Throwback Thursday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XIX (Jan. 7, 1989), As Seen on WWE Network

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This week Throwback Thursday digs into the archives of the WWE Network to revisit a classic night of World Wrestling Federation action on NBC as we revisit Saturday Night’s Main Event XIX, which took place 30 years ago this month!

At the time SNME XIX aired on NBC the World Wrestling Federation was gearing up for the first pay-per-view edition of the Royal Rumble and putting a number of the simmering angles from 1988 to bed. Though the WWF had been building up the Savage/Hogan angle for WrestleMania V, the event had yet to be announced on WWF TV.

Now let’s fire up the WWE Network, hit ‘play’, and see how well SNME XIX hold up 30 years later!

One of the major flaws with SNME XIX on the Network (aside from editing) is the sound, which is terrible. From the added sound effects (the ‘snap’ of Ron Bass’ whip, Beefcake’s electric clippers, etc.) to the tin can sounding commentary to the enhanced crowd noise, the audio for this edition of SNME is about as bad as it gets for WWF/E.

Not much of this show has been edited aside from the usual promos. Context, meanwhile, isn’t bad. All previous SNME shows, as well as all prior WWF PPVs and nearly all of past editions of Prime Time Wrestling, are currently available for you to stream right now on the WWE Network!

 

WWF Saturday Night Main Event XIX (WATCH)
Date: January 7, 1989 (TAPED: Dec. 7, 1988) – Location: SunDome, Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 9,176 – TV Rating: N/A
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura – Interviews: “Mean” Gene Okerlund & Jesse Ventura

 

CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Randy “Macho Man” Savage
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)
WWF Women’s Champion: Rockin’ Robin
WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai & Judy Martin)

 

SNME XIX opens with a slew of promos from Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior, Honky Tonk Man & Jimmy Hart, Brutus Beefcake, Akeem & Slick, and Hulk Hogan all shouting about their respective matches/opponents on tonight’s show.

 

Next, after the usual, awesome SNME opening, Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura welcome us to the show and give a brief rundown of tonight’s card.

 

We go to “Mean” Gene next, who interviews “Outlaw” Ron Bass about his forthcoming “haircut” match with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Bass says his spurs, the Maverick Brothers (Bret & Bart), are going to tenderize Beefcake and dance all over him as Ms. Betsy (the whip) “calls the tune!”

 

As Bass makes his way to the ring we see highlights of the events between himself and Beefcake that led to this “hair” match, including Beefcake cutting up Ms. Betsy, and Bass’ cowboy hat, as well as Bass opening Beefcake up with the Maverick Brothers, costing Beefcake his Intercontinental title shot at SummerSlam ’88.

 

Backstage “Mean” Gene interviews Beefcake, who says he doesn’t want to forget what Bass has done to him anymore than Beefckae wants Bass to forget the face of the man who will shave him bald. Okerlund asks why the “haircut” match, what’s the point? Beefcake says it’s about hair, and that if Okerlund had any he’d understand.

 

 

–“Haircut Match” (WATCH – 4:01)
“Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

This one starts out fast with Beefcake getting the best of Bass until a well-timed inverted atomic drop from Bass. This is far from a classic but it’s not bad for what it is. Late in the match Bass thinks he’s won and argues with the referee about cutting Beefcake’s hair. Moments later Bass attempts a lariat but Beefcake ducks, catching the “Outlaw” in the sleeperhold coming off the ropes to earn the submission win at 7:40. This marked the last SNME appearance for Bass, who wound up leaning the WWF in March of ’89.

WINNER is Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (Submission, 7:40)

 

 

After a break Beefcake shaves Bass bald before “waking” Bass up, leaving before the “Outlaw” comes to. Bass feels his head, screams, and chases Beefcake to the back as the ring crew begins sweeping up the hair.

 

In the back “Mean” Gene interviews Slick, joined by Big Boss Man & Akeem, about Slick’s obsession with ridding the WWF of Hulk Hogan. Slick calls Hogan a “habitual rule breaker” and says that Boss Man will be at ringside to ensure “law and order prevail.”

 

As Akeem & company come to the ring we go back to “Mean” Gene who interviews Hulk Hogan (with Miss Elizabeth) about his forthcoming match with Akeem. Hulk says he’s faced “insurmountable odds” before but that “Lady Luck” (Miss Elizabeth) will be “riding high on my shoulder tonight.” WWF Champion Randy Savage arrives and says he’s “participating”, giving Hulk “eyes in the back of my head.” With Elizabeth & Savage in his corner watching his back,  Hogan says the “scales of justice have tipped a little bit more in the Hulkster’s way!” Savage says Okerlund and he are watching the match from a “special place” to keep an eye on things. As Hogan & Elizabeth come to the ring we see Savage & Okerlund watching on from the back as Hulk holds open the ropes for Elizabeth, which doesn’t sit all that well with Savage.

 

 

–“Grudge Match” (WATCH – 20:06)
Akeem w/Slick & Bog Boss Man vs. Hulk Hogan w/Miss Elizabeth

Hogan is a ball of fire as this one starts, battering Akeem, Slick, and Boss Man inside the ring and out. Though Akeem tries to seize momentum this match is all Hulk until the referee goes down. The rest of this one is all about Elizabeth trying to get Randy to help Hogan but refusing, saying Hogan will be alright. Eventually Hogan “Hulks up” and takes the fight to all three heels again, which Savage believes validates his patience, and goes for the leg drop when Boss Man clips Hulk in the back with the nightstick for the DQ at 8:15.

WINNER is Hulk Hogan w/Miss Elizabeth (Disqualification, 8:15)

 

 

After the match Boss Man & Akeem take the fight to Hogan as Elizabeth gets in the ring. When Boss Man handcuffs Elizabeth and begins talking trash to her, Savage, chair in hand, finally arrives to make the save. With the ring cleared Savage begins questioning Elizabeth’s concern for Hogan, shouting at Elizabeth as she walks Hulk to the back.

 

Backstage, “Mean” Gene interviews Jimmy Hart & Honky Tonk Man about their forthcoming title rematch against Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior. Honky says his strategy never changes while Hart, calling Honky “The People’s Champion”, continues to shout about Warrior stealing the strap at SummerSlam ’88. Honky thanks the fans for supporting his aim to become the first two-time Intercontinental Champion in WWF history.

 

As Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart come to the ring we head back to “Mean” Gene and Ultimate Warrior, who shakes and groans, saying that Honky only knows defeat and that he will not deny him.

 

 

–WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship – “Grudge Match” (WATCH – 35:30)
Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Ultimate Warrior(c)

Well, this happened. Warrior dominates until Honky waffles Warrior with Hart’s megaphone. Soon enough Warrior makes the comeback, landing the big shoulder tackle for the 1-2-3 at 5:07 to retain the Intercontinental title.

WINNER and STILL WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, The Ultimate Warrior (Pin, 5:07)

 

After the match Warrior celebrates and heads to the back as we go back to “Mean” Gene who interviews Slick, with his Twin Towers, who says he’s “ecstatic” about putting a beating Hogan. Slick then questions the strength of the bond between the Mega Powers, saying the Twin Towers are a family. Gene says he’s going to find out before the end of the show just how “tight” the Mega Powers are.

 

Next Jesse Ventura interviews Bobby Heenan, with Red Rooster. Ventura and Heenan gush about turning Terry Taylor, a wrestler who, they say, has “limited abilities”, into a “contender”, running Rooster down in front of him as Rooster attempts to protest. According to Heenan, Rooster has “the one thing” that will bring success in the WWF, “Bobby Heenan’s brain.” Heenan tells Rooster that “Brain” has done his job and that Rooster better not embarrass him.

 

 

–Singles Match (WATCH – 46:14)
Red Rooster w/Bobby Heenan vs. Tito Santana

Heenan is wired for this one, so we can hear all the things Heenan is telling Rooster throughout the match, which is the highlight of this entire thing. Bill Alfonso is the referee for this one and the late George Steinbrenner is at ringside, whom Bobby consults as the match goes on. This isn’t really a match so much as an angle, but the match itself isn’t all bad. Late in the match Bobby begins shoving Rooster (undefeated at this time), who shoves back, and the two only grow more frustrated with one another as Rooster fails to put Tito away. In the end a frustrated Heenan throws Rooster back in the ring, distracting Rooster, whom Tito school boys for the pin at 7:27, ending Red Rooster’s undefeated streak in the WWF.

WINNER is Tito Santana (Pin, 7:27)

 

 

After the match Heenan loses it, running Rooster down in the ring before slapping him. Rooster fights back, pummeling Heenan, who eventually slinks to the back.

 

Backstage Okerlund interviews “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, who talks about being perfect and talks up his new Perfect-plex finisher.

 

 

–Singles Match (WATCH – 58:16)
“Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig vs. Koko B. Ware w/Frankie

This is a squash. A fun squash but a squash nonetheless. After all these years it’s fun to see Perfect’s SNME debut and to see just how great a 30-year-old Hennig truly was. In the end Perfect cuts a Koko comeback short before hitting the Prefect-plex for the pinfall win at 3:09, keeping Hennig’s “perfect” record alive.

WINNER is “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (Pin, 3:09)

 

After Mr. Perfect celebrates we go to commercial, after which “Mean” Gene interviews the Mega Powers, asking about the friction among the two. Hogan dismisses the friction, saying messing with one member of the Mega Powers means messing with the other. Hogan says he was right, that Savage had his back. Savage then says he felt Hogan’s pain as if it were his own and that the “glory happens together”. The two do the goofy Mega Powers handshake once more as Hogan says that with Elizabeth the Mega Powers “are as one.”

 

After a break Vince plugs the next prime time Main Event before signing off.

 

Final Thoughts

Despite the production flaws this was a great show. SNME XIX puts a few of the simmering feuds to bed and continues to set the stage for the explosion of the Mega Powers. While the wrestling isn’t the best there’s more than enough “entertainment” to make up for it! If you haven’t seen this one, or it’s been a while, it’s well worth your time!

already subscribed to the WWE Network? Then you can relive SNME XIX right now or see it for the very first time! As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

For prior editions of TBT, click here!

Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!

 

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