From the WWE Network: WWF’s Greatest Hits

A “Million Dollar” World title challenge, an Intercontinental title screwjob, a dash of Hulkamania!

Intercontinental champion Kerry Von Erich vs. Mr. Perfect

Ted Dibiase pays off Howard Finkel in order to put himself into the role as ring announcer. Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper and the Honky Tonk Man are on the call as this is from the “Superstars” TV show. The men trade some gentle body slams, before Perfect takes a big bump over the top rope off a clothesline that didn’t quite justify such acrobatics.

Von Erich works the arm, before belting Hennig with a discus punch to his belly. Von Erich misses a charge and runs into the post. Dibiase sneaks over and cheap shots Von Erich. Hennig dropkicks Von Erich to the floor. Bobby Heenan distracts the ref, allowing Dibiase to drive Von Erich into the turnbuckle post.

The ref ends up bumped back in the ring. Von Erich rallies and hits the discus punch. Dibiase charges in the ring and knocks Von Erich out with the title belt. Hennig struggles to pick up the dead weight. A Perfect-plex snags a controversial three-count. Vince and Roddy do a fine job putting over their disgust in this injustice. The fans are shown at ringside confused and appalled at what has unfolded. This was good enough for what it was.

Marty Jannetty vs. Rick “The Model” Martel

Sean Mooney and Lord Al call the action. This appears to be from the “Survivor Series Showdown” USA special prior to 1990’s event. The men do a little feeling out, taking turns one upping one another. Martel starts to use choking and other aggressive tactics to obtain control. The match is then skipped ahead, perhaps covering for a commercial break?

Marty slows things down by working Martel’s knee and ankle with locks. This goes on for several minutes. It’s kind of odd to see the high-flying babyface working a limb like this. Martel kicks him off and briefly garners control, but Jannetty fires up and starts driving fists into Martel. The Model ends up tossing Marty to the floor. When the Rocker attempts reentry Martel flips him in the ring right on his head. Jannetty is down for the clean pin after that. A surprisingly dull encounter.

Hulk Hogan and Tugboat vs. The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine

Hogan starts off with a “HOOOT!” in honor of his friend the Tugboat. Honky and Valentine gain a quick advantage by doubling up on Hogan, but the Hulk quickly turns things his way, sending both men down with a clothesline and then tossing them into Tugboat’s boot.

Hogan and Tugboat work Valentine’s arm. A cheap shot puts Tugboat in trouble. The heels use some illegal tactics and frequent tags to keep Tugboat at bay. Tugboat finally avoids a double elbow and tags in Hogan. Hulk pounds Honky and Valentine, then pops Jimmy Hart. Hart runs to the back.

Hogan rocks Valentine with the big boot but Earthquake and Dino Bravo make an appearance. Chief Jay Strongbow and Pat Patterson block them from getting to ringside. Honky uses a guitar to take the Tugboat out of action. Dino Bravo and Quake hit the ring and all four men batter the Hulkster. Quake hits a powerslam and a splash. He then prepares for a butt splash, but Tugboat gets the guitar and scares off the heels. Hogan sells the beating.

The arena is noticeably smaller than you’d expect, a sign of the times with the Ultimate Warrior not working as World champ and Hulkamania no longer being strong enough to carry the promotion to huge gates.

Big Bossman vs. The Barbarian

We are joined in progress with the Bossman challenging the Barbarian to get in the ring and fight like a man. Barbarian rips at Bossman’s face. Bossman tries to fire back with fists, but misses a charge and ends up dumped to the floor. The Barbarian follows him out and dumps him back first into the ringpost. Barbarian drags him back in the ring and hacks away into the Bossman’s prone body.

The crowd is silent for this all. Barbarian does not help that situation by locking the Bossman in a bearhug. Bossman finally bites to free himself from the grasp of Barbie. That upsets the rugged heel and Bossman earns a boot to the face for his efforts.

Bossman fights to his feet, where the men trade punches. Bossman wins that exchange by delivering a dropkick. The lawman scores a stun gun for the near fall. A flying crossbody nearly backfires as the Barbarian a rolls through with it. Barbarian tries a piledriver, but Bossman flips him out of it. Bossman attempts a roll-up, so Barbarian sits on him. Bossman rolls him up and scores the pin from that. Haku charges the ring and helps Barbarian beat down Bossman. The dead crowd was bizarre since Bossman was over and this was part of a Wrestlemania feud as they built up Bossman vs. The Heenan Family.

WWF World Champion the Ultimate Warrior vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

This is from the “Main Event” in November of 1990. Vince is at his hyperbolic best for the national TV audience as he screams about the Warrior’s attributes.

The champ out muscles Dibiase quickly, then hits several clotheslines to send Dibiase to the floor. One of those appeared to be pretty stiff. Warrior takes the fight to the floor, where he knocks Virgil and Dibiase together.

Warrior runs into a boot in the ring, giving Dibiase the advantage. A piledriver earns Dibiase a near fall, but Warrior is right back into control. Virgil distracts the wild man, allowing Dibiase to knock the Warrior to the floor. The Million Dollar Man uses his fists to keep Warrior at bay. Dibiase earns a few near falls, but can’t put Warrior away.

A suplex goes awry for the challenger, so he dumps Warrior to the floor to maintain the advantage. Warrior reverses another suplex attempt, before both men run into one another and go down. Dibiase attempts a aerial attack, but Warrior smacks a fist into his gut. Warrior finds the hard camera and begins to do his Warrior war dance. Dibiase eats a series of clotheslines and a flying tackle. Virgil runs in to save Dibiase from having to eat the pin. Virgil is pressed into the air, only to be saved by the Macho King running in with his scepter in hand. He begins to crack the Warrior with it. Rene Goulet, Pat Patterson, Tony Garea, Jay Strongbow and a slew of refs try and save the Warrior, but Savage leaps right through them to assault the Warrior further. Once Savage is subdued, Warrior sells the beating as he struggles to his feet and raises the title over his head. The Warrior showing vulnerability was part of the plot to humanize him in hopes that business would suddenly turn around if the champion wasn’t a raging impervious psycho.

Final thoughts: Another easy cash in for the WWF as they just repurposed a few old televised matches and waited for the money to roll in.

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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