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WWF At Boston Garden
by Scrooge McSuck
February 11, 1989
Originally broadcast on NESN (New England Sports Network) with Rod Trongard and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. This copy of the show has all the commercial breaks, which is a nice touch, since the only time I've seen this show is a BUTCHERED version from the early days of WWE 24/7 On Demand, where all entrances with licensed music are cut. I wish I had some knowledge on the WWF and the broadcasting rights to these shows, but early to mid 1989 seems to be when they stopped with the regional coverage, with MSG standing alone, holding on with their broadcast rights into early 1992. Why did they stop? Who knows. Maybe setting up for TV was becoming too costly compared to what the WWF was getting for the broadcast rights.
Jim Powers vs. Iron Mike Sharpe:
I can't imagine how many times I've watched Powers and Sharpe wrestle each other. It's probably far fewer than I remember, but it feels like a never-ending series. Sharpe attacks Powers from behind, clubbing him across the back with the forearm brace. Whip is reversed and Powers sends Sharpe out of the ring with a dropkick. Back inside, Sharpe rakes the eyes and grabs a side headlock. Powers counters, but Sharpe yanks the hair to regain control. Powers avoids a dropkick and Sharpe powders out after a questionably low stomp. Sharpe calls for a test-of-strength and IMMEDIATELY lays a boot to the midsection. Powers returns fire with boots of his own and goes to work on the left arm. Powers with an atomic drop, which somehow turns Sharpe around to get tied up in the ropes. Powers goes against the babyface code too much and charges into a boot. Sharpe clobbers Powers with the leather brace and chokes him across the rope. Sharpe misses badly with a clothesline and Powers bounces off the ropes with a body press for two. Whip to the ropes and Sharpe counters a back body-drop attempt. Powers counters a piledriver and sends Sharpe to the turnbuckle. He's so proud of himself, he takes Sharpe to the opposite corner and does it again. Whip across the ring and Powers with a clothesline, followed by a dropkick for two. Crisscross and Powers connects with a Powers Slam for three at 11:09. If you've seen Powers wrestle in one prelim match anywhere between 1987 and 1993, you know what to expect. Perfectly fine, nothing too exciting. **
Koko B. Ware vs. Boris Zhukov:
Yay, looking forward to this. I don't know what happened to Nikolai Volkoff, but his absence left Zhukov doing duty as a solo prelim guy for most of 1989. I've watched enough matches of Zhukov to know he's in my top 5 worst workers of all-time list. No, that doesn't include guys like El Gigante/Giant Gonzales, only guys who had long-term careers outside of being a sideshow freak. Zhukov doesn't waste time stalling on the floor. He finally enters the ring and hides in the ropes to change things up. Lockup and Zhukov shoves Koko to the ropes. Zhukov with a hip toss and slam, with plenty of time doing nothing wrapped around it. He celebrates prematurely and Koko gets a schoolboy for two. Koko doesn't appreciate a cheap shot in the corner and levels Zhukov with a clothesline. Zhukov regains control, choking gratuitously. If that doesn't sound exciting, enjoy this bear-hug. Koko tries to fight free, but Zhukov reapplies the hold. KILL ME. Zhukov plants Koko with a slam and misses a headbutt. Koko with a clothesline and back body-drop. Whip to the corner, Koko fakes Zhukov out teasing a body press and finishes with a missile dropkick at 9:03. Awful. Just awful. -*
"Duke of Dorchester" Pete Doherty vs. Bad News Brown:
What the HELL is this doing on the card?! I wish I had a lot more information on Doherty, but he made a career out of mostly doing prelim heel work in the late 70's and early 80's. Why he was still being booked as late as 1991 for shows in the Massachusetts area is beyond me. According to a website dedicated to the history of the WWE, Doherty is subbing for Rick Martel, so at least we have an explanation on the weird heel vs heel matchup. Brown attacks before the bell. Doherty tries trading blows, but Bad News easily controls that exchange. Doherty looks like a drunk hobo. Whip is reversed and Brown catches Doherty with his head down. Brown plants Doherty with a slam and comes off the ropes with a fist drop. Brown with another slam, but this time he misses a splash. Doherty bites the arm with the three teeth he has left. That's all his offense, as he just bites different parts of Brown's body. Lord Alfred is DYING laughing at this nonsense. Brown has enough of Doherty and finishes him with the Ghetto Blaster at 4:59. I thought the last match stunk. This would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. -**
The Bushwhackers vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers:
Who did I anger to deserve this torture?! The Bushwhackers are fresh to the WWF scene, so if I'm a fan in 1989, I'm probably annoyed that the Sheepherders have turned into THIS, but at least I'm spared 6-years of terrible shtick. The Rougeau's attack from behind and quickly pay for it. Jacques and Luke start properly by engaging in a soft-punching slugfest. WE GET SO MUCH SHTICK. Jacques does his awful bump off a weak double clothesline, and we get more stalling on the floor. Raymond attacks Butch from behind and applies an abdominal stretch. Luke quickly breaks it by biting his rear. DIDN'T WE SUFFER ENOUGH IN THE LAST MATCH?! There's literally nothing to comment on and we're SIX MINUTES IN. The Rougeau's work Luke over in the corner, choking him with the tag rope. Whip and Jacques connects with a diving back elbow. Butch stands in the ring acting like a moron while Luke is planted with a double slam. End. This. Match. PLEASE. Jacques with a huge handful of pants as he locks in the abdominal stretch. Poor Joey Marella must play blind moron to all the movement going on from behind. Butch comes in illegally and accidentally hits his own partner before casually leaving. WHAT IS THIS MESS? I never thought I'd pop for a front face-lock, but it's better than almost anything else that has happened so far. Butch gets the tag, but the referee doesn't see it. Whip and the Rougeau's with a better-looking double clothesline than we saw earlier. Luke reverses a whip to the corner and Raymond pops out with a clothesline. Butch gets the hot tag and cleans house. Heck breaks loose with the Bushwhackers whipping the Rougeau's into each other. The Bushwhackers randomly shove the referee down to draw the Disqualification at 14:38. That long for THAT finish?! Post-match, they continue punishing Jacques, hitting the Battering Ram and double stomach buster. This was lazy, and when it wasn't lazy, almost everything looked awful. I feel like I'm dunking on this show, but holy crap, these are some of the worst matches you'll ever see in succession. -**
Big John Studd vs. Akeem:
I'm suffering for anyone reading this. I hope you're enjoying it. This match is going to be awful. I can't pretend otherwise. Studd was being groomed for a house show run with Andre, with the face and heel roles reversed from years past. To the surprise of NO ONE, that bombed and Studd's time in the WWF would end sooner than later over bad payoffs. Lockup and neither man can gain the advantage. They lockup again and Studd sends Akeem to the canvas. Studd won't give an inch when Akeem comes off the ropes with a pair of shoulder blocks and sends the mammoth to the floor with a clothesline. Studd grabs hold of Akeem on the apron and clubs him across the chest. He pulls Akeem into the ring and pounds away at the midsection. Studd with the most awkward arm drag you'll ever see. Akeem avoids a back body-drop and throws some clubbing blows of his own. Even in 1989, and as a babyface, Studd won't let someone, even a person of Akeem's size, slam him. Akeem lays Studd out with a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a leg drop. He tries the slam a third time and collapses under Studd's weight. I think Studd went for a bear hug, but it looked so bad I'm not sure. Studd rocks Akeem with elbows. He meets an elbow in the corner and Akeem crushes him with an avalanche. Studd pulls Akeem to the floor, and they have a weak slugfest until both men are counted out at 8:05. Another bad match, but at least it was two bad workers throwing punches instead of whatever the hell the Bushwhackers and Rougeau Brothers were trying. ZERO STARS
Paul Roma vs. "The Outlaw" Ron Bass:
I'm surprised to see Bass still hanging around. He was gone before WrestleMania V, that much I'm sure of. His hair is already growing in, but the fans still chant "Baldy" at him. Roma gets the crowd chanting again, so Bass attacks from behind. Whip to the ropes and Bass with an elbow on the chin. Whip to the corner and Roma surprises Bass with a twisting body press. Roma connects with a pair of dropkicks and sends Bass to the floor following a flying head-scissors. Back inside, Roma messes with the hair of Bass and runs away before he can get slapped upside the head. Roma works the arm, twisting with a wristlock. I guess you could say he's trying to... CRANK IT UP. Yeah, I know, I should take a long walk off a short pier. Bass with a slam, but he misses an elbow and Roma continues working the arm. Bass with a handful of tights, throwing Roma out of the ring. Bass follows, ramming Roma face-first into the post. Whip to the ropes and Bass with a clothesline for two. Roma teases a comeback, unloading with rights. Whip and an elbow, followed by a dropkick. Roma dives off the second rope with a fist drop for two. Crisscross and Roma with another dropkick. Roma with a series of elbow drops for a two-count. Whip is reversed, Roma misses a blind body press, and Bass finishes with the face-buster (Pedigree minus the double under-hook) at 8:51. Nothing to go gaga for, but after the last FOUR matches, this looks like an all-timer by comparison. *½
Tito Santana vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude:
For some odd reason, Sean Mooney does ring introductions for this match instead of Mel Phillips. You can't believe how AWESOME it is to hear Rude's entrance music after the WWE Network scrubbed it from existence. Rude flexes for the crowd and challenges Tito to a test-of-strength. Santana accepts and Rude controls without resorting to underhanded tactics. Santana fights to his feet, puts Rude on the canvas, and stomps the hands. Now Santana is issuing the challenge. Rude plants a boot to the midsection and grabs a side headlock. Santana fights free, but a yank of the hair allows Rude to reapply the hold. Santana escapes the old-fashioned way, pummeling the body with forearms. Santana sends Rude from corner-to-corner and sits across the back with a chin-lock. I hope we get a spot later where Rude is uncomfortable trying to gyrate. Rude brings up the knees as Santana tries a seated splash and follows with an inverted atomic drop. YES, WE GET THE SPOT! FIVE STARS RIGHT THERE. Santana back peddles to the corner to escape a chin-lock and buries a series of shoulders to the midsection. Whip across the ring and Santana meets the knee. Rude climbs the ropes and connects with a forearm. Whip to the ropes and Santana counters a back body-drop by slamming Rude face-first to the canvas. The comeback is short-lived, as Santana meets the knees attempting a splash. Whip and Rude buries a knee to the midsection for two. Santana blocks a suplex, countering with his own. Rude's back can't handle a slam attempt. Santana connects with an inverted atomic drop, complete with goofy over-selling. Santana works Rude over in the corner, dishing out right hands and ramming him repeatedly into the turnbuckle. Santana kicks Rude's leg from under his leg and applies the Figure-Four, but Rude makes it to the ropes. Santana with a sunset flip from the apron, but Rude sits down on it and grabs the ropes for the three-count at 16:46. This took a while to get going, but the last 5-minutes was solid stuff. **½
This broadcast features a "flashback" from December 3rd, 1988, giving us the entire match between Demolition and the Powers of Pain. This is the first time I've ever seen such a time filler on one of these old regional broadcasts.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage:
Main Event and final match of the card. Warrior is the reigning Intercontinental Champion, and Savage is the WWF Champion. He also turned heel on "The Main Event
" a week earlier, so he's drawing some nuclear heat. Neither title is on the line, and even without that handcuffing them, you know we aren't getting anything close to a clean decision here. Savage attacks before the bell and before he can get his gear off. Warrior fights him off, knocking Savage's robe and glasses off, and sends him to the floor with a diving shoulder tackle. Warrior follows him out and sends Savage back in the ring with a press slam, clipping him on the middle rope in the process. Savage catches Warrior with his head down and lands a kick to the chest. Savage's dive off the top was meant to be caught, but Warrior is Warrior, so they fall like a house of cards. Warrior places Savage in a tree of woe and stomps away, even manhandling referee Joey Marella for trying to restore order. Double whip to the corner and Warrior meets the turnbuckle on a missed charge. Savage with a running high knee, knocking Warrior through the ropes. Savage follows, leaping off the top rope with a double axe-handle. Back inside, Savage hangs Warrior across the top rope for a two-count. Knee drop across the throat for two. Warrior fights out of a chin-lock, only to get laid out with a clothesline. Savage with another double axe-handle for two. Warrior blocks a suplex and counters with his own for two. Suddenly, Rick Rude shows up at ringside, trying to draw Warrior's attention by flexing. Weird flex (pun intended). Warrior ignores him for now, hitting Savage with an atomic drop for two. Warrior argues the count and Savage rolls him up for two. Warrior with a face-buster, but the splash meets knees. Did we need that spot in back-to-back matches? Warrior starts shaking the ropes to get himself psyched. Warrior hits Savage with a pair of clotheslines and finally has enough of Rude's presence at ringside. Savage hits Warrior with an axe-handle, rolls back in the ring, and Warrior is counted out at 10:35. Post-match, Warrior cleans house of both heels. This was the best match of the show, but that doesn't mean it's anything special. They had this match countless times, with the only difference being who would interfere at the end. **¾
Final Thoughts: Easiest recommendation ever for this show. Skip everything until you get to Santana vs. Rick Rude. That's not saying the last two matches are amazing classics lost over time, but that the under-card might be one of the worst ever featured on a regional broadcast, with almost an hour of poor wrestling and illogical motivation. I've said before I can watch this stuff all day, but by the time I got to John Studd vs Akeem, I was ready to find another show.
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