The Event Center #2: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event: May 27th, 1989
Welcome everyone to the Event Center. I am your host Steve Caudle. This time we are going to go back to right after Wrestlemania 5 and enjoy one of the better Saturday Night’s Main Events. We are going back to May 1989 to enjoy a show featuring Hulk Hogan vs. Big Boss Man in a Steel Cage match. We will also see a classic tag team match between Demolition and the Brain Busters. So sit back and relax as we take a trip back in time to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, IA to enjoy Saturday Night’s Main Event.
The show opens up with Hulk Hogan cutting an awesome promo behind the big blue steel cage to hype up his match with the Big Boss Man. He uses great analogies regarding the fact that Boss Man is a police officer. He says he is the judge jury and executioner for this match. He says he is going to push his fat head through the bars of the steel cage. He is going to sentence Boss Man to a life time of eternity at the doom of Hulkamania. Whatcha’ gonna do when Judge Hogan passes the final sentence on you?
I always loved how these shows opened up. All of the awesome promos and the sweet back drops of the wrestlers logos or name. It gets you hyped for the show and is a great way to keep people glued to the TV. Everything about Saturday Night’s Main Event was awesome and executed perfectly in my eyes.
Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon discuss all of the matches that are on the card for the show. Ventura gets his shots in at Hogan saying he is more concerned with Hollywood than he is being the World Champion because his movie is opening up soon. They show highlights of Rick Rude winning the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania 5. This leads right into the first interview.
Backstage Interview: “Ravishing” Rick Rude & Bobby Heenan
Gene Okerlund accuses Heenan and Rude of breaking every rule in the book. Heenan quickly corrects him and states that they didn’t break the first rule of wrestling and thats just win baby, just win. What a great line and delivery by Rick Rude. Okerlund says that Heenan’s first title win is tarnished. Heenan then says wrong again the belt is shiny and spotless like his chrome dome. Heenan said that Okerlund is dreaming and so is Duggan if he thinks he is going to win the title. Heenan says you know what happens to dreamers….Rude says “They get a Rude Awakening.” Both men laugh and walk off.
Backstage Interview: King “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Okerlund introduces the new king in Jim Duggan. Duggan is dedicating the match for all the proud Americans who risked their lives to keep the flag flying free. Duggan calls Rude a pansy and says the belt shouldn’t be around the waste of a “pansy pants.” Okerlund asks about Heenan. Duggan said he is going to keep one eye on Heenan and one eye on Old Glory.
Match 1: Intercontinental Title Match: Rick Rude (C) vs. Jim Duggan
Before the match starts Rude and Heenan discuss some strategy as Duggan gets all of his excess gear off. They start with a collar and elbow tie up and roll around the ropes a bit. Rude goes for a sunset flip early and Duggan blocks it and nails him with a huge right hand. Duggan then clotheslines Rude over the top rope and poses for the crowd. Then he does an ugly looking suplex back into the ring. Duggan nails him with a few clotheslines then goes for a third one and Rude does the Flair spot and just falls on his face.
Early on the crowd is extremely hot for the match and Duggan has him in the palm of his hands. Duggan goes for a few early pins but only gets a 2 count on them. Rude moves out of the way of a move and goes right up to the top and nails him with a right hand off the top rope. Rude then dances for the crowd as the crowd boos. Duggan hits Rude with an atomic drop and Rude does his classic sell spot where he walks around the ring gingerly. This always cracked me up and its one of the things that makes Rick Rude so great. Duggan hits an ugly ass piledriver and goes for the cover but Rude gets his leg on the rope.
The former king, Haku, comes out to the ring to distract Duggan but the refs break it up and send Haku to the back as we head to the commercial break. Duggan has the crown on his head as we come back from break and Rude attacks him as he tries to get back in the ring. Rude nails a pretty clean drop kick. I never really seen Rude do a drop kick before and he did one pretty well. He should have used it more often. Rude gets in the typical offense that he did in every match as the crowd starts to chant for Duggan. Man these crowds were always amazing. They were interested in the match without trying to hi-jack it. After hearing the crowds of today this is a breathe of fresh air.
Rude gets in a reverse head lock on the ground. Duggan gets back to his feet and breaks free with a number of right hands but Rude hits him with a knee to the mid-section to regain control. Rude does an awesome spot where he goes for his fist drop then he crawls right over to the camera and starts making a kissing face numerous times. This was done all in one motion and came across great. Rude is one of the best because of the little things that he does in the ring.
There wasn’t a lot of great wrestling moves in this match but it was a match between two guys that were over with the crowd. All Duggan had to do was say Ho and lift his thumb in the air and the crowd would go nuts. Rude had heat and knew how to keep that heat throughout the match. This match was fast and wasn’t a bore at all. Theres a lot of great things here that Rude would do that is missing in todays product. I would take the time to watch this match and enjoy how easy it was for these guys at this time to get the crowd going.
Backstage Interview: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Neidhart says he hates the Macho Man. He hates the way he treated Elizabeth and he hated the way he handled himself when he was champion. He said he may be able to push women around but he won’t be able to push the Anvil around. Neidhart says if he wants Hogan’s belt he has to go through him first. Says that Sherri is Scary Sherri and that he already has her around the flea collar. Neidhart states that he is Savage’s problem tonight.
Backstage Interview: “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri
Jesse said he’s not going to ask him about Wrestlemania 5 because he is looking to the future and not the past. Savage says once he gets past Neidhart he is going after Hulk Hogan. Savage declares himself the #1 contender and that he wants his belt back. He said Elizabeth buried him in distractions. He scolds Jesse and says to never say that woman’s name again. Savage says Sherri is beautiful and glorious at the same time. Savage says Sherri knows her place. Sherri says Elizabeth is a chicken legged woman and that she was never a wrestler and now she is gone forever.
Match 2: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Savage starts the match pointing his finger at Neidhart and Neidhart slaps it away. Savage does his typical things at the start of the match then goes out of the ring to stall. He climbs to the top rope and draws some attention to himself. They get in a collar and elbow tie up and Sherri grabs the feet of Neidhart to distract him. Neidhart puts Savage in a bear hug to try and slow him down.
Sherri is pacing around the ring like a caged animal. The dynamic between Savage and Sherri was always awesome and I felt like she fit Savage more than Elizabeth did. Savage drives the knee into the back of Neidhart then Savage nails Neidhart with his patented lay down clothesline. This is one of my favorite moves that any wrestler did. It just looked awesome and it looked like he laid the clothesline in a lot more when he laid down after hitting them.
Savage gets Neidhart down on the ground near the edge of the ring and Sherri interviews multiple times. Savage goes up top for a double ax handle and goes for the cover but Neidhart throws Savage off him after 1. Neidhart goes out on the apron and Neidhart catapulted himself back into the ring and gains control of the match. Neidhart hits him with a few shoulder blocks then a clothesline and goes for the cover but gets a 2. Neidhart then hits Savage with a standing drop kick and he rolls to the outside of the ring. Neidhart then goes out after Sherri and nails Savage with another drop kick on the outside. Neidhart was pretty damn athletic for his size and he had a pretty solid drop kick.
This match was pretty decent and was your typical Randy Savage match. He sold like a champ for Neidhart and his offense was on par with what you would expect from Savage. His elbow drop and aerial moves were a sight to behold back then and he definitely knew how to make himself stand out. Sherri pretty an added detention to Savage and I felt like the paring was perfect at the time and it still holds true today. Savage as a heel with a lady that wasn’t afraid to mix it up was perfect. This match was nothing to write home about but it’s still a pretty entertaining match thats worth checking out.
Backstage Interview: Big Boss Man & “Dr. Of Style” Slick
Jesse asked Slick how he was able to get the first title defense of Hogan on national television inside a steel cage match. Slick says he did it “Slickly, very slickly. Thats my name and thats my game.” Slick says Hogan is scared and he has lost his cool and that Boss Man is going to put him on ice tonight. Boss Man says he is going to rehabilitate him first. Jesse tells Slick he got the match he wanted and your man is primed and you seemed to have done it all tonight. Slick says there is going to be a biiiiig surprise tonight. Slick says there is a sight to see that the whole family will enjoy.
Match 3: Steel Cage WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan (C) vs. Big Boss Man
Before the match starts Slick gets on the mic and says that his surprise is “6 feet 11 inches tall. My surprise is 343 pounds. My surprise is ZEUS!!!!! Zeus comes down to the ring and stands guard on the steps right in front of the cage door. Hogan comes down to the ring and confronts Zeus before entering the ring. Zeus kicks Hogan then nails him with a couple of punches to the shoulder blades of Hogan and he leaves him laying before the match even starts. Zeus looked awesome but that was about it. He fit the bill of what Vince was looking for so it’s not surprising that Vince tried to make it work. The guy was just garbage in the ring though so it could have never worked out.
Boss Man comes out to get Hogan and throws him into the ring to get the match started. Boss Man rips the shirt off of Hogan and starts to choke him out with it. Boss Man controls the match early on with punishing blows such as head butts and raking the back. Boss Man tries to Irish whip Hogan into the turnbuckle but Hogan reverses it and nails Boss Man with a huge clothesline. Hogan gains control of the match and attempts to throw him into the cage.
Hogan hits the big boot early on and Hogan tries to escape but Boss Man gets up and pulls him down and regains control of the match. Jesse states that Boss Man “should feel right at home inside the bars.” Jesse was one of the best on commentary and is a joy to listen to every time. Boss Man tries to walk out of the cage but Hogan grabs on to his leg and pulls him back in. Boss Man nails Hogan with a spine buster as he starts to talk trash on Hogan. Boss Man attempts to climb outside of the cage by going over the top. Boss Man gets to the outside portion of the cage but Hogan grabs him through the bars and pulls him back up into the ring.
HOGAN HOOKS THE BOSS MAN AND SUPERPLEXES THE BIG BOSS MAN BACK INTO THE CAGE!!!! This is one of the first holy shit moments in the WWF and it is still one of the greatest spots I’ve ever seen in a wrestling match. Boss Man was a good 340 at this point and Hogan literally suplex him back into the ring from the top of the cage. Its a sight to see and is amazing every time I see it.
Boss Man attempts to leave through the door but Hogan stops him. Hogan smashes his head into the turnbuckle a few times then he finds the cage on the floor. Hogan wraps it around his fist and nails the Boss Man twice with the chain. Hogan then throws Boss Man into the cage 2-3 times as Boss Man gets busted open. Hogan nails the leg drop then climbs out of the cage. Slick rams the ref into the cage door and then he enters the ring. Slick grabs Hogan by the leg to slow him down but Hogan kicks him down.
Boss Man attempts to leave the ring but Hogan pushes his feet out from under him and Boss Man falls down on the top rope and racks himself. What a great spot. Boss Man just sits there with his arms in the air. Hogan then cuffs Boss Man to the top rope. Boss Man attempts to leave the cage through the door as Hogan climbs out over the top. Hogan goes over to the ref and wakes him up to see that he won the match.
This match was short and sweet but there was so much to it. The superplex is just ridiculous and is an amazing display inside the squared circle. The rest of the match was very well done as well. It was a pretty great match and I really enjoy it. It never gets old and seeing that superplex is worth watching this match every once in a while. Just a great match in general. Definitely would take the time to check it out.
Backstage Interview: The Brain Busters w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Jesse states that commenters have stated that Heenan would never manage a champion. Heenan states they are just jealous. Jesse says its a great night for Bobby Heenan and Heenan says no its a great night for the whole Heenan Family. One one person wins the whole family wins. Anderson says they already feel like they are the champs and all they have to do is go down to the ring and pick them up. Only thing Heenan is worried about is getting lead poisoning from the paint that Demolition uses.
Backstage Interview: Demolition
Okerlund states that Heenan assumes it’s going to be his night. Ax says its the night of the champions and that Brain Busters are just chumps and that we are the champs. Smash says they will not only beat the Busters but they will demolish them.
Match 4: WWF Tag Team Title Match: Demolition (C) vs. Brain Busters
The match starts with Tully and Smash in the ring. Smash throws Tully to the ground immediately as he flips over and stands up in the corner. Heenan gets up on the apron to distract the ref early on as Arn comes in and Smash as Smash has Tully in a bear hug. Smash regains control and tags in Ax as Arn comes into the ring as well.
Arn Irish whips Ax into the turnbuckle but Ax reverses it, Anderson puts in on the breaks but Ax nails him with a clothesline to the back. Smash goes into the ropes and Tully hits him with a knee to the back. Arn gains control and nails Smash with a suplex. Smash no sells it and gets right up as Arn celebrates with Tully. All four men get in the ring and Ax body slams both as the Brain Busters roll out to the ring.
Tully and Ax get back in the ring and Tully nails him with 4-5 chops and Ax just stalks him down and pummels him in the corner. Ax ends up throwing Tully out to the floor and Smash goes down and throws him back in the ring as if he was Gorilla pressing him. Ax then clotheslines Tully over the top rope and he comes down and nails Bobby Heenan who was standing outside the ring.
Heenan acts like he is going to get in the ring and go after Demolition but the Busters hold him back and take him back to the dressing room as they cut to commercial. Ax has control of the match with Tully in the ring. Ax snaps him over and gets him in a chin lock. Ax tags in Smash then he throws Tully into the corner and picks him up by the throat. Arn gets the ref distracted then he comes in and chop blocks Smash to get control of the match. Tully and Arn trade tags and double team Smash. Arn then hits his patented spine buster on Smash and gets the 2 count.
Arn tags in Tully and he starts to work the neck of Smash. Tully chokes Smash over the top rope then tags in Arn. Tully and Arn take turns working over smash as they tag in out and numerous times in a short period of time. Arn and Smash trade punches then they both connect with a right hand at the exact same time and knock each other out. This was a great spot that was executed perfectly. Tully sneaks around the ring and pulls Ax off the apron so Smash can’t get the tag. Arn then decks Ax to the floor. Ax gets back in the ring and all hell breaks loose. Ax picks up the ref and throws him across the ring as the Brain Busters win the match by disqualification. All four men brawl back to the dressing room as they go to commercial.
What a great match this one was. It set up the 2/3 falls that would happen later on in the year but this match was just as good. The psychology that the Brain Busters were known for was on full force here and it is a treat to watch. The first half of the match was pretty good as well with Demolition carrying the weight. They worked extra hard on this night because I bet they wanted to prove something against the Busters. These teams worked great together and any time you can watch them in the ring against each other its worth it. I would definitely recommend this match for your viewing pleasure.
Backstage Interview: “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri
Jesse congratulates Savage on his big win vs. Jim Neidhart but he says he sees something on the horizon and it is Hulk Hogan. Savage says theres no dunking and hiding Hulk Hogan. Savage declares himself the #1 contender and he wants his WWF Championship belt back. He also says he is going to teach Hulk Hogan a lesson and he will no longer be fit to be a movie star. Savage then says he has a new manager and Sherri is “loyal, faithful, and doesn’t have wandering eyes.” Sherri wants to know what Hogan is gonna do when the madness runs wild on you.
Match 5: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. Boris Zhukov
The bell rings and Boris attacks Snuka right away. Boris tries to drive Snuka’s head into the turnbuckle 2-3 times. Snuka no sells it and goes right after Boris. He then slams Boris’s head into the turnbuckle twice to return the favor. Snuka nails Boris with a head butt off the ropes. He then hits Boris with a backbreaker. Snuka goes up top and nails Boris with the Superfly Splash for the quick 3 count and victory.
This was just a quick squash match to fill the remaining time. There wasn’t much to it but it was always awesome to see the Superfly Splash. It was a quick simple match to send the crowd home happy by seeing the spectacle of Snuka’s finisher. I would skip this match because there isn’t much there. Just filler to be honest.
Backstage Interview: Hulk Hogan
Okerlund congratulates Hogan on his victory over Boss Man. Hogan said he has had issues with Zeus for quite a long time now. He said he has had issues before the movie, during the movie, and now after the movie. Hogan says he can’t wait to lay this movie out on all of the Hulkamaniacs. Hogan says the fans have seen him in championship matches, just seen him in a steel cage match, but you have never seen Hulk Hogan in No Holds Barred.
This was a pretty damn good show top to bottom. The Saturday Night’s Main Event format was exceptional and never really disappointed. You had all the big names each time they ran a show and you really get a fast paced show that easily keeps your attention. This show was no different. Rude and Duggan started us off with a pretty good and entertaining match. Duggan worked well and Rude sold like a champ for him like he does for anyone. We got a nice little match out of Jim Neidhart when he went up against Macho Man. He showed off his athleticism and held his own against Savage in this one. We had the awesome Hulk Hogan vs. Big Boss Man steel cage match featuring one of the most ridiculous spots of all time when it comes to the Big Boss Man getting superplexed. We also got a little sample of what the matches would be like between the Brain Busters and Demolition. Just a really good show all around here and one that I would definitely take a moment to sit down and enjoy.
Thats all for this episode of the Event Center. Next time we are going to review another Saturday Night’s Main Event and that will be episode #29, April 1991. Until next time this has been Steven Caudle. Good night everyone!