About Us  |   Contact

WWF The Main Event episode 4 review: Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase, Buddy Rose's Blow Away Diet video debut

SNME

By Josh Nason, Wrestling Observer

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but as we close out the 1990 season of Saturday Night’s Main Event/The Main Event, I feel like we’re bidding farewell to an era.

As I wrote weeks ago, this was the final year that WWF would have more than two shows per calendar year on NBC, mainly due to fallout from a low rating that a Wrestlemania 7 special on the network garnered. The show’s quality had began to slip on the same scale their star quality did and this Friday night TME special wasn’t even live.

So while our march toward the end has begun, don’t fret. There’s still history yet to come!

If you’re new to these reviews, welcome! This is the latest edition of our 41-week journey through every edition of SNME and TME on the WWE Network. With no star ratings and little snark, these are the musings of a 37-year-old with a dream assignment: to relive my childhood 66 minutes at a time.

  • Airdate: November 23, 1990
  • Taped: October 30, 1990
  • Runtime: 48 minutes
  • Location: Fort Wayne, IN | Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Like last week, there was no mention of the town or arena the show was in. Another few trivia facts: this was the first TME that was taped instead of airing live. WWF wanted a regular 90 minute SNME but NBC wanted a one-hour Friday night show instead. Thus, an infamous 25 minute 2-of-3 falls match between the Rockers and the Hart Foundation never made air.

Why infamous? The Rockers beat the Harts for the tag titles that night in Fort Wayne, a reign that was never officially recognized by WWF who had either fired Jim Neidhart or the Harts had campaigned to keep the titles depending on who you believe. In any case, the match never made air and the titles were returned to the Harts, blamed on a rope break that happened during the match.

You can see the match in full on one of the Shawn Michaels DVD compilations, but it would have been cool for WWF to include the match here. This is also the second time the Harts had a match scrapped from TME. NBC hated the pink and black!

We start right away with “Mean” Gene Okerlund back to his normal backstage interview role with Ted DiBiase. He recaps how nefarious DiBiase is, showing us the clips of him kicking the basketball from the little kid, buying off a pool attendant and kicking kids out of the water, and hiring a “lookalike, imposter” Hebner to screw Hulk Hogan out of the WWF title. Gene thinks he’s up to something tonight and wants to get to the bottom of it! Alas, he does not.

Sean Mooney is with our champion whose hair is looking quite amazing. Mooney wants to talk about money and what it can buy. “Bankrolls do not build biceps,” Warrior tells us. Not so sure about that one, Jim.

Ultimate Warrior

Vince McMahon and a turkey leg eating Roddy Piper are in front of a green screen welcoming us to tonight’s special holiday edition. Piper says if he keeps eating turkey, he’ll end up looking like Roseanne Barr.

Roddy Piper

WWF World Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil)

DiBiase and Virgil are already in the ring as we get back from break, so we’re getting right to it. It’s never mentioned that both men are looking to keep their TME unbeaten streaks intact. It’s also never mentioned that Warrior is a much more high profile challenge for Deebs than Hercules was.

Warrior is jacked to the gills of the gills for this one. As expected, DiBiase is a bumping machine for Warrior’s power moves until Virgil held Warrior’s ankle to distract the champ, giving DiBiase the advantage. DiBiase was getting lots of pin attempts, but decided not to hook the leg. Fundamentals make winners, Ted. Warrior does show off some technical prowess on some pin reversals, reverting back to the days of the Blade Runners who were always known for their mat technicianship.

You know, DiBiase doesn’t get enough credit for how big of a star heel he was back then. He worked with literally every big name babyface and got good to great matches out of them. I know people remember the character, but he was really, really good. Yes, I know that’s a duh statement, but it still has to be said.

The end came when Warrior did his Hogan-esque comeback and shoulder-blocked DiBiase (called a tackle for some reason), causing Virgil to run in for the DQ. As he attacked Virgil and put him up for a press slam, the banana leopard looking Randy Savage ran in and hit him in the gut with the royal sceptre. As Queen Sherri looked on, Savage dropped the sceptre on his throat from the top rope. Referees were trying to keep him off Warrior, but he just kept awkwardly tossing them off.

Randy Savage 

Savage even jumped over the officials to deliver a modified elbow on Warrior, leaving him laying, clutching his title. During this time, DiBiase and Virgil disappeared into the ethos. The segment ended with Warrior struggling to his feet as the fans rooted him on. McMahon said, “This is the ullllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllltimate champion!” He wouldn’t be saying that in a few months time.

We go to the back as Gene is with Savage and Sherri who amazingly look like two people who hadn’t just gone through any physical activity in the past, oh, five minutes. The sceptre is also remarkably back to pre-Warrior beating shape. Savage said he accepted the royal payment from DiBiase, which doesn’t make much sense. Why would DiBiase pay Savage to attack Warrior after the match? And why are these two blood enemies now friends?

Sgt. Slaughter (w/General Adnan) vs. Nikolai Volkoff

We go back to the ring where Nikolai Volkoff is waiting. We go back to Gene with Sgt. Slaughter and General Adnan. “To hell with Old Glory,” Slaughter says. He puts his support behind Iraq and seems way more into this gimmick than he did a few months ago.

Slaughter attacks Volkoff before the bell and lays into him with the riding crop. He locks on the Camel Clutch and then continues to attack. This leads “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to come out and run off Slaughter with the 2x4. He makes a lot more sense for a Slaughter foil than a Russian defending the U.S. “In your face, Sgt. Slaughter!,” McMahon exclaims. Piper was nearly mute during this whole deal. Can we get Jesse Ventura back?

At least they had the good sense not to actually go through with a Slaughter/Volkoff match on national TV.

Big Boss Man vs. Mr. Perfect

Gene is a workin’ man tonight and is with the Big Boss Man. “Crime doesn’t pay and apparently, neither does insulting this man’s mother,” Gene says. BBM says that Bobby Heenan insulted his mama on national TV. “Justice may be blind, but not when it comes to insulting my mama,” he explains, verifying Gene’s earlier hypothesis.

As Perfect goes into the ring, we get McMahon and Piper in front of the green screen promoting a new diet that allows you to eat anything you want. You know where this is going, right?

Heenan is not out with Perfect as he’s trying to avoid the BBM. Joey Marella is reffing this match, which means all three participants are now dead. That makes that four on this show already and we’re only halfway through. Jesus, this business.

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s impressive how much weight BBM had lost in just a few years time, probably around 40 pounds or so. I also really liked his punches and there were a lot of them in this match.

As Perfect had the advantage, Heenan came out to the ring in an awesome jumpsuit.

Bobby Heenan

BBM kicked clean out of a Perfect Plex (!!!), but Perfect and Heenan conspired to throw him over the top rope Heenan was pulling down. However, Perfect got reversed on the Irish Whip and flew to the outside. BBM pulled Heenan up on the apron, got slapped, and then gave chase to Heenan who sprinted away. BBM got counted out, making it a perfect three-for-three in non-clean finishes tonight. Meh. We did a nice visual of Heenan wiping out in the back.

Gene is in the back and a freaked out Heenan runs past. He is asking for Gene’s help and even begs Gene for help to no avail.

We then get the infamous “Playboy” Buddy Rose Blow Away Diet plan video. I could describe this, but just watch it yourself.

Playboy Buddy Rose

I wonder who wrote this. Any guesses? Hmmm, someone who disdains overweight people and has a distorted sense of how someone should look...

Rick “The Model” Martel vs. Tito Santana

If this match is anything like the one they had on episode 23, we’re in for a treat. If you haven’t watched that match yet, do so now and then rejoin us here.

There was a lot of Santana working the arm, so if you’re into Ronda Rousey, this match was for you. Unfortunately, this match was nowhere close to their previous SNME encounter. As Santana made his comeback, McMahon said the place was going electric which a) wasn’t accurate and b) doesn’t make sense.

The ending sequence was fun, however, with a lot of reversals. Eventually, Martel locked on the Boston Crab and Santana tapped for our first clean finish of the night. Good end to a blah match.

Gene is in the back with Jake Roberts who we’re told was blinded by Martel’s Arrogance spray.

Jake Roberts

We see the whole background of the feud and Roberts going ‘blind”. He’s rocking the same sunglasses that I saw him wear on that plane back in 1988 which sends a shiver down my spine. He then reveals his white glassy eyeball and says that Martel rolled snake eyes.

Jake Roberts 

McMahon and Piper recap the Warrior/Savage dustup. They send it to Mooney with the Warrior who is staring at his belt with no paint and is talking very, very low. For some reason, the mics didn’t pick up when guys like Warrior and Savage started talking quietly. Anyway, he said he looked in the eyes of his Warriors after the match and saw tears. We close with Warrior holding the belt high in the ring after the match.

Amazingly, there is ZERO mention of Hogan on this whole episode, no images, no nothing.

45:00

This was about as throwaway a TME as you’re going to see. They tried to fit in so much in 48 minutes that nothing really stood out. The build toward Warrior/Savage was on, but the rest felt like filler.

With that said, next week has to be better, right? Join me next Saturday to find out together.