Dark Pegasus Video Review: WWF Hottest Matches 1990 Posted by J.D. Dunn on 12.05.2006
Ted DiBiase takes on a young Shawn Michaels.
WWF Hottest Matches 1990 by J.D. Dunn
Released October 25, 1990
Your host is Sean Mooney.
Tito Santana vs. Rick Martel.
This is the blow off from their breakup over a year earlier. This was during Martel's perm period, which coincides with his worst period as a wrestler. Brief feeling out period, and they exchange dropkicks. Martel misses a knee in the corner, enabling Santana to work over his hamstring in preparation for the figure-four. Martel does some cheap heel stuff but lands awkwardly on his leg. Tito goes for the figure-four, but Martel counters with an eyepoke. Heenan goes off on a goofy tangent about chicken's legs being ambidextrous. You really have to hear it. Martel gets crotched going up top. Martel misses a crossbody, and Tito gets two. A small package gets two more for Tito. Tito hits the flying forearm, but Martel rolls to the outside and grabs his can of Arrogance. One spray later and Martel gets the win at 9:38. Not bad. Tito was always a solid worker. **
A brief profile of what makes a good tag team.
The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji).
Doubleteamery by the Rockers to start. This is the Sato version of the Orient Express. Shawn gets caught in the wrong corner but gets himself out of trouble. The Rockers work Tanaka's arm for a bit. The Orients turn the tables and work Janetty's arm with frequent heel switches. A heel miscommunication lets Janetty tag out. The Rockers doubleteam, but Janetty gets kicked in the back of the head to allow the Express to take over again. Mr. Fuji hits Janetty with the cane. What a dick. The Express hit their stretch vertical splash. Marty gets a sunset flip out of nowhere and makes the HOT TAG TO SHAWN! The Rockers whip the Express into one another and try a doubleteam, but Sato breaks it up. The two teams brawl on the outside, and the Rockers dart back inside before the 10 count to pick up the cheap win at 12:06. This particular version of the OE never really had chemistry with the Rockers, and this is probably the best match I've seen between the two teams. **1/4
Dusty Rhodes vs. Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart).
This, I believe, is the debut of Dusty Rhodes in the WWF. Pairing him up with Valentine is a good idea, considering Valentine's resemblance to Flair's offense. Rhodes elbows out of a wristlock and no-sells a series of forearms. Valentine avoids an elbow and locks in a chinlock. That goes on forever before Valentine goes for a figure-four. Rhodes counters to a small package, but that's a bit of a misnomer in this case. Jimmy Hart tries to prevent the comeback, but Ronnie Garvin stops him and beats him up. Rhodes sneaks up on a distracted Greg Valentine and schoolboys him for the win at 10:04. *
Jake Roberts vs. Akeem (w/Slick).
Akeem is being phased out at this point. Lots of arm wringers to start. Jake bounces off a shoulderblock. He does that against every tub of lard he fights, and for some reason, Jake faced a lot of tubs of lard. Jake goes after Akeem's arm, prompting the big guy to scream like a baby. Akeem regroups and throws his weight around. Slick gets in a few shots behind the ref's back. Jake makes the comeback but gets backdropped on the DDT attempt. The short clothesline sets up another DDT attempt, but Slick grabs his leg for the DQ at 6:24. Jake gives Slick the DDT. 3/4*
Jake Roberts vs. Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil).
Virgil and Dibiase doubleteam Jake, but Jake tosses Virgil to the floor and goes for the DDT early. Dibiase ducks out and regroups. Therein lies the pattern of the match. Jake dominates, Dibiase rolls to the floor. Jake chases after Virgil, distracting him long enough for Dibiase to take over by going after Jake's injured neck. Long front facelock by Dibiase follows. So…sloooooow. Jake comes back several minutes later with a swinging neckbreaker. An atomic drop slows Dibiase down a bit too. There goes Virgil. The short-arm clothesline sets up the DDT, but Virgil jumps him for the DQ at 12:36. Too many restholds. Dibiase slaps him with money after the match, but Jake comes back and chases Dibiase to the back. Virgil takes the DDT and the snake ride. *
Brutus Beefcake vs. Haku (w/Bobby Heenan).
Haku, thankfully, controls most of the match in the early going. Brutus comes back with a high knee, which prompts Haku to duck to the outside. At this point, I'm getting rather bored, so I'll just sum up. Haku with a lot of stuff that passes for "martial arts." Brutus avoids an elbowdrop and spectacularly messes up a backdrop. Heenan breaks up a sleeper for the DQ at 8:41. 3/4*
Profile of Sensational Sherri.
Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Marty Janetty).
And here I thought this was going to be an easy thumbs down. Shawn is still half of the Rockers. Sean Mooney calls this the Match of the Year. In terms of pure wrestling, he might be right. Dibiase dominates early and taunts the crowd. Michaels comes back with a dropkick and an armdrag. The hometown crowd is on its feet for Shawn. Back in, Shawn grabs a headlock, and Dibiase reverses with a handful of tights. Morella keeps catching him and pushing Shawn back over, though. Shawn runs into a boot on a corner charge. Dibiase goes to work, and Shawn busts out his somersault sell of a clothesline. Shawn elbows out of a chinlock and gets two off a surprise schoolboy. Dibiase suplexes Shawn from the apron to the ring and slows things down with a chinlock as Marty looks worried. Shawn backdrops out of a piledriver attempt, and they clothesline each other for a double KO spot. Dibiase misses the second-rope back elbow. I don't think that move *ever* hit. Shawn gets fired up, and Dibiase begs off. Shawn hits a neckbreaker and goes up for a crossbody. It gets two, and Virgil trips Shawn up to prevent a follow-up. Janetty gives chase but runs right into a lariat from Dibiase. Shawn and Marty say, "to hell with it" and doubleteam Dibiase and Virgil to death for the double DQ at 14:32. It was a moral victory for Shawn, considering where he was on the roster at that point. Great match too. ****
Power & Glory work out. Nothing to see here.
Macho King Randy Savage & Queen Sherri (w/Brother Love) vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/Elizabeth).
This is not the Mania match. Love really has nothing to do with the match other than he hates Dusty Rhodes. Savage reverts back to 1984 cowardly heel and barks at Elizabeth. Lots of stalling to start. Gorilla admits that Elizabeth is a 10 while Sapphire is a -3. Sherri decides to wrestle in her dress, which proves to be a mistake when Dusty yanks it up and shows her butt to the crowd. Then, he gets behind her doggy style. Remember, this was 7 years before the Attitude era. Anyway, this sucks a goodly bit, but is rescued somewhat by Savage's willingness to sprint circles around Rhodes, making it look like they're both working. Brother Love accidentally takes out Sensational Sherri, pissing off Savage. Rhodes jumps Randy from behind before anything happens. Brother Love breaks up a Rhodes' sleeper, and Sapphire hits an FU. Sherri grabs her purse and corners Sapphire, but Liz sneaks in, yanks it away from her, and waffles her with it to give Sapphire the win at 10:28. Good booking and Savage's hard work disguised the other's shortcomings pretty well. **
The 411: You'd think the Rockers & Orient Express would provide a good match, but it didn't happen. Shawn versus Dibiase is the real draw of the tape and probably worth a rental. The rest is an easy pass, though.