The History of the Intercontinental Title: Part Nine
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The History of the Intercontinental Title: Part Nine
Your host is Jack Korpela. How did he get this job? He’s just a little kid!
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Tito Santana – (Saturday Night’s Main Event #27, 7/28/90)
Santana starts off by delivering a pair of hiptosses and then dropkicks Perfect out to the floor. Santana brings him back in, but ducks low off a whip and gets dropped with a clothesline. Perfect hits a knee-lift and Santana starts to punch back, but Perfect puts him down with a slam. Santana punches out of a neck vice and brings his foot up off a corner charge from Perfect. Tito catches Perfect with a clothesline for the crazy flip sell. Perfect begs away, but gets nailed and falls on the ref’s ankle. Santana starts kicking Perfect up against the ropes to do more insane flipping to set up the FIGURE-FOUR! The ref is nowhere near to check on Perfect, so Tito releases the hold to check on Hebner. Santana spots Perfect getting back to his feet and clobbers him with the FLYING JALAPENO! He covers as the ref crawls over for 1-2-NO! Santana comes off the middle rope with a clothesline and covers again for 1-2-NO! Since Hebner could be costing Tito the title, he calls out another ref to replace Hebner. Santana drills Perfect with a crossbody block for 1-2-NO! Perfect gets up and nails Tito to set up the rolling neck snap. Santana fights back and slings Perfect by the hair and gets split on the ringpost. A pair of atomic drops and a clothesline later, Tito covers and gets 1-2-NO! Tito whips Perfect into the ropes, but he ducks low into the PERFECTPLEX! No! Tito counters with an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Perfect shifts his weight and reverses the cradle for 1-2-3! (10:15) A very good match that made you believe Santana had a REAL chance at winning this thing. Especially since now Beefcake was out, they needed a new credible challenger for SummerSlam. ***½
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Kerry Von Erich – (SummerSlam, 8/27/90)
I never noticed that Kerry Von Erich sounded like Steve Brule. If you don’t know, YOUTUBE IT! This was supposed to be Perfect-Beefcake in a WM6 rematch, but he decided to go parasailing instead. All in all, you can say Beefcake got screwed! Haha. I kill me. Anyways, WWF newcomer Kerry Von Erich gets the title shot instead. Perfect doesn’t take the Texas Tornado very seriously to start with and has to regroup with Heenan. Back in, he whips Von Erich from corner to corner and then hooks on a sleeper. He slaps Von Erich around some more and walks right into a catapult straight to the ringpost. CONTINUITY~! Perfect is dazed, so Kerry applies the CLAW. That stuns Perfect and sets him up *perfectly* for the TORNADO PUNCH! Cover, 1-2-3. (5:15) The crowd erupts because we’ve got a NEW Intercontinental Champion! Nothing match, but it’s all about the moments. Kerry would hold onto the belt until he started getting weird on us. In other words, the belt would return to Perfect right after Thanksgiving. *
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Kerry Von Erich vs. Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) – (Madison Square Garden, 10/19/90)
Lord Alfred Hayes replaces Bobby Heenan on commentary for this one. For you younger fans out there, this guy is Lacey Von Erich’s father. Perfect attacks before Von Erich even gets his robe off. He tries to keep Von Erich out of the ring, so he pulls Perfect out and nails him with the TORNADO PUNCH! Perfect comes back with a sleeper. Von Erich runs Perfect’s head into the buckle to break the hold and grabs a sleeper of his own. Perfect escapes and hits the flipping neck snap before grabbing a neck wrench. Kerry breaks free and bumps the ref. Oops. Time for a PERFECTPLEX, but of course there’s no ref. YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT THOUGH, CURT! Since the ref is down and out, Perfect unties a turnbuckle pad and smashes Von Erich’s face into the exposed steel. SUPER slow crawl from the ref gets a SUPER slow two count. A couple TORNADO PUNCHES send Perfect to the floor. Von Erich goes out after him and they brawl on the floor until there’s a double countout. (7:51) Due to his personal issues, sadly Kerry was just nothing like he was in the early part of the ’80s, which made for a lackluster time at the WWF. If he hadn’t won the IC belt, you would have never known he had even been there. ¾*
We go to the 12/8/90 edition of Superstars. Ted DiBiase and Virgil visit the Brother Love Show to confront Dustin Rhodes. DiBiase shows Dustin all that Virgil does for him at his beck and call. Virgil is clearly growing tired of his job at this point. He wants to buy Dustin (by 1996, Ted probably could have got him for free) just like he bought Sapphire, but Dustin takes offense and strikes DiBiase. It’s a 2-on-1 attack until a fellow Texan in Kerry Von Erich makes the save.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Kerry Von Erich vs. Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) – (Superstars, 12/15/90)
Vince, Piper, and Honky Tonk Man on commentary. Ponder on that crew for a while. There’s a special ring announcer for this match – it’s the MILLION DOLLAR MAN Ted DiBiase! This should be good. Howard Finkel gets paid. Hey, every man has a price. Having DiBiase pay off the ring announcer is WAY more creative than just doing a typical run-in. Only managers were supposedly allowed at ringside, so DiBiase finds a way to be at ringside without anybody telling he can’t so he can make trouble for Von Erich. Wonder why this match wasn’t included on the Perfect DVD? Onto the match, they trade some slams and then Von Erich clotheslines Perfect to the floor. Vince mentions how Perfect doesn’t seem to be quite as aggressive as usual. Piper thinks he knows something we don’t. Seems like common sense commentary, but I like it. Von Erich reaches through the ropes and delivers a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Back in, Perfect takes a TORNADO PUNCH in the ribs, but catches Von Erich charging at him in the corner with a boot. Von Erich runs shoulder first into the post as DiBiase gets up to lay in a blow on him. Standing dropkick sends Von Erich to the floor, which gives DiBiase the chance to run him into the post. In the ring, the ref gets bumped as Von Erich mounts a comeback with a running turnbuckle smash. TORNADO PUNCH! He covers Perfect, but DiBiase smashes the IC belt on Von Erich’s head. DiBiase wakes up Perfect while Heenan shakes up the referee. PERFECTPLEX on Von Erich! Perfect regains the IC belt thanks to DiBiase. (6:38) While predictable in today’s terms, the angle surrounding the actual in ring work was very well done for TV back then as title screw jobs this big didn’t happen very often on your weekly shows. *½
Final Thoughts: Perfect-Santana is one of those hidden SNME classics while the final match is some well booked television. Skip the other two matches in the middle and just check those two out. Thumbs up!