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WWF 1990


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Looking Ahead To A New Decade, Pt. 1:


1989 was, by and large, a year to forget for Vince McMahon’s WWF. Notable happenings were few and far between after the Mega-Powers exploded at WrestleMania, with the biggest of them being the release of “No Holds Barred” and the debacle that followed at SummerSlam. Unfortunately for fans of the WWF, 1990 seems to be starting out the same way as 1989 ended; the Royal Rumble is but two weeks away, and so far, no major matches have been signed.

This isn’t to say that Vince and the boys don’t have any plans ready for the immediate future; the problem may be on the contrary. The booking as of late has shown a feud brewing between World champion HULK HOGAN and newcomer “MR. PERFECT” CURT HENNIG; adding to the mix has been perennial Hogan enemy BOBBY “THE BRAIN” HEENAN, who has been seen with Perfect on TV as of late. However, rumours of the ULTIMATE WARRIOR being penciled-in for the WrestleMania main event slot have been making the rounds of the newsgroups as of late.

The Tag-Team situation is even more complicated. The belts are currently being held by Heenan cohorts ANDRE THE GIANT and HAKU, but the rumours state that McMahon is dead set on having the HART FOUNDATION as Tag champs by the time WrestleMania comes to Toronto, possibly to defend them against THE ROCKERS. The WWF is also looking to reform THE POWERS OF PAIN, and may do so as early as tonight on Prime Time Wrestling.

A surprise for WWF fans is the total absence of RANDY “MACHO KING” SAVAGE in any sort of long-term plans. After having been the main focus of the promotion for a year and a half, Savage has been abruptly dropped from the outlook of the promotion despite signing a one-year contract extension. Don’t worry, though: rumour has it that Savage will be feuded with a young wrestler whom the WWF wants to elevate.

Finally, there are rumblings that the WWF may add a new element to the Royal Rumble match itself. Nobody can elaborate on it, but the rumour is that the WWF wants the Rumble match to actually mean something; what could that mean? I guess we’ll find out…

Edited by Dogbert
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Smarkin’ Out with Andy Williams

WWF Prime Time Wrestling 01/01/1990

- We’re TAPED from Charlotte, NC. Ooh… right in the middle of NWA territory.

- Your hosts are Gorilla and the Body.

- We open the show with The Bolsheviks tramping all Communist-like down to ringside; they’ll be taking on two jobbers named Barry (Horowitz and Hardy). Volkoff and Zukhov force the Barrys to sing the Soviet national anthem, and then attack them from behind in the middle of it. The jobbers get absolutely no offense, which stinks because they might actually be decent at it (unlike our Commie friends here). Volkoff nails Hardy with a second-rope elbow smash for the pin at 3:20. Post-match, the Bolsheviks wrap themselves in the hammer n’ sickle. Garbage, as would be expected. DUD

- A promo video airs for the return of Bob Backlund. One would think that ol’ Bob could still work a decent match only six years after his last appearance in a WWF ring; at least, we hope so, but you know that workrate isn’t exactly a priority in the WWF at this point.

- We’re back, and we head directly to ringside, where Tito Santana is high-fiving his way down to the ring. He’ll face Reno Riggins (what did I just tell you about workrate being irrelevant?). Santana is a house of fire to start, but Riggins gets a lucky punch in and takes over. The match gets pretty crappy around this point, so we’ll just take a brief timeout.

- *Imagine Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy playing here*

- We’re back, and just in time, as Santana is taking control of the match back. A flying bodypress gets two, and Santana finishes with the flying forearm in 5:19. God-awful when Riggins was in control, but the Santana parts bring this up to a DUD.

- We cut to the Prime Time Studio, where Gorilla and Jesse have been joined by Hulk Hogan for his weekly gab-fest. Gorilla wants to deal with the Royal Rumble first, but Jesse interrupts and asks him about Mr. Perfect. Hogan says that Perfect’s ego has made him a pain in the Hulkster’s butt (funny, since I’m sure that’s what a lot of WWF Superstars think of Hogan himself), and that Hulkamania would be running wild on the Flawless One sometime very soon. Gorilla asks the Hulkster about the Royal Rumble, and Hogan drops the bombshell that Jack Tunney denied his request to take part in the Rumble match. Gorilla is shocked, but Hogan says that it has something to do with Tunney’s big announcement later tonight. Hulk poses, and we go to break. That wasn’t one of Hulk’s best interviews, but it still did the job.

- We go straight to ringside upon returning from break, as the match between Bad News Brown and Tim Horner has already begun. Brown beats Horner down in the corner before hitting a powerslam out of the corner. Brown hits a piledriver, and that’s enough to get the pin at 1:04 aired. Post-match, Horner staggers to his feet, but Brown puts him right back down with the Ghetto Blaster. No rating here, as we missed half the match. Thanks a lot, guys.

- Gorilla sends us to the backstage area, where Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by with the Colossal Connection and Bobby Heenan. Okerlund remarks that Heenan doesn’t look at all concerned; an oddity, considering that his team will defend its Tag Titles against the Hart Foundation in the main event. Heenan says that he doesn’t look worried because he isn’t at all. Heenan glows over his team, saying that Andre and Haku are the most dangerous tandem the WWF has ever seen, and that there was nothing that the Harts could’ve done while training in the basement of their igloo up in Canada that could prepare them for what they’d be facing in the ring tonight… but just in case, he’d be bringing an insurance policy down to ringside, and let’s see the Harts deal with that. Gee, I wonder who that could be?

- Mean Gene sends us right back to ringside, where Jake “The Snake” Roberts is lugging Damien down the aisle. He’ll be facing “Iron” Mike Sharpe, who looks less than thrilled to be in the company of Roberts’ python. They tie up, and Roberts out-muscles Sharpe before brawling with him. He goes for a quick DDT, but Sharpe slides out to ringside. Back in the ring, and Roberts works Sharpe over with a succession of slams and suplexes. Roberts signals for the end, and goes to fetch Damien. Jake lets the python out of the bag; Sharpe, in turn, takes one look at it and bolts out of the ring to the backstage area. Roberts wins by count-out in 4:42. Crappy ending brings it down to a ¼*.

- We cut backstage, where Mean Gene is joined by Ted DiBiase. DiBiase cackles with glee at Hogan’s omission from the Royal Rumble, which makes Okerlund wonder if the Million-Dollar Man bought Jack Tunney off. DiBiase denies the accusation, but admits that he did buy something from Tunney: the big announcement that Tunney will make later today has already been told to the Million-Dollar Man, and DiBiase agrees that it will shake the WWF to its very foundations. In a related note, DiBiase would like to make his own announcement: he’ll be throwing his Armani hat into the ring in two weeks’ time at the Rumble, and without Hogan to hold him back, DiBiase guarantees a win. The Million-Dollar Man laughs fiendishly as we go to break.

- Gorilla sends us to ringside, where Dusty Rhodes is set to face Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Ooh… old-school city. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron right away, and Dusty goes to clock him, allowing Valentine to get the Dream from behind. You’d think he wouldn’t fall for that after so many years in the ring, and you’d be wrong. Dusty fights back with bionic elbows, knocking Valentine over the top rope and out. After a quick pep talk with the Mouth, Valentine heads back in; he and Rhodes do a test of strength, and the Hammer hits a quick knee to the gut to take over. A lot of bad brawling ensues, and Valentine tries to slap on the figure-four, but Dusty reverses it and takes over. Dusty hits a few elbows and calls for the end, bringing Hart back up on the apron. Dusty elbows Hart down off the apron, but turns around into a Valentine small-package for the pin in 9:39. Let’s face it, folks: Rhodes is little more than a fat guy with a recognizable name at this point, and the Hammer isn’t the type of worker who can carry him to anything watchable. DUD

- We cut back to the Studio, where Gorilla and Jesse have welcomed WWF President Jack Tunney as their special guest. Gorilla says that there’s no sense in wasting any more time, and Jesse concurs, asking Tunney to tell the world his major announcement. Tunney says that this year’s Royal Rumble event will be the third one; however, a change has been made for this year. 1990 will be the first year that the Rumble match will actually count for something, because from now on, the winner of the Rumble will go on to face the World Wrestling Federation Champion in the main event at WrestleMania! Gorilla says that this means that any one of thirty men could face Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania. Well… I like it. This is going to give the WWF an opportunity to push anyone they want to the moon.

- It’s time for the main event! The Hart Foundation are the first ones out of the back, and they get a huge reaction from the crowd. The Colossal Connection, on the other hand, get booed out of the building. Heenan tells them to stop halfway down the ramp, though, and motions towards the entranceway… and Mr. Perfect walks out. Heenan laughs, but the Harts look less than enthused… I smell a clusterfuck coming on. We’ve gotta take one last commercial break.

- We come back to ringside, and Andre the Giant is stomping on Jim Neidhart. Andre slowly… beats… Neidhart… down, then tags out to Haku, who does the same headbutt-punch-chop combos that Andre was doing, albeit at a faster pace. Haku tags Andre back in, and the Connection double-teams Neidhart for a while (and yes, it’s just as exciting as it sounds). Neidhart fights back and tags the Hitman in, but Heenan distracts the ref, and Neidhart gets thrown to the amazingly slow wolves once again. Andre tries to cover Neidhart, but the Anvil gets a shoulder up at two, and Andre is livid at the ref. Andre begins to argue with the referee, but is attacked from behind by Neidhart and gets tangled in the ropes. Bret gets tagged in for real this time, and he’s a house of fire, raining shots down upon a prone Andre. Haku tries to attack from behind, but the Hitman intercepts him and hits a backbreaker. Mr. Perfect gets into the ring to distract the referee, and Neidhart goes to intercept him, which ends up in a convoluted charge spot and a ref bump. Heenan gets Andre out of the ropes and directs traffic as the three heels beat down on the Harts… until Hulk Hogan comes charging down to ringside! Hogan’s a house of fire, and he slugs away at all three Heenan charges. Hogan tosses Perfect and Andre, leaving Haku in the ring with both Harts and a recovering referee; one Hart Attack later, we’ve got new champions in 13:09 aired. The Harts celebrate with Hogan in the ring, as the Heenan Family hauls ass backstage. Not a good match, but I wasn’t expecting Flair/Steamboat, nor was I expecting the Connection to drop the belts so soon after winning them. *1/4

- Overall: This was not the show for you if you’re a workrate fan, as the peak match was a *1/4. However, it was an important episode of Prime Time to catch, in that we saw a lot of important storyline development happening; we know that the main event of WrestleMania will be set in stone at the Rumble, which is going to jack the buyrate of that event up a couple of notches. Even then, I wish that the WWF would give us a decent TV match once in a while, just for shits and giggles. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.

Edited by Dogbert
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Ah, it's refreshing to see another old-school diary. Overall I liked your first show. It was full of the jobber squashes that was par for the course in 1990 and your writing style is quite good. Tunney's big announcement wasn't really all that shocking, but considering Rumbles (the actual Rumble match) 90-91 did nothing to really advance storylines, it's a welcome change.

I only have a couple of nitpicks about the show. First off, I don't really like the Harts taking the belts from the CC. Now don't get me wrong, the Harts were a great team and over at the time, but Demolition was the major face team of the time as shown by them main eventing the last PPV (Survivor Series 89) and they had the belts stolen by the CC at the last SNME of 89 (at least I think it was the last SNME). I'm not saying the Harts are a bad choice, but they weren't the best choice at the time.

Dusty and the Hammer get a DUD rating? I know they were both on the decline then, but ouch. And FYI, the Powers of Pain were still together in January 90, they didn't split until shortly before Wrestlemania VI.

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WWF Wrestling Challenge Report

by Burke Higgins – 01/06/1990

- We’re TAPED from the Manhattan Center in New York City.

- Your hosts are Fat Tony and Vinnie Mac.

- We open the show with Al Perez and Karl Wallace standing in the ring. I smell a squash coming on. Their opponents, The Rockers, make their way down to ringside, as Vince suggests that the young rookies may be looking to make a run at the Hart Foundation’s tag belts sometime soon. I’d like to see that match. Anyways, Wallace overpowers Michaels to start, but the Rockers’ team speed soon overwhelms the jobber team. Double crescent kicks to the jobbers’ chins sets up a Rocker Launcher for two, and Jannetty hits a quick Rocker Dropper on Perez for the pin in 3:42. About as good as you can expect from a jobber match. *1/4

- Tony sends us to a taped interview that Gorilla Monsoon has conducted with the Ultimate Warrior. Oh, goody… I was just thinking that I haven’t listened to enough insane rambling lately. Warrior yells and rambles and generally says nothing that I can understand. Warrior says that he has entered the Royal Rumble, and that he will win… at least, I think that’s what he’s talking about. Gorilla thanks him for the interview, although I’m sure he actually fears for his life. How did this guy get so goddamned over?

- We cut back to Tony and Vince, to find that Koko B. Ware has ambled down to ringside. He’ll face the Brooklyn Brawler. Usually, this is around the time where I change the channel, but I’m going to tough it out for you guys (I expect big-time fan mail this week). Essentially, what we have here is five minutes of bad brawling. I want to sugarcoat it; I really do. Koko hits a powerslam/running kneedrop combination for the pin in 5:15. Bleh. ¼*

- We come back from a commercial break to find that Tony and Vince have been joined at the table by Randy “Macho King” Savage. Savage explains that he had been on his royal holiday with Queen Sherri (“… to England, France, Canada… you know, European places like that.”), but affirms that he’s back in the WWF now and for a long time to come. Savage says that the 1990s are going to be a decade of Madness, and that he’d start his run back to the pinnacle of the WWF by winning the Royal Rumble, which he is officially entering as of right now. Well, that makes two big-name entries tonight. Savage invites himself to stick around and do commentary for the next match.

- The camera pans over to the ring, where Tim Horner is waiting for his opponent. The trademark evil laugh signals the arrival of Ted DiBiase, who is flanked by Virgil. DiBiase offers a child at ringside a handful of bills, and then pulls it away, drawing big-time heat from everyone but Savage. DiBiase cheap-shots Horner off of a tie-up, and then begins to wear him down with mat-wrestling techniques. DiBiase beats Horner in the corner (:P) before showing off to the fans. Horner stuns DiBiase with a quick elbow, then tries a Thesz press, but DiBiase reverses into a spinebuster, and it’s lights out for Horner; DiBiase locks in the Dream, and it’s over in 4:11. DiBiase takes some bills from Virgil, and stuffs them in Horner’s mouth as we go to break. *1/2

- We’re back, and we head straight to ringside for another match. Bobby Heenan leads his Powers of Pain to ringside first, as McMahon explains that Heenan bought the two from their previous managers in order to reunite the team. The Bushwhackers are their opponents on the evening, and the crowd goes nuts for them. Sigh… they suck, but they’re over, which means we have to sit through their awful matches week after week. Bad Brawling (©) starts us off, and the ‘Whackers aren’t selling for any of the Powers’ offense. Warlord is completely blown up a few minutes into this crapfest. Powerslam on Butch, but he kicks out before the ref can even make a count. Come ON, at least give the man a one-count instead of totally burying him! This continues for a while more, and then the ‘Whackers start coming back with their pitiful offense. They set up for the Battering Ram on the Warlord, but Heenan’s on the apron, so Butch stupidly chases him out and gets the Kick of Death from the Barbarian on the floor. Luke’s distracted, and the Warlord locks in the Full Nelson for the submission win in 11:07 of my life that I’ll never get back again. -**, and I really hope that the Powers can do better with teams that aren’t the Bushwhackers, or else I don’t see the point of re-pushing the team.

- Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by backstage, and Bobby Heenan joins him after a minute. Okerlund says that the win by the Powers of Pain must dull the pain that Heenan must be feeling after his Colossal Connection lost the Tag Team Titles on the last edition of Prime Time; Heenan said that there was no pain to be dulled, because he and the Family know that once they get the chance, Andre and Haku will be taking the belts back from the Harts. Heenan says that his problem is with Hulk Hogan, and blames the Hulkster for the loss on Monday night. That’s okay, though, because Heenan’s going to get his revenge in eight days’ time: he went into Jack Tunney’s office on Tuesday morning, and after screaming and yelling for half an hour in that old goof’s face, he got what he wanted. At the Rumble, Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation will be teaming up to face Mr. Perfect and the Colossal Connection! Okerlund goes nuts as we go to break. That’s huge news for the WWF, as lots of people would buy the Rumble just to see that.

- It’s main event time! We’re gonna have another tag match here, and the first team to make their way to ringside is that of the Young Stallions, high-fiving fans all the way. Their opponents will be the team of Dino Bravo and Earthquake, flanked by Jimmy Hart. I smell shenanigans a-coming. Bravo poses it out with Roma to start, and gets distracted when the fans cheer louder for Pretty Paul, allowing Roma to take over. Roma dominates the veteran Bravo, and Earthquake is intercepted by Powers when he tries to interfere; the whole thing ends in the heels being dumped to ringside, and they regroup with Hart. Bravo gets back into the ring, cheap-shots Powers on a tie-up, and takes over. The heels take turns tagging in and pounding on Powers, and then Quake hits the chinlock. Powers fights out of the hold and hits a few clotheslines, but Earthquake won’t go down, and Powers is powerslammed. Bravo tags in and sets up for the side suplex, but Powers elbows out and tags Roma. Roma’s a house of fire, but he allows himself to be distracted by Jimmy Hart, and Bravo is able to hit the side suplex. Quake tags in and gets the sitdown splash for the pin in 8:52. Formulaic and not much fun. ¾*

- Overall: The show revolved around the major announcements made in the interviews, which did well to set up the Rumble PPV. Unfortunately, the actual wrestling that they put out there to waste time in between announcements was god-awful. Thumbs down.

Edited by Dogbert
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This is going pretty well, I'm a fan of your previous diaries (WCW '95 and '96) and I'm glad you're writing once again. These shows have been pretty good, And realistic for the time. Especially with all the squash matches. I also didn't like the Hart Foundation getting the titles from CC, As I hoped Demolition would get them. Though, This could lead to a Demolition heel turn. Royal Rumble looks good with the Rumble match and the six men tag match, I'm also glad you're not throwing a bunch of matches for the PPV right away just because you don't really have time to hype up the PPV. Looking forward to seeing more of this. Oh yeah, Push Rick Martel. (Y)

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The thing I like about your diary is the fact that I can actually picture that as an episode of Wrestling Challenge. The Warrior rambling and Bushwhackers match would want me to make me change the channel myself, so you've got the realism down there. Hewey pretty much said it in a nutshell, just push Rick Martel AND Terry Taylor (well, at least get rid of the Red Rooster gimmick lol).

My only question is who is Fat Tony? Is that Schiavone or some random Italian goomba Vince got off of the streets of Manhattan?

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Smarkin’ Out with Andy Williams

WWF Prime Time Wrestling 01/08/1990

- We’re TAPED from Miami, Florida.

- Your hosts are Gorilla and the Body.

- We go straight to live action, as Tito Santana runs down to ringside. Gorilla mentions that the winner of this match will enter the Rumble last, whereas the loser will enter first; Ventura says that those ramifications are huge, as a loss here likely means the end of that wrestler’s title hopes. The catwalk music hits, and out comes Rick “The Model” Martel, accompanied as usual by his container of Arrogance. The enemies tie up, with Santana getting the upper hand of it; he gets a hammerlock, Martel whips out, and Santana gets a big chop. Martel charges again and gets dumped. On the outside, Martel jaws with the fans, and Santana catches him with a diving cross-body from the apron. Santana gets Martel back in, but the Model takes over the offense. Martel beats Santana down in the corner, and then hits a picture-perfect dropkick before slapping on an STF. Santana makes the ropes, and Martel hits several knees to Tito’s back. Tito gets his second wind and slugs away, but gets powerslammed on a blind charge for two. Martel with a suplex for two, and then we hit the abdominal stretch. Santana tries to power out of the hold, but Martel gets a knee to the gut. Martel says it’s over and tries a Quebec Crab, but Santana reverses to a rollup for two. Santana brawls with Martel, and then gets a back-bodydrop. Santana tries for the forearm, but he misses and knocks out the referee. Martel whiffs on a lariat, and Santana hits a pretty-looking side suplex near the corner. Santana calls for the end and revs up the crowd, but Martel grabs the Arrogance out of the corner. Santana charges, but Martel spritzes the cologne into his face, and Santana hits the turnbuckle hard. Santana’s out cold, Martel slaps on the Quebec Crab, and the referee rings the bell at 13:06… and disqualifies Martel, because he saw the Model use the Arrogance. Martel goes absolutely ballistic, screaming at the referee, but he raises the still-out-cold Santana’s arm. There’s your best WWF TV match in a long time… and it’s still only ***. Could’ve been better, but it just seemed off.

- We cut backstage to Sean Mooney, who’s standing by with Slick and the Twin Towers. Mooney asks Slick what his plans are for the Royal Rumble, and Slick announces that he has entered both of his charges into the match. He won’t give us any details, but he’s got a plan for when Akeem and the Bossman are the final two in the match. Mooney asks about the Tag Titles, and Slick says that he likes their chances better against the Hart Foundation than against his buddies in the Heenan Family, and to rest assured that after the Rumble is done, his men would be going after the belts. Yay.

- Back to the ring, and Bobby Heenan is leading Mr. Perfect to ringside to compete in what Ventura calls a “warm-up match.” Indeed, it looks that way, since his opponent is Barry Horowitz. They tie up, and Perfect controls off the start. We go into a mat-wrestling sequence, which Perfect breaks up with an elbow to the back of the head (major heat there). Perfect wears Horowitz down with a few assorted holds, but gets lazy on a headlock, leaving himself open for a Horowitz side suplex. Horowitz is a house of fire, nailing several fine-looking clotheslines. Hell, the man can work; maybe they should push him a little bit? Horowitz slams him and heads up top, but Perfect side-steps a cross-body. Perfect’s angry now, and he beats Horowitz down in the corner, but Horowitz fires back with a few lefts of his own. Horowitz with a suplex that Perfect over-sells, and the crowd’s feeling it. Horowitz goes for a back-bodydrop, but Perfect snares him and nails the Perfectplex for the win in 7:28. Post-match, Perfect takes out his frustrations on Horowitz until Hulk Hogan runs down to ringside and clears the ring. Hogan raises Horowitz’s arm. Better than it had any right to be. **1/4

- We cut to the Studio, where Gorilla and Ventura have been joined by the Rockers. Gorilla comments that Shawn and Marty have qualified for the Royal Rumble by virtue of their win last Saturday on Challenge, but before either one of them can further comment, Ventura chimes in with his opinion that they should’ve had to beat a better team than that to qualify. Marty says that, although Ventura has his own opinion on this, there is no such thing as an easy win in the WWF, and that all he and Shawn were thinking about was heading to WrestleMania. Shawn says that one of them would be walking out of Mania with the WWF Title around their waists, but that the other would also have gold, because the Rockers will be Tag champs by then. The Rockers would like to announce that they’re going to beat the rest of the tag division to the punch and formally challenge the Hart Foundation to a match for their Tag Team Titles at February’s edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event! Gorilla loves it, and we need to go to break.

- We’re back, and Al Perez is in the ring. You’d think that they’d think twice about putting him back in there after his abysmal selling in the Rockers match, and you’d be wrong. Oh, good, it’s only Hercules that they’ve booked him against; that way, he can’t ruin anyone good. I’ll tell you right away that this is an awful match; Hercules gets all the offense (which isn’t good to begin with), and Perez no-sells everything but the Full Nelson that Herc uses to win the thing in 2:14. Disgusting. -*

- We’re backstage with Mean Gene Okerlund, and he’s joined by Jimmy Hart and the Fabulous Rougeaus. Okerlund goes to ask a question, but he’s cut off angrily by Hart, who has just come out of a meeting with Jack Tunney; Hart says that Tunney wouldn’t let Jacques and Raymond into the Rumble because they haven’t done anything lately to deserve a spot. Okerlund then asks them what their plans for the Rumble are, and the Mouth says that they’re prepared to make a big impact at the Rumble, and that they’ll be challenging someone to a match. Hart admits that he hasn’t thought about who they could challenge… and then blurts out the name “Demolition” suddenly. Jacques and Raymond look at Hart as if he’d lost his mind, but Hart says that the brothers were formally challenging Demolition to a match at the Rumble. Hart calls his charges away, but they just stand there, dumbfounded. Funny stuff.

- Back in the ring, and Ted DiBiase leads Virgil down to ringside. Well, I sure hope they’ve given him an opponent that can carry him… oh, fuck, it’s “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Duggan uses his stupid uninspired brawling offense to start, but then DiBiase cheats, and Virgil uses his own stupid uninspired brawling offense. Kill me now. Virgil botches a fallaway slam and Duggan lands on top of him, but he STILL SELLS THE MOVE. Could it get any worse? Oh, wait, yes it can; here’s the chinlock of doom. Duggan fights out, DiBiase gets onto the apron, convoluted spot has Virgil running into DiBiase, and Duggan rolls him up for the pin in 9:43. Yes, they gave it 10 minutes. Brutal, brutal match. -*

- We see another video for Bob Backlund’s return. He’ll be debuting in the Rumble. Let me get this straight: the Rougeaus can’t be in the match because they haven’t earned it, yet Backlund hasn’t been in the promotion for six years and he gets a spot right away? Okay…

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME (part I)! Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake meanders down to ringside with hedge-clippers in hand, to a tremendous pop. That pop turns to major heel heat, however, when “Pomp and Circumstance” hits and Randy “Macho King” Savage hits ringside, flanked by Queen Sherri. Beefcake shoves Savage into the corner off the tie-up, and the Macho King begs off; Beefcake falls for it, and Savage pops him one. Savage brawls with Beefcake, but Beefcake reverses the momentum and dumps Savage to ringside. Savage uses Sherri as a shield, then sucker-clotheslines Beefcake. Beefcake reverses a whip to the guardrail, then tosses Savage back in. Beefcake locks in the sleeper, but Savage drops into a jawbreaker and takes over. Savage with an axehandle, and he stomps away. Savage with a few knees near the ropes, and we hit the Abdominal Stretch of Severe Annoyance. Savage covers for two, and then brawls with Beefcake in the corner. Beefcake fights back, but gets backdropped off of a charge. Savage up top, but Beefcake reverses the axehandle attempt and calls for the end. Sherri’s on the apron, but Beefcake slugs her off. Beefcake motions that he’s going to cut Savage’s hair, but the camera catches none other than The Genius charging to ringside. Genius grabs Beefcake’s hedge clippers and backpedals back up the ramp, distracting Beefcake. Beefcake turns around in time to catch a Savage kick to the gut, and the Macho King finishes it with a piledriver in 12:57. Savage collects his fallen belle as the announcers wonder what the link is between the Genius and the Macho King. Savage mailed this one in, and Beefcake isn’t good enough to carry anyone to a good match. ¾*

- We join Sean Mooney backstage, and he’s going to interview the Hart Foundation. Did I mention that I love Neidhart’s laugh? Well, I do. Bret talks smack about the Heenan Family, calling them “a perfect example of scum.” Rim shot. Come the Rumble, Perfect and the Connection can consider themselves excellently executed, courtesy the Hitman and the Anvil. As far as the Rockers are concerned, Anvil says that the champs accept the challenge, and will see Shawn and Marty at SNME. That oughta be a classic.

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME (part II)! The Honky Tonk Man swivels his way to ringside, flanked by Jimmy Hart. Let’s see if he can last longer than he did at SummerSlam a few years back against the Ultimate Warrior, who comes charging out of the gate as he usually does. It’s squash city, as Honky gets distracted by the “Elvis” chants, and Warrior decapitates him with a lariat. Warrior press-slams the limp Honky and covers for the win in 0:20. Warrior poses to end the show. I gave the SS88 match *1/2, and Honky lasted about half as long tonight, so we’ll say it’s ¾*.

- Overall: They gave us two of the best TV matches in a long time, but they were only *** and **1/4 respectively, which doesn’t make up for a show’s worth of crap. Thumbs down.

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WWF Wrestling Challenge Report

by Burke Higgins – 01/13/1990

- We’re TAPED from the Manhattan Center.

- Your hosts are Fat Tony and Vinnie Mac.

- We go straight to ringside, where the Brooklyn Brawler is standing in the ring, awaiting the latest beatdown. This will be administered to him by “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin, who is about 10 years past his prime. Joy. Garvin gets the upper hand of some brawling, so I guess he figured he’d be better off continuing to do that; he does, and it’s about as exciting as you’d think. After five minute of this, Garvin slaps on a figure-four, and that’s all she wrote in 5:25. Retirement would look good on ol’ Stone-Hands here. DUD

- We go backstage to Mean Gene Okerlund, who’s joined by Demolition. Okerlund asks the Demos if they will choose to accept the challenge made to them by Jimmy Hart and the Rougeaus; Ax, after asking what kind of a stupid question that is, says that not only have they accepted the challenge, but that they talked to Jack Tunney about adding a stipulation to the match. The winning team will now be added to the Rumble match. Makes sense. Smash threatens the Quebec-based brothers’ miserable little lives to end the interview.

- We cut back to ringside, where Tim Horner is standing in the ring. That’s usually a sign of an average match, since Horner’s been declining for years. The rumblin’ jam hits, and Earthquake stomps down to ringside, flanked by Jimmy Hart. If I was Horner, I’d be running for the hills. Horner’s not that smart, though, and his night goes downhill quick. Quake manhandles him, hitting a legdrop and an avalanche to kill Horner dead in 1:43. Postmatch, Quake tosses the referee and delivers the sitdown splash as we go to break. * for the after-match antics.

- We’re back, and the team of the Red Rooster and Barry Horowitz is in the ring to continue the squash-fest. Goody. Next out are the Colossal Connection, to compete in a warm-up match for tomorrow night; Vince doesn’t like the timing, as a good showing from their opponents may weaken the Connection for their match tomorrow night. Like that’s gonna happen. Both the Rooster and Horowitz attack Andre to start, but he fends off both of them. The Connection beats down on Horowitz in the corner, including a spot where Andre uses the tag rope to choke Barry out as Haku stomps him. That was… cool. Haku finally makes a mistake and telegraphs a clothesline, and Horowitz tags out to the Rooster. The Rooster charges at Haku… and gets caught with a REALLY FUCKING STIFF thrust kick. I don’t know how Taylor’s still conscious after that one. Haku gets the pin in 3:42. ¼* for the tag rope thing, plus * for the thrust kick… let’s see… that gives us *1/4 in total, which ties the Hart match for the best one Andre’s had in a while.

- We cut backstage, where Jesse Ventura is standing by with his good buddy Rick Rude. Jesse says that he’s proud to be here to help Rude make a big announcement, and Rude says that it’s an announcement that will shake 29 other wrestlers to their very cores; Rude is entering the Royal Rumble. Ventura says that since he knew about it beforehand, he was the first to be able to put money on Rude winning the match; Rude says that after he wins the Rumble and gets his WrestleMania title shot, he and Ventura can take that money and make Orlando their own. Ventura sends it back up to Tony, who wonders why they let the Body do any interviews. Funny stuff.

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME! Sorry about that, Andy, but I like it. The Superfly music hits, and Jimmy Snuka walks to ringside to a big pop from the crowd. Gotta hand it to him; no major angles in half a decade and he’s still over. His opponent for the evening is Bad News Brown, who was better off in Stampede. Snuka and Brown slug it out to start, and Snuka takes over with chops, knocking Brown to the outside. Bad News takes a breather, and Snuka climbs to the top and hits a plancha. Snuka charges, but Brown moves, and the Superfly’s face meets the ring post. Brown tosses Snuka back in and stiffs him a few times with fists, then starts throwing elbows. Snuka reverses a whip and hits a cross-body, but Brown rolls over for two. Brown with a backslide for two, and he brawls with Snuka. Brown flubs a lariat, and Snuka nails an atomic drop before putting Brown down with a dropkick. Snuka heads up top, while Brown sneaks a pair of brass knuckles out of his tights. Snuka goes for a cross-body, but Brown nails him with the knux… but the ref saw it and disqualifies Brown at 5:10. Snuka is named the winner, but Brown doesn’t like it and tosses the ref over the top rope to the floor; he then does the same to Snuka. Brown makes a belt motion towards his waist as the show ends. That was getting good before they cut it off. **

- Overall: It’s very obvious to me that they didn’t care at all about this show, and who could blame them? There’s a PPV tomorrow, most of the major players are in Florida, all the resources are being poured into the Rumble… so who cares about the jobber show the day before? Not the WWF, obviously, and not me. Thumbs down.

WWF Royal Rumble 1990: Final Card

Royal Rumble Match: Winner goes to the main event of WrestleMania

Bad News Brown, Jimmy Snuka, Earthquake, Ronnie Garvin, the Ultimate Warrior, the Honky Tonk Man, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund, Ted DiBiase, Dino Bravo, the Rockers, the Twin Towers, Tito Santana, Rick Martel, Jake Roberts, the Bolsheviks, the Powers of Pain, Hercules, Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes, Demolition/the Rougeaus, 3 mystery entries

Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation vs. Mr. Perfect and the Colossal Connection

Winners receive spots in the Royal Rumble Match

Demolition vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus

*Just Added*

Brutus Beefcake vs. The Genius

Karl Wallace vs. Barry Horowitz

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I forgot to comment on WWF Prime Time Wrestling 01/08/1990, I liked it, I was upset about Martel losing, But now, He enters as #1 and could last for awhile, That'll get him over in my opinion. I can't wait till The Rockers do go against the Hart Foundation. Should be good stuff. Wrestling Challenge was decent, But like you said, It wasn't meant to be anything good since the PPV is the next day away. I'm assuming we can make our predictions now. Here's mine.

Royal Rumble Match: Winner goes to the main event of WrestleMania

Bad News Brown, Jimmy Snuka, Earthquake, Ronnie Garvin, the Ultimate Warrior, the Honky Tonk Man, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund, Ted DiBiase, Dino Bravo, the Rockers, the Twin Towers, Tito Santana, Rick Martel, Jake Roberts, the Bolsheviks, the Powers of Pain, Hercules, Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes, Demolition/the Rougeaus, 3 mystery entries mystery entrant I don't see Mr. Perfect entered in this, So he'll find a way to enter it and win. I would say Warrior, But he's barely done anything thus far. Rick Rude could win it, But I doubt it. I see Perfect getting pinned by Hogan earlier in the night and then winning the Rumble.

Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation vs. Mr. Perfect and the Colossal Connection

No Way is the Hulkster losing in a six men tag team match. Hogan wins it for his team by pinning the perfect one.

Winners receive spots in the Royal Rumble Match

Demolition vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus

Demolition was just too over at this time to lose to the Rougeaus. Besides, They'd add the hoss power to the Rumble match.

*Just Added*

Brutus Beefcake vs. The Genius

I don't see Hogan's buddy losing to a jobber like the genius.

Karl Wallace vs. Barry Horowitz

Holy jobber match! Oh well, Atleast Horowitz gets the win.

Looks like a good card, With the Rumble match being very hard to predict. Can't wait to read it. (Y)

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The Ringmaster’s Rant: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

by “Ringmaster” Tucker Baumgartner

- We’re LIVE from Orlando, Florida.

- Your hosts are Gorilla and the Body.

- Opening match: Karl Wallace vs. Barry Horowitz. I guess this is what the WWF was reduced to, having tied up 42 wrestlers in the other four matches. Horowitz gets the upper hand in a slugfest, but Wallace hits a quick knee to take over. Wallace with a running elbow, and he knocks Horowitz to ringside. Wallace whips Horowitz into the guardrail and bounces his head off of the announcing table before rolling him back into the ring. Wallace with a top-rope axehandle, and he hits a standing spinebuster for two. Wallace with a slam, and he heads to the second rope, but Horowitz moves out of the way of the kneedrop. Horowitz is a house of fire, and he hits a few armdrags. Horowitz whips Wallace into the corner and charges, but Wallace kills him with a quick elbow. Horowitz is limp, and Wallace destroys him with a SICK powerbomb. Seriously, I haven’t seen a guy get folded in half like that on this side of Japan. Wallace heads up top and hits a senton splash for the merciful three-count in 5:42. It’s not over, though, as Wallace heads right back up and hits the move again. Wallace makes an X with his forearms as referees and EMTs hit the ring. Horowitz does a stretcher job. They should’ve had Wallace work over Horowitz longer, to really put him over. **

- We cut backstage, where Mean Gene Okerlund has been joined by Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation. Hogan says that he did nothing wrong when the Harts won the Tag Titles; all he did was even the score when Heenan and Perfect tried to cheat their way to a win. He says that Heenan is going to regret having asked for this match, and that the combined forces of two of the strongest teams in the world – the Tag Team champions, and the 24-inch pythons – would be making sure that Heenan and his Family would not be heard from anytime soon. Whatcha gonna do? Nothing; he’s got creative control.

- Demolition vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. The winners go into the Rumble Match, as if anyone expects them to win the shot. The Demos live up to their name early on, dominating the smaller team. Smash gets backdropped off of a charge, and the Rougeaus try for the Bombe, but it misses. Smash takes both of the Rougeaus up and over, and the heels regroup with Jimmy Hart on the outside. Jacques enters the ring, and takes control of Smash after a cheapshot to the kidneys. A lot of cheating and treachery ensues, with the Rougeaus double-teaming Smash in the corner. Raymond hits a stun-gun into the turnbuckle for two, and then a backbreaker gets the same result. Raymond beats Smash down in the corner with Jacques’ help. Snap mare out of the corner, and we hit the chinlock. Smash breaks the hold and runs off the ropes, but Ray catches him with a dropkick. Ray lifts Smash in the air for a few rights from Jacques, runs him into Jacques’ boot, then powerslams him for a long two. Ray slams him, and the Canadian duo calls for the end. They go for the Bombe, but it misses again, and Smash tags out. Ax is a house of fire, taking out both Rougeau brothers with right hands and slams before tossing Ray. Hart’s on the apron, and Ax smacks him off of it. He turns around into a small-package from Jacques, but the ref is distracted by Hart. Smash reaches through the ropes and pushes the package over, and the ref turns around to count Jacques down in 10:07. Formulaic, but very good for what it was. The Rougeaus can really work when they want to. ***

- Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. The Genius. This could be painful. Beefcake beats on Genius to start, then almost takes his head off with a clothesline as the announcers play up the spot in the Rumble that Genius cost the Barber. Beefcake slams Genius a couple of times, then drops a big elbow for two. A second-rope splash gets two, and Beefcake says it’s over. Beefcake whips Genius into the ropes, and Genius tries to counter with a jumping clothesline, but takes out the referee. Beefcake slaps on the sleeper, but Randy Savage runs down to ringside, prompting Beefcake to drop Genius and argue with Savage. Savage rages and spikes his crown on the mat, and Genius picks it up. Savage gets off the apron, and Beefcake turns around in time for Genius to clock him with the crown. Genius makes the cover, and the ref recovers to count the three in 7:38. Genius walks off with the Macho King, and Gorilla is now convinced that the two are connected somehow. Gee, no, you think? *1/2

- Backstage, Craig DeGeorge is with Bob Backlund. Backlund says that he’s excited to be competing in his first Royal Rumble, and that it would be great to earn a title shot on his first night back in the WWF. Backlund says that it’s been awhile since he held the WWF Title, and that he’s itching to get it back, no matter who he has to go through. He closes out the interview by saying that it’s good to be back home. Two words come to mind upon watching this, and those are “cookie” and “cutter.”

- Six-man tag match: Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation vs. Mr. Perfect and the Colossal Connection. Hogan starts the match with Andre, which gets a big reaction from the crowd. Hogan no-sells Andre’s headbutts and slugs away at him, knocking him out of the ring. Haku’s in, and Hogan mows through him as well, before tagging out to Neidhart. Neidhart brawls with Haku, and gets the upper hand of it. Neidhart with a press-slam for two. Haku with a thumb to the eyes, and he beats Neidhart down. He tags Andre back in, and the big man hits a few headbutts and a bodyslam before tagging Perfect in. Perfect slugs away and hits a suplex, but gets slugged by the Anvil, who tags Hogan in. Perfect dives to his corner and tags Andre back in, to big heel heat. Andre gets the upper hand on Hogan and slowly… wears… him… down. Andre’s offense consists entirely of punches, chops and bodyslams… oh, wait, there’s a clawhold. My mistake. Hogan fights out of it and tags Bret in. Bret’s a house of fire, and Andre gets tangled in the ropes. Haku and Perfect are in, and it’s a pier-six brawl. Andre gets dumped by the Harts. Heenan’s on the apron, and Hogan stupidly decides to chase after him; he’s followed out by Bret and Haku, which leaves Neidhart and Perfect in the ring. Does anyone else see what’s coming? Neidhart pounds on Perfect, then sends him into the corner, but he telegraphs the avalanche, and Perfect rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for the pin at 11:11. That was very, very underwhelming. With guys like Perfect and the Harts in there, Andre the Immobile gets the majority of the offense? Brutal. *3/4

- We cut backstage to Sean Mooney, who’s with Rowdy Roddy Piper. Piper says that he likes the show so far, although he thought he’d see Hogan gets his hands on “Mr. Prissy.” Zing… I guess. Mooney asks for Piper’s thoughts on the Rumble, and Piper says that the title shot’s going to make this one crazy; everyone will be doing everything it takes to win. Mooney then asks who Piper thinks will win the whole thing, and Piper thinks about it for a second, and then says that there’s only one wrestler in there who can last long enough, wrestle well enough and have enough toughness to outlast everyone else; Mooney asks who that is, and Piper says that his pick is none other than… himself! Well, there’s one of the mystery entrants revealed.

- Main event: Royal Rumble Match. With no Hogan and a very lackluster lineup, I have no idea who’s coming out on top… yeah right, it’s gonna be Warrior. Rick Martel comes out first, but we already knew that much. We wait on pins and needles for the second entrant… and it’s Kerry Von Erich, straight from the USWA. So what, is the WWF actually going to go after some guys who can work now?

Entrant #1: Rick Martel

Entrant #2: Kerry Von Erich

Martel jumps Von Erich and tries to dump him right away, but Von Erich skins the cat and slugs away. Von Erich mauls Martel, hitting a discus punch that Martel does the 360 sell for. Von Erich hits a running clothesline, and he calls for the end. He tries to dump Martel, but the Model holds on until the buzzer goes, and Dino Bravo makes his way to the ring at #3.

Entrant #3: Dino Bravo

Bravo immediately attacks Von Erich, and the Quebec tandem beats on the newcomer in the corner. Von Erich reverses and rains shots down upon both heels, then slams their heads together. Kerry concentrates his efforts on Bravo, hitting a clothesline on the World’s Strongest Man before being intercepted again by Martel, and the Canadians work over Von Erich anew as the buzzer sounds, and Hercules makes his way to the ring.

Entrant #4: Hercules

Hercules goes after Dino Bravo as Von Erich comes back and regains control of Martel. The pairs fight amongst themselves until the buzzer goes, bringing the Honky Tonk Man out to ringside at #5.

Entrant #5: Honky Tonk Man

HTM goes after Hercules right away, helping Bravo beat him down in the corner. Hercules shoves Honky away and charges Bravo, but gets caught in the side-suplex. Bravo gets him up and, with Honky’s help, tosses him. (Elimination #1: Hercules) The two Hart cronies then attack the other pair, beating down on the tired Von Erich and Martel as the buzzer goes, and Dusty Rhodes rambles to the ring at #6.

Entrant #6: Dusty Rhodes

Big Dust goes all bionic on everyone, hitting elbows all around. He beats away on HTM and Martel, but Von Erich nails him with a sweet dropkick. Von Erich continues to pound Rhodes as the Hart cronies jump on Martel in the corner. Von Erich tries to toss Rhodes, but the Dream is just too fat, and he fights Von Erich off. Things stay that way ‘til the buzzer goes, and Ronnie Garvin runs down to the ring.

Entrant #7: Ronnie Garvin

Garvin’s a house of fire, and he rains shots down on everyone. Garvin slams both Honky and Martel down, but he makes the mistake of charging Von Erich and gets dumped. (Elimination #2: Ronnie Garvin) Honky takes several bionic elbows from Rhodes before Bravo knocks Dusty down with a clothesline. We need someone to clear out the deadwood here. The buzzer goes off, and Jake Roberts walks on down to ringside with Damien.

Entrant #8: Jake Roberts

Roberts hits the ring firing, taking both Honky and Von Erich down with short-arm clotheslines. Jake goes off the ropes, and Martel goes for a back-bodydrop, but Jake gets him with the DDT. Rhodes tries to use the ropes to get up, but he’s caught and clotheslined out by Bravo. (Elimination #3: Dusty Rhodes) Bravo begins posing and taunting the Dream, allowing Von Erich to sneak up and toss him. (Elimination #4: Dino Bravo) The remaining wrestlers pair up and tussle until the buzzer goes off, and Bad News Brown makes his way out.

Entrant #9: Bad News Brown

Brown attacks the tired Von Erich, helping Martel beat on him. We do this for a few minutes without much happening, until the buzzer goes off and Boris Zukhov walks down to ringside.

Entrant #10: Boris Zukhov

Jack-all is happening. Von Erich and Zukhov try to toss Honky, but he hangs on until Martel bails him out. It’s a big schmoz until the buzzer goes off, and the Ultimate Warrior runs down. FINALLY.

Entrant #11: The Ultimate Warrior

Warrior hits the ring and goes nuts (rim shot). The first victim is Zukhov, who charges and gets backdropped out. (Elimination #5: Boris Zukhov) Warrior charges Honky and clotheslines him out as well. (Elimination #6: Honky Tonk Man) Von Erich stumbles out of the corner and takes a press-slam from Warrior. Warrior squashes Martel with a clothesline, and then hurts Roberts with a shoulderblock. Warrior presses Martel over his head, and then tosses him out. (Elimination #7: Rick Martel) Brown attacks Warrior from behind, but Warrior gets the upper hand as the buzzer goes, and Earthquake makes his way to ringside.

Entrant #12: Earthquake

Earthquake hits the ring just as Warrior tosses Brown over and out. (Elimination #8: Bad News Brown) Quake and Roberts trade punches as Warrior beats Von Erich down in the corner. Roberts tries to lift Quake, but he’s just too fat; he then goes for the DDT, but Quake counters by lifting him up and throwing him out. (Elimination #9: Jake Roberts) Von Erich charges Quake, but gets the worst of it, and Quake does the sitdown splash. Quake and Warrior do the staredown, and then trade punches. Von Erich joins in, and the faces try to toss Quake as the buzzer sounds, and the Warlord jogs down to the ring.

Entrant #13: The Warlord

Warlord goes right after Von Erich, trying to toss him right away; he can’t, however, and Von Erich fights back. Quake tries to dump Warrior, but Warrior gets a nice kick to Quake’s head, and the two pairs beat on each other until the buzzer goes and Jimmy Snuka runs down to ringside.

Entrant #14: Jimmy Snuka

Snuka rushes Warlord and Von Erich, hitting both with shots to the face. That’s pretty much it, until Rick Rude answers the buzzer next.

Entrant #15: Rick Rude

Rude attacks Warrior right away, rekindling the old feud; meanwhile, Warlord and Von Erich succeed in dumping Snuka. (Elimination #10: Jimmy Snuka) This is getting tedious, as nothing further happens until the buzzer goes, and the Barbarian rambles on to ringside.

Entrant #16: The Barbarian

As his partner enters the ring, Warlord gets caught up in jawing with fans, allowing Von Erich to sneak up and dump him. (Elimination #11: The Warlord) Barbarian, seeing this, walks up and clotheslines Von Erich up and over, avenging his partner. (Elimination #12: Kerry Von Erich) Barbarian targets Warrior, which turns out to be a bad idea, and Warrior beats on him until the buzzer sounds and Smash makes his way to ringside.

Entrant #17: Smash

Smash hits the ring and it’s a big, uneventful schmoz until the buzzer goes off and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine walks on out.

Entrant #18: Greg Valentine

As Valentine enters the ring, Quake was in danger of being ousted by the other four; Valentine’s strength breaks the camel’s back, and Quake is gone. (Elimination #13: Earthquake) Rude hits a snap Rude Awakening on Warrior and poses, as Barbarian and Valentine work over Smash. This continues until the buzzer goes and the second USWA alumnus, Jerry Lawler, makes his way to the ring. Well, there’s all the mysteries accounted for.

Entrant #19: Jerry Lawler

Lawler goes big, slugging away at Warrior to start. Everyone gangs up on Warrior and Smash until the buzzer goes and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper makes his way to the ring, prompting the crowd to erupt.

Entrant #20: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

Piper comes in with shots for all of the heels. Barbarian charges, and Piper pulls the rope down to eliminate him. (Elimination #14: The Barbarian) Warrior gets up before Smash and turns on him, clotheslining him down hard before throwing him up and over. (Elimination #15: Smash) Warrior beats on Valentine and Rude while Piper focuses on Lawler; this continues until the buzzer goes, and Randy Savage runs on down to the ring.

Entrant #21: Randy “Macho King” Savage

Savage enters via the top rope, hitting Valentine with an axehandle. Everyone pairs up and brawls until the buzzer sounds, and Marty Jannetty rocks on down to the ring.

Entrant #22: Marty Jannetty

Jannetty starts out fast, hitting Rocker Droppers on Valentine and Rude. Valentine staggers up, and Lawler tosses him. (Elimination #16: Greg Valentine) Jannetty goes to pry Warrior off of Savage, and Warrior hits a snap elbow, which Jannetty oversells right over the top rope and out. (Elimination #17: Marty Jannetty) Lawler and Savage try to toss Warrior, but it doesn’t work as the buzzer sounds. Oh, look, another heel; it’s Ted DiBiase.

Entrant #23: “Million-Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase

DiBiase joins Savage and Lawler in beating the Warrior down. Piper takes Rude into the corner, and then tries to fight off the other three heels. They turn their attention to him, and start beating Piper down as the buzzer goes off… and it gets even worse, as the Big Bossman is next in line.

Entrant #24: Big Bossman

Bossman surprisingly goes after Lawler, while Piper comes back and beats on Rude. He clotheslines Rude up and over, but his momentum carries him over as well, eliminating both men. (Elimination #18-19: Rick Rude and Roddy Piper) The four heels decide to work together, but none of them can eliminate the Warrior. The buzzer goes, and Ax meanders on out.

Entrant #25: Ax

Ax hits the ring as a house of fire (that’s burning REALLY slowly). Nothing much happens until the buzzer goes, and Nikolai Volkoff sings his way on out.

Entrant #26: Nikolai Volkoff

Volkoff makes the mistake of immediately targeting Warrior, who tosses him in record time. (Elimination #20: Nikolai Volkoff) Warrior hits his second wind, slugging it out with everyone else in the ring. The heels eventually overwhelm him, though, and start punching each other for something to do. The buzzer is answered by Bob Backlund, making his re-debut in the company.

Entrant #27: Bob Backlund

Backlund goes right after Savage, pounding him in the corner; Bossman comes to save the Macho King, bringing Ax in to even it up. Warrior tries to dump DiBiase, but is prevented from doing so by Lawler. Everyone brawls in the ring until the buzzer goes and Shawn Michaels runs out to the ring.

Entrant #28: Shawn Michaels

Michaels hits the ring with energy, pounding on a tired Savage. It’s a huge crowd in the ring, and everyone tries to eliminate someone else until the buzzer goes, bringing out the Big Fat Hairy Dream, Akeem.

Entrant #29: Akeem

Akeem and Bossman beat on Warrior as soon as they get in the ring, and I’m hoping someone gets tossed here. Indeed, the Towers gang up on Ax and toss him. (Elimination #21: Ax) Right away, Warrior rushes the Towers and dumps them. (Elimination #22-23: Big Bossman and Akeem) Just then, the buzzer sounds, and Tito Santana makes his way down to the ring as the final competitor.

Entrant #30: Tito Santana

Santana goes right after Lawler, pounding him with rights. Warrior is down in the corner, getting beaten down by Savage and Michaels; DiBiase seizes the moment, sneaking up on Michaels and tossing him over the top and out. (Elimination #24: Shawn Michaels) DiBiase taunts Michaels, allowing Santana to sneak up on him and toss him out. (Elimination #25: Ted DiBiase) DiBiase goes nuts at ringside, pulling Santana out to ringside and slapping the Million-Dollar Dream on him. The refs finally pull DiBiase off of Santana, but Tito’s out cold at ringside; Lawler, ever the opportunist, rolls him back into the ring and then throws him over the top rope. (Elimination #26: Tito Santana)

Final Four: Randy Savage, Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund, Ultimate Warrior.

Savage beats on Warrior in the corner, while Backlund works over Lawler. Warrior gains control back, and the faces whip the heels together. Backlund tries to toss Lawler, but he can’t get him over. Savage kicks Warrior low, and then charges Backlund from behind, knocking him over the top and out. (Elimination #27: Bob Backlund) Savage and Lawler pound away on Warrior; Lawler hits a piledriver on the Intercontinental champion, followed by a big Savage elbowdrop from the top rope. Savage holds the top rope down as Lawler whips Warrior towards it, but Warrior hits his third wind (I guess) and clotheslines Savage over and out. (Elimination #28: Randy Savage)Warrior is energized, but Lawler pulls a pair of brass knuckles out of his trunks and hits Warrior with them. Lawler lifts Warrior to his knees, and then gives him three more shots with the knux - in Memphis, Warrior would be dead – before delivering one more piledriver. Lawler positions Warrior along the ropes and motions that he’s going to clothesline Warrior out. He waits too long, though, and Warrior pulls the rope down at the last second to win it in 1:01:38. The crowd goes apeshit, and Warrior’s too tired even to shake the ropes afterwards, merely collapsing with his title as the referee raises his arm. That was a pretty good Rumble, although it dragged a few times. ***3/4

- Overall: This was a pretty good show, but nothing spectacular. I was surprised that the heels won the six-man, but other than that, nothing was a big surprise. Still, it had some good work considering the promotion, and I’m looking forward to seeing Hogan/Warrior at Mania. Thumbs up.

Edited by Dogbert
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Royal Rumble was pretty decent. I was surprised in seeing Hogan's team lose and Warrior winning the Rumble. All though I would have liked to see Mr. Perfect get his shot, I'm glad Warrior won. I'm interested in seeing how you'll hype Warrior versus Hogan up. The Rumble match, And the whole show was written well. I'm glad HBK stayed late in the Rumble, But I was hoping Rick Martel would have lasted for awhile. I'll be looking forward to seeing the road to Wrestlemania. (Y)

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Smarkin’ Out with Andy Williams

WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 01/15/1990

- We’re TAPED from Tampa Bay, Florida.

- Your hosts are Gorilla and the Body.

- We cut right to the ring, as the team of Hercules and Koko B. Ware has been reduced to jobber duty for the evening. They’ll be taking on the Twin Towers, who are ANGRY (whether it’s about the Rumble or the lack of double-frosted donuts at the backstage buffet table, we’ll never know). I wasn’t expecting to see the faces put up much of a fight, and I was not disappointed here. The Towers dispose of Hercules quickly, and then finish Koko off with the Bossman Slam/747 combo in 2:01. Yawn. ¼*

- We cut backstage, where Lord Alfred has been joined by Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan, who are elated with the happenings of last night. Perfect gloats about the win, saying that he hardly broke a sweat in beating Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation. Alfred asks him what his plans for WrestleMania are, since Hogan will be defending his title against the Ultimate Warrior; Heenan interrupts, saying that the Heenan Family has plans for the evening, and that everyone will be finding out what those plans are sooner rather than later. Perfect ends the interview by saying that everything that the Brain has planned for Mania will work itself out… perfectly. Ooh… intrigue.

- Back to the ring we go, and Hillbilly Jim has turned the ring into his own personal ho-down. The music changes to a drastically different tune, though, as Jim’s opponent – in the person of the Honky Tonk Man – swivels his way down to the ring. Somehow, I’m less than enthused. Honky tries to take the advantage from the start, but Jim uses his size and beats Honky down. Jim hits a big slam and dances for the fans. Jim with a big knee, and Honky rolls out. Honky rolls back in, cheats, and reverses the momentum. Honky brawls with Jim, and then we hit the chinlock. Gee, let’s guess what happens: Jim powers out and beats up Honky, Hart cheats, Jim gets distracted and Honky gets the pin. Hey, look, I’m right (in 3:37)! Yawn II. ½*

- It’s Studio Interview time, and they have - for something totally different - Hulk Hogan in the hot seat. Hogan, ever the sportsman, bitches and moans like a champion, saying that Heenan’s cohorts cheated to win the match (conveniently ignoring that his own stupidity allowed them the opportunity to cheat). He says that when the time comes, he’ll be taking care of things with Perfect and Heenan; for now, though, Hogan has to concentrate on WrestleMania and his match with the Ultimate Warrior. Hogan says that he’s learned that Jack Tunney will be officially naming the Warrior as number-one contender to the title tonight, and that he’ll be watching. He needed 10 minutes to say that?

- We return to the ring, and the crowd is going bonkers as Jake “The Snake” Roberts makes his way to ringside, Damien in tow. His opponent, Nikolai Volkoff, sings his way to the ring, flanked by his tag-team partner/tenor section, Boris Zukhov. Why are they torturing me so? Volkoff uses his excessive bulk to take control off the start, but Roberts fights back with rights and a short-arm clothesline. Zukhov’s up on the apron, and Volkoff tries to whip Roberts into him, but Roberts reverses it, and THE COMMUNISTS COLLIDE! Vince, feel free to use that one if you ever decide to split the Bolsheviks up and feud them. Anyways, Jake hits the DDT, and it’s over in 0:54. Post-match, Zukhov tries to get to Jake, but he lets Damien loose and the Bolsheviks are outta here as we go to break. Bleh. ¼*

- We’re back, and Barry Hardy is in the ring, presumably to be squashed like a bug. Indeed, that’s likely to happen, as his opponent is Jerry Lawler. Lawler mauls Hardy to start, then hits a few clotheslines and a big powerslam. A back suplex sets up the piledriver, and Lawler heads up top to finish with a flying fistdrop in 1:15. What happened to actual wrestling on this show? ¼*

- Mean Gene joins Lawler in the ring for an interview (which is good, because that’s seemingly all that the WWF can do anymore). Lawler tells the ringside attendants to get “that peon” out of his ring, saying that Hardy doesn’t deserve to share the same ring as him. Okerlund congratulates Lawler on being the runner-up in the Royal Rumble in his first night in the WWF, but Lawler is indignant, saying that he should’ve tossed Warrior and won the whole thing. Lawler says that he beat himself in the Rumble, which is good for the Warrior because nobody else is good enough to beat the Southern Superstar (is that gonna be his new thing? I like it). Lawler closes by saying that the champions in this organization had better watch themselves, because he’d be chasing – and winning – some gold real soon. Good interview from a new heel.

- We come back from break to hear the first chords of “American Dream” being struck, as Dusty Rhodes makes his way to the ring. He’ll be elbowing… um, facing the Brooklyn Brawler, as the Parade of Crap continues. As expected, this is nothing but a Rhodes squash. Rhodes brawls with the Brawler – fittingly – before hitting him with a couple of elbows. Bodyslam, elbowdrop, it’s over in 0:45. They’d better have one hell of a main event tonight. ½* because he didn’t botch the slam.

- We cut backstage, where Sean Mooney is standing by with Ted DiBiase. DiBiase is still fuming about being tossed by Tito Santana in the Rumble, saying that Santana is nothing but a poor Mexican – ouch – who isn’t worthy of tending DiBiase’s pool. He says that he’d be teaching Santana a lesson in the main event tonight; specifically, that there is a certain pecking order in the WWF, and that violating that pecking order entails strict consequences. I wonder if Hogan wrote that bit? DiBiase storms out towards ringside.

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME! We cut back to ringside just as Ted DiBiase bursts through the curtain. This could be a good one (finally). Some generic Mexican music hits, and Tito Santana jogs on out to ringside. He slides into the ring, only to be stomped down by DiBiase. DiBiase hits some stiff elbow and knee shots, and then goes for the mounted punches. DiBiase with a few kneedrops to the head, and he taunts the crowd. DiBiase with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two, and he pounds on Santana in the corner. This is a hellish beating. Santana hits the flying forearm out of nowhere, but DiBiase kicks out and resumes pounding on the poor guy. DiBiase with a few kicks to the gut, and he tries the piledriver; Santana backdrops out, but DiBiase counters with a sunset-flip for two. DiBiase with a HARD clothesline, and he drags Santana into the corner to slam his head into the turnbuckle. He does it a few more times, and then teases the Dream. DiBiase finally slaps it on… and Santana kicks off the turnbuckle and reverses to a rollup for the pin in 5:42. Santana rolls out fast and backpedals up the ramp, as DiBiase is LIVID in the ring, screaming and kicking the ropes. That was some good stuff, and I’m guessing that it’s going to lead to something at WrestleMania. **3/4

- We come back from break to see Jack Tunney standing in the ring. He calls the Ultimate Warrior to the ring; the music hits, and the maniac himself races out to ringside, shaking the ropes before entering the ring. Tunney says that Warrior, having outlasted 29 other Superstars, has proven himself worthy of the position of number-one contender, and that he will face Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania in the main event. All that Warrior has to do is to sign the contract to make it official; however, as the number-one contender, Warrior is not permitted to hold any other belts under the rules of the WWF. Warrior signs the contract, vacating the Intercontinental title in the process. Just as he does so, however, Mr. Perfect walks out onto the stage. Perfect sarcastically congratulates Warrior on his victory; however, he has some news for the Crazy One. Perfect says that he and Heenan had hired a team of lawyers to review the official rules of the WWF, and that they found a little part that nobody else had ever noticed: those rules say that if any opponent of the champion’s gains a win over the champion, then that wrestler becomes the number-one contender to the title, even if he defeats a partner of the champion in a tag match. I’m lost. Perfect gives a copy of this to Tunney, who assesses it as being accurate. Perfect then says that, since that is true and since Perfect accomplished his feat first, then that means that Perfect is the number-one contender, and not the Warrior; however, since Warrior has already waived the Intercontinental title, Warrior has been left with nothing! Perfect laughs as he exits the ring, leaving Warrior and the fans totally shocked. I loved this segment, as it established Perfect as the heel with the brains to outsmart even the best of faces. Definitely a great way to start off the march to WrestleMania.

- Overall: We didn’t have a lot of wrestling, and what we had was almost all garbage. However, the Perfect segment was worth the time spent on this show, even if the rest blew. Thumbs in the middle.

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I forgot to check this one out when you posted it, Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing the feud between Tito and DiBiase culminate. Though, I hope Tito doesn't get squashed at the end. The ending was a great one, Since it left the fans and Warrior looking like morons. Though, All though it implies Perfect is the number one contender, It doesn't mean he's getting his shot at Wrestlemania. I think you should have had Perfect say he's getting the shot at WM, Just so he could seem more like an asshole. If Perfect does go to WM, I'd like to see Warrior feud with Lawler. Keep up the good work. (Y)

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Okay, it's no longer Main Event Time, but rather Bad News Time. I had to take my laptop in for servicing, so there won't be any new shows for 1-2 months (damn Future Shop). Rest assured, though, that I have much more to do with this diary when my computer gets back from Japan or wherever they're sending it now.

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  • 1 month later...

It's ba-aaaaaack.

WWF Wrestling Challenge Report

by Burke Higgins – 01/20/1990

- We’re TAPED from the Manhattan Center, and in prime-time for the first time.

- Your hosts are Fat Tony and Vinnie Mac.

- We’ll go straight to ringside, as Iron Mike Sharpe is getting ready to be jobbed to some other wrestler. His opponent tonight is Kerry Von Erich, who hasn’t yet established a personality, so the fans don’t care much. As expected, it’s a squash for the newcomer. Von Erich hits a spinning discus punch and slams Sharpe before finishing him off with a top-rope cross-body in 1:39. I guess you’ve gotta introduce them somehow, although they could’ve done better. ½*

- Tony sends us backstage, where Craig DeGeorge is set to interview Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart. DeGeorge asks Hart what his plans are involving Bravo and WrestleMania; Hart says that he’s got a plan for the next little while, but that he can’t tell the fans what it is yet. All that Hart will tell us for now is that the plan involves gold going around the World’s Strongest Waist; he then rebukes DeGeorge’s request that he whisper it in his ear. Hart walks away cackling as DeGeorge continues to whine about the secrecy of Hart’s plan.

- We’re back at ringside, and the Barrys (Horowitz and Hardy) are standing in the ring; Horowitz is heavily taped-up, and is selling the rib injury from the Rumble. Good on him, I say. Their opponents for the evening will be the Powers of Pain, accompanied as always by Bobby Heenan. I foresee a big-time squash, and that’s exactly what I get. The POP beat the Barrys into the ground for a few minutes, wearing them down with press-slams and lariats. Horowitz makes a quick comeback, but that’s ruined when Barbarian hits a running kick to the ribs, killing Horowitz dead. That leaves Hardy wide open for a VICIOUS spike-powerbomb by the POP for the pin in 4:23. Like, really, you had to see that one. 1/4* for the selling by Horowitz plus * for the spike-powerbomb makes this a *1/4 match… not bad for a squash.

- Mean Gene is backstage alongside the Tag champs, the Hart Foundation. Bret is pissed about the loss at the Rumble, saying that Heenan and his cronies are nothing but no-good cheaters who couldn’t win a match if they tried to do it fairly; however, the champs are no longer concerned with Heenan or his clients, because they have bigger fish to fry. Those fish are the Rockers, and at SNME, the Harts are gonna prove that they deserve to be known as the best tag team in the world. Anvil laughs for a bit, and then says that although the Harts do respect the Rockers, they won’t be treating Michaels and Jannetty any different than they would any other opponent. I should hope not.

- Meanwhile, back in the ring, Reno Riggins is getting ready to job again. Jim Duggan’s old music hits (I guess he really is gone for good), and out comes Bob Backlund. We’re having some kind of fun now. Backlund wears Riggins down like an expert, slapping on a surfboard and slugging away at Riggins’ abs while the hold was applied. Backlund with a few jabs to the stomach, which he follows with a gutbuster. Backlund with a kick to the midsection to put Riggins down, and he slaps on an STF for the submission win in 3:07. That was pretty good, if short. *1/4

- We cut backstage, where we see a cameraman running towards something; we also hear a lot of banging and yelling. This oughta be good. We get to a clearing, where we see the Ultimate Warrior going insane. Warrior stops beating on things for a minute, and starts throwing them at the cameraman, as well as the referees who are trying to stop his rampage. Road agents try to get Warrior to leave, which he does… after tearing the door right off its hinges. The shocked announcers comment on how easily Mr. Perfect got into the Warrior’s head. Good segment.

- Back to ringside we go, just in time to see the Red Rooster make his way to ringside. Note: Taylor’s theme music is now the Benny Hill theme song... as if they couldn’t bury him any more. His opponent will be Karl Wallace, who actually gets an entrance now, so they must be pushing him. Taylor gets the best of some brawling to start, hitting a flying forearm before moving into an armbar. Taylor segues into a hammerlock, but Wallace reverses and dumps Taylor to ringside. Taylor back in, and they tie up, with Wallace overpowering the smaller veteran. Taylor whips Wallace into the ropes, but Wallace nearly decapitates him with a clothesline. Wallace with a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Wallace whips Taylor to the corner; Taylor charges, and Wallace back-bodydrops him. Wallace with a few elbows to the face, and a belly-to-belly for two. Wallace brawls with Taylor, who gets the advantage; Wallace telegraphs a clothesline, and Taylor hits a back suplex for two. Taylor kicks the knee out from under Wallace, apparently injuring it. Taylor kicks the knee a few more times, then slaps on the figure-four. Wallace refuses to submit, so Taylor lifts him to his feet and whips him; Taylor then goes for a back-bodydrop, but Wallace catches him and hits a huge powerbomb. Taylor is out, and Wallace goes up top and hits the senton splash for the pin in 9:13. Post-match, Wallace keeps stomping Taylor, then goes up top and hits the senton again; Wallace makes the X with his arms again, as Taylor does a stretcher-job. They’re doing a good job of getting Wallace over, which is good, since it appears that Wallace can actually work. **1/2

- We go backstage, where Sean Mooney has been joined by the Rockers. Mooney asks what their feelings are about the words that the Hart Foundation had for them earlier tonight; Shawn replies that what the Harts said goes both ways, and that the Rockers also have respect for the Harts, but that they definitely wouldn’t let that get between them and the Tag Titles. Mooney then changes the subject, asking whether their upcoming title shot would distract them next week when they face the Powers of Pain on Prime Time Wrestling. Marty fields this question, saying that you can’t look past a team like the POP, or else he and Marty may not make it to the 17th of February; Shawn chimes in, saying that they’d be teaching the Heenan charges a thing or two about winning fairly when they beat the POP in the middle of the ring. Good interview, as it sets up two matches at once.

- We go back to ringside, and Ronnie Garvin is high-fiving his way to the ring. You’ve gotta feel for Garvin, as he’s gone from World champion in the NWA to a JTTS in the WWF… okay, not even, because he’ll be jobbing to Haku (flanked by Andre the Giant) tonight. Haku gains control with chops to Garvin’s chest, but Garvin reverses and brawls with the former Islander. Haku kicks out of a back-bodydrop attempt, but Garvin no-sells and clotheslines him down, and we hit the chinlock. Haku elbows out of it, hits a few headbutts, and nails a slam for two. Haku chops away, and then whips Garvin into the ropes; Garvin counters with a shoulderblock and hits a suplex for two. Garvin hits the Garvin Stomp, but Andre distracts him, and he turns around into a thrust-kick to the chops for the pin in 4:58. Blah. ½*

- Backstage, Mean Gene is interviewing Rick Martel. Gene remarks that the Model has been on a big-time losing streak lately, as he lost to Tito Santana before being mauled in the Rumble match. Martel actually acknowledges it, but never fear, because he knows exactly what he needs to get back on track: a fashion consultant. Okerlund looks at Martel incredulously, and Martel goes on to introduce his new fashion consultant… Brother Love. Great. Love does the “I love you” thing to Mean Gene, then promises to take the most handsome man and the only Model in the WWF to the very top of the company. Somehow, I doubt it.

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME! We join Finkel just as Bad News Brown is entering the ring; he’s got actual entrance music now, even if it’s just some generic rap stuff. His opponent on the evening is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who is accompanied to the ring by his kilt. Brown overpowers Piper to start, but Piper gets a thumb to the eye and brawls with him. Piper with a few chops and an atomic drop, and he kitchen-sinks Brown for two. More brawling, but Brown gets the best of it this time, and he stomps Piper in the corner. Brown with a short-arm clothesline, and he scores with a few quick elbows before covering for two. Brown off the ropes, and Piper reverses into the sleeper, but Brown reverses that into a back suplex. Brown mounts Piper and rains shots upon his head, and then covers for two. Brown slaps on a sleeper of his own and it looks bad for Piper; however, the arm stays up on the third try, and Piper fights back. Piper decks Brown a few times, then gets a Manhattan drop and a clothesline. Piper shows off to the crowd, allowing Bad News to get up; Brown goes for the Ghetto Blaster, but Piper spins him around and gets a backslide for the pin in 9:24. Piper celebrates post-match, but Brown decides to be a sore loser and nails him with the Ghetto Blaster before leaving the ring. Piper’s out in the ring as Challenge ends. That was decent, but nothing special. **

- Overall: A pretty good show from the WWF this time around. Nothing worse than ½* is a good outing from the promotion that usually feeds us negative stars and tells us to like it. Thumbs up, and let’s see them keep this going.

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Glad to see this back, My memory is a little rusty, But what happened with Duggan? (you mentioned he was gone, but I don't remember why) and who's Karl Wallace? Anyways, I am so looking forward to the tag title match for SNME, And I hope The Rockers defeat POP next week. Martel with Brother Love could be good, As long as Martel ends up getting pushed. I can't wait to see what will happen between Warrior/Hogan/Perfect too. Looking forward to the next show. (Y)

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  • 3 months later...

Smarkin’ Out with Andy Williams

WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 01/22/1990

- We’re TAPED from Jacksonville, Florida, and am I ever glad to be back writing this column. For some reason, it feels like months since the last PTW.

- Your hosts are Gorilla and the Body.

- We start off the evening at ringside, where the Canadian national anthem is playing as the Fabulous Rougeaus make their way down to the ring, flanked by Jimmy Hart. Their opponents will be Chris and Mark Youngblood, fresh off of getting fired by the NWA. Raymond starts with Mark, and takes over on a tie-up, chopping away at Mark’s chest. Mark comes back, slugging away at Raymond before hitting a backdrop and a clothesline for two. Mark looks to continue on the offense, but Raymond gets an eye poke and tags out. Jacques hammers away at Mark, twisting the arm before further weakening it with elbows. Jacques gets an armbar, but Mark makes the ropes and tags out to Chris. Chris is a house of fire, but he gets clotheslined down and covered for two by Jacques. The Rougeaus double-team Chris in the corner, cheating blatantly all the while. Jacques hits a powerslam, but Raymond misses a missile-dropkick, allowing Chris to tag out. Mark’s a house of fire (did the Youngbloods lose a lot of homes this way?), but his arm gives out on a press-slam attempt, and the Rougeaus hit the Bombe for the pin in 8:22. Not bad for a jobber match. **1/4

- We go backstage, where Mean Gene is standing by with Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect. The heels are understandably happy, given the way they screwed Warrior over last week; Perfect says that he’d go as far as to call it the Perfect Plan. Heenan says that he’s heard through the grapevine that WWF President Jack Tunney will be making another big announcement tonight, and given the events of last Monday night, the Brain is guessing that he must be naming Mr. Perfect the number-one contender to Hulk Hogan’s World Title. The heels cackle as Mean Gene sends it back to the Studio. Good heel interview.

- Gorilla sends us back to ringside, where we see Brother Love leading his new client, Rick “The Model” Martel, down to ringside. He’ll be squashing Brad Armstrong, who’s making his debut in the WWF. Martel gains control off the start with some elbows to the face of the newcomer, who fights back with rights. Armstrong whips Martel to the corner and charges, but Martel moves, sending Armstrong hard to the turnbuckle. Martel with a big back suplex with a bridge for two. Martel with a few shots and a slam, and he rains lefts down on a prone Armstrong. Martel with a strong kick to the back, and a Northern Lights suplex for two. There’s one you don’t see often. Martel slaps on a Mexican surfboard, and then makes it into a cover for two. Martel elbows Armstrong down, and then covers for two. Martel charges, but gets backdropped by Armstrong. Armstrong gets a flying headscissors for two, and then scores with a dropkick to the face. Armstrong reverses a clothesline to a crucifix for two; Martel stupidly tries it again, but it’s reversed to a Russian legsweep, and Armstrong heads up top; Martel distracts the ref, though, and Brother Love spritzes Arrogance into Armstrong’s face, sending him crashing to the mat. Martel then slaps on the Quebec Crab for the submission in 8:49. That was some darned good stuff from these two; hopefully, we’ll get a rematch sometime. **1/2

- We come back from break to find that Randy “Macho King” Savage and The Genius have made their way up to the Studio for an interview. Jesse greets both heels with hearty handshakes, whereas Gorilla seems much more reluctant. Gorilla comes right out and asks Randy what the connection between he and the Genius is, and Randy answers that the Genius is, indeed, his little brother; after years of hiding it, the Savages have decided to team up and take the WWF by force. Genius chimes in, saying that he’d appreciate it verily if the announcers in the WWF would refer to him by his given name: Lanny Savage. Well, kudos to them for using his real name, even if it sounds kinda goofy. Randy concludes the interview by saying that the Royal Family would be ruling over the WWF for some time to come. I do believe that we have a new tag team.

- Gorilla sends us right to ringside, where Barry Hardy stands in the ring, undoubtedly questioning whether this line of work is really worth the trouble. The rumblin’ jam hits, and out comes Earthquake, thus answering Hardy’s question (no). This one was a definite **** classic, with both guys pulling out decidedly-non-WWF high-flying stuff. Seriously, Quake splatters Hardy with the sitdown splash in 0:53, then delivers another one as we go to break. Earthquake’s usual match. ¼*

- We come back from the commercial break and join Greg “The Hammer” Valentine mid-intro, as he meanders out to ringside. Hopefully, this isn’t the rematch with Dusty that we’ve ALL been clamouring for… oh, phew, it’s Tito Santana. The two trade chops to start, which Valentine gets the better of; Valentine tries a backdrop, but Santana kicks him to reverse it, and hits some forearms to the face. Valentine gets whipped into the ropes and caught in the face with a wicked dropkick, then bails to the outside. Valentine back in, and he tries the test-of-strength gag, but Santana gets him in a hammerlock. Valentine elbows out, charges and hits a big clothesline to take control. Valentine starts stomping away at Santana’s knee, setting up for the figure-four; he drags Santana to the ropes and hits a few butt-drops to the knee, worsening the situation for the Mexican superstar. Valentine with a fistdrop, and he covers for two. Valentine whips Santana hard to the corner, jumps to the outside and wraps Santana’s leg around the post. Valentine gets Santana up, slams him, and calls for the end. He slaps on the figure four, but Santana refuses to submit, and is able to reverse the move. Tito fires out some rights, but Valentine clips the knee and slugs away. Valentine with a huge suplex for two, and he goes for the figure-four again, but Santana rolls him up for two. Santana charges, but Valentine trips him. Valentine whips Santana into the ropes, but Tito’s able to hit the flying forearm out of nowhere for the pin in 10:25. Post-match, Santana celebrates, but he does so while unaware of Ted DiBiase’s presence; Santana turns around, and is attacked by the Million-Dollar Man, who stomps away at Santana’s injured leg before walking away. The match wasn’t exciting, but it had some good psychology and quick near-falls at the end to get it to **.

- Backstage, Sean Mooney is with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Mooney asks Piper about his match with Bad News Brown on Saturday; Piper says that Brown was a coward and a cheap-shot artist who was beaten by the better man, and who had to attack him from behind because there’s no way that Brown could beat him face-to-face. As a matter of fact, Piper continues, he’s going to prove it to the world once again; Piper is using this time to formally challenge Brown to another match at SNME, in order to prove once and for all that Brown is beneath him as a wrestler. Just as he says this, however, Bad News Brown sneaks up behind him wielding a chair; Mooney alerts Piper to Brown’s presence, but it’s too late, and Piper tastes iron. Brown ends the segment by standing over Piper and saying that he’ll be seeing him at SNME. Great… but the Challenge match was only **, so why would they think that they could top it a month later?

- We go back to ringside, where Tim Horner is shown in the ring, waiting. His opponent for the evening is Rick Rude, who is flanked as always by manager Bobby Heenan. You know, if they’re not going to do anything with him, they could always let him go to the NWA and get carried to four-star matches by Flair and Sting. Rude takes immediate control off of a tie-up, and never relinquishes it, working Horner’s head and neck area over. Rude hits a few back suplexes and a piledriver before polishing Horner off with the Rude Awakening in 3:22. Again, good psychology, but the match was no great heck. *1/2

- We come back from break to see that Hulk Hogan has joined Mean Gene Okerlund in the interview area. Okerlund asks Hogan for his opinion on the announcement expected to be made by Jack Tunney later tonight; Hogan says that he’ll be watching closely, and that his reign as champion possibly depends on the decision that Tunney has made. Hogan says that it really doesn’t matter who challenges him for his title at WrestleMania, because the strength of Hulkamania will overpower that wrestler. Whether it’s Warrior or Perfect, says Hogan, the question is always the same: whatcha gonna do when the 24-inch pythons blah blah blah. This was Hulk Hogan for the sake of having Hulk Hogan on the show.

- It’s MAIN EVENT TIME! The Powers of Pain walk out to ringside first, flanked by not only Bobby Heenan, but also the Colossal Connection. This ain’t good for their opponents, the Rockers; nevertheless, the young faces still rock on out to ringside to wrestle unaccompanied. Barbarian starts out with Jannetty and overpowers the smaller Rocker on a tie-up before dropping him with rights. Barbarian goes for a slam, but Marty slips out and slugs away at the back. He goes for his own slam, but he can’t get Barbarian up, and Barbarian reverses to a suplex for two. Barbarian with a few elbowdrops, and he tags out to Warlord, who gets some headbutts in. Marty’s whipped into the ropes, but he counters with a forearm to the face; Warlord goes into them himself, and is caught with a dropkick. Jannetty tags out to Michaels. Michaels whips Warlord to the ropes, but Warlord kicks out of a backdrop attempt; Warlord charges, but Michaels reverses a clothesline to a crucifix for two. Michaels goes for the same move, but Warlord falls back into a Samoan drop for two. Warlord beats Michaels down in the corner before whipping him hard to the other side; he then hits a big boot to Michaels’ face for two. Barbarian tags in, then press-slams Michaels before attacking Jannetty on the apron. The heels double-team Michaels as Heenan distracts the referee, and then remove the turnbuckle padding. Barbarian tries to slam Michaels’ head into the exposed steel; Shawn won’t allow it, so the Powers beat him down as Jannetty unwittingly distracts the referee. Barbarian backs up and goes for an avalanche, but Michaels moves and Barbarian goes head-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Michaels tags out to Jannetty, who’s a house of fire, raining shots down on the POP before slamming their heads together. Heenan gets up on the apron and is knocked off by Marty, who turns around into a big boot by Barbarian. Barbarian taunts, but is taken out by Michaels, and it’s a pier-six. The heels dump Michaels to ringside, but Marty takes them both down with shoulderblocks. The Powers overpower Jannetty and whip him into the ropes, but he springboards off and takes them both out with a bodypress. Michaels recovers and heads up top; Warlord staggers over and gets caught with a missile-dropkick. The Rockers knock Barbarian up and over, and then score with a rocket-launcher… but Andre and Haku are in for the DQ in 15:43. Well, THAT was anticlimactic. Heenan directs traffic as his four charges beat down the Rockers, but that’s ruined when the Hart Foundation come in and clean house. The show ends with the Harts and Rockers shaking hands in the ring. Great match, but the terrible ending knocks it under four stars. Still better than anything they’ve done lately, though. ***1/2

- We cut to the studio, where Gorilla and the Body have been joined by WWF President Jack Tunney. Tunney says that he has had several important decisions to make in the last week, and that he’s relieved to be able to say that he has lifted all sorts of weight off his back; he then says that he hopes that what he has to say will make everyone happy, whether they be wrestlers or fans. Firstly, says Tunney, the Intercontinental title will remain vacated. However, he does have a way to resolve this situation: there will be a 16-man tournament for the vacant title, and it will culminate at WrestleMania. I smell filler. Tunney then turns his attention to the World Title situation. To begin, he says that Mr. Perfect did have a point: he did record a victory over Hulk Hogan, and does have a claim to the number-one contendership; this sends Jesse into hysterics, as he says that Perfect will be going to WrestleMania. Tunney interrupts, though, saying that as the winner of the Royal Rumble, the Ultimate Warrior also has a claim. Therefore, what we’re going to do on the 25th of March is have the WWF’s very first Triangle Match: both Mr. Perfect AND the Ultimate Warrior will challenge Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title at the same time! Gorilla and Jesse go ballistic at the booth as Prime Time ends. I’m not sure what I think of the Triangle concept, as they have problems working a decent match with two wrestlers.

- Overall: This show had FOUR matches breaking **, which is some kind of record for the WWF, so there’s no way I can give this anything less than a thumbs-up… so, I give it a thumbs-up.

Edited by Dogbert
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I'm so glad this one's back! I loved this diary! The writing is just so great to read, and I'm so glad to see that it's come back out of the blue. Keep this one up, it's a great read in my view.

I can't remember the last time there were 3 WWF 1990 diaries on the first page

Edited by andrethegiantstopfan
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