Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: Saturday Night’s Main Event 26

The Hart Foundation vs. the Rockers

As we are coming out of Wrestlemania VI, the tag division was in a state of flux as Demolition had reclaimed the tag titles for an unprecedented third time and were looking ahead to who their next challengers would be. While the division was not quite as strong as it was about a year ago due to some teams either being broken up or not with the company anymore, there are still some strong teams in the division to step up and face Demolition. Obviously, the Hart Foundation were still one of the top teams even after a pretty blasé 1989 and they had even challenged Demolition for the titles as Wrestlemania was going on. On the other side of the coin, the Rockers were looking to finally break out of the pack even after a couple of tough losses including the countout loss to the Orient Express at Wrestlemania. While both teams were climbing up the ladder of the tag division throughout 1989, they had never crossed paths in the ring until now when it was announced that they would face off here at Saturday Night’s Main Event. You were wondering how these two teams would match up against each other in the ring, but you knew that they were possibly going to have a really good match with the winners possibly being next in line to face Demolition.

Following Wrestlemania, the Hart Foundation would begin their run with Demolition as they would face each other on the house shows in matches that would regularly end in DQs or countouts, and the Rockers would mainly continue to face the Orient Express on the house shows. On TV, the Hart Foundation and Demolition would cut promos on each other regarding their upcoming title match on TV as it was announced the Foundation would face the Rockers here. Obviously with this show being so close after Wrestlemania, there wasn’t much in the way of build though this is the type of match that doesn’t need much build when you know it is going to be good.

The Hart Foundation give a good promo from the crowd as they are acting like heels despite being faces and the Rockers also give a solid promo, and both teams get a pretty good pop from the crowd and they are pretty split for the whole match. Hart starts off the match with Jannetty and they lock up with Jannetty hooking a headlock and Hart whips him off, but Jannetty slides under him and escapes a slam attempt only for Hart to block a rollup attempt. Jannetty leaps over him and Hart hits a hiptoss only for Jannetty to kick him to the mat, and Jannetty rams him into the buckle and tags Michaels who goes up top and hits a crossbody only for Hart to roll through for a two count. Michaels works on the arm and tags Jannetty as they kick Hart to the mat before hitting a double Russian legsweep, and they do stereo nip ups as Neidhart comes in and hits a double clothesline on the Rockers. Neidhart tags in and pounds on Jannetty before hooking a headlock and he knocks Jannetty through the ropes to the apron, and Jannetty slides under the rope and Neidhart before hitting a drop toehold and he hooks a front facelock on. Michaels tags in and hooks a headlock on Neidhart who whips him off and neither man goes down when they collide, and Michaels leaps over Neidhart only for Neidhart to block a slam attempt and Michaels escapes a slam attempt. He hits a dropkick on Neidhart for a two count and he leaps over him only for Neidhart to catch him on a leap and he hits a slam, and Hart tags in and pounds on Michaels who reverses a whip only for Hart to catch him on a leap and he hits an atomic drop. Hart hits a clothesline on Michaels and stomps on him before tagging Neidhart and he whips Michaels off the ropes with Hart ramming the knee into Michaels’ back from the apron, and Neidhart hooks a front facelock on Michaels and hits a backdrop before tagging Hart who hits a headbutt to Michaels’ back. He pounds on Michaels and hits a snapmare before dropping an elbow on him and he whips him hard into the corner, and Neidhart tags in and he pounds on Michaels before ramming the shoulder into the ribs repeatedly. Hart tags in and he whips Neidhart into Michaels in the corner for a two count as Hart pounds on him, and Michaels surprises Hart with a sunset flip for a two count as Demolition come down to ringside. Neidhart and Jannetty get distracted by Demolition as Hart hits a headbutt on Michaels and then he hits a backbreaker on Michaels, but then he gets distracted by Demolition which allows Michaels to hit a dropkick that sends Hart over the top to the floor. Demolition try to help Hart up and Hart shoves them away as we go to a commercial break, and back from the break Hart rolls back into the ring and drops an elbow on Michaels before ramming him into the buckle twice. He pounds on Michaels in the corner and stomps on him only for Michaels to reverse a whip into the other corner, but Hart catches him with a boot to the face and he goes up to the middle rope only to miss the elbow. Jannetty gets the hot tag and he fires up on Hart before hitting a jumping back elbow and he gets a shot in on Neidhart, and Jannetty hits a powerslam on Hart and turns his attention to Demolition briefly before hitting a superkick on Hart for a two count. He rams Hart into the buckle and Hart reverses a whip into the other corner only for Jannetty to hook a sunset flip for a two count, but Hart catches Jannetty ducking with a swinging neckbreaker and he slingshots Neidhart into the ring only for Jannetty to avoid the flying tackle. Michaels tags in and he kicks at Neidhart twice only for Neidhart to duck a shot and he hits a flying tackle for a two count, but Michaels catches him ducking with a shot and he hits a spinning back elbow for a two count. Neidhart reverses a whip into the corner and he catches Michaels on a springboard crossbody attempt only for Michaels to fall on top for a two count, and Neidhart sends Michaels to the outside and Demolition try to help him up before putting him back into the ring. Jannetty comes over and gets a shot in on Ax as Demolition get in the ring and the ref calls for the bell as he declares a double disqualification, and after the match the teams continue to brawl as officials come out and keep them apart.

The match itself was pretty good as both teams worked hard and put on a solid tag match that clearly needed more time to reach the next level. The Hart Foundation were reaching their peak as a team by this point and the Rockers were also getting into a groove by this point, and as we saw they had really good chemistry and you could see that these two teams could potentially have a great feud down the line. Even though both teams were faces, the Foundation worked as heels which made it work since the Rockers were a better team to be the faces in a match like this. The only issue I had was Demolition coming down to ringside even though it made sense since they were in essence scouting both teams, but it killed a bit of the flow and the ending was a weak cop out as the Foundation could’ve used a big win on TV and the Rockers wouldn’t be hurt too bad by the loss. The crowd was into the match and split between both teams, but are not happy with the ending. The match ends in a double disqualification and both teams move on.

Final Grade: ***

Author: Steve Riddle

I have been a wrestling fan since 1993 and that is probably my biggest love, with movies being a close second due in part to being employed at a movie theater for over 9 years.