.  Was this really the best way to use two of your top stars?

Wrestling!
                                        Wrestling!

3. Woman’s Championship Match: Rockin Robin vs.  Judy Martin


Holy shit!  It’s Rockin’ Robin!  I just looked her up on Wikipedia, she’s Sam Houston’s Sister.

Hey everyone, I was actually in this Wrestlemania!
This fucking guy

HA HAHA HAHA HAAH AAHHA HA HA HA HA HA.

Oh man.  They are just burning up the WWE.  HA!

Overall: I don’t typically watch women’s matches.   This one was no exception.

 


4. King Haku vs. Harley Race


Wow.  I could not be less interested in a match than this one.  Let’s just get this over with.  This has to be a quick match, Harley Race was 46 at this point.

Not much to say about this match, except when Haku performs a suplex on Race and Jesse remarks “That was a textbook Suplex”.  I was going to make a joke about that – after all, who would be so crazy as to write an entire fucking book about one move and… oh, never mind.  Carry on with your fancy pants, liberal, book-learning suplexes.

This match is ponderous and slow.  Harley Race moves exactly as quickly as a 46 year old man, and Haku is not that talented.  Haku wins with a textbook reverse thrust kick and gets the win

Overall: This wasn’t a retirement match, so I may have to see either of these idiots in future PPV’s.  So 0 / 10

 


 5. The Royal Rumble!


The first 10 minutes: 1. Axe / 2. Smash / 3. Andre The Giant / 4. Mr Perfect / 5. Rugged Ronnie Garvin / 6. Greg Valentine

This starts off with both Axe and Smash in the ring and they actually start fighting!  What a great little bit this was by the WWE.  They didn’t even pull any of their punches and while neither had the upper hand it was fun to see the tag champs not mailing it and putting on a show for fans.  Andre comes in next which is a great choice to not be overwhelmed by Demolition.  Mr Perfect gets added to the mix doing what he does best and slowly walks to the ring and Andre uses the confusion to surprisingly eliminate Smash.

In comes Rugged Ronnie Garvin!

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Next up is Greg Valentine who, unlike Mr. Perfect, puts a little jog into his ring approach.  They all gang up on the Giant as expected and so far this is pretty dull – just a bunch of guys trying to get the Giant out any way they can.  Garvin is eliminated abruptly by Andre via a hip toss.

Minutes 10 – 20:  7. Jake the Snake / 8. Ron Bass / 9. Shawn Michaels / 10. One of the Fucking Bushwhackers (Butch maybe?)/ 11. Honky Tonk Man

Jake comes out and goes right after Andre.  Way to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the WWE you dummy.  (Apparently Jake Roberts Snake Damian attacked Andre or something during one of the Saturday Night Main Events) Andre diverts all his energy and squashing Roberts puts him out just as Ron Bass is coming in – and the crowd goes silent.  The action grinds to a halt with a bunch of rest moves.  Mr. Perfect eliminates Axe and nearly eliminates Shawn Michaels.

Ah Jesus.  It’s the Bushwhackers.  It’s like two Hacksaw Jim Duggans.  Just 2 stupid morons who can’t wrestle but man do they pump up the crowd.

Jake grabs Damien and Andre bails over the top rope.  Good way and probably the only way to get rid of him.  Honky is in the ring next and nothing exciting happens as nothing ever exciting happens when the Honky Tonk Man is involved

Minutes 20 – 30:  12. Tito Santana / 13. Bad News Brown / 14. Marty Jannetty / 15. Macho Man / 16. Arn Anderson

In comes Tito and he goes right after Mr. Perfect for a nice pop.  More wrestling happens until Bad News comes out.  Honky gets tossed by One of the Fucking Bushwhackers.  Marty Jannetty is next and him and Shawn Michaels team up on Ron Bass to eliminate him.  Tito hits Valentine with a beautiful flying forearm and yes, I will continue to screen cap every single instance of a Tito Santana Flying Forearm because it is a thing of beauty and sooo much better than the Superman punch of Roman Reigns.

Drink it in. It always goes down smooth
Drink it in, it always goes down smooth

Macho is out next, the crowd loses their minds and he attacks Bad News Brown.  I don’t know why they’re feuding.  Arn Anderson comes in and at the same time, Macho eliminates Valentine.  Next up, Macho and Arn Anderson (which is an odd combination) eliminate Shawn Michaels.

Minutes 30 – 40:  17.  Tully Blanchard / 18. Hulk Hogan / 19. The Other Goddamn Bushwhacker

As Tully Blanchard is running in, One of the Fucking Bushwhackers runs around the ring like an idiot for 20 seconds

We trimmed about 7 extra bushwhacking seconds off this clip
I trimmed about 7 extra bushwhacking seconds off this clip

Marty Jannetty gets eliminated just as Hogan runs in.   Hogan gives a quick elimination to Mr. Perfect and somewhere off camera, Tito Santa is eliminated.  Next comes the Other Goddamn Bushwhacker just in time as One of the Fucking Bushwhackers gets eliminated.

Hogan and Macho Man do some nice Mega Power team work to beat down Bad News Brown until everyone else in the ring notices and decides they want to all gain up on the Mega Powers.

Minutes 40 – end:  20.  Koko B. Ware / 21. Warlord / 22. The Big Boss Man / 23. Akeem / 24. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Koko B. Ware makes his way into the ring and immediately throws a bunch of drop kicks.  While this is going on Hogan comes over, does a quick eye rake – immediately blinding Koko and then eliminates him.  Hogan isn’t finished yet and eliminates the other bushwacker.  He’s on fire and and eliminates Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson as the Warlord makes his way into the ring.  Hogan Clotheslines him right back out and we have ourselves another elimination.  Man that was great.  But the next big surprise is Hogan eliminating Savage and Bad News Brown who were battling it out in the corner – resulting in the beginning of the end for the Mega Powers.

Pictured: A calm, even headed discussion between two rational men
Pictured: A calm, even headed discussion between two rational men

Bossman shows up having just downed what seems like an extra 30 pounds of pies before the rumble and him and Hogan start going at it.  Hogan manages to slam him before Bossman recovers, drops a piledriver and a slam of his own.  Wow did Boss man really just try and spit at Hogan – I really need to read up on this feud.

So the next part of this rumble really is just focusing on Hogan getting beat down by Bossman and Akeem who actually defy the odds and eliminate Hogan.  Now we can finally focus on everything else going on in the ring.  Hogan takes issue with this and gets back on the apron and manages to pull Bossman over the top rope eliminating him as well.  They take it back to the showers to finish each other off (as Superstar Billy Graham likes to say).

Minutes 50-60:  25. Red Rooster / 26. Barbarian / 27. Big John Studd / 28. Hercules / 29. Rick Martel / 30. Ted Dibiase

So the focus now is apparently to get Akeem out and that’s a solid strategy.  The Red Rooster, Beefcake and the Barbarian and finally Big John Studd all take their turns and we are almost through all the entrants.  The action splits off a bit with Beefcake going at it with the Barbarian and Rooster taking on Big John.  Hercules joins in on the action and doesn’t do much as does Rick Martel until finally Ted Dibiase (who apparently rigged the draw) comes in as the last entrant.  Hercules immediately goes after him like a fat kid and sonic burgers and beats him up with series of clotheslines.  While this is all going on the Red Rooster is eliminated and I have no idea how he managed to stay in the Rumble (let alone the WWF) for this long.

Something, something brand synergy?
Something, something brand synergy?

Brutus stupidly puts a sleeper hold on Hercules and Barbarian dumps them both over the side.   He then goes after Martel who manages to fight him off and drop kick him over the top.  We’re down to the final four – Martel, Akeem, Studd and Dibiase.

Akeem gets rid of Martel pretty quickly and then him and Akeem go to work on Studd.  It’s a pretty great sequence to end the match, Studd ends up getting a surprise elimination on Akeem and then plays with Dibiase for awhile.  He gets on a few great power moves and throws out Dibiase like old trash.  Studd wins the Royal Rumble, presumably as a thank you for a great career.

Hooray!
                             Hooray!

That’s another one in the bag folks!