Hi everyone and welcome to my review of yet another edition of WWF’s SNME. This episode features the debut of ‘Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich and the three WWF championships up for grabs – Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude for the WWF Title, Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana for the IC Title and Demolition vs. Rockers for the Tag Titles. Also, Hulk Hogan makes his return after the beatdown by Earthquake.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:
- WWF Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Mr. Perfect
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax, Smash & Crush)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Taped from Omaha, Nebraska
This show is called “wild kingdom” and features Mean Gene & Lord Alfred Hayes in the jungle meeting numerous WWF wrestlers such as Jake Roberts, Bushwhackers, Jimmy Snuka, etc in some cartoonish skits. WWF being the WWF, this is just not for me so I won’t mention this again. Moving on.
WWF Championship: The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. Rick Rude(w/ Bobby Heenan)
Warrior throws Rude around from pillar to post with Rude flying all around the ring as usual. Atomic drop for the classic Rick Rude selljob as Warrior continues to run wild. Flying double axehandle sets up the Warrior Splash already, but Rude moves out of the way and hits Warrior with the belt while Heenan distracts the ref. And we take a break.
We’re back with Warrior catching Rude with a reverse atomic drop for more of Rude’s unique selljob. Warrior tries a slam but Rude reverses that and hooks a chinlock. We get the classic pass out finish, but the ref raises Warrior’s leg instead of his arm. That’s rather unique too. Warrior obviously fights out and goes for a clothesline, but Rude blocks and actually catches Warrior with the Rude Awakening. Rude covers but Warrior warriors up at two and he makes the comeback with the usual. The Warrior Splash connects for the win… no, Heenan puts Rude’s foot on the ropes! They go out and it’s a count-out win for Warrior instead at 9:43 and Heenan gets thrown around to end the segment.
- Rating: It’s weird to see these two wrestling for the title here with the cage match already announced for SummerSlam. As for the match itself, it was fine but nothing memorable at all. Easily one of the less special Warrior Rude matches. **
Meanwhile, we get a nice video of some of Hulk Hogan’s greatest moments including the first title win over the Sheik and the WrestleMania main-events… ending with Earthquake squashing Hogan and putting him out. Not a bad video package if you consider it was done over thirty years ago.
WWF World Tag Team Championship: Demolition (Smash & Crush)(c)(w/ Ax) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
The exciting babyfaces clean house to start with a number of high flying moves. Michaels hits a hurricanrana only for Crush to cheapshot him from behind and turn things around. Jannetty catches Crush with a bad looking sunset flip for two as the Rockers go back to working over the champs. Eventually another cheapshot to Jannetty knocks him off the apron to the floor as we go to a break.
We come back with the Demos still in control. Crush hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by a nice one-handed chokeslam on Jannetty. He ends up being able to escape and manages to reach Michaels for the hot tag. Michaels runs wild coming in, cleaning house with a number of dropkicks and superkicks. He hits a flying fistdrop on Smash but Crush comes in to break up the count. This gets the referee distracted and allows Smash and Ax to pull out the good ol’ switcheroo. Ax knocks Michaels right into the middle of the next decade with a stiff lariat and he covers to steal the win and retain at 9:31. The Hart Foundation and the debuting LOD come out to protest the decision.
- Rating: Decent match here between two awesome teams designed to get the Demolition’s switcheroo shtick over heading into SummerSlam. You could see Crush was still a bit green and trying to find his footing at times, but it’s not a major issue and it didn’t hurt the match. Good enough match with an even better finish. ***
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Mr. Perfect(c)(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Tito Santana
Rematch from the episode of Superstars back in May that saw Perfect win the then-vacant title. Perfect takes over with a kick to the gut on the lockup. Tito responds with a hiptoss. Another one and a dropkick sends Perfect flying over the top rope as Perfect bails. Santana follows him outside and chops him at ringside. Back inside for a wristlock reversal sequence followed by a Tito backdrop, but he telegraphs it too much and Perfect kicks him. A clothesline takes Santana down as Heenan reminds Perfect to pace himself since Tito is the one who has to win, not Perfect. Good stuff. Perfect kneelift followed by the greatest dropkick in the wrestling business. In my humble opinion, of course. Santana fights back as they get into a slugfest that ends with a Perfect bodyslam. While Perfect works a chinlock, Heenan asks “you wanna choke him?” before proceeding to distract the ref and allowing Perfect to choke away. Once the ref turns back, Perfect is back with the regular headlock locked in. The chemistry between Perfect and Heenan was on another level! Santana shows that all is fair in love and war by grabbing Perfect’s hair in order to escape the hold, and Perfect ends up eating boot on a blind charge before Santana runs him over with a clothesline. Perfect begs for mercy on his knees à la Flair and that earns him a punch to the face. However, Perfect “accidentally” takes the ref down with the impact as Santana kicks Perfect’s leg from under him for the classic Perfect bump near the ropes. Santana locks in the figure four in the middle of the ring. The crowd is going nuts and Perfect is giving it up but there’s no ref to call it! Santana ends up breaking the hold himself so he can bring the ref back to life. Flying Jalapeno connects! The ref crawls over on one leg – one…….. two…… nearfall! Heenan is losing his mind on the outside. Santana goes up for a flying clothesline that gets yet another delayed nearfall. Finally Santana calls for another referee, which he gets. And we get a break.
We come back with Tito hitting a crossbody for two. The crowd is getting hotter and hotter with each nearfall, this is great to see. Perfect cheapshots Santana to finally cut him off. He slugs away and a snapmare sets up the Perfect necksnap before he pauses to let Heenan wipe the sweat off his face with the towel! Perfect stomps Tito right in the skull a number of times which starts up a “Tito” chant. Santana shows some life but a thrust kick puts him back down. Perfect snaps the neck some more and slugs away in the corner until Santana responds and sends him flying. Another chop on the outside is followed by the usual Perfect crotch-first spot on the post back inside. From there Santana smartly hits a couple of atomic drops and a clothesline that literally turns Perfect inside out gets a close two. At this point Heenan doesn’t wanna watch anymore of this and he nearly leaves! This match is so good. Perfect blocks another telegraphed backdrop attempt with the Perfectplex, but Santana reverses with a cradle which then Perfect reverses into his own for the cheap win at 10:11. Heenan then has a huge a smile on his face and is super proud of Perfect, which is another awesome heel touch given he was halfway up the ramp not even a minute earlier!
- Rating: Hidden gem alert! This match was ridiculously good, I can’t recommend it enough. The action was obviously fantastic like the original Superstars match, but the added storytelling and characters (plus a few more minutes here) took this up a notch. Perfect and Heenan desperately doing anything they could to keep the title was great to watch and seriously put Santana over as a serious threat to the belt. And this was back when Santana was already more than established as a glorified jobber to the stars! The fact that Perfect had to take out the referee during Santana’s comeback was another superb touch, really selling the fact that he HAD to do that to avoid defeat before just barely being able to win and keep his belt. Santana looked great here – the best in YEARS – and showed that he deserved way more than doing five minute jobs to The Warlord on PPV, Heenan was his usual great self and Perfect played the role of the lucky underserving heel champion SO well. Everything clicked and created one hell of an enjoyable bout. Do give this a watch when you have the time, this has to be a match of the year candidate for the WWF. ****
Meanwhile, Earthquake promises he will end Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam.
(Alleged) Main-Event: ‘Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich vs. Buddy Rose
Squash city, population Rose. This is Kerry’s WWF debut match. Rose slaps Kerry on a clean break and he bails. Rose isn’t strong enough to hiptoss Kerry however, who responds with one of his own followed by a couple of bodyslams. Rose gets caught on the ropes à la Andre and Kerry slugs away. Rose rakes the eyes back inside and drops a knee on Kerry’s face. He goes up only for Kerry to slam him off and finish him with the Tornado Punch at 3:09.
- Rating: Exactly what you would expect. 1/2*
Warrior and Rude promote the cage match at SummerSlam to close the show.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: SNME continues to deliver in 1990. The show went from being completely skippable in 1989 (how I DON’T miss the Zeus days…) to a consistently fun show with at least one good match on the card. Nothing here is bad apart from the childish skits in the jungle with Mean Gene and Lord Alfred Hayes. Warrior/Rude is not one of their greatest matches but it’s still okay, Demolition/Rockers was good and Perfect/Santana absolutely rocked the house! Good show here… jungle aside! Low 7/10
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|Mr. Perfect||4||1||1 for retaining a title||6|
|3||1||1 for retaining a title||4|
|The Ultimate Warrior||2||0.5||1 for retaining a title||3.5|
|The Texas Tornado||0.5||1||1||2.5|
|Shawn Michaels||3||-1||-1 for losing the fall||1.5|
Thank you all for your time as always. Coming up next here on the blog is SummerSlam 1990, so make sure you don’t miss that! Meanwhile, have a very safe and happy easter everybody!