On This Day – July 29, 1989: Saturday Night’s Main Event #22: The End Of AN Era

Saturday Nights Main Event 22
Date: July 29, 1989
Location: Worchester Centrum, Worchester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

This show is kind of a mess on paper. It has Hogan vs. Honky and the Brain Busters vs. Demolition so the card isn’t that bad, but at the same time there’s nothing here that makes me want to watch the show. It doesn’t look bad but this was a weird time for the company as there was no real challenger to Hogan so we were kind of just waiting around on something to happen, which would take about 6 more months. Let’s get to it.

Savage invites us to a barbecue.

Beefcake says he’ll cut Savage’s hair.

Heenan says the Busters will win the titles.

Demolition says the Busters won’t win the titles.

Honky says he’ll win.

Hogan says he’ll win. Epic promos here indeed.

Theme song is played at this point.

Somehow Honky is #1 contender. How in the world did that happen? We see his greatest hits which is of course a collection of guitar shots before they became clichéd.

Honky says he’s great and that he’ll win while using about 89 Elvis lyrics.

Hogan talks about keeping his priorities straight and how he’s going to beat Honky here.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Honky Tonk Man

Even Jesse admits that Hogan is the favorite. You know this is going to be one sided when even he admits to something like that. Honky goes for the guitar shot immediately and of course it doesn’t work. Jimmy goes for Hogan of course and it doesn’t work. That was a big problem I had with WCW Hogan. He and Hart were enemies for years and now they’re best friends?

That just doesn’t work in the slightest. I could watch Honky take atomic drops all day. Jimmy pops Hogan with a guitar to take over for the first time. I’d love to be the guy that made the guitars for wrestling companies. You would be a freaking millionaire.

A guitar and table shop would clean up next door to Titan Towers. Honky hooks a camel clutch that gets him nowhere and Honky is actually in control. The Shake Rattle and Roll connects and Honky dances. Hogan Hulks Up after two and you know the ending. Hogan even throws in a guitar shot and the referee doesn’t seem to care. Hogan’s posing actually goes through a commercial. Wow indeed.

Rating: D. This is your standard Hogan match from this era as Hogan completely dominated. Honky was about a year removed from meaning anything at all here though so it’s not like this really meant much. To be fair though, this was just to get him on TV which worked fine. Match was horrible though.

Ronnie Garvin comes down to be referee for the next match so we see Garvin losing a retirement match to Valentine. This was a long angle that went nowhere and sucked completely. Ah never mind that was just Garvin in general. We get a long video of Garvin being a referee and beating people up. If Garvin does it again he gets suspended.

Greg Valentine vs. Jimmy Snuka

I smell and angle match. Actually I see it as there’s no real smelling aspect to this match but you get the point. It’s a bad sign when I have to explain my own jokes isn’t it? Oh never mind they started. Snuka dominated early but Valentine hits him in the head with his shin guard somehow to take over.

tells me this isn’t going to be very long. Valentine won’t let Snuka back in so Garvin shoves Valentine like an idiot. Wait, he is an idiot so there’s no like to it. He his Valentine and Snuka hits a cross body off the top for the pin. At least it was short so I didn’t have to put up with much of him. Any is too much though so take that for what it’s worth.

Rating: F-. Anything involving Ronnie Garvin is a failure and that’s all there is to it.

We recap Savage vs. Beefcake which started when Savage jumped him on the Brother Love Show.

Savage says he was defending his woman and that he’s doing this to get Hogan’s attention. The main event of Summerslam was Savage and Zeus vs. Hogan and Beefcake so there’s your noticing. Savage says he has a surprise which I’d bet on being tall, bald, black and horrible in the ring.

Brutus says something weird about hair which makes me want to get to the match.

Randy Savage vs. Brutus Beefcake

Was there ever any more awesome music for such a bad wrestler as Brutus’? Brutus has the big hedge clippers of course, which I’ve always wondered what kind of barber would use. OH! Hey I got a joke. Sweet and it only took me 21 years. Dang I feel old now. The bell rings while Savage is in the air after Brutus throws him over the top.

Beefcake hits a standing double axehandle to the head which looked a lot better than it likely was I’m assuming. Ah there we go: Savage is….losing before I can finish typing that. Beefcake was actually becoming decent by this point which is weird to type. There’s the high knee which was one of his finishers at the time but it gets two only.

There’s another one so you can tell he’s running out of offense already. Sherri blasts him in the head with her shoe as he’s in trouble already but she likes hurting people I guess. If that’s the case why not just look at him? This is about as standard of an 80s match as you can ask for.

She takes her stocking off to choke Brutus as Jesse says Liz wouldn’t disrobe at ringside to help, which is odd since Jesse was the referee for that match. Sherri interferes for about the 9th time in 5 minutes and finally gets knocked out by a miscue from Savage. I love the bump Savage takes when he goes over the top to the floor. It’s downright elegant.

Savage sends Sherri to the back to get Zeus. Even Jesse knows what’s going on so you know it’s not that hard to figure out. Beefcake gets the sleeper but Zeus comes in for the DQ. Hogan pounds on Zeus and it doesn’t work. Hogan can’t hurt him and the heels are winning. This might be the end of civilization. Beefcake rakes his eyes and we have a weak spot. Hogan cracks Zeus with a chair and it does nothing. The heels leave but don’t run if that makes sense.

Rating: D+. Not much here as this was all about the angle rather than the match. This was built as more or less the main event of the show if that tells you anything. It wasn’t bad or anything but it’s certainly just them going through the motions to set up the angle where Hogan can’t hurt him at all. This is really basic booking but it works quite well.

Savage, Sherri and Zeus gloat.

Tag Titles: Brainbusters vs. Demolition

So last SNME there was a solid match where the Busters had Demolition in trouble but Demolition got disqualified, intentionally or not is up for debate. Demolition says they’ll demolish them. They’ve held the belts since Mania 4 so it’s been a LONG time, actually the longest reign with the belts ever. This is 2/3 falls mind you. Tully and Axe start us off. I never felt comfortable with the Horsemen in WWF. It just didn’t feel right at all.

It’s ALL Demolition to start which should tell you something. Smash grabs a boot coming down at him which is something straight out of an 80s action movie. Smash apparently has an injured knee. Uh, sure. They just kind of said it was injured and then it isn’t anymore. Ok then. Anderson hits the spinebuster which doesn’t have a name yet. Smash gets a hot shot on Arn for a pin to get the first fall. That came a bit out of nowhere.

After a break it’s time for the second fall. There was no rest though as the perk of SNME was that since it was taped there was no wrestling during the break. As in it would pick up right where it was left off. We get a lot of double teaming on both sides and it gives the heels the advantage. A horrible camel clutch does nothing of note. In the middle of the insanity, Andre comes down and does nothing and Demolition is disqualified for double teaming to tie us up. This is a mess to put it mildly.

Now if Demolition is DQ’ed or counted out here, the titles don’t change hands. The heels do the old British Bulldogs move of ramming one guy’s head into his own partners’ which works well here. Axe takes over again but in a stupid looking moment he hits an atomic drop and rams his head into Arn’s. Both get hot tags though and this needs to end. It’s ANOTHER big mess but Andre throws in a chair for Tully which gets the pin and the titles to end the nearly year and a half reign with the titles for Demolition.

Rating: D. WOW this was a mess. It’s not particularly bad, but we get it: THEY CAN BRAWL. There’s far more brawling in this than wrestling which is rare for this era. The match could have worked as it’s not like the Brainbusters couldn’t wrestle or something like that. This was just a mess the whole time and it didn’t do it for me.

The Heenan Family celebrates and Arn cuts a (of course) great promo saying how they were told they couldn’t do it.

Brutus and Hogan say Zeus is awesome but they’ll be fine. Oh and they want to protect Liz.

And that’s it.

Overall Rating: D. This was just not working for me at all. It’s mainly about Summerslam 89’s main event, but I didn’t like that match so there we are. This didn’t do it for me as it was just a mess all night. There was no direction for the company at the time and they were actually in real financial trouble to the point where they were on the verge of going under. Then Vince had this idea of Hogan vs. Warrior. They weren’t in trouble for long after that. Anyway, the show sucked, avoid it.

 

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