The WWF’s quarterly Saturday show frequently had themes running throughout the 90-minute event, and coming from Omaha, Nebraska they naturally ripped off “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” The long-running NBC and syndicated documentary program featured nature and wildlife, so the always in-touch Vince McMahon put “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND and Lord Alfred Hayes in safari gear and had them film bumpers between the matches. Hayes took on the persona of host Marlon Perkins and kept calling Okerlund “Jim,” in reference to co-host Jim Fowler. Okerlund – who kept ending up on the worse end of nature here for the comedic effort – kept reminding Hayes that his name is Gene. It’s pretty typical WWF comedy, but Hayes and Okerlund make it work, as usual.
In between the bumpers, though, was a pretty important show. All three major WWF titles were on the line, and we got an appearance from former champion HULK HOGAN. The show cuts down the normal amount of matches from 5 to 4, so the title matches each get about 10 minutes.
Best Match: Intercontinental Championship Match: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (c) defeated Tito Santana – This is a rematch from the Intercontinental tournament that ended earlier this year, caused by Ultimate Warrior winning the WWF Championship from Hogan at WRESTLEMANIA VI. Hennig and Santana have great chemistry and they work a fun 10-minute match that gets Hennig over as a technical master, who can return the title to the status it had when guys like Santana and “Macho Man” Randy Savage held it.
Worst Match: “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich defeated “Playboy” Buddy Rose – Texas wrestling legend Von Erich debuts with the WWF here in a quick 3-minute squash over Rose. The match put the Tornado over strong, but was put in the death slot of the show – the final match – for good reason.
Back to the Well – “Ravishing” Rick Rude hoped to capitalize on the scouting report his fellow Heenan Family stablemate Haku managed to get from the last SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT, adding to his own knowledge of the Ultimate Warrior after beating him for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania V, but it wasn’t his night here. Warrior beats him by countout, but Rude would get another shot at the championship next month.
Tag Team Turmoil – The newly-heel tag team champions Demolition introduced their third member, Crush, to team with Smash since Ax wasn’t able to compete any longer, and it opened up a world of possibilities for match-ups with the heavily-face WWF tag team division. Up first was Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. The Rockers bump like crazy for the champs and still get to show off a bit. But having a third man on the outside was the advantage for the champs, as Ax scored the pin during some finishing gaga. Both the Hart Foundation and new roster additions the Legion of Doom come out to protest the decision and set up future match-ups against the trio.
Hulk Smashed – Hulk Hogan followed up losing the WWF Championship by getting squashed by Earthquake on the Brother Love Show, writing him off television for a few months as he filmed Suburban Commando. The former champ made his triumphant return here to announce that he would be facing Earthquake at SummerSlam in August. Earthquake, along with Jimmy Hart and Dino Bravo, came out to threaten the Hulkster, but he’s saved by his new cornerman Tugboat.
Ranking Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVII
1 – Intercontinental Championship Match: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (c) defeated Tito Santana
2 – WWF Tag Team Championship: Demolition (Smash and Crush) (c) defeated the Rockers
3 – WWF Championship Match: The Ultimate Warrior (c) beat “Ravishing” Rick Rude by countout
4 – “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich defeated “Playboy” Buddy Rose
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship Match: The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan (c) – WrestleMania VI
2 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Doom – Clash of the Champions X
3 – Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson beat The Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer and the Dragonmaster – Clash of the Champions X
4 – Rock n Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
5 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Ole and Arn Anderson – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
6 – United States Tag Team Championship Match: The Midnight Express (c) defeated the Southern Boys – Great American Bash 1990
7 – Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake defeated “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig – WrestleMania VI
8 – “Macho King” Randy Savage defeated “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jan. 27, 1990
9 – NWA World Championship Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) beat Lex Luger by countout – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
10 – Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior defeated “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig and “The Genius” Lanny Poffo – Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jan. 27, 1990
The 1990 Top 10 series takes a few weeks off before we hit SummerSlam at the end of August. Stay tuned!