June 16, 2010
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
Demolition vs. The Brainbusters
Best 2 out of 3 Falls
Saturday Night's Main Event #22
Taped in Worcester, MA - 7/18/89 (Aired 7/29/89)
Matt D: This is a great, great match. I love the first fall so much. This match makes the WWF tag titles as important as I can ever remember them being. Some things to note pre-match. This is obviously a follow up from the SNME #21 match where the Busters cheated so much that Demolition got themselves disqualified. It's 2/3 falls, with the titles able to change hand so long as the final fall is a pinfall or a DQ. No one ever mentions this but Arn and Tully played slightly different characters in the WWF. They remind me of Kurt Angle's initial character a little bit. Very earnest in what they say and very underhanded in what they do. Demolition get the pre-match promo and blame Heenan for the last loss. That'll come into play later.
The pace of the first fall is intense, but not in the same way of the Rockers match. It's obvious that Demolition really wants to get their hands on Arn and Tully but they're a bit wary after the last loss and that Arn and Tully realize after the last match, where they came in overconfident and quickly learned better, that they have to give 110% if they want to defeat Demolition. Tully and Ax to begin with Tully attacking Smash on the apron, escaping to the outside from Ax and then getting tossed back in by Smash, leading to back and forth Demos punches and Tully begging off, which is a lure into his corner so Arn can get his licks in too. This leads to a great visual which sums up the first fall nicely. Arn pulls Ax out and Tully tries to whip him into an Arn clothesline. Ax reverses the whip and and Tully ducks Arn's clothesline only for Smash to appear from out of nowhere and clobber Tully. The Busters try to cheat and Demolition fight it off, again and again with irate fury. At one point Smash just chokes the life out of Arn which is not something you see often out of Face Demolition. When Arn tries to get free and stomp Smash, Smash CATCHES the foot, gets up with it, flips him onto his back, and then yanks him away quickly because he ended up too close to his corner. They're something of an unstoppable force of nature at this point even if they are up against one of the best teams ever.
Eventually, the dirty tactics start to stick a bit and the Busters take over on Smash. They can't keep him down for long, though. He keeps fighting back in that believable Demolition way, where he never forgets to sell the damage and gets cut off every time. Arn hits the Spinebuster (much to Heenan's joy) but he takes just a bit too long to make the cover. The fall ends shortly thereafter in another great visual spot. Arn and Tully are going for a double clothesline on Smash. Smash ducks it. Ax grabs Tully from the apron by the hair and he falls. Smash hits Arn with the hot shot. Ax kicks Tully in the skull, once and only once to keep him from breaking up the pin (and then walks away confidently), and the Demos are up 1-0. By this point you can't really imagine them losing the belts.
The start of the second fall doesn't hurt that opinion. Now that they're on top they start wrestling a very different match, more focused on keeping the pace slow and grinding the Busters down, including using an extended neck vice. This lasts until Arn gets Ax in the throat and the Busters take over. They're fevered now, stomping and kicking and choking and goading Smash and doubleteaming at every turn, with Heenan FINALLY getting in on the act and getting a few cheap shots in. When Ax finally makes it over to tag, Smash is irate and out of control, press-slamming Tully (and he never does that) and running Heenan into the pole. Ax is in by now too and they furiously double-team Arn as the ref counts, finally hitting the Decapitation, but they were in too long and the Busters goaded them into a disqualification making it 1-1. When Heenan goes down, Andre shows up.
The third fall is fairly quick but it's interesting to watch Ax and Smash try to control themselves, working a more reserved style than before, even letting the ref push them around a bit more than usual and making switches without double-teaming. There's an awesome moment where the Busters take over where Tully gives Ax an eye-poke and then slams Ax's head right into an unsuspecting Arn, who was just reaching for the tag, even as Andre looks on confused. Arn comes in a moment later but keeps on selling this, right up until the point where he eats an atomic drop, bounces off the turnbuckle and collides with Ax's head again. Good stuff that leads to the last hot tag of the match and a cluster with all four men in and out of the ring. It ends with Smash catching Arn with an axe handle as Arn came off the top rope and the ref getting distracted with Ax and Heenan. The distraction allows Andre to toss a chair to Tully who just clobbers Smash with it allowing the Busters to pick up the pin and win the third fall and the title.
The post-match celebration is great. You'll never see anyone happier to win a title than the Heenan family. Great match that builds smartly both upon itself and the previous SNME match.
Vic: This is the rematch from the previous Saturday Night's Main Event. In that match the Brain Busters were able to get Demolition disqualified allowing the Brain Busters a rematch and to pick a stipulation. The match will be 2 out of 3 falls.
Even walking to the ring Demolition look very anxious, like they really want to hurt the Brain Busters. The Brain Busters are continuing their plan from the previous match which was to infuriate Demolition. Tully tags Smash while he was sleping on the apron. Tries to sneak outside but Smash is one step ahead. The Brain Busters are in over their head here. They are not able to Out team, out wrestle and especially out fight Demolition. What they can do is out cheat Demolition. In the first fall its taking everything they have to contain Smash. After Smash survives the Spinebuster, the Busters get frustrated and pay for it. With Arn taking a stun gun giving Demolition the first fall.
The second fall begins with the BUsters in serious trouble. Arn is the one taking most of the punishment. Arn finally tags out to Tully and the Brain BUsters take control. The Brain Busters manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan takes the chance to slap Ax which causes Smash to go to the floor distracting the ref. This is continuing the plan from the first match. which was to lather Demolition into a rage. When Smash is finally tagged in he goes berzerk beating up the Busters and ramming Heenan into the ring post which looked sick. Ax is back in and they are pounding Tully into pulp. Heenan getting decked brings out Andre the Giant. Demolition hits the Demo Decaptator but its too late since they are disqualified for being in the ring too long.
Its the third fall and Andre is at ringside. Both teams are exhausted but Ax goes on the attack again. I get the feeling the reason the Busters asked for two out of three falls was the belief they had greater endurance. Tully thumbs Ax in the eye and throws him into Arn's skull which looked brutal. Both teams look like they have been in a fight. Ax and Arn are exhausted hitting each other. Smash gets in and it all breaks down. Busters get the win thanks to Andre. I think Jesse said that Bobby had a A, B, C and D plan. Well Heenan had plan E in Andre.
Get back from commercial and the Heenan Family is celebrating. The Family looked like a great bunch of guys always really supportive of one another. You can tell Andre had a lot of fun. This also meant Heenan was in control of the Intercontinental ("Ravishing" Rick Rude) and the tag belts with the Brain Busters.
This was a really good match. Also foreshadowed the Andre/Demolition feud. You were left wondering could Demolition take the giant.