WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #22 Review – 07.29.1989

Greetings, everyone. Welcome to my review of the 22nd edition of SNME, featuring Hulk Hogan putting the World Title on the line against The Honky Tonk Man as well as a best-two-out-of-three-falls tag match between champions Demolition and challengers The Brain Busters in the main-event. Check out the point system here.

Before starting, here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:

  • WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan
  • Intercontinental Champion: Rick Rude
  • Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)
  • Women’s Champion: Rockin’ Robin

Enjoy the review!

The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura as usual

Taped from Worcester, MA

WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan(c) vs. The Honky Tonk Man(w/ Jimmy Hart)

Before the match we get a nice little recap of Honky’s “greatest hits” over wrestlers such as Jimmy Snuka, Randy Savage and Bret Hart. In a pre-match interview with Mean Gene, Honky promises he’ll have a new “hit” in the list after tonight’s match. He also promises to be the greatest WWF Champion of all time, already being the greatest holder of the Intercontinental belt. Honky tries to hit Hogan with the guitar before the bell, but Hogan blocks it and runs wild to start. Hogan clotheslines Honky and follows it up with an elbow in the corner. Trying to stop Hogan’s momentum, Jimmy Hart goes inside the ring only to get shoved into Honky. Jimmy gets involved again from the outside, tripping Hogan and finally being able to turn the tables. Honky goes to work on Hogan’s back and even goes all Iron Sheik on him with a camel clutch. He’s about as successful as Iron Sheik was with that move back in 1984. Honky knocks down Hogan with a clothesline and taunts. Honky’s charisma hits me everytime, I really enjoy his character work. Honky hits Shake Rattle & Roll but taunts instead of going for the pinfall. “I knew it, I knew I got him!”… and then you probably know what happens. 1, 2, kickout. Hulk Up, punch punch punch, big boot, big leg send Honky back to Memphis at 06:14.

  • Analysis: I liked the story of Honky wanting to add Hogan to his ‘greatest hits’ list only to be the one eating the guitar shot. The only problem being Hogan did it in front of the ref and he totally ignored it. Short TV match as most Hulk Hogan matches on SNME were, but Honky Tonk Man is very entertaining and made this better. Hogan was feeling it too here, mocking Honky Tonk Man’s dance after the win. There was never any doubt about who’d win and as a wrestling match it was nothing special, but it was overall enjoyable. *1/2

Jimmy Snuka vs. Greg Valentine

Valentine doesn’t have Jimmy with him, who’s selling Hulk Hogan’s post-match attack from the previous bout. Ronnie Garvin is the referee here. Valentine won a ‘loser leaves town’ match over Garvin on TV recently, and Garvin was hired to work as a referee instead. Having punched Dino Bravo after a match, WWF president Jack Tunney announced Garvin would be suspended if it happened again. Valentine chokes away to start while Snuka tries to fight back using chops. Snuka wins that battle and goes for the Superfly Splash already, but only hits knees. Valentine gets two and dumps Snuka. Valentine goes to work while Snuka is on the apron and refuses to break, getting into a fight with Garvin. Garvin punches Valentine, who then turns around into a Snuka high crossbody for the pin at 03:14.

  • Analysis: Short match to continue Ronnie Garvin’s little storyline. Nothing to see here. Short and basic. 1/4*

Randy Savage(w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Brutus Beefcake

This one has implications on SummerSlam’s main-event. Savage tries to attack to start only for Beefcake to catch him and choke him for two. Beefcake charges but eats boot in the corner allowing Savage to take over. Savage eventually runs into a bodypress for two, with Sherri trying to get involved. Beefcake stops to go after her and allows Savage to hook a sleeper on him, but Beefcake blocks it and hits a high knee for two. At this point Savage starts getting a few shortcuts in order to get in control, only to miss a charge and eat another high knee that sends Savage flying. They get into a slugfest on the outside that is won by Savage, mostly thanks to Sherri. Savage drops the double axehandle off the apron on Beefcake. Back in Savage and Sherri take turns cheating before Beefcake almost steals it with a roll-up. Backslide gets two more. Savage goes back to the choking to cut off Beefcake once and for all but misses another axehandle. Beefcake starts making his big comeback and even tries to go for the sleeper, but Savage quickly gets out of that. Savage charges and knocks Sherri off the apron by mistake. Beefcake proceeds to miss a charge of his own and goes flying to the outside. At this point Savage asks Sherri to go to the back in a nice callback to Miss Elizabeth and the Mega Powers, and she leaves while we take a break.


We return with Savage catching Beefcake with a stungun. Sherri comes back with, you guessed it, ZEUS by her side. I’d just like this feud to end, please. Beefcake manages to sunset flip Savage for two before catching him in the sleeper, and Zeus gets in for the beatdown to cause the DQ at 11:30.

  • Analysis: This was obviously done just to help sell the main-event of SummerSlam, but the action was good before getting to the angle. This whole Zeus deal is really pointless to me, though, and I’m about ready to see Hogan have a real feud over the title one of these days instead of feuding with an evil actor. **3/4

Main-event – 2 Out Of 3 Falls – WWF Tag Team Championship: Demolition (Ax & Smash)(c) vs. The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard)(w/ Bobby Heenan)

Demolition retained the titles despite a DQ loss at the prior edition of SNME. Tully starts with Ax and you know where that goes. Tully tries to run away but Smash gets him back in. That results in a giant slugfest on the outside as it’s already BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA before the Brain Busters bail and talk some strategy. Now it’s Arn in the ring as the heels finally take over. Arn pounds Smash down with a number of rights and headbutts but the Demos eventually turn the tables. Tully gets the tag but he goes nowhere either. Tully finally catches Demos with a cheapshot, though, allowing Anderson to hit a spinebuster for two. Ax finally has enough of the cheating and gets inside the ring while Smash stunguns Tully to win the first fall.

Demolition 1-0 Brain Busters

The second fall starts with Demolition working over the heels. Ax dumps Anderson on the top rope as the champs go to work on Arn’s neck. Anderson manages to tag Tully in, who cheats to take over. They cut the ring in half from there and keep working Ax with some classic heel teamwork. Ax finally finds a break and brings Smash in for the hot tag, who starts running wild. Everyone gets in as it’s once again BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, but the Demos disrespect the ref’s count and get DQ’d to give the challengers the second fall.

Demolition 1-1 Brain Busters

Only pinfall or submission in the third and final fall will give the Brain Busters the tag straps. Andre the Giant joins us at ringside. The Demos start in control yet again before Tully whips Ax into his own partner to stop him. Arn gets in for a double KO spot and then it’s back to Tully while Ax tags in Smash. Smash connects with a clothesline but misses a suplex as everyone gets in for yet another big fight. In the middle of all the confusion, the heels take advantage and hit Smash with a chairshot to the head for the pin to win the third fall, the whole match and the titles at 12:33 overall.

Demolition 1-2 Brain Busters

  • Analysis: This match is quite historic, as Demolition’s legendary reign that started all the way back at WM 4(!!!!) finally came to an end. Apart from being historic, the match is also quite good. Solid heel teamwork with them doing a terrific job in cutting the ring in half, getting the babyfaces more and more upset in the process. Solid ending to a solid show. ***1/4


Final thoughts: Not bad at all. The only match that came close to being nothing was Valentine/Snuka and even that at least had some kind of storyline. Not that it was great, but it was at least something more than just a random match. Hogan vs. Honky was loads of fun while Savage vs. Beefcake was good (while also doing a good job of selling the main-event of the PPV) and Demos/Busters was even better. Not to mention a very important match in the history of the company, putting an end to a legendary title reign. Not spectacular, not bad. Good and quite enjoyable little show. 6/10

Finally, here are the points for the wrestlers on this show:

  • Tully Blanchard: 7.25 points (3.25 for star rating + 1 for winning + 2 for winning a title + 1 for main-eventing + 0.5 for winning a fall – 0.5 for losing a fall)
  • Arn Anderson: 7.25 points (3.25 for star rating + 1 for winning + 2 for winning a title + 1 for main-eventing)
  • Hulk Hogan: 3.5 points (1.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully defending a title)
  • Brutus Beefcake: 3.25 points (2.75 for star rating + 0.5 for DQ win)
  • Randy Savage: 2.25 points (2.75 for star rating – 0.5 for DQ loss)
  • Smash: 1.25 point (3.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 0.5 for winning a fall – 1 for losing – 0.5 for losing a fall – 2 for dropping a title)
  • Ax: 1.25 point (3.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing – 1 for losing – 2 for dropping a title)
  • Jimmy Snuka: 1.25 point (0.25 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • The Honky Tonk Man: 0.5 points (1.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Greg Valentine: -0.75 points (0.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)

As always, thanks for your time. Don’t miss SummerSlam 1989 next time!