Welcome everyone to my review of The Main Event IV, the last WWF show from 1990 that I’ll be reviewing. Featuring Ted DiBiase challeging The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Title, The Big Bossman taking on Heenan Family member Mr. Perfect and (another) Strike Force explosion.
Note: this show featured a 2/3 falls tag match that saw The Rockers beat The Hart Foundation to win the Tag Team Titles, but the match never aired and the title change was never officially recognized by the company. The match ended controversially, with one of the turnbuckles being destroyed, which served as the (kayfabe) excuse to put the titles back on the Harts. The real reason it never aired was because two ropes exploded very early into the match and resulted in a visually weird match (specially considering it was a tag match in which you need the ropes even more), and Vince ultimately decided to keep it off the broadcast and never air it. The Rockers title win was never acknowledged and The Harts kept the title, and The Rockers would eventually split about a year later without ever winning them.
Anyway, onto the show…
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:
- WWF Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich (due to tape delay, Mr. Perfect’s eventual title win had already happened but only aired in December)
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Vince McMahon & Roddy Piper
Taped from Fort Wayne, Indiana
Ted DiBiase & Ultimate Warrior both cut backstage promos with Mean Gene and Sean Mooney respectively to open the show. Warrior says money can’t buy biceps, and I don’t even know where to start with that one.
WWF Championship: The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. Ted DiBiase(w/ Virgil)
DiBiase gets an “already in the ring” jobber entrance before jumping Warrior while he makes his entrance. Warrior soon turns the tables shortly after the bell though, and DiBiase & Virgil eat the double noggin knocker. Warrior continues to run wild until he misses a blind charge in the corner, as DiBiase comes down with a middle rope elbowdrop for two. DiBiase hits a piledriver for two, with Warrior barely getting his shoulder off the mat. He tries a second one but Warrior backdrops his way out this time around, only for Virgil to get involved allowing DiBiase to dump Warrior with a clothesline. And we take a break.
We come back with DiBiase nailing the million dollar fistdrop for two. DiBiase works a hold and goes for a clothesline that Warrior blocks with a backslide for two. DiBiase suplex gets two. A second one is blocked by Warrior though, and he sunset flips DiBiase for two. No, you didn’t read wrong nor did I make a mistake, The Ultimate Warrior did a sunset flip! Warrior follows it up with a suplex before they clothesline each other for a double KO spot. DiBiase goes up for another middle rope elbow, but this time Warrior hits him on the way down and starts making his comeback. Warrior hits the flying shoulderblock and goes for the pin, but here’s Virgil for the DQ instead at 9:47. After the match Randy Savage comes out to destroy Warrior with the scepter, leaving down and out as their program continues. Warrior then very slowly gets back up to his feet and raises the belt up with perfect timing, which gets a huge reaction. This is probably the best I’ve ever seen Warrior sell an angle, he was honestly great in this post-match segment.
- Rating: This is definitely a must watch match, and probably the closest you can get to an Ultimate Warrior “hidden gem”. You can tell Warrior was more motivated than usual and feeling it, doing rare moves such as a suplex and a sunset flip while DiBiase did his best to put all the pieces of the puzzle together like the great pro he is. Easily one of the best Warrior matches as WWF Champion, I’d recommend you giving it a try. Good stuff. ***
Meanwhile, Randy Savage reveals DiBiase paid him to attack Warrior after the match. Don’t Kings usually pay other people to do their dirty work for them? Well, I guess everybody really does have a price!
Sgt. Slaughter(w/ General Adnan) vs. Nikolai Volkoff
Or maybe not, as Slaughter attacks Nikolai before the bell until Jim Duggan makes the save. No match.
Mr. Perfect vs. The Big Bossman
Bossman wanted to kill Bobby Heenan after he talked shit about Bossman’s mother, so therefore Heenan isn’t at ringside for this match, which is the most Bobby Heenan thing ever! Bossman pounds away to start as Perfect bumps all over the ring. Bossman grabs Perfect by the hair and drags him around on his knees in a hilarious bit before sending him into the corner for the famous “Perfect’s balls hit the post” spot. Perfect avoids a Bossman attack with a cartwheel, only to turn around and eat a massive clothesline for his efforts. Never do cartwheels in a fight! Bossman goes up and misses a splash, allowing Perfect to hit a VICIOUS reverse Perfect necksnap (the Perfect backsnap then?) which completely snaps Bossman’s back IN HALF. I don’t remember him doing it this way, but it sure looked awesome here and Bossman sold it like a… boss!
Perfect pounds away on the back while Bossman does a fantastic selljob. Perfect small package gets two and then back to the assault to the back goes Perfect. Bossman shows some life as he starts making a comeback while Perfect exposes a turnbuckle. Perfect cuts off the comeback and tries to send Bossman into the buckle, but ends up eating it himself instead with a classic Perfect flip bump out of the corner. Now Bossman starts making his big comeback until he meets the exposed buckle back first. Perfect is thinking Perfectplex, but Bossman blocks and turns it into a small package for two. Perfectplex connects on a second attempt… for a rare nearfall! Bobby Heenan runs in and draws Bossman for a pursuit, running away from him and even taking a comedy bump backstage. However, Bossman doesn’t make it back inside in time and Perfect gets the cheap count-out win at 8:15.
- Rating: I didn’t expect much from this match, and I can honestly say it was a great surprise. That neck/backsnap was the turning point in the match, with great psychology and selling over Bossman’s back from that moment on. I enjoyed the heck out of this match and I honestly would’ve loved five more minutes or so to tell a better story. The Heenan non-finish made sense according to the story, as Bossman had more problems with Heenan than with Perfect in particular and he wanted to get his hands on him. These two had their working boots on and put on a good effort. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan runs away from Bossman and asks Mean Gene for help.
Blow Away commercial featuring Buddy Rose. You can eat whatever you want and magically get lean by just putting powder on your body and blowing it away. Get it? Blowing away? Superstar shakeup? Haha.. One person found this funny. His name starts with a V. Moving on.
Main Event – Tito Santana vs. Rick Martel
Hey look, another Strike Force explosion more than a year after their split. It’s weird how they just slowly transitioned Martel into “The Model” without ever doing a proper feud between these two, outside of a few throw-away matches with DQ finishes on SNMEs. Martel jumps Chico to start only to get outsmarted and sent arm-first into the post. Tito goes to work on the back and completely outwrestles him, keeping him down while he works the arm. Martel finally escapes but Tito small packages him for two and goes back to the arm. Martel wrestles his way into a chinlock only for Tito to turn that into a hammerlock just as fast. Nice wrestling here. They get to the ropes so Martel can get his cheapshot in on the clean break, finally taking over from there. Martel chokes away and just blatantly cheats with every move he does (I love Martel’s heel in-ring work) and he hits a backbreaker. Martel goes up but Tito crotches him, gives him a backbreaker of his own and then goes up himself with a flying clothesline connecting for two. A Martel atomic drop is blocked by Tito and turned into a figure four, which Martel then turns into a small package and eventually into the Boston Crab for the submission win at 6:46.
- Rating: Technically a very strong match. Santana outsmarted, outwrestled and outclassed Martel in every way possible to start off the match, forcing Martel to cheat in order to stay alive in the contest. The final sequence was very solid as well and saw Martel get a rare relatively clean win over Santana. I can’t say I’m not surprised even though it was probably the right decision. Martel needed the win more to add more heat to his feud with Jake Roberts, while Tito was an established veteran at this point in his career already and would’ve stayed over regardless. Good yet criminally short. **3/4
Meanwhile, Jake Roberts says he’s going to make Rick Martel pay while Warrior wants to get his hands on Savage.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Was everyone feeling it here or what!? WWF’s (Saturday Night’s) Main Event was unquestionably the most consistent show of the year, and this edition proved to be no exception. All three matches are good yet all of them are relatively short (the show is a little over 45 minutes long). However, with that said, all three matches get their respective stories and/or characters more over than they were coming in, which is great to see. Even though this is not a legendary show or anything like that, it’s really enjoyable. And sometimes that’s all you need. A high 6/10.
For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to find out more about my point system
|The Ultimate Warrior||3||0.5||+1 for successfully defending a title||4.5|
|The Big Bossman||3.25||-0.5||2.75|
And that’s it for the WWF’s pay-per-views and (Saturday Night’s) Main Events in the year of 1990. All there is left to review from this year is NWA/WCW’s major PPV StarrCade, as we’ll then do the usual year-end article looking at the best matches and wrestlers from both companies in that particular year. Make sure you miss none, and stay safe!