Sunday, April 5, 2015

Random Network Reviews: Saturday Night's Main Event 2/23/90

Saturday Night’s Main Event
February 23rd, 1990 – Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan

Around this time, the WWF was just over a month away from WrestleMania VI and the Ultimate Challenge, pitting WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior. Before they could get there though, both guys had to defend their respective belts on this episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. Now, research tells me that this was actually an episode of “The Main Event”, a spin-off of SNME. However, it’s listed under the SNME banner on the WWE Network so I’ll review it as such.

The Macho King cuts a promo to open the show about his WWF Title shot, which will have boxer Buster Douglas as an enforcer of sorts. I see President Jack Tunney! He goes over the rules with Buster before Hulk Hogan cuts one of his usual Hogan promos about the nitro power, FORESHADOWIND, of Hulkamania. Commentary consists of Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura.

Gene Okerlund is backstage with Macho King and Queen Sherri. I swear they had the same locker room at every single arena for these segments. Mike Tyson was supposed to be the enforcer but was replaced by Buster Douglas and wouldn’t get another shot until 1998. This is your basic phenomenal Macho Man promo. Hogan cuts one after Macho King’s entrance, but he is a tough act to follow. Hogan does a decent job though.

WWF Championship
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Macho King w/ Queen Sherri

This is billed as a WrestleMania V rematch and Hulk Hogan quickly overpowers him with a shoulder block. Macho gets a rest and Hogan goes to follow but Buster Douglas stops him because he’s all like, “I GOT THIS.” Macho knocks Hogan outside and goes for his signature double axe handle but Buster gets in between them. Hogan, ever the heel, grabs Queen Sherri and when Macho goes to defend her honor, Hogan moves and he knocks her to the ground. The crowd is red hot. Hogan is in the driver’s seat now, beating Macho King from pillar to post. Sherry gets her revenge by tripping up Hogan, who grabs her by the hair. I can’t fathom how I’m supposed to cheer for Hogan here. Macho King turns the tide and Buster kicks out Sherri all the way to the back. Macho King is working a rest hold during the commercial but Hogan rallies before his arm goes down for a third time. He ends up outside and INCONSISTENCY is the name of the game here as Macho is allowed to hit his double axe handle this time. I’d like to point out that Jesse Ventura is FANTASTIC on commentary. The inconsistencies continues when he tries a third double axe handle, but this one is illegal for some reason. He connects with the Elbow Drop but only gets a near fall. He’s Hulking Up! A right hand causes the official to fall. Leg Drop connects and Buster Douglas enters with a fast count! Macho even seems to kick out in time!

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan in 11:51
Good stuff as Macho Man could pretty much do no wrong. The fact that the fans were mega into this thing helped it and the controversial end kept Macho King strong. ***1/4

Macho King is obviously and rightfully upset so he gets in Buster Douglas’ face. He starts dancing around the ring and challenging him to box. Hulk Hogan pushes Savage into Buster and he gets laid out. Jesse Ventura rightfully calls out Hogan for the cheap shot. No wonder Hollywood Hogan worked so well; Hogan was always a heel at heart.

Jesse Ventura is backstage in the universal locker room with Earthquake, Jimmy Hart and Dino Bravo. He puts over Bravo doing pushups with Earthquake sitting on his back. Bravo is the man getting a shot at Ultimate Warrior tonight. After Bravo makes his entrance, Gene Okerlund interviews Ultimate Warrior. 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Dino Bravo w/ Earthquake and Jimmy Hart

Things start before the bell as Warrior powerslams Bravo. Earthquake distracts the Champion but even that is not enough as Warrior still takes him down. Earthquake then trips up Warrior and he’s knocked outside, so he rolls under the ring. He crawls to the opposite side and pulls Jimmy Hart under the ring like it’s some horror movie. Hart re-emerges with no pants on, which really makes me question what was going on down there. Behind the referee’s back, Earthquake is able to body slam Warrior. Bravo gets in his offense now, highlighted by a big side slam that earns him a near fall. Warrior shrugs it off because he has some sort of Warriorness running through his veins. He hits some shoulder blocks and the splash and it’s over.

Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Ultimate Warrior in 4:11
Fast paced as a fair amount of things happened in a short period of time. **1/4

Earthquake, who was too slow to save the match, decides to beat on Warrior anyway. He drops some elbows on him and goes to leap from the second rope until Hulk Hogan appears. Earthquake is confused and gets knocked off the rope. He retreats with Dino Bravo as Hogan and Warrior argue in the ring. I guess Warrior doesn’t like help. The referees try to keep them separate, but they get tossed aside.

Vince McMahon is in the universal locker room as he takes us back to the Royal Rumble, where it came down to Warrior and Hogan. He then interviews Hogan who claims that he wasn’t out there to steal Warrior’s spotlight. Warrior is interviewed by Mean Gene and I can’t figure out exactly what he’s talking about. Buster Douglas is also interviewed before the show closes by saying he’s going out drinking with Hogan tonight! Drinking milk that is.

Overall: 7.5/10; Very Good. Yes it was only two matches but this was great for the time period. It was 1990 and there aren’t any throwaway squash matches or anything along those lines. You got a huge WWF Title match that previously main evented a WrestleMania and had the allure of a World Boxing Champion and this built towards the upcoming WrestleMania very well. Up next, “Random Network Reviews” sticks with the SNME theme as it will be the final episode ever of that show! Saturday Night’s Main Event from 8/2/2008!