Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WWF @ Nassau Coliseum 6/10/89

WWF @ Nassau Coliseum
June 10th, 1989
Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, New York
Attendance: 12,000

Note: This is the WWE 24/7 version of this show.

We're on the road to Summerslam '89 and the big Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus tag team main event. Big matches tonight include the Rockers looking for revenge against the Rougeau Brothers, Jimmy Snuka's big return match against the Honky Tonk Man, as well as a Greg Valentine-Brutus Beefcake match and the Hart Foundation against the Powers of Pain. Let's get right to it.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes

The Genius vs. Jim Powers

Genius does his usual terrible poem before the match with two microphones in his hand, which is just bizarre. Genius gets some great heat here and it's surprising that it took them so long to turn him heel because he was so damned unlikable to begin with even as a prancing, frisbee-throwing babyface. Powers gets a decent reaction and looks like he just came out of literally bathing in steroids. Powers music is so cheesy, 80s pop-metal with lyrics like "We're going to Party Town!". Schiavone and Hayes are the announce team, which is simply bizarre to listen to. Lots of stalling from the Genius to start. Genius gives Powers a hip toss and does a few prancing cartwheels to celebrate. God Lanny Poffo was weird. Powers takes the upper hand for a bit with a few hip tosses and a dropkick, sending Genius to the outside to the crowd's delight. They do the criss-cross spot in the ring but Genius bails again. Lots more stalling. Back inside Powers works an armbar for a bit. Genius bails to the outside again after a scoop slam and the Genius gets in a few cheap shots on his way back in. He lays some boots into Powers in the corner and briefly tries choking him until the ref forces him to break. Bridging suplex gets Genius a two count. Powers gets a rollup for a near fall. Genius misses a dropkick in the corner and falls to the mat nastily. Genius goes for a somersault off the top rope, which is pretty wild for the WWF in 1989, but Powers rolls out of the way just in time. Big dropkick gets him a two count. Powers delivers a big snap suplex and appears to turn it into a schoolboy, but Genius shifts their weight over and Powers shoulders are on the mat when the ref counts 3 to give Genius the win at 14:02. Slow match but it picked up a bit at the end. This could've used five minutes shaved off of it though, because the Genius really needs a big babyface to carry him and Jim Powers just wasn't that guy. Could've been worse though.

The Rockers vs. Rougeau Brothers

The Rockers sprint to the ring immediately, Shawn with a bandage around his neck as the result of an attack from the Rougeaus a few weeks back. They're looking for revenge here and both of these teams were great at this time, so this should be good. Lots of stalling from the Rougeaus to start, finally the Rockers say "screw this" and try chasing the Rougeaus around the ring for awhile to no avail. The Rockers lay in the middle of the ring, sarcastically telling the Rougeaus to come in and pin them, but they immediately nip up when the Rougeaus enter the ring so they bail again. After more stalling Shawn and Jacques start us off with Jacques eating a quick clothesline and immediately the Rockers start the double-team, trading tags and splashing Jacques. Raymond comes in but eats a double dropkick and he and Jacques bail again for a breather. Crowd is fired up, firmly behind the Rockers in every way. Back inside Jannetty and Raymond go at it and trade near falls. Jacques comes back in and Jannetty clotheslines the both of them, prompting Shawn in and the Rockers ram the Rougeaus into eachother as this match has been all Rockers at this point. The Rougeaus finally get some offense on Shawn while Marty and the ref argue. Shawn gets tossed upside down into the corner and the Rougeaus have taken the upper hand, isolating Michaels in their corner while Marty and the ref continue arguing. They continue working away at Shawn, working on the lower back with a Camel clutch. Big crescent kick sends Shawn all the way to the outside from Jacques. Back inside the double-teaming continues as Shawn is in bad shape, being beaten down in the corner by both of the Rougeaus. Jacques locks him in a Boston crab and the work continues on Michaels' lower back. This goes on for a bit with Shawn coming close to tagging Marty only to be dragged back to the Rougeau's corner and put in one submission move after another. More heel antics from the Rougeaus using the ropes to add pressure to the submissions on Michaels behind the refs back. At this point the babyface-in-peril segment of this match should really be wrapping up, it's gone on for a good 10 minutes or so now. Eventually Shawn is FINALLY able to get the hot tag to Marty after some heel miscommunication on the Rougeaus part and the crowd ERUPTS as Marty is a house of fire, taking both Rougeaus out with dropkicks and bodyslams. Michaels helps out a bit before collapsing to the outside and Marty gets a close two count. He climbs to the top rope and nails Jacques with his fist but Raymond breaks up the pin attempt. Marty rolls Jacques up in a cradle pin but the referee is distracted by Jimmy Hart. Shawn runs to take care of Jimmy, meanwhile Raymond shifts the momentum on the cradle pin in the ring, putting Jacques on top for the 3 count at 26:32! Great tag match here between two of the best teams in the world at the time, the crowd was red-hot all the way and really the only thing keeping this from ****+ territory is a babyface-in-peril spot that went a bit too long and a cheap finish. ***¾

Greg Valentine vs. Brutus Beefcake

Beefcake was getting a big push around this time as a result of his friendship with Hogan while Valentine is coming to the end of his usefulness, being kept around as a veteran hand to work good matches with midcard babyfaces they wanted to push. After a bit of stalling they lock up. Beefcake takes advantage with a sideslam and an elbow to Valentine's midsection that comes dangerously close to being a low-blow. Valentine grabs a quick breather but gets pummeled when he returns to the ring anyways. Beefcake absolutely dominates Valentine for awhile with big shots in the corner before signaling for his trademark sleeper-hold. Valentine delivers a big knee instead though and sends Beefcake out the floor. Back inside Valentine chokes Beefcake for a bit and then just starts laying in forearms. Beefcake collapses and is covered for a quick two count. After a double-axe handle Valentine adjusts his knee brace to put the "steel side" on front and attempts the figure four, but Beefcake fights him off, kicking Valentine out to the floor. Valentine tries another double axe-handle on his way back in but Beefcake puts a stop to it and starts the comeback, clotheslining Valentine and then locking in the sleeper-hold only briefly. Jimmy Hart distracts Beefcake, giving Valentine the chance to lay in some forearms and elbows. After some heel miscommunication Beefcake rolls up Valentine for the 3 count at 14:47. Pretty dull match here as Valentine needs a much more charismatic babyface to play off of (like Tito Santana for example) and Beefcake's offense was pitiful at this time, mainly consisting of punches and the sleeper-hold.

Andre the Giant vs. Hillbilly Jim

Andre was really on his last legs around this time, so watching him in the ring was just depressing when you remembered how great he used to be. Pretty much all he was capable of at this time is a comedy match, and I assume that's what we'll get here. Big choke from Andre to start in the corner as the ref (Danny Davis) applies the count. Big "We Want Hulk!" chant. Well sorry Nassau but he's not on the card. Hillbilly Jim starts getting some offense, pummeling Andre in the corner and eating huge chops at the same time. Big headbutt sends him to the mat. Andre literally wraps his hands around Jim's throat, strangling him, and the ref doesn't even attempt a count. What the hell's up with that? This is just as slow and plodding as you'd expect with both men brawling half-heartedly in-between restholds. Andre works a chinlock for a bit so when that doesn't work he tries the bearhug. Yawn. Big "Boring!" chant breaks out as Schiavone does his best to make this sound interesting. Nerve hold by Jim (that'll wake the crowd up!). Andre collapses after a weak knee and Haku comes down to ringside to cheer on fellow Heenan Family stablemate Andre. Jim gets thrown outside and Haku gets a few cheap shots in while the ref is distracted. Suddenly Jim Duggan (or "King" Duggan as he had recently won the King of the Ring tournament, before they began airing them) comes out and cleans house. Haku and Andre start beating down Jim in the ring in full view of the ref, and Duggan breaks in for the save with the 2 x 4. The ref calls for the bell and disqualifies Andre (huh?) at 8:04. Awful, awful match to begin with made even worse by a cheap finish. Straight up DUD.

Backstage King Jim Duggan cuts a promo on Haku with Sean Mooney. Afterwards Mooney gets a few words with the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji about their match with the Hart Foundation later tonight. After this Mooney gets some words with Brutus Beefcake, who says nothing particularly interesting. Finally, Hillbilly Jim has a few words for Andre in the locker room.

Haku vs. Jim Duggan

Duggan comes out to Jerry Lawler's future theme, which is just weird and causes the crowd not to realize who he is, so there's no pop for Duggan at all despite this crowd exploding for him minutes ago in the Andre-Hillbilly Jim match. This is a "battle of the kings" of sorts as Haku was the previous year's King of the Ring. Haku jumps Duggan before the match starts, beating him up with his own American flag to a chorus of boos. Desecrating the flag always gets a guy some good heat. Haku takes a backdrop and then gets tossed outside as a "USA" chant breaks out. Back inside they stall for a bit and then lockup. Duggan lays in some big right hands and tries to apply a wristlock only to be taken down quickly with a legsweep from Haku. We get a horrifying shot of Duggan's pale white ass as Haku tries to apparently pants him for some unknown reason. That's not helping with the crass stereotype that wrestling is "gay" guys. Haku starts applying DEADLY ISLANDER CHOPS and then locks in a nerve-hold. Our second nerve-hold in less than 15 minutes on this show. Haku rakes the eyes and back of Duggan and it's all Haku here. He locks the nerve-hold back on but it's broken up quickly. They criss-cross off the ropes for a bit and then slam into eachother. Back to the nerve-hold we get a close-up of Duggan's sweat-stained face. Duggan starts to hulk up though and fights off several strikes. He comes back with a clothesline but gets elbowed back down to the mat. Haku misses a splash and Duggan hits him with a clothesline from the 3-point football stance for the win at 10:32. Another dull match that consisted mostly of some meager brawling and a nerve-hold. *

After the match Sean Mooney comes out to the ring and interviews Zeus, who may be better known as the actor Tiny Lister Jr., best remembered for the role of Deebo in the Friday movies. Nothing of real note here, just more threats to Hogan and Beefcake at Summerslam.

Jimmy Hart comes to the ring and tells us that the Honkytonk Man is sick with the flu (in June?) and so his replacement tonight will be Boris Zhukov.

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka vs. Boris Zhukov

This is Snuka's big return to WWF house shows after re-signing with the company, and he was supposed to face the Honkytonk Man, but for one reason or another he isn't here tonight, so we get Russian jobber extraordinaire Boris Zhukov instead. Snuka dominates to start with dropkicks and cross-body splashes. Zhukov comes back with a bodyslam for and a shoulderblock for a two count. Snuka eats a big boot in the corner and Boris tries choking him on the top rope for awhile. Snuka tries fighting back but the big Russian maintains the upper hand, shrugging off Snuka's forearms. They do a leapfrog spot off the ropes and Snuka is BARELY able to clear over Zhukov's huge frame. Snuka knocks Jimmy Hart off the apron and then goes to the top for the trademark Superfly Splash to finish Zhukov off at 7:17. This was just a squash match to put Snuka over in his return to the house-show circuit. ½*

Hart Foundation vs. Powers of Pain

No real build for this match or anything, just a routine house show main event. Japanese press (or so Alfred Hayes claims) are at ringside taking photos for some reason. Usually you only see that when big Japanese stars head over to the states. Barbarian and the Hitman start things off with a bit of a feeling-out process, but Barbarian is too powerful for Bret to hold onto so he tags in Neidhart. They lock up and trade power moves, neither man able to knock the other off his feet. Bret tags back in and hits a dropkick/diving fist combo, prompting the Warlord to tag in and Bret to tag out. Now Neidhart and the Warlord exchange shoulderblocks, but this time Bret trips the Warlord up to take him off his feet and they begin double-teaming Warlord in their corner. Barbarian tags back in and wipes Bret out with a huge boot. Warlord tags in and nails him with an elbow. The Powers of Pain start to isolate Bret in their corner with double-teaming. Barbarian applies a bearhug to Bret for a bit until Neidhart can't take it anymore and breaks it up, giving the Powers of Pain more time to double-team Bret in their corner. Back to the bearhug we go. Neidhart gets the hot tag eventually and gets a big powerslam for a two count. Match breaks down here as Neidhart and Warlord battle outside, only to be followed by the Barbarian who Bret Hart dives over the top rope onto! Bret slides back into the ring and the Powers of Pain get counted out at 13:33. Bit of a slow match, but it picked up towards the end and Bret was really working hard. Give this match a proper finish and it's a lot better, you should always have a clean finish to end a house show. **

Bottom Line: Bit of a boring show honestly, there's really only one match to go out of your way to see in the Rockers-Rougeaus tag match, but outside of that there really isn't anything here you should stick around for. Typical non-MSG house show card really. Thumbs up for the Rockers-Rougeaus match, but Thumbs Down for the event as a whole.

Score: 5/10

1 comment:

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