Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the very first edition of SNME of the Warrior era. This show features The Ultimate Warrior putting his newly-won World title on the line for the first time on TV against Haku. Also, Hulk Hogan takes on Mr. Perfect in the opener. The Hart Foundation battle The Rockers in a potential match of the year contender. Earthquake continues his dominance. And much more.
Plus an extra tournament final match for the Intercontinental Title (vacated by Warrior at ‘Mania) between Mr. Perfect and Tito Santana that aired on the May 19th 1990 episode of Superstars. It will be at the end of the review.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:
- WWF Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: vacated
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Taped from Austin, Texas
Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Perfect(w/ The Genius)
This is one of Perfect’s last matches with The Genius in his corner. Crowd is hot for this one. Hogan shoves Perfect into the corner to start with Perfect taking a massive bump and leaping over the top rope for a breather already. Back in for a lockup and a Perfect hiptoss. Perfect and Genius show off while the ‘Hogan’ chants get louder and louder. Hogan responds with his own hiptoss followed by a couple of bodyslam and Perfect regroups yet again. Back up for another lockup. Perfect grabs Hogan by the hair and pounds away in the corner. Irish whip into the buckle and Hogan goes down. Hogan turns things around and goes for the big boot, but Perfect bails. Hogan follows him out there and chops Perfect, who takes an insane bump on the floor. Head first into the post goes Perfect for another crazy bump. Back in for a massive Hogan clothesline as this crowd is just excited for everything Hogan does. Off to the corner for another Hogan clothesline. Hogan pounds away in the corner and even nails some chops. Off the ropes for a nice elbow. Into the corner for another one with Perfect taking a bump all the way over the ropes and to the floor. Hogan goes outside as well. Genius threatens to hit Hogan with the scroll only to get caught and beat up by Hogan, but Genius leaves the scroll on the floor and allows Perfect to hit Hogan with it in the back of the head. That gets insane heat from the fans as we take a break.
We come back with Perfect ramming Hogan’s head into the post and rail numerous times before putting him back in. Perfect pounds away some more. Snapmare into the Perfect necksnap. And off to some choking on the ropes. Elbowdrop. And another one. A third one misses and Hulk is back up as the crowd goes crazy. Hogan slugs away and whips Perfect into the ropes for a backdrop but Perfect kicks him in the chest. Clothesline puts Hogan back down and again we get the chants! Perfect says that we’re gonna see a Perfectplex. He hits it but Hogan kicks at two and it’s Hulk Up time. The usual follows and that’s all at 08:03. Genius comes in after the bell but Hogan just slams him over the top and poses.
- Rating: This was a pretty good match. The crowd was into just about everything Hogan did, and that certainly helped a lot. The less said about Perfect being pinned twice in 25 days after two years of being undefeated, the better. Really solid and fun opener. ***
Rick Martel promotes ‘Arrogance’!
Earthquake(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hillbilly Jim
Well this one shouldn’t take long. Jim gets his jobber offense in for a cup of coffee before Jimmy gets up on the apron and allows Earthquake to squash him like a bug. Earthquake drops an elbow and a number of Earthquake splashes ends this at 1:58. Earthquake splashes him a few more times and stands tall as the build-up for Hogan continues.
- Rating: Short and sweet. 1/4*
Rick Martel promotes ‘Arrogance’ again.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Bret and Marty to start. Headlock by Jannetty, Bret shoots him off to the ropes. Marty uses his quickness to escape only for Bret to meet him with s bodyslam, but Marty blocks and goes for a roll up with Bret blocking too by holding on to the ropes. Bret charges with Jannetty avoiding him via a leapfrog but walking into a Bret hiptoss. Jannetty kicks him off though and it’s off to Michaels. Michaels comes in with a high crossbody that Bret rolls through to nearly steal it. Back to Jannetty for a double knee and a double russian legsweep to Bret and Neidhart has had enough and comes in with a double clothesline to clean house. Tag to Anvil for a shoulderblock that literally sends Jannetty into the apron! Marty slides back in between Neidhart’s legs and actually takes him down with a drop toehold. Michaels comes in for a shoulderblock that is obviously no-sold. Michaels leapfrogs and goes for a slam. Neidhart literally laughs at it and easily reverses into his own, but Michaels blocks and lands on his feet before Neidhart turns around into a dropkick for two. Michaels charges but Neidhart catches him and slams him down before bringing Bret back in. And we get Bret vs. Michaels! Criss cross with Michaels leapfrogging once, trying to leapfrog twice but Bret catches him in mid-air and atomic drops him, immediately followed by a clothesline. Bret with a violent stomp to the gut and it’s back to Neidhart. Michaels criss crosses and Bret catches him with a knee to the back on the apron. Neidhart whips him and catches him with a backdrop. The elevation on that was insane. Back to Bret for a headbutt to the back. Snapmare followed by the elbowdrop to the throat. Bret picks him back up and drops Michaels with a hard whip into the buckle. Anvil comes back in and slugs away. A massive Anvil spear in the corner gets two. Back to Bret once again with Michaels catching him with a sunset flip for two. Meanwhile the tag champs Demolition come down to ringside while Bret headbutts Michaels right in the jaw to maintain control. Bret follows up with a backbreaker, driving the knee to the back. He finally notices Demolition at ringside and gets up on the ropes to argue with them, which gives Michaels enough time to get back up and dropkick Bret over the top to the floor. And we take a break.
We come back with Demolition still at ringside and Bret ramming Michaels’ head into the buckles to get back in control. Nasty uppercut by Bret in the corner. Michaels reverses a whip into the corner and charges but eats boot. Bret goes up for the middle rope elbow but Michaels is out of the way and he gets the hot tag to Jannetty. Marty comes in running wild and hits a great flying elbow smash for two. He stops to hit Neidhart as well and powerslams Bret. Great looking superkick gets a nearfall as Vince declares this a SEE SAW MATCH UP BACK AND FORTH!! Sunset flip out of the corner gets two more. Jannetty whips Bret for a backdrop but gets caught with a swinging neckbreaker. Double KO spot. Thankfully for Bret he’s close to his corner so he gets the tag to Anvil. Bret catapults Neidhart up and over the top rope off the apron, but Jannetty moves out of the way and makes the tag to Michaels. Neidhart knocks Michaels inside out with the mother of all shoulderblocks but only gets two. The crowd is going bananas as these four have won them over with their amazing work. Backdrop attempt by Neidhart but Michaels stops him with a knee and takes him down with a flying elbow smash to the face. Neidhart catches Michaels going for a flying bodypress, but he’s too tired and Michaels actually falls on top. Neidhart kicks out at two with authority and sends Michaels flying all the way to the floor near Demolition. From there all hell breaks loose with everyone going at it for the no contest/double DQ at 9:30.
- Rating: Was this great or what. I understand the no-contest as the Foundation are the contenders for the tag titles, while the Rockers are also one of the best tag teams and one of the next line. Personally I didn’t mind the finish, as (remember) this is not a PPV and this is exactly the place to do these non-finishes, not at the pay-per-views. Would it have been even better with a proper finish? Unquestionably. Still a fantastic tag match between two of the very best teams ever, and quite possibly the greatest match from the WWF in 1990 up until this point. ****
Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan mocks Texas and says Haku is the next champion. Warrior says some words, I believe.
WWF Championship: The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. Haku(w/ Bobby Heenan)
Haku attacks during Warrior’s entrance but goes nowhere as Warrior turns things around and backdrops him to start. Warrior follows that up with a clothesline and finally takes off the belt while Haku bails. Back in for a Warrior shoulderblock. Warrior criss crosses, ducks a chop and nails one of his own. Warrior works a wristlock (check out the moveset) and throws him around the ring before sending him flying over the top rope. Warrior throws him back in and rams his head into the buckle repeatedly. Haku catches him with a number of clotheslines though, and a dropkick gets two. A nice backbreaker gets two more as Heenan starts intimidating the referee. Backdrop suplex gets the same. Haku pounds away, bodyslam followed by a splash gets two. Warrior gets up and he’s had enough. Clothesline, clothesline, shoulderblock, Warrior splash, thanks for coming Haku at 4:49. You can barely hear Finkel make the post-match announcement while the arena’s lights have been turned off apart from the first rows. Canned reactions for poor Warrior, as many people left after watching Hogan. Ever wondered why the title was back in Hogan’s hands a year later?
- Rating: I’ve seen worse. They kept it short and that was better for everyone involved. *
Another ‘Arrogance’ promotional video, this time while Martel plays tennis.
(Alleged) Main-Event: The Big Bossman vs. Akeem(w/ Slick)
Akeem slugs away to take over early on. Akeem hits Bossman with his ass in the corner and follows up with a splash for two. Bossman catches him with a backdrop all the way to the apron and then slingshots him back in. Bossman slam for the pin but Ted DiBiase and Virgil run in for the DQ instead at 3:18. Heel beatdown follows, with DiBiase handcuffing Bossman to the ropes. Sadly for him Bossman has the keys to his own handcuffs (duh), unties himself and cleans house.
- Rating: Used for angle advancement. There’s nothing wrong with that. 1/2*
Warrior addresses Rick Rude to close the show.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: This was a really nice episode. A much better upgrade compared to WrestleMania, which was boring and flat out horrible apart from the main-event. The opener is worth a look, the Harts/Rockers tag match is DEFINITELY worth a look and will be a contender for WWF’s match of the year. The other matches were angles advancement (Bossman and Earthquake’s) and Warrior getting his first successful title defense on television. While the canned reactions and empty seats (ouch) in the Warrior match were a really bad sign for the future, this was still a very good show. 7/10
For feedback and comments, email me at email@example.com
You can read about how my point system works here.
|The Ultimate Warrior||1||1||1 for retaining a title||3|
|The Big Bossman||0.5||0.5||1||2|
Thank you so much for reading. Next up, NWA/WCW with the Capital Combat PPV featuring a steel cage main-event match over the World title between Ric Flair and Lex Luger. Make sure you don’t miss it. Stay safe!
Vacant WWF Intercontinental Championship: Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana (WWF Superstars of Wrestling – May 19 1990)
This won’t count into the point system because I usually don’t review TV matches and it wouldn’t be unfair to everyone else. This is a special occasion since it’s a title match. Perfect went over Jimmy Snuka to get here, while Tito defeated Akeem by count-out. Semi final matches were not necessary because both Piper/Martel and Beefcake/Bravo ended in draws, thus sending Perfect and Tito both to the final match automatically.
Perfect works a headlock on the mat which Tito reverses and turns into a wristlock. They go back and forth fighting over the wristlock until Tito catches him by surprise with another back elbow to the face. Perfect and Tito exchange some words and Perfect cheapshots him to take over. Tito reverses a whip into the buckle and catches him coming out of the corner with a hiptoss. And another. A dropkick follows and dumps Perfect. Back in for a slingshot off the apron for two. Back to the wristlock goes Tito, taking Perfect down to his knees. Perfect again goes after the hair to escape. Santana shoulderblocks him twice but Perfect trips him on the criss cross and dumps Tito to the floor. Perfect follows him outside with a chop. Back in with Perfect pounding away. Tito gets a shot and sunset flips him for two. Perfect is right on top of Tito and gets a nearfall of his own. A massive Perfect clothesline sends Tito to the floor, but Tito catches him and rams Perfect’s leg into the post twice to take over. Back in with Tito going to work on the leg as Perfect begs for mercy on his knees. Tito responds by kicking him in the leg near the ropes for the classic Hennig bump. And another one. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan joins us at ringside and allows Perfect to cradle Tito and nearly steal it. Tito bodyslams Perfect and goes signals for the big forearm, but Heenan gets up on the apron. Tito stops to go after him and Perfect catches him with an inside cradle for the win and the IC title at 7:00. After the match, Perfect announces Heenan as his new ‘perfect’ manager.
- Rating: Really solid TV match. Nice wrestling exchanges between both wrestlers and very smart wrestling by both veterans. They were constantly trying to outwrestle each other and Santana was able to get the upper hand numerous times when his experience took over Perfect’s pride. The Bobby Heenan finish was nice and the beginning of a partnership that had everything to be ace. ***1/4