On This Day: March 11, 1989 – Saturday Night’s Main Event #20: The Mega Powers Fuse Is Lit

Saturday Nights Main Event 20
Date: March 11, 1989
Location: Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

We close it out with this. This would be the go home show for Mania 5. The Mega Powers have officially split and tonight Liz has to pick one of them. I feel like I’m on Springer or something. We also have Hogan vs. Bad News Brown which is kind of a controversial match as it more or less caused Brown to realize he was never going to be a main event guy. He wound up leaving a year and a half later but this was kind of the first straw. Other than that we have nothing of note, so let’s get to it.

We recap the Mega Powers breaking up about a month or so ago and the show is titled the Decision of a Lifetime.

Jesse sort of takes over the intro and sends us to Gene which makes Vince upset.

Bobby says he wants to get rid of Beefcake to protect the image of Rude.

Beefcake threatens to cut Rude’s hair.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Rick Rude

This is like the dream match of the 80s midcard. I mean think about it: these two were the guys that were always dominating either side of the midcard and yet they never got a huge feud together which is a shame. Rude has Warrior’s face on his tights, which I guess means the feud hadn’t started yet since Jesse isn’t sure why it’s there. Beefcake gets the sleeper early but lets it go for no apparent reason. I guess you can chalk it up to a lack of intelligence.

Ok so apparently Rude vs. Warrior is already set. Rude takes over for a little while and here comes Andre, perhaps looking for a hot sandwich or maybe a side of beef. I love Rude’s overselling of atomic drops. Andre gets Brutus on the floor and chokes him. Cue Jake for the run-in and the natural DQ. John Studd, who would ultimately referee Andre vs. Roberts, makes the save.

Rating: D+. This never really went anywhere as it just couldn’t get off the ground. The whole run in ending didn’t help this either. There was no real structure and definitely no story going on in it. I really would have liked to see a long program from these guys but alas it never happened.

Hogan says he’ll win.

Brown says Hogan needs to worry about Savage. There’s also a hint of Liz sleeping with Tunney for helping Savage. That went nowhere.

Hogan says stuff about Savage.

Hulk Hogan vs. Bad News Brown

Liz is with Hogan. The arena is weird looking as there’s no entryway but rather what looks like a hockey board that they open up. Brown takes over to start as is the tradition for a lot of Hogan matches. This only lasts a few minutes as I’m amazed at what Brown was back in this era. If he had been around say 8 years later, he would have been pure gold. Hogan goes to the head but it doesn’t work, making me really wonder how many of these stereotypes were unintentional.

Brown accidentally punches the post and this has been pretty one sided so far with Hogan dominating for the most part. Hogan no sells a chair shot and Brown leaves, saying hang on a second. He comes back shortly….with a broom? It goes nowhere and Brown FINALLY takes over with a clothesline. Brown gets a legdrop for two but it’s only kind of a power kickout.

Hogan gets beaten up and then Brown grabs the mic and goes Rock, talking to Hogan and telling him it’s Ghetto Blaster (his finisher, a running enziguri) time which of course misses. Maybe it would have hit if he hadn’t told him that. Hogan hits a high knee to set up the leg drop to end it. Well that’s different. He and Liz pose a lot.

Rating: C+. Not bad at all here. Again, Brown was an AWESOME character and could have been a great heel both here and ten years later. Him vs. Rock or Austin would have sold great and the fact that he was a legit fighter (Bronze medal in judo in the Olympics) would have easily opened the door to MMA if he wanted to go there. Decent little match and different than what you’re used to from Hulk which is a nice change of pace.

Savage wants Liz’s answer.

Ted DiBiase unveils the Million Dollar Belt.

Blazer says he’s going to fly, even from the rafters if he has to. Hokey smoke.

Ted DiBiase vs. Blue Blazer

Blazer is a kind of superhero character played by Owen Hart. Blazer backflips into the ring and DiBiase just drills him with a clothesline. This is more or less DiBiase being his usual awesome self and Blazer trying to get out of the blocks. He manages to land on his feet coming out of a backdrop which was very nice. Cross body gets two and DiBiase is in trouble. In a very quick ending, Blazer is dominating but gets caught in a powerslam for the pin.

Rating: B-. Given that this was less than four minutes long, this was very good. Owen had a knack for fast matches that only went a few minutes and making them awesome. This was a great example of that as in less than four minutes there are two distinct advantages and then an ending which makes sense for the match as Blazer said he would go higher and higher but DiBiase caught him going too high and got the win because of it. And that my friends, is why DiBiase was one of the best ever as far as psychology goes.

Liz comes out for the announcement and cops out by saying she’ll be in both. At first she says no about Hogan so Savage comes out and is a jerk, so of course she says no to him too. Savage’s insanity was just perfect, especially since he could more than back it up in the ring. Hogan comes out and we have the big standoff with Liz in the middle. It’s still an awesome visual to see this showdown. If Savage had held the belt at Mania, the rematch could have drawn MILLIONS.

Quick cameo: Pat Patterson (with BLACK hair) stops Savage from going insane. Well more insane I guess.

Heenan is tired of the Rockers and the Brainbusters are going to win the titles. Odd that the last show was their exit and this is their (TV) debut.

The Rockers, also in their national TV debut, say they’ll steal the show.

Brainbusters vs. Rockers

Slingshot suplex is countered maybe 2 seconds in. This is insanity from the get go. Shawn nips up and catches Arn coming off the top. Just incredibly fast paced stuff here with Shawn and Tully putting on a clinic out there. One of the reasons the Brainbusters were awesome was that they could wrestle absolutely any style from fast to slow to ground to aerial to submission to brawling or whatever. Heenan pulls the top rope down and Shawn goes over so Brain is tossed.

After a break the Busters get a blind tag and Arn drills Jannetty to take over for his team. Marty gets beaten down for a little while but the hot tag to Shawn evens things out all over again. It falls apart and Shawn freaking DIVES over the ropes to get at Arn, throwing punches as he goes down. It’s a double count out but that’s fine as neither team should lose here.

Rating: B. I really liked this and thought about going a bit higher. This was a very fast paced match and a way to show off both of these teams for how awesome they really were. The Rockers would remain awesome for a good while as would the Busters. How did the Rockers never officially win the tag belts? It’s saying a lot that the Harts and other teams were that much better.

We recap Red Rooster turning face with even less people caring somehow. This led to the Brooklyn Brawler joining the Heenan Family in one of the funniest backhanded compliments ever. Heenan picked him to push against Rooster because he could take anyone and make them as good as he made Rooster. In other words, no talent required!

Heenan says Brawler is a bigger and better nobody than Rooster. This was probably a rib somehow but it was great.

Rooster says he’s a somebody. And he’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Red Rooster vs. Brooklyn Brawler

The match starts while we’re in a break and it’s a squash. It’s a minute long and Rooster wins with a small package. I think that’s longer than the “blowoff” of Rooster vs. Heenan at Mania.

Savage is pissed off and says he doesn’t need Liz to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This is a fairly high grade but this was a good show. Four matches and a minute long whatever with some nice build to Mania thrown in. What more can you ask for, including a rather good tag match. This worked all around and is a great way to cap off this series. This was kind of a weird time for the company as Mania 5 kind of sucked but better days were coming. Good way to close this out though.

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  1. The Killjoy says:

    Hm. I think something went wrong here.

    The Killjoy Reply:

    Wait, never mind.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Big long post about Lockdown and Smackdown?