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Charles (Loss)

[1990-07-28-WWF-Saturday Night's Main Event] Mr Perfect vs Tito Santana

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They REALLY got the crowd going in this one. This is almost the perfect (no pun intended) SNME match. They cut a fast pace and did a lot of crowd pleasing spots, and worked their normal match in fast forward. Those false finishes are something to behold. This isn't really a great match in the sense that aside from the pacing and false finishes, there isn't much to it. But for the setting, it was awesome, as everything they did looked good and it felt special.

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I actually liked their Superstars match better. It felt a little grittier, with nastier offense from Henning. This was more what I expect from WWF Mr. Perfect, a lot of movement and flashy bumps. Still an enjoyable, fast-paced match with a few very cool spots at the end. Based on what we've seen, I'm convinced these guys had a truly great match in them. I would love to have watched Tito challenge the AWA version of heel Henning.

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If this is the match I think it is, then it's the first "big" wrestling match I ever saw, and of course it was the greatest thing ever to me when I saw it. I miss those times.

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The crowd is absolutely jacked for this. Even with WWF TV being sound-sweetened beyond death you can tell visually that the reactions here are genuine. No, there isn't much beyond the false finishes and the referee switch, but those are some pretty great false finishes and some great fiery comebacks from Tito. Heenan is absolutely outstanding here--he has a camera trained on him for most of the match and makes the most of it. His little signal to Perfect to switch from a chinlock to a chokehold was a great bit of subtle managing.

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I loved this match. The false finishes were plenty but made sense and were great drama. This was just a prolonged intricate sequence you were not used to at this time and Perfect did more nuttier bumps than usual to boot.

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I really should have mentioned the clever twist on Every Perfect-Goes-Over Finish Ever: the opponent ducks his head for a backdrop and Hennig stops and Perfect-Plexes him. Tito has a counter for that but Perfect is still one step ahead. Not overly complex but I literally think that's one of the best clean finishes the WWF ever booked, in light of the other false finishes in the match and how the other finish had been done and would continue to be done ad nauseum.

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This was really great. They worked a great sprint, with a bunch of great near falls. Tito brought some great offense. Hennig bumped well and had real good timing on this.

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Perfect flipping around after getting hit by a knife edge chop. Heenan wants Perfect to pace himself. Perfect undersells something for once and falls right on Hebner’s ankle. Santana with the figure four but Hebner more worried about himself. Suck it up! Santana lets go of the hold to check to Earl. Hebner sucks. Perfect survives the flying forearm. New referee. Thanks! Laughing at Perfect’s sell of the atomic drop. Better than their previous match this year. The Hebner stuff was annoying. Again, this dude drags so many matches down on repeated viewing. Match was got real good once Hebner got out of there.

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Guest TheGreatPuma

This is one of my all time fav WWF matches. It is so incredible on so many levels. As seen in context/when it happened it is even better. It also feels special because a lot of what makes this special could not be duplicated today for various reasons.

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This is the sprint version of today WWE main event style, but since it is not dragged out and the false finishers are not all finishers it is more exciting than dramatic. Hey, Tito, does not work as pissed off as usual and it is still a great match. This match is really built to showcase Mr. Perfect and his heat segments are way better in this match. If you tack the Tito babyface shine from April on this bad boy you would really have a match for the ages. Tito looks hot to begin with and Perfect takes a big bump off the chop, but this is a lot shorter and Perfect take command early off a telegraphed back body drop. I was not a fan of the transitions in this match they seemed generic and forced there was no logical progression. Perfect busts out his stock WWF offense: his big knee lift and standing dropkick. The chinlock/chokehold with Bobby was excellent. It was a pretty inventive ref bump, I will give that. Tito pours on the false finishes with figure-4, Flying Burrito, second rope clothesline and cross-body. Perfect takes over and the rest of his arsenal is unveiled the rolling necksnap and twisting thing between his thighs. Tito just says it is my turns with some piston punches and then a punch sends Perfect way over the ropes. Here comes the HUGE Mr. Perfect bumps including his famous posting of himself off hair biel and the atomic drop into turnbuckle. They sneak in one more false finish off a clothesline for Tito, before Tito counters the Perfectplex with an inside cradle countered by a Perfect Inside Cradle. That is a way better finish than April match. Perfect looked as good here as he pretty much ever did in WWF outside his work with Bret with really good heat segments and eating Tito's offense like a champ. I liked how he waited until the end to unleash his barrage of bumps. Tito played a fired-up, big move babyface much better than I thought he would and he did not feel that pissed off. I'd probably still have Rockers/POP and Valentine/Garvin ahead of this, but a solid WWF MOTYC for 1990.

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This was Tito's last really big match in the WWF, and he brought it all. He looked closer to his mid-eighties prime than he did at any other time after that, and he really had the crowd believing that he could beat Perfect right up until Curt's final small package reversal for the pin. A tremendous effort.

 

I can see what people mean when they say Curt bumped too theatrically in the WWF. Tito hits hard, but not hard enough for Curt to go flying through the air every time he was touched. For Hogan or Warrior that kind of bump works, but not for Tito.

 

SNME loved to put a camera on Heenan during his guys' big matches, and he always delivered big performances. I don't know whether he actually "managed" from outside the ring in bouts when the camera wasn't on him, but he sure did in this one. The hand signals, the reminders that Tito was the one who had to beat Curt, the anguished walking away when he sees that the IC title is about to go down the drain, and the relieved celebration afterward were all parts of the best performance of the match. It's a shame his neck got messed up so horribly, because we missed what would have undoubtedly been some stellar performances in the corners of Hennig, Flair and heel Luger during Bobby's final WWF days.

 

If Earl's injury wasn't a shoot, it was way oversold. If they'd been promoting Tito/Perfect at SummerSlam and wanted to give Tito an excuse for one last rematch, fine. But to have him be screwed out of two visual pins and a visual submission while Earl flopped and rolled around like his leg had been chopped off? I don't blame Earl himself for this; he was obviously booked to be that distracting, and to what good end? I don't even think Tito had another title match of any sort in the WWF, let alone another crack at Curt. If they were going to run an injured ref angle that prominently, it should have been Kerry in the ring with Curt to set up SummerSlam.

 

This falls just outside my top three WWF matches of the year. Hogan/Warrior's too iconic to bump, Hogan/Hansen was a tremendous brawl, and Garvin/Valentine was the bell-to-bell best match on a WWF pay-per-view to this point. Consider this one a sold fourth.

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Awesome crowd for this. Not a lot of substance in the match but it wasn't about that. It was about working fast and having some really great false finishes. It accomplished that perfectly. Cool match.

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Really good little sprint that I enjoyed a lot. The Heenan signal to Perfect before he distracted the ref was absolute genius. Really wish Tito had been given more of a higher profile role in the WWF based on his matches with the guys who could go.

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I agree that this should have led to a Tito-Perfect match at Summerslam due to all the visual pins Tito kept getting.

 

Maybe either have this match as the IC Title final (with Heenan debuting as Perfect's manager in an earlier tournament match) or have Santana win that Superstars match, Perfect win this rematch for the belt (with Heenan debuting here), and then Perfect winning a 2/3 falls match at Summerslam (instead of Demolition/Harts) having that stipulation.

 

I know Beefcake was involved until 7/4, but in my world Perfect would have gone over Beefcake in the semifinals while Santana beats Martel to set up the finals.

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