Hi everyone. Welcome to my very last WWF review of the year and the decade. In this memorable edition of SNME, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior put their titles on the line against The Genius and André the Giant, respectively. Also The Rockers face the Brain Busters in a two-out-of-three-falls main-event match, and more. Check out the point system here.
Before starting, here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this edition of SNME:
- WWF World Champion: Hulk Hogan
- Intercontinental Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
- World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Taped from Topeka, KS
WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. André the Giant(w/ Bobby Heenan)
Warrior is all fired up to start as usual but André attacks him before the bell and we’re underway. André chokes away but Warrior turns things around and does some choking of his own using André’s singlet. André dominates for a while with his… let’s say methodical offense. Warrior eventually escapes that and dumps André to the outside with a clothesline. And we take a break.
We return from the break with André fighting back, choking Warrior because that’s the only thing he can do at this point in his career. I have no idea why this match is still going on. Warrior puts André in a ridiculous bearhug until André fights back with headbutts. Warrior retaliates with a weird charge to the corner that looked horrible and completely missed, yet André sold anyway. This match is ugly in a very bad way and just won’t end. André puts Warrior in a bearhug of his own but Warrior starts making his big comeback. Bobby Heenan runs in to attack Warrior for the DQ at a ridiculous 07:46, finally putting this match out of its misery.
- Rating: I have no idea who thought it was a good idea to have this match go nearly eight minutes, but that person clearly forgot to take his meds that day. We’re talking about André the Giant five months before his retirement – the poor big man could barely walk at this point in his life due to his health, let alone wrestle. And across from him was the Ultimate Warrior. The Ultimate Warrior! If anyone was going to get a watchable match out of André at this point in his career and his life, it was not him. This is easily one of the worst matches I have ever seen. A total trainwreck. DUD
WWF World Championship: Hulk Hogan(c) vs. The Genius
The Genius starts the match with a left-handed handshake to piss off Hogan, who replies with a right-handed one. Just as Genius goes to meet him, Hogan offers his left hand and points to his head. HANDSHAKING MIND GAMES! Hogan uses his power early on, but Genius nips up and flies all over the ring like a little princess as the crowd literally wants to come over and punch this idiot in the face. Another lockup sees Hogan overpower him yet again… so Genius bails and writes some strategy on a paper. It’s an equation with the result being: “HULK DOWN!” When getting back in, Genius of course shows off his art yet again by doing carthweels and nip-ups.
Another lockup goes to the corner, and Genius slaps Hogan on the clean break as Hogan is starting to get visually pissed. Genius actually manages to armdrag the champ and immediately starts celebrating as you can see young children and their parents yelling at Genius! Hogan calmly stays in the corner and tells Genius to “go ahead” and celebrate, with The Genius doing so. That’s when Hogan EXPLODES out of the corner with a nasty lariat followed by a couple more with the crowd loving it. Hogan runs wild on Genius and stops to fly around like The Genius as the crowd literally DIES WITH LAUGHTER! AND SO DO I! This sh*t is hilarious!!!!
Cue Mr. Perfect, who comes out to ringside and has his hands on the Hulkster’s gold belt. That distracts Hogan for a while and kills the comeback, allowing Genius to post Hogan. Hogan gets back in to break the count-out, though walks into an impressive and unique (for that time) moonsault. Genius covers but… HOGAN HULKS UP!! Hogan does the usual comeback routine but Perfect distracts him before the leg drop, drawing Hulk to the floor yet again. Genius follows for another cheapshot but gets his ass kicked this time and gets thrown back inside, with Perfect knocking Hogan out with a belt shot to the back of the head. The ref counts and gets to ten at 07:34. THE GENIUS BEATS HOGAN!!
- Rating: More of a story/angle development between Hogan and Perfect than an actual match, but this is very good and features some spectacular crowd psychology and control. The Genius gets ridiculously annoying at various points in the match and gets Hogan over as a babyface even more. Highly highly recommended, and probably the best example of comedy done well in pro wrestling! **3/4
Dusty Rhodes vs. The Big Bossman(w/ Slick)
Bossman tries to attack before the bell but Dustin turns that around and takes over to start. Bossman gets a shot and Slick adds some choking, pissing off the loyal Dusty fan in the audience (the future Sapphire). Bossman pounds away until he eventually misses a charge. Bossman uses the ropes to choke Dusty, though, as he stays in control. He makes the mistake of showing off to the crowd which allows Dusty to roll him up for the win at 04:47. Dusty celebrates with Sapphire to end the segment.
- Rating: Short and inoffensive. 1/2*
Mr. Perfect(w/ The Genius) vs. The Red Rooster
So these two are back to try and save this show even more. Rooster takes over to start with his glorified jobber offense until Perfect cuts him off with a suplex. Perfect snaps his neck and Rooster gets a quick sunset flip for two. Perfect talks some trash and allows Rooster to hit a bulldog for two. Backdrop gets two more. Perfect has had enough and finally puts him away with the Perfectplex to remain undefeated at 04:13.
- Rating: Nothing more than a glorified squash, with Perfect’s undefeated streak always creating some nice nearfalls. Even when his opponent is The Red Rooster. *
Main Event – Two Out Of Three Falls Tag Match: The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard)(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
So yeah, the Brain Busters’ final match in their relatively short WWF stint. Anderson would go back to the NWA a few months later while Tully failed a drug test and eventually joined the AWA in the spring. Jannetty headlocks Blanchard to start and turns that into an armbar before getting a sunset flip to get the first fall quickly.
Winners of the fall: The Rockers (Rockers 1-0 Brain Busters)
Heenan had had enough of the Brain Busters and walks out on them, allowing the Rockers to take over with their unique fast paced double-teaming. Michaels catches Blanchard with a quick hurricanrana as the Rockers sends them flying. With Blanchard back in, Michaels kneelifts him for two. He goes for a headscissors near the heel corner, allowing Anderson to give him a nasty clothesline while he’s doing the move. That looked great. Blanchard covers and wins the second fall.
Winners of the fall: The Brain Busters (Rockers 1-1 Brain Busters)
Well I wasn’t expecting that given the circumstances. The Busters take over on Michaels who is still hurt from the second fall. Anderson gives him the classic spinebuster but Michaels kicks out at two. Anderson catapults Michaels and Blanchard comes in with a high knee before they dump Michaels like he’s trash. Michaels comes back in with a great looking high crossbody for two. Anderson takes back control for the Busters for a while until he collides with Michaels for a double KO spot. Michaels gets the hot tag to Jannetty and all hell breaks loose. The Busters take advantage of the confusion and set up the Brain Buster piledriver, but Michaels comes in with a high crossbody on Anderson for the final fall and the win at 07:32.
Winners of the match: The Rockers (Rockers 2-1 Brain Busters)
- Rating: Solid match to end the brief WWF tenures of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. Heenan walking out on them after they quickly lost the first fall was the WWF’s way to write them off the Heenan Family and the product. I wasn’t expecting the Rockers to lose a single fall due to this being the Busters’ final match, but I didn’t mind it that much as the spot looked nasty and Michaels got to kick out of Anderson’s vicious spinebuster a few minutes later. Arguably the Rockers’ biggest win in their young careers up until this point. Solid yet brief match. **1/2
Mr. Perfect is in the back with Mean Gene to close the show. He destroys Hogan’s WWF title with a hammer and demands a shot at the belt. Now THAT is a way to end a show with a banger!
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Well I don’t know what to do with this one. While Warrior/André is one of the worst matches I’ve seen in a long time – and for some reason it’s the longest match on this show – Hogan/Genius on the other hand is one of the funniest matches in wrestling history. The closing segment was one of the greatest of all time as well. The rest of the matches are either solid enough or inoffensive, yet nothing you will remember. So yeah, this show is not hard to rate as it features the absolute worst and on the other hand, the absolute best. Overall, it was a pretty memorable show that I’d give 6/10.
Here are the show for the final WWF show of the year and the decade:
- Marty Jannetty: 5 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 1 for winning + 0.5 for winning a fall by pinfall)
- Shawn Michaels: 4.5 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 1 for winning + 0.5 for winning a fall by pinfall – 0.5 for losing a fall by pinfall)
- Hulk Hogan: 3.25 points (2.75 for star rating + 1 for successfully defending a title – 0.5 for CO loss)
- The Genius: 3.25 points (2.75 for star rating + 0.5 for CO win)
- Tully Blanchard: 2.5 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 0.5 for winning a fall by pinfall – 1 for losing – 0.5 for losing a fall by pinfall)
- Arn Anderson: 2 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing – 1 for losing – 0.5 for losing a fall by pinfall)
- The Ultimate Warrior: 2 points (1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully defending a title)
- Mr. Perfect: 2 points (1 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
- Dusty Rhodes: 1.5 points (0.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
- Red Rooster: 0 points (1 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
- Big Bossman: -0.5 points (0.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
- Andre the Giant: -1 point (for pinfall loss)
As always, thank you so much for your time. Coming up next is the NWA’s StarrCade event to finish the year and the decade of the 80s for good. After that, I will do a special year-end article for 1989. I will see who were the best wrestlers in both promotions as well as overall, according to my point system given to all the wrestlers involved in the shows throughout the whole year of 1989. Until then, stay safe!