WWF @ Boston Garden
by Scrooge McSuck
May 13, 1989
- This is the original broadcast on NESN, complete with cheesy opening, a commercial of George Brett shilling Sporting News subscriptions (George Brett?! You'd think someone would spring for a local sports team version, but nope.), and some really bad audio. At least the video quality is pretty good. Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are hanging around ringside to deliver the blow-by-blow action, unless otherwise noted.
The Red Rooster vs. The Brooklyn Brawler:
I've seen enough matches between the Rooster and Brawler to satisfy my viewing needs for the rest of my life (along the lines of four, including Rooster doing the Job at MSG). Something I noticed about NESN: They're the only network who put the wrestler names in quotations. Really? Did ANYONE think the guy's name really was "The Red Rooster"? We start with them taking turns trading wristlocks and armbars. They have the "Boo/Yay!" slugfest, minus the crowd reaction. Rooster with a hip toss, followed by a flying head scissors, then works the arm for a few minutes. Brawler tries tossing Rooster to the floor, but he lands on his feet and returns the favor. Rooster follows, only to be sent into the ring post. Dumb Cock. Back inside, Brawler controls with the most electrifying move in the history of Entertainment... the chinlock. Rooster offers a comeback, only to take the Flair bump in the corner, and landing on the floor. Rooster counters a slam with a cradle for two. Cross body press gets two. Whip to the corner, Rooster with a sunset flip, and it's good for the three count at 12:18. Brawler tries a post-match attack, but much like everything else, fails at it. * The Rooster tried, but Lombardi sucks. I know I've probably touched on this before, but NOTHING about Steve Lombardi screamed "this guy deserves to be higher on the card than Jobber". At least Iron Mike Sharpe can work a crowd. Lombardi sucked at pretty much everything.
Dusty Wolfe vs. Barry Horowitz:
What the heck is this doing on the card?! Did Jim Powers pull a no-show or something? Speaking of Jobbers who deserved a push, Barry Horowitz comes to mind. He could work and played the crowd well enough, and yet didn't get any kind of push until the Mid 90's as a plucky Underdog who always lost. Horowitz starts with an arm drag and a 'self pat on the back. Wolfe responds with a pair of arm drags and a slam, followed by a dropkick, sending Horowitz to the floor. Back inside, Wolfe goes to work on the left arm. NEWLY reinstated referee Danny Davis is working the match, by the way. I'm pretty sure he worked the opener too, but this match is designed to talk about anything but the match itself. Horowitz uses a handful of hair to turn the tide and keep Wolfe grounded with an armbar. Wolfe reverses a whip to the corner and resumes his arm work. Horowitz counters a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop. Horowitz rakes the back and eyes, no doubt inspiring Hogan to debut some fresh offense for his matches. Horowitz with a unique cradle for two (the one that actually pinned Chris Candido on Superstars in 1995). Wolfe surprises him with a back slide for two. Horowitz with a dropkick and leg drop for two. Wolfe avoids another dropkick and takes him over with a suplex for two. Horowitz nails Wolfe with his head down, takes him over with a double-underhook suplex, and finishes with a second rope back elbow at 10:22. ** Dull stuff, but technically adequate. There was definitely more effort here than in the opener.
Tim Horner vs. "Mega Man" Magee:
Oh man... the infamous Tom Magee. For those unfamiliar with that name sit back and relax as I do my best to do Justice his story: Like many stories of the 80's, Magee's career started as a highly successful Power Lifter. He ventured into the world of wrestling, and incredibly made his DEBUT in the Main Event of an AJPW card against the legendary Riki Choshu. Later that year, Magee would receive a tryout match with the WWF, and was put in the ring with Bret Hart. Now, we all know how much Bret loves to put himself over, but his story seems to go along with the opinions of others: He made Magee look so good, there was talk of grooming Magee into the next big Superstar, along the lines of Hulk Hogan. In the months that followed, Magee's skills, or lack thereof, began to show their true colors: He worked incredibly loose, practically missing spots on a routine basis, and carried himself as someone who didn't take his profession seriously. In 1988, there's a match from Japan against a former Sumo Wrestler named Hiroshi Wajimi that, at the time, was considered the worst match in the history of Wrestling. The match was readily available on a certain video streaming website, and I can confirm, it was a painful four minutes where everything, EVERYTHING, looked awful, and rightfully took home the "prize" of the Observer's Worst Match of 1988. Magee never made it to national syndicated programming for the WWF, and actually seeing him on this card, looking like he'd rather be anywhere else in the world but a wrestling ring, is one of those rarities worth giving a look.
Now... for the match. Lockup to the ropes, and a not-so-clean break. They trade wristlocks, with Magee showing off his athletic ability. He tries to escape an armbar with a slam, but Horner hangs on. Magee clearly calls a spot and stands his ground on a shoulder block attempt from Horner. He does it again, and it's the same result. Horner surprises him with a school boy, then goes back to the armbar. Magee can't quite wipe this goofus smirk off his face throughout the match. LAZY hip toss from Magee. It makes Lazy Lex Luger look great in comparison. Horner takes him down with a flying head scissors. They do a bridge into a back slide spot. Criss-cross, and Magee casually tosses Horner through the ropes. He weakly rams Horner into the canvas, flips back in, and hits a nice looking flying clothesline for two. Magee with choking (smiling the whole time), then does a weird back flip before going back to choking. Horner continues doing all the work, via good bumping, while Magee hits a shitty spinning kick for two. Nikolai Volkoff would hang his head in shame. Horner cradles him for two. Lazy gutwrench suplex. Magee's unconvincing offense continues, as well as obvious (and loud) spot calling. Horner with a hip toss and slam for two. Horner with a body press, but Magee rolls through for three at 6:51. DUD To sum it up with one last sentence, Magee looks like an embarrassment to professional wrestling. I would give sympathy stars for Horner's effort, but Magee sucked THAT BAD.
- Sean Mooney with Koko B. Ware and Frankie. He gets to job in the next match... sorry, forgot to warn about Spoilers.
Koko B. Ware vs. The Warlord:
Boston sure is getting a star-power Undercard, aren't they? This looks like a Main Event compared to the three battles of JTTS' (poor Terry Taylor). Koko's got his hair painted like Frankie's feathers, something new he was doing, because why the fuck not? Warlord has multi-colored hair too, just to show how 80's this is. Koko tries a stick-and-move strategy, which no doubt will end with him jumping into the buckle or top rope on a failed dive attempt. Koko with a body press from the second rope for a surprise two count. Koko traps Warlord in the Andre Special™ and takes advantage of the situation. Warlord finally takes control, catching Koko in a bearhug. Hard whip to the corner, followed by an equally stiff clothesline to the back of the head. Koko somehow manages to take Warlord over with a sunset flip, but only gets two. Good gravy, that got the crowd excited for a second. Surprise small package for another two count. School boy for two. Koko off the top with a missile dropkick for two Criss-cross, and Warlord puts Koko away with a Powerslam at 10:37. *1/2 There were a few moments of decent action, then Warlord slowed this one down to nothing. Not that my expectations were that high to begin with.
The Rockers vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers:
(Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty vs. Jacques & Raymond Rougeau)
Speaking of matches I can do without, I've seen more than enough from these two teams that I won't be disappointed if I don't see it again. Jacques trolls the Boston crowd by wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey, probably a commentary on a recent NHL Playoff. Lord Oblivious Hayes questions why are they routing for the Canadiens if they're All-American Boys... gotta' love Alfred. Raymond and Michaels start, with Raymond getting his arm worked over. The Rougeaus have miscommunication, forcing a brief retreat. Jacques waves off Jannetty to demonstrate his nip-up, then challenges Jannetty to give it a try. Jannetty's look worse, but manages to fend off Jacques sneak-attack, and the Rockers take turns working a standard toe hold. The Rougeau's take control, with Jannetty playing the face-in-peril. They target the back, including seated chinlocks and their standard abdominal stretch spot. Jacques actually applies The Sharpshooter! Schiavone is probably holding his tongue from calling it the Scorpion Deathlock (simply calling it a reverse Deathlock). Michaels cleans house following the hot tag. Double Noggin-Knocker! Raymond trips Shawn up, but Jacques meets knees on a splash attempt, and Michaels covers for the three count at 17:35. Well, that finish came out of nowhere. **1/2 You've seen one Rockers/Rougeaus match, you've seen them all. At least this didn't go 30-minutes like their tour in Europe in the Fall.
- Sean Mooney comes out (to a chorus of boos) to hype the release of No Holds Barred, coming to theaters on June 2nd (less boos), starring Hulk Hogan! You'll see him like never before... making people poop themselves! Mooney brings out the self-proclaimed "real star", Zeus (Tiny Lister). I'm still disappointed we never got a real Hulk Hogan vs. Zeus Match, but hey, why not read the No Holds Barred Review for some entertaining crap? This was a waste of 10-minutes.
"King Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Haku:
Yes, it was fairly recently on an episode of WWF Superstars that Jim Duggan "won" the quasi-title of King from Haku... now how come Haku's name isn't put in quotations like "Zeus" or "The Red Rooster"? Haku attacks before the bell, no doubt irritated by Duggan's constant screaming of "Hooooo!". All this match needs is special stipulations, maybe a Martial Arts Match. Ha, no company on earth would be dumb enough to do that. Duggan turns the tide, sending Haku to the floor following a clothesline. I think Jim Duggan might be my least enjoyable wrestler to have to watch. Stalling, stalling, and more stalling. Haku damn near pulls Duggan's panties off to counter a hammerlock. Haku takes control with the Vulcan neck pinch. Duggan offers a comeback, but Haku grounds him again and goes back to working the neck. Duggan with a small package out of nowhere for two, then back to the neck. Duggan avoids a headbutt and puts Haku away with the charging clothesline at 10:06. DUD Long and boring. All stalling, rest holds, or Jim Duggan being Jim Duggan. The show can still be saved by a meaningful, hard worked Main Event.
Big John Studd vs. Andre The Giant:
God, dammit. THIS is our Main Event?! This match SUCKED in the early 80's. By 1989, Andre was a physical mess and John Studd wasn't El Grand Luchadore, either. Studd attacks Andre before the bell, and knocks him right into the Andre Special™. Andre grabs him by the throat and starts choking. Then more choking. Andre throws in a headbutt, just to throw me off. Studd gets back to his feet and walks right into a bearhug. Whoever taped this off of NESN has been flipping back and forth to a syndicated program, and wow, a Hillbilly Jim promo? That just makes me SUPER EXCITED. Back to the match, Andre sits on Studd and chokes him. Then he choks him with the strap of his singlet. Andre with shoulders to the midsection and corner crushes. Studd grabs him by the neck, but Andre escapes with an elbow and lands a series of headbutts. Studd lands a right to the gut, knocking Andre to the ground. ZUH?! Haku shows up, gets some cheap shots in on the floor, and that draws out Jim Duggan with his 2x4. Andre chokes Studd some more, so Duggan bops him with it. The match is finally thrown out at 6:36, no doubt setting up the dream match of Duggan/Studd vs. Haku/Andre at the following Boston card. -** Absolutely terrible, and yes, Andre carried the entire match. Andre The Giant, in 1989, carried the whole fucking match. Studd was that useless.
Final Thoughts: This was one hell of a disappointing show. Come on, the Main Event was Big John Studd vs. Andre the Giant! The rest of the undercard is "highlighted" by a stinker bout between Jim Duggan and Haku, a syndies feature between Koko B. Ware and the Warlord, a random appearance of Tom "Mega Man" Magee (but no Dr. Wily!), and a 10-minute match between Dusty Wolfe and Barry Horowitz. The only "good" match was the Rockers vs. Rougeaus, but we can find the exact same match from about 20 other sources in 1989. Strong recommendation to avoid, unless you have a hard on for Tom Magee... what are you looking at me like that for?
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