Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: The Main Event II – 2/3/89

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***


The Main Event II – 2/3/89

February 3, 1989
Bradley Center
Milwaukee, WI
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura

1) Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeat The Twin Towers when Hulk Hogan pins Akeem with the legdrop at 22:00

Fun Fact: Trouble has been brewing between the members of the Mega Powers for several months now, going back to the Survivor Series. Akeem and The Big Boss Man were involved in that match with the Mega Powers as well as last month’s SNME contest between Akeem and Hogan, where they double teamed Hogan after the match. Savage made the save when the duo went after Miss Elizabeth. On the 1/21 episode of Superstars, Savage was also double teamed with Hogan making the save. This sets up a big tag team match here between the Mega Powers and the Twin Towers.

Fun Fact II: For a full bio of Akeem, please see our Vintage Vault Refresh, Volume 1 eBook. The bio in the Survivor Series ‘88 event, Match #4.

Scott: The last time we had a Friday prime time event Hulk Hogan lost the WWF Championship controversially. Now one year later we see the powerhouse main event team of WWF Champion Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan against the awesome hoss team of the Twin Towers. I still think they should have gotten a tag team title rub and a feud with Demolition. This war has brewed since the fall when Hogan was attacked by Boss Man on the Brother Love show. We’ve had two PPVs worth of wars, which not only included the Mega Powers taking care of business but there has been some veiled (and not so veiled) tension between Hogan and Savage. At Survivor Series Savage thought Hogan and Elizabeth were getting a little too cozy after the match but that was worked out. Then at the Royal Rumble Hogan eliminated some heels and “accidentally” eliminated Savage in the group. That was apparently worked out too as Savage said he was simply a “victim of circumstance”. Now here on a big stage the Mega Powers are working together again. The match goes back and forth with both teams battling, and then the story really begins. Savage is whipped through the ropes, and crashes into Elizabeth on the outside. Honestly I have to say she takes a pretty good bump. Hogan becomes incredibly distraught, and out comes the EMT crew. However, for no reason whatsoever Hogan decides to grab Elizabeth and walk her to the back. Meanwhile his tag team partner gets the tar beat out of him by both Boss Man and Akeem. We leave the match while Hogan is so ridiculously over the top distraught. This is where the total lack of logic in this feud happens. There’s EMTs and medical professionals on site to help Elizabeth. Should Hogan have just draped her over his arms? What if she had a broken neck? Vince is fumbling over his words trying to justify this mess while Jesse is losing his shit over Hogan deserting his partner. Also, Hogan kept saying to a half conscious Elizabeth “Randy didn’t mean to do it.” Yeah, he didn’t mean to get involuntarily whipped through the ropes by a 400 pound behemoth. I mean who’s really acting like the heel here?

Vince is trying to justify that it’s ok for Savage to be left out in the ring alone to get the shit beat out of him while Hogan is fawning over another man’s woman in the locker room. Finally Hogan gets back to the ring apron and Savage starts to gain an advantage and tosses both Towers are on the floor. Hogan wants to be tagged in, so…Savage tags him in. By pimp slapping him clear across the face. My brother lost his mind with delight. I was still drinking the orange cool aid but 25 years later, and I would have pimp slapped Hogan too. Savage thinks about returning, then comes back to grab his title and leave. Hogan would make his obligatory comeback, and then goes backstage. Then the fireworks (and continued lack of logic) continues. Hogan is whining that Savage left him out there alone. Really? You are now complaining about being left alone? Then he tells Savage “You knocked Elizabeth down!” Yeah, because he was whipped into her by a 400 pound Twin Tower. The whole thing was utterly illogical. Was everyone in 1989 that doped up with Hulkamania drugs to not see that Hogan is clearly the heel here? Instead Savage goes on a tirade, then when Hogan isn’t looking, smacks Hogan with the belt and then beats him down before officials come in to break it up. Savage flips the gurney and walks out. The whole this is awesome but completely illogical. For Savage it gets even more frustrating as the feud builds. This is obviously set up to be the main event April 2 in Atlantic City. The match was fun as was everything else, as little sense as it made. Grade: **

JT: After 1988’s Main Event set all sorts of TV records you knew NBC would be ready to invite the WWF back for another highly anticipated special prior to WrestleMania, so here we are. Ever since the fall, cracks have been forming within the Mega Powers but each time they found a way to patch them back up. During that time, the Twin Towers and Slick have been consistent thorns in their sides and it all built up to a mammoth tag team war here in Milwaukee. The opening video with the various cut out graphics and mock newspaper headlines was tremendous in both an effective and cheesy way. Right out of the gate, Jesse Ventura continues his never ending quest to deride Elizabeth as a manager, saying the Twin Towers have the clear numbers advantage. Any time you get to hear Jive Soul Bro in a main event setting it is an automatic, immediate win. The crowd was pumped as Savage, Hogan and Liz marched to the ring and they settled in as the bell sounded and everyone cleared out, leaving Boss Man and Hogan to open things up. Hulkster would clear the ring to a big pop, showing lots of fire to start. Hulk kept pouring it on, slamming Boss Man’s head repeatedly into the corner and then dumping him right back outside. Akeem would tag in as things reset but it was more of the same as the Powers took turns working the Dream over with a series of quick tags and double teams. The fun ended with a thud as Boss Man tagged in and caught Boss Man with a stiff piledriver. However, instead of covering he tagged out to Akeem, leading Jesse to call them out for not going for the kill. Hulkster got a brief window on the floor when he shoved Boss Man in the post but it wasn’t enough to sway momentum and Boss Man grabbed a near fall back in the ring after hitting a spinebuster. Hogan was finally able to escape and tag out and Savage grabbed a near fall with a cross body but Macho was cut down when Slick smacked him with the nightstick from the floor. Jesse gloated about his prediction from earlier being born out. Akeem leaned on the champion, wearing him down and just chucking him viciously to the floor. Savage crawled back in but Akeem sent him flying back out again…however this time he careened hard into Miss Elizabeth in a nasty bump. The crowd booed as Hogan darted to floor to check on both of them. As Savage came to he saw Hogan leaning over Liz and questioned exactly what he was doing. As Macho tried to sort that out, Akeem dragged him back in the ring. Jesse was awesome here, calling Liz useless and saying she ruined this match for the Powers. As the Towers double teamed Savage, Hogan pulled Liz up and carried her to the locker room.

We continued to cut back and forth, seeing footage of the Towers dominating Savage while Hogan joined medics in taking care of Liz in the first aid room. Hogan was super dramatic here, begging the doctors to make sure she was alive and begging them to “please save her”. It was a bit much. “Randy didn’t mean it, I swear he didn’t!” After Hogan confirmed that she wasn’t dead, he jogged back to ringside and took back his perch on the apron. The Towers kept double teaming, including a nice double backbreaker, but after Hogan was able to yank the top rope down, leading to Akeem tumbling to the floor, Savage made his comeback. He dumped Boss Man to the floor and then pitched Akeem back out as well. However, instead of tagging out to Hogan… he slapped him across the face and then left the ring and eventually walked to the back. With Hogan distracted, Boss Man kicked him in the head and tossed him into the ring. The Towers pounded on the Hulkster as the crowd booed the departing champion. Looks like the Mega Powers are dead. Hogan started to come back with some right hands and was able to drop the leg on Akeem to pick up the win but the celebration was short lived as Boss Man clobbered him from behind. Boss Man tried to cuff Hulk to the rope but he wriggled free and cuffed Boss Man to Slick and then bolted to the back. Well, this match was all about the angle, pure and simple. There was some good stuff in the ring, mainly around the double teams and the excitement of the crowd, but once Savage splattered into Liz in a wicked bump, the focus shifted. I do think Hogan could have easily taken a believable loss here, even by countout but at least they made it a flash type win where he caught Akeem with a quick boot and dropped the leg to sneak the win. He didn’t come off as dominant at all as that would have been a bit too much to digest. The angle doesn’t end here for the night, but the match certainly ate up a large chunk of this show, and rightfully so. Grade: **1/2

*** When Hulk Hogan arrived backstage, Randy Savage was rambling to Elizabeth, who was in pain on the stretcher. Hogan demanded answers on why he was left alone but Savage was looking for the same type of information. Savage jammed his finger in Hogan’s face and said he had “jealous eyes” and that he is number one in the Mega Powers. Hogan tried to talk him down but Savage said Hogan knows he could never beat him and that he is just jealous. Hogan told him he was wrong but Savage kept pouring it on, saying he had lust for Liz and dared him to come at him for the title. Hogan begged Liz to talk sense into Savage, but Macho decked him with the title, sending him crashing into a table of medical equipment. Savage hammered away but Liz dove in between them. Macho grabbed Liz and chucked her across the room as Vince called him an “idiot”. Savage was about to bash Hogan with the belt, but Brutus Beefcake blocked him, giving officials a chance to protect Hulk. Savage smacked Beefcake and tossed one of the officials away before storming off. ***

2) Ted DiBiase defeats Hercules with a roll up at 7:12

Fun Fact: After Virgil was unable to take care of Hercules last month at SNME, DiBiase gets into the ring against his former “slave”.

Scott: Our only other match is the continuing battle between the Million Dollar Man and the pride of Hercules who didn’t wanted to be treated like anybody’s slave. I’m so perplexed as how DiBiase didn’t have an entrance theme by this point, as it wouldn’t debut for another year. The match starts fast for Hercules, taking out both DiBiase and Virgil but eventually the better wrestler took control and worked Herc over with his usual exceptional strikes. Hercules does make a comeback but then Virgil wraps the chain around the post and DiBiase whips Hercules into it and DiBiase gets the three count from that. There’s not much more to say other than I am surprised DiBiase didn’t get his here, but the feud between Hercules and his former manager Bobby Heenan will fire up again. The match wasn’t much and the feud quietly ends. Grade: *

JT: Well, talk about a tough spot. Poor Hercules had to power walk to the ring after THAT went down, but here we are. Herc is now officially a solid face, complete with new theme music and dark blue rights. Ted DiBiase sauntered out next as these two were looking to finally settle their battle that started when DiBiase tried to buy Herc as his slave. Herc didn’t like that and wiped out Virgil at a previous SNME before finally getting a crack at Ted. DiBiase was rocking his awesome green suit but Herc knocked it right off him when he mowed through both Ted and Virgil as soon as the hit the ring. He sent Ted flying to the floor and continued to lay a beating on Virgil too. Once things settled down, Herc hoisted up DiBiase in a military press and spiked him hard to the mat. This has been smartly booked so far as the fast pace hooked the crowd right in. An atomic drop sent DiBiase flying to the floor but Ted turned the tide on the outside with a series of right hands. Back in the ring, Ted pelted him with a clothesline and slowed things down to a pace that better suited his style. DiBiase worked Herc over and kept going for covers but couldn’t put his rival away. Herc came back with a suplex but it wasn’t enough as Ted stayed in control. Herc finally caught Ted in the corner and smacked him into the buckles before hitting a really nice powerslam. DiBiase punched back into the match as Virgil hopped on the apron and wrapped the chain around the top buckle. However, that backfired as Herc ran DiBiase into for a very close near fall. That seemed like the finish for sure. Herc hoisted Ted up into his backbreaker but the referee decided to unwrap the chain instead, allowing Virgil to yank Herc’s tights and break up the hold. DiBiase took advantage of the distraction and rolled up Herc for the win. Herc got his heat back after but him taking a loss here tells you where he stands as a potential high level face. As this was the blowoff to their big feud, him losing meant he was set to be depushed a bit. The match was solid and they were smart to cut such a brisk pace to bring the crowd into it. Grade: **

*** Backstage, a shaken and angry Hulk Hogan stomped around looking for Randy Savage in a rage, attacking random wrestlers along the way. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: There was a myriad of matches not televised, including title defenses for the Ultimate Warrior and Demolition, plus what was probably a swank Brain Busters/Rockers match. But the focus was of course the Mega Powers’ implosion. All the illogical nonsense aside it was great television. This was the big moment to kickstart the WrestleMania push for the main storyline and as time moves on the others will continue moving along. This was a quick fun watch but it would have been nice for NBC to give a little more time and add a couple more matches. Final Grade: B

JT: That was a very hectic hour of prime time pro wrestling. The Mega Powers was a major angle development, and while not as huge as what happened in 1988 it was still really big and sets us on a clear course for WrestleMania. The story has been well crafted and built since the fall and the two mega stars finally blew to pieces here. Neither match was any great shakes but really none of that mattered as this was all about setting the course for Mania. Jesse and Vince were great here too, pushing the story along as they have been doing since the summer. And for that single reason it was successful. The pacing of the whole was fantastic as no moment was wasted. This was a great entry point for new viewers and a hell of a payoff for dedicated fans. For the second straight year, WWF delivered on NBC prime time. Final Grade: A