Rockers vs Brainbusters, WWF MSG (1/23/89)
Oh man, this is the shit right here. Opening babyface stretch is just so much fun with numerous comedy spots at the Brainbusters' expense and a really neat sub story with the Rockers utilising a few tricks the Brainbusters would generally utilise to distract the ref and stop Arn getting tagged into the match. Couple of early standout spots had to be Michaels getting pulled into the Brainbusters' corner and immediately escaping through the ropes to the floor, Blanchard pulling Michaels close to the corner only for Shawn to let go and send Blanchard flying into an unsuspecting Arn on the apron and the brilliant fabled tag team spot where Michaels enters the ring, catches Jannetty as he's double suplexed and brings him onto his feet and allows the Rockers to hit a dual superkick to send the Brainbusters bailing to the floor. Whole extened opening was just incredibly engaging with Arn doing some terrific punch drunk selling off of a Jannetty punch combo, and the sub plot with the Rockers out-thinking the Brainbusters and having their number at every opportunity really helped the flow of the match leading into the transition spot.
Speaking of the transition spot, its fucking tremendous. Blanchard is finally able to create some distance on the floor and baits the inexperienced Michaels into charging after him with Arn waiting around the corner ready to lariat an unsuspecting Michaels. The entire setup however may have been immediately bettered by Tully's AMAZING STRUT, holy shit it was incredible on a scale of utter douchebag and the smug grin fucking sealed it. Michaels playing FIP was naturally the peak of the match and he was more than assisted by Arn and Tully who really excel as the veterans now utilising all their experience to bait Jannetty into the ring and regularly distracting the ref allowing them to double team, choke, switch during abdominal stretches and generally just isolate Michaels from Jannetty for what feels like an eternity. Hope spot where Michaels charges over Arn into the corner and Jannetty almost falls into the ring as he reaches for the tag only to miss by an inch was a peach of a tease, and the way it setup the following Michaels flurry and hot tag was impeccable.
Jannetty again kicks ass off of the hot tag, bringing plenty of fire, energy and passion and the crowd is now amped. Finishing stretch is short but oh so sweet with the Busters trying to exploit their younger counterparts and out-manouevre them, and sadly for the Rockers they succeed as during a distraction Arn is able to sweep the leg of Jannetty from the floor as he attempts a suplex on Tully, and then holds down the leg of Jannetty as Blanchard lands on top of Jannetty for the victory. Really great way to cap off a terrific match chock full of tag team specialities, a terrific story which dominated the beginning, middle and end of the match, the Rockers ultimately being outsmarted by the Busters after dominating them in the beginning through intelligence...just magnificent.
Rockers vs Brainbusters, WWF Boston Garden (3/18/89)
Another sterling effort from both these teams here. Match again features a very similar layout to the 1/23 match with the Rockers controlling the majority of the opening and again showing their intelligence in using Brainbuster tactics to infuriate Blanchard and Anderson and continually prevent them from tagging out to escape the onslaught. Arn has a couple of really comical moments where he begs for a time out as well as nearly tagging in Jannetty by mistake only to bail at the last second and Blanchard's strut after winning the first lockup is just hysterical. Small touch that I really enjoyed came when both the Rockers had figure fours on both the Brainbusters and Arn after being released took the opportunity to rake the eyes of Jannetty who was still getting up from the hold. It didn't set up the control sequence like a similar spot did in the Flair/Arn vs Hogan/Savage tag from Nitro, but I really loved just how aware Arn was to do something like that.
Actual transition spot again pays off from the early story of the Brainbusters being out wrestled and out thought by the Rockers, only for Arn to draw Michaels off the apron and allow them to drop Jannetty throat first off the ropes. The following control sequence might actualy eclipse that of the 1/23 match, with Jannetty really being abused by the Brainbusters who constantly pull the ref aside to set up illegal double teams and a sick spot where Arn chokes Jannetty with the tag rope. Michaels constantly gets drawn in by the Busters who really begin to find their feat in controlling and isolating Jannetty and I loved the teasing of a hot tag to Michaels being broken up by an expectant Blanchard who again draws Michaels and the referee aside long enough for Arn to toss Jannetty to the floor and prolong the misery. Should mention in all of this that Jannetty takes a lunatic missed crossbody bump to the floor via the turnbuckle which really looked frightening.
Hot tag to Michaels is again perfectly timed after an excellent Jannetty FIP section and the finishing stretch is suitably chaotic with Michaels full of piss and vinegar trying to avenge the mugging of Jannetty whilst the Brainbusters seek to take advantage of any opening. Michaels however manages to overcome Arn via a superkick on the floor and then performs a rocket launcher via Jannetty assistance to Blanchard only for Arn to yank the referee out of the ring as he was set to count 3 and force a DQ victory for the Rockers. Finish could be bothersome to a few, but I loved it and it came off as a suitably dick move for Arn to take a DQ loss rather than be fairly beaten by the Rockers. Heat was monumental as well for Arn's scumbaggery.