Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: WWF at Madison Square Garden 2/19/90

Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect and the Genius

As we continue on towards Wrestlemania VI and also to the third-ever Main Event in just a few days, we head back into the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden for what to this point has been a pretty blasé show. It was very obvious going into the month of February that the main event of Wrestlemania was going to be Hogan vs. Warrior, but first we had to get through these next two months because you knew they weren’t going to be touching each other on the house shows. On the other side of the coin, Perfect was still gaining some steam as the top heel despite a big loss at the Rumble and the recent loss to Hogan and Warrior at SNME though it was Genius that took the pin. Despite this, you knew that Hogan and Perfect would still go around the house shows and work their feud out even though by this point there was no chance Perfect was taking the title and he was just here to get Hogan to Wrestlemania.

Since the Rumble, the two men would continue to feud on the house shows with Hogan regularly defeating Perfect and they would continue to snipe at each other on TV, and then we had the SNME match where Hogan and Warrior defeated Perfect and Genius in a tag match. It was originally announced that this match here at MSG would be a handicap match with Hogan facing Perfect and Genius, but then out of nowhere it is announced that Beefcake would be Hogan’s partner which seems a bit random. It does seem a bit weird that they advertised this as a handicap match before quickly making it into a tag match, but I guess they wanted to get Beefcake involved somehow since Hogan was going to be transitioned off of Perfect here shortly.

Genius and Perfect were red hot as heels while Beefcake and Hogan get big pops from the crowd as Beefcake comes out in red and yellow tights to match Hogan which was pretty cool. Perfect and Genius waste no time as they stomp on Hogan and Beefcake when they slide into the ring to start the match, but Hogan and Beefcake trip them up and pound on them before tossing both over the top to the floor. Perfect and Genius regroup on the floor before Perfect returns to the ring to officially start the match with Hogan, and they lock up with Hogan shoving Perfect into the corner and they lock up again with Perfect backing Hogan into the corner and pounding on him. He whips Hogan hard into the other corner and pounds on him as he knocks him to the outside, and Hogan rolls back into the ring and grabs at Perfect’s leg only for Perfect to pound on him and he kicks at him. He continues to pound on Hogan who reverses a whip and he hits a big boot that sends Perfect over the top to the floor, and Genius gets in the ring only for Hogan to knock him to the floor and Beefcake tags in as he goes outside. He rams Perfect and Genius’ heads together and then he rams their heads into the apron before throwing both men into the ring, and he pounds on Genius and whips him into a boot from Hogan in the corner before nailing Perfect and he whips him into a shot from Hogan. Beefcake sets Perfect up for a piledriver and slams down on the back of Perfect’s head before knocking him down, and Hogan tags in and he kicks at Perfect before raking the eyes and he hits a clothesline before knocking Genius to the floor. He kicks at Perfect and rakes the eyes before tagging Beefcake as they hit a double back elbow on Perfect, and Beefcake rakes his boot across Perfect’s face and pounds on him before raking the eyes and he hits a high knee on Perfect for a two count. Hogan tags in as he goes up to the middle rope and hits an axehandle on Perfect before hitting a slam, and he drops a pair of elbows on Perfect and knocks Genius to the floor again before ramming Perfect into the buckle. He pounds on Perfect and knocks him down before raking his boot across Perfect’s face and he knocks him down again, and he whips Perfect into the corner and hits a back elbow that sends Perfect over the top to the floor. Genius crawls over to Perfect and hands him the scroll as Hogan goes outside and Perfect nails him in the head with the scroll, and he rams Hogan into the post and pounds on him before ramming him into the guardrail. He throws Hogan back into the ring and rakes his boot across Hogan’s face before pounding on him and Genius tags in, and he kicks at Hogan and knocks him down before scratching his back and he tears at his face in the corner. Perfect chokes Hogan with the tag rope from the apron and Genius pounds on him before choking him as Perfect tags in, and he pounds on Hogan and kicks at him before hitting a clothesline and he continues to pound on Hogan. Genius tags in and goes up top only for Hogan to get his knees up on the moonsault, and Genius grabs at Hogan’s leg only for Hogan to shove him away and Beefcake gets the hot tag as he fires up on Perfect and he knocks Genius to the floor. Beefcake hits a running kneelift on Perfect and then he hooks a sleeper on Perfect as Genius and Hogan come in and Hogan knocks Genius down, and the ref forces Hogan outside as Genius grabs the scroll and nails Beefcake in the back of the head with it. Hogan chases Genius to the outside as Perfect gets a two count on Beefcake and Genius returns to ringside, and Perfect pounds on Beefcake and stomps on him as Beefcake crawls to the wrong corner and Genius hotshots him on the top rope. Perfect rams Beefcake into the buckle and hits a short clothesline before tagging Genius who pounds on Beefcake on the mat, and he tears at Beefcake’s face for a two count as Perfect tags in and he pounds on Beefcake. Perfect stomps on him and draws Hogan into the ring as Genius comes in and kicks at Beefcake while Perfect rams him into the buckle, and Genius chokes Beefcake with the tag rope from the apron as Perfect kicks at him and he hits a kneelift on Beefcake. He pounds on Beefcake and sets him up for a piledriver only to snap his neck around and Genius hotshots Beefcake on the top rope, but Beefcake catches Perfect ducking with a kick and tags Hogan only for the ref to be distracted by Genius and he misses the tag as he forces Hogan out. Perfect drags Beefcake back to his corner and tags Genius who chokes Beefcake on the mat, and he pounds on Beefcake on the mat and kicks at him before pounding on him as Beefcake tries to battle back. Genius rakes the eyes and pounds on Beefcake before tearing at his face in the corner and he stomps on him, and Perfect tags in as he kicks at Beefcake and taunts him while Beefcake tries to battle back only for Perfect to rake the eyes. Perfect pounds on Beefcake and hits a clothesline before hitting the Perfect-Plex for a two count as Hogan breaks it up, and Genius tags in and grabs at Beefcake only for Hogan to get the hot tag and he knocks Genius down. He nails Perfect which sends him over the top to the floor and he hits a slam on Genius before pounding on him as Perfect comes in, and Hogan rams their heads together as Beefcake comes in only for Perfect to pound on him and Hogan pounds on Genius before hitting a big boot. Beefcake backdrops Perfect over the top to the floor as Hogan hits the legdrop on Genius which gets the three and wins the match for his team. After the match, Hogan whips Genius into the sleeper from Beefcake and then Hogan throws the ref out of the ring, and Hogan and Beefcake mock Genius as Beefcake pulls a pair of scissors out of his boot and he cuts some of Genius’ hair off until officials come out and help Genius out of the ring as Hogan and Beefcake celebrate.

The match itself was solid as both teams worked hard and put on a pretty good tag match which ended up being better than what the handicap match probably would’ve been. Hogan and Beefcake have looked pretty good since teaming up last summer while Perfect and Genius have also looked solid as a team, and it was pretty clear they were going to transition Perfect off of Hogan and into a feud with Beefcake as we head into Wrestlemania. That’s partially why I think they added Beefcake into this match at the last minute and as mentioned, it was probably a better option than what the handicap match would’ve been. It was smart to have Genius take the pin because it does keep Perfect strong though by this point you wonder if they were going to have the feud with Hogan end without a proper blowoff on a big stage between the two. Considering that the match went almost 16 minutes, you would think that they could’ve had a bit of a hotter match than they did though what they did was still pretty solid given who was involved. The crowd was into the match and popped big for Hogan and Beefcake when they won. Hogan and Beefcake get the win over Perfect and Genius, but this issues between these four men are not over yet.

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.