Best of the WWF Volume 19 – A Table? In 1989?

Best of the WWF Volume 19
Host: Sean Mooney
Commentators: Alfred Hayes, Ron Trongard, Tony Schiavone, Gorilla Monsoon

We’re back for another round of this. I have a few of these shows now so I can keep hammering away on these. There are 20 in total and I think I have 13 to go. There isn’t much else to say other than that this is from 1989 and Savage is WWF Champion and is waiting for the Mega Powers to explode. Let’s get to it.

Sean Mooney is at WWF Headquarters and is giving us a tour. These shows always have themes. The security guard doesn’t recognize him.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect

We’re in MSG here and this would have been a big feud about a year later. It doesn’t mean much here though. Hennig is still in trunks here so it’s very early in his run here. Beefcake shoves him around with his power stuff and the fans are very hot for this. Feeling out process for the first few minutes here. Perfect is skeptical about a test of strength but he winds up taking over with some nice technical punches to the face.

Beefcake fights out of a chinlock and drops Hennig face first onto the buckle in a Snake Eyes kind of move. The fans are still WAY into this which is carrying a just ok match to decent levels. Hennig works on the ribs but after some forearms to the head Brutus Barbers Up. There’s the high knee and he calls for the sleeper, but here’s Outlaw Ron Bass to steal his barber stuff, which draws Beefcake to the floor as well as the countout.

Rating: C-. Eh there was only so much they could do here. It’s not a bad match but with a less thrilled crowd this would have been bad. The ending was the right idea as Beefcake was becoming a big deal due to hanging out with Hogan and Perfect was still undefeated so they had to have a screwy finish. Bass was shaved by Beefcake recently so that fits. Really just a kick and punch match which you got a lot of in this era.

Sean Mooney is in the WWF Tape Library. Be still my beating heart. That place is like my dream job. The guy in charge of the place doesn’t want to deal with him. I think I see a running joke here.

Tag Titles: Powers of Pain vs. Demolition

This is from the Main Event II. This was a live event but only the last 2 matches or so (Mega Powers EXPLODE) were shown. The other important thing about this show is that it was aired on February 3, 1989, or my first birthday. Demolition are the champions here and this is part of the feud that spawned out of the double turn at Survivor Series 1988. Axe vs. Warlord to start us off and the champs take over.

They switch off and Smash pounds him down with ease. I could watch Demolition do their pounding people down thing all day. We hear about the handicap match at Mania as Axe is sent to the floor after missing a charge into the corner. There’s a neck crank which is a required move in a power match. A chop sends Axe to the floor. Warlord lowers his head so that Axe can get a forearm in. Well that was nice of him.

Hot tag brings in Smash who hammers away on both guys. He always was good at getting fired up in there. A hot shot gets two on Warlord and everything breaks down. I think I know where this is going. The Powers hit more or less a top rope Hart Attack for two. Fuji gets up on the apron but Axe grabs the cane. It’s not a DQ for some reason but Fuji’s salt throw is good for the double DQ.

Rating: D+. I’ve heard that ending commentary before, I’m sure of it. I must have rented this tape before or watched it and forgotten about it. Either way, this wasn’t bad but it’s your standard house show tag match with these two. Demolition would hold the titles about another 8 months, giving them by far and away the longest tag title reign in company history.

Sean is outside Jesse Ventura’s office for an interview but Jesse’s assistant says he’s busy. She goes to get him and Jesse sends out a note, saying Mooney Get Lost, but Sean reads his own version.

Jesse Ventura vs. Tony Garea

From MSG in I’d guess the mid 80s, probably 85-86. Jesse takes forever to get ready, taking off his earrings very slowly. They get going and Jesse hits him twice to put him down. That’s more than enough cause for some posing isn’t it? I’ve heard a lot of people say Jesse’s in ring stuff isn’t that good and I think they’re onto something. Jesse keeps hitting him in the kidneys and then denying it to the referee.

Now Garea hits Jesse in his own kidneys and then grabs a wristlock. Make that an armbar as we up the difficulty. The announcers imply that Jesse stuffs his tights. To make his legs look bigger you sick freaks. Get your minds out of Jesse’s crotch. Garea is sent into the ropes and Jesse tosses him over, getting Garea’s head and neck tied up between them. I know I’ve seen this before.

After some brief pounding by Jesse, Garea takes over again with some weak stuff. This match is going WAY longer than is should have already. An abdominal stretch doesn’t work but a sunset flip gets two. Garea misses a charge into the corner and Jesse drops a simple elbow for the pin.

Rating: D-. What was the point of this going about 8 minutes again? Nothing to see here and I don’t know why this was on there in the first place. Jesse isn’t much in the ring but he’s had better matches than this I’m sure. If not I feel bad for his career. Pretty boring match but the head in the ropes spot looked cool.

Kevin Dunn gets his 8 seconds of fame as we’re in the control room. Sean gets thrown out again.

WWF World Title: Bad News Brown vs. Randy Savage

This is a street fight so it should be awesome. Both are in brawling clothes and this was Savage’s main feud until we got to the Mega Powers Exploding. They head to the floor immediately and Brown gets in some chair shots. He chases Liz around which I think was what started the feud in the first place. Savage tries to help her but gets beaten up again. Savage finally ducks a punch and Brown’s fist hits the post.

Here’s the weightlifting belt so I guess Hogan stole that idea from Savage? Savage goes up top with a chair but jumps into another punch to the ribs. Back to the floor and Savage is thrown into the crowd. In something I cab’t believe I’m saying in 1989, it’s table time. Bad News sets one up in the corner but according to Wrestling Law #4, he winds up going through it. Well he went into the referee who went through it but whatever.

Brown hits his Ghetto Blaster finisher (enziguri) but there’s no referee. Brown isn’t the best guy in the world at first aid as he tries to wake the referee up by stomping him. Brown spends too long with the referee and Savage wakes up so he can grab a backslide of all things. Another referee comes in and counts the pin to end this.

Rating: B-. Considering this was in 1989, WOW. You had violence, you had a table spot, you had referee abuse, you had chair shots. What other match prior to ECW do you remember seeing that in (indies notwithstanding)? Good stuff here and Brown could have been a very valuable man if he was 15 years younger. Fun stuff.

Brown goes after the other referee and puts him in the Tree of Woe. Savage makes the save and they brawl some more. A bunch of wrestlers come out and they can’t stop it either.

More Mooney hijinks.

Jim Duggan/Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude/Andre the Giant

It’s in 89 so this isn’t going to be pretty from Andre’s perspective. This is from a Wrestling Challenge taping which would be equal to Superstars today. Andre chokes on Duggan to start which was the majority of his offense at this point. Rude looks odd in blue. A middle rope punch misses and here’s Jake. Andre is tied in the ropes and Rude is used as a battering ram/spear.

The heels take over once Andre is freed. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be an incredibly innovative match. Rude works on a chinlock which Jake seemingly was always in. Rude goes up and is crotched, providing us with by far the funniest moment on this tape. He and Honky had the funniest sells of that spot as anyone ever. Andre comes in and does the crush in the corner spot.

Jake escapes one of them and it’s the hot tag to Duggan, who is in black boots for some reason. Could this be a heel foreshadowing? Nah, only an idiot would do that. I mean what could you do anyway, make him a Canadian sympathizer or something? What a stupid idea. Anyway Duggan gets taken down by Rude and Andre won’t tag back in for some reason. Rude, who enjoys having his head attached, doesn’t argue.

There’s the hip swivel which Hayes doesn’t approve of. Duggan fights back and they collide, putting both guys down. Rude goes to the wrong corner and Jake knocks him back down. Andre chops Duggan down to make sure everything is fair. There’s the hot tag to Jake anyway as Duggan more or less no sells Andre’s chop. Roberts sets for the DDT but Andre breaks it up. Everything breaks down and Duggan whacks Rude in the ribs with the board so Jake can get the pin.

Rating: C-. Not terrible but pretty meh overall. I still like the idea of having two feuds in a single match like this and it usually works pretty well. Not a great match or anything but for a house show, this was fine. A DDT would have pulled things up a little bit because it was the most popular move on the planet at the time.

We get a video on Ted DiBiase and how he got the Million Dollar Belt. He goes to his jeweler in Greenwich, Connecticut where everyone is waiting for him. Ted talks to the owner and says he wants a championship belt designed for him. DiBiase played this gimmick so perfectly that it couldn’t have been done better. We cut to apparently a few weeks later where DiBiase comes by for an update. The belt isn’t ready yet but we can see part of what’s done so far. They have 500 diamonds in it and Dibiase says make it 800. He wants the bands made of solid gold.

He comes back later with a cape (AWESOME) and wants the belt now. It took months to make and here’s the unveiling. DiBiase sells this so well it’s unreal. Yes I’m a huge DiBiase fan if that wasn’t clear. That laugh is still awesome. We cut to the Brother Love Show for the real unveiling. DiBiase saw the belt in the store but no one else did. Love, currently the head of creative in TNA, scared me to death when I was a kid. This takes up a few minutes.

Bret Hart vs. Ted DiBiase

They have over 15 minutes to work with as this is the main event of the tape. This is in Odessa, Texas so DiBiase is kind of the hometown boy. We stop to have DiBiase introduced as the Million Dollar Champion. DiBiase is bare-armed here which is a weird look for him as he usually has the wrist tape. The Canadian hits a Russian on the American for two and Ted is in trouble early.

Oh wait Ted has a skin colored arm band on. Why? DiBiase stalls a bit and walks into a small package for two. Bret pounds away a bit more but misses a charge and Virgil pulls the rope down to send him out to the floor. Ted chokes away and a clothesline gets two. Bret counters a suplex and they slug it out from their knees. Belly to back gets two for DiBiase.

Bret grabs a pair of small packages for two. Time for a chinlock which eats up almost three minutes. Ted goes up but ala Flair is thrown off. Bret wins a slugout and here are the 5 moves of doom. DiBiase avoids a charge and goes Texas on him with a spinning toe hold. Since it’s a spinning toe hold, Bret easily counters and sends him to the floor. A big dive puts Ted down and they fight to a double countout.

Rating: B. Good stuff here but the ending hurt it. The booking was good though as Bret was still in the Hart Foundation and DiBiase was a much bigger star so they couldn’t have Bret go over but they kept him looking strong at the same time. Fun stuff but did you expect anything less with these two and almost 20 minutes?

Sean is locked in a storage closet to get rid of him and end the tape.

Overall Rating: B-. Considering what you have to work with here, and by that I mean a slapped together tape that you sell for like eight bucks, this was fine. The idea of this being the best was forgotten a long time ago. Still though, this is a fun era and if you like this kind of stuff, you’ll like this tape. The Bret vs. Ted match is good and that’s the important part. Good stuff.

 

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2 comments

  1. Match isn’t great or anything, not even one of Bret’s finest matches but still pretty decent.

    [Reply]

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