WWF at the Copps Coliseum - May 1, 1989
by Scrooge McSuck
- Commentary duty tonight is being done by Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes. I tend to enjoy Monsoon, but sticking anyone with Lord Alfred is like a slow, painful death.
Jim Powers vs. The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart)
When people argue about how someone has been demoted, no one remembers the Honkytonk Man went from headlining the B-Show's in 1987-88 to curtain jerking against one half of the Young Stallions (and other JTTS' such as Koko B. Ware and Jimmy Snuka) for a year after losing the title to the Warrior. For those not familiar with him, Jim Powers was pretty much a career JTTS (Jobber to the Stars), but had a slight push as half of the Young Stallions with Paul Roma in 1987-88. I say slight because they only went over teams like The Shadows and cheap DQ/CO wins over the more established teams. Honky plays the waiting game on the apron, because everyone should be afraid of Jimmy Powers. Jimmy Hart then gets on the house mic' and threatens Honkytonk won't perform tonight if the fans don't shut up. First lockup (2:40 into the match) goes into the ropes, and Powers gives a clean break. Lockup #2, and Honky knees Powers in the midsection. He clubs Powers across the back, but gets pounded on in retaliation and retreats to the outside. Back inside the ring, and Honky applies a wristlock. Powers counters, takes Honky down, and drops a leg across the left him. Powers goes to the armbar (oh boy, not already). Powers switches it to a hammerlock, then sends Honky shoulder first into the turnbuckle. He goes back to working a wristlock, but Honky escapes with another knee to the midsection. Honky with a series of rights, then sends Powers face-first into the turnbuckle. Irish whip, and Powers attempts a roll-up, but Honky ducks down in the ropes, causing Powers to spill to the outside. Honky follows out with a double sledge across the back. Honky drags Powers back into the ring, and quickly puts him down with a back elbow. Honky follows with a series of elbow drops for a two count. HTM applies a weak looking chinlock, so I take a break and get something to drink. Powers fights free with elbows, then applies an abdominal stretch. Since Powers is the face, Honky easily hip tosses free. Honky misses an elbow drop, and Powers does the same. Honky goes back to work by beating on the back of Powers, then works him over in the corner. Irish whip to the corner, and Powers sells it like death. Honky heads up to the second turnbuckle, and comes off with a sledge to the lower back for a two count. HTM goes back to the chinlock, meaning this match will go a lot longer than I hoped. Powers battles out again the same way as before, but gets kicked in the back. HTM goes up again, and this time Powers catches him coming off with a fist to the midsection. Powers with a series of boots in the corner, followed by roundhouse rights. Honkytonk gets introduced to the turnbuckle 9 times (the crowd chanted), and Powers follows him into the corner with a clothesline. Irish whip, and Powers nails him with a back elbow for a two count. Irish whip again, and he connects with a dropkick for another close fall. Honky comes back with a shot to the chest, and the Shake Rattle N' Roll finishes Jim Powers' night at 11:56. 3/4* Not too much of a match here. The stalling went on forever to start, they did generally basic wrestling stuff, and the finish wasn't what I would consider a difficult task of guessing. Only popped it up from a DUD because it wasn't entirely bad.
- The Blue Blazer vs. The Brooklyn Brawler:
Yes folks, for a brief period in 1989, Steve Lombardi got a semi-decent mid-card push as the newly dubbed Brooklyn Brawler. By the same time next year, he was back to doing jobs in less than 90 seconds on SuperStars of Wrestling. I don't need to say much about the Blazer gimmick, other than it's Owen Hart under the mask. Brawler sucker clotheslines Blazer before the bell, and pounds away on him with roundhouse rights. Blazer gets sent into the turnbuckle, but comes back with a hip toss (with the flip over), followed by blows in the corner. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, and Blazer catches Brawler with a sunset flip for a two count, prompting the Brawler to take a breather. Brawler wants a test-of-strength knuckle-lock, and Blazer agrees to it. Brawler with a "Surprising" boot to the midsection, then applies a wristlock. Blazer jumps to the ropes, springboards off, and takes over Brawler with a hip toss. Hurricanana by Blazer, and he hammers away with rights. Standing dropkick by the Blazer sends the Brawler back outside of the ring. Side Note: The Brooklyn Brawler is a wearing a New York Yankees shirt (a.k.a the BRONX Bombers). Blazer brings Brawler back in with a slingshot on the apron, then works him over with a wristlock. Blazer with an elbow across the arm of Brawler, and continues working him over. Modified suplex takeover for a two count by the Blazer, and the wristlock continues. Brawler fights out with rights, so Blazer fights fire with fire. Irish whip to the corner, and the Brawler comes charging out with a clothesline. Brawler with a scoop slam, and now the match takes a drastic turn for the worst, since the Brawler is a horrible wrestler. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, but Brawler catches Blazer coming in with a big boot, then follows with some choking. Brawler takes a bite out of Owen, and drops him with a back elbow for a two count. The Brawler works in the first chinlock of the match. Blazer fights free with elbows to the midsection, but Brawler puts him back down with a back body drop for a two count. Back to the chinlock we go. Blazer fights out again, but gets poked in the eyes. Brawler scoop slams him, but as he goes to the top, Blazer kips up and slams him off. Blazer with a stomp to the face, followed by a running dropkick. Oh my God, please tell me that's not a thong Brawler has on... Blazer bounces off the ropes in the mean time, and Brawler side steps him, sending Blazer crashing to the arena floor. Brawler snap-mares Blazer across the top rope to keep him on the outside. Blazer comes back on the apron, rams the Brawler into the buckle, and comes off with a moonsault/cross body type maneuver for the three count at 9:21. ** Total carry-job by Owen Hart... I mean the Blazer. When he was in control, the action was kept up with a good pace that got the crowd excited, while the Brawler slows everything down by 500 notches. Possibly the best Brawler match I've seen to date, too. Of course, since Owen got a good match out of him, he left the company about three weeks later.
- Hillbilly Jim vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart):
I can safely say this one isn't going to be pretty. WWE, the cheap bastards they are, dub in generic Hillbilly Music because for some unknown reason, they can't use HBJ's traditional theme (Don't Go Messin' with a Country Boy). Hillbilly then does a little dance with Billy Red Lyons (acting as Ring announcer tonight). Valentine steals a page out of Honkytonk Man's book and stalls to start. After a few minutes of that, Valentine cheap shots HBJ, then works him over near the ropes. HBJ does a cart wheel after being whipped to the ropes, then scares Valentine out of the ring. Back inside the ring, and Hillbilly Jim applies a standing side headlock, which gives Valentine a chance to work in the tree-tumbling bump he does. Hillbilly works in a noogie now, and to the surprise of no one, Valentine doesn't submit to it. Hillbilly drops Valentine with the Killer Bee ear-smack, then applies a bear hug. Valentine escapes with a thumb to the eye, followed by some sledges to the upper-back of Hillbilly. Monsoon on commentary now says the obligatory "Valentine needs X amount of minutes to warm up" line. Valentine chokes HBJ across the ropes then goes to the reverse chinlock. Jim tries slamming his way out, but he buckles under the pressure, and Hammer lands on top for a two count. Rear chinlock number 2 applied by Valentine. The action soon goes into the corner, where Valentine just does his thing. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, and here comes Hillbilly! Atomic drop allows Valentine to dance in a funny way, and then gets dropped with a headbutt. Irish whip, and Hillbilly puts him down with a big boot for a two count. Jimmy distracts HBJ long enough for Valentine to knee him in the back, roll Hillbilly up, and with added assistance of using the overalls for leverage, Valentine picks up the three count at the 7:30 mark (I never heard a bell, so huzzah). DUD There's the first of the night. Boring resting spots, a long stall-job to start the match, and a lame finish. Come on, did a former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion (and several more titles from the NWA) need to cheat to beat Hillbilly fucking Jim? It's not like he was the most active wrestler on the roster either. He'd show up for a month, disappear for 6, then come back again.
- WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition © vs. The Twin Towers:
(Ax & Smash vs. Big Boss Man & Akeem)
Oh hell yeah... the workrate is probably going to suck, but these two are my favorite tag teams from this time frame (1989), so expect me to be a bit generous after the match. Slick is nowhere to be seen for some reason... I guess he missed his flight. The Demos and Towers worked house shows together for months, but I don't remember it going anywhere on television other than the SummerSlam 6-Man Tag Match. Just a random note... Jive Soul Bro and :Demolition Love Theme: are probably the only reasons worth finding the Piledriver Album. Boss Man and Smash start the match for their teams. Smash hammers on BBM with rights to start, but a shoulder block doesn't budge him. Boss Man now beats on him with rights, and a back elbow does nothing. Smash with more roundhouse rights, followed by a fist to the midsection. Wristlock applied, and Ax tags in for some pounding of the arm. Sledge attack to the back of Boss Man, followed by a wristlock applied. Ax jerks on the arm of Boss Man, then tags Smash back in to beat on the arm more. Ax snap-mares the left of arm of Boss Man across the top rope behind the referee's back. Ax tags back in, but Boss Man comes back and whips him into his corner. Akeem tags in for the first time with clubbing blows in the corner, followed by an elbow to the back of the head. Ax comes back with a series of rights, but Akeem rakes the eyes. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, and Demolition work him over in the corner with sledge blows to the midsection. Akeem does a funky dazed dance, then gets put down for a reverse chinlock by Ax. Akeem rakes the eyes to escape, and tags in Boss Man to mop up Ax. Irish whip, and Akeem knees Ax in the back while the referee is being distracted by Smash. Double teaming in the corner by the Twin Towers. Akeem does some choking on Ax while Boss Man blocks the referee's vision, then does some of the same. Ax gets stomped out of the ring, where Akeem meets him with the tag rope around his throat. Ax, sportsman of the year, rakes the eyes of Akeem, then pounds away, before rolling back into the ring and being choked down by Boss Man. Ax is whipped into the corner and put down with a back elbow. Akeem tags back in to dance a little bit, and do some more clubbering. Irish whip to the corner and we get the Twin Towers Double Avalanche Special for $2.99. Boss Man slams Ax in the middle of the ring, and Akeem nails the 747 Splash, but Smash breaks it up. Ax school boys Akeem during the mayhem, and that only gets a two count as well. Ax puts Akeem down with a face buster, but Boss Man knocks out Smash so no tag can be made. Akeem misses a charge into the corner, then misses an elbow drop. Smash gets the hot tag, and we get more punching. Boss Man comes in to take more of the same, and Smash whips Akeem into Boss Man. Smash drops Boss Man with a clothesline, then a double team clothesline puts down Akeem and the referee. Demolition flap jack on Akeem, but Boss Man beats on Ax with the nightstick. Smash throws the referee, and now Boss Man works over Smash with it. The bell rings during more mayhem at 9:02, and it's apparently a Double Disqualification, due to Smash manhandling the referee, and Boss Man using the nightstick. Ax takes a grade-A ass kicking until a second referee can break it up. * As promised earlier, not much of a match, since most of the workers were extremely limited, but a couple of cool spots (and my blind loyalty to both teams) boosts it up to one of those "it's watchable, but not very good" ratings. Will this be the last time these two teams cross paths tonight? We'll find out later... which means yes.
- The Red Rooster vs. Richard Charland:
No, I have no idea who Charland is, probably some local jobber, but did Terry Taylor get fucked in the gimmicks department or what? The Red Rooster, the Computerized Man of the 90's, the Taylor Made Man, Terrific Terry Taylor... this guy just kept getting the shit piled onto his plate. I'm no genius booker, but wouldn't it have made more sense to pair up Rooster and Brawler, since they had a curtain jerking program going at the time? Monsoon and Hayes poke fun at Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin regarding Richard Charland... today as a smart mark, I have no idea where they're going with that. Anyway, back to the match... Lockup into the ropes, and Rooster ducks a sucker punch. Rooster applies a standing side headlock, and then scares Charland into the corner by pretending he'll hit him. Rooster with another headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Rooster with a double stomp to the midsection of Charland, then does some rooster walking... and he wonders why we make fun of him today? Rooster takes Charland over with a headlock, and that's countered with a head scissors by Charland. Rooster escapes into a front headlock, then turns Charland over for a quick two count. Rooster with headlock #4, and this time he comes off the ropes with a running dropkick. Several arm drag takeovers by Rooster, causing Charland to spill out of the ring. Charland finally gets in some offense, but Rooster no sells. Irish whip to the corner, and Rooster smacks his shoulder into the ring post, which signals the start of the heel heat beating on the face. Charland stomps away at the midsection of Rooster... and really, that's all he does. Choking in the ropes, and Charland applies a wristlock. Charland continues working over the arm, but the Rooster will! NOT! DIE! Irish whip, and Charland kicks the Rooster in the arm. More choking from Charland, and for the first time tonight, I'm begging for this to end soon. Rooster makes the big Super-Chicken Comeback, and floors Charland with a jaw breaker. Irish whip, and Rooster with a back drop, followed by a knee drop across the throat. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, but Charland misses a charge, and the Rooster applies the Reverse Chicken Wing submission for the victory at 9:49. Hmm... this went longer than the TAG TITLE MATCH? Yeesh... 1/2* Rooster did his best to make a match out of this one, but the dead crowd, total lack of talent from his opponent, and zero interest from me makes this one boring as hell. This would've been suitable for a 2 minute squash on one of the weekend shows, but a competitive 10-minutes? No thank you...
- Brett "Hitman" Hart vs. Rick Martel:
Finally, something I can appreciate without making up lame excuses for why the match wasn't any good. Martel isn't introduced as "The Model" here, and comes to the ring without theme music. Martel is only 4 weeks removed from turning heel on Tito Santana at WrestleMania V. Side Note: The on-screen graphics spells Bret's name as "Brett" still, so that's why I'm going with that spelling at the start of the match. Lockup to start, and Martel quickly hammers on the midsection of Hart. Irish whip is reversed, and Martel avoids punishment by doing a cart wheel. Hart applies an overhead wristlock out of the grapple position. Martel counters with a hammerlock, and Bret does the same. Martel floats over the head of Hart to escape, but fails at a roll-up attempt. Crowd chants "Tito" to annoy Martel. Lockup #3 goes into the corner, and Martel beats on Hart with rights and shoulder thrusts into the midsection. Hart returns the favor by clubbing Martel across the chest, then drops him with his half of the Hart-Attack clothesline. Hart head-butts Martel out of the ring, giving Martel a chance to catch his breath. Back inside the ring we go... Hart with a series of roundhouse rights. Irish whip is reversed, but Bret catches Martel's boot, and sweeps the leg from under him. Hart with a stomp to the chest, followed by introducing Martel to the buckle. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, giving Hart to sell it like he's been shot. Martel drops a series of elbows across the lower back of Hart, then plays to the crowd. Martel continues the punishment by driving a knee into Hart's back, then applies a chinlock while doing so. Wow, remember when Martel was a heel in WWF and actually WRESTLED, instead of stalling for 90% of the match? Martel puts Hart down with a back breaker for a two count. Martel pounds on the back of Hart some more, then goes back to stomping. Hart blocks being sent to the buckle, but Martel grabs a headlock and punches him in the throat to keep the momentum in his favor. Martel drives more elbows into the lower back of Hart. Martel fails at another roll-up, and an unusual pin position by Hart gets a two count. Martel is quickly back on top, and connects with another back breaker for a two count. Hart with an inside cradle for another two count. Martel applies the Boston Crab (all the back work meant something?!), but they're too close to the ropes, forcing Martel to break the hold. Hart blocks a suplex and snaps Martel over with one of his own. Martel is still fresh enough to put Hart down following several measured rights. Irish whip is reversed, and Hart takes Martel over with a back drop. Hart with an atomic drop, followed by an inverted version. I always think that move should be illegal, considering he's hitting the guy in the balls. Hart with the side Russian leg sweep for a two count. Side back breaker by Hart gets another two count. Hart with some rights in the corner, and Martel being out on his feet is an under statement. Hart continues the assault until Martel scoops the legs from under him and rolls him up (with feet on the ropes) for the cheap victory at 11:09. I've never cared for that finish... **3/4 Not the great match I expected from these two, but the psychology of Martel working over the back leading up to the Boston Crab was smart. However, I deducted points because it didn't factor into the REAL finish. Certainly not a boring match either, but just a little short. Felt like one of those matches that looks like it was booked to go 20, but was rushed for a lot less time.
- Tito Santana vs. Mr. Perfect:
OK, I'm confident this one will deliver. These two have wrestled plenty of times, and almost always come through with a good match. Also, more weird booking... Hart/Perfect was being done around the house show circuit, and probably the same for Santana/Martel, but they split them off into different combinations. I have a feeling that Tito's music is piped in, mainly because I don't remember him having any until well after this show. Lockup to start (wow, no stalling), and Santana gives a clean break in the corner. Lockup #2 goes to the same place, and this time Perfect breaks clean. Well, there's a surprise. Santana applies a wristlock, and then works into a headlock. Irish whip to escape, and Santana drops Hennig with a shoulder block. Perfect tries a hip toss, but Santana blocks and takes Perfect over with one of his own. Santana applies another side headlock. Perfect whips Santana off again, but goes down to another shoulder block. Perfect with a go-behind waistlock, but that's escaped with an elbow to the side of the face. Santana goes back to the trusty headlock. Perfect takes him into the corner, but misses a charge, and smacks his shoulder into the ring post. Monsoon says Bobby Heenan has been trying (and failing) at signing Perfect into his Heenan Family Stable (what a stable... Rude and the Brain Busters. Not too shabby for the heels). Perfect cheap shots Santana from out of the corner, pounds away with rights, followed by choking across the bottom rope. Perfect introduces Tito into the top turnbuckle, followed by a snapmare and the float-over neck snap. Perfect with knees to the back of the head, then goes to the chinlock. Since I have nothing to comment about, Monsoon talks about Hennig, Bret Hart, and Rick Martel being second generation wrestlers. Perfect with the over-dramatic knee lift, but a float-over cover only gets a two count. Chinlock #2 applied by Hennig, and this one lasts a bit longer. Santana finally fights free by beating on the left knee of Perfect. Irish whip, and Perfect floors Santana with a nasty looking clothesline. It only gets a two count, however. Perfect talks smack in the corner, which means Tito will boot him in the face on a charge attempt, then come back with roundhouse rights. Hennig with his first oversell of the match, on a wind-up punch from Santana. Santana jerks the neck of Hennig between his legs, giving him another chance to over-sell. Scoop slam by Santana, followed by a sledge from the top rope for a two count. In the mean time, Martel comes to the ring area. In a move not often seen, Perfect and Santana botch the pinfall there, as Santana was supposed to get off Hennig before the three, but didn't, and Perfect didn't kick out. While I ramble, Santana nails the Flying Jalupeño, but Martel pulls him off the cover. Santana mouths off to Martel, allowing Perfect to roll him up and hook the tights for the duke at 10:41. What is this, night of 1,000 horrible finishes? *** A good bit of chain wrestling to start, which is what I expected, followed by fine, albeit boring, heel segment, but that finish always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and that little fuck up can't go unnoticed, especially from two veterans like Santana and Hennig. So right now, almost all of the matches have been won by the heels. Will we get a top face going over yet?
- WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
"Ravishing" Rick Rude © (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior:
Well, unless history is changed and I was never aware of it, or my VCR craps out and alters the tape, most likely Warrior is NOT walking out of the show with the Intercontinental Gold. Rude, of course, won the title at WrestleMania V with a little help from Heenan, and was the first pinfall loss for the Warrior since his debut in the WWF. In one of those little thing that bugs me, the champion comes out first. Although not meaning what I want it to, Monsoon making reference to Warrior as "the brains nightmare" tickles my fancy, considering he's a moron that talks to his hands. Warrior rushes the ring, and quickly takes Rude over with a back drop. Warrior hammers on the lower back of Rude, and catches him coming off the ropes with a fist to the midsection. Warrior with a slingshot suplex(!) for a quick two count. OK, Warrior busting out Tully Blanchard's signature spot is kind of cool. Inverted atomic drop by the Warrior, then he does it again. Warrior with several scoop slams, and Monsoon with another reference to Terry Garvin. Warrior rides Rude like a horse, in a mental image I never needed to have. Back breaker by Warrior. He drags Rude back into the ring, only to toss him out over the top rope on the opposite side. Warrior follows him out and rams Rude's back into the ring post. Warrior continues the assault, and press slams Rude back into the ring. He should've been counted out a minute ago, by the way. Warrior whips Rude into the corner, then stomps a mudhole, but doesn't walk it dry. Rude gets whipped into the opposite corner, then back to the original. Warrior bitch slaps Rude around, then applies a bear hug. Rude rakes the eyes for his first offense of the match, but fails at a slam attempt. Warrior returns the eye raking favor, and goes back to the bear hug. Heenan causes a distraction on the apron, causing Warrior to release the hold. Warrior decides to go up to the top rope now, and comes off with a double sledge for a two count. He goes back up to the top again, but this time Rude shakes the ropes, causing Warrior to get crotched across the turnbuckle pipe. Rude finally gets a chance to control, pounding on Warrior with roundhouse rights. Irish whip to the corner is reversed, but Warrior misses a 338 MPH charge, and eats turnbuckle instead. Rude tries something, but Warrior mule kicks him over the top rope. I see Rude has been studying the "Curt Hennig Book of Making someone look good." Rude tries to go to the top rope, but Warrior slams him off. Big splash attempt by Warrior, but Rude gets the knees up in time... wouldn't that still hurt though? Rude puts Warrior down with a jumping piledriver, but only for a two count. First rest-hold of the match is a reverse chinlock by Rude, while sitting on the back of Warrior. Rude with a series of ass drops on Warrior, some playing to the crowd, and back to the chinlock. Warrior mounts a comeback, throwing Rude into the corner three times, then ramming him into the buckle 9 times, and rams him into the canvas face-first for the proverbial 10th. Warrior bounces off the ropes with several clotheslines. Warrior with a running powerslam, but Rude gets the shoulder up at two. Warrior with his own piledriver, sold beautifully by Warrior, but again only for a two count as Rude gets his foot on the bottom rope. Rude wisely runs to the outside, and not too surprisingly, we have a Count-Out finish at 12:05, giving Warrior the win. Rude tries attacking Warrior in the ring as he went for Heenan, but Warrior outsmarts them both (HA!), and they get whipped into each other. **1/4 Believe it or not, but this match wasn't too bad. Was it a mat classic? No, but Warrior beating the crap out of Rude, Rude selling like death, then using everything in his book to win but failing seemed to be the perfect formula with Warrior. Too bad it wasn't really perfected until their program came to a finish.
- 16-Man Battle Royale:
(Participants: Big Boss Man, Akeem, Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, Tito Santana, Brett "Hitman" Hart, The Blue Blazer, Jim Powers, Hillbilly Jim, The Red Rooster, Mr. Perfect, Rick Martel, The Honkytonk Man, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, The Brooklyn Brawler, Richard Charland)
We got everyone from the show other than Rude and Warrior in the match. As usual for Battle Royale's (well, when you notice I review them), unless something major happens, I'll pretty much ignore blow-by-blows until the last 5 or 6 men are left in the ring, because usually nothing but hugging and punching happens before that. Demolition pound away on Akeem, until he goes spilling out of the ring, being eliminated at 0:09! This might be the only match where Owen and Brett were in the ring at the same time, at least when it was televised. Of course, they don't even mention that Owen is the Blue Blazer for another 5 years. Demolition and Hillbilly Jim work over the Richard Charland, but can't eliminate him... how pathetic. No eliminations happen for a few minutes, but 15 men isn't too much to watch out for I guess. Bret and the Blazer double team on the Hammer in a cool 20 second spot. Perfect and Boss Man brawl in a heel/heel match up, while Ax works over the Brawler in one of the corners. Demolition now work on Boss Man, but he dumps out Ax at 3:49. Boss Man then follows up by dumping Jim Powers at 4:14. Demolition Smash then continues the pace, by eliminating the Honkytonk Man at 4:21 (my, how the mighty have fallen). Smash and Boss Man pair off while nothing else much of note happens. Hillbilly Jim eliminates Richard Charland at around the 5:20 mark. The Blue Blazer is quickly eliminated by the Brooklyn friggin Brawler at 5:30. The Brawler goes out soon enough, being dumped by Smash at 5:46. Valentine gets back dropped onto the apron, but he's able to take out the Red Rooster from the apron at 6:54. Hillbilly Jim then knocks off Valentine to eliminate him at 7:02. Boss Man gets whipped to the corner, but Smash runs into a big boot. Smash blocks being eliminated, and pulls the Boss Man out for the elimination at 7:27, but the Boss Man is a mean guy, and pulls Smash off the apron, taking him out of the match at 7:31. Hillbilly Jim is the only guy who sucks in the ring, so he gets eliminated by Mr. Perfect at 7:50, leaving Rick Martel, Mr. Perfect, Brett Hart, and Tito Santana as the final four... not too bad of a selection.
Final Four: Brett Hart, Rick Martel, Tito Santana, Mr. Perfect:
The faces and heels obviously pair up depending on how the crowd reacts to them, with Martel/Santana and Perfect/Hart being the pairings. Santana hammers on Martel and sends him to the corner, while Hart beats the tar out of Perfect. They now double team Martel briefly, until Perfect rakes the eyes of Hart. Now Perfect hammers on Santana, while Hart pounds Martel in the corner. Hart and Hennig get whipped into each other, and Strike Force Explodes again. Santana with an atomic drop, but Perfect comes from behind and tosses out Santana at 9:23. Martel and Perfect double team on Hart while Santana remains at ringside for support. Hart gets sent to the corners, until heel Santana pulls down the top rope as Martel runs the ropes, eliminating him at 10:43, and Hart quickly clothesline Perfect over the top to the floor to win the Battle Royale at 10:53 to a pretty good reaction. Of course, it's a Canadian crowd, so that may be a good explanation. Decent Battle Royale, which is surprising because most Battle Royale's tend to suck pretty badly.
Final Thoughts: Right off the bat, you'll notice that there was very little star power on this show. Hogan, Savage, Andre, Beefcake, Dibiase, and Roberts were all absent, but this also seemed to be a good thing since it gave some of the mid-carders a chance to shine. However, all of the under-card matches were hit (Bret/Martel, Tito/Hennig) or miss (HTM/Powers, Rooster/Charland). The Intercontinental Title Match was good, but left little to the imagination in terms of what the finish was, and the Tag Title Match was a bit plodding for my taste. A good Battle Royale saves the show a bit, but it's a rather lame Main Event. Overall I'll give the show a C+, which is a Middle of the Road, but slight thumbs up because of 1 or 2 matches, but don't go out of your way looking for it.