RETRO RAMBLE FOR SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT
Just to bring us all up to speed as to where the WWF was exactly at this point in time... Survivor Series 1990 had just ended. Warrior was the heavyweight champ at this point (having won the belt off Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 and being successful in a title defense in a nice little cage match against Rick Rude at Summerslam). Ted Dibiasi was being presented as the biggest threat to Warrior's title reign at this time (and a weak one at that since I don't think Dibiasi ever held any belts other then the Million Dollar belt for any length of time). Nonetheless, the Million Dollar Man was being hyped throughout the Survivor Series, and he and Warrior actually met at the end of the night during the "match of the survivors."
So without further ado: Saturday night's Main Event, airdate November 24, 1990.
The show (as I have it, opens with Okerland interviewing Dibiasi and Virgil, basically going over the events prior this point in time. The point? To get Dibiasi over as heel (like that would ever be a problem). He offered some kid on Superstars $100 to bounce a basketball 15 times, and kicked it away at the 14th... that bastard! He paid to have a public pool closed down in the middle of the summer so he could have it to himself. We also get a view of the Hebner twins as it is brought up that he hired a lookalike ref to get the heavyweight belt. Dibiasi: "Money isn't everything, it's the only thing, and everybody's got a price for the Million Dollar Man."
We go over to Sean Mooney (dear lord!) interviewing the Ultimate Warrior in one of those old school "we in the locker-room" type sets, complete with the same damn payphone they had at every arena. Given that Warrior's always been pretty bad on the stick, I actually have to say that this is one of the best promo's I ever saw him cut. He was still over the top, but the longer he stayed at the top of the company, the better he got in the position (does that make any sense?).
Warrior: "All the money in the world can't buy what it takes to be a champion Ted DiBiasi. Dollars do not buy desire. Bank vaults do not build biceps. (*flex*) And the world does not sing your praises because of c-notes. Ted Dibiasi, it is not the power of money that flows through these veins. It is the power of my warriors, a power that cannot be bought. Yet a power that came to me at tremendous costs. Sacrifice. And sacrifice Ted Dibiasi is the bottom line. What are you willing to give up? How much is the World Wrestling Federation championship belt really worth to you? You say that everybody has a price. Well, what price are you willing to pay?"
Que cheesy 80's music, and welcome to Saturday night's Main Event (at a special time and day). Shots of all your favorite superstars... Heenan, Warrior, Perfect, Bossman, etc. Nifty graphic for The main event, which ironically enough if our first match of the evening. In the ring: the Million Dollar Man.
Your hosts are Vince (no K.) McMahon and Roddy Piper. Vince is a face, so is Piper... Piper makes a Roseanne comment. He is eating turkey. Vince is shilling. Another graphic of Warrior's face paint and some money as Warrior runs to the ring. He shakes the ropes and holds the belt above his head before handing it over to Earl Hebner.
Warrior wins a test of strength, pushing Dibiasi into the corner and making gorilla press slam motions. Again and Dibiasi goes for an armbar. And Warrior powers out of it. Another lockup and Warrior gets a knee to the stomach as Dibiasi takes the advantage. He pounds on Warriors back for a while.
There's a lot of visible communication between the two as Warrior ducks a closeline and answers with one of his own, and then tosses Dibiasi out of the ring. Double-noggin-knocker for Dibiasi and Virgil. Warrior brings Dibiasi back in, goes to the top and connects with a double ax handle. Whip to the corner and again, but on the second charge Warrior eats Dibiasi's knee. Dibiasi with a closeline and again with the advantage. Double ax handle off the second rope gets two. A few more near falls and Warrior reverses a pildriver.
Into the ropes and a shoulder-block. Virgil grabs the foot for distraction as Dibiasi tosses Warrior out this time. And... onto an ad-break.
Misery: starts Friday at a theater near you; after 4 p.m. you get another BK Broiler for 99cents. And so on.
We return to find both men getting back into the ring. More near falls. Hebner looks so young! Some rest holds, and more obvious communicating. Vince starts talking about the Macho King being next in line for the belt. Warrior almost gets a surprise near fall as Dibiasi starts taking Warrior apart with nice text book suplexes... very nice indeed.
Warriors loosing his face paint. We can hear some woman in the crowd telling Dibiasi to kick his ass. That's attitude my friends.
Action goes out and in the ring. Dibiasi gives up on actual wrestling and resorts to headpunches, which obviously make Warrior hulk up and reverse a suplex for a breather. Both men are down. Dibiasi: "It's about over." Umm, we weren't SUPPOSED to hear THAT.
Crisscrossing the ropes and both men collide in the middle of the ring. Hebner gets up to 7 before Dibiasi gets to his feet. Dibiasi goes to the second rope and eats fist on the way down. And here comes the Warrior hulk up. No-selling right and left as Warrior goes mental and the arena goes shit house. Clothesline, and again.... and there's that shitty shoulder tackle that Warrior started doing because he didn't want to press guys anymore. Virgil's in to break up the count and it's an automatic DQ. In today's world we would've continued . (match 10:23 DQ). Well, that was good up till the ending.
Post match sees Warrior destroy Virgil, who is actually a small guy so Warrior actually attempts the press, but Macho King comes in with a septer (spelling on that?) to the gut. Sherri's in there now too. And Macho now proceeds to choke out Warrior and nail him with 2 flying elbows. President Jack Tunney's in there with a horde of refs to break it up as Savage poses with the belt. Warrior's left in the ring alone hugging his belt. And manages to raise his belt up to the fans. Oh hell yeah play his music. Vince proclaims him the ultimate champion as we go to the back and Okerland with Savage.
Savage cuts a typical promo decked out in full yellow garb. Most of it's incoherent, much like Steiner today, but I'm sure Macho was making some sort of sense. Macho walks off camera muttering about being champion.
Nikoli Volkoff stands in the ring waving the U.S. flag as I mutter what a terrible angle this was. His opponent tonight: Sgt. Slaughter. Adnan has a real blank look on his face while Slaughter cuts a nifty pro-Iraq promo. Slaughter talks about Iraq, flags, and some saluting before heading to the ring. The best part of this match is the promo... which we get before cutting to another ad break.
Jeez, we're back and get Slaughter into the ring but cut to yet another ad break. I guess the walking nowadays isn't all that bad. During the commercials we get a shot of upcoming guests on the Tonight show... starring Johnny Carson(!), and I start to feel old...
Anyway, the match ends up being a squash as Slaughter take Volkoff apart before Duggan hits the ring to makes the save. (match never gets started)
Bossman's getting ready to take on Mr. Perfect. The story here is that Heenan made some comments about Bossman's mother over the summer, and Bossman was going through every member of the Heenan family to get a match with Heenan himself.
I thought Bossman was over back then , but looking at it now, the crowd was pretty apathetic back then too. Lockup and Perfect slaps him. And again, and Perfect heads outside and Bossman proceeds to chase him around and back into the ring. Into the ropes, and Perfect avoids the backflip with a cartwheel in a cute spot, but eats a wicked clothesline for his troubles. Bossman slams him around a little, and Perfect does a 360 flip after being flung into the turnbuckles. Mr. Perfect was that man back then and it's a real shame he never got the big gold during his heyday. Bossman grabs him by the hair and tosses him across the ring. Perfect tries to slide out but crotches himself on the ringpost instead. Backbreaker and Bossman heads to the top but Perfect wisely gets out of the way. Some resting, and Perfect does a neat little reverse neckbreaker where he flips all the way over Bossman. That's a trademark Perfect move right there. Nearfall as Perfect works on the kidneys and Bossman almost gets the fall with a small package. More kicks from Perfect and Bossman finally puts an end to that with some uppercut jabs. Perfect still in control and takes the cover off one of the turnbuckles while the ref is checking on the Bossman. Irony dictates that Perfect will in turn eat the exposed buckle, and he does, selling it like a demon with another 360 flip. However, Perfect reverses an Irish whip into the same corner and Bossman is down and looks pretty winded from the whole thing. Heenan takes this opportunity to make his way down to ringside. Perfectplex attempt countered with another small package, but Perfect kicks out. Chops and punches for everyone! And this time the Perfectplex hits but Bossman kicks out, totally killing that finisher (which was so cool until people actually started kicking out of it all the time). Heenan holds the rope but Bossman reverses an Irish whip and Perfect goes flying. Bossman grabs Heenan, so Heenan slaps him, and then runs away. Bossman follows and Perfect wins by countout. Eh! (match 7:25 CO)Bossman in turn grabs the night stick but Perfect bails. Perfect: "Don't mess with the Heenan Family." Shot of Heenan running away backstage and taking a nasty slip which couldn't have been scripted. Okerland bumps into Heenan, and we get some nice comedy which makes me miss Heenan all the more.
This looks like a good time for some more commercials. Interesting ad for Turbo Grafx 16 which was the game console of choice back then. God, if someone brought a Dreamcast to someone back then they probably would've shit their pants.
We return to the Main Event with some fake infomercial for "Blow Away" staring Playboy Buddy Rose. Eat all you want, spinkle on the blow away dust, and blow the pounds away. See he's fat so it's funny, or something. Of course the 800 number they gave was 1-800-LAR-DASS which was pretty edgy at the time.
The next match was yet another between Tito Santana and Rick Martel. Typical match for these two. Nothing of note so check out Scott Keith's archives over at Wrestleline for one of their better matches. Tito was pretty over at the time though. Rick was immersed in the whole "I sprayed Jake Roberts in the eye with my perfume" angle. Martel did utterly dominate at the Survivor Series though. I always thought that if they handled him a little better he would've been at the top of the federation. Not for his ability, but for the sheer fact he was way over as a heel. Martel hits the Boston Crab for the win. (match 6:34 SUB)
Roberts cuts a promo post match with the big snake, and can I just say that his eye looked nasty with that white contact in there. Poor Jake, I can't even really enjoy this whole thing after seeing Beyond the Mat and the drunken pay-per-view fiasco. Jake shakes the shit out of the snake's head at the end of the promo which makes me feel bad for Damien.
Ad break informs me that K.D. Lang will be on SNL.... ugh!
We return to Vince and Roddy recapping the Ultimate Warrior/Macho King situation from earlier in the night. Sean Mooney is standing by with Warrior, who cuts another good promo, but I already transcribed one tonight. Email me if you really need this one. In essence the Warrior goes over how important the belt is to him, and snorts a lot. Warrior does look pretty serious and upset.
Some final words from Vince and Roddy fade out to the shot of Warrior holding up his belt after winning the match and surviving the Macho King's Assault. Copyright Titan Sports 1990 with a animated turkey gobbling all over the place.
NBC is the place to be....
So, over all not a bad hour of television. It set up some nice angles, most prominently Macho/Warrior. Later on Macho ends up costing the Warrior the belt to Slaughter at the Royal Rumble, and then Macho and Warrior finally meet up in the retirement match at Wrestlemania 7 which was one of the best matches of it's time in my opinion.
I reviewed the show because I couldn't remember so much hype going on about a TV show during a pay per view as the hype that was going on at the Series that year. The next year they were hyping the Tuesday in Texas thing with the Hogan/Undertaker rematch, but that was another pay per view.
All in all a nice little piece of history that you probably wouldn't be able to get your hands on anymore.